We chose Oakwood to do our master bathroom renovation because we wanted it done right. We felt that with the Mike Holmes endorsement, that we would get good quality work. We knew that it might cost more, but bathrooms can be a disaster if not done correctly. We fell for the sales pitch and the impressive design center. Unfortunately, after our experience with Oakwood, we would never use them again.
They had their sales person come out to listen to what we wanted and determine a budget. We went through what we thought was every aspect of what we wanted and we then signed a contract with them, which included staggered payment terms. However, once the contract was signed, it all changed. Once we started determining the specifics of the project, all sorts of extra charges (change orders) materialized. Of course, we are new to this and so had no idea that selecting a particular tile (for example) would change the way it is installed and that this will cost extra. Important to note that all change orders are required to be paid up front before the project even starts (not incorporated into the payment plan). The designer started to load on time packages when we thought this was included in the original estimate. The designer never even came out to the site before the project started. We had to ask to meet with the designer and were charged accordingly.
They didn't hesitate to load on the charges. For example, we noticed that there was a significant charge for the shower glass. When we inquired, we were told that it was because it was custom, but we never needed it to be custom and would have been grateful for guidance (which we had asked for) to avoid extra, unnecessary charges. Thankfully, we caught before the project started. The contract stated that the site would be kept clean but it was not. There was debris left on the stairs and it was then tracked throughout the house. The electricians left cut wires and other trash on the floor at the installation areas (which concerned me as I have kids). I have no construction experience but raised the point that the plugs were not roughed in as per the design and the shower niche was not centered. These were corrected but what if I had not noticed it?? We had decided to do the painting ourselves and wow, did they nickle and dime us for that. They left areas unfinished stating that it was normally covered by the painters. No pride in workmanship or going the extra mile. This is the problem with a company that has its work done entirely by sub-trades - there is no vested interest for the trades in making sure the project is done to the client's satisfaction. There was a project manager but he was not involved in the initial discussions nor at any point in the design phase. He showed up periodically and was very nice but he can't be there all the time to watch over the sub-trades. We soon discovered that Oakwood's approach is not "the customer is always right" but rather "the customer is at fault". There is no apparent team effort (despite being assured that it happens behind the scenes). To add insult to injury, we found that our shower was leaking after a couple of weeks. They fixed it as they should.
To sum it all up - we paid a lot for the project (more than originally planned) and certainly didn't receive the quality and service that they advertise and that we expected. Funny - they never did a satisfaction survey after the project was completed. Probably because they really don't care!
- Company Response
We reviewed our files and cannot associate the description above as an OakWood client as none of the above comments are on record. This is certainly not how OakWood does business as per our extensive history and reputation. We would like to hear about the above issues so that we may address them with you directly, please call our office for a meeting. Thank you.