Manuel Design and Renovation was recommended to me by a cousin. Before Manuel gave me a quote of the repairs and renovations I needed done in my home, he came to my home and assessed (repairing and painting cracked, dented, split doorframe trim; patching, sanding, and painting holes and dents in drywall; touching up the corners of the washroom and closet doors; installing a towel rack in the washroom; installing a toilet paper holder in the washroom; installing two curtain rods; patching chips on the laminate floor; tiling a kitchen wall (1.4 x 1.1m)). He ended up coming to assess three times (as subsequent repairs needed to be done). On all assessment visits, he reassured me repeatedly that he would do the repairs well enough that one would not be able to distinguish that repair had been done. On all assessment visits, I also received an impression that he was a meticulous, nimble and careful worker. In the end he quoted me $3,500 for labour. Materials would cost extra. I retained his services and entered into a contract with Manuel Design and Renovation, believing in good faith what he claimed and repeatedly assured he would repair, that is, he would do an excellent job of high standard and good quality.
However as he progressed in the repairs within the 8-day period, his carelessness, laziness and poor quality work started to be obvious. As a consequence of his careless and negligent work, the following resulted: (1) damages to my furniture and floor (2) inadequacies of the repair.
(1) Damages: (a) He cracked my vanity cabinet: While reinstalling my toilet paper holder (the first time he installed it crooked by at least 1.5cm. When he tried to rectify that problem, he caused damage to my cabinet), he drilled two screws entirely through my vanity cabinet, so that the screws produced two vertical cracks of about 3cm long and 1cm wide in the cabinet (these cracks appeared on the inner side of the cabinet, to which the paper holder was attached). When I brought the damage to his attention, he offered to take a look and repair it. Post-repair, there are two massive bumps of about 5cm large on the two cracks (where he tried to fill the cracks but neglected to sand it to a smooth surface) and there is an overcoat of glossy paint that doesn’t match the rest of the interior of the cabinet and the cabinet now has structural damage, beneath the surface. There is noticeable repair suggestive of previous damage. The toilet paper holder to this day remains crooked, though it is crooked by 0.5cm.
(b) He splintered the wood on a leg of my bedframe when he likely dragged it away from a wall he was repainting.
(c) There are a number of scratches on my laminate floor from where his tools (electric drill, electric screwdriver, nails) had been used and dragged (he didn’t cover my floor or furniture before working).
(d) After he patched the drywall that connected my bedroom to the closet, the sliding door between the two rooms has been altered. The sliding door between the bedroom and closet now does not close completely (as it used to). The door now meets new resistance at 3.8cm from the edge of the doorframe; the door sticks out of the door pocket by 3.8cm (prior to the repair, the door used to close all the way into the door pocket).
(e) The drawers of a bed table, which he moved, appear to be forced out (I found them crookedly protruding from their frame. I was able to push them back in a straight position but the plastic sliding mechanism that had been cracked from his attempt to remove the drawers can’t be repaired. Therefore, when I pull the drawer and try to push it closed, I have to jiggle it and guide it into the broken plastic slide.
(2) Inadequacies: (a) The toilet paper holder (after two attempts at reinstallation) remains crooked, with the right end 0.5cm higher than the left end.
(b) Walls: The paint he used had debris in it, so the debris dried into the paint.
(c) Trim: There are highly noticeable air bubbles and streaks of uneven globules of paint along corners and sides of the trim.
(d) Streaks of glue on laminate floor from his attempt at patching the chips in the floor. If I had known he was going to patch the chipped areas with glue and paint that leave a streaky and glue residue, I wouldn’t have agreed to this service/job.
(e) Repainted doors: I had wanted redone/repaired/refurbished (and he agreed on assessment) the edges where water had worn away the wood and paint, but these edges were left untouched. The door corner he did fill and paint is left unsanded so that the poly-fill hangs past the edge of the corner.
(f) Towel rack: (i) When I remarked that he installed it too high and when I admitted that I wanted to keep my original towel rack (rather than the new one), he replied that it was too late, that the screws were already in the wall and he couldn’t remove them. The towel rack now stands at 1.25m high (10cm higher than the original height), whereas the old one had been installed 1.16m from the floor. (ii) The towel rack is not centred. He installed it 7.5cm from the left edge and 7 cm from the right edge. It’s minor but it further attests to his lack of carefulness, attention, and fiduciary duty (as he had promised good quality, excellent work).
Given the above-described damages and inadequacies, I think I overpaid or was taken advantage of or that there was a lack of fiduciary duty on Manuel’s part to deliver the quality services and work he had promised and assured he would do at the time of assessment.
The jobs he did satisfactorily were completed during the first five days of his service/work: (1) Repairing the functioning of a light switch (2) installing the curtain rods (3) tiling a kitchen wall of 1.4 by 1.1m (4) drywalling.
While Manuel has offered to return to repair or touchup any inadequacies I would find, I decline with fear, ambivalence, and certainty that his attempts at “repairs” would result in further damages and/or inadequacies, based on a number of circumstances (the vanity cabinet he damaged and then tried to repair, the toilet paper holder which he attempted twice and it remains crooked and he damaged the cabinet in trying to fix the latter problem, the trim which attempted twice).