9 month renovations

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Posted by: from Bolton
1/12/2016 at 4:59:05 PM


I'm not sure where to turn to so I will start here. My wife and I bought a home on March 30 of 2015 and decided to redo our master ensuite, walk in closet, laundry room in the basement and the recreation area of the basement to include a wet bar and new laminate flooring. We hired a "Design-Build" company in the GTA. Work was to start in the middle of April. Total cost was to be over $35,000. Contract stated that the bathroom would be completed in 3 weeks. One of the biggest nightmares I've been involved with.

I've detailed this to some degree as this is a long story. I've attached it with 3 jpegs (too many characters to type in this text box) below that tell everything.

To make a long story short, the project isn't complete and there is still a lot of reworks that need done. We've emailed them twice in the past 5 weeks with no response. We want to move on, just worried that they may come after us even though there 3 week project is over 7 months old.

Please continue on to my next post as my story was too long for one post. Please note, this posting is to ask for advise, not looking for a contractor as of this posting even though I will need one soon.

9 month renovations
9 month renovations
9 month renovations
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Date/Time1/12/2016 at 6:22:21 PM

Hi Bob,

I would like to help out in any way I can. It always leaves a sour taste in my mouth with so called "contractors" get away with fleecing people out of their savings.

I tried to read the images attached only they came out very blurry and I was unable too.

You need someone to give you a full report of incomplete/ incorrect items for you to present to the previous contractor. For your safety you must got through this step as when this goes to court, you will need to show that you gave every opportunity for the contractor to rectify their work. After this time period (usually ten business days) you are within your right to contract another company to complete this work on their behalf and at this expense.


Fred Carroll

KCL Residential Construction Services

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Bob in Bolton
Date/Time1/12/2016 at 6:26:49 PM

Thanks Fred. If what you are saying is true, we should be free and clear. We haven't heard from them since November and the bathroom was supposed to be done within three weeks. Sorry the attachments aren't clear. I tried Microsoft word but the system wouldn't allow it. Maybe I can just break up the story into a few different posts. We will need some help but at the bare minimum, we need to wait until January 15th has passed as we gave them that timeline. I will repost and break it up into a few posts.

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Bob in Bolton
Date/Time1/12/2016 at 7:21:41 PM

We met with the managing partner of the company as well as the first design supervisor and discussed what we wanted done. I will stray away from the details other than to say we expressed very VERY clearly that we were worried about our current beautiful hardwood floors and we were assured that they would treat them with respect.

When the project manager came to look at the house, not one measurement was taken. I asked about it and he said it wasn't necessary for the quote.

There were so many problems, some they fixed, some they fixed after we twisted their arms over and over but for most, they said they would wait until the end to rework.

At the first meeting, we were talked into eliminating our linen closet (managing partner told us linen closets don't sell houses, double sink vanities do) to create more space for a bigger vanity so we had to replace our hot water heater in the basement to go with the new vent system. After I bought the heater, had it installed and then personally pulled the old one out myself to return it, they informed us it was going to be too much trouble to remove the vent system. This was after the contract had already been drawn up and signed. The first contractor framed a 28" wide shower for us (was supposed to be 4 foot by 4 foot). After multiple emails and face to face meetings they finally removed the vent that was in the linen closet and took the closet out. Then the autocad design they sent us had a single sink 42" vanity. They said there wasn't enough room for a double. However, their measurements on the drawing were a foot short going one way and 7 inches the other way so I had to do my own layout design and present it to them so we could have our double sink vanity that we were told from the get go would be a strong selling point. Yes, I designed my own layout and came up with a 54" double sink vanity that they said would never fit.

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Bob in Bolton
Date/Time1/12/2016 at 7:23:29 PM

They framed off the furnace (to create a separate room from the laundry room) and did it at a 90 degree instead of what we asked so I had to leave work and meet with the design supervisor to show her why this was bad (was going to create nothing but a 2 foot hallway to the washer and dryer and only leave 2 foot in front of the washer and dryer while creating a lot of wasted space in the furnace room). So they tore the frame down and started over. This left us a much roomier laundry room.

They fired the first contractor, because they weren't showing up and then got caught in a lie telling the design firm that they were at our house doing work and it was discovered they weren't. The rookie project manager (who was not trained at all) then brought in "his crew". They were terrible. They were using our bedroom hardwood floor to do their cutting on. They used no drop cloths. They enclosed our washtub in the laundry room crooked because a couple small plumbing pipes behind the tub would have to be moved. They made our folding table above the washer/dryer an extra ten inches higher because they didn t want to move an outlet that was in the way. They broke our toilet tank lid in the basement. They had to retile our shower because the project manager didn't check that the tiles that came in were the correct color. They forgot to put the niche in for the shower. They didn't clean the grout off after grouting the tile in the shower. They enclosed a water pipe with sheet rock and forgot to make an access panel (it's still covered up as the next crew didn't know where to cut). Trust me, I COULD go on and on and on and I have taken many pictures.

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Bob in Bolton
Date/Time1/12/2016 at 7:23:57 PM

Anyway, so they pulled the project manager from the project and brought in another one. This one was experienced. He came to the house and within 15 minutes of viewing the work, fired the second crew and began to bring in his own specialists.

So it got better but there were still issues. Many were left over from the first two crews.

Then weeks at a time would go by without any work. Then all of a sudden, we have a new design supervisor dealing with us that had no clue what had been going on.

She first sent us an email stating that since the bathroom and laundry room cabinetry was finished, we owed them $10,000. But it wasn't finished. The vanity had chips in a door and the side panel had spots on it and I had sent pics to them previously regarding it. The washtub cabinet was still missing a bottom shelf. The vanity issue was just another screw up that we were told would be taken care of at the end along with all the others (including repairing our hardwood floors). The pot light in the shower was left hanging with no cover in sight, the chandelier above the bathtub hadn't been installed. The vent was missing the cover, no hardware (towel holders etc.) had been installed. In fact they bought the wrong type and when I brought it up, the project leader asked me to go get them myself (which I did right away) and they would reimburse me (hasn't happened). The sconces above the vanity hadn t been installed nor the mirror above the vanity.

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Bob in Bolton
Date/Time1/12/2016 at 7:24:20 PM

We explained this by email to the design supervisor. 3 weeks later no response so we emailed her again. Again we received no response from her or anyone from the company. About a month later she responded stating that they would be willing to take an $8,000 payment up front to finish the project and do all the reworks. We said no (this was December 4 and the bathroom was according to the contract supposed to be finished in 3 weeks from when we signed the contract in April) as we didn't feel comfortable that they would finish all the reworks once we submitted payment. Who would trust them after all these delays and screw-ups? We were willing to talk about a lesser amount.

We didn't hear back from her so on December 18, I sent her another email stating that since we hadn't heard from her, we were giving them until January 15 to finish the work or we would consider our business relationship over and we would proceed on our own. When I sent the email, I attached for the third time an Excel spreadsheet with pictures of each and every open issue. We never heard back.

This past weekend, I installed the hardware myself. It didn't take long, maybe two hours. Add this to the 16 hours of cleanup I had to do in the basement after the 2nd crew (two large holes had to be jackhammered out, one for a wet bar and one for a floor drain and they covered nothing) and another 5 in the garage where they were also cutting tile and wood and I'm in their project for 23 hours of my own time plus power washing the crud off my drive from all their cutting that they never cleaned up after.

I've kept every email that went back and forth and I took pictures of all the problems and I've kept detailed notes of all the issues. They ve told us numerous times they ve lost money on this project but I fail to see how that is our fault. They had a rookie project manager with no experience or training running show at the beginning. They hired bad contractors and their communication was poor and slow.

So my question is, if we don't hear back from them, can we assume our contract is complete? Since we haven't heard back from them, can we assume they won't go the route of the lien? We want to finish these renos and move on.

Any opinions would be appreciated and yes, we will be looking for a contractor to finish this for us as well as some of the reworking.

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Date/Time1/12/2016 at 8:19:27 PM

Hey Bob,

Don from primetimeservices, please tell me you got a contract you can take them to court and also file a lein on the owner of the company to recoup.

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Frank from DCL Group in Toronto
Date/Time1/12/2016 at 8:31:35 PM

Good evening Bob,

Let me start off by saying I am terribly sorry to hear what you have and are going through with your home renovation.

Let me say that the first clue that things were destine for trouble is when you stated $ 35,000.00 or just over.. The problem is that they hooked you with an unrealistic price.. and you became filler work for them.. meaning that when they weren't doing jobs they make money at they send their guys to your project. very common unfortunate.

I am CEO of DCL Group and we do not do residential at all.. we project manage time sensitive construction project for large commercial clients.

Firstly you should send them by registered mail a letter as follows :

Breach of Contract

Home Owner






Mr. J. D. Smith



Jan 12, 2016

Mr. Smith:

This letter will serve as official notification of your "Breach of Contract" for the renovation of XXXXX

You are in breach of this contract for the following reason: Section ?? of the contract states that you will Complete the project with a construction period of XXXX but as of the date of this letter XXX months have passed. You are therefore in breach of this contract. Attached to this letter you will find photographs of my house dated Jan12, 2016 showing state of my residence.

(NOW at this point you can just leave it at that and engage a new GC OR you can advise them that you will be taking legal action for costs to remedy and complete the original work plus for inconvenience.) Up to you...

I will pursue any and all available legal remedies.



Now I would be very realistic and careful in moving forward with completion of the work. Do not expect it to be cheap to remedy. Make sure the GC has all the qualifications and reputation and draft a contract with a penalty with teeth.. meaning it will cost the GC if thinks he's going to be a weekend warrior on your house.. Good no Great GC are not afraid of penalties because the know how to get it done..

Wishing you the best sincerely


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Bob in Bolton
Date/Time1/13/2016 at 10:00:45 AM


Yes we had a contract. If we part ways as of now, financially speaking we may come out a bit ahead as everything is done other than what I posted, plus some rework issues. We don't need to go after them. We just want to be done with them and move on.

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Bob in Bolton
Date/Time1/13/2016 at 10:04:04 AM


Yes, we figured the filler thing out after awhile. We remained patient as well as polite in our communication but it never got better and only got worse.

Thanks for the sample letter, gives us something to mull over.

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