I initially gave Chicasa Design a positive review due to being pressured by one of the partners, Ali, to give them a 10/10 even though at the time, I would have given them a 7/10 at best. However I wanted to be nice and maintain a good relationship with them, especially since I liked and really trusted one of the partners, Mo, at the time. But ever since I gave them a positive review, they have not honoured their contract to guarantee their work for at least a year post-renovation. I am disappointed with Chicasa as they have been ignoring our calls and requests to finish repairs for over half a year now (probably because they no longer needed anything from us).
I should have been honest in my initial review and mention the following:
- They were 5 weeks late and told us the night before we were supposed to move into our home that they weren't going to finish the reno. Why only tell us the night before after we already packed and had movers booked. They asked for 1 more week and promised 100 percent completion but that never happened. Not only did we have to scramble to find last minute accommodations for a week, but they never paid us the late fee in the contract (which ended up being at least $9000). They did not complete the work in the 1 week they asked for and were in our home slowly completing the renovation for the next 5 weeks. This was one of the worst experiences in my life and a nightmare living under renovation, especially being 6 months pregnant at that time.
- We chose them even though they had the highest quote because we thought they could be relied upon and give us the highest quality that they promised. They ended up doing a sloppy job towards the end which is why we were forced to request way too many fixes than what should have been acceptable after the renovation was "done".. and even with some fixes done, it was far from perfect but I was feeling fatigued with living under renovation at that point and just wanted it to be over.
- Having lived in the home for over 6 months now, I see shortcuts taken everywhere, which did not justify the price they charged us. They claimed to have a full team of experienced professionals but we found that the workers they had were mostly inexperienced or they used some cheap subcontractors, which is why the quality was not up to par considering they claimed to be a luxury builder and charged luxury prices. For example, they showed us one of their other job sites and claimed they only use the best painter in the city. The paint job in our home is not good and had to be redone in some places (it's still not great).. let's just say I could have done a better paint job.
- During the quotation process, they refused to break down the quote by item which was a big mistake in hindsight because most of their promises ended up only verbal and I wish I had it on paper.. it ended up being my word against theirs.
- They were even dishonest at times. For example, they simply changed the glass of an exterior door instead of giving us a brand new door that we paid for (I don't think they thought we would notice).. but I chose to overlook it as I wanted to deal with bigger issues at the time.
- Part of the reason I chose them was because they guaranteed their work after the job was done.. They kept saying that they were busy with other projects every time they were scheduled to repair something... What client wants to keep hearing that or why should I care? I tried to be nice and understanding but at some point, they took advantage of it and made it an excuse every time. Now that they have gone completely missing in action and ignoring my calls, I am worried for what would happen if something big broke especially since they did a sloppy job in the end.
I am beyond frustrated and could go into more detail but will leave it at this. Overall, I do not recommend Chicasa.