We had just purchased a condo bungalow and needed to have the bathroom redone to install roll-in shower for my daughter who is confined to a wheelchair. We visited HomeStars.ca to get a good contractor to do the job. All were very busy and could not take on any more work at this time. So we searched the internet for an available contractor.
We found ContructionInk and called them. I spoke to Simon (Thanh) who said that he does this kind of work frequently and had a two week opening to do some work because he was waiting for some cabinets to be delivered for his current job. So we setup a meeting with Simon at the house. At that meeting, we discussed the plan and Simon understood what we wanted and he explained what he was going to do and we agreed. He told us that we should provide the finish materials (tiles, vanity, shower hardware, etc) and he would provide the construction materials (wood, pipes, scratch coat, thin-set, grout etc). That way Simon would not have to do the shopping for us and save us some money. All sounded like a good sensible plan.
Simon gave us a quote of $8600 for the entire job and we agreed. So, we paid a $1500 deposit to get it started. It was going well to start. Simon seemed very personable and knew what he is talking about (I do DIY stuff so I know quite a bit of reno methods). We discussed daily what was being done that day.
After a week, Simon asked for another payment of $5100 to cover the work completed so far. We paid it because we liked how it was going. We trusted Simon. When tiling started, Simon gave us another itemized invoice for $3600 and asked for the $3600. We paid it even though it would put the total paid was over the original quote but we realized that they were having some difficulty with the job. And that is when the problems started.
The tiling was taking mush longer than expected. Simon told us the tiling would be done in one day which I questioned because it seemed too much to get done in one day. The tiling took more than a week. And, when the tiling was finished, I noticed that the baseboard tiling ran behind where the vanity was to go. This means that the vanity was going to be the tiles thickness (half inch) away from the wall. I complained to Simon about this and he told me they always do it this way and that other people ask for it this way. I had a hard time believing that but Simon agreed to have those baseboard tiles removed so the vanity would be against the wall.
Next time I looked at the job the baseboard tiles were removed and the vanity could now be installed properly. But, at that time, I noticed that the floor tiles were on an angle to the vanity. I complained about that and Simon said that was because the walls were not straight. But then I saw that the tiles were also on an angle with the opposite wall and the shower floor tiles were cut on an angle. I also noticed that the floor tiles were not level at the bathroom entry doorway. High on the left, lower on the right. And the thin-set was abnormally thick. The transition between bathroom floor and hallway floor was amost an inch on the left but half an inch on the right.
Simon explained that the transition strip would take care of that but I did not understand how that would look good. So I told Simon that the floor must be ripped up and redone correctly. He said that he had already paid the tilers $3000 (which I believe to be untrue because he only charged us $1000 for the tile work) so it was unlikely that they would correct the issue. Simon blamed us for not complaining earlier before he paid them. But Simon did not explain to us when he was about to pay the tilers and needed our approval. We would not have approved.
I discussed the situation with Simon over the phone. I said that it was his responsibility for the problem and he needed to correct it. Simon became very angry, swore at me then hung up on me. I texted him immediately asking if that was it and whether I should to contact my lawyer. He replied that he would contact his lawyer too. Have texted Simon a few times since and he does not reply.
I have had two other bathroom reno experts look at what it would take to fix our bathroom and they both said that ALL of the tile will need to be removed and redone. They said the job that Constructionink did was very poor and amateur and they wonder how Simon sleeps at night.