There is simply nothing Elite about Jay McDonald's Elite Construction and Renovations. Everything about having Elite complete this kitchen renovation was an issue. Jay is not customer centric and he clearly did not have our best interests in mind throughout the 3 week renovation. Jay looks after Jay. Here is my story.
The very first day of the demolition it came to light that the joists in my kitchen ceiling were sagging and had to be dealt with before the new drywall ceiling could be constructed. The house is nearly 100 years old. Jay McDonald offered me two options. Rip out the joists and start again, which wasn't practical and would have caused a lot of collateral damage or jack up the joists, sister some new ones and go on from there. Jacking up these joists (which were not in danger of collapse and were still structurally sound) would have caused a great deal of cracking and damage to the second floor plaster walls which I was not prepared for, but which at the time seemed like the only option.
That evening I consulted with a few other people who had some expertise in this area and the consensus was, DON'T JACK. There was a third option all along that Jay didn't share with me. That was, square off the ceiling area with new sistered joists and proceed from there. When I presented this option to Jay the following morning, he said fine we'll go that way. I even had an architect neighbour come and assist me in dealing with Jay which Jay resented enormously. He sarcastically mentioned "your engineer buddy" several times throughout the day. That was the first moment that I started to lose confidence in Jay and began to realize that Jay was in this for himself and not us homeowners.
Next began the ceiling construction and Jay did not employ drywallers for this task. It took an entire day for 9 panels to be placed and that was working with a drywall lift! At the point this was finished, there was a very obvious rough edge where two panels met that looked like one panel was cut with a butter knife. I brought this to the attention of the guys doing the drywall who insisted this would be covered by the tape and mudding process. Tape and mud went up and the seam was still clearly visible. Then I was told that they had an expert who would do the final mudding and sanding and he would conceal this seam. Expert or not, it took too much material and I now have a VERY VISIBLE bulging seam. Jay's response to this? "I think it's a great ceiling for a drywal ceiling.". This was the moment I realized that I had to watch everything that was happening because clearly Jay wasn't.
Jay's motto: Admit no wrong. Blame everything else.
Throughout the rest of the process there were numerous conflicts with Jay. He thought nothing of yelling at me or berating my opinions. He just kept saying he did this all the time and I should just let him get on with it. He was beligerent with me and made it clear that he felt I was the problem, not him.
I will say this. Jay has access to some good subcontractors. The tile work was very good as was the electrical. However after running all over town looking for a specific coloured grout for my slate floor, I am now having grout haze problems with efflorescence and despite my complaints, Jay has done nothing about it nor offered any useful advise, counsel or remedy. He just shrugs his shoulders in an "oh well" kind of way and I have to live with my grout colour variations that go from moss (my intended choice) to predominantly grey.
When it came to painting we had yet another arguement when I insisted they clean up the drywall dust before starting to apply paint. Common sense. Best practice for paint application. But no, Jay had to argue and fight about it and only when I absolutely insisted did he acquiesce. His rationale was that the drop cloths were protecting the newly laid floor and should remain undisturbed despite being covered in drywall dust. Ultimately the drops were removed and rosin paper was laid to protect the floor. After all the arguing and undue stress.
By the time the whole ordeal was over, I couldn't wait to see the last of him. Unfortunately I have a drywall seam, grout haze, and a lousy French door paint job to remind me of Elite Construction.