I hired Royal Stairs to replace two staircases at our home. What a mistake! Reflecting back on the pre-sales discussion, Hugo was more focused on the financial transaction as he outlined his payment structure several times. I should have picked up on this and not hired him. My first mistake!
I clearly advised Hugo that the new staircase must fit just like the existing staircase. He said the installation would be the same and that he would make each step “legal height” as this was not currently the case.
After installation, there were several issues that we wanted Hugo to resolve. The issues are as follows. See pictures.
1. The first step of the staircase leading up to the second floor was 9 inches in height. This was too high and we wanted it lowered.
2. The staircase was installed in such a way that a huge gap was clearly visible between the tile and the staircase.
3. One side of the new staircase (the stringer) is not flush with the drywall.
4. On the underside of the stairs, several nails were not completely nailed into the wall.
When the installation was completed, I asked him to lower the staircase so that the riser was behind the tile thereby removing the gap and lowering the first step (resolving issue 1 and 2) he said it could not be done. His solution was to use trim to hide the gap. The old staircase did not have trim. I also asked him to push the staircase towards the wall making the other side of the staircase flush with the drywall (issue 3). He said this could not be done as the stairs would not be straight. The old staircase was flush against the wall. I took him for his word and paid him. My second mistake!
After consulting with my husband, my concerns echoed and more were raised. For this reason, I called Hugo and requested we meet at the house to discuss our issues as we were not satisfied customers. Hugo agreed. He arrived before my husband and I did and began to make adjustments to the stairs. By the time we arrived, he had lowered the first step so to minimize the gap.
We were very disappointed that he did not wait until we arrived to make adjustments. We asked him what he did. He said he did not notice the staircase was resting on a two-by-four which was raising it. He cut the two-by-four, the staircase dropped and this closed the gap (issue 1). This lead to a whole bunch of new questions… Was the staircase level in the first place? Why did he not notice this before? What else had he not noticed? This confirmed our suspicion that the staircase was not installed correctly and his credibility, in our opinion, diminished.
We then began to discuss the other issues. We asked him to move the staircase closer to the wall so that it was flush with the drywall on the other side (see picture). He stated that he could not do it. We asked him to lower the staircase by making the first step shorter and the last step a little higher. He said it can’t be done. We asked him why the installation was sloppy in that he did not completely drive all nails into the stringer (see pictures). He said “...it was not required” and “… no one sees the nails.” By this point, his attitude was terrible. He would not let either me or my husband complete a sentence nor could he completely explain why “it could not be done”. He was very agitated as we continued to ask questions. He had no sense of conflict resolution and no customer service attitude. His only solution was to walk away and that is what he did. He was paid so there was no incentive to address our issues.
We now have to find a reputable stair building company to review the installation to ensure it was installed properly and to address our issues. We do not recommend ROYAL STAIRS. In my opinion, Hugo is very young and has a lot to learn about customer service and conflict resolution. His attitude toward the craft and his workmanship are suspect.