Penguin Basements

Basement Renovation
906 Magnetic Drive Toronto ON M3J 2C4
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Reviews for Penguin Basements

Average customer rating:
9.1 10 (142 reviews)

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Lisa in Toronto
1 review Toronto, ON

We wanted to finish our basement to have more usable space and provide a space for the kids to play.

We also wanted to build a proper laundry area.

We are the original owners and felt that finishing the basement would not only give us a little more space but also add value to our home.

Everyone at Penguin was very professional and helpful in our project. Not only was it finished on time and on budget but it also has a very solid construction. We are very pleased with the quality of the workmanship. Our 2 site managers Josh and Tony were very helpful and always made sure our questions were answered.

We definitely recommend this company to anyone looking to renovate their basement.

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Company Response

You're making us all blush. Glad to hear everything went so well. Josh, Tony, and everyone at Penguin wish you many years of happy memories in your finished basement.

Paul in Toronto
1 review Toronto, ON

Every renovations will have it's ups and downs, but the difference is that Penguin always stepped up and made any changes or corrections we asked for. They were very fair and upfront in their costs and the craftsmanship is fantastic. It can get a little bit tricky dealing with 3 different site managers, but if you stay on top of it and always communicate in writing, it gets done properly. Claudio was our finishing site manager and he always went the extra mile to make sure we were very happy. We are excited to enjoy our new basement!

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Company Response

Thank you for the positive review. Contracting can be a tough business and there's always something or other that pops up and that needs to be addressed to ensure a project stays on track. We believe the difference between a good and bad contractor is taking ownership, responding to issues swiftly and learning from them and client feedback. This is why we believe we are a better company this year than last. And why we hope we'll be an even better company in the future. Have a very happy holidays! Enjoy your basement.

Melvina from Markham
2 reviews Toronto, ON

When the project started after few weeks of delay, it was just nightmare and made us regret we singed contract with penguin. every thing we disaster. At the end of the project Marlon Garganta came to the picture and "Made A different" he was able to correct all the outstanding issues we had . I wish Marlon was in the project from the start .
at the end we were happy with the outcome.

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Company Response

Melivina, thank you for this honest review. Earlier this year rapid growth required a large hiring spree. And some worked better than others. We've since hired an award-winning HR person full time, listened to clients and implemented new training and processes and as you witnessed first hand it has made a difference and restored the standards we always strive for. Happy Holidays. And enjoy your basement!

Private User
1 review Oshawa, ON

We needed our basement finished at a certain date. The people at Penguin Basement were very accommodating. Their actions were always professional and would do things beyond what was expected. I'm very happy with the results and would definitely recommend them

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Company Response

Thank you. We appreciate the kind words. Happy Holidays!

Private User
3 reviews Markham, ON

Quick efficient basement renovation. We selected Penguin Basement from homeshows they hosted. We interviewed other companies but finally selected on Penguin due to basements being their sole area. No complaints on the work, the two Work Site supervisors were responsive (most of the time). Overall they delivered a fully functional basement Reno we are happy with.

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Company Response

Thanks for the review. We're working to ensure our people are all responsive all of the time in the new year​. Happy Holiday, and enjoy the new basement!

shortt in Toronto
2 reviews Toronto, ON

Choosing Penguin Basements was by far one of the best decisions we made for our house. After we moved in May, we realized we need to renovate our basement as the house was owned by an ex heavy smoker and the basement was particularly affected by it.

We went to the 2017 Green Living Show and stumbled across the Penguin booth. I had heard about them and ended up getting a flyer. We reached out to them a couple of months later and met with Dave who took us through the process of how they build the basement using mold resistant materials as well as the process from start to finish and even did a quick design. The great thing is that we could ask for things without a concern of it not being able to be done. For example, one of the big upgrades we asked for was to go to a 200amp electrical from the 100 amp we had. We really liked the fact they used quality materials and that they had a financing option.

We also liked the options we had during our selections appointment with Gem. There wasn't a point where we thought our options were limited with the exception of the toilet selection. I think they have more selections now, but there was only one that we could choose from at that time. They had so many base options that we only upgraded one item which was the tiling. We didn't have to stress about upgrading any other materials which put us at ease.

The project was supposed to start in July 2017 but due to a busy schedule, construction didn't start until November 2017. Before the start of it, the electrical, floor leveling and demolition was able to happen to get everything prepared. Jon (the project manager) and his team were able to come in and finalize the design with us.

Once construction started, it was really fast. We have a small basement, but even still, when a trade came in, it was able to finish the same day or a couple of days. The thing that shocked me the most was how friendly and engaging the tradespeople were. I find most tradespeople unapproachable, but not these ones. I can tell Penguin puts effort in hiring the right people.

Claudio came by at the end to note a few small items that were missed. I never had to stress that they missed something.

The result of the basement was a night and day difference and we are absolutely pleased with the end result. It looks professional and high quality. We never go down there ever feeling that it is cheap.

In terms of issues, we had the following small items:

- We didn't always know what trade was coming in and when. Sometimes we did, but it wasn't consistent
- We originally asked for Magnesium drywall, but they installed another kind (which is just as good, it's purple in color). The benefit of the mistake as the Magnesium boards can be prone to cracking and we got a credit back for using the other
- When the electrician was done one day he accidentally shut off the stove at the breaker and had a bit of a hard time trying to get him to fix it before he left for the day

We ended up having a Manhattan ceiling and a bathroom with a shower that was heads and tails better than what we had previously. We kept everything open concept to maximize the room and have extra outlets and lighting that wasn't an option before.

Overall I would recommend Penguin without question.

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Company Response

You're very kind, thanks for the positive review. We took note of areas for improvement because we always want to be better. So yes, more toilets and other improvements for 2018. Happy Holidays, and enjoy your basement for many more years to come.

KPayumo in Toronto
1 review Toronto, ON

Penguin Basements recently completed our basement and we are happy with the results.

The initial consultation was 3 hours long, penguin did mention this to me before hand. We were given a history lesson and then were presented with how penguin does it with their materials. I did find it interesting, however I think this process could be shortened down quite a bit and get straight to the point. My wife and mother in law lost interest 20mins into the presentation and wanted to leave. What made us sign with penguin, is the materials they use and the fact that there was an app to keep us informed of the process.

The design meeting with Gem was good, she was very nice to work with. We liked that all the selections are made in house. What we didn't like was that most of the things we did want to select were all upgrades. I also found the selections to be okay, we really wished there was more variety.

Originally we were told that our reno would not start till mid November, but I got a message that we were starting last week of September. We were very pleased to hear the news. Demo started and we were on our way. After demo I met with Jon, Eric, Evan and Juliano, I was happy to see that all these people were going to be part of the project. However, I wished it was explained to me who was my contact person was when things went wrong or if I had questions. There seemed to be a different person to contact at different stages of the project which I found very frustrating. I would rather just be dealing with one person to contact. Eventually I ended up contacting Eric most of the time and I found him very helpful and he would get back to me very promptly.

There were some bumps along the road which is to be expected. Some of the thing that bothered me were changes made during framing that were not in the plans. Which were corrected right after I noticed it. My tiles, grout and cement were left in front of my driveway overnight for anyone to take. Insulation was left out in my backyard overnight. coffee cups and garbage left everywhere by trades.

My biggest complaint was communication and the use of the app. The app was great in the beginning, I got all my messages, when things were happening and starting, payment breakdown. But I found that as time went by, none of the scheduling was updated or changed. I didn't know what was happening, who was coming and going or what was being done that day. So then I would have to call around to ask. I understand that things change during a project, but why have the app if its not kept up to date? I only found it good for messaging penguin staff or payment schedule.

Most of the trades that came through were very nice. The painter guys even gave me a hand bringing a heavy shed to my backyard.

The finishing part was great. Josh was great to work with. I know he was new to penguin but he really is good at what he does. He always kept me up to date because he knew how frustrated I was with the miscommunication along the way. He made sure that we were happy with the finished product, even offered to help me set up my new washer dryer and made sure all touch ups were done.

Overall we are happy with how the basement turned out.

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Company Response

Thank you for the fair and honest review. As with all of our clients' feedback, we took note of the areas for improvement. Our intention is to always improve the business, our service, and our products. One of the changes we are working on -- literally as we type this is -- is a shorter, yet still comprehensive initial consultation presentation, which we hope to begin using in the new year. We are happy you're happy. Enjoy the basement, and have a wonderful holiday season.

souk.sengthavy in PETERBOROUGH
1 review Peterborough, ON

We were looking at doing our basement for over a year until we ran into Guy at the HomeShow. We looked at very inexpensive options, where one guy would come to your house and do all the work, and we also explored large companies like Penguin. We selected Penguin after our experience at the Homeshow and the in home consultation.

The inhome consultation was a little long, but it added value because it validated our concerns with the inexpensive option we were looking at. We have lived in other homes and found a guy to come in and put lipstick on our home so that it could be sold, but because this is our “forever home” we were willing to put the investment in to make sure we have a mold free basement.

After signing the contract, we were set up with some dates to do the measurements and drawings for the permits. No issue with that part of the process, it was smooth and painless. We then had to go to the Penguin office to meet up with Gemma to select finishes and explore options of a wet bar. Gemma was great, and provided some great ideas and helped facilitate colour pallets that we are happy with. What we liked about this part of the process was that there was no high-pressure sales tactics for us to buy the upgrades.

After a few weeks, contact was made and we had a date to start the project with a completion timeframes of 3 weeks. I was very skeptical because we had work done at other homes and previous contractors and designers could never stay on schedule.

The start of the project was delayed by 1 day based on the web-based schedule on homebuilders, so we were expecting a rocky road ahead but Penguin recovered. Communication could have been better at the start.
We had a little hiccup with the trash bin delivered on the wrong side. It would have been nice if the delivery person knocked on our door so we could move cars and tell them what side to put it on. But one quick call and 1 hour later, it was resolved.

The material delivery was the first stage. The team that delivered were not very friendly and dinged up some walls, but it was minor. We didn’t have a lot of interactions with Juliano (our PM) but when we did have questions he answered all of them and answer emails quickly.
First day was doing the chalk lines and framing. That team was efficient and were quickly done in one day. The next day was the drywall team. They were a young team and listened to loud music for most of the day. We lived through the whole renovation and I work from home, so at times I had to move upstairs to buffer the noise. The team that did the drywall left a huge mess. Future trades people that came in complained about the state of the job site. The plumbing and electrical team were great. Viktor was very nice in discussing options of pot light placement and options for the room. We decided on just a utility sink in one of the storage rooms, so the plumbing requirements was very simple but the team that did the plumbing work was great.

Tap and sanding was next. The team was quiet and listened to music at a more respectable level. They were a little slow, and took many long breaks but left a huge mess. The flooring team came in to install the floor and were shocked to see the mess. They cleaned up a bit and installed the floors. The contractors that installed the floor were great. The painters were next and that team was great. They were very late on the first day…but did the work in 3 hours. They were very quiet and at times we couldn’t even tell they were in the house. Trim and doors were next and that team was fast and efficient. We were excited to start seeing the basement coming together.

We were then introduced to Marlon Garganta (Finishing Project Manager) who help supported the last few stages. Marlon was great in terms of addressing the deficiencies. (missed access valve, patching drywall, paint, missing trim and additional dings on the drywall on our main entryway). The final team cleaned up the extra material and then the cleaning staff came in to clean up the basement.

The basement has only been completed for a few days, but so far, we are very happy with the space. Penguin delivered on all promises, was on budget (except for the extra’s that we asked for) and for the most part all the contractors used were very good. Lets see how they handle any warranty issues. I believe we paid a fair price for what we wanted, and the most important fact is we are not worried about what is behind the walls. We know the work was done correctly with really good trades people. We would highly recommend anyone who is looking at doing basement renovations to explore Penguin basement.

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Company Response

Souk, this was a great review. We are thrilled that you are happy with the basement, and we expect you to enjoy it for years to come. We also appreciate the detail in your review as it allows us to fine-tune our processes and training. We are training all new recruits on the importance of a clean job site, but music volume was not something we had touched on before. Oops. Expect that to be part of the training protocol in the new year. Thank you very much. We'll also share this review with Gemma, Juliano, Victor and Marlon. Happy Holidays!

Linda Brown in Ajax
1 review Ajax, ON

We had an excellent experience with all the staff at Penguin Basements from our first meeting with Bruce right through to the end of the project with Marlon. All the contractors we met throughout the project who worked on the basement were professional and did an amazing job. We can't wait to use our additional living space to entertain our family and friends!

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Company Response

Excellent review. Thanks, Linda. We hope your family and friends enjoy the basement for many, many years. Happy Holidays!

Caven Ghuman in Toronto
1 review Toronto, ON

I will like to give the highest rating to the finishing done to our basement.

Claudio and Penguin basement has gone above and beyond our expectations with their team of professionals. From beginning to end.

Communication was always great.
when we had any questions or concerns We were always contacted promptly or visited right away to address any of our needs.

We are exited to enjoy our basement and we want to Thank Claudio again for surpassing everything on his scope and giving us the right expectations.

Our experience with Penguin basement have been fantastic. Great people to work with, very clean, professional and courteous.

We would definitely recommend
Penguin basement to do your basement Reno in a control environment where you the home owners have the assurance of what is been done to your home with high quality.

This is a company that stands for what they promise.

Thank you Claudio and Penguin basement for giving us back our basement and a more enjoyable place to see our children play and grow.

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Company Response

This is the kind of review that warms our hearts and shows that constantly striving to be better day in and day out pays off. Claudio is great, we'll be sure to share this with him. We hope you get a lifetime of use and enjoyment from your new basement.

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

More about Penguin Basements

Penguin Basements is your full-service Basement Renovation Company.

Nothing beats a finished basement as a cost-effective way to add living space or rental income to your home in the Greater Toronto Region. Whether you need design, permits or a stunning build, let us help you unlock the value buried beneath your home today.

You'll find hundreds of our satisfied customers all across Southern Ontario. Our experienced, trained professionals make it easy for Penguin Basements to stand behind every job we do. So, If there's a basement renovation in your future, contact Penguin Basements today, where 100% total satisfaction is guaranteed!

• Guaranteed Mold-Free Materials
• FREE In-Home Design & Estimate
• Easy Financing Available
• No Interest for 12 Months*
• Transferable Lifetime Warranty

Be sure to check our one of our Basement Showcase Open House weekends where you can inspect our work up close and in person!

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