I still cannot tell if this company is incompetent or just mean. Either way, I can’t recommend hiring them. The experience of having them working on our house was awful, and the results, sadly, have been worse.
We bought a house a year and a half ago, and last winter had terrible trouble with ice dams on the roof. When my grandfather died and left me $5,000 last summer, I thought it would be a good thing to get the roof insulated (he was the kind of man who would have been happy about me using this money for a practical but invisible thing). I had a good impression of the fellows that came to quote the work, which turned out to be extensive, because our house is old and has really narrow rafters - they were going to have to tear out the drywall on the slanted ceiling in our second story, build out the ceiling a bit to give more room for spray-on insulation, and then re-install the drywall, mud it, and leave it ready for us to paint. Because this was to be messy and disruptive, we were happy when it turned out that they were able to do it while we were away for three weeks - they said it would be a five-day job, so obviously it would be done by the time we got back. (As I said, I’m a new homeowner, so I understand if you’re laughing at the fact that I believed them!)
When we came home, a day later than planned because of plane delays it was clear that they had only mudded the new drywall the day before. The house was a disaster - drywall dust everywhere, when we had been told they would plastic off the downstairs. The upstairs bathroom, which they had said they would tape off, was also covered with drywall stuff - the sink clogged, the bathmats thick with footprints, residue of various things in the bathtub. They had not communicated any of the delay to us, though we had been in regular touch by email.
We had been planning on painting starting the next day - friends were available to help us do that, and I had only ten days between coming back and another trip for work - but obviously that was impossible. And it continued to be impossible for the next week. Every day, people would come and put on heavy coats of mud, which would crack overnight. Then they would sand, creating huge clouds of dust, and re-mud, again, really thick. In the Odyssey, Penelope fends off various men who want to possess her by claiming she needs to just finish weaving a burial shroud for Laertes and then will be ready to think about suitors. Each night she unweaves part of the shroud, and tricks her 108 suitors/assailers for three years (perhaps waiting for Odysseus). In this insulation job, the various men of the company seemed intent on replicating Penelope's practice using drywall mud: they sand it off during the day, vaccuum up some of the clouds of dust they generate, and then apply exactly the same amount of mud, explaining that they'll just need to come back to sand it off O, one more time. They also forgot every day to bring the truck which had the insulation which they claimed each day would be blown into the attic.
On that attic insulation question: I am also not clear if they would even have done it if I hadn’t looked up into the attic through the hatch to see what it looked like, discovering that it hadn’t been done. When we got back, they talked as though the only thing left to do was the mudding. It took until the very end of the job, and me badgering the fellow in charge, for them to come and do it. Again, I can’t tell if this was maliciousness or incompetence.
To make up for the fact that we no longer had friends to help paint or time to do it ourselves, eventually the company did the first coat of painting the walls - we did the second coat and the baseboards, doors, and trim. I was very happy to have it all done, and grateful that they had tried to make things right in this way.
The ceilings are not two inches closer in than they were, leading us to wonder if they really did build them out as promised. I can tell that they sprayed foam in, though, because there is still residue on the floors and carpet on the stairs. And I heard them blowing in some attic insulation. But this fall, when it got cold, I noticed a draft in the room with the hatch to the attic. They hadn’t insulated the hatch! It was just a piece of wood, resting on a frame, and directly above it is the ventilation shaft for the roof! So all the warm air was going directly up and out. I called the company, and they eventually sent someone over, who said it was strange that they would have forgotten to insulate it. (Again, mean? Incompetent? Who can say?)
But all of this wouldn’t have caused me to write a bad review. I felt that the summer was a busy season, our house as I said is old and difficult, and that since they’d eventually done what seemed to be a good job there was no point in being angry about how they treated us. Now that it’s real winter, though, I can see that there is very little difference in the insulation we have in the roof. We are still getting huge icicles, the snow still melts right off the roof, and we haven’t noticed the upstairs being substantially warmer. I feel that we were duped, and that I wasted my grandfather’s money.