Reviews

10/10

I upgraded to a free version of Windows 10 about a year or so ago, and since then my computer has got progressively slower and wonkier. It got to the point where I could not boot it up at all. Peter came and uninstalled Windows 10 and reinstalled Windows 7 for me (yay! yay!) and in addition gave me lots of great advice about virus protection and backing up to the Cloud. I'm always really happy and impressed to meet people who are super good at their jobs (how rare is that, nowadays?); as an added bonus, Peter is a very nice, patient, and cheerful person to have in one's home office. Even my cat liked him. I had never known before who to call about my PC woes, but now I do, and I couldn't be happier about it!

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Company Response

Thank you Vicki - What a great way for us to end 2016!. As you explained we did an operating system reinstall with Windows 7. Whenever we are on site we welcome questions so that our clients can get the most out of their systems. And we cannot stress enough the importance to having a back up system (an inexpensive insurance) in place. FYI its not just cats who like him - dogs and kids too :)

10/10

We redid our kitchen with Ikea cabinets and got Vince to build a couple of custom cabinets to go in the gaps and also a shallow floor-to-ceiling pantry. I feel like I inadvertently jerked him around a little bit at first, because when I first got in touch, he asked if he could develop an estimate for an all custom-built kitchen. I said sure, but a few days later changed my mind and called it off (not because his portfolio isn't stunning, but because I'd thought about an Ikea kitchen for so long). Then, just as I was preparing to put in my order at Ikea, the website indicated that they were out of stock of EVERYTHING, so in a panic I called Vince and asked him for the estimate again. The next day, I went to Ikea and found out the website had simply glitched out, so I called Vince off yet again! With this sort of beginning to our relationship, you'd think he'd try to have as little to do with us as possible, but in fact, of all the various people we've had help us with the kitchen, he has been the one to take ownership of the work as though it were his own home, and he has come through for us every time, even jumping in to do work that we had thought our main contractor could take care of but didn't. His cabinets are absolutely beautiful, and he also talked me out of several expensive ideas, quietly proposing cost-saving alternatives that have turned out to function just as well. We are so grateful to him not just for his craft, but also for his warm, human approach to the work. We highly recommend him, and would give him 11 stars if we could!

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Bml
10/10

After trying (and failing) for several weeks to hire the officially recommended company to install my Ikea kitchen, I turned to Home Stars and found BML was much better rated anyway, not to mention less pricey. In less than 24 hours, I had a contract and an installation date. Bohdan and Leo did a great job installing the Ikea cabinets in our crooked old house, where nothing—not the floor or the ceilings or the walls—is straight. They noticed a potentially disastrous flaw in my design right away, but calmly improvised a solution and kindly assured me (wringing my hands and gnashing my teeth) that it was an easy mistake to have made. When it turned out I had not ordered enough deco strip or whatever for the furring, they even bought some at Home Depot on their way home that night so they could bring it back to complete the job the next day. They commiserated with me over my out-of-stock drawer fronts and, when the Ikea people would not come to template the countertops because the drawer fronts were missing (because, ahem, Ikea was out of stock of them), Bohdan even calmly talked me out of my mad scheme to drive to Burlington to get the wrong colour of drawer front just so the countertop could be measured. A kitchen reno will do that to your brain, but Bohdan and Leo are very sensible people who will calmly assist you through the bad bits. Speaking of the countertop, they also recommended me a countertop company when I had to cancel my contract with and get my money back from Ikea. That company came through for us, at $600 less than the other estimate I got, so I'm awfully grateful for that too. They have even phoned up a couple of times to see how the rest of the job has been progressing—pretty nice for a couple of busy guys. If I had to do it over again, I think I would have them design the kitchen. That flaw in my design that they noticed right away has had a cascading effect at every stage of the work. The moral of the story is to get a professional to help with the design so you won't be blindsided by stuff down the road! I love my new Ikea kitchen, and it is in no small part thanks to Bohdan and Leo that we have it!

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Company Response

Thank you Vicki for your detailed review. We are very glad that you enjoy your new kitchen. It was a big pleasure to do this job for you. We did not feel you were just our clients, but also a very intelligent and nice people for who we would always go extra mile to help.
Bohdan & Leo

8/10

Avonlea did a superb job on our two bathrooms a couple years ago, so we were really keen to have them work on our kitchen as well. Once again, Gabriel (ably assisted by his dad) and Jay did really excellent work on the tiling, plumbing and preparing the kitchen for cabinet installation. When it comes to the quality of their work, these guys are tops, and they are also likeable people whom it was a pleasure to have in our house. The only thing I would mention is that John Miles really prefers to work with his own cabinetmaker. We chose to install an Ikea kitchen instead, so John was very clear from the outset that he would not install or otherwise have anything to do with the cabinetry. We later discovered that this approach has its downside—there are always going to be minor leftover things to do at the end of the job, but if they involve touching the cabinetry John will refuse to handle them, explaining that he does not want to bear the risk of damaging the cabinets. I can certainly understand this if the cabinet is hand-built out of some valuable wood, but in our case we were working with mass-produced Ikea stuff, so I'm not sure such skittishness was warranted. All we wanted was for the valance to be reattached after we had removed it so Jay could tile the backsplash. As we discussed with Jay, it only required cutting a quarter inch off the wall end of the valance to make room for the tile, and we had even bought an extra length of the decorative strip so there would be plenty at hand should any mistakes be made. After working with us on two previous jobs, I'd hoped John would know we are not the type of people to make a fuss (see next paragraph). In the end, we are having to get Vince Fyfle of Galaxy Wood (who had built some custom cabinets to fit in the gaps) to jump in and complete the work for us. Another thing is that the contract we signed with John Miles clearly mentioned appliance hook-up. When our Bosch stove was delivered, we realized it weighed a ton, and mentioned it to him as a courtesy. He immediately responded that he was not equipped to install specialized appliances, and that we should hire an expert to do it. The estimate we got from Kovi Appliances was $440, but when I asked John if he would accordingly adjust the amount we owed him, he explained that, even though appliance hook-up is mentioned in the contract, he had not done any special budgeting for it and so there was no reason to change the price. We were okay with this (sort of), although the range of appliances he was prepared to install should perhaps have been discussed at the beginning so we wouldn't have had to search for an installer on short notice. In the end, we are still very happy with the work that both Gabriel and Jay did. They are really excellent guys. And I should say that John is always very prompt in replying to emails and explaining his position, so at least we knew where we were. But if you are working with another brand of cabinets or buying appliances that are unusual in some way (high-end or heavy), you have to be prepared to go it alone for some parts of the kitchen reno process and to look for other specialists to fill in for work that Avonlea won't do.

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Company Response

I appreciate Vicki’s feedback and have been happy to work with her on her two bathrooms and kitchen.
As well, I appreciate all of the positive feedback that she made in her comments.
In terms of her concerns over my skittishness in modifying Ikea product, it was Avonlea’s opinion that the best result would be achieved by having her own cabinet installer, whom she had used for the installation of her cabinets, to make the modifications that were being requested. This is not always the case and we have made minor modifications to Ikea cabinets in the past and I am sure we will do so in the future. Our intent is not to make things difficult for the customer but ultimately we need to rely on our own assessment of the modifications. We always explain to the customer what the best approach is to get the quality result that they expect.
In terms of the discussion around the stove installation, I had no idea that she was unsatisfied with my approach until reading this review. If I had known I would have made a concerted effort to come up with a proposal she thought was fair.
As our contract states, we will do the basic hook up on appliances but as a policy we will also do a full installation at no extra charge when the installation is straight forward.
However, as appliances have become more complex, we have learned that positioning or installing some of them (typically fridges or stoves) is best left to the appliance specialists who have the knowledge and equipment that some of them require. The hiring of an appliance specialist is not included in our price.
I normally explain our approach to our customers and we haven’t had any issues with this policy in the past. Perhaps I wasn’t clear in my explanation or perhaps my explanation was misunderstood. However, because of Vicki’s comments, I will ensure further clarity going forward.
Either way, I appreciate Vicki’s feedback and, of course, Avonlea will learn from this experience in order to better our customer service.

1/10

I am trying to redo my kitchen with the new Sektion cabinets launched in February. They are very beautiful and functional cabinets. The problem is that Ikea has been out of stock of many of its kitchen parts almost from the get-go! I first placed my order for my 12-cabinet kitchen on March 23. At that point, I got about 70 percent of my order. It took a further six trips to Ikea to collect everything else. To date (June 1), three drawer fronts are still missing, with no indication of when they will come back online. This would be fine, but to cap it all off, today I was told that Ikea would not come to template the countertop until all the missing pieces are in place--the pieces that are missing because Ikea is out of stock of them! If this isn't Kafkaesque, I don't know what is. It is getting to be so that every time I go to Ikea I get into chats with other folks in this nightmare and we laugh and slap each others' backs for being Ikea Chumps. I can't believe they took my money for the countertop, knowing full well that they could not by their own policy even measure it, because my kitchen would be incomplete without their missing cabinets. I know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other customers out there in this situation too. It's time Ikea was called out for this disaster.

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10/10

We contacted Bin Solutions to build us a shed for our two bikes, which we were tired of having to shift in and out of the elements between seasons. Zion came by to look over the only space available in our small backyard and proposed a size and design that would easily accommodate several bikes, with room left over for garden furniture and other clutter. He even added free of charge a neat little shelf where we store tools and perch a handy light if we ever need to do any work on anything after dark. For half of the year, when we aren't storing quite so much in it, the shed is actually big enough to use as an outdoor workshop! To top everything off, Zion even informed us that they were having a spring sale on bike sheds, so he quoted us a very good price. When the shed was ready, one of Zion's colleagues cleared and levelled the site, laid the foundation and assembled the shed in a day, and returned the next day to add a few finishing touches and make sure everything was in order. The shed is a great addition to our yard and we wonder why we waited so long to have it built. We have no hesitation recommending Bin Solutions to anyone looking for elegant storage space, designed and installed by stellar craftsmen.

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10/10

My husband and I couldn't be happier with our awning--it is like adding another room to the house! I first tried to contact Rolltec through their website contact form, but never had a response, so there might be a glitch there. I finally phoned (feeling a little grumpy), but from there on all I had was wonderful service, from the free at-home consultation to the installation. Both times there were tweaks to the scheduling for perfectly good reasons, and we always got very timely calls to advise us of the changes. The awning and the fabric are of very good quality--I have no trouble believing they will last for many years.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

Thank you Vicki for your lovely review. We had a problem in May with emails going through our website. They got lost in cyber space. I am glad that we were able to connect and enjoy your awning.

10/10

Our recent bathroom renovation was necessitated by a mysterious leak that emerged in two different places. John Miles very kindly rearranged his schedule to accommodate us so that we would not have to live without our main bathroom for too long. Throughout the planning stage, he was always prompt in getting back to us and quick to offer tips that steered us away from bad decisions. He has an unflappable demeanour that inspires confidence. As for Gabriel, who did all the work, we just couldn't be happier with how he handled the project and we are just amazed at his range of skills, professionalism and all-around niceness. Most importantly, he was extremely patient about detecting the source of the leak—it wasn't easy to find, and for a while the (mistaken) theory was that it was a drain problem, when it was actually a very slow leak from a supply pipe. I shudder to think what would have happened if a less patient person had leapt to the wrong conclusion and tiled over the floor again while the leak remained active. Gabriel stripped the old bathroom out, fixed the plumbing, did a magnificent job on the tiling, repaired the ceiling, installed the fixtures and the new window—all to a very high standard, with admirable focus and efficiency. I work at home, right next door to the bathroom, and was never disturbed by unnecessary noise. Unlike other contractors we have worked with, these guys don't stop until they finish the job—and the job they do is nothing short of extraordinary. What could have been a very stressful renovation turned out to be a breeze—we are very relieved to have had Avonlea do the job.

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