I bought a house a few years back and the basement suite did no comply with city bylaws. The suite was grandfathered in, however there a few deficiencies which required fixing such as hardwiring smoke detectors, drywalling in the furnace room, installing doors to separate units, moving the electrical panel, etc..
Out of ignorance, I asked the city inspector for a list of reputable renovators and picked from the list Robinson Outfitting. This was my first home renovation in which I hired a contractor so I did not know much about costs, labour, material.
Wayne come by and provided an initial estimate which I thought was decent, however they kept increasing the costs after, and I found out from a contracting friend that I was way over charged. They did a terrible mud/tape job in the furnace room, left holes all over my house (and refused to fill them in), and used old materials on the doors - actual old trim from a previous job. Also, I provided Wayne a Schlage door lock (expensive), and he called to say he broke it and tried to replace it with a Weiser (cheap). I think the only work done well was the electrical panel.
I sat Wayne down and advised him of all the things I was unhappy about and he just shrugged it off. Since my tenant was moving in in the next few days I had to pay the remaining amount for him to finish the work. My contractor friend later told me that he would have quoted around $4,500 for this job. So I was overcharged nearly $2,500.
This was my worst experience with a contractor, and I will now always use Homestars to review my contractor before even calling.