At Paramount Basements we feel that the first critical step of finishing your basement is the design and planning stage because without a solid foundation you cannot build a solid project. We arrange a one on one consultation with the home owner, present samples and options; create an options work sheet and one other very important thing ï¿½we listenï¿½. read more...
We hired Stephen Busato/Paramount Basements to renovate our basement approximately three years ago. The resulting experience was very negative and we are extremely disappointed with the final outcome of this project. Workmanship and attention to detail are of the poorest quality. We have spent thousands of dollars to fix or improve the obvious areas of poor workmanship. There is no doubt that we will once again gut our basement, budget permitting, and start completely over with a reputable contractor. The list of problems is virtually endless, including: very substandard drywall installation (obvious mud/tape lines throughout basement), grossly uneven laminate flooring, all interior doors are not installed square (leading to impaired function, rubbing, etc.), massive amounts of caulking applied everywhere, electrical shorts, painted directly over top mud/filler without prior sanding, substandard ceramic tile installation, walls not close to plumb, etc, etc.
We acknowledge that it is 100% our fault for not checking his work routinely and verifying that the work was been completed to a high level. Understand though that he quoted to the job to be complete in three months.....he left after five months with the job still not complete. He did not return to finish his work despite multiple email messages and voicemail requests.
In the strongest possible terms, we cannot come close to recommending Stephen Busato/Paramount Basements.
We selected Paramount Basements because we felt Mr. Busato listened to our concerns. He stated safety was very important so he only uses licensed electricians and plumbers as detailed in our signed contract. He called 2 days before starting notifying us to clear out the basement. He came asked for his next cheque (as per contract) and then told us that we would need to pay extra to seal cracks in the foundation. The contract stated any and all would be fixed so he finally said OK but suggested we install a subfloor, we agreed and did not see him for a week. He took this as an opportunity to change our payment schedule; we did not discuss or agree to it. He changed the % due and advanced the payment schedule in his favour, less work completed but we pay more much sooner. We made it clear we did not agree to this and signed nothing. He continued to ask for cheques on new timeframes and claimed he was going to bounce cheques if we did not pay him. We applied for plumbing permit; he told us he would take care of the electrical permit as required by a contractor. Our contract stated a licensed plumber and electrician would be used. This was a part of the contract he intended to honour. He said the rough in electrical (that he did) was ready for inspection and we needed to arrange for the inspection as he had let his license expire, something his showcase basement owner was not aware of either. We had already paid him approximately 50% of the job. In order for us to have his work inspected we had to take days off work, apply for the permit (cost for a homeowner is $110 more than for a licensed contractor and he refused to deduct that or our time from the bill). The first time the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) inspector came for the rough in inspection he said it failed immediately. We then consulted an actual licensed electrician so that Mr. Busato would know what was needed to complete the work to code (i.e. tamper resistant outlets, which he did not think were necessary as others were still sold at the store). When it came time for the final electrical inspection, he said he was ready for, we searched the ESA website and found out he was not so we cancelled the appointment to avoid yet another charge. We gave him a printout of what is required (i.e. all plates in place, panel labeled) for a final inspection since he did not know. We simply wanted the contract honoured by hiring professionals; I guess our family's safety is not so important to him. Our lawyer said we were right to insist on having permits because if there was a fire related to his work the insurance company would not have to pay since he was not licensed and it was not inspected. The ESA told us they were investigating his activities. Our lawyer told us the payment schedule cannot be changed by the contractor unless both parties sign a new agreement. The final plumbing inspection failed twice, once no anti-scalding device as is required by code on any new plumbing in Ontario. When we told him of this he did not understand what that had to do with his work. The plumbing inspector also noted that the insulation on the exterior wall in the furnace room, which was removed by Mr. Busato, needed to be put back as it is also a code requirement, something Mr. Busato refused to do because he felt the room would be warm enough. Finally he put in the valve and the insulation. The insulation and vapour barrier were obviously used as it had tape repairs over several rips and holes from the cement tacks. He installed the vapour barrier with red tuct tape no cement tacks; it is already peeling off the cement. As for mudding and painting; we asked at several stages when we should point out areas that needed more sanding but he kept saying wait until I am done, so we did. He addressed some with more touch up spackle, left others, some were sanded some were not, some were painted and some were not. All of this gives a nice polka dot effect on the walls and a constant reminder of the work still left for us to do, sand and repaint entire basement including trim, all of the doors only received one coat of paint, some trim was not painted at all $$. There are also paint specs all over the floor. The stairs did look nice before he removed his tools and scuffed them. Finally after several no shows he returned but put a glossy finish on these spots instead of the matte finish that is on the rest of the stair treads, it looks like puddles on some steps. The basement was left a mess and unsafe at the end of each working day. When he did clean up our central vacuum was used, dry wall dust will burn out a central vac motor. Mr. Busato also decided he would only return our house key once the last cheque cleared; we changed the locks and supervised any further work. He used our laundry sink for mudding, paint and grout clean up, when we asked him to remove the paint from the tub he said it was dirty when he started and refused to clean up his paint. We have since had to replace the tub and all its plumbing at our expense. The house was left unlocked at the end of the day on more than one occasion. He requested a cheque for flooring complete before it was so we said no. He negotiated tiling the furnace room instead of vinyl for no extra charge so we gave him a cheque. He then added $60 to our bill and said we misunderstood him. He kept saying we would be happy once we got moved into the space and started enjoying it. This has not happened as we are constantly reminded of the work we still need to do. We left a list of deficiencies and he decided what ones he wanted to address and left others as he said it might get worse if he tried, even though it was his work. It is not worth the aggravation to chase Mr. Busato to honour his contractual commitments as he proved to us on several occasions they are not worth the paper they are written on. We have pictures and emails to prove every statement made in this review. We would never recommend him.
As to these comments this customer has a issue about communication. They clearly have a wonderful basement and during the process never complained about any of these issues until now. This job was completed in the summer and they never stated any of this to me. I felt that they could not afford the project as I was waiting for checks after certain stages were complete. The home owner did the electrical work him self and had it inspected and failed. We use only licensed contractor for our projects. As far as the other comments some are out right lies and cannot be justified. These comments have shocked me and wonder why they would go to such lengths to say such things. They have a great living space and were very happy when we left, I don't understand. As for the no shows I had arranged once to come back and they could not be there finally I came back and fixed the minor scratch on the stair and he said it was great after we left.Stephen Busato
We have been very pleased with the outcome of our basement renovation. We have significantly increased the liveable space in our house. What originally drew us to Paramount was the willingness to listen to our needs and come up with a design that was more that what we could have conceived of ourselves. The new layout is much better than we had hoped and we are getting a lot of use out of it. Additionally, in order to accommodate a new window we were also able to have a new back deck built within the planned timeframe. The people at Paramount put in significant weekend / evening hours to keep our renovation on schedule. Thanks for everything.
Paramount Basements "finished" our basement this current year 2010. Design was well laid out. Quality was poor. When we had concerns about the workmanship, Stephen Busato dismissed them and would not change them to our wants. Examples: he installed one of our laundry doors backwards, he took our old insulation, vapour barrier and all and tried to convince us that it was okay to reuse in the ceiling of our basement, had 2 pieces of drywall install backwards and would not fix the mistake (even though he admitted the mistake), he was supposed to come back to remove dirt from the new window they installed and to finish the sod at the back, and to replace a window screen in May, then it was June and now it's July and it's still incomplete, the piping under the sink is a "L" pipe instead of a "u" pipe so now we experience sewage smell (finally got a hold of him using a phone # he didn't recognize, he gave us his word that he would come Mon. July 12/10 @ 11 a.m. to fix the pipe. 11 a.m. came and went, called his phone he didn't pick up and he hasn't responded to our many attempts to communicate with him), there was improper gaps in one of the door frames downstairs and he excused the work as uneven floors however, when we measured the distance at the top of the doorframe and the bottom of the doorframe, the measurements were not the same, we weren't satisfied with some of the tiling in the shower stall and asked him to rectify the mistake but again, he didn't correct it at the early stages and when it was complete and we still weren't satisfied, he said that he could try and fix it but we would have to foot the bill for any damage to surrounding tiles that he damage during the process. His contract said that there was a 2 year warranty, it's only been 4 months since he's "finished" the job and he won't return my calls, texts, emails.
Paramount Basements have been in business since 1995 and we have done over 250 projects in the Markham area, we have may happy clients, see our web site for claims. I'm sorry that you had some our your claims are not true and we stand behind our workman ship 100%. Other than a couple of issues that have been retified you can say you have a wonderful new living area and your warranty is still valid. Your issues have been solved and that we have made a genrous refund of $500.00 for your troubles and concerns. I hope to contact us is you feel somthing is not up to your standards.Stephen Busato
Paramount Basements has a TrustScore™ of 2.8. The average TrustScore™ for other businesses providing similar services in Markham and the surrounding areas is 3.5. 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||Available upon request|
|Posted Liability Insurance||Not yet provided|
|Posted Workers Compensation||Not yet provided|
|Ever Provided False or Misleading Information||No|
|Company Website||Not yet provided|
|Social Media Profiles||Not yet provided|
|Endorsed by Peers||Not yet endorsed|
|In Business Since||1995|
|Member of TrustedPros Since||2009|
TrustedPros does not validate certain information provided by contractors and vendors in conjunction with the creation or maintenance of their profile. 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.
At Paramount Basements we feel that the first critical step of finishing your basement is the design and planning stage because without a solid foundation you cannot build a solid project. We arrange a one on one consultation with the home owner, present samples and options; create an options work sheet and one other very important thing we listen .
Paramount Basements builds beautiful basements. Utilizing available space in the basement is usually the most cost effective way to add livable area to your home. We are the "design-driven basement builder," not a general remodeling contractor that may occasionally finish a basement. The scope of our work is mostly basements.
Paramount Basements located in east Markham have completed over 280 projects since 1995. We carry all the proper Insurance and Liciences.
we are a medium sized business who uses ther own employees. We personally manage the entire project from start to finish. I, along with my employees, do the framing, electrical, HVAC, insulation and trim out etc, We have designed our business around care and quality, we treat your basement like it was our own.
We thank you, and look forward working with you on your next project.
President; Paramount Basements
|Main Contact(s):||Stephen Busato|
|Listed with TrustedPros since:||2009|
|Accepts credit cards:||No|
|24 Hour emergency Service:||No|
|Legal structure:||Sole Proprietor|
|Licensing Information:||Licensing information available upon request|
|Insurance Information:||Contact Paramount Basements to request insurance details.|
Check local laws pertaining to license requirements and verify license and insurance details provided by the contractor prior to hiring.