We initially approached Royal to repair our foundation which was seriously leaking as winter moved into spring as they were recommended by a neighbour and I had found a number of good reports on this website. Paul came across as very professional and was prepared from the outset to provide quotes which we had to wait for from other contractors whom we had approached – his quote was within the amount of other quotes for the initial job. Upon discussion we were informed Royal could arrange for the moving of our pool equipment from the basement to a shed they would build and build a deck to replace the deteriorating platform and steps at the back of the house.
The initial project of repairing the foundation went well – it was expanded to include the one side of the house that had a crack which was not leaking, but held the potential of leading and the back which with the removal of the pool equipment would have left holes requiring in the foundation requiring repair and waterproofing. The workers were there 1st thing every morning and within 1 week the repair work was done. The workers gave the impression of being knowledgeable and caring. Clean up was well done. There seems to be an ongoing problem with one high traffic area where the patio stones have shifted creating a tripping hazard and are sloped towards the house. It was corrected once, but the problem reoccurred after a heavy rain and Paul promised to connect the 1st week of September to ascertain the problem (see below).
The contractor hired to move the pool equipment quickly removed the old (we decided to up-date old equipment) and we were introduced to the electrician. Both these individuals impressed as having excellent knowledge in their areas of expertise and a strong work ethic.
Everything went well until the shed and deck – Initially there were 2 workers, 1 of whom was the carpenter, who built the frame of the shed and deck. Unfortunately, although pleasant and a hard worker, the individual left to complete the deck did not impress as a skilled carpenter. The platform of the deck was solid; however, we were constantly pointing out balusters that were cracked, or had holes and at one point the railing had to be replaced as the corners were not mitred with the result that the railings did not meet properly and moved when leaned against. The biggest issue for us was that as Project Manager Paul N. was pretty much a no show and so it was left up to us to point out the problems and to call him about them. Currently, the deck, while adequate, looks like it was built by an amateur-the mitred corners are not well fitted and edges of the lattice around the base were left rough and exposed and in some places are pulling away from the frame - not the professional quality we were used to when my father did carpentry. As well, the shed, while well-build, was not properly aligned before securing it to the platform – not noticeable until the siding was added – it is out just enough that you notice the misalignment.
While we are grateful for the excellent job of coordinating Royal did with the different aspects of the job; the one area that needs improvement is the woodworking. Also, leaving 1 individual to complete the job, who was not a professional carpenter, resulted in it taking much longer than it should have, as it resulted in wasted time and money when things had to be redone. Unfortunately, because she was desperate to get her backyard back and the pool opened, my mother signed off on the deck, and has regretted the decision since.
As promised, Paul N. did connect with us and on Sept. 8th came to look at both the deck and side of the house. He acknowledged our anxiety about the delay in opening the pool probably had us signing off on the deck job prematurely, and has promised he will have a carpenter come around and correct the problems. As well, after looking at the side of the house he believes he knows what the problem is, which will require relifting the stones and regrading to ensure the problem does not reoccur. He has promised to personally oversee this aspect of the fix to ensure the problem is resolved. Unfortunately he was unable to give us a specific date, but assures us the work will be done as soon as he can manage.
At the end of September, the foundation repair contractors returned and the problem seems to have been resolved - even with the heavy rain last weekend, the stones seem to have settled into place without creating a tripping hazard and the stones no longer slope towards the house.
As for the deck; unfortunately Paul sent the original worker to fix the problem. As noted, this individual is not a trained carpenter - he is a hard worker, who impresses that if he had proper training, could be an excellent carpenter. His finishing of the deck has ensured the lattice will not pull away from the deck; however, corners were not mitred and it still looks like an amateur did it. As we have decided we do not like the current style of deck (our fault, not Royal's), we are not pursuing the issue of the deck finishing.