Based on positive Home Star reviews, recommendation from a previous client, competitive pricing, and a feeling of trust when dealing with Reg to get a quote I hired Garage Builders to cover all aspects of removing an old garage and building a new one. The project was to start May 25 and be finished July 15. Unfortunately what I ended up with was months of frustration, lack of timely communication, delays and frankly, a contractor who did not seem to want to do my job.
To be fair, in the end I do have a garage which I am mostly happy with. And the subcontractors were great. Unfortunately the work of the Garage Builders was disappointing. Timing was the first big issue – the project started on time with demolition and then ground to a halt... I assume due to Reg leaving the company in June. Even when Glenn took over the project my garage took 44 days from excavation to completion. And the total time from start to finish was almost 3 months. Because it is not written into the contract their "28-day guarantee" means nothing. The next issue came when Glenn hit my gas line during excavation. When I didn't hear back from him on the issue I called Atco. Their site inspector indicated significant concerns that the ‘hit’ had not been reported and that the Garage Builders were excavating without an up to date line locate from One Call. Thankfully the line hit was my old line. The next main issue related to my garage was the apron – which as specified in the contract was to be 3 feet. Instead what I have is the garage floor extended 2 feet outside the garage door and a 1 foot apron. Glenn tried to pass this mistake off as a normal practice but it is not according to other contractors. So the result is that water does not drain away from the door like it should and I worry that it will freeze up in winter. Glenn’s attitude was it’s a big thing to change so let’s wait and see and if it’s a problem he would cover it on warranty. I have asked for a copy of the warranty and specifically for a letter outlining what Garage Builders will do if I have a problem but I have not received a reply. In addition to these significant issues were a ton of frustrating things during the project. Glenn was repeatedly unwilling to honor promises made by Reg; for example cutting a 6” gap through my sidewalk instead of digging under it, failing to excavate clay from under my old garage pad and failing to move salvaged garden soil before excavating the new site. Then when the windows in my garage were installed so high I couldn't see through them Glenn tried to tell me there was a safety code preventing them from being lowered (totally not true). He did lower them when I held back a payment. Next the hardware Glenn installed in the man door was very stiff but he left it in anyway. Now, some days it is almost impossible to turn the knob. I contacted him about it but got no reply. Customer service and respect for the clients property were good from subcontractors but lacking from Garage Builders. Can you imagine having to pick up garbage left every day from your contractor - coffee cups, water bottles, lunch wrappers, even dog crap. End of job clean up was a joke with only large pieces of debris removed. And to this day I have several small sloppy items on my garage that were never addressed.
Timely communication is certainly not the forte of Garage Builders. For the most part if I wanted to know when something was going to happen I had to ask and if things were delayed I was never contacted. It seemed like the only time Glenn called me was when a payment was due. In the end Glenn has chosen to ignore my request to have the door hardware replaced and to provide a written copy of their warranty, especially related to the cement issue. Since I don’t believe the Garage Builders will ever come back and do any work under warranty I have elected to keep my final payment and use it to make my own repairs when needed. This company may have a good past reputation but I cannot recommend them based on my experience this summer.