My experience working with IDNC was challenging given the circumstances. It is safe to say that the stigma of the word "contractor" holds true. In my case, my bathroom reno was a minor job (demolishing old shower stall and installing a new one), but was a major pain. I will describe my experience with examples. It is one individual in particular who brought this all down. Keep in mind that the project manager was absent the final days of the project, which I was aware of. He assured me that he trusted his employees and I took his word for it, however would beg to differ.
First, I would question how they mean by being "professional" when they insist on using MY supplies, step ladder, vacuum cleaner, ... Communicating with this contractor was difficult when I asked him to bring back my extension chord after he left with it. He then asked what an extension chord was. I had to act out the object that he took. Needless to say, English was not his first language.
I will give them credit for being courteous and somewhat accommodating. The Project Manager asked me for feedback recently, which prompted me to write this review. Here is my response:
- Were you satisfied the services you received? To some extent. I am still trying to fix up parts of your work (re-plastering a wall, repainting, removing the shoddy silicone job,â€¦). My bathroom project was done end of November and Iâ€™m still working on this (June).
- What were the weak points of our services? I would say the carelessness of one of your employees in particular. If he represents your company, I would question his integrity and his ability to produce quality work.
- Would you refer us to your friends in the future? I would say no because my experience was just too aggravating and stressful.
-Have you had any problem with our work? I still don't understand why your workers had to use my supplies (sometimes without asking permission). This really irked me. Also, no one likes surprises like your telling me that I had to be charged for materials halfway through the project. This was not something that I agreed to. I did not know how to react to this besides frustration.
- Other comment? Your team needs constant supervision if they are going to throw garbage behind my walls. I would refer to this as the candy wrapper incident where the contractor decided to use the opening for the pipes as his personal garbage can.
I will highlight the things that went right: a licensed plumber was hired. Disposal of waste was provided at no additional charges. Overall, friendly staffâ€¦ not sure if they were all licensed contractors though.
In the end, I got a new shower (which I have yet to use). I realize that this company had to fit my job in on short notice and did the best they could based on the fact that my bathroom project was not officially planned. However, the fact remains that they still took this upon themselves. I would say that I didn't feel rushed nor did I feel I rushed them. They did spend a lot of time in my house and went over different ideas with me, which I appreciated. The only part that was rushed was the wrap-up since the contractor just packed up all of his stuff and left. He didnâ€™t tidy up properly and construction dust got all over downstairs (the whole floor) since they did not cover anything except when they used MY plastic sheets to cover the area on which they walked. The shower looks good from far, but then look closer and ask â€œwhatâ€™s this? Is it supposed to look like this?â€. When the PM returned, I showed him the final work. He listened to my concerns after I pointed out all the issues with work. The PM asked what would make up for the shortfall and we agreed that I would get a price break on the project (the cost of the additional materials). Overall, working this company could have been better. Of course, it could have been worse too. I got what I paid for. It was fair.
Response from Intelligent Design and Construction Inc. (IDNC)
Dear Handy Canadian,
I would like to raise my concern about the following feedback and I believe that it is an unfair judgment about the services that our company has offered to Ms. Mable.
I submitted my estimate for Ms. Mable s work on October 27, 2009. The initial work which was agreed upon included replacing the existing shower tiles with new ones. The response I received was that she decided not to give her project to us, and would rather give it to a friend s friend.
I was contacted again around November 22, 2009 by Ms. Mable; she informed me that she has got one week off from work, however, the friend who was supposed to take care of her project had never shown up. She informed me that she was stuck with one week off from work and without any contractor, and she asked me to get the contract even with such short notice.
I decided to take this project although we were in the middle of a complete house renovation, only to get the company known in Brossard were she was located; and also, according to the estimates that I have had the job would take a maximum of two days to be finished. I offered her our minimum charge, only to have her as a referral in that particular district were we have had never worked before.
As soon as the project was started, I noticed that a very unprofessional job was done before us in the shower area. The shower walls were previously covered by plywoods nailed to the studs; the tiles were glued to the plywoods which were completely molded and the mold was spread to the adjacent room (laundry room). Therefore, the scope of the project was increased substantially, and I could not withdraw at that time since it was not fair to the client. Therefore, I had to hire 3 more extra people, which were not part of my crew to be able to finish the job before December 1st.
At this point, the client (Ms. Mable) demanded for an extension of her shower to the laundry room which required several additional tasks (including: total change of the shower plumbing system, reinstalling the shower base, installing new drywalls for the bathroom ceiling, etc.); also, she demanded for the installation of spot lights in her bathroom ceiling and changing of her bathroom fan.
The market price for doing all these tasks should be around $7000 including the material. Ms. Mable informed me that she did not anticipate this much in her budget and we have had already demolished the existing walls when she informed me of this. The price that would at least cover my expenses was $3500 and this is the price that I offered her considering that I needed to get a good referral in that area. She was happy at that time with the estimate that I gave her but I did mention to her that the company is going to be closed on December.
The work finishing (including plastering and painting) was not finished until the beginning of December. I have asked one of my sub-contractors to contact Ms. Mable in December and make appointment with her to finish the project. My contractor was advised by Ms. Mable that she is only available on the weekends and not during the week. Therefore, my sub-contractor did not agree to work on the weekends to finish her project.
I was abroad in December and my contact here in Montreal advised me of this matter; I was informed that Ms. Mable has requested to have the job finished on the coming weekend and she was not going to let my sub-contractors work during the week. I had to contact one of my workers to go to Ms. Mable place on a weekend and take care of the finishing of the place, without any supervision.
Ms. Mable has started communicating with my worker without informing me. My worker has finished the work and has left her place and she did not send any email or left me any message regarding his work.
When I returned to Montreal in January I did contact her to see if everything was OK and I did went to her place to see the final work and give her the invoice. At this point, she mentioned to me that my worker, during my absence, have used her vacuum cleaner at the end of the work, and has taken her extension cord and paint bucket by mistake; also, I was informed that she has had difficulty communicating with my worker since his first language is not English.
I did ask her why she had not contacted me in the meanwhile through email or has not left me a message on the company s phone, stating her in-satisfaction; I told her that I will pay for anything that is taken from her place buy mistake. She did finally bought herself an extension cord and all the other items and I did pay for that; also, I did buy her an extra cord (the most expensive one) just to make her happy. I did examine the final finishing when I went to her place, and noticed that the job was not completed perfectly and did required about 4 hours of work.
I offered her to have the job finished perfectly to her satisfaction as soon as possible; however, she did not accept that and she requested for a reduction of $500 in the price. I have had already covered only my costs with $3500 that I have had requested, however, I did accept her request and only charged her $3000. She told me that she will have her friend which is a professional take care of the final finishing. I did also give her a gift and did apologize for the inconvenience that the timing might have caused her.
In addition, to verify the weak points of our work and to follow-up on the proper functioning of her bathroom, I did send her a feedback email on May 10, 2010; she responded that she will answer to my questions through the Handy Canadian website.
In conclusion, our company has had several full house renovation projects, as well as a couple of smaller projects. I can forward you the contact information of our previous customer s, in order for you to verify the quality of our work and in particular the timing and budgeting. I still think that the following review is not a fair review for the work that was offered to Ms. Mable.
I would appreciate if you ever decide to post the following review on your website, to also post our response to her. We are really sorry that she has not been able to finish her project, I did offer for a second time to do the final finishing in her bathroom in May when I heard that she has still not finished the job to her satisfaction. Yet, she has refused my offer for a second time.