Sunday, 12 February 2012

QUESTION: how many mediocre low budget trades does it take to complete a renovation project?

ANSWER: It really doesn’t matter, you will still be very disappointed with the work when their finished.

In the time that I have had to see what passes for good work in Kingston and other cities, many times I have been very disappointed by what I have seen. Bad drywall, plaster and carpentry work, structural things that should scare people and a few really scary electrical train wrecks that made me wonder why the houses haven’t burnt down. As much as I would like to completely blame the trades which might seem fair, in many ways the consumer must take at least a small part in all of this. 
Many home owners tend to like the sound of some clown who promises the world for a song. These guys come to your door and tell you all the things you want to hear and at the end of it all the price is just so gosh darn cheap and convenient, you should know that this job would go to hell in a hurry, right from the start. Quality work done well around the home takes time to be done properly and costs money to pay for the time and materials involved.  Just because somebody does things on the side doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good at them.

 On the other end of the spectrum some folks get roped into renovation work that costs far in excess of what it should. These guys offer convenient payment plans for things like a small three season sun room for the back of your home for only $ 80,000 dollars. I see this particularly in the elderly communities around the province. This really bothers me a lot and I feel that there should be some sort of law regarding the parasites that prey upon our elderly in this way.

A friend of mine had a window salesman come to the door and quote her $5000.00 to replace 5 upstairs windows that were basic thermal sliders about 3 ft. by 2 ft. each. This type of window should only cost about $400.00 installed, properly sealed, with brand new trim. This sort of thing is nothing more than a company trying to take advantage of those whom may not know any better.

Another scam that I found out about this past fall, was a jackass going around to different households claiming to be working for the local municipality, asking to see their water bills then telling them they needed to have his water filter system installed . He would then take the account number from the water bill and after signing them on for a six year payment plan and an additional pre-authorized payment agreement, add it to their water bill. These people didn’t even realize that he was selling systems privately and that most times an additional filtration system wasn’t even necessary!

Having said, or for that matter written these things, this is certainly not the case with all the trade or renovation companies in Kingston or other areas. There are many reputable home renovation companies in the area. Doing some homework on pricing and past referrals can go a long way in connecting you with someone you can trust. At Phil the Painter Renovations we are part of a network of very skilled, trustworthy individuals that deal with clients respectfully and honestly. We are certainly not the cheapest trades around, but we will always do the work at hand properly, safely and treat you with respect when doing it. We value… values, not the quick buck. Our hearts are in what we do because;
 A) We love to do what we do; making your home beautiful is a passion of ours.
B) When we leave behind a beautiful job we take a friendship and future referrals with us

In short there are more than enough people and companies out there willing to take advantage of homeowners so do your homework! Ask for references, read reviews/testimonials, ask for pictures of past projects, ask for details of the project at hand. The cheapest price is rarely the best way to go; it usually ends in a nightmare. If prices seem to be excessive, ask them to justify in detail why it is so. Make sure that those who are doing work on your home are being attentive to detail, again ask questions. If someone gets offended while you may be looking over their shoulder now and again it should be a red flag to you.
Phil the Painter Renovations

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