Ottawa Design And Build

Bathroom Renovation
ON
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HomeStars  >  Bathroom Renovation in Ottawa  >  Ottawa Design And Build
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Reviews for Ottawa Design And Build

Average customer rating:
8.6 10 (35 reviews)

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Kyle from Ottawa
Kyle from Ottawa
6 reviews Ottawa, ON
1/10

Bathroom Reno

I thought a long time about submitting this review as I know a company can win or lose business by them. Jeff can be charming and friendly but he has taken the $$$ I paid him in good faith, and essentially disappeared. Although my project started out well, it is now 10 wks into a 1-2 wk project, Jeff has become increasingly difficult to contact and impossible to get to come to my house to finish the project and fix the mistakes. All I have heard are weak excuses: car trouble, too much rain, too far out of town, too busy getting ready for his holiday, the work was complimentary anyways, the leaks in my basement were caused by someone else, I am getting more than $10k of work etc etc. The results to date are the shower arms aren’t attached correctly, work is unfinished, the installed shower is splashing all over the place, there is a leak in the basement, etc and I am very curious as to why my brick wall was plugged with toilet paper.
He totalled 5 no-shows after confirming appointments.
*****Update*****
1.Jeff recently appeared and refused to do any work until I had agreed to a new illegal condition: I accept his nonsense that any further discussion equalled me voiding the warranty. Considering he owes me money, goods and services I refused and he left my home. This allows him to respond to my negative reviews such as this one by saying I *chose* to void the warranty--no Jeff, I *choose* not be a victim of your attempted extortion.
2. Luckily I had seen this response previously on his multiple negative reviews from his previous companies that are no longer in business.
3. His disgraceful remarks about my late husband were completely inappropriate, I would like to acknowledge he apologized shortly after via email. It was shocking and threw me off my game mid-discussion though.
3. I had another contractor come in to make urgent repairs to a) basement leak and b) temporary work to help slow the damage an ongoing splashing shower is causing. He also pointed out to me several areas of low quality work such as uneven tile work and misaligned vanity.
4. Jeff has been threatening me with a $25k lawsuit every time I write a review he doesn't personally like. This brings me up to $100k.
5. See you in court.

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Chris in Kanata
Chris in Kanata
1 review Ottawa, ON
10/10

Bathroom Gut and Rebuid

We hired Jeff to renovate our main floor bathroom, after seeing his really excellent series of videos on YouTube. A close co-worker of mine also strongly recommended Jeff, as he, his family and some of his friends had used Jeff for a wide range of jobs.

Jeff's pricing was very competitive and he made it easy to pick out a set of bathroom hardware, shower and floor tiles and cabinets that worked well together.

Once the job started, everything went according to schedule - no hiccups, no issues, and the final product turned out very, very well. The only negative item to mention about the schedule is that the start date got pushed off by several days, as it took longer than expected for the tub to come in. That wasn't a big deal, as it didn't really affect anything, but it was a change from the plans we'd made.

Jeff made sure that the work site was clean at the end of every day, and did a great job letting my 2 year-old son (who was *really* excited to watch him work) play with some of his tools. It was a really great experience.

After the job was finished, we did notice that a few items needed to be touched up. For example, one tile in the shower had cracked, the sink wasn't exactly aligned with the lights, and there was a bit of grout cleanup that needed to be done. Even though this was after we'd paid him the last bit of the remaining money, Jeff was really easy to work with - we setup a mutually convenient date for him to come by, and he fixed everything up in just a few hours.

I'll admit that we were nervous hiring Jeff (or any other contractor, for that matter), as the bathroom reno, even at Jeff's competitive price, was still a lot of money. I can say that our nervousness was unnecessary - we are very happy with the work that Jeff did, and definitely plan to turn to him for future renovations.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

Thank you so much Chris for such a detailed review on your bathroom renovation in Ottawa. looking forward to working on your basement renovation project next.

Maximilian
Maximilian
2 reviews Ottawa, ON
10/10

Basement Window, Bathroom

Jeff has done several projects for me over the years. First he did our family bathroom where he tackled the tub and shower. He completed this project in two days and we were on budget. Jeff used a combination of new building materials to make the job affordable and quick (only took two days). Overall the new tub and shower function very well and we are happy to have the old one gone. He also changed our basement windows to replace the old rotting ones. Although the windows we received were the wrong size he still managed to make them work. I'm really pleased with the results as they were on time and on budget!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

Thank you so much Maximillan

GENFIELDING
GENFIELDING
1 review Carleton Place, ON
10/10

Deck and basement bedroom

Jeff was very meticulous and professional throughout the entire project and stands behind the quality of his work.

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Company Response

Really enjoyed helping you with creative solutions. Looking forward to renovating the basement in the near future.

Ken
Ken
1 review Ottawa, ON
10/10

basement and bathroom renovation and consultation

Jeff renovated my basement and put in a bathroom. He did excellent work, was quick, on-time and under budget. Jeff was always courteous and explained everything well. He also allowed me to help out (when I could) which helped me develop my skills. Jeff is a very good teacher as demonstrated on his video's. Recently, I asked him to come by to provide advice, he came over quickly and followed up a few days and made himself available for anything I needed. Jeff knows his stuff and is joy to have around.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

Thanks Ken. looking forward to our next opportunity to work together doing a custom bathroom renovation.

Fran in Ottawa
Fran in Ottawa
1 review Ottawa, ON
10/10

Stone electric fireplace and tv Insert

Jeff built a fireplace and tv insert for my living room. It looks as if it was always part of my home. It's gorgeous and the workmanship is top quality. Wow! Very organized work and my house was left intact during and at the end of the project. Thank you Jeff and Connor. You are definitely on my list for future renos!!! Fran

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Company Response

Thanks for the review Fran. I wish all clients were as wonderful to work for.

Krista in Kanata
Krista in Kanata
1 review Ottawa, ON
1/10

Bathroom Reno

We hired Thorman Reno to renovate our bathroom in February 2014 for approximately $20,000.00. Thorman kept $5,490 of our money and only demolished our master bathroom. Our master bedroom and bath were left in ruins. It took us almost 6 months to rectify the situation.
We were unable to continue our contract with Thorman and lost a significant amount of money by putting our trust in Jeff, the owner of the company. He insisted we did not need a plumber or permit yet the plan was to move plumbing, I think once Jeff did the demo he realized he was in over his head and wouldn't have been able to complete the project as planned.
The company response will probably say I'm the one who kept changing my mind and scope of the project. I did make some cosmetic changes after the fact, but this had nothing to do with the project delays as he hadn't even placed these orders yet. The owner continually stalled in providing us with estimates and kept trying to increase pricing. He kept wanting more money but hadn't done any work or ordered any parts. He even requested cash at one point to save us some money. He wasn't showing up to the job as he had other projects on the go. He was supposed to be finished these previous jobs before starting my reno. He even boasts about "one job at a time" on his website. The company continually threatened I was breaching contract by locking my door when he wasn't showing up for days, or many hours late. And his dust-free program.... forget it. You'll definitely need your ducts cleaned when you are done with Thorman Reno.
When we did not agree with his climbing costs and marked up prices, for example $1500 for a set of taps, we were informed we could go out and get all of our materials ourselves but he would only be offering a 1 year warranty instead of the originally promised 5 year warranty and an increase to our already $20K labor costs. As we went through this constant run-around and stress for the first 3 weeks of our contract start date, we knew there was no way the job would be completed and decided to end the contract.
I think if our project had been a basic remodel with no time constraints, Jeff could have completed the job successfully so I rate him a 1, as a basic general contractor. He is a pleasant person if you agree to his pricing and terms. Obviously he is not qualified to do a major renovation. In the end, I'm thankful he did not complete my project.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

Unfortunately when you refuse entry to the crew twice in 3 days the contract is over and the deposit is not refunded as per the contract. Reasonable people expect nothing less. The personal attack is not called for.

Lalonde from Ottawa
Lalonde from Ottawa
4 reviews Kanata, ON
1/10

2 Bathroom, 1 Porch Reno

I hired Thorman Reno in spring of this year to completely gut and renovate 2 bathrooms demo a wet bar and gut/renovate a closed-in porch.
Was to start July 21st and Jeff’s estimate was 3-4 wks to finish. I specified that I had to be home when work was being done (I own a dog). I had arranged to be home for 4 weeks straight (I wound up being home 5 weeks). After that time I told them I could not guarantee what the access would be. This was accepted.
At the end of 5 full weeks there was still much work to be done. At that time I had to go to half days. Jeff said this would work fine as their other job was close by. Over the next two weeks I did manage to give them 2 more full days. By the 3rd week of ‘half days’ no one was showing up and Jeff informed me the half days ‘weren’t working for him’ and they needed full days. Twice I was asked if they could work on the Saturday and I said yes of course, only to have no one show up, call, or email.
By the end of September I told Jeff that if he could not finish on half days to tell me and I would get someone else to finish the job. I needed to get on with my life and get my house in back in order. The reply was that he would be by to pick up his tools, and that it was a shame I couldn’t give them one more full day to finish (I felt there was much more work than one day would take.. trim, painting, flooring, etc. or I would have managed one more full day) It is unfortunate that the job was taken knowing the parameters and then they couldn’t work with them. I was told that the job was dragging on because I hadn’t given unlimited access when I am not there which is “the industry norm” – which I accept and which is why I made it very clear to all the people I received estimates from that I needed to be on premises. I don’t feel its right being told it was all my fault when the contract was accepted under those specific conditions.
End of the day I am now in October with two bathrooms and a porch that are usable but I am hiring someone else to do the finishing trim for 4 doors, backsplash, flooring, heating vent, etc. The painting I will have to do myself. Window trim in the upstairs bath had to be redone as the molding was put on uneven and actually overhung the window at the top.
The two porch doors apparently have to be completely reframed as what was there was wrong – one door the screws in the hinges were already pulling out of the wall and door (recessed too far), and the other frame was rather badly cut up, with gaps etc. One storm door is mounted incorrectly. The downstairs bath needed the door trim and some paint touchups and was the most finished area of all, but still needs work.
While the initial demo was done very neatly, there was ongoing issues with cleanup which I took to Jeff (stepping on screws, empty water bottles left around on floors and outside decks, etc.). At one point while working in the downstairs bath a crew member broke through the wall of the bath and into the stairwell. I repaired that hole myself. In fairness, they might have done it eventually but a couple weeks went by and repeatedly crew walked past the hole with drywall supplies doing other patches but never touched that one so I did it myself.
At one point one crew went to my laundry room and took a towel to use when applying silicon or something, never asked, nothing, even though I was on the premises. The towel was garbage afterwards. 2 patches to approx. 1ft square holes in the ceiling of a downstairs carpeted room were made without care for the carpet, resulting in a lot of drywall chunks and dust being ground into the new carpet. Then a tarp was put over the mess and everyone left for the weekend. I discovered it after everyone had left. Wish the tarp had been put down BEFORE the patching. I never did get an explanation or apology.
Also not that happy with the way the vinyl floor was installed in upstairs bath, found a corner where it was cut short and a little pce left behind loose that I am guessing was to be glued in at a later date. That cut is not coverable by molding so I guess I will have to live with the patch.
There are some positives.
The downstairs shower that Jeff built and tiled is gorgeous. No issues except the handspray screeches if you don’t have it on full power – likely a valve. The vanity he picked is very nice as are the fixtures and backsplash. The toilets he installed in both baths are great, very happy with those. They did a great job of leveling the floor in the basement bath, it was a mess before. Demo of the wet bar was also very good and neatly done.
The steam/whirlpool unit upstairs they installed has had no issues so far and the walls they moved and built, ceiling, etc. are nice except for a couple of drywall screws that have already popped.
The vinyl windows in the porch are lovely, as are the new walls and ceiling they did. Not going to get into the flooring in there, we will be installing that ourselves.
It seems they did nice work for the first number of weeks then just seemed to not care. Very hard to understand given how well everything started. Due to all the issues I would not be able to recommend Thorman Reno. I also found the estimate provided to be very vague as to the costing out of the job but perhaps that is the industry norm. I really didn’t have an issue with the estimate which is why I accepted it as is.
End of the day I am out more money as it has cost more to redo doorframes, etc. and I do put a value on my time for painting and such.
It is not easy to get hold of Jeff at times and that was a problem as well. While he is very friendly and personable I did find communication difficult at times.
I called Jeff for an estimate based on his reviews here and hired him because of his personality and the estimate was acceptable. Unfortunately, at the end of the day I wish I had gone with someone else, and in spite of the good work done in the early part of the process I would not feel comfortable recommending Thorman Renos. Should I ever get renovations done again I am definitely not inspired to change my mind about being on premises because of this experience.
My 1 rating is because the downstairs shower is so nice. I basically started with 10 and after the deductions that I felt were justified that’s where I wound up.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

I am sorry that we couldn't work together to finish this project. It seems that you were trying your best to keep us from finishing. very unfortunate since we were only 1 day from finishing.

The reviews on this page are the subjective opinion of the Author and not of HomeStars Inc.

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