We hired Sergiu at the start of Jan. 2017 for basement work with timeline 6 to 8 weeks. The contract wasn't as detailed as we'd like but he said not to worry at the time.
He was great to work with at the start, his worker kept the area clean & worked alone for the most part. The job was delayed by approx. 2 weeks due to a foundation leak but I was able to bring in other companies to fix the problem efficiently. We also had to make some changes here & there as we went along like any basement job will go through. We even got him to install a garburator on the main floor during his time, which we paid for separately.
The electrician he hired, had caused our hot water to stop working, which he fixed the next morning. We also had an issue with our shaw gateway due to the basement work, which the electrician came to try to fix, but couldn't. (Shaw came 3 days later & fixed the issue in 5 minutes & said it was caused by work done by the Shaw Box in the Electrical Panel). He never once mentioned he would be charging us to come by before coming & volunteered & was eager to come at 7 PM to fix the TV, even when I told him that the morning will be fine. I mentioned this to Sergiu, & he said he will talk with the electrician as we shouldn't have been charged for those issues. The final invoice contained work done on the Garburator, Hot Water, TV & Speakers. Sergiu & I came to an agreement on how to deal with it. The Hot Water & TV issues will be covered by Sergiu. Garburator work was covered by me. & any additional basement work will be discussed & paid for by me at the end of the job.
On April 3, Sergiu asked for a $2940 payment that wasn't part of the signed contract to pay for carpet & tiles. I didn't hesitate to let him know to send me the invoice & I will e-transfer him the money.
On Monday, April 3, he also sent me a text to let me know that he is waiting for an answer from the ceiling texture guy for coming on Tuesday or Wednesday. On Tuesday, April 4, he said the ceiling texture guys are coming today, & to confirm where we want the texture. I replied 2 minutes later saying that we don't want to texture the ceiling & go with flat everywhere. This is a change to the signed contract, as it states texture ceiling, & Sergiu messaged me that this will be the same cost either way. I said OK. (See rest of review for the reason this is mentioned).
I asked on April 6 how the schedule is looking & he said about 2 weeks.
April 11th, the Electrician installed the lights, they were a warm white color (light orange color), I mentioned to Sergiu that this doesn't match the main floor lights as we discussed before we started any work, as they are brighter white. Although not written in the contract as white lights, we mentioned that we want bright lights in the basement the same as upstairs when we discussed the scope of work at the start.
April 19th, I asked Sergiu about the possibility of finishing 4 windows without trim & he gave me the cost if we choose to do that & I messaged him to stop work on trimming the last 2 windows for now. I wanted to figure out a path forward with my wife. I also messaged to ask him how much longer they will need to finish the basement, & he said about 2 weeks. I messaged back that it has taken longer than expected, atleast 16 weeks).
Today, Thursday, April 20, I got a message at 10:45 AM that he has stopped working. Saying that we are wanting all the changes for free, & that we don't want to pay for them & that he hopes we get it done how we like without him.
I don't accept paying for things that weren't caused by myself (ie. Hot Water & TV issues) or that were installed incorrectly (warm lights vs white lights) as explained above. He is changing his story now to fit his reasoning for leaving the job last minute. The basement is incomplete & now I have to find another contractor to attempt to finish the job.
The $2940 payment for the carpet and tiles was used for $500 deposit on carpet, and when I asked him to pay/return the $2440 for the rest of the carpet payment, he said he used it to pay the electrician instead. UPDATE: After messaging Sergiu on Sunday, April 23, asking for carpet payment by Tuesday or having my lawyer involved, the carpet was paid for by Sergiu on Monday, April 24.
Lesson learned: Make sure you have all the details you require for any work written in contract before signing, preferably with price breakdown.