Avanti completed a backyard renovation in April 2022. The scope of working included the following:
- New fence around the perimeter of the backyard
- Techo Block Aberdeen Pavers
- Rymar Pet Pro Grass
- A base for a pre-fabricated shed, levelling and black mulch
- New stairs from the backdoor down to the patio.
- Feature wall design to cover a lot of exposed brick from my next door neighbours house.
Quick summary of my experience- Some things were done well, some things were done very poorly. As a result there are a few mistakes that I've asked them to return and fix, based on the two year warranty the claim to have. I've, at this point, written off that they will ever come. The account manager is no longer responding to my follow ups over several weeks. I wanted to give them an opportunity to fix issues, that they clearly rushed during the implementation, before writing this review but unfortunately it has now been too long and I have little confidence that issues I have identified will be resolved.
I worked with Peter, the Account Manager, during the design phase and he was kind and quick to respond. He responded to my questions and we had an overall positive dialogue about the design, timelines and general expectations. He provided some good recommendations and assured me with any concerns that I had. I would, however, stress that there is room for improvement however on their general process. I didn't receive a visual rendering of the work that was to be completed until the first day of the project and it was incorrect. For the price that I had paid I would have expected a detailed rendering that would be reviewed with me. As a result, on the day of the job there was a lot that needed to be discussed with the lead foreman and the approach I quickly realised was to detail everything out in one conversation and expect the foreman to remember. This made me a bit uneasy. Luckily I am working from home, during the implementation of the project I had to go over things that I had previously discussed with Peter to ensure it was completed as designed. The project manager only showed up the first day of the project and didn't come back until the last day and only engaged with me in passing. It was a poor experience, with the cost that I was charged it was very unorganized and not clearly planned out.
What was done well:
- Tommy was the lead foreman and he was truly fantastic. He worked extremely hard to ensure the project was completed as I had designed.
- The fences were installed to near perfection, no complaints about the perimeter fences - they did recommend 6 ft posts, probably not needed but they do look really nice.
- The Aberdeen Pavers were installed pretty well, a 2% gradual grade was completed and I have had no buildup of water, it now runs down to the artificial turf.
- The back of the yard was very uneven, they did a nice job level the back where the shed was to go. They put down a ~5x5 base for the shed, overall it was done well.
What was done that did not meet my expectations:
- When the polymeric sand was applied to the pavers, it was done in the rain. There are several clumps of sand still stuck to my pavers. That's after I spent several hours removing polymeric sand buildup in hard to reach places, however, there are some spots that I cannot remove the sand from. I did some quick reading on how to apply polymeric sand and the first things it mentions is to ensure it is dry and that it would rain for at least 24 hours.
- Several paver joints were not filled completely with polymeric sand. The outer perimeter paver joints are about half filled at best, I will have to fill in the rest at a later time. They left me a bag of polymeric sand.
- They did not think about how they were putting down the Rymar grass - i.e. which was the grain of the grass was to go. It was done the opposite way I would have liked. Visually it makes a huge difference. In Rymars installation guide it very clearly states that you should plan for the direction of the grass grain. A stepped missed. I had to put down several layers of Zeolit to get the direction of the grass upright, it's still not great. They left me a couple of bags of Zeolite to apply.
- There is a section of grass that does not meet the direction of grain on the large section of grass. It looks horrible, the grass grain is pointed one way on the large section and another way on a smaller section. I asked for this to be fixed.
- When the custom stairs were built they did not consider the 2% gradual grade so they are not level. I asked for this to be fixed.
- This is kind of out of their control but there are some Aberdeen Pavers that need to be replaced. We had Aberdeen Rock Garden Brown installed. Some have been stained white with discoloration. I asked for this to be fixed.
Overall, the work did not meet my expectations. There were, in my opinion, several missed steps and a lack of attention to detail. I would have scored 'how likely I am to recommend' higher if they were to come and resolve the issues I have identified and commented on in this review.