We hired Mark, Nino and the EA Renovationss team for a whole house renovation in the summer of 2016 on an urgent basis after our original plans fell through. By sheer luck, Mark and Nino were available to do the renovation on short notice, with Mark as our main contact throughout. After speaking to some of their references, we were reassured that they would put in the same care and detail into our home that they would for their own places. This turned out to be completely true, and we would highly recommend EA Renovations as your team for anything from small to large scale renovations and more.
Bear with me, I have a lot to say in my detailed review!
Design, Plan, and Workmanship: Mark and Nino designed an open floor plan we didn't think was possible with a renovation, adding some great feature walls, giving us a spacious kitchen, a super practical mudroom and laundry room, a bright and peaceful master bath, and creating an amazing outdoor space with cedar pergola. Although we had a fairly specific plan in mind, we have never undertaken substantial renovations, and were glad to rely on their expertise in the design aspect. The quality of the workmanship, in our view, was excellent, and they quickly addressed items that could only be discovered after we moved in. Our family could not be happier with the overall result of the renovation.
Budget and Timeline: Being a whole home renovation on a fairly large house, we were prepared for several months of construction, and friends and family were convinced that we would never meet our deadline. In fact, we were able to move in approximately 5 months after EA Renovations began work on our house, an impressive timeline given that we bought our house without an inspection, and of course encountered many 'fun" surprises along the way. For example, we discovered that we needed to replace the entire roof, level the subfloor, change out the windows, and (our favourite) address the 20+ year old water boiler for our heating system. All of these issues increased our original cost estimate, so this is a lesson to all (or maybe just those like us!) that you should always have a substantial contingency fund in place. Mark did everything he could to help with our expenses, including allowing us to select and purchase some items on our own, helping us to choose materials and suppliers that would fit our budget, and identifying alternatives that might be lower in cost but function just as well. He patiently listened as I agonized over such things as what toilet to buy and always steered me in the right direction.
Issues: Again, with a whole home renovation I think it's probably inevitable that problems are going to arise. During the renovation, we had some issues with the work done by subcontractors and some communication difficulties with suppliers. This did extend the renovation a little bit as there were some things that needed to be re-done, and I will admit that being a bit of an uptight perfectionist, my stress level was through the roof. Despite all of this, I am of the view that the true measure of a company is not in whether any problems occur, but in how problems are dealt with, even when the company is not directly at fault. Mark was incredibly gracious and patient throughout the unexpected problems; he ensured that things were done to our original specifications even if it meant re-doing the work, and the team worked long hours to make everything right.
Communication and Trust: Mark and Nino were quick to respond to emails, texts and calls even when they had other projects on the go, and they didn't mind a follow up call or email when needed. As we both work full-time and have young kids, we were grateful to be able to speak on our schedules. I will say that of course, issues did arise in communication, sometimes between the two of us as the homeowners and Mark and Nino separately, or with various subtrades. I think that most of what occurred in terms of miscommunication may not have arisen had we had more time in which to plan and get specifics down on paper. There were times when we were slightly frustrated for example with our kitchen cabinet designer - problems occurred in communicating what we wanted and in the execution of same. That being said, Mark as our GC handled the bumps in the road well, and he was always prepared to advocate for us and ensure we were happy. In terms of trust, as mentioned we always felt that Mark and the team had our best interests in mind and that the quality of their work was excellent. We had absolute faith in the team and did not have to be on-site every day to check in....although we were there several times a week anyway!
Thank you Mark, Nino, and everyone on the EA Renovations team. We are well settled into our beautiful home, and everyone who has come to visit has been so complimentary of your work - we are so happy we found you!