We have done a recent bathroom and office remodel with Dependable Renovations. This is our second project with them, the first one being a kitchen / bathroom / powder room reno done several years ago.
Prospective clients should know that, since July 2021, Dependable Renovations is under new ownership. We were not aware of the upcoming change in ownership when we gave Dependable Renovations our most recent contract. The transfer in ownership happened about a month into our project.
We were very pleased with our first experience with Dependable Renovations in 2019. What stood out was the fact that everything exceptionally well managed : deadlines were respected, the trades knew the scope of work, and the owners were very involved and in constant communication with us and with the trades. Essentially, during our first experience with Dependable Renovations, we did not have to worry about a thing : the work was done well, on time, and within budget.
We had a vastly different experience this time. To be fair, the new owner had big shoes to fill. We also acknowledge that inheriting an existing project with existing clients must have been challenging. However, even though the official ownership transfer happened about a month into our remodel, Chris (the new owner) had been around since the start, initially introduced to us as a manager, and therefore had ample time to familiarize himself with the details of our project.
Things started falling apart quickly after the change in ownership. What was supposed to be a 10 week project ended up taking 8 months to complete. Some of the delays were due to supply chain shortages (therefore out of anyone’s control), and we are in no way blaming these delays on Dependable Renovations. But there were also substantial delays that occurred due to poor planning, and damages that required repairs. Some of the problems that we encountered included : lack of communication, a high turnover in project management, and little oversight from the new owner (who remained uninvolved throughout our project).
The trades who worked on our house did a great job, and we would hire them independently in a heartbeat. But the project was poorly managed after the change in ownership. Essentially, for a big portion of our project, we could not trust that things would run smoothly!!! Because of that we had to be present on site daily, confirm that the trades had actually been booked, check in with the trades to make sure that the entire scope of work had been appropriately communicated to them, and outsource solutions to encountered problems ourselves. Basically, after the change in ownership we had to keep track of every single detail to ensure that things actually kept progressing. Unfortunately, this is not what we signed up for when we hired a company who charges >20% management fees.
Ultimately, we want to be fair in our review. The management was not up to the standard that we experienced during our prior renos with Dependable. However, we are still giving them a 3-star review because there seemed to be some good will. Towards the end of our project, after numerous complaints, Jim was brought in as our new project manager, and things improved substantially. Jim (who has been with Dependable for several years) was reliable and organized and made sure that the job got done. Dependable did fix some of the mistakes and all the damages that they caused at their own cost, and the renovations ended up being completed adequately.
I am hoping that the problems we encountered were due to lack of experience, and that things like communication, owner involvement, and scheduling will improve over time. However, after this experience, we will not be hiring Dependable for any of our remaining renovations, and can no longer recommend them to others.