Penguin Basements

Basement Renovation
906 Magnetic Drive Toronto ON M3J 2C4
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86%

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Reviews by rating (past 12 months)
Best of the Best '22 
Best of Award '22 winner 4 timesBest of the Best '22 Best of Award '22winner 4 times

Reviews for Penguin Basements

Average customer rating:
8.9 10 (293 reviews)

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Brad in Toronto
Brad in Toronto
0 reviews Guelph, ON
10/10

Basement Finish

We hired Penguin to finish our basement. Overall it was a very good experience. They completed the project in a very timely manner (1.5 months) and used quality materials throughout the build. The buildertrend app is very convenient and does a great job of keeping everything in one central place. The entire build was done with all the proper permits and inspections so I have peace of mind knowing everything was done right and in the future if I want to sell my house there will be no problems.

Overall, the entire experience was very smooth with any hiccups being quickly sorted out by Lisa and the penguin team. I would recommend Penguin to anyone who is looking to have quality work done at a competitive price.

Approximate cost of services:
$60,000.00
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Zeeshan in Nepean
Zeeshan in Nepean
2 reviews Vaughan, ON
0/10

Basement build

We built our basement with them, on the last they asked us to leave a positive review even though they had some work left to finish, I left the review in good fate but that was my mistake, they never came back to finish the work even after several calls they kept gave us the run around and than later also we found out their Electritians installed fake fire alarms in the basement none of them worked. Thats such a big negligence. Their after service horrible and I highly doubt they will cover any kind of warranty if anything goes wrong. Please beware of their service it was my flowery expericne and they are highly unreliable

Approximate cost of services:
$80,000.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

Morning Zeeshan. We see no outstanding warranty claims in the BuilderTrend App. Please, send a warranty claim immediately if there is anything that requires our attention. If email was sent, we apologize if we did not respond as it may have been overlooked. We get 100's of unsolicited emails a day and primarily use this as a tool to communicate with suppliers. Simply use the Warranty tab in the app, and we will look at it right away. Further, if you ask, the CEO will reach out to you directly. We look forward to getting back to a 10/10 as quickly as possible.

Christine from Milton
Christine from Milton
4 reviews Milton, ON
2/10

Basement renovation

I do not recommend this company as they are very unorganized, and expensive and not very friendly. I do recommend you look elsewhere as you will not be happy with your project when dealing with penguin basement. It was our worst experience ever and would never use them again.

Approximate cost of services:
$500.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

In what way was your team unresponsive? And could you use the BuilderTrend tool to let us know of any outstanding issues and people you had a problem with. They will be dealt with. Thank you.

Evgeny
Evgeny
2 reviews Kitchener, ON
10/10

Duplex conversion

The project length was 8 month and finished this year. The location is in Kitchener

Approximate cost of services:
$130,000.00
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Company Response

Did you use the BuilderTrend app? All requests as indicated at the start of your project should go through are app as emails can be overlooked. As for city inspections, the delays are unfortunately on the city's end. Can you reach out with any outstanding issues you have through the app, and they will be dealt with. Thanks for taking the time to write a review.

D in Brampton
D in Brampton
0 reviews Brampton, ON
5/10

Basement Renovation - Warranty Period Issues and poor customer service

TL;DR; Up until the end of August most of the work done by Penguin was satisfactory. Most of the trades other than the egress installers and tile installers (for the washroom) did a good job. Our main problem has been our egress window during the warranty period and Penguin's overall responsiveness after MANY calls/emails etc.

UPDATE May 13, 2022: Although Penguin and the other company came back to replace the egress window the window barely opens and it rubs against the ceiling. Penguin did not want to spend the money to do the job right the first time and expand the drywall. Their argument was it was too expensive for them to do the job right !! I would have liked to recommend Penguin Basements but they did not step up sadly to do the job right the first time.

We had our basement renovated in the summer of 2021. Penguin did all the work to add a washroom and kitchen as well as coordinate all trades. Overall Penguin did a good job with the basement insulating, drywall, plumbing, HVAC , finishing, painting, cabinetry and electrical except for minor problems and one major issue we are still dealing with since August 2021. The main exception here was the washroom shower stall tiling which does not allow the water to drain properly. Instead the water remains in one place (the middle of the shower stall) and does NOT drain properly. That is because the tilers did not grade the shower stall properly.

Our problem started after the work was completed in August 2021. Here is the major problem we had:

Because we put a kitchen in our basement we were required by code to have an eGress window installed in our basement as well. The team that came were subcontracted by Penguin (another company) cut the concrete and installed a low quality egress window. They cracked the bricks above the eGress window and did not properly caulk around the window nor repair the bricks. After the first rainfall we had water coming in from the top. We called Penguin several times and many many emails to have the company that installed the egress window come back to fix the problem. After another month more water continued to enter the basement from the egress window. Again, after several calls to Penguin and numerous emails and weeks they finally returned our call and sent egress window installer again. Same result. More water entering our basement. We are now at March 2022 and still the same problem! Again, we have to send numerous messages to Penguin, numerous calls and wait for them to respond. At this point we've had to put a tarp over the eGress to stop the water from coming in during rainfalls. It's been since September and we cannot get Penguin to resolve these issues and for someone to take ownership and fix the problem once and for all. It's been extremely stressful for our family to have to deal with this company lack of responsiveness and every time it rains we have to have tarps and cloths to protect our basement. We have had many sleepless nights whenever it rains. Nobody returns our calls, answers our text messages or emails.

I would give them a good rating if they would own and resolve this issue in a timely manner.

UPDATE: April 11, 2022: Penguin called us back this week to replace the egress window and send back the window installer company they subcontracted to. We our thankful to Penguin for committing to resolving this. We were told the original window was defective and that this was not being caused by the hairline crack in the bricks above the window. The next step will be to remove the water damaged drywall and fix other warranty related items. We plan on water testing the the egress window to ensure no more water is entering our basement. We recently discovered that our bathroom sink is leaking and have been provided assurances by Penguin this will be resolved soon.

We will update the rating again and additional commentary depending upon resolution of the above and other items we have requested to be fixed. We plan to provide a full review of Penguin basements.

UPDATE April 15, 2022: We performed a water test against the egress window Penguin Basements installed. We have noticed a small amount of water by the lower right hand corner of the window. This was brought to Penguin's attention.

UPDATE April 18, 2022: The finishing supervisor came by today to fix the drywall and paint. We discovered that the egress window installed rubs against the ceiling when we attempted to open the egress window and that the drywall would need to be removed. However, Penguin refuse to remove the drywall as it would be more work for them we were told. We are hoping that Penguin will do the right thing here remove the drywall and add approximately 1/2 inch of drywall on all sides so that the window can open properly and the trim can be installed.

UPDATE April 20, 2022: Penguin came back to fix the leak in the washroom sink. We ran a water test on the washroom sink and so far so good. Its been a struggle but I will say they do come back BUT you must call the MANY times and email them over BuilderTrend. I was assured by the owner that this responsiveness issue would be addressed.

UPDATE April 26, 2022: So far so good no water our egress window. We will update this after a more serious rainfall to make sure that this matter iwith water coming in from our egress window is truly addressed .

UPDATE May 13, 2022: Although Penguin and the other company came back to replace the egress window the window barely opens and it rubs against the ceiling. Penguin did not want to spend the money to do the job right the first time and expand the drywall. Their argument was it was too expensive for them to do the job right !!

Review has 4 previous versions
Approximate cost of services:
$87,000.00
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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leslieauy in Scarborough
leslieauy in Scarborough
1 review Ajax, ON
10/10

Full basement Reno

We did a full basement reno through penguin - started with nothing but rafters and now we have an amazing basement with tons of finished space AND a bathroom. We love it.

Penguin was extremely professional all the way through and their staff is very good and knowledgable. Everyone who came to work on our house was experienced and qualified, and the few times we had some minor issues they were quick to address them.

We also LOVE how they use the 'buildertrend' app so we can see the schedule, invoices, messages, etc. online and you always have a view of what's happening.

We highly recommend Penguin Basements to anyone looking to finish a basement in the GTA. You won't regret it!

Approximate cost of services:
$60,000.00
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Company Response

We love clients who use the App. It makes a project much better for all. Thanks for the kind words. Enjoy your basement.

Kamilla in Milton
Kamilla in Milton
1 review Milton, ON
10/10

Basement Bar

Over the course of 3 months our dream basement has finally come to life! We now have an extra living space, wet bar, full bathroom, & bedroom. Penguin worked through each aspect with great attention to detail & made sure everything was completed properly. Roberto & Lisa helped to keep things moving, even though COVID caused some delays. Special thanks to Jon who was present after each team to complete finishing touch ups. We couldn't be happier with the finished product.
-Kamilla & Ryan Dollimore

Approximate cost of services:
$70,000.00
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Company Response

We're happy that you're happy.

Mark S
Mark S
1 review Mississauga, ON
10/10

Basement Renovation

This is a very positive review, but that doesn't mean the project went flawlessly and nothing went wrong. Rather, the reason they deserve such a positive review is because LOTS of things went wrong, but they made sure to put them all right - and finished the job with great results!

We'd just moved into a lovely older house... with an absolute disaster of a basement. Crazy wiring, bare light bulbs with switches in bizarre places, and a malfunctioning sump pump had flooded it, making the whole thing even more of a mess. Relatives visiting the house described the basement as "scary".

At the initial assessment, Penguin created a 3D simulation of our existing basement and discussed with us what kind of space we wanted to create. They were very thorough, getting a list of just what we wanted and creating a floor plan showing what our new basement would look like.

The project was managed through Buildertrend, an online service that allows you to track various aspects of your renovation project; you can see the floor plan, as well as review your choices for paint, flooring, carpet, etc. It also has the schedule, so you can know when workers are going to be visiting. A very useful tool, though a little confusing to use at times.

It wasn't all smooth sailing - in fact, all kinds of things went wrong! After that first meeting, they'd created a carefully planned schedule for when all the construction would take place. And I'm sure under normal circumstances, it would have all gone just as planned. But with the pandemic, and all the restrictions resulting from it, the carefully planned schedule was swept away. Necessary materials became unavailable, and since they had several projects on the go at once (all of them experiencing delays and material shortages), they had to keep switching in different work crews to keep up with everything. As a result, there were definitely delays, miscommunications and mistakes... but despite all this, the good people at Penguin handled all these problems like the professionals they are.

They were very upfront about the issues, and did a good job of letting us know how they'd impact our renovation. Even though the schedule was delayed, thanks to being able to view it online I was able to keep track of what was happening, and never had to wonder when the next construction crew would arrive. Even more, they were willing to accommodate changes; if one of the days on the schedule wasn't going to work, all we had to do was notify them ahead of time and they'd move it.

They were struggling with material shortages and shipment delays too, but were always working to do right by us. I was especially impressed with what Alex, the interior designer did when we couldn't get the exact flooring we'd chosen. She found a very similar floor from a different supplier, then contacted us to make sure we were okay with it.

The replacement she'd found was an almost EXACT match - had Penguin just made the switch without telling me, I wouldn't even have noticed! But they still got in touch specifically to tell us it had changed and make absolutely certain the new one was acceptable.

And so the project continued. Turning our nightmare of a basement into a place people might actually want to live was a huge undertaking with LOTS of unexpected difficulties... but every time something went wrong, Team Penguin would put it right. They were clearly willing to bend over backwards to make sure we got the basement we wanted.

Everyone who visited our house was professional and friendly - both electrical teams in particular were an absolute pleasure to deal with. I was also very impressed by the care they took of the rest of our house; a protective paper "carpet" was placed over the area they had to pass through, and they always cleaned up after themselves after a hard day's work. When the work was complete, Penguin even sent a cleaning crew who not only made our basement spotless, but gave our front hall a good cleaning on the way out.

Not only the on-site workers, but everyone I spoke to at every stage of the project was polite, friendly and seemed genuinely eager to help. I especially want to thank Valerie, Jon and Lisa, all of whom did a spectacular job fixing all the problems large and small and helping pull this huge project through to completion. In the end, after all the trials and tribulations, what matters is the results... and as you can see the results were amazing. What was once a "scary" underground dungeon is now a lovely living space.

In short, Penguin were a joy to work with every step of the way, and I'd recommend them to anyone who wants a better basement. Very satisfied.

Approximate cost of services:
$80,000.00
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Company Response

Thanks you for the honest review Mark, and for being such an understanding client. Basement renovations can run the gamut from a simple quick turnaround to nearly nightmare scenarios when formerly unknown issues are revealed as much to our shock as a client. But most are like this, little issues and problems along the way to be resolved. Believe us when we say, after what we have all (and we mean everyone, not just here at Penguin) gone through in the past two years it's nice to read your feedback. Enjoy your basement.

Nino in Toronto
Nino in Toronto
1 review Vaughan, ON
10/10

Finished Basement

Penguin did a fantastic job in our basement. We were able to arrange the whole job over Zoom to start with Guy and Rodrigo. They sent someone on site who took pictures of the entire basement and produced a 3D mapping so we could visualize the floor plans and proposed layouts.

Their on-site staff (Roberto and Armando) are very knowledgeable and were able to resolve any issues that came up during construction.

We are very happy with our basement and can't wait to entertain in there for years to come.

Approximate cost of services:
$65,000.00
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Company Response

Thank you for the kind words Nino. Enjoy your basement.

Cory
Cory
1 review Oshawa, ON
3/10

Penguin Basements are untrustworthy and do not finish their work!

**Update We've heard from the business and they say their going to resolve the issue. I will update this review upon resolution of our issue.** We were sold a space via Zoom for our basement by Guy (owner of Penguin Basements). His vision for our basement was appealing to my wife and I, so after receiving other quotes, we elected to use Penguin basements. I wish we would have dug deeper into the reviews of the company though.
Penguin agreed to finish our basement, which included a bedroom for my daughter and an office for myself. I specifically said to Guy that we wanted to ensure this project is completed right, that's why we were coming to Penguin in the first place. We wanted permits, and everything to be completed correctly.
The project started and things appeared to be progressing well, however the building inspector didn't show up for the initial inspection prior to the drywall being put up. This resulted in the inspector failing the build as there were supports missing from parts of the ceiling, and the windows would not open due to the drywall around the windows not permitting clearance of the windows (this is obviously a huge safety issue). The inspector was also suspicious of the bedroom as Penguin listed it as a Media room when they submitted our plans to the city of Oshawa for a building permit. I'm unsure why this is the case, but I'm sure it has to do with cutting corners and ignoring safety.
My wife at one point in October of 2021 had to call the Penguin office every day just to speak with the PM (Rodrigo) to ascertain when a crew would be back to fix the issues so our basement can pass inspection. We have been given the run around by Rodrigo, Guy and anyone else that would answer the phone at this business.
This is so terribly unprofessional for a business to take your money, and not complete the job that was agreed upon at the outset. It wasn't our fault the inspector didn't show up. It's not our fault that the build was completed without inspections. That's why we hired a so called professional business. We were assured everything would be completed on time and to a high standard.
Well, this project should've completed by July 30th, 2021. It's now January 25th, 2022 and we still have no solution to our issue. I have taken this matter to the Better Business Bureau, and if that doesn't motivate Penguin to resolve the issue, the next stop will be to obtain a contract lawyer to pursue legal action. You should NOT use Penguin for your projects as even their own employees speak poorly about them.

TLDR: Penguin skipped essential city inspections, didn't complete the work to building code, and now refuses to fix the issue after hiding for months by ducking phone calls and ignoring their responsibility. Do not use this builder for your project as you will regret it.

Approximate cost of services:
$50,700.00
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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The reviews on this page are the subjective opinion of the Author and not of HomeStars Inc.

More about Penguin Basements

Penguin Basements is your full-service Basement Renovation Company.

Nothing beats a finished basement as a cost-effective way to add living space or rental income to your home in the Greater Toronto Region. Whether you need design, permits or a stunning build, be sure to call the Renomark certified contractor Penguin for a Free Estimate today.

You'll find hundreds of our satisfied customers all across Southern Ontario in the GTA, the Tri-Cities Area and the Greater Ottawa Area. Our experienced, trained professionals make it easy for Penguin Basements to stand behind every job we do. So, If there's a basement renovation in your future, contact Penguin Basements today, where 100% total satisfaction is guaranteed! Don't get scammed by fly-by-night operators, unrealistically low prices, too short build times or fake reviews. We invite you to visit us in person anytime.

• Basement Renovation Specialist
• Guaranteed Mold-Resistant Materials
• FREE In-Home Design & Estimate
• Easy Financing Available
• No Interest for 12 Months*
• Transferable Limited Lifetime Material Warranty
• 2-Year Comprehensive Warranty
• Exclusive Penguin Benefits

Be sure to check our one of our Basement Showcase Open House weekends where you can inspect our work up close and in person!

CATEGORIES
Basement Renovation
PRODUCTS
Fully finished basement design and build inclusive of Kitchens, Bathrooms and Custom features.
SERVICES
Basement renovations, basement waterproofing, foundation repair, crawl space encapsulation.
BRANDS
Penguin Family of Companies Penguin Basements Penguin Condo & Reno
STYLES
Classic, Country, Modern, Contemporary, Retro, Unique.
SPECIALITIES
Custom basement builds within your budget.
WEBSITE
http://www.basementscanada.com
YEAR ESTABLISHED
2011
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
120
LICENSES
Fully Licensed in every municipality we serve.
MEMBERSHIPS
BILD, RENOMARK
LIABILITY INSURANCE
Yes
WORKERS COMPENSATION
Yes
BONDED
Yes
WRITTEN CONTRACT
Yes
WARRANTY TERMS
2-Year plus Limited Lifetime Material Warranty.
Company profile information is not moderated by HomeStars. Ask the contractor to verify before hiring.