I initially found Bathroom Specialists via the Renomark.ca website. After getting several quotes from contractors and narrowing down to just a couple I ultimatly chose to go with Jerry. My decision was partly based on the excellent reviews on Homestars.
My own experience is quite at odds with the reviews here so I offer this review not to hurt Jerry but rather provide some balance in hopes it may help others in their choice.
Partial list of shortfalls:
- Jerry takes way too long to complete, even though I expected this based on some reviews. Basically took nearly 2 months to complete a 2 week job.
- He installed the new plumbing BEFORE reinforcing the floor joists. This resulted very ineffective reinforcement, this was a key request of mine in our contract aggreement
- After replacing the plumbing supply lines in the basement we now have a "chugging" sound when doing laundry. Jerry tried to muffle it but never solved the source of the problem
- After saying he would "straighten" the walls when applying new drywall, a critically visible wall that previously had been straight was made wavy. This in turn made the tiling look poor. Filling out with compound makes for a strange looking corner at the door. Overall his tiling work was a big disapointment to me
- Shower water pressure weaker than before reno.
There were many other defficiencies but I don't have the time to list them, and that's not even counting the ones I caught and had him correct. One of my main gripes with Jerry is that he is far from being a perfectionist; basically he counts on you to catch his mistakes. In the end our bathroom came out just ok (and only because of cabinets, fixtures etc that my wife and I chose). I cannot recommend Bathroom Specialists.
(UPDATED POST) Nov 2010, re: Company Response
1. Regarding 2 months to complete, product delays were non existent so had nothing to do with it. During our renovation he worked on & off, with many half days & skipped days. Jerry clearly had other projects on the go.
2. Floor reinforcing. Because the tub was being relocated, the contract stipulated floor joists at the new location were to be reinforced by bolting in “sister” joists. This was not done. A joist was even cut (for the toilet drain) without adding a replacement. Mostly he simply added cross bracing haphazardly. Even that was done poorly, being restricted as it was because he had the new plumbing already installed.
3. Plumbing chugging noise. Upgrading old ½ pipe with ¾ is standard practice, at no time did Jerry or his plumber warn me not to do it. No water pressure reading was taken before starting the project so he should not state the pressure was the same after the work. We use the bathroom, we know the shower pressure is lower now than it was before. East York will be replacing incoming water lines in our area soon, shower pressure should improve by that.
4. Tiling work was very average. The tiles we requested be replaced were cracked or chipped, they should never have been left up. Why did Jerry not notice them? The wall he tried to straighten, he made worse by his poor workmanship. House age is not the issue, few houses have straight walls. My error was choosing large tiles, large tiles show very poorly on wavy walls.
5. I paid in full with the understanding that Jerry would speak with another plumber to get a second opinion causing the chugging noise. I clearly asked him to do so but I never heard anything back from him.
I am glad they have warranty but baring a major failure I will not be getting Bathroom Specialists back. I have no desire to engage in prolonged repairs, much less start pulling out pipes & drywall etc.
Finally, regarding payment, I paid when the job was done because it had been going on for so long and I wanted it over. I am sorry that Jerry is using my good faith full payment now to justify his quality.