We love our living space...We believe in the relationship business. 20 years of life long relationships with our clients by hiring the best people and standing behind our work. Hourouring our promise and creating the living space project for you! Creators of beautiful kitchens washrooms and finished Basements.. .come vist our state of the art showroom read more...
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We hired Living space to renovate our basement on March, 2016. At first, the owner Stephen Busato came across as being sincere and knowing what he was talking about, and promised to finish the work on time and high quality. After winning our trust and signing the contract, with time going on, he shows the different side of him.
The contract started on June 13 and expected to finish on July 28th. However, he only dispatched one or two people work on one or two days a week; therefore, by the week of July 28th, only the frame and dry wall were finished. We renegotiated the timeline for the contract where he promised to finish all the works on August 11th, 2016. By end of July 28th, we paid him 80% of the total project amount as he promised to buy all the materials. But terrible things occurred after we just paid the money. We got ESA’s notification requiring to stop the renovation. We then realized that he has no electrical license to finish the electrical work in my basement; however, at the discussion of the contract he promised us he has all the required licenses (The employee he fired by end of July told ESA he has no license). The project on my basement was stopped at the beginning of August, 2016.
He promised to coordinate the ESA requirement and all the cost on him to avoid a big penalty. However, after hiring the licensed electrician, he refused to pay any fees including to the contracted electrician and buying the installing lights related materials. In order to meet the deadline required by ESA to avoid cut the power to our home, we have to paid everything. He promised he will immaterially resume the project after past ESA’s inspection. Also, he signed paper with me to deduct my cost from the next payment to him after he resumed project.
Workmanship is not what we expected for the money we paid. After ESA’s inspection closed, Stephen disappeared and does not reply me any email or message or phone. Including the extra pay to meet ESA’s requirement and overpaid before ESA’s issue, we have paid more than 95% of the total project amount but the project is just less than half done now. It left our basement in a mess.
Stephen Busato contacted with me in the beginning of February, 2017 after I filed complain to BBB and others. He promised to finish the project with a new contract dates by increasing the budget. He promised he will follow the contracts closely as lessons learned from last year and ask us to give him one more chance. The contract started at Feb. 27, 2017 and targeted to finish at March 27, 2017. However, he disappeared again after the project is in the middle.
I strongly warn anyone thinking of hiring Stephen Busato and Living Space Improvements, DO NOT USE THEM. As all our friends, family and contractors who have seen this mess in our basement has said, these people should not be in business.
Very bad and sad experience. We posted our project on Trustedpros website in Spetmeber 2015 and Stephen come to me after we negotiate prize, I gave my job to him. Meanwhile, because my other friends is also looking for some contractor to finish their basement. I told Spethen if he did good job , I might referral him to my friend. I thought Stephen and his team tried hard to do good work for my basement. I am not a criticized woman although I felt some small unsatisfied for his job and he delayed done his work for almost two months I just accepted it. And I also refreal Sptephen to a few of my friends. All of my friends had horrible experience for his work .
As for my basement, a few month after it was done. I found there was a very big gap between the door and cabinet for my basement bar. It couldn't be closed tightly. I called Stephen, and told him I might have some other work for him to do.Finianlly, he come and I show the problem cabinet door to him, he took the door away and promised he would do a new door for me.
He took the door away in June 2016, but until now, he didn't come back to put the new door for me. At beginning, he always had excuse for delay, then now I totally lost his message. My basement bar is still missing one door there. There are also other some small problem about his job , we can fix by ourself, but for this cabinet door, it is hard to be fixed by myself unless we ask another cabinet company to tear off whole bar.
Very sad and disppointed
Last summer we hired Living Space Improvements (LSI), Stephen Busato, to renovate our Kitchen and main floor living area. The project was scheduled to be completed in 4 to 5 weeks time but ended up taking close to 10 weeks total. We were completely DISAPPOINTED and FRUSTRATED with the end results. The unlicensed electrical, plumbing and overall careless workmanship conducted was extremely unprofessional and performed by incompetent staff.
At the beginning of the project Stephen appeared to be very professional and knowledgeable. The quality of the work was in every aspect lacking in preparation, planning, quality control, and quality workmanship. In the end we were left having to spend close to $5000.00 to fix safety and quality errors that were not addressed by the Stephen relating to plumbing and extreme electrical problems. After numerous attempts to contact them via phone, email and text over the last 2 months we have heard nothing back!
In the beginning we were told by Stephen (and his designer at the time named Kailee Douglas) that all work would be performed by licensed and experienced workers. Our timeline went way over and with the aggressive payment plans we were sucked into giving the company thousands of dollars in advance. When we learned that LSI had walked away from other jobs owing clients money here in town for unfinished or poor work quality, including a supplier (Aurora Granite), we got very nervous and had to monitor the rest of our project extremely closely.
On completion (?), we had to hire an electrical company to fix all of the wiring issues. As our house has some aluminum wiring we monitored the work very closely, especially when Stephen began to use devices not rated for aluminum wires in his connections. Also when issues were brought up directly to him we were told that they were not code issues, but were “wish list issues.”
In the final stages, we discovered that our 24 pot lights were not up to code (IC rated and a fire hazard with our attic insulation), and had to spend close to $4000.00 fixing their incompetent errors. No permits were taken out which LSI claimed they would do when we signed up initially. We worked with a licensed electrical company to monitor the situation and correct their potentially life threatening work once we realized what we had gotten into.
After the install of our new kitchen sink that Stephen himself hooked up, we discovered it was leaking. Stephen then fixed the piping using extreme amounts of silicone which was wrapped in about one entire roll of electrical tape. We had to hire a plumber to come and re-pipe the entire system.
The mudding, taping of the drywall, trim work and painting are poorly done and we will need to have our entire ceiling patched and painted. Stephen made several mistakes cutting the pot lights as he clearly didn’t measure and simply repacked our ceiling holes which are all showing!
When cutting for the floor boards for the vents, the boards were not measured and no standard size of vent would fit. What was supposed to be a 3 by 10 was nearly 6 by 12. We were required to repair this ourselves cutting from cut-offs to insert into the area to properly fit a register in. They also did not put an underlay under the flooring, which almost seems comical now as they have posted “How To” videos on their website recommending a vapour barrier, which is completely misleading with the work they did considering the manufacturer states a barrier is mandatory on their webpage.
During the renovation period Stephen would disappear days at a time claiming to be sick in the hospital, out of the country, or that he would not come to our house and work for free.
We are in complete SHOCK that they claim to have 20 years experience operating the way they do. We also never received our receipts for half of the reno payments. Finally, we do NOT recommend this company to anyway as it has been a very unpleasant and stressful experienced.
My husband and I signed a contract with Stephen. He seemed like a nice man to work with in the beginning. We met at the design centre to firm things up, discuss our plans and choose our specific counter tops. He told us the one we picked out was going to cost $80 a square foot. We met with him again at the design centre. After spending an hour and a half with him, as we were getting ready to go out the door, he said, "oh.. by the way, Aurora tile is saying the tile you picked out is not $80 a square foot, but $140 a square foot. He said I must have made a mistake.
Long story short.... we did our homework and discovered this was false. When we confronted him, he said..."but you said you'd pay". Then he got angry saying Aurora tile had no business talking to my clients.
When he came by to do prep work for the counters, he made a mess with the caulking and just left it. We told him we wanted trades people to do the plumbing. When it was time to do the work he said...I am the plumber. We decided to go above him and hire a licensed Plumber.
We could never reach him. He always had an excuse why. His cell wasn't working, he had an emergency, always some excuse.
He made such a mess with everything he touched that we decided at the end to just pay him what we agreed to, minus the extra $60. A square foot for the counters and cut ties with him.
If your thinking about hiring this man, please pay attention to my review.
Sorry that you feel this way as this was some time ago and it comes to us as a shock and very confussed why you would send this?? First was explained that the counter top price is only a estimate, the real price will be determined once the fabicator does there messurements and supply us a quote, yes the price was higher as first thought but it was also explained that there are 5 different levels to silestone pricing and you choose the most expensive. Your issue with the caulking, there was none done from us. The counter top was caulked after it was installed in which you said your husband will do.
You never asked us to have a trade to do the plumbing, you only called one in after your husband tried to do himself as his words were to save money.
I never told you about some emergency? We have both office and toll free numbers on our contracts and business cards. We were on site in your home 3 times, once to do quote, other to do prep work and the day the counter was installed..In fact after leaving that day both you and your husband was very happy with the work and was happy.
Contact us if you need any other assistance.
Living Space Improvements has a TrustScore™ of 1.7. The average TrustScore™ for other businesses providing similar services in Stouffville and the surrounding areas is 3.2. For detailed information on how TrustScore is calculated, click here.
The following elements are used to calculate TrustScore:
|Customer Reviews||Last 12 Months||All Time|
|Complaints Received||Last 12 Months||Last 3 Years|
|Suppliers & Creditors||0||0|
|Employees & Sub-Contractors||0||0|
|Posted License Information||N/A|
|Posted Liability Insurance||Not yet provided|
|Posted Workers Compensation||Yes|
|Social Media Profiles||Not yet provided|
|Endorsed by Peers||Not yet endorsed|
|In Business Since||1995|
|Member of TrustedPros Since||2015|
TrustedPros does not validate certain information provided by contractors and vendors in conjunction with the creation or maintenance of their profile and we cannot endorse or guarantee the performance of any contractor. TrustScores are provided for informational purposes only. We urge you to use the TrustScore™ in conjunction with the tips provided in our Hiring Guide to maximize the probability of hiring the best professional for you project.
We love our living space...We believe in the relationship business. 20 years of life long relationships with our clients by hiring the best people and standing behind our work. Hourouring our promise and creating the living space project for you! Creators of beautiful kitchens washrooms and finished Basements.. .come vist our state of the art showroom and design centre December 2015!!
|Main contact(s)||Stephen Busato|
|Alternate Phone Numbers||844-342-8080|
|Listed with TrustedPros since:||2015|
|Accepts credit cards||Yes|
|24 Hour emergency service||No|
|Legal structure||Sole Proprietor|
|Licensing information||Business does not require a trade license|
|Insurance information||Contact Living Space Improvements to request insurance details.|
Check local laws pertaining to license requirements and verify license and insurance details provided by the contractor prior to hiring.
Living Space Improvements has contributed 12 responses to the following questions posted in the 'Ask the Pros' forum