So, we had Royal Home Improvements (RHI) renovate our kitchen in two parts: the first in the Autumn of 2017 and the second in the Spring of 2018. We were so pleased with the results that we decided to hire them for other projects, too, and thus, our next story begins...
Paul visited our home, as he had done before, reviewed the areas of concern, provided several options we could choose and worked with us on our budget with patience, understanding and good humour. As with our kitchen renovation, we felt our needs and concerns were considered. Paul listens. It shouldn't be extraordinary, but it is rare to find someone, especially the person in charge of the company, who personally consults with the clients, responds to emails and texts, and is so attentive. Pluses all the way.
Things we wanted addressed this time included a better fence across our driveway, for privacy and for keeping our two dogs from running into the street, heedless of traffic and unable to find their was back home. Claudio, who worked tirelessly on our project, built a taller and sturdier fence with a lovely gate before he took down the old fence, thus ensuring the dogs could still safely go into the back garden to do their business.
Then he focused on our basement windows. When we purchased our home, we noticed the two windows that had been added at the side, just above driveway level, had some issues. They were older and narrow and obviously not part of the original specs. Some cement-saw-wielding DIY-er had created the holes and stuck the windows in without using proper exterior materials, like nails and trim (the nails were interior, inferior and rusty and the trim was suitable for framing a photo... maybe), and without installing lintels. The old windows didn't open well, one of the panes was badly cracked and they didn't allow much light to enter. We want to utilize this lowest level of our home and making it less like a dungeon seemed prudent.
Claudio excavated the area beside the wall all the way to the front corner, not just under where the new windows would go, and properly water-proofed and so on. You know, the sort of thing you see on 'Holmes Makes It Right' when a basement has been flooded because the exterior wall hadn't been properly done with a protective layer and gravel and all that. We have this protection now. The windows are deeper and they crank open vertically and lock securely. There are window wells now, too. And the amount of light we have now... It doesn't feel like we're in a basement at all!
The next item was the fence between our neighbours and ourselves. Our driveways run beside one another and the section of fence here was leaning. Our driveway was cracking and eventually there would be the remnants of a fence, dirt and our crumbling driveway on our neighbour's property. Not a joyous scenario. Our driveway was higher than our neighbour's and there was no retaining wall to prevent the inevitable. Claudio removed that section of fence, excavated to the correct depth, poured cement, installed thick posts and built a solid retaining wall before building a new section of fence of the same design as the one he constructed across our driveway: taller and much sturdier.
That fence isn't going anywhere. Ev-er.
Throughout, Claudio was professional, accommodating and understanding (especially of my slightly confused mother, the dogs and clearing the digging equipment so the trick-or-treaters could safely reach our front door) and tidied and hauled away the mess when he was done. We are very, very pleased.
Thank you, Paul, and thank you, Claudio. When we're ready to tackle another project, we'll give you a call.
Amanda & Peter in Mississauga (who apologize for being so bloody late with this review. Mea culpa.)