Dcd Interlocking Landscaping

Landscape Contractors & Designers
67 Longueuil Place Whitby ON L1R 3H1
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HomeStars  >  Landscape Contractors & Designers in Whitby  >  Dcd Interlocking Landscaping  >  Traumatic nightmare from beginning to end
S. H.
S. H.
1 review Pickering, ON
0/10

Traumatic nightmare from beginning to end

This is heart wrenching to write. $90,000 is now gone and DCDs job is lousy and nothing at all like it was supposed to be or promised it would be.

My husband and I had been dreaming of our backyard renovation and saving for it for nearly 10 years. I cant explain how happy and excited we were to be finally making our dreams come to life. After researching, reading reviews, and interviewing multiple companies in-person, we decided to settle on DCD Landscaping. Im trying not to use the word nightmare, but theres no other way I can describe how they destroyed our dreams thanks to their utter incompetence, gross negligence and repeated unwillingness to follow-through on their promises. Im hoping that writing this now will not only warn others, but will act as a form of therapy and help us to move past the traumatic four weeks of stomach-in-knots stress, shocking encounters, raised voices, angry tears and long, sleepless nights while being held hostage by the unending falsehoods, disrespect and carelessness of the stunningly dishonest husband and wife owners: Camille and Delip. You cannot trust one word they say. You MUST get every little thing in writing. Do NOT take their word for anything, no matter how small or obvious it would seem.

Also, as I now reread the negative Homestars reviews for DCD Landscaping, and Camilles response to them all, its now crystal clear. Like she constantly did with us, she takes no responsibility for anything, blames the client for anything negative, and uses juvenile gaslighting techniques to make you think you imagined something or she will ignore the important parts and try to change the focus to something irrelevant. Delip will simply disagree with everything and try to distract or confuse and convince you by repeating the same false things over and over. Its beyond frustrating and infuriating. This would become our daily reality for three weeks of the on-site job.

Our nightmare begins:

We are blessed to have a home on a gorgeous ravine lot in Pickering. Our backyard project required 1) a new 2-storey deck, and 2) a stone patio under the future new deck that on one side steps up (due to tree roots) to a stone platform on a new stone retaining wall for two new sheds, and then, on another side, has stone steps down to a pond.

Thurs Oct 6, 12pm: Camille and Delip arrive on my property for a first meeting and first walk-through of what we want to do. My husband, plus another contractor (who is coincidentally there, working for me on a separate renovation) are in attendance for this initial meeting, to walk-through the scope of everything with Camille and Delip. Curious and wonderful neighbours are also in their own yards, within earshot. Camille appears to be the brains of their operation, so she speaks most. I make it very clear to her how incredibly important and meaningful this project is to us. We are very busy and do not wish to micromanage anyone, but I will work from home as much as possible, to be available, if needed for approvals, last minute unexpected decisions, etc.

Camille makes it clear that composite decks are not their specialty, but there are 2 guys she trusts that she works with and refers the deck business to. We all discuss how any deck builder would be booked up until the spring, so that part of this project wouldnt happen for another 6 months. No problem. I calculate the composite deck portion of the project will likely be another $80,000 on top of whatever DCDs stone work fees will be, so clearly, a significant venture that will be a one-time project for us to enjoy for the rest of our lives. Since the yet-to-be-built, future composite deck will step down to, and also hover about 10 feet over the stone work, it needs to be coordinated for posts, etc. and this sounds perfect that she can be the one to coordinate and make that happen with her recommended deck people that shes already familiar with. I explain that Ive interviewed a handful of landscaping/deck companies so far, and whoever I hire, Im expecting they will also act as a sort of project-manager to oversee everything and make sure everything goes according to plan and everything is going smoothly at all times. That is part of what will sway me to hire someone for this, and those skills and duties are mandatory here. Camille appears excited at the prospect of this job and convinces us shes the one to make it all happen. Its an incredible opportunity for her company and her portfolio. I know it, and she knows it. She will return in a few days with the deck builders for us to meet and walk through everything once again. Amazing, what a relief. Its looking like our problems may be solved with DCD.

In the meantime, also during this initial walk-through, I explain that I need her crew to demolish the old deck and sheds, plus we need to then create a new retaining wall to support a base for brand new sheds that I will buy and then need her crew to put them together. She says to everyone, absolutely we will demolish the sheds, build the new base, and build the new sheds. Dont worry, well take care of everything. Fantastic.

We then agree on my design for how the stone steps will go down a hill to the pond, and that there will be at least one step-up to the new raised shed area, higher than the existing exposed tree roots, and that our stone patio will have a couple of levels, for design interest sake. Camille and Delip appear to take measurements of everything.

After Camille shows us photos of stone styles that we make decisions on, Camille and Delip also bring out a special binder, full of lighting options for the stone patio and stone steps. Delip finds a receptacle to plug it in so they can show us our lighting options with their rehearsed lighting presentation. Delip suggests the colder, white lights, but we choose the ones that give off a the warmer light. Camille says those are perfect, the same ones she would choose for our yard as well. Great, now thats settled as well. They leave and promise to put it all together in an initial quote, plus return in a few days with their preferred deck builders.

Four hours later, Im emailed a quote of about $95,000 just for the DCD stone work. Definitely much more than I was expecting. The quote also shows photos of the type of stone to be used for each area. (The entire backyard renovation is looking to be about $160,000-$170,000, so this needs to be done right). I knew it wouldnt be cheap, so I decide to think on this some more. I suggest we do another walk-through with Camille and Delip when they return with their recommended deck guys. I can get to know Camille better, and talk-through everything again about the scope, plus our needs and expectations.

I respond to her emailed quote, via text, asking if there will be a more substantial contract, and to confirm this quote includes everything. She responds it just does not include the deck (which I understand) and includes her materials, delivery, installation, labour. Ok perfect, we werent crazy about a couple of her stone choices and would like to shorten the retaining wall, which is much longer than it needs to be. She revises and resends the quote which brings it down to $90,000. Still a lot, but Im not ready to make a final decision just yet.

On Oct 11 they return with her recommended deck guys who do their own measurements. I do another walk-through of everything we want with Camille. She and Delip take more measurements. Camille assures me she understands and it will all be amazing.

I ponder everything for another week and write Camille a detailed email saying, OK, we are way over budget, but we will hire you for the $90,000, but to be 100% clear, here are the conditions and expectations, which clearly includes building the 2 new sheds that I will supply from Lowes, changing the patio stones to my desired ones, overseeing everything, and also I want them to include building 3 small privacy fences, if I decide we need them, depending on how the sheds turn out. This is all part of the $90,000. I include photos of the new sheds, their specs, photos of how the privacy fences are to look, and photos of how the patio stones should look. She says absolutely, and the photo of my preferred stones are from her recent project so she knows exactly which ones they are, she says. Perfect. I therefore know she saw everything and understands. A couple days later, I let her know, during an update phone call to her, that the sheds have arrived, in boxes, and Ive placed them to side for them to assemble once DCD gets to that stage of the job. She was relieved that I was able to get them delivered before they even begin demolition. Perfect.

On October 19 I meet Camille to give her the $45,000 deposit. For some reason shes now rearranged the contract into two parts, moving sections around. It all seems unnecessary and a bit convoluted, but fine, if it works for her accounting purposes, no problem. I dont think much of it and we both sign that shes been given the $45,000 deposit from me.

We are set to start Fri Nov 4. She departs with the $45,000 and it all goes downhill from here, revealing the truth about DCD Landscaping with every new day.

Over the next two weeks, before DCD is set to begin their portion of the job, her two recommended composite deck builders give us pause and leave us with about 12 red flags that these deck guys are definitely not up to the deck-building part of this job and our guts are saying we dont want them on this project. Out of consideration for Camille, I call her to say were worried about working with these 2 guys and I want to make sure these 2 deck guys are not her extended family or are going to ruffle anyones feathers or hurt any ones feelings if we dont work with them. She says, oh not at all, theyre not family, dont worry, she barely knows them and she has only worked with them on a couple of small jobs.

Wait. What? Too shocked to know how to respond to her recommending strangers for my huge job shes been hired to be responsible for, I try not to let it bother me and decide to just let it go and not cause any negative feelings before we begin the stone work. A few days later, she tells me to keep my cars out of my driveway because a few materials and workers for demolition will arrive on November 4th. Ok no problem.

THE JOB BEGINS:

At 7:30am on November 4 the doorbell rings. Its someone asking us where do I want to place the bin? And by the way, it will have to go at the bottom of our long driveway or well have to cut a huge chunk off our maple tree to allow his huge truck up our long driveway to then dump the bin onto our driveway in front of our garage. We couldnt understand how Delip and Camille would not have thought of this and warned us or planned a work-around solution. We ended up having to cut an extremely large part of our tree off to allow the bin to be placed for 3 weeks at the top of our driveway. After that unpleasantness, an actual dump truck then arrives to dump a ton of dirt onto our driveway. Delip suddenly shows up and so we then leave it with him to handle and go back into our house. Moments later, the doorbell rings again, this time its the dump truck driver, angry that he doesnt know where to dump the dirt and, by the way, hell need to risk destroying our maple tree to make it happen. I asked him where is Delip? He says Delip just left without any instruction. I tell him Im about to start a business zoom meeting and cant help. I have no idea where anything is supposed to go, thats what DCD is supposed to be doing. How would I know what their logistics are supposed to be? 30 minutes later, I go outside to check on things and see that the dump truck has dumped everything at the bottom of our driveway, meaning there is no way to store any other materials on our driveway. At that time, a super long flat-bed trailer (as long as an 18 wheeler transport truck) rolls up, blocking our street with no where to put anything. The trucks bed is full of armour stones, patio stones and seemingly overflowing with every bit of rock we wont even need for another week or so. All at once. With no sign of Delip of Camille anywhere. I cant explain the stress and embarrassment of this ridiculous scene in front of my house. The gong show that is DCD Landscaping has only just begun.

When Camille and Delip finally show up an hour or so later Delip points to the 2 sheds that are waiting to be assembled and says: Those are the sheds? I say yes, he says nothing and turns away. I ask Camille and Delip where have they been during the deliveries? Why am I forced to be stressing about this? Its a disaster with half the materials dumped on the street and much on my neighbours property. This was terrible for them to dump the logistics of all these deliveries on my lap when they know Im supposed to be working and busy with my own client meetings. I tell Camille I was trusting her to make sure this goes smoothly. She just ignores me and looks away and says I dont know why they would put this here. No apology, no concern for her client. Nothing. I tell them they should have been here for this and then Delip says: What are you talking about? This isnt my job. I dont need to be here for this. This is the owner of the company, I remind you.

Camille says: Go back to work, youre busy. Dont worry about anything. I know youre supposed to be working.

Demolition soon begins. Its a messy, dangerous job (rusty nails, dusty concrete bits and powder, flakes of old paint, old mice poop, etc), and I notice through my home office window that none of the workers are wearing any sort of safety glasses, most have no safety gloves or shoes. I mention this to Camille and she shrugs it off. All I can do is ask them, she says. This is the other owner of the company, I remind you.

On at least 5 occasions during the job, myself, my husband and the neighbours all witness Delip using the leaf blower, blowing all the dirt and debris towards his staffs unprotected eyes and faces, without warning or the slightest bit of concern or awareness. It was pretty shocking and quite disturbing.

As they began to build a retaining wall, for some reason, Delip decides to destroy a perfectly good wooden half wall that was not at all related to the job that we discussed. This wall had expensive built-in lighting which was wrecked for no reason. It was supposed to remain. The stone half wall that he and his crew unexpectedly and quickly built did look decent, so I said, well, now that youve already done it, ok I guess. But what about the lighting that I had there. Delip said, I dont know, Im not an electrician. What am I supposed to do? Thats not my job.

After demolition, while I was working at my office, Delip was operating the Bobcat to dig right up against my house, immediately under my home office window. He bashed my house foundation with the Bobcat at least 20 times and left deep scratches and deep gouges in my concrete and bricks. I was worried my windows would shatter. My trusted contractor, who was working inside, was furious that anyone could be so irresponsible with a Bobcat. My contractor explained to me that everyone knows you stay at least a foot away from a house when you are using a Bobcat. Despite having all the photos to prove the damage he did, Camilles texted response to me was exactly: Delip bashed his bobcat into your house????how come the house didnt fall? Then she used an insulting hmmm emoji, implying that Im making it up.

Within 3 or 4 days of DCD working on our property, my husband, who is the calmest, most patient and diplomatic person I have ever known, could no longer stomach the voluminous amounts of ridiculous unending nonsense that would spew from Delip with every syllable, all day long. It was infuriating for all of us.

On day 5, an elderly pizza delivery worker showed up at lunchtime with a pizza asking if he had the right address, as Delip walked by. My contractor and I overheard Delip pretend he didnt order the pizza, walk away and come back a couple times, and tried to hassle this elderly man, trying to get a deal on the pizza, since itd be a shame to waste it. We were sick by this cruel display to this poor pizza worker who was given my address for this schoolyard pizza antic.

Since Camille disappeared and had not been seen for days, I started to notice that the workers were seeming lost and nothing was going at all according to plan. Delip decided the retaining wall that the crew was building and was needed to support the yet-to-be-built sheds was tah-dah, done. However it was at least 2 feet too short for what we needed to do. There was no way we could place a stone platform for the two sheds on it since it was still way below the tree roots. He was annoyed and said it was good enough. I said absolutely not, its not at all correct. Its easily 2 feet too short. Plus it ruins the whole overall design since its clear that the large patio will now be much higher than the sheds. He angrily agreed to put one more row on, making it maybe 8 inches taller and then capped it all and said the cap is on and now its done. I had no choice in the matter, even though it was completely wrong. He insisted it was fine. But he completely ruined it by fighting me and not listening to his client. This section turned out horribly.

By then they had begun building the stone stairs going up my hill from they pond and were already 5 steps into it. It was immediately clear that they randomly, without any thought or plan whatsoever, or any idea about slope or the height of the hill, placed the first step at least 8 feet too close to my house, meaning theyd be digging a trench into my back door by the time it even reached the height of the patio that they have yet to build.

I cant describe the crushing weight of realizing these people have literally no plan whatsoever, and they have no idea what theyre doing. I had told Delip and Camille twice, how important these steps were and the specific design we wanted. Delip still had no clue whatsoever and was literally working blind.

He said, Theres no way to plan this. I have no idea where the steps will go. I kid you not. The level of incompetence was brutal.

I said, what do you mean you have no idea? Wheres Camille? Wheres the plan?

He then opened his phone to show me, what I can only describe as 5 pencil lines drawn on a napkin, without any numbers, or anything related or referenced to anything.

I then had to compose myself and accept that I was now in charge of this project and save this disaster that DCD Landscaping was causing.

It only took me about 1 minute to see that there was no way they had enough steps to get even halfway up the hill. What is going on here?

Camille then texts me to say they dont have enough material to finish the job and so, they need to buy a bunch more Maya steps and Borealis steps and which invoice should she tack that onto?

Wait. What?

I told her she needs to get here immediately. The plan has never changed. The size of the hill has never changed. Nothing has changed. Theyve had 3 weeks to make sure they had what they needed and for them to double and triple check their measurements. Now shes trying to get me to give her more money on this $90,000 job?

Camille shows up a few hours later, only because of my insistence, to see what a disaster everything has become. She offers no concern or apology whatsoever and reluctantly agrees not to charge me extra for her extremely poor planning and non existent project management skills as if it were her doing me a favour. She then fluffs off everything that just occurred and randomly tries to appear helpful by pointing out that, later, when the sheds are being built, make sure that the backs of the sheds wont be sitting on the retaining walls by more than half of the width of the retaining wall.

Later, as they are trying to figure out what elevation the main, large stone patio will be at, despite me walking through it with them on five occasions, explaining how the future composite deck will step down onto it, so we need to plan where it will be, Delip throws up his arms and loudly proclaims in front of everyone, How am I supposed to figure this out? Ive never done this before. I dont know what Im doing here. How should I know? You are supposed to have the deck built first. It should be build first! I wish I were kidding. He and Camille were the ones to introduce me to the deck guys and knew full well their stone work would have to come first in any situation. Trust them. They know what theyre doing. Dont worry. And now hes telling me its my fault that theyre building the stone patio first.

I tell Delip if he were smart he would stop talking as he is just incriminating himself further.

They next day the crew arrives at 8am and Delip informs me that they dont have enough of the specific stones we need and that everyone everywhere is out of stock. Might not be until next year now.

Wait. What?

I then suggest since he and the crew are already here on the job site, why not at least put in half a day to build the sheds and get that off the list. He says, What sheds? What are you talking about? I dont build sheds.

His crew was visibly embarrassed by their boss and this latest very obvious made-up story.

I said, I cannot believe what a dishonest person you are and had to walk away from him.

Furious, I called Camille who said, with fake concern, What are you talk about? What sheds? We never talked about any sheds. Thats not in the contract.

At that point I had to hang up on her. I texted her that from now on she only communicates in writing via email or text. We then knew that the only option was to fire DCD, but all the materials were on our property and we were literally handcuffed to them. There was no way out now.

When it became clear to Camille that she was caught in her deception, since we had multiple witnesses to what she verbally promised, plus we had everything in writing via email and I had long ago sent her photos of the sheds in emails that I know she read, etc she texts back that the shed guys will be there on Nov 21 to build the sheds. No apology. No acknowledgment of her deceptive tactic. No concern whatsoever that the project she was trusted with had turned into a total gong show. She couldnt care less. What kind of people are these that do this to their clients?

All she did say is: At least I never called you a name.

Wait. What? What name? Do you mean dishonest? Then yes, that is true. After I couldnt stomach any more dishonesty, I did call both Camille and Delip dishonest in writing and to their faces. Because they are 100% dishonest and were caught multiple times by me and other witnesses being dishonest.

So, magically, the next day, all of the stones that no one in Southern Ontario had in stock, suddenly showed up in my yard and Delip rushed to finished the job and brought a couple new guys to build the sheds which took no more than 3 hours.

After being caught in their deceptions, Delip sheepishly wanted to make sure that we were still good (!) and I brought up the sheds again. What Delip didnt know is that I later became aware he told my neighbour on that very first day that nope, theyre not going to build those sheds after all, because there are too many screws. He absolutely said that to my neighbour, but of course Delip says that never happened at all. Why would my good neighbour make that up?

I then asked Delip about the lighting that was promised. He said: What lighting? Theres no lighting. Im not an electrician.

I said, What are you talking about? You dont remember? You somehow forgot about the presentation you did and the lighting you promised us around the patio and up all the steps? He then looked away from me, and then, almost robotically blinked slowly and said, as if rehearsed, What lighting? To which I slammed the door on him.

I texted Camille that they absolutely promised us the lighting and reminded her that myself, my husband, my contractor and a neighbour all overheard and witnessed everything. Her only response to this latest made-up story: I dont remember a neighbour being there.

The next day, as if nothing at all was wrong, she informs me a photographer will be coming to shoot drone shots of the completed project that she contributed nothing to and is not at all what we wanted or expected. For her portfolio. I told her that I will not give permission for that. Her response is, I dont understand. YOURE the one who wanted a drone. As if she was doing this for me.

Im going to end it there as Im just getting angry again remembering all of this.

Actually one more gem:

On the last day, Delip wanted to walk through everything for a final time before asking for his final payment while the workers were within earshot. I expressed how lousy everything was and how they ruined every aspect of this project that was so important and special to us. It turned out not at all how it was supposed to be. DCD Landscaping was a terrible experience from beginning to end. I have no choice but to rip part of it up and re-do it by hiring someone else in the spring. He showed no concern or care at all.

What a huge mistake it was to hire you for this $90,000 job, I said to him.

It was only at that moment that he looked at me furiously, and said menacingly: Dont ever talk about money in front of the workers. That was the only time he ever showed any true concern about anything. This is the owner of DCD Landscaping, standing on my property, on the final day of the crappy job he just finished, dictating to me the rules of how things are going to be.

When Camille arrived by herself to collect the remaining $45,000, my husband and I met her to hand her the money, just wanting to be rid of these horrible people. We all signed the receipts and that was it. She didnt even have the decency to apologize for this nightmare of an experience thanks to her blatant incompetence and total carelessness from beginning to end. What an opportunity she ruined for all of us. No decency whatsoever.

Ok, now I must stop.

I would say, if you need someone to build a 5 foot by 5 foot patio, without any bit of rise, step, no planning and if its only a one day job, needing no communication, and if youre desperate, they can maybe pull it off. Anything more, beware. And please be warned of the type of people and business you are supporting. They take responsibility for nothing. As Im sure youll see in their response to this.

Approximate cost of services:
$90,000.00
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