We hired Rob Coleman from Brit Reno to renovate the main floor, extend the dining room to the side of the house and add a porch at the new side entrance. After several contractor interviews we decided to go with Brit Reno due to their great reviews, glowing references and two positive on-site visits.
It was a decision we came to regret.
Numerous mistakes, poor workmanship and multiple re-dos. Some were fixed more than once and still not right. There were missed deadlines and broken promises. Their Quality and Integrity promise was an empty marketing slogan as they abandoned the project leaving us with work that was in some cases, handyman quality at best.
Work began April 18 with promised completion by June 30. We rented a house nearby with the expectation the job would be finished on time. For the first few weeks work was consistent. As time went on, activity was down to just one person on the job, on other occasions, no activity for a full week. We said nothing as we still trusted Rob's promise to complete by June 30.
June came and went and every request for a completion date came with a standard two week promise. We never knew in advance whether anyone would show up, forcing us to stay home just in case. Summer and fall were wasted waiting for Brit Reno to complete the job. He went on holidays without telling us, claiming he had texted, yet offered no proof. It was not the first time he hadnt told the truth. On three occasions, I threatened to hire another company. Nothing changed. Eventually the 2.5 month project stretched to seven months when the job was abandoned without warning, forcing us to find another company to finish the work.
Brit Reno's main problem appears to be quality control. Rob rarely reviewed the completed jobs which meant we had to keep an eye on the quality as it couldnt be trusted. The finish and detail on some of the work was just not there and on many occasions had to be redone.
The following are examples of their quality and integrity:
1. The architect had to point out that using a brick wall for support was NOT code compliant, a shocking thing to see.
2. The extended dining room wall was framed incorrectly and off by 2.5 with a noticeable bend in the wall and baseboards. I had to point out the issue as they clearly thought this was acceptable. Although they tried to fix it 3 times, it still has a bend with an obvious patched joint. It's a sloppy second-rate handyman job at best.
3. On that same wall, during a cold day, an 8 puddle of water formed by the baseboard. The wall was cold and condensation formed in that spot meaning no insulation. This section has to be removed and fixed or mold will grow.
4. City inspector discovered no vapor barrier on one of the walls.
5. Their framing and drywall guy didnt seem capable of building anything straight or true on any of the walls. All look as if done by eye with bumps and curves in many areas.
6. During demo stage, the floor was removed leaving joists with with gaps between the boards. When the ceiling was removed, debris fell through the subfloor onto the items stored in the crawl space. They were covered but a huge amount of debris still fell through the cracks and onto the items when the plastic was removed. There was some cleanup but the rest was left to us. They used my shopvac without cleaning it leaving me with having to clean both the shopvac and their mess. When asked why he didnt reno first then remove the floor to contain the debris, Rob said he would use the suggestion for "corporate learning and future situations. How that helps the current customer is beyond me. Dust in the inaccessible areas still floats down.
7. He promised rooms would be protected from dust yet nothing was done to protect the downstairs studio. All the dishes, pots, pans and electronics stored there were coated with dust which took us days to clean.
8. He promised zipped plastic sheets over entranceways to contain the dust. Instead, they taped plastic to the wall with no way to get through without lifting the tape making the solution useless.
9. He promised an outdoor toilet would be supplied for his crew. In the contract this had been changed to having access to a bathroom. The washroom became so dirty one of the workers cleaned it saying it was too gross to use. So much for the promise of regular cleanups.
10. Incorrect backsplash measurements were provided to the countertop company who recut the quartz from another lot with a visually different pattern
11. Window order was placed many months into the job leading to installation issues and improper alignment with the now installed backsplash.
12. Front door was originally ordered as blue. We called Rob the following day and changed it to black Information was not delivered to the company and a blue door was delivered.
13. Electrician was always rushed leaving wires hanging, exposed wires and crooked switches installed. He failed to provide details showing which breaker switch was connected to which area. We asked for this information only to find some was just plain wrong.
14. Parts of the ceiling and insulation were removed and drywalled. When asked if insulation had been installed, he said yes. I showed him pics of the attic area they had fixed that had no insulation.
15. Engineered flooring creaks in a number of spots. They used a thin 3/16 subfloor base and when I showed the sample to the floor supplier, they were surprised to see how thin the material was. Some issues were fixed but theres still bad creaking in some areas.
16. Two frosted glass doors were installed backwards.
17. No flashing between porch roof and house siding. Rob claimed it wasnt needed. Two roofing companies stated this will be a problem with water if not fixed.
18. They vented the stove exhaust into the soffit area not the roof as originally requested.
19. We were promised his aluminum and siding expert" would handle the aluminum wrapping and siding. It was another mess of crooked framing, patchwork and just awful quality they were unable to fix. My jaw dropped when Rob told us it was not their area of expertise. I told him I did not want his specialist" handling any more work due to the extremely poor quality.
After seven months of missed deadlines, many mistakes and sub-standard work, he abandoned the job in November without saying a word. So much for integrity".
Our experience with Brit Reno was extremely stressful and a huge disappointment to say the least.
We do not recommend this company at all.