On 4 May 2016 this company was asked to provide a quote for work to expand an existing deck on our house, install stairs, 2 fence gates and replace a few fence boards for our back fence. Start date for the work was supposed to begin on 25 May. Mr. S (owner/operator) was a no show. No contact or explanation for not showing up was provided. 30 May, started work. His employees left food containers and garbage on our site. No work or communication until 9 June until we asked via email for an update on the status of our projects. 17 June, demolished our old back fence due to rot. This required it to be rebuilt and delayed construction of the deck. The Mr. S requested another deposit which we provided for this work. 28 June, no show since 18 June. Advised us on 30 June that he was attending his father-in-law’s funeral in Montreal. He stated he would be at the house on 4 July to re-start the work. We later discovered after reading another review on a website that he had given another customer a similar story. An email search for an obituary that seemed to be his father-in-law was found that showed a man who passed away a few years ago and not the dates in question.
On 7 July he removed the safety rails on the ends of our existing deck in order to start working on the deck extension, therefore making it unsafe to use. The deck is over 9 feet above grade. He dug 9 holes for the new planned deck posts and attached a ledger board to our house. I asked Mr. S if he had gotten permits for the deck work since he agreed that he would take care of all the permits and contact with the city building office. He stated that the permit application had been started several weeks ago and it was just waiting to be finalized. 16 July, Mr. S sent an email with forms to allow him to act as our agent for the city to acquire building permits which were dated 15 July. Clearly, he had not started the permit process when he had stated he had back at the beginning of July.
19 July, he called to advise us that our permit, as we had planned and discussed with him back in May, could not be approved without a variance. The wait time for the variance would be 6 weeks. I contacted the city office building department to confirm when he had first contacted them regarding the permits and plans and they stated it had been 15 July so not back in June as he alluded to. We challenged him on this and he offered and we agreed to a refund. We also told him his services were no longer required. 9 Aug, after several emails and calls he finally answered his email and stated a bunch of personal reasons for the delays regarding the refund and he would get us the refund by the end of Aug. Never happened. I ran into him in Barrie at the beginning of Sept and confronted him about the refund. He stated “Take me to court”.
In the end, another contractor had to complete the deck. Upon initial inspection by the city building inspector of the work done by Mr. S, several items of his work were found to be inadequate and needed correction. The post holes as dug were found to be inadequate for depth. Three unnecessary large holes had been dug that weren’t required because of his lack of diligence in obtaining permits before he started the work and there was subsequent destruction of the lawn from this and where the earth had been piled around the yard. They needed to be filled in and re-seeded. The ledger board that was attached to the house had joist hangers installed that had one side cut off because they were attached next to a bolt. So rather than correctly attaching the joist hanger, Mr. S cut them, defeating the intended purpose and strength of the item. The building inspector stated he would never had passed the work had it been left in this manner. Based on my experience, I would not advise using this company.
- Approximate cost of services:
- What could this company do to improve their services?
- Any advice to offer fellow homeowners facing a similar project?