I do not know how this company makes money. The company did work consisting of: building a deck, building a staircase and tiling the basement floor (1000sq ft). We were also originally quoted for a dock and the replacement of garage doors. The final contract involved work totaling about $36325 plus HST.
1. Went 3-Xs over original agreed-upon time. Reasons for the added time were numerous but the most notable was related to the deck and basement floor. When the deck was completed, it became clear that the height was about 6 inches above the door leading to the deck. During the construction my wife suggested that the height of the deck might be at the incorrect height. The general contractor, Paul, argued that this was an "optical illusion". Paul initially argued that house "structure" prevented the deck from being placed at the correct height. In the end, his own workers advised him to correct the problem, which they did but this took extra time, of course. Another cause for delays arose due to the need to replace selected ceramic tiles in the basement floor; other issues with the basement tiles are explained further below.
2. Ceramic tiles were installed the basement. The original basement floor was made of smooth concrete, prior to the work being done. As the work progressed we noticed that virtually none of the tiles were level with adjacent tiles. The heights of many adjacent tiles differed by 3-4 millimeters with most being at ~2 mm different. We mentioned this to Paul. His response was: "well there was nothing in the contract that said the tiles needed to be level". We contacted other contractors, who confirmed that we should have expected the tiles to be reasonably level. Two contractors who looked at the work, stated that the degree of unevenness was not acceptable, which is what we thought. The costs of the tiling was $9,000. The tiles were 1ft X 2ft. The cost of the materials (tiles) was $2,600. So the installation charges were ~$6,400. We felt the quality of the work for this cost level was unacceptable. Even Paul's own workers admitted that they did have the experience and expertise to do floors because they primarily "carpenters and dry-wallers". The floor is so bad that we are in the process of replacing the floor, because the extent of floor unevenness is actually a safety hazard, in our opinion.
3. Paul opening admitted that he "was not proud of the work done". He would not replace the floor and offered to accept "two, three, four or five thousand off the the original price". We really want to have the floor replaced and we are in the process of redoing the floor. In the last meeting with Paul, we offered to pay $4,500 plus HST for the basement tiling as well as an additional $1,400 in additional costs for other work done on the basement (i.e. putting in base boards primarily). The costs for the jobs (deck and stairs) were already paid at this point. Our final payment for outstanding costs for the work on the basement were paid by cheque. On the cheque we wrote "final payment". Paul agree to these terms and promised to clean the site and provide a final invoice for the job. After cashing the final cheque he did not follow through on cleaning the site or providing an invoice. Instead, we have received a notification that Valli-Forge is taking us to small claims court!
Other observations and events.
1. In the initial agreement to perform work, Paul quoted us to install a dock and to replace some garage doors. When it became clear he was hiring 3rd parties to perform the work, we researched the actual costs for the work. Paul quoted us $8,000 to install the garage doors and $10,000 for the dock (with several conditions). We received quotes from the same companies that Paul was planning to use. We offered to have Paul add 500-1000 for each the jobs for overseeing the work. Paul rejected this offer and Paul stated that he wanted to take the dock and garage doors off of the initial contract. We have since installed (using the same companies that Paul had planned to use). The dock was installed for $8,500 and the garage doors for $3,600. You can decide for yourself what this says about the business practices of Valli-Forge.
2. During the course of the work being done we noted that he had heated discussions by cellphone with people during our visit to the worksite. These discussions seemed to be with current or former client(s) who had issues with the company.
3. He told us he preferred to do as much of the labour costs as possible for cash. We unfortunately agreed to do this, which we realize now was a mistake.
Beware of this company. It is clear the owner (Paul) is dishonest and engages in questionable business practices.
You can call me anytime to discuss: 647-244-4528 (Peter)