Reviews

10/10

Vitaly took care of business on some complex eavestroughing that had suffered a fallen tree as well as another area where we were adding a second downspout merging into another and into a drain. He does 'custom' work, meaning it doesn't look like the usual mediocre stuff that roofers typically do. (We had years of leaks and breaks on our roofers downspouts). Vitaly was courteous, professional and prompt. No hesitation to recommend.

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1/10

John and Colin of New Image did some renovation work including a living room, dining room and powder room. They were recommended by the neighbours and were very confident in their ability to deliver an exceptional job, and started normally. Then the problems started - sick one day, delays, other jobs, wallpaper subcontractor very busy etc. etc. In the end, the job took three times as long as promised, and John/Colin's quality was deplorable. Have a look at the photos for the 'finished product'. We had peeling paint, missing cabinetry, a loose toilet, holes in the wall and the list goes on. The worst part they don't even respond to e-mail/voicemail, so do not honour their work whatsoever. Stay away from these guys!!

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Company Response

We too are upset with how things ended. In 25 years of business we have never left a job. We took this job on referral. We have been Chris's neighbour's contractor for the past 15 years, looking after all yearly maintenance and upgrades.
Servicing the Leaside and Rosedale communities, century homes have become a specialty of ours. The walls in the house are plaster and the baseboards and crown moulding are original painted several times in oil. The clients seemed to have reasonable expectations. After starting it became apparent that they were looking for new build finishing on a 100 year old plus house. This can be accomplished by stripping and extensive plastering at a significant cost. The client didn't want to go that route. It took 2 weeks to finish one room, filling imperfections one by one, only to be told there were more. Against our recommendations, Chris insisted on using 0 VOC products, instead of products we know provide superior adhesion. The paint chipped and we were to blame. We fixed it. Some other areas chipped after we had gone.
As for the holes in the walls, the job was meant to be done in phases. Electricians had made some small holes to run wire in hallway. These were to be fixed in the next phase which never took place.
These were just a couple issues. There were vanity changes requiring replumbing, fixture changes requiring rewiring. Storage we built was wanted then not wanted then wanted.
As this was only the first phase of an extensive job we decided to cut our losses.
New Image Renos has been operating for 25 years. We have never advertised. All business have been referrals from exceptionally satisfied clients. We stand by our reputation.


First Review

5/10

Paul Singh did some work on the humidifier on recommendation of the manufacturer. Overall, he charged me $1000 to do 'routine maintenance' without addressing specific issues, namely that the fill and drain valves were full of calcium and needed to be replaced as suggested by the distributor. So I went through many hours of trying to figure out why the thing was still not working consistently after the service call, with some telephone support from Paul. Finally, he asked how handy I was... And whether I wanted to order the valves myself and replace them myself. Well, that's exactly what I ended doing and presto, the thing has worked smoothly ever since. It remains to be seen why I burnt $1000 on other general service, which was probably not even necessary. Hesitate to recommend.

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First Review

10/10

Super Rooter is a hidden gem. On recommendation of my inspector, I used Jerry Saunders to do some investigative plumbing related to some basement water. Before I knew it, he had cameras and snakes going through all the floor drains, downspout drains and checking everything out, all while giving me real-time narrative into what he was finding: "You've got some small tree roots here, that drain is full of gravel and is no longer usable, there is a plasticbag stuck in this drain... Got to get that snaked out" Amazing what he found out, recommending a bit of periodic maintenance to keep everything flowing given that it's an old house. Pricing was reasonable, and even better considering the personalized attention and expertise. Best of all, Jerry is reachable directly and willing to help over the phone here and there. An excellent contractor!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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7/10

I think Waterworks is a very capable plumbing company and have no doubts about their ability to do good work, and they are courteous and professional. However, the pricing is off the charts! Over $500 for a toilet install. I've had other top Homestars plumbers do a toilet for $200, and finally had the thing installed for $340 because my other guy was busy. Either way, Waterworks came out as costing about double the average of the other guys.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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10/10

Not sure what the story is with the negative reviews on this company, as we've tried others and found them to be absolutely the best! First of all, the pricing is very comptitive. Then they show up on time or shortly thereafter if it's raining. The teams are always courteous over the phone and in person. Best of all, they typicaly do a follow-up phone call a few days after the job to make sure you're happy. The windows are squeaky clean and I've checked the eaves from the rooftop - completely cleared out. No hesitation to recommend these guys

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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2/10

I used Invisible Tuckpointing on my 120-year-old house on recommendation from the city's heritage preservation board. I should have been suspicious when Mario was always available, sending me text messages saying he had time again. He says he used to have year-long backlogs, but no longer. I've since discovered some of the city's heritage architects won't use him because of his reliance on brick patches. He was quick to criticize my neighbour's wall as 'cement' mortar, but after quoting me a 'lime-based mortar' started mixing in good quantities of cement himself. Mario is one of those contractors that believes he is always right, but the whole thing did not look or feel right. The photo shows how the brick patching turned out (not great)... Mario will go to great lengths to explain, in his scholarly way, how everything he does is perfect, but I don't agree and apparently others don't either. Think twice before engaging this company.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

He didn't agree with my proposed method to restore his house.
In his words, he had thought me to be an artisan only to "discover" that I wasn't.
At that point all he wanted to do was to abort the contract. We were a little over the halfway point.
All the preparation work of removing the old mortar had been done by then and what was left was to apply the new mortar. The contention was about what the ingredients that comprised the replacement mortar should have been.
When I provided several documents that substantiated the rationale of my approach, he rejected them all.
It didn't matter that I had remained courteous, that I hadn't asserted my rightness and that I had expressed a willingness to work with him to reach an agreement.
He simply wanted out of the deal. He was completely shut off in terms of exploring any other option.
My word-for-word response at that very moment was: "Fair enough, I will take full responsibility for obviously having failed to properly communicate what I was going to do, and so I'll pack and leave and you owe me nothing".
I don't know about you, but I have never met anyone else in my life who would have said what I have told him.
He didn't reflect this fact in his review at all; instead he gave me a 2 out of 10 and he even made slanderous comments about me to boot.
He did pay me something on his own accord, to his credit; however, I got paid a fraction of what he owed me for the work up to that point, not to mention that I would have had the right to a breach-of-contract settlement should I have insisted on it and pursued it. I took the high road.
It should be noted that the brick patch he refers to wasn't finished. He fails to mention that I had sourced out a reclaimed brick that was close to the original units on his house, but he didn't like it. He told me he was the most picky individual I would ever meet in my life.
The job has since been completed by someone else and, from what I can see from looking at it from the street, it certainly doesn't look better than the result I would have achieved. The part that was left to be performed was the "gravy" portion of the contract; and so he's probably saved himself a chunk of cash in the process.

6/10

New Canadian came to install a toilet and convinced me to do a backwater valve instead. Little did they know what they were in for - the pipe diameter in our house was non-standard and they couldn't procure the right valve. They got the job done, but I was surprised they had never seen a non-standard pipe before and knew so little about non-standard stuff. Made me think they are not really the "master plumbers" they might purport to be. Nonetheless, a decent job and no hard feelings. I have since discovered other more experienced plumbers that I will use in the future.

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Company Response

When we came out to your site to install a new back water valve, we discovered that your main drain in the basement was completely all new 6" PVC pipe which is not up to Code according to City Standards. If the work on your main drain was performed by another plumbing company or certified company, they would have never installed 6" PVC pipe; rather, they would have installed 4" PVC pipe as per City code. For this reason, we had difficulty obtaining a 6" back water valve as it is not approved by the City.

6/10

This was the second time I used Heritage Tree, and I had mixed feelings this time. The best part was that Joe came with little notice after the windstorm in July to remove a large maple that had fallen on the house. They came on a Saturday morning no less. Bravo! On the flip side, there were significant problems. During the job, there were big arguments between him and his crew. Later they were dropping big pieces of tree on the ground, shattering a piece of flagstone and leaving 8" craters in the grass (requires landscape repair). Then the stump - the last time, he removed the stump as part of the job - this time, he suggested we let it rot and plant some flowers on top! Finally, Joe was very slippery on pricing. In the end, this two-day job was DOUBLE the price of our last two-day job with him. When we inquired about the reason, he went into a big explanation about how he's running his business differently because he wasn't making enough money before. He also added that he threw his back out climbing up one of our trees!? Joe may be the jolly arborist, but he's not running the tight ship that he used to and I hesitate to recommend him.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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10/10

Alex (pronouced Alec for those in the know) Welsh of York Associates is the most incredible inspector in the GTA, in my opinion. He is so thorough, it makes real estate agents quake in their boots. (Agents will also complain about the length of the inspection because they have to sit around personally and wait while the work is being done, but on completion mine said Alex would be the guy he would call for HIS next purchase!). So bottom line, if you're investing in buying a house, you owe it to yourself to have a proper inspection done. The previous time, we used one of the major inspection companies, who took all of 1.5 hours to breeze through the house with a bunch of disclaimers. Alex, on the other hand, patiently removes all panels (electrical, crawlspace etc.) to see what's behind. He runs all of the systems to check safety and operation. He found things like a coolant leak on an air conditioner, a weak membrane hiding beneath a gravel roof, even a faulty safety switch on a garage door opener. He also posesses excellent judgement on the many unusual situations he encounters on a job, especially for very old homes and even new builds. Last but not least, Alex gives you a killer report on the house, with photos documenting all the issues, recommended follow-ups, highly relevant links to handy references with more information and preventive maintenance, and finally his famour 'contractor list' of guys that have proven themselves to his clients over the years on everything from buried oil tank investigations to drain plumbing and flat roof replacements. As some of these companies handle very specialized requests, it's a great supplement to what you might find on Homestars. We also found Alex accessible for the inevitable tricky situations that come up post-purchase - he even remembers the details of the house (photographic memory). So overall, he's a fantastic ally for home owners from start to finish!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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7/10

Stonehouse is a good labour company - by this I mean they work hard and are thorough on working the land. Horticultural knowledge is another story - they butchered our burning bushes and yews and didn't seem so knowledgeable on the finer aspect of pruning. A pleasant bunch of guys otherwise and decent overall.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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10/10

Dave Fawcett and team did a great job on some wiring in our home, which included some knob and tube work. He comes across as a consummate professional, quiet, thoughtful, focused instead of the typical salesman. We reflected on the quote, which was clearly not the cheapest, but we realized this was a guy who knows what he is doing and won't burn the house down! Well, these guys showed up and operated like clockwork as a team, wiring across floors with the smallest, neatest holes and switches both exterior and interior. Everything went smooth as silk, but here's the best part... In the weeks that followed, we noticed some flickering across the lights of the house, like something wasn't quite right. Thinking it was related to the work Dave's team did, we called him and asked for help. He came out twice to inspect and check free-of-charge before suggesting we get Toronto Hydro involved, since it involved the entire house. When Hydro finally narrowed things down to the meter box, which had oxidized coincidentally around the same time. The Hydro guys said "most electricians don't know how to do a street disconnect anymore", but Dave is a master electrician who was able to take care of business even for this task. Highly recommend for the ultimate in professionalism and skill!!!

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5/10

We used Bill Bishop for a bunch of work in our house including drywall, electrical, flooring and painting. Bill always seemed to be a straightforward guy and fairly knowledgeable. When the work was being done, we noticed the workers did not really seem like skilled tradesmen. Well, now that months have passed since the work was done, we have noticed a number of problems, including air drafts, water leakage and even a door that swings open by itself (poorly mounted). Bill came by once to take a look, but didn't really follow-up or take interest. Seems like he just "moved on". Hard to recommend someone like that...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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1/10

We had good experiences with Custom Lawn for start-ups and winterizations, so decided to let them overhaul our system. That's when EVERYTHING WENT WRONG. They promised the world, pointing out all the problems with our current system and committing to our complete satisfaction with their warranty. They said multiple crews would be needed, and I was surprised when only two guys showed up. Well, it was clearly a rush job -- some areas had great coverage and others seemed bone dry. When we asked them, they said "don't worry" or "we always use double coverage". In the weeks since they left, significant patches of grass started to turn brown, and many flowers became wilted. They said it must be the "runtimes" and suggested increasing them. We doubled the runtimes, but the problems did not go away. I even checked first-hand, turning on the system and standing barefoot on the brown grass. Guess what - no water!! The guys then became very cagey with a million excuses about the weather, the plants, the program, even the price. They fiddled with the system again and again, but were unable to fix the problems. Once the guy quietly drove away during the service call without any explanation. I quickly realized these guys are totally incompetent believing they are right and the customer is wrong. Because it's a family-run business, it's quickly becomes you vs. "the family", and nobody messes with the family, if you get my drift. STAY AWAY FROM THESE GUYS!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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First Review

1/10

Lee Benson of Simplee Gardens is not someone you want to be dealing with. She came across as very pleasant in the beginning, but it became readily apparent as time went on (and bills started to come in) that she is extremely opinionated, and will most certainly give you what SHE wants, in spite of asking you about your preferences. We painstaingly took photos of what we liked, a clean open look of grass punctuated by colorful border flowers. What did we get from Lee, after weeks of design work? Piles upon piles of perennial plants and trees. We realized what was going on after the fact, when she referred us to her high school classmate landscaper to build her design... the landscaper makes their money on plants, and we later found out this is a common ploy (the designer designs for plants for the benefit of the landscaper). Other landscapers laughed at the design, and said we would be building a jungle, and that it was CRAZY to have so many plants. So, the bottom line is that Lee was stubborn, missed her deadlines and has questionable integrity. However, she firmly believes she is right in each instance. Very disappointed -- we used about 10% of the design and shredded the rest. What a waste of time and money!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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5/10

I was not very impressed with Pella after our large replacement project was completed. Chris Savoie is clearly just a typical commissioned sales guy who flees as soon as the contract is signed. These guys love to give you an estimate with no itemization and lots of very fine text next to each item. In the end, even Chris screwed some stuff up on the order. The installers arrived on schedule, but were I'll-equipped for the job, as they ended up working into the night, and 'finished' with parts missing, forgot the weather stripping on one window, and did 'extensive' caulking on several windows - the smell lasted for 3 months in the room... For the $27,000 I paid, am I satisfied? Absolutely not. The only good thing is they sent a 'recovery specialist' twice to fix the problems the installed had caused. unfortunately the roll screens recently broke, so that poor guy will be coming back again. Another contractor explained that the only reasons Pella is so well known is because they advertise the most, not because they have a great product. It's probably still above-average stuff, but with a high-end price. I would not use these monkeys again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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First Review

10/10

The guys at Arton did a great job for us on a large landscape overhaul. We ripped out trees, re-graded the land, put down sod, planted several undred bulbs, built a fence+gate through a large tree and a few other things. These guys are thorough, hardworking and have excellent follow-up. They want to make sure you're happy -- for example, they came by to powerwash out driveway to get rid of the leftover mud, and put up some Christmas lights on the fence, all at no extra charge. One other thing is that they do design work, but are not too opinionated - they actually listen to what you want and make appropriate suggestions rather than try to convince you to do it their way. It's nice to see people who really care about a job well done. We're planning to get them back in the spring to put in some trees and shrubs and do some more planting. Great job overall.

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3/10

I've used Streakfree twice, and both times, the guys have been so rushed, they missed some eavestroughs, leaving them full of leaves. The generally do the ones within reach first, and are more inclined to skip the ones higher up. I called them less than an hour after they left, and they said they'd come back. Never did. So I'm really not impressed and can't say I'd recommend them to others.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

Thanks for taking the time to write about Streakfree Window Cleaning. We would like to take the time to apologize for the poor service you received in the past with our company. We regret that you had a negative experience and have already started working hard to rebuild this great brand in the GTA. We have since reviewed and changed our daily practices in order to avoid these types of issues. If you are open to giving us a chance, I’m sure we can change your perception of Streakfree Window Cleaning. Thanks for taking the time to provide such valuable feedback and we hope to serve you again in the future.

10/10

These guys are pros - nothing to complain about. I wish more contractors were like this - thorough, exacting, efficient, knowledgeable and friendly. Ben took excellent care of us throughout the process.

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Company Response

Awesome! Ben is a truly service-oriented consultant and we're pleased that you were so happy with the job.

2/10

Lawrence Park appeared reasonable enough during the quotation process (referred through a friend). They weren't the cheapest, but seemed to convey expertise, reputation and ability to delivery on a complex landscaping overhaul. Their quote was somewhat vague (eg. how far they would go), but we relied on our conversations with them to get it right. That's the end of the good story. Their guys arrived grumbling about lack of communication from "the office". They started picking away and then fired up some equipment to dregde the property of groundcover. When they were done, they had only covered two thirds of the agreed-upon area, and presented a new quote for the "additional" work. There were also scrape marks all over our flagstone and stray debris/roots everywhere. When we asked if they were going to clean it up, they said "no need". At this point, the person in charge of the job went on vacation for 2 weeks, passing our case over to someone else who knew little about landscaping and said she could not comment. For a first-time customer, we were shocked at the casual approach to the work and poor quality. Even our neighbours mentioned the work seemed to be poorly done. When we got another landscaper in to finish the job and start some additional work, the same neighbour mentioned "these new guys really did a thorough job. They even tilled the soil". So, lesson learned: stay away from Lawrence Park Garden Care!!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

We are sorry this client had a bad experience. We do strive to create the best possible service experience for our garden clients. We take responsibility for our work which has helped us to stay in business for over 25 years with a loyal customer base. Given the opportunity, we always try to come to a compromise that everyone is happy with. We welcome feedback as it helps us to improve our processes.

10/10

These guys are phenomenal - I don't even know where to start. Ben, Luc's son, came to quote the job. Most roofers would just stand and eyeball the roof from a comfortable vantage point. Ben's line is: "do you mind if I put a ladder up?" Within SECONDS, he'll perched on the highest point of your house like an eagle to get a good, bird's eye view of the situation! In fact, his descriptions of the issues, work to be performed and approach were so precise and insightful, I decided to hire him on the spot. The job was highly complex - all kinds of corners, angles, walls, dimensions, skylights, railings and very few drains, necessitating precision sloping to ensure the roof drained properly. (After the job, Ben confessed it was one of the toughest roofs his team had tackled in YEARS!) So how did it go? Well, Ben knew I wanted to get going and found a way to slot me in a week earlier than expected. The crew arrived in a sparkling clean truck loaded with carefully organized supplies. Unlike the previous roofer that had been arguing with each other all day, these guys worked silently and steadily. The only sounds were of a precision roof being built. All the seams fit together beautifully ... the sloping was exact ... the capping immaculate. Deficiencies in past roofs were found, communicated and corrected without issue. Ben would pop by several times a day like a skilled project manager to monitor progress, keep me abreast of what they were seeing and checking my preferences on how they were addressing the issues. I can honestly say I was never in the dark about what was going on. Ben jokingly mentioned that his guys knew enough in carpentry to build an entire house. After seeing the roofing, I believe it! So how did it turn out? Well, after heavy rainfall, there is basically NO WATER left on the roof -- it all drains out with near perfection. In terms of the price, I think Luc's is good value. Not the cheapest, not the most expensive. But for a mid-range price, you get top-class work. These guys are straight shooters, and inform you upfront on the quote what's fixed and where there may be some variation based on issues they anticipate. Overall a fantastic experience. No regrets ... excellent work. No hesitation to recommend. I wish more contractors were like this!

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Company Response

Wow, thanks for the great and very detailed review! Yes, Ben and the crew members are second to none. We are definitely proud of them. They take service and quality to heart so that customers like yourself end up with an excellent product.

1/10

It's not a roofing company, in fact, but just one guy called Evan. This kid came to Toronto and lives in a Rosedale basement, pandering to unsuspecting residents with lines like "we do this work all the time". Through the course of the job, I discovered he doesn't actually know much about roofing, just enough to sell the job. He bids cheap, using sub-contractors who are happy to do crappy work because Evan is taking on their warranty risk, while having no intention of honouring it. One sub-contractor commented: "Does Canada Specialty honour their warranty, well, not so much." Like the other reviewer mentioned, Evan clearly does not value his reputation at all. In terms of the job, it took MONTHS and was still never done. The was one problem after another including water leakage, property damage and a terrible looking roof. I don't even like to think about it. In the end we hired a roofing consultant to check the place out and the verdict was "guaranted leakage within 1-2 years." He said, sadly, he sees this stuff every week. When the replacement roofer came (incidentally one with a 10/10 rating on Homestars), they discovered all kinds of crazy stuff, like 5 layers of roof piled on top of one another, insultation missing in places and rotten wood underneath. I saw it with my own eyes -- it's unconscionable that Canada Specialty would do this. Don't make the same mistake I made -- it can only lead to much bigger problems and bills than you ever bargained for. You will regret it.

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10/10

Joe from Heritage really took care of business on short notice and on a highly compex job. We had a large, 4-trunk manitoba maple removed and dead wood cleanup on about a dozen very tall trees. He and his team were efficient and really bounced around up there trimming dead branches and bringing 'em down. He was also generous with his time and the neighbours noticed what a quality job they did. There's much more light, and the trees don't look overgrown anymore. Nothing to complain about -- they did a great job end-to-end. We're thinking about just bringing them by every year for maintenance now. Pricing also very competitive. No hesitation to recommend.

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9/10

Snap showed up on demand to take care of large rodents in our rafters. It took 4 visits to complete the job, as there were raccoons and squirrels in there, and one of them got into the house. They did a great job and even came on Christmas eve when things got tense. Best of all, it was all included in th eprice -- excellent value for money. These guys were friendly, focused and took care of business.

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Company Response

Thanks.Joe