I hired Nusite to underpin and perform repair on the foundation of my garage. My original quote was approximately 30,000.00. After significant delay in starting, an excavation was performed. Geoff, the owner, upon viewing the foundation wall and depth of the footings stated that the work could not be completed as quoted. He then (after much delay) provided a new quote of over 80,000.00. This was cost prohibitive for me. I requested a partial refund of my deposit ($7,000.00). The company eventually returned a partial refund but charged me full administration fees, full commission fees as well as WCB. I found this company to be slow to respond but quick to find expensive alternatives to their original quote. I would think twice before hiring.
- Company Response
We were contracted to fix a garage for settlement issues and priced according to the drawings that we received from the customer. Our crews were about 1 month behind for structural work because of poor weather (heat and rain) we’ve had all summer long and we did our best to work around it.
Before we started the job we went to meet the customer to ensure they understood our order of operations. It was to coordinate a test hole with an excavation team to ensure the drawings match the existing structure. We always do test pits for foundation work to ensure the scope proposed matches the existing. Because of past experiences we did the test hole and discovered the old drawings would not have solved the problem according to the new engineering reports/findings.
This is not the fault of the original drawings, it simply is an unforeseen circumstance where the original contractor from the original build years ago may have gone deeper due to poor soil conditions and the drawings were never revised (no one can know).
It is crucial in any structural work to ensure what is proposed will work. We then had to coordinate the team and foreman to dig it out/fence it off (second visit). Once this was done we went back a third time to coordinate the soil engineer, who then recommended the structural engineer come visit too (this is typical in this business to have both engineers see the job).
The soil bearing capacity was not adequate and the whole job needed to be redesigned by the structural/soil engineer. After the fourth visit to the site (coordinating the structural engineer) we were able to then prepare a proper estimate for the work that now had to be done as per the unforeseen conditions.
The engineers determined the job had to go deeper to achieve proper soil bearing conditions and the current scope of work that customer’s drawings propose would not work. A lot more work had to be done.
Once the reports were completed, we made a quantitative quote based on the new engineer findings. We had to replace more concrete, dig double the depth, underpin at double the depth down and do so in stages. This essentially doubled the entire project and requires proper shoring or step excavation techniques to ensure a safe site. It is a risky, technical and dangerous procedure at this depth especially with poor soil conditions. The new pricing was presented to the owner who then rejected it. They are free to use whoever they want but our estimation was accurate based on our company’s processes and procedures.
It is not anyone’s fault that the unforeseen changes doubled the job. It was a problem that we exposed that no one could have known about without starting. We started the job using the deposit the customer provided, used it to pay for engineering, testing, measuring and assessment. We visited the site over 4 times coordinating everything in order and executed professionally. The deposit only partially paid for the guidance which steered the customer in the correct direction.
We took a deposit of $7,100.00 for the whole project to book it and refunded the customer $3,000.00. We lost money on this project post refund and incurred debt to help the customer to be able to know exactly what to do from here forward. This work had to be performed and engineers had to visit to know what to do and there was no avoiding this.
Pricing jobs, helping sort drawing discrepancies, sending crews and coordinating engineers costs money, time which in turn the customer did not feel we were worth and wrote this review. They did their own math to determine our worth and never factored in many costs associated with running a construction business.
We do apologize if this was taken in a way that any customer would feel like they were under serviced. We went above and beyond to help guide the project in a safe professional manner and we wish the customer good luck with whoever is now executing the work.