Project: Basement demolition and renovation. 2 bedrooms, living space, kitchen and washroom.
Process: posted on HomeStars to request for a quote for my project and contacted numerous companies based on Google search to obtain a quote. Only 3 responded (will not name the other two companies) Chic Contracting, Company A, Company B. It was summer time so busy season for contractors.
Comparison and Interview Experience:
We did not have any floor plans available for our basement. We also didn’t know the approximate size.
Chic Contracting - Wasseem was the first to respond. He met with us at our basement and was very professional. He used a laser measuring device and told us right away +/- 925 sq ft for total area. After discussing what we wanted done, he gave us an amount followed by a detailed quote via email (2-3 pages long so it was detailed with the scope of work to be included in the price). He didn’t foresee any additional costs as foundations of the house are still solid. Timeline per his estimate is 6-8 weeks. He could start right away whenever we decided (we were looking into a September start).
Company A - you could tell they were contractors right away cause they came over from another job and was covered in paint. They didn’t have the laser measuring devise and used a measuring tape so it took them a while to get the area size. They gave a ballpark number which was the same amount as Chic Contracting. Timeline was also similar but they were busier and could only start the project in November. They also invited us to visit a few of their current projects so we could see their work in real life. I asked for a detailed quote and scope so I could compare but all I got was a one page word document that stated demolition and renovation of basement $xxx amount. Verbally they said everything was included but not on the quote.
Company B - most impressive but super expensive. The guy came in with a 10 page document that had all scope listed already and you get to pick and choose as he looks around the basement. Type of doors, washroom size, washroom type, etc - they were all in the document with detailed pricing depending on what you select so at the end of the meeting you get your formal quote right away. Theirs however was $20k more compared to Chic and Company B and they guarantee to finish in 2 weeks.
I couldn’t justify spending $20k more just to save 4 weeks of construction period so we went with Chic Contracting.
Service: Wasseem and his partner were very professional and did a nice job for us. When we signed on with them, he provided a signed contract and payment schedule. (Beware of other contractors asking for 50% deposit right away for materials. Legitimate companies should have money in reserve to cover these). Payment was every week and you only pay for completed milestones which are clearly itemized in the payment schedule.
He also provided his proof of insurance (professional liability and WSIB certificate).
Wasseem was very patient, accompanying us to tile places and providing samples when selecting our finishes. He made what we wanted done work. In the end, project was completed just before the 6 week mark and on budget.
We’ve hosted parties over the holidays and everyone was impressed with our basement’s transformation.
Would definitely recommend and hire them again when we do our upstairs Reno.