Where to begin? Ed was an incredible 'find' -- extremely polite, professional, performed far beyond our expectations, and at a very reasonable cost. The work itself, the finished product, was excellent. You won't find a better taper in the region.
We needed our basement ceiling finished in multiple rooms, and we needed to have a wall constructed around our furnace and water heater. Ed insisted on an initial in-person visit to properly assess the circumstances for the work. During that first visit, I'd estimate that Ed provided $500 worth of consulting for free: Suggestions re. how to construct the wall; suggestions for soundproofing options; recommendations re. how to deal with recessed lighting; things he noticed about our electrical setup and how to have them adjusted; even a suggestion about how to re-seal our shower.
I was new to the drywall experience, and had no idea what to expect. I naively thought that it was a 1-day process, maybe 2. Ed explained that he'd actually need to return to the house a total of 5 times in order to complete the job to perfection -- 2 days to drywall and build the room; 1 day for the compound ("mudding"); 1 day to sand and re-coat as needed; 1 day to light-sand and finish. When I learned this, I expected a far higher quote. The quote was reasonable for a 2-day job; for a 5-day job, I thought it was quite low. In addition, Ed provided several opportunities for cost savings, in the form of tips re. certain drywall materials that were overrated or overpriced. He was also honest about the fact that he's not a professional framer, and offered us a choice of whether to bring one in or allow him to tackle the wall. We opted for the latter, and I don't see how a professional framer could have done a better job. The wall looks great, is accurate to the millimetre, and all beams are perfectly level. Ed even helped to re-connect our pot lights, which required some electrical diagnosis and reconfiguring, none of which affected his original quote.
Ed was a pleasure to have in the house. He interacted in a friendly, joking manner with my wife, which made her comfortable about the work and the 5 visits, and he played with our two dogs. He insisted on cleaning up the drywall debris not only after the final day, but at various points in between. At no point did we feel uncomfortable, and at no point did Ed seem as though he was rushing the work. He rarely took breaks (we actually had to insist, a few times). It was clear from Day 1 that his priority was the quality of the work.
And, of course, the ceiling and the wall both look spectacular. At this point I wouldn't be able to find a joint in the drywall if I was paid to do so. Ed's taping/mudding job was superb (which actually helped make my subsequent painting job look good, despite my deeply sub-par painting skills).
When the job was done and Ed was gone, I found myself thinking that I'd likely call him first for any other work, drywall-related or not. Any framing, any electrical, etc. -- I think I'd rather have Ed's opinion first, Ed's attention to detail and commitment to quality.
We have one room left in the house with an unfinished ceiling, and when the time comes to tackle it, we'll definitely be calling Ed.