Reviews

10/10

I find Joe professional and friendly and knowledgeable. His crew is always skillful and efficient. I've had him twice to tend to my large Manitoba maple and now consider him my arborist.

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Company Response

Hi James. Thanks for your terrific review! I look forward to tackling your massive tree again perhaps next year. all the very best.
Joe and HTC crew

9/10

This was a difficult assignment. A 3.5’ perimetrical band of original masonry in a 110-year-old house needed to be cleaned and re-pointed. It was in rough shape, with worn grouting, deterioration of the brick in certain places, and areas covered in old coats of paint, clumsy plaster repairs, etc. Phone gave me a good initial quote and then lowered it to match a competitor who wasn’t available on my schedule. He was honest about the amount of cleaning that could realistically be achieved given the age and condition of the brick. The work was completed by Phong and Mike within the desired time frame. It was well-done and the results impressive. I now have a beautiful original brick band in my basement that will anchor a major renovation. I would recommend this team to anyone. Good work at a good price, and good service.

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Company Response

Hello James, Your review means a lot to us. We appreciate your effort to be as detailed as you were in describing the work we did for you. Call us anytime for whatever needs repairing or building and we will be happy to meet your needs.

Brick Aid Masonry Team

1/10

I signed a “contingent” contract with Penguin Basements in September, 2018, and terminated them in July (losing my $2,000 deposit). The project was months behind schedule. The contract was hastily generated by Dave at my dining room table using software and never refined or finalized. Some things were not included (the contingencies – stair, underpin/re-pour, HVAC, staircase rebuild) and change orders were not forthcoming. A project manager, Allen, was assigned but I never dealt with him and we never discussed the project. At a site meeting in late June between Dave, Allen, and the HVAC technician, which I was told not to attend, the technician was not properly briefed and he ended up installing the replacement furnace against a wall that was slated for demolition. It had to be moved again at considerable bother to the technician during his busiest time of year. And the technician could not even prepare a quote anyway without meeting with me in person. It turns out Penguin will not subcontract under-pinning, so I had to deal with the underpinner myself. But then they would not subcontract the HVAC either! I wanted Dave’s estimate to include a quote for brick restoration and some pargeting. Instead he insisted on quoting for drywall and kept assuring me that the cost is about the same, which is absurd. Dave could not even give me a clear answer on whether retaining exposed brick in a basement was allowed under code, and I had to do the research myself (it is). Everything was a “wait and see” situation, or a future meeting or conversation, etc. Dave said several times that he did not want to make money on the job and only wanted to be able to take pictures of the final product for promotional reasons. Well this turned out to be consistent with the level of attention and diligence the project was given. Part of his response when advised that the services of Penguin were no longer required was that there was “no end game in this” for the company because they were “not even going to build walls”. Thanks for telling me ten months after signing me up. If the contract was not a good fit for Penguin it should never have been entered into. Altogether a very frustrating and negative experience.

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Company Response

Thank you for your review. We have spoken to the all parties involved to get a better understanding of what happened. With projects of such a scope is that we price the renovation which generally includes our finish with all the components. With respect to projects that include engineered solution such as underpinning, a new staircase, or furnace relocation (heat/loss) calculations we either identify a budget for these services or an all encompassing "contingency" for approval from the client. The goal is to work through all the elements of the build, refer the respective underpinning trade or others directly and we support that with site meetings, phone calls, buildertrend messages, until the project is ready for framing. This keeps the project on budget and assists the clients in choosing those trades. We understand that the scope was adjusted throughout this process and the trades that we referred were chosen. Finally, when considering the build, there was a significant reduction to the scope of the finished basement, which made it less feasible to build for our company. Based on choosing the vendors, the consulting we supplied, site meetings, David mentioned that we had already completed and incurred thousands of dollars in time and he felt that the contingencies were met. We generally don’t hold any deposits if we can’t agree that it was warranted, so we apologize and the general manager will call you to discuss the $2,000 deposit.

10/10

These guys are good. Scott Munro is professional, knowledgable, and diligent. His young crew is highly expert and polite (they even listen to good music, and don't blare it). Project commenced as planned, schedule was met, and no budget issues or overruns. Scott even filled in a hole in my basement concrete floor at no extra charge. Final results superb. I would willingly and without reservation recommend Merlin.

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