We had a lot of issues over the past month and a half with this contractor.
1) The timeline/estimate. We know sometimes things take a little longer than originally agreed on. That isn't the issue. The issue is that every date we were given, was not met, and once that date past he would give us another date about two days away and it wouldn't even be close to done. I think over the entire reno we were given about 5 different dates. At one point he even gave us a date (that was 2 days away) then didn't show up for four days. Even once he was "finished" his tools were still left here an extra day. The original date was around Dec. 30 (although he was optimistic saying it would be done before then). Everything was finally out on Jan. 16th. He knew we couldn't work until the reno was done, so it was a stressful while.
*** And if you end up rushing what you do and that's why the work isn't good (I explain more below) then just say you can't do it in the allotted time in the beginning. Don't take someone else's hard earned money and not deliver. It would have been better if he had of said "I can't do all of that" or "I will need at least two months". But he didn't. And now we are left with more work and more money to spend.
2) No schedule/Last minute requests. My husband was helping him with rides as he does not own a truck. But we never knew when he was coming or going until maybe an hour or so before (unless we badgered him), what was getting done when, and sometimes he would last minute have my husband help him with moving things or picking things up even though we had our own plans and schedule. It was difficult having to drop what we were doing in order to help him so he would get our basement done, but we really needed it done and we were left without many options.
3) Constantly asking for random payments. This could have been resolved if they had a contract at the beginning but they did not. When we asked for paper work about where the money had gone after we had already paid well over 10k (and the basement still needed a lot of work, and he started running behind) he refused to provide. He said he had the papers but blocked me from messaging him when I asked to see, and told my husband he legally didn't have to show anything.
As well, once it was "finished" (I used that term loosely), he was badgering us for the final payment. Even though technically we can keep it for up to 45 days according to the law. We paid it just so he would leave us alone.
4) *** This is what made me the most upset. On one night we offered a ride home (he'd been working and it was shortly after 8pm). He said no, and left. His wife (a friend of mine at the time) messaged me asking where he was but of course we didn't know.
At 4am we woke up to footsteps downstairs. Terrifying considering we are living in a new neighbourhood and I'm pregnant. It was HIM coming in (he had a key to our house for when he was working when we weren't there) and came in to SLEEP because he "couldn't get home". At 4am.
On top of crashing in our basement and scaring us, he took my BRAND NEW $80 WHITE couch throw and my BRAND NEW $20 WHITE couch pillow to the basement with all the wood dust to sleep. Ruined them. He said he would replace them but has yet to do so. (Pictures Provided)
5) And on top of all of this, his work is NOT GOOD. There's gaps in the doors (even though he knew it was for a studio and it needed to be tight). Uneven tiles. Gaps in the wood. Black marker on the wood. The toilet paper holder wasn't hooked up. etc. etc. A mess all over our stairs. So now, on top of wasting money on him, we have to pay someone else to fix his mistakes.
Overall, not happy with this entire process and would never recommend his work to anyone.