My wife and I attended the Home Show in Toronto last spring and this is where we were first introduced to AGM Basements. We were at the show because we were in the final stages of a fairly major home renovation (main floor and upper floor) and we were just there to look for some finishing touches and decorating ideas. When we went to the Home Show, we had no intention of renovating our unfinished basement. We called it the dungeon, with its concrete floors and concrete block walls and 6 bare light bulbs hanging from the ceiling joists. It was our storage area, where unused or unwanted ‘treasures’ had been piling up for 40 years and it was certainly not a place that we would allow friends or neighbours to see, even if they wanted to.
What caught my eye on the AGM booth was their “Basement finished in 3 weeks” claim. Since my upstairs renovation experience was still fresh in my mind, I went into the booth to challenge whoever greeted me about this claim. After what we had just been through with the upstairs of the house, I wanted to hear how AGM proposed to transform the dungeon into a space that we could use and be proud of in just 3 weeks.
The gentleman that I spoke with was friendly and knowledgeable and very patient with me as he explained the AGM process. Every question that I had about a potential basement renovation (which in my mind was still not a real possibility) was answered credibly and professionally and by the end of the conversation, I agreed to at least have a sales rep drop by the house to see the challenge and quote the project.
He too was patient and professional and most importantly, prepared to quote me a firm price on the spot. He also explained to me how an AGM design consultant would work with us to customize our basement so that the finished result would include everything we wanted in a finished basement. Our specification included a cozy family room with a gas fireplace, a workshop, a sewing room, a storage room, a wet bar, a bathroom, a utility room and a large open area where our grandchildren could play when they came to visit. My wife and I also agreed on a budget. The sales rep presented me with a quote that seemed fair and reasonable, and to my surprise, was close to the budget we had in mind. It was at this point that I began to believe that if the 3 - week promise was real, now would be the time to bite the bullet and finish the entire house. I again pressed the rep on the 3-week promise, only to learn that we would receive a cash discount for every day the project extended beyond three weeks. We decided that if AGM was prepared to back up their promise with cash, they must know what they were doing. We signed the contract and prepared to meet our designer.
The design phase of our project was absolutely delightful. Andre was friendly, creative and talented and was able to offer several design ideas that we had not even considered. He had a tablet with an impressive design software program with which he could create a 3-D rendition of our basement layout, complete with flooring and tile ideas, furnishings, paint colours and even artwork. Andre seemed as excited about our renovation as we were and it was clear to us that he was doing everything he could to make us happy by designing a basement renovation that was attractive, modern and functional. After a few meetings with Andre and his design software, we were all satisfied with the design and anxious to begin the 3-week demolition and renovation phase of our project.
During the next three weeks, tradespeople were at the house every day, except for the 3 days that drywall mud was drying. Day after day, different people with different skill sets would be busy at work in the basement and every day I could see the significant progress that was being made. First the
demolition crew, then HVAC, then framers, then plumbers and electricians, then drywall and tape and mud, then flooring and tile, then trim, then paint and finally a handy man to touch up any imperfections. Not only was each tradesman skilled and efficient, every single one of them was friendly and courteous and careful. If I had concerns about the quality of workmanship, it was quickly obvious that any doubt I had was unfounded. The workmanship by every trade was excellent. Even the scrap was cleaned up and taken away quickly and efficiently. The entire project was professionally managed and executed.
Three weeks later the renovation was complete and my wife and I were totally satisfied. I still go down to the basement every night and remember how it looked when we started and I smile. It all started with a trip to the Home Show in March, 2016. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I am very happy that we decided to go to the show, that we met with AGM basements and that we had the courage and the trust to begin another renovation after doing the upstairs. For us, the experience was entirely positive and I am happy to recommend AGM basements to anyone considering a basement renovation.