Let’s start with the positive aspects
1) Claudio 10.5/10 - he exceeded expectations. Underpromised and over delivered from the point he took over. Claudio’s priority was Customer satisfaction . If he had been assigned to our basement project earlier I believe our experience would have been totally pleasant. He dealt with every tiny detail that was abandoned and always checked back with us to ensure we were satisfied.
2) Penguin basement frontline staff
Sales and Marketing ie Bruce - he was very professional always punctual and really projected a good image for the company.
3) Chris - 9/10 - was always professional and resolved most of the issues we had quickly. She was the only person that actually used the highly marketed “ Buildertrend application “ . She replied emails and actually read and acknowledged Buildertrend messages and you would be fooled at the beginning of the process to think all staff actually use it.
4) The framers 10/10, the painters 10/10 and a few other tradesmen were also professional. The person that did the framing was actually respectful of our home and was conscious of the fact that people live in the house and it wasn’t just a construction zone and we did appreciate that.
5) Ernesto 10/10 - always pleasant and professional. He would give updates and communicated if he could not meet up with an appointment.
6) The cleaning company 10/10 - their service was superb (although I wish penguin had sent them after the painters)
The finished product was satisfactory and all complains were resolved thanks to Claudio.
The BAD in summary..... (as I want to avoid remembering the details)
Our experience and perspective is based on the fact that we were usually at home to see what was going on and how our house would have been treated like a construction site even in the areas where work was not being done. The impression we got was that our home was a construction zone that should be available to them 24 /7 am or pm without notice.
Communication - 0/ 10. communication was very very poor. They change project managers without telling you anything. No communication whatsoever except you chase after them.
Buildertrend is just a marketing tool/ dummy application that would have worked well if they actually use it.
Scheduling was poor. 1/10. Tradesmen and delivery staff show up randomly even late in the evening. We had lots of days when no one would show up.
70% of the work was done in 8 days and the remaining 30% was done in about 30days. We were told our basement would take 10days. We personally set our minds to 4 weeks so we were prepared.
Their internal coordination is non existent. 0/ 10 . You have to repeat yourself to everyone / staff as they don’t seem to share information or pay attention to the information.
** Caveat emptor **I had read earlier reviews ( most are true by the way) and had noted certain complains and suggestions by other clients such as
1) making sure everything is written on your contract or written somewhere in black and white.
2) Insisting on the dust barriers in-spite of their discouraging opinions and it made a big difference.
3) Most importantly we requested a porta Pottie
Having said all of the above, we are happy with the quality of the finished work and love the basement. Hopefully, the company would try to improve customer satisfaction in the areas listed above to make it a seamless and pleasant renovation experience.