My wife and I hired Big City Developments to do a series of projects summer 2018. The scope of the work was to build a 22’x20’ garage, pour a concrete patio & side walk to the back alley for garbage bins, build a new fence and build a composite deck. We had a few quotations that were lower cost, however they were not able to complete the projects till late summer or early fall. So we hired Doug from Big City Developments – The worst mistake we could have made.
It seemed very strange from the beginning that Doug asked for money up front to start the jobs. We could not really understand this as none of the other contractors that quoted the projects needed money up front. We were soon to find out why he wanted money up front and was unable to provide the references that he originally promised to send.
The dishonesty began right from the start date. Doug gave us a date and then called saying that he would be able to start right away as an opening came up. After a week there was no sign of Doug. When I was finally was able to reach him. He told me that they were unable to start that week as the weather was too bad and the rain it delayed the project. That would have been a legitimate excuse however, it was not the case. I know because I worked in Calgary all week outside and we never got rained out. When I questioned him on this, he changed his story to the Bobcat they use doesn’t operate in the rain as it’s not good for them … Give me a break.
Long story short is the dishonesty continued. After Doug got started it was very apparent that his quality of workmanship and eye for detail was not even close to being on par. His dishonesty became more and more ridiculous. He told us that it was normal for fence boards to shrink ½” over a weekend or special wiring needed to be done if we wanted a motion detector on the outside lights on the garage.
Every time we would question his mistakes such as “why did to put the natural gas line for the garage in the sidewalk to the garage as it interferes with the bins we want to roll out to the alley”? His response was that it was code and the city would not issue a permit if it was anywhere other than the location he used. That was all good again until I spoke later in the week to the inspector himself. He confirmed that Doug was not being truthful. Not a surprise but when I went back to Doug with the inspectors response his only reply was “you don’t want to mess with me today”. The funny thing about this is Doug is no joke is 7 foot tall and it was apparent that he didn’t want to talk about any of his poor workmanship, so he began playing the intimidation card. Using statements like “I’m not in the mood for this sh!t” or “you and your wife expect way too much”.
Needless to say that the dishonesty and poor quantity workmanship continued until we finally said enough is enough and fired him. At the point Doug became very upset and even started making threats to lean my home and has even threatened to beat me up that likely got him a visit by the police. He’s such a great guy.
All I have to say is be very cautious to proceed in any business venture with Doug and Big City Developments if you are looking to have work done. He places his ads in community publications. However I have recently found that there is no background checks or references taken to get a company’s advertisement in these types of publications.
We did hire another contractor to complete the project and fix / cover up some of the mistakes - like concrete being 2 ½” out of square on 16 feet. The replacement contractors that took over were nothing short of amazing. Guess what, they didn’t want a cent until they were done the project and I was satisfied with their work. However the garage floor has begun to crack only a couple months after being poured. Thanks Doug.
I would not hire Doug or Big City Developments again even if it were to paint bird feeders.