Tall Basements

Basement Renovation
448 Runnymede Road Toronto ON M6S 2Z1
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Reviews for Tall Basements

Average customer rating:
8.2 10 (26 reviews)

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anabanana in Scarborough
anabanana in Scarborough
1 review Toronto, ON
10/10

Fantastic experience with these guys

Fantastic experience with these guys. We hired them to create a basement apartment for us, underpinning, waterproofing, new sump pump etc, creating a walk out, moving a side window, in floor heating… it was a big job. It is our first home and we had no idea what we were getting into. All I can say is that I am so thankful we ended up choosing these guys. They did an exceptional job. The basement looks amazing, everything clean lines and solid construction. The ceilings ended up a little over 8 feet, the layout flows brilliantly, and the walk out radiates with concrete work that incorporates such perfection it encroaches to artistry. Feels like a palace down there, we love it.

We found the process working with Kevin, Tony and Bravo to be super pleasant. During the planning stage, we met with Kevin often to talk about our options. He was professional, honest and really helpful with creative ways to stay in our budget (and actually save money) while making it look sharp. He is super easy to talk to and we found him to be very available, returning our calls promptly. During the construction stage, when we had questions or small issues come up Kevin, Tony or Bravo were right on it, happy to describe the process, listen to our thoughts, answer or questions or suggest modifications to match changes in our designs. A couple times, when some small issues came up, they came right away afterhours to make sure everything was alright. They, and everyone on their team, were super friendly, positive and just good solid people who we ended up trusting completely. And I have to say, after dealing with quite a few people during the course of all our renovations, it is amazing feeling to have total trust in your contractor. Wow, the stress it takes off your shoulders.

Like I said, we are super happy with the end product and absolutely satisfied with our choice to go with tall basements.

As others have mentioned, we got a bunch of quotes and theirs were right in the middle, not the cheapest, not the most expensive. I feel that is usually the best way to go. In the end, seeing their level of workmanship, we feel the prices were more than fair. All permits and inspections were handled by them and we also used their engineer to do the drawings. All aspects of that side of things went smoothly and without issue.

I have already recommended them to several people and will continue to do so. Really really good team here and definitely was the best choice for us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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jill.auger in Toronto
jill.auger in Toronto
3 reviews Toronto, ON
7/10

Underpinning work amazing

I originally rated Tall Basements very low due to a lack of communication on the job and running weeks behind schedule. But, since writing that, Kevin reached out to us and made amends for everything we felt that was left unfinished. We really appreciated that.

As for the underpinning work, they did an amazing job, 10 out of 10. They worked quickly, kept everything clean and organized, and we were happy that the dumpster was removed at the end of each day. We were extremely pleased with the end result. We finally have the basement we dreamed of thanks to Kevin and his team!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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JBarnard in Toronto
JBarnard in Toronto
1 review Toronto, ON
10/10

Basement underpinning, finishing, kitchen renovation

Kevin and Tony from Tall Basements are smart, professional, and have a high sense of responsibility for their work. And the quality of that work is fantastic.

UNDERPINNING
We had our basement dug out and underpinned using Tall Basement’s space-maximizing approach, which was really key to us in a small semi. The work included excavating and reclaiming a crawl space beneath our addition, which provided even more space. Tall Basements also finished the basement, installed a hydronic heating system throughout the house, gutted and rebuilt the kitchen according to our architect’s drawings, and made modifications to other areas on the main floor.

COLLABORATIVE APPROACH
Tall Basement’s approach was highly collaborative: we discussed and were involved in all decisions throughout the project. One of the things that impressed us the most, and that greatly reduced our stress, was their solution-based method of problem solving. On a few occasions we ran into unexpected issues, inevitable in a 120 year old home. When this happened, Kevin and Tony would show us the problem and return the next day to present us with two or three solutions and related prices. We never felt forced to take a particular route, and always knew we had options. In addition, Kevin and Tony met with our neighbours at key intervals during the project to keep them informed of what was taking place, which was particularly important to us.

COST
We are price-conscious, and everything cost what Tall Basements said it would. We did go over budget BUT it was because the renovation meant we could take advantage of opportunities (such as a tankless water heater and hydronic heating system) that we hadn’t heard about and which have completely changed our enjoyment of our house. (Warm floors!) And, as mentioned above, our house is very old, and a couple of unanticipated discoveries (such as a partially missing foundation wall) occurred during the dig, and had to be dealt with. They lead to additional costs but, as always, Tall Basements provided us with options.

CONFIDENCE
Ultimately, the success of our renovation came not just from the high level of quality of work but from our confidence and trust in Kevin and Tony. They were onsite every day, and always available for questions. I received daily text messages with photos of the work as it unfolded and felt fully involved in what was happening. We also benefited from Kevin and Tony’s mutual good taste via design ideas (such as opening the staircase) and materials that enhanced our original concept.

This review is already quite long, but I’d be remiss not to mention that Tony and Kevin are genuinely nice men. If you’re going to see people daily over an extended, somewhat stressful period, you should see guys like these two.

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tomdearie in Toronto
tomdearie in Toronto
2 reviews Toronto, ON
10/10

Basement Underpinning, Waterproofing, and General Contracting

These guys did a great job for us.

My wife and I had to repair, waterproof, and underpin our basement, which had been incorrectly excavated and then covered up by a previous home owner.
It was a huge project for us, and we were pretty nervous, but the job went better than planned.

The results have been fantastic.
It’s now the bar by which we measure all our other contractors.

DETAILS:

Price:
They were in the middle of 4 quotes. Not the highest, not the lowest.
Pricing remained exactly as per quot e – they absorbed small, unexpected increases in cost.

Expertise:
They were the most informative of the 4 companies we interviewed, and were clearly go-to experts in the field. They readily answered technical questions that some other contractors couldn’t.

Advice:
Their advice on building a separate walkout through the front basement wall turned our expensive repair into an income- generating rental. We now have a bright condo-style apartment that pays for half our mortgage.

Documentation:
They sent us all documents we asked for, including insurance papers, WSIB docs, references, etc. They also took care of permit applications for us.

Quality of work:
They paid a lot of attention to the quality of their work and the results were excellent. Other contractors have often commented on the work they did.
We have an underground stream percolating past our house, and our basement apartment has been warm and dry as a bone since the work was done.

Timing:
They were on the job 8-10 hrs every day from project start until completion. Engineering company was late with drawings, but otherwise everything was on time. When unexpected events happened (like a 2 ton boulder discovered under our old foundation), they just sweated it out and worked until it was dealt with.

General:
Their team were friendly and considerate to our neighbours and kept an immaculately clean worksite. We lived in the house while the job was on, and the guys were so particular about setting up dust baffles that we had hardly any dust in the house. Most of the time, we didn’t even cover the furniture.

Above and beyond:
There were a few things that really stuck out in my mind about this job:
• Kevin and Tony spent hours talking to us answering questions about parts of our reno that they weren’t working on or getting paid for.
• When the workers discovered errors made by previous contractors, they often fixed them without charge while they were working.
• Two nights after our beautiful rental space was finished, we got hit by a 100 year storm and the city sewers backed up before our auxiliary sump pump had been delivered. Tony (who is a licenced plumber) got out of his PJs and into his work clothes and drove down to reroute the surging storm water into the street. Many other homes got flooded that night, but our new basement apartment was saved.

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patraine in Toronto
patraine in Toronto
1 review Toronto, ON
10/10

Full basement renovation

I hired Kevin and Tony to turn my turn my leaky, decrepit, low-ceilinged horrowshow of a basement into someplace great where my family could hang out. They did exactly that, and more. Their work was neat, efficient, and speedy. Their crew was hard-working, respectful and friendly. But what was more important to me was that they worked with me to make the very best use of the space. I tossed my own plans for new ones we came up with together, and I couldn't be more pleased. They made very smart and helpful suggestions on everything from the size and placement of rooms and storage, to building an incredibly efficient utility closet (go Tony!) so I could maximize my space. They had great ideas on how to accommodate a plumbing and electrical retrofit on the upper floors, and worked to make it happen. Their guidance was instrumental. The in-floor heating they installed has worked flawlessly and is very pleasant underfoot (I recommend it highly). The framing and finishing they did was top-notch, and other tradespeople commented to me on their good work. No reno is without nasty surprises, and I'm very happy Tony and Kevin were there to help deal with the few we encountered. But the proof is in the pudding -- five years on, my basement has been dry as a bone, even when many of my neighbours were flooded by the big storms. No hint of moisture or the old mildew smell. Just a nice space. I have recommended Tall Basements to friends and colleagues with no regrets and will do so again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Robert from Toronto
Robert from Toronto
10 reviews Toronto, ON
8/10

Basement Underpinning, Rear Addition, Interior Finishing

After posting my initial review [5/10 dated October 2015] on the challenges of getting personnel from Tall Basements to help close off the build permits with the City, Kevin reached out to me to begin the process to get a final inspection.

Kudos to Kevin for taking the corrective action for assisting with this. He got in touch with the engineering firm to provide revisions to the document that the city inspector had requested. Kevin also put together a package of documents (drawings, plans, reports) to ensure the final inspection went smoothly.

On inspection day, Kevin was kind enough to move a previous commitment and do the walkthrough with the city inspector on my behalf.

I really appreciate the all effort put into getting the build permits closed and finishing what we started together in a collaborative manner.

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Company Response

Thanks Robert

You/ve been a great client and your comments were completely fair.

We’re really happy to have been able to address your concerns.

We love what we do and making sure customers are happy is part of what makes the job worth doing.

If there’s anything else we can do to help, just say the word.

Cheers!

Kevin

Private User
Private User
Private User reviews Toronto, ON
0/10

Basement Renovation

Tall Basement run by Kevin told me they required a $5000 deposit for work to be conducted in the "next several months". They kept postponing until 11 months later. When I got my date, they did not show up. Finally another month later, they said "we will be ready in 48 hours". This no longer worked for me. I would call weekly and they would only respond once a month. Finally, I just asked for my deposit money back due to their unprofessional. They now are refusing to give the deposit back. It has been three weeks of them jerking me around. Now I have to go to small claims court to get my money back.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

Hi

We’re sorry things didn’t work out, and we never want to see a client inconvenienced.

I’m sure in retrospect you’ll find that your deposit refund was approved on request and a cheque was delivered and cashed within 30 days.

Also, our original work order was for a project start in June/July of 2015, and we were available for construction start at end of August 2015.
(Project milestone dates are below).

To be fair, that’s still a delay and we apologize sincerely.

A previous project had required a significant amount of extra work to complete. On such large projects, safety and quality must come first, and sometimes this means more time on a job than we anticipate.

While it’s not fair to say we refused a refund or put you off for 11 months, we do believe we could have responded to your inquiries more quickly, so we completely understand your request for a refund of your deposit.

We wish you success with your home projects.

Best of luck

Kevin

Project Milestones:
Preliminary contract signed: Sept 6 2014
Construction start scheduled for: June/July 2015
Engineer measurements taken: May 22 2015
Permits issued: June 26 2015
Tall Basements ready to start construction: Aug 31 2015
Client cancellation: Sept 8 2015
Deposit refund cheque cashed Sept 24 2015.

Robert from Toronto
Robert from Toronto
10 reviews Toronto, ON
9/10

Basement Underpinning

I found out about Tall Basements by word of mouth when I stopped in to talk to a homeowner on a neighbouring street who had the Tall Basements sign up on their lawn. Our home is a century old and the basement had very little head room (6 feet), so we were looking for a reputable contractor to underpin it and create a nice family living space. After reading about the houses that collapsed the past couple of years while undergoing a foundation underpinning, we wanted to ensure that we went with the right company that had experience and expertise in the trade and an understanding of the soil conditions in our old Toronto neighbourhood. We called and set up an on site meeting with Kevin (Robinson) and Tony (Esteves) to discuss our plans. They surveyed our basement, discussed our plans and took the time to explain the steps involved in underpinning. We were impressed by the professionalism and the technical expertise of both Kevin and Tony. They really took the time to translate a lot of the "construction speak" to language that the educated home owner could understand. After a week of thought, we entered a contract agreement with Tall Basements to have the work done. Our basement is around 650 sq/ft so the plan was to target a new height as close to 8 feet as possible (finished). The underpinning portion of work took about two months with either Kevin or Tony on site each day to manage the crew. They also made themselves available to myself and the adjacent neighbours to answer any questions related to the scope of work being done. All city permits and their respective inspections were managed by Kevin which was great. Kevin got us with a very reputable engineering company (K.H. Davis) for all the structural drawings. I was presented with an insurance certificate (covering the work), a draw schedule which explained when payments were due and frequent email/text correspondence for project updates and design changes. We were impressed by the customer service provided and having the level of support provided by Kevin and Tony helped alleviate the stress of a major renovation. We were so comfortable with Tall Basements that we agreed to have them work on our next phases of our renovation (New Addition and Interior Finishing) which I will review separately.

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