I hired 3-Day Reno to do a major renovation of my condo. This will be a long review, but hopefully the extra detail will be of value to other homeowners.
I recently purchased a condo in an older building. The advantage of these old units is that they are a lot larger than the ones being built today, but the downside is that they can be very dated looking. After taking possession of my unit, I knew I would have to do some very significant renovations to make the place look more modern. The main items I wanted done were to remove and replace all the flooring and baseboards, remove a wall and door jam, replace all the light fixtures, install potlights in the kitchen, hallway and master washroom, relocate some light switches and electric outlets, replace 2 bathtubs and the tilework around them (as well as the faucets, showerheads, controls, etc), rebuild the shower, replace closet doors and interiors, build a custom closet organizer in the master bedroom, and repaint everything. The unit is 1300 square feet, so it was a pretty big job for a condo.
I met with several renovation companies and received a few estimates before choosing 3-Day Reno. There were two main factors in my decision to choose them over the other companies I had met with. First, I wanted to minimize my stress. Renos are always difficult, but especially so in a condo. I really didn’t want to deal with the hassles of daily elevator bookings, property management, security staff, getting permission for each delivery of material or removal of waste, ensuring that the hallway stayed free of reno dust/debris, and all the other headaches that go along with condo renovations. So I liked the fact that 3-Day Reno said they specialize in managing these aspects of a project.
The other reason I chose them was that I was impressed by their planned approach for dealing with a difficult reno issue in the kitchen. The previous owner had installed new kitchen cabinetry and appliances over two layers of cheap flooring (a newer laminate on top of a much older vinyl). This made the kitchen floor higher than the adjacent living room floor. Also, they had installed flooring which was not water-resistant and therefore a poor choice for a kitchen. So I wanted to remove both these layers of flooring and replace them with a high quality porcelain tile. But I didn’t know how this could be done since the layers of old flooring extended under the cabinetry. A couple of the reno companies said they would cut the floor around cabinetry, replace the floor in the accessible areas, and then mask the gap around the cabinetry with quarter round (ie: the cabinetry would continue to sit on top of the two layers of old flooring). However, Andrej, the estimator from 3-Day Reno, recommended a different approach. His plan was to uninstall the kitchen cabinetry and appliances so they could remove and replace all the old flooring and then reinstall the kitchen. He said that although this would be significantly more work, it was the correct technique and would look far better than the other method. He explained that if 3-Day Reno put their name and reputation on a project, it had done right and that they would rather decline a job than do it improperly or have it look second-rate. I was really impressed by this commitment to delivering a quality product and to doing it right or not at all. So even though their estimate was not the cheapest, I decided to choose 3-Day Reno because I felt more confident in their knowledge and professionalism.
The Project Manager assigned to my reno was Roman. I found him friendly and easy to work with. He kept in contact with me throughout the project with progress updates and whenever there were decisions to be made. As with any major renovation, there were several challenges that came up along the way. One of the biggest difficulties was that, because of the tight space in the kitchen, the cabinetry could not be fully removed without the risk that the wraparound granite countertop would break. So Roman had to use a different approach to get at the flooring underneath the cabinets. It required extreme care and extra time to do it this way, but he managed to get all the flooring replaced while successfully preserving the countertop.
Another challenge was that the store where I had purchased the engineered hardwood flooring did not have transitions to install where the hardwood met the tiles. As a result, Roman went looking all over the city for transitions that would be a good match. And actually, the ones he found were such a good match, that I had no idea they were a different product from a different company. Roman was also good at dealing with my condo’s Property Manager and security staff and the very difficult process of reserving the always overbooked service elevator.
In addition to having a day-to-day Project Manager, 3-Day Reno also assigned one of their General Managers to oversee the project. Rod checked in with me along the way to make sure I was satisfied with the progress. Upon completion of the project, I had a concern about the calculation of the final balance. I know other people who have had big disputes with their contractors over payment issues, so I was worried this would become a problem. But when I emailed Rod and told him I had a concern, he was actually very easy to deal with. He even offered to come to my home so we could review all the calculations together. And after looking through everything, it turned out we only had to make a very small correction. I feel that the financial management of the project and the resolution of my concern were both handled very professionally.
So to summarize my experience, I started out with a very old, painfully out-of-date condo, then I handed over my keys to 3-Day Reno, they gutted the place, gave it a complete makeover, and returned it to me looking fresh and modern. It’s hard to believe it’s the same place. The quality of the workmanship throughout is very good. I especially like the tilework.
When I was moving in after the reno was completed, my movers had the door propped open for a few hours. And as neighours would pass by in the hallway and catch a glimpse inside, they were shocked by the transformation. Several of them even asked if they could do a walk-through to see the finished renovations and asked me who had done the work. So I think those reactions say a lot about the quality of the work.