I hired Wrap-It-Up to develop the basement of the house I bought (a complex job: an old house which had gone though many renovations on main floor and the basement was quite a mess).
We met in February, visited the house to prepare the estimate and we signed the agreement on April 1st. The work commencement date was May 6th. I paid 10% as initial deposit at the signature and 40% at first day of work. So before any work started, I had paid already 50% of the total project cost.
First problem: they started the work more than one week after the agreed start date. Second problem: as the demolition progressed, Steve Rokosh claimed that he found some unexpected pipes and the renovation of the bathroom would cost much more than the initial estimate. We could not agree on how to move ahead and I concluded he was not the right contractor for the job. I contacted my lawyer and friends to understand my cancellation options and to my surprise they showed me several irregularities on the contract that I signed with Wrap It Up such as liability, insurance, warranty, WCB coverage and many others (I recommend the webpage by the Alberta government for more information: http://alberta.ca/home-renovations.cfm where for instance they recommend we should avoid contractors who demand large down payments). The cancellation clauses were not properly worded and for that reason my lawyer recommended me to cut my losses and get a Mutual Release document signed.
So, for 50% of the total project cost I got from Wrap-It-Up the demolition completed, the furnace was moved to a new location (job incomplete), a new water tank was installed (not working), some ducts were replaced, some framing was done (which most of it went to garbage) and the dry-core flooring was installed in some areas. I bin full of demolition waste was left in my garage and I had to pay for its removal. The water tank was not working, I called his plumber with the understanding that I had to pay for any required services and he refused to come. In a rush because of my moving day (and the fact I didn t trust the origin of the water tank that was installed) I ended up buying a new water tank.
I managed to find an excellent contractor afterwards who finished the job and I am very happy with the final result. Although I had a significant financial loss, I don t regret cancelling my contract with Wrap It Up. Working with the new contractor, I could see how Steve was mainly focused on low cost solutions (i.e. his profit) instead of quality. The scope of work provided by the new contractor was far superior and at comparable cost. Make sure you look around before you choose your contractor!
Response from Wrap it UP - Renovations
I m sorry, to us your credibility in a client/contractor relationship was lost when your wife suggested that she d remove the asbestos tile herself putting everyone s health at risk.
I can say with a clear conscious that we handled you, and your requests with the utmost professionalism to the very end of our working relationship. This includes adapting to the 50+ changes/additions you made in our first 2 weeks of work, the unexpected surprises we found during demolition (which I agreed to do AT COST), you wanting to see and review our paperwork in detail, as well as changing city permits to adjust for new exterior changes. We hired another employee to handle our slight lateness in starting (severe flu) as well as needing him in order to finish your additional requests before the deadline. The matter of burying the (unforeseen) pipe under the (asbestos covered) floor was not a matter of us not finding a solution, it was a matter of you guys not wanting to pay to do it properly.
As for the other matters, the BIN was on my account, but yes you did have to call him to make arrangements for pick up. My trades were not interested in providing warranty on anything after you had someone else work on (standard). I will look over discrepancies in our paperwork, thanks for bringing that to our attention, but this is a first.
I m not happy that this is a blemish on our work history but I can t disagree with the fact that we also wanted the contract to close. I do feel that rating us 1 s across the board is mean and vindictive. But we are happy you found someone to finish your renovation and hope you guys enjoy your new basement/studio for years to come. I agree with you that people should do their homework before hiring a contractor; I just wish that the same courtesy could also be offered to contractors when choosing to work with a client.