Allan Brough out of Peterborough, ON is the mason who owns this company.
We hired this mason for 2 reasons:
1) He insured us the fireplace would be complete prior to our moving into our new house on July 12, 2013.
2) He was recommended by the fireplace company where we purchased the fireplace, chimney, venting, stone etc.
The short story: we trusted this mason to be honest and did not do due diligence in the hiring. There were many red flags which we looked past because we wanted to get this project done quickly. First, the mason insisted on a cash deal with no contract as it was "in our best interest". Second, he told us we did not need a permit for the work (which is untrue as he reported us to the township for not having a permit claiming we turned it down). Third, he insisted on phone conversations when we preferred email - no paper trail for what he was telling us. Fourth, he did not disclose that this project was not his main job - it was being done on the side at his convenience. Fifth he requested (and we provided) a large up front cash payment of $1000 (35% of quote).
This is the first major renovation we have ever done to a home. We did not do our homework/research to know what pitfalls we were headed for. We should have known better but we trusted and were burned. Allan Brough was fired after being 1 month overdue from the project end date.
We provided access to our home to Mr. Brough on 10 different days. (we have since been told this was a 3 day job, max). After each visit our home was covered in dust (which we have been told is a result from cutting stone indoors - a big NO). After each visit to the project, with the work still incomplete, Mr. Brough always had a reason (excuse) as to why the work was not done and he always came back to the "fact" that we did not give him access to the house the weekend we moved in (movers needing no one in the way, my parents coming to visit, MOVING IN) but he fails to realize (a) we never told him he could come in as the project due date was July 11 and (b) there is zero logic in having the install when we have parents, our 2 yr old and movers in the house.
The deficiencies in the workmanship are numerous and include:
- no taping of railing, ceiling, walls - he claimed the mortar would crumble off with a wet cloth. Wrong.
- cut electrical left live and dangling in our utility room
- exposed nail @ ground level (hazard for a 2yr old)
- cultured stone not installed - pieces sliding out by hand
- mortar left to dry/cure on cultured stone (another big no-no due to this stone being dyed concrete - scraping it removes dye)
- mortar left to dry/cure on grates and fireplace unit face
- damage done to our hardwood floors where it appears a running saw blade was placed on floor
- wood nooks not uniform as per direction provided - nooks not cut straight and seams not sealed
- - stone mantle not installed full length as requested and mantle mortar left with gaps in it
- on request of the mason 2 additional boxes of flats were ordered. In all 60% excess stone was ordered and picked through making it un-returnable.
The contractors we had in to review the work and provide quotes were unimpressed with the job done to date (and this is putting it mildly).
Mr. Brough has threatened us verbally and in writing on 3 occasions and it now appears he is following through (reporting us to the township).
We would not recommend using this mason's "services" to anyone. It is too bad I can only attach 5 pictures but the trend is telling.