Colonial Restoration was hired to restore, repair and repaint a 19th century heritage verandah. The carpenters who worked on the repairs were excellent and tried to save as much original material as possible and all replacement posts (where repairs was not possible) were accurate replicas of the ones remaining. Old paint layers dating back a century were carefully removed, old nail holes filled and knots sealed before any priming was begun. The hand-turned historic spools were especially difficult to clean but the work was excellent. The final painting was completed on time (despite weather issues on occasions) and cleanup was prompt. The final job looks beautiful and appears as it would have looked over 100 years ago when it was first done. Andy, the company president, was extremely helpful and visited the site to direct his workers even offering to do some minor additional work which was not planned originally. From our experience, Colonial Restoration is a top-notch heritage restoration company and we have already recommended them to others.

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I can't verify the quality of their work since the eaves are too high for me to check...but their estimate calculator is very poorly designed. They ask for square footage of the house but don't consider the length of the eaves since gable roof lines have 2 sets of eaves and cottage roof lines have eaves all around. The estimate calculator isn't clear as to the amount of eaves to be cleaned since the length of eaves would be the same for a one storey bungalow as for a two storey bungalow but costs vary a great deal. Nobody bothered to point out the difference between the estimate and the actual bill until after the work was completed and the bill submitted. From the small amount of debris left in the bag at the curb, it appears our eaves were fairly clean yet the report states they were full or half full. In addition, I specifically asked that they not clean the verandah eaves as I do that myself and did so a few days before their arrival. Their report stated that they were "half full", the honesty of which I question. (They did, however plan, by email, to reduce the bill by $12. for work done but not authorized..but in phone conversation, they still wanted me to pay the original total.) While I did hear directly by phone and email, the misunderstanding was never resolved. In summary, better customer communications is essential for repeat business and for referrals and while the website was flashy and colourful, it certainly wasn't clear to me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

Our apparent, "poorly designed" Estimate Calculator has been praised over the years by many, including our competition, so while it can't please everyone, based on the vast majority, we have no intention on making changes to it.

The problem in this particular case simply centres on the fact that the Estimate Calculator very clearly asks for the TOTAL square footage of living space for the house, excluding the basement, but for whatever reason, this client, Rick, only provided the calculation for one floor. I tried very hard to explain why the TOTAL is required, but Rick consistently feels that it should not make a difference what the ENTIRE house measures. We obviously ask for the TOTAL for a reason, namely because the calculator takes into account many factors and will then determine the actual size of the house PER FLOOR. In other words, a 3 story, 3,000 square foot house would be approximately 1,000 square feet for one floor. While it is true that the eaves could be on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd floor and vary on location, the height and roof pitch also play a vital role in calculating the cost due to the increased risks of cleaning higher positioned eaves and for steeper pitched roofs. We've been in business for over 25 years and know very well what information we need in order to determine the cost, but Rick expressed himself over the phone as knowing best due to his background credentials.

Something else that should be mentioned is that had the client, Rick, indicated the ACURATE measurements, in other words, simply answering the question asked instead of providing the information he feels we needed, the quote would have been much more than what was originally presented. We can only quote based on the information we are provided and have no reason question what details are entered.

For the record, had the client indicated the correct information, the total cost would have been $228, but instead, we adjusted the amount to only $175, generously providing a $53 discount . However, because Rick was so adamant about this not being enough of a discount, we provided a further $12 discount, for a total of $65. It seems strange that Rick only mentions the $12 figure and not the full story.

We encourage everyone to browse through ALL our reviews which should make one wonder why Rick indicates the lowest review we have ever had.

The question should then be, is the problem with Toronto Clear View, or with the client, Rick?