With a renovation costing us in the neighborhood of $100,000 we felt we had every right to set the bar high. We wanted a contractor who would rise to the challenge and deliver quality. We chose WPI based largely on the glowing reviews we read here on Homestars and also based on Scott’s web site which talks about providing a “stress free process” and “exceeding our customer’s expectations”. Well, after watching Scott’s crews for what turned out to be a four month project, our opinion is that the quality of craftsmanship delivered by WPI should be considered mediocre at best. We found ourselves wondering, on a daily basis, how WPI could possibly deserve the reviews we read here. Maybe the projects being reviewed were small, not on the scale of ours… who knows. At first we thought the poor quality was the result of a lack of communication with, and a lack of supervision of WPI’s work crews. There were a lot of annoying issues. Small things that required minimal effort to avoid, like removing and disposing of fixtures from our ensuite which were not part of the reno; not covering and protecting the cork floor we have in our basement before they started ripping things apart; stuffing debris and even garbage down our heating vents; not installing all the receptacles on our new backsplash at the same height; touching up our paint with a close, but no thanks, match; installing a new light switch box on an angle; sawing through our cork flooring by mistake in basement doorway. But it got worse. Installing a pocket door too high off the floor; taking three tries before getting an interior door to close properly; running a gas powered saw in our basement without proper ventilation while cutting concrete for some new plumbing; not installing our new shower level so now the door swings open and soaks the floor; wanting to repair the damage to our cork floor in the basement with glue and wood filler; damage by his electrician to our brand new island (twice). Then there were some serious issues. Planning to remove an interior wall without an engineer’s report; multiple violations of the building code requiring four electrical inspections before our basement made it through final inspection; cutting almost halfway through a floor joist while installing a new bathtub, also a building code violation; not getting a permit to install the new bathtub. The attitude we experienced from WPI was “its good enough” and it nearly drove us insane. We found ourselves being forced to do our own quality control on a daily basis, providing constant feedback to Scott and enduring the contempt of WPI workers as a result. To us, it seemed like they were learning how to do everything for the first time. We lost confidence in WPI and began seeking out our own suppliers mid-way through the renovation. We sought out our own granite installation company (shout out to Zen Living), hardwood flooring instalelrs, carpet company, tile installers to avoid dealing with WPI more than necessary. Possibly the most annoying part of the entire experience was Scott’s steadfast refusal to admit any wrongdoing for anything. Of all the issues we had, and to be fair Scott fixed some of them (sort of, eventually), nothing it seemed was ever his fault. Never an apology for any mistakes that were made. The only reason we didn’t score WPI lower is because they eventually delivered a product we consider mediocre at best. We were looking for a little better than mediocre. We felt the process was unnecessarily painful and extremely stressful. Had we known what we were getting into, we may have reconsidered the whole thing. We certainly would have went to the next potential contractor on our list. We can’t really comment on his warranty or follow up work since it’s unlikely we will allow him back into our home, but we weren’t really interested in a warranty anyhow. We were interested in a contractor who could do things properly the first time. My advice to you if you are considering Scott: expect to spend a lot of time and energy following up with Scott on your project and check some of these reviews to see what is really behind them. Ask Scott for Tim and Lisa’s email address and we will be happy to send you some pictures of his work. Maybe even have you over to see firsthand. (BTW it’s timlisarenoATyahooDOTcom).
- Company Response
Living in a renovation is tricky. This entire project was 3 stages, and in any case such as this, there should be a break between projects. This break allows the customer some down time with no trades in the house, and relief from dust and noise before the next stage begins. I realize the added stress of the combined projects made for a difficult time for this family. We have used this experience to improve our process and communication to customers on larger projects such as this.
It was clear early on (after the first of the three projects) that the match of myself as contractor with this customer wasn't quite right. And yet when projects #2 and #3 were requested, I felt that perhaps that was a misjudgement of character on my part. It's clear in this case that initial observation was correct, and in the future I will follow my gut, and not move forward when the relationship between customer and contractor feels off.
The abusive nature put forth by this customer to the WPI team and trades was completely unacceptable. Anyone reading this review can plainly see the bullying present, and adding that stress along with the customer not releasing payment on time (this is the only project I have ever needed to pursue the lien process with) made the entire project stressful on all ends, including one of WPI's trades refusing to work on the project. The lack of following guidelines, rules and lack of respect is clearly seen from the customer in this review, found in the addition of the email at the end which needed to be spelled out in order for it to be accepted on the review.
We at WPI appreciate this review. It is always a great thing for those hiring a contractor to be as educated as possible. And a few of those education points are seen here. 1 - a renovation in your home does bring some added disturbances, and you always need to be prepared for that beforehand. 2 - minor deficiencies happen during any project, and living in the home during the reno allows you to see them before they are solved by your contractor. So, 3 - Hire someone you trust so as to allow open communication during the entire process.
As a final note in response to the end of this review - I encourage you to check the background and validity of any and all reviews that you read. I am proud of the service and quality of work that my team and I provide.
-Scott Werenka, Owner, WPI Renovations