Frankly, I regret having chosen Royal Crown Aluminum to replace our fascia, cover the soffits and build new eavestroughs and downspouts. Their quote was lowest, but it was a mistake to try to save a few hundred dollars.
A job that was supposed to start on time and take “about three days,” according to Tom, the genial and sincere estimator, dragged on for two and a half weeks, forcing me forgo work and to cancel an out-of-town trip in order to be on the site.
There were always excuses, sometimes weather-related, but “the truck wouldn’t start for three days” hardly strikes me as appropriate, nor does a subcontractor being called to a “worker’s compensation meeting” in mid-job. Nor, I’d wager, was the subcontractor explaining (apologetically) that he couldn’t finish the job on Monday of the third week because he had to go that day to buy a car from an acquaintance who was offering him a deal too good to pass up because the friend was leaving the country; then he started late on Tuesday because the car, he said, was overheating and had to go to the mechanic.
The subcontractor doing the fascia work replaced only a couple of boards — not all, as described in the written estimate — leaving several cracked through (they’re about 80 years old) and covering them with aluminum cladding. A weary-sounding Ashley, at Royal Crown, described this subcontractor as one of their “best” and “most experienced” fascia/soffit installers and I should trust his opinion; to me, this did not enhance the company’s reputation. His workmanship, although generally acceptable, was crude in places — it had to be redone where he left dented, bent, misaligned aluminum with visible seams on the street-facing front of an elegant Beach-neighbourhood home, detracting from rather than enhancing its value. He tended to be slapdash on the first try (for instance reattaching a telephone cable stretched around a brick corner where it would have frayed in the first wind or ice storm), but he always cheerfully took the time to correct such problems when they were pointed out. On the second try, I must add, his workmanship was fine.
When the eavestrough crew finally arrived, they brought the wrong colour downspouts and elbows. Rectifying that took more than an hour. Then, as they were installing the troughs, I noticed that the specified T-Rex leaf guard was not going up; the lead hand said, “I don’t know anything about leaf guard.” So there was another phone call to the project manager (who had paid a short visit to the site earlier in the day, about the colour). It had been dark for an hour before the last of the leaf guard was installed. I don’t know what would have happened had I not stayed home to oversee details that one would think should’ve been a no-brainer; it was tiresome in the extreme.
My recommendation: Pay a bit more to hire a small firm, where the owner is the boss and is on site, supervising at all times.