This entry did not meet HomeStars review criteria.
This entry did not meet HomeStars review criteria.
We have had our share of questionable contractors during our renovation, but CityView Renovations is by far the worst that we have ever encountered. I am a tradesman and would never think to ask my clients to pay me for work not completed or not completed satisfactorily. I most certainly would not threaten to sue my clients for not paying me for work not yet completed. Alex is unskilled, unprofessional, and performs his work in an unsafe manner.
We hired City View to remove some poorly installed siding and replace it with new material. The job also involved replacing two poorly done flat roofs, reinstalling a window and a door, and refinishing a box window.
Siding: sigh. We were unhappy with the original siding that was installed by a previous contractor so we hired Alex to replace him. We thought that his trashing of the previous contractors work along with our own concerns would have indicated that we wanted something better... what we got was even worse. There are several places on our home where one board will lean left while the next few boards will alternate between leaning right then left again. A level is not required to see the obvious ruin that has become our home. The caulking job was atrocious. Blobs of caulking now adorn our new shingles, as well as our new white windows [the caulking is green]. It has all the appearance of a child left unattended with the tools. Recently, one of the siding boards fell off the house. I could go on...
Roofs: One of the flat roofs was for a rooftop deck and had 90 degree corners which all roofers agreed would require cant strips to avoid cracking in the heat and cold. Although we specifically requested them, this roof was replaced with no cant strips, leaving us with the same job that we had paid to fix. On the second roof, his roofer sub-trade informed us that we should have installed a fascia board on the side of the house when he had completed his work. It would have taken about 30 min to add the two boards necessary to make this right. Instead, our siding ends at the roof and now looks unfinished.
Safety: He laughed at our previous contractor for siding a house 32 feet high without scaffolding and then proceeded to build an overhang and side our house using just a ladder. Oh, and did I mention he told us he's not comfortable with heights? We had discussed our safety concerns with Alex before hiring him for the job.
Other: We asked Alex to reinstall a window that needed to be moved out an inch so that it could be properly weather-proofed. He removed it and reinstalled it exactly where it was.
We paid Alex a considerable amount to build an overhang [soffit and fascia]. One end of the overhang is about three to four inches narrower than the other end. Alex could see nothing wrong with this...
We paid Alex to reinstall a door that was poorly done. I'm pretty sure that he used a chainsaw to notch out where the hinges go... and the door would not close with weather stripping attached.
We paid Alex to clad our bay window with cedar trim. He left half inch gaps to the house and his mitres looked like he cut them by eye with no regard to the final result. He told us to fill it with caulking and then used caulking to fill a two inch wide gap on the side of our house.
Towards the end of the job, Alex tried to do a week's worth of work in six hours and then demanded to be paid before the job was completed. We paid him some of the money left on the job but wanted him to finish before receiving final payment. He immediately called his lawyer and threatened to sue us for the remaining money. We were offended of course... we spoke with a construction lawyer who advised us that if our contractor was foolish enough to proceed to court it would have to be heard in Ontario Superior Court and we would end up paying ten to fifteen thousand dollars in legal fees regardless of the outcome. We chose to settle and have Alex go away.
The bottom line is that Alex was totally unprofessional with our job. He did not assume any responsibility for his work and attempted to intimidate us when he did not wish to make good on his promises.
Alex blamed almost all of his deficiencies on the previous contractor's work but it had been untouched since he quoted the job. He knew the conditions when he provided his quote and his promises of quality.
The pictures with this review are at the stage that Alex was demanding to be paid in full. As you can see, we will eventually have to redo all of the work that Alex touched. Alex's main trade is carpentry but as you can also see, this is not the work of a professional carpenter. All of these deficiencies are still there for all to see, so please feel free to message me if you would like to see it in person. All are welcome to take a look. I can send more pictures too if you're interested.
My name is Alex Russillo, I am the owner of CityView Renovations and over tweenty years in business I have never experienced such a client. This job was concluded in the summer of 2010, when the homeowner called me he informed me that he needed flat roofs and siding done.When I arrived at the house and walked around it was obviuos that the house was not level, plum or square. I informed that the siding is similar to a skin, if the house is not level,square or plum, the siding would not be as it is attached to the sheathing with nails. The client said understood but didnt have the money to correct the structure. The old brick walls were not cut square to join to the new addition, hence the gap varied along the edge, we tried may different solutions as the client did not want to cut the brick straight. As for the comments on the doors and windows and many other items, the client did a lot of this work himself to reduce costs ( using used doors and windows that were warped and old found on kijiji), the contract was redone 4 times in 4 weeks, adding and deleting items, and once they did work they wanted me to fix it properly for no extra cost, I will do a few small extras for my clients but I also have a business to run and do have to charge for days of work. The bay window mentioned had to be reframed again to save cost Vince did this himself (he is a tradesman, painter)he biult it of square and of level and then blamed the siding for not correcting it.The flat roofs were installed correctly and to Building code.
As for the safety, in 22 years we have never had an accident, we could not use scissor lifts as we had no access(as promised) scaffolding is considered, the nieghbour refused us access to errect scaffolding, they only have 30 inches between the houses, the nieghbour stated that he had enough of the homeowner. As a result we operated safely this platforms.
I do not take monet before work is complete, and no one should pay before then, once the scope of the work was completed the client simply did not want to pay, I informed them that they owed well over $ 5000.00
I dont threaten legal action as it is costly for everyone involved but I will not walk away from a significant amount of money iether. After 2 weeks of refusal to pay by the client, i told them that thier file will be referred to my attorney, and offered them a 15% discount if they paid, they jumped on the offer, they paid. For anyone out there reading this, go on my website, read reviews and i also offer refferals to all interested.
When I initially purchased my condo a few months ago, I had been looking for a good renovation company to do some work at my place and they all quite frankly varied in price and were some what unprofessional. Alex however was very professional in work ethic and working around my schedule. I highly recommend Alex for any of your general contracting needs.