We signed with Royal on April 23 to have our porch resurfaced in stamped concrete and our driveway widened from 2 to 3 car width and repaved. Verbal expectation was set at 2-3 weeks to start it and then another 2-4 weeks to be completely finished. That would have put completion at the middle of June at the latest. By the end of June they hadn't even started so I told Kosta unless they could start immediately I wanted my deposit back and was going to cancel.
The demolition was finally done on July 6. On July 10 I came home to find a terrible mess of concrete all over the front of the house, deep grooves in the lawn and large concrete splashes in the front yard. My basement window screen ripped and the windows and door splashed with concrete. I had to spend two hours scrubbing concrete sludge that had come in under the door from my wood floor in the house. It was all over the railing as well. I understood that the concrete shipment was discovered to be bad and had to be removed, but was surprised that no attempt had been made to use tarps to protect the windows, window-wells and railing and to keep from it getting into the house under the door. Still I tried to be patient. I was told it would all be cleaned up and fixed.
Before the job was started I had sent Kosta a text saying that the resurfaced porch could not be higher than it had already been as it was only an inch below the door threshold. He confirmed that it would be the same. On July 11 I came home to find the porch had been redone but was now slightly higher than the existing threshold. I could not open the storm door as it was stuck on concrete. I called Kosta and John the concrete supervisor came over. He forced the door at which point the edge of the rubber gasket ripped and it scraped across the concrete. He said it had to be that height, otherwise the concrete wouldn't be thick enough. Never mind me previously being told it wouldn't be. He said he would raise the skirt of the door.
By July 13 the porch had dried and turned a weird bluish colour. I was upset and texted Kosta. John came over on July 14 and told me it was only the product used to etch the concrete. They should have told me what to expect but the communication was poor. He told me that he would do the porch in shiny sealer with sand on top and on the steps so it wouldn't be slippery and then it would look nice. He said they would repair the lawn but they put sand in the grooves and were going to put in some grass seed. I insisted on sod and he finally agreed to sod it. John said he would be back to finish the porch on July 16 but it rained that day. However there was no rain for the rest of the week and he still didn't show up. On July 27 I was getting upset at the front being such a mess and not being able to use the front door so I texted Kosta. I was told John would come on August 1 but he didn't.
On August 4, a couple of young guys came over and were going to do the seal. But the bottom edges of the porch hadn't been filed and smoothed yet, the door skirt hadn't been raised and they were going to do the seal in flat sealer. If we hadn't been home that would have been done wrong.
Finally the seal was applied on August 10, the door skirt raised and a metal threshold installed (not cut completely right though and just haphazardly augmented with a big gob of caulking). John had said that he would caulk along the porch where it meets the house as a favour (but without which the porch would leak into the basement???). He did caulk it but very messily and with a shiny white caulking on our dark brown porch against brown and red bricks which looked dreadful. What was he thinking? If something can't be done properly it shouldn't be done at all. I told Kosta it must be removed. He said we were free to remove it ourselves! (Weeks later though he finally did remove it. But of course he couldn't get all of it off so it had to be painstakingly scraped and covered.)
The guys finally came and removed the big concrete residue pieces from the lawn and from the soil in the garden around the porch and put on some more sod in the grooves. We had to spend much time and money watering it in. Much of the rest of the lawn had gone to weed as it had concrete bits on it and we couldn't do anything while they hadn't finished and cleaned up.
The workers left empty drink cups on the lawn and our hose covered with dirt or concrete and not put back after they had gone for the day so I had to clean those up too.
I spent much time scrubbing concrete off the windows and storm door. The concrete on the railing wouldn't come off without sanding so I had to hire someone to do that as I didn't have that much time (the railing has scrolls and curlicues which made it particularly difficult). If I had known they wouldn't take care I would have tarped it ahead myself.
When the curb was done for the driveway, existing interlocking pavers were removed and then replaced. When replaced they were cut badly and the pattern was not followed. But that can't be fixed now because the cuts were make incorrectly. The interlock area is now slightly smaller so there would have been more than enough pavers plus we had a few extras which they also used and cut up badly. I was told that the concrete guys don't know interlock. If they don't know interlock they should have called Royal Town's interlock people or at least told us. I could have stayed home and supervised the cuts.
Kosta had said he would pave during the week of Aug 6. As the week commenced I asked when it would be. Then I was told we are scheduled for the week of August 13. As that week started I asked him which day it would be as the forecast for Mon-Wed was clear, and Thur-Fri showed heavy rain. On Thursday he texted me that it would be Friday (despite a 90% chance of thunderstorms for the entire day). Then at 11:00 a.m. on Friday he called me to say he doesn't recommend paving today! But they would definitely pave on the follow day (Saturday). Then at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday he texted me to say the HL3 asphalt we need is not available at the supplier on a Saturday and he would call me shortly. I didn't hear from him after a couple of hours and I texted him to see when he would call. No reply for the rest of the evening. Late in the evening I texted him that we were done with Royal Town and offered a sum to pay for the work so far. This would be what the final price had been minus how much the paving and fixing the collateral damage would be. He texted me on Sunday to say they are paving on Monday. By that time I didn't trust them to do the work unsupervised and I couldn't take the day off. Plus I was so frustrated that I really didn't want to see them again. Our summer had been ruined.
The owner Stefano called me on the Monday evening and said they would not accept my offer, and with a job like this collateral damage was to be expected. Kosta was with him on speaker and as I was very sick that day they wore me down and I gave in. They finally paved on August 24.
It's hard to tell about the integrity of the concrete work and paving because they have just been completed, hopefully at least they last. With only a one year guarantee from Royal, I'm not that hopeful though. At least the appearance is just fair but not terrible. However the 4 months it took to do the work is ridiculous. And I've spent many hours and so far several hundred dollars to fix and clean up. Much of this could have been prevented with a bit of care. They did take $50 off the final price but that's nothing compared to the total additional cost to me and the hours of cleaning.
Overall a very bad experience. Over top of everything I was made to feel like I'm a problem customer and my expectations were too high.