We agreed to have “A Family of Trades” complete our basement renovation and were treated like a side-job that the owner couldn’t have cared less about. We hired Charles to do framing, electrical, drywall and ceiling in our 700 sq/ft basement. The issues started right away.
When the work started, Charles did not coordinate his “employees”, he left that all to us. I put “employees” in quotes, as EVERY SINGLE WORKER had a full time job elsewhere and completed our work in their spare time. It took 2 months for something that should have taken 2 weeks at most.
When we asked him specifically to handle a situation (worker showing up late, or not at all and not completing the work as specified), he had the worker call us instead. After the framing was FINALLY completed (it took 3 weeks) his own worker said “it’s scabby, but it will do.”
Since we were unhappy about the framing, Charles said after inspections, we would have a “dedicated team” come to do the drywall because he wanted to “make things right.” He and his team were scheduled to show up on a specific date and when we called to confirm the time we could expect him, he said it wouldn’t be for another 11 days. He said he wasn’t aware of the fact he was to show up that date and we sent him a screenshot of a text message FROM HIM with the confirmation.
We then got a call from a random person saying he was told by Charles to call us to do the drywall. This person also worked a full time job and had to schedule our drywall around it. It took another 3 weeks and there was also a lot of framing that this worker had to fix because it wasn’t done properly the first time.
After the drywall, we had to clean the basement and then came the ceiling. Charles did this work himself. We asked for knockdown ceiling and I can’t even begin to describe the mess that was made. Not only was it NOT a knockdown ceiling, Charles made an absolute mess of the drywall as he did not cover any of it and used a sprayer to do the ceiling. There were chunks and lumps all over the entire basement and he just left. We had to call him to come back and he sent a guy who used a scraper, which tore up parts of the wall and didn’t even get rid of the chunks of compound that were all over the place. We had to call Charles back again to ensure that the walls were ready to paint (as they were prior to the ceiling). He sent the same guy back to sand, who did a half-ass job at best and left dust everywhere again. So besides cleaning the entire basement again, in order to paint, we had to mud and sand several parts of the walls.
The entire time, we consistently asked Charles to step up. Only ONCE did he come to check on the work that was done (framing) and he had no idea what was going on with regards to the rest of our renovation unless WE updated him. We advised him every step of the way in terms of our expectations and disappointment with what was happening and he LITERALLY IGNORED it.
Then came time for the bill. We told him we wanted to pay by credit card, as we had done with the 50% deposit. What a gong show. He sent us two different invoices (with different numbers), one that included a 3% LATE FEE even before the work was completed when we had been told initially to pay upon completion. The terms on both invoices were different (and had changed multiple times over the duration of our renovation). When we disputed the 3% late fee on the one invoice, we noticed that a 3% service charge was added to the other invoice for using our credit card, which was not imposed upon us for the 50% deposit (nor was it in the terms of the original contract)! We also had to ask twice to have the cost for the electrical permit taken off the bill, as we ended up getting that ourselves too, despite it being in the contact/quote.
Their tagline is "welcome to the family." Well, sorry to break it to you Uncle Charlie, but I wouldn't use A Family of Trades again if you were the last contractor on earth.
Added to address owner comments regarding the 'FACTS':
Owner comment: "Customer called us in for a full basement renovation" - FACT - we hired them to do electrical, framing, drywall and ceiling. Which is EXACTLY what they quoted us on, on May 17. Nothing else.
Owner comment: "I personally went to home and added acoustic seal to walls and joints and used code approved green tuck tape to seal up areas" - FACT: he did this only after asking us to go to Home Depot and buy the stuff and do it ourselves and we told him it was his job to do the work in our basement.
Owner comment: "Customer sent me a text message on Thursday June 8 stating they wanted to put a deposit down to do the drywall and ceiling." - FACT: We hadn't been asked for a deposit until this date. The instant we got the invoice requesting a 50% deposit, we contacted him to pay it. That was June 8.
Owner Comment: "With this said we had booked four similar jobs that had committed. We emailed them that they should find someone else as that we were busy." - FACT: No, they did not. We had sent an email that outlined all of our verbal conversations and frustrations up to this date. They said they "apologize for the miscommunication regarding a start time for the drywall. If you would like to find another company to complete the drywall portion, I completely understand."
"They still insisted on using our services." - FACT: The framing needed to be fixed and we weren't about to pay someone else to fix it.
Owner Comment: "You can decide for your self...Funny thing is,there is no mention as to the high quality of work and finished product." - FACT: That statement should speak for itself.
Owner comment: "In 13 plus years we have never had a client publish on so many platforms how horrible they think we were" - FACT: that is because the owner asked us to remove our review and when we would not, he deleted his FB page. We published on TWO other platforms (besides Facebook) where we assumed that our review could not be deleted by the owner in order to allow customers to see only positive reviews.