I selected Penguin Basements after an online design consultation held over Zoom due to Covid. After meeting with several other basement renovation companies, Penguin stood out with their ability to create multiple designs on-the-fly and help us land up with a very practical and usable basement design which we want to be a flexible living & entertaining space. During the sales process, everything we were paying for was made clear and an easy to understand contract was sent out to us detailing everything we were getting. (The best part, there were no surprises or extra charges during the process)
Arranging Finance for the project through Sergei was a breeze and as soon as that was arranged, our project start date was scheduled in their brilliant app. I loved that I could see the start date and when everything would be done. I was very surprised that it was all scheduled to be completed within two weeks.
On Day 1, Roberto (our site manager and lead framer) arrived with his team to frame the basement. He confirmed I was happy with the plans, drew chalk lines and gave me the opportunity to stand in the space and ensure I was happy how the plans were transferred to reality...and I was very happy. The basement design was excellent! The best part of Day 1 was how the team put up plastic sheeting allow us to live unaffected in our safe bubble while the construction was ongoing - it kept the dust out and kept our family safe eliminating any risks of COVID (the team was also fully masked while on site). Our floors were also protected with special non-slip blue foam material.
The entire process was smooth with teams arriving on schedule and completing their work without any supervision or guidance necessary, executing on the plan as if they had done it 100 times before. Electrical and plumbing on day 2, boarding on day 3, taping and mudding, flooring and painting. Each team were specialists of their trade, came prepared with the basement plans, all the materials that they needed and expert advice when we needed to make a decision (such as where to place the light switches or LED downlights)
The two "issues" were a snowstorm on Tuesday which meant the trades couldn't get to us out in Orillia - this was swiftly handled by Lisa, our project coordinator. She let us know at 7.30am no one would be coming and by later that afternoon, most of the schedule was updated in the app and the project was back on track. The second was the toilet was broken in the box. We were informed by Justin a new toilet would need to be brought in, and that was done the next day without any fuss. The true test is how unexpected issues are solved as they always happen, and here Penguin scored full marks.
Each team cleaned up after their work, so the basement was a safe space to explore & show our kids the progress.
Two weeks and 1 day later (including cleaning!), the basement is complete and my only "punch list item" is a $2 piece of trim that was forgotten - I am highly impressed as I've never seen ANY contractor work as precisely and cleanly as the team who completed my basement.
Our basement is beautifully finished and the process was safe, convenient and super easy for us as homeowners. I am very detail oriented and difficult to please - but I would highly recommend Penguin Basements.
The following team members deserve special mention:
Guy (GM) - for being great to deal with during contracting and close out of the project
Lisa (Project Coordinator) - for quickly responding to my every question and keeping us informed about the schedule changes due to the snowstorm
Roberto (Site Manager) - for his friendly and charming nature, creating the bubble of protection blocking off the construction zone with heavy plastic sheeting and blue protective mats.
and the Electricians (both rough in and finishing) who were both great teams putting outlets in all the right spots and designing the LED Downlighter and switch placements perfectly.