I engaged THIG to design a new detached garage plan in the expectation to obtain the building permit at the end. I was told by the company and the architect it subcontracted that in fact, I could do even better than a garage in going for the "laneway house" option. Obviously, to design a laneway house cost much more than a garage. Several times I was promised and told that the architect did his due diligence, understood the by-law, and a laneway house plan would work. I even specifically asked the company to write into the contract that the building permit must be obtained (for what use is the building design if it cannot obtain city's permission?). So I was led down the garden path to design a laneway house, and a a few months later was informed by the city that the application was denied since it didn't comply to the by-law. And not just any by-law, it is the most obvious requirement that a laneway house must be adjascent to a public laneway, not a private laneway like the ones by my house. The inadmissibility should be obvious once the architect saw the new survey done. But the company proceeded as if everything was hunky dory until it was too late. So the original proposal from THIG was so fatally flawed, that it could not even pass the zoning review and cannot be salvaged. So the conclusion I drew then is that I was sold a bridge to nowhere, and this must have been obvious in the beginning to the architect/ company, or they were simply just incompetent. During this almost 8 months of ordeal, I have been trying to be as patient and reasonable as possible, however, my additional complaints against THIG were:
- it has a habit of drawing things out, paying lip services, and not really acting to resolve issues
- it never apologizes for the hiccups and errors flowing from their actions, or inactions, or failures
- pretending not to understand what was written and agreed in the contract, and not remedying the breach of the contract by doing the right thing such as refunding, or proactively proposing a real acceptable solutions
- Not managing its own subcontractors and let the clients bore all the risks
- Strange practice of charging clients substantial amount upfront for what will be delivered
So at the end, I lost $6,500+ dollars before tax with no useful results from this exercise ($1,500 survey cost is unavoidable).
I would not recommend this company and one must be very careful dealing with them if you want to engage them.