We had a plan to expand our existing driveway and replace the grass in our backyard with interlock. We had also asked them to scrape the grass on the side and replace it with gravel and patio slabs. We had a carefully drawn out plan and had shown Patty (the one and only customer representative) our neighbour's backyard as an example of widening the driveway. They were to saw-cut the existing asphalt driveway and then lay interlock adjacent to it on both sides. Most of the neighbours in our area (Cornell in Markham) had done the same due to the lack of parking and backyard space. We had a few quotes but in the end went with Grandvalley as Patty was pleasant and returned calls promptly. We were also impressed that she said they could do it in a day whereas the other company we were considering said it would take 2-3 days and they wouldn't be able to do the job for another 4 weeks whereas Grandvalley said they would return in 2-3 weeks.
Well, they didn't end up coming for about 6 weeks afterwards, which, maybe could be blamed on weather. In any case, they came at around ten am and were done by four pm with breaks and the boss running out to get more interlock stones mid day as they had ran out.
The day first turned sour when we noticed they put 2x2 patio slabs sparsely laid out on the side. We had asked for 2x3 slabs put one in front of the other to create a path for our kids to walk on. When we pointed it out to the boss Tony, he said he didn't know the details and we should call Patty (who is his wife). She told us that they were out of 2x3 slabs so had brought the 2x2. She refused to budge until we pointed out the contract she wrote clearly stated 2x3 so to not inform us of the change was not right. In the end, she called us names and said we were picky from the start but did agree to get us the 2x3 slabs. However, she refused to have them laid out in a line as she had drawn in the contract. She claimed that she was not an artist and therefore did not draw them staggered even though that is what we verbally agreed on (which was not true- and who doesn't know how to draw rectangles if she meant staggered slabs). Perhaps it was a communication error but for $1000 to lay down gravel and a few patio slabs, why would you not pay an extra few bucks to lay down a few more slabs and make the customer happy?
Anyway, once they lay down the interlock in the back, Tony told us that there would be a small gap between the existing driveway and interlock so they would just fill it with asphalt. We didn't think anything of it until we saw the finished project. This is getting long so I will just summarize and a picture is worth a thousand words.
1. The asphalt they added was horrendous looking.
2. The interlock they placed was inches higher than the curb on one side and lower on the other side of the existing driveway.
3. They broke our fence in two places with their machinery.
4. They sawed the bottom of our fence door without telling us.
5. They didn't extend the edge restraint for the length of the garden bed and the interlock became loose as soon as we stepped on it.
6. There were big gaps that weren't filled with polymeric sand. Especially along the house.
We talked to Tony and was reluctant paying him in full given how unhappy we were with the job. However, he said he had a job in the area the following week and could come back to fill in the whole driveway with new asphalt for an extra $600. We said we didn't want to have to deal with Patty again after she called us names earlier so Tony said he would just email us the contract the following day. We didn't feel we had another choice so we paid him in full (stupid) and then never heard from him again.
We were then forced to have to call Patty again and for the next few months got the runaround from her. She said there was no contract necessary as we had a verbal agreement and every time we called, she would say they would be back in a couple of weeks. We ended up having to put our house on the market due to a job change. We begged Patty to come back to fix the driveway as it looked so horrible and at that point, she changed from her usual 2 week timeline to "We'll get there whenever we're in the area next". She then added salt to injury to say that it was our fault for not doing the asphalt when they were there to do the interlock (asphalt was NEVER mentioned as needed!) and that she had warned us that sometimes the results are unattractive (what?! We would never had gone with them if we knew they couldn’t do what we asked for. All our neighbours who added interlock the last couple of years to their asphalt had no problems and did NOT need to redo their driveways. We were not against asphalt and redoing the driveway but this was NEVER mentioned!).
In the end, we took a cut when we sold our house knowing the driveway looked terrible but the buyers’ home inspector pointed out things that needed fixing asap like the big gaps against the house that weren’t filled in. I called Patty again to ask her to come back to fix their mistakes as they have a one year warranty. She told me that their warranty doesn't extend to the new buyers. When I pointed out we were still living there and that yes their warranty still applies to us, she asked us when we were moving out. Again, she said they would be by within two weeks. Two weeks after that phone call (now about 4 months of runaround), we finally had enough and went to the Better Business Bureau. Luckily, they were able to get them back before we moved out to fix the important things the buyer requested but wow, what a nightmare. Would not wish this experience on my worst enemy.