With a renovation costing us in the neighborhood of $100,000 we felt we had every right to set the bar high. We wanted a contractor who would rise to the challenge and deliver quality. We chose WPI based largely on the glowing reviews we read here on Homestars and also based on Scott’s web site which talks about providing a “stress free process” and “exceeding our customer’s expectations”.
Well, after watching Scott’s crews for what turned out to be a four month project, our opinion is that the quality of craftsmanship delivered by WPI should be considered mediocre at best. We found ourselves wondering, on a daily basis, how WPI could possibly deserve the reviews we read here. Maybe the projects being reviewed were small, not on the scale of ours… who knows.
At first we thought the poor quality was the result of a lack of communication with, and a lack of supervision of WPI’s work crews. There were a lot of annoying issues. Small things that required minimal effort to avoid, like removing and disposing of fixtures from our ensuite which were not part of the reno; not covering and protecting the cork floor we have in our basement before they started ripping things apart; stuffing debris and even garbage down our heating vents; not installing all the receptacles on our new backsplash at the same height; touching up our paint with a close, but no thanks, match; installing a new light switch box on an angle; sawing through our cork flooring by mistake in basement doorway.
But it got worse. Installing a pocket door too high off the floor; taking three tries before getting an interior door to close properly; running a gas powered saw in our basement without proper ventilation while cutting concrete for some new plumbing; not installing our new shower level so now the door swings open and soaks the floor; wanting to repair the damage to our cork floor in the basement with glue and wood filler; damage by his electrician to our brand new island (twice).
Then there were some serious issues. Planning to remove an interior wall without an engineer’s report; multiple violations of the building code requiring four electrical inspections before our basement made it through final inspection; cutting almost halfway through a floor joist while installing a new bathtub, also a building code violation; not getting a permit to install the new bathtub.
The attitude we experienced from WPI was “its good enough” and it nearly drove us insane. We found ourselves being forced to do our own quality control on a daily basis, providing constant feedback to Scott and enduring the contempt of WPI workers as a result. To us, it seemed like they were learning how to do everything for the first time.
We lost confidence in WPI and began seeking out our own suppliers mid-way through the renovation. We sought out our own granite installation company (shout out to Zen Living), hardwood flooring instalelrs, carpet company, tile installers to avoid dealing with WPI more than necessary.
Possibly the most annoying part of the entire experience was Scott’s steadfast refusal to admit any wrongdoing for anything. Of all the issues we had, and to be fair Scott fixed some of them (sort of, eventually), nothing it seemed was ever his fault. Never an apology for any mistakes that were made.
The only reason we didn’t score WPI lower is because they eventually delivered a product we consider mediocre at best. We were looking for a little better than mediocre. We felt the process was unnecessarily painful and extremely stressful. Had we known what we were getting into, we may have reconsidered the whole thing. We certainly would have went to the next potential contractor on our list.
We can’t really comment on his warranty or follow up work since it’s unlikely we will allow him back into our home, but we weren’t really interested in a warranty anyhow. We were interested in a contractor who could do things properly the first time.
My advice to you if you are considering Scott: expect to spend a lot of time and energy following up with Scott on your project and check some of these reviews to see what is really behind them. Ask Scott for Tim and Lisa’s email address and we will be happy to send you some pictures of his work. Maybe even have you over to see firsthand. (BTW it’s timlisarenoATyahooDOTcom).