We contacted Regional Waterproofing & Excavating as there was an intermittent flooding issue in the basement (occurred about once a year). The best looking ad in the Yellow Pages was amazing, I was ready to give up my first born.."we find the root of the problem and fix it" "restore and add value to your property" "no band-aid solutions" etc., looked great and it comes with a 30 guarantee to boot. I called them immediately.
Before I continue I should share a few personal facts to help paint this picture. My wife was really pregnant (almost ready to pop), our house is a one bedroom bungalo, her family from out of town was planning on visiting once our child was born and hoping to stay with us... somehow, and half the basement is a recroom area with a small room off it which we were going to use as an interim bedroom and baby's room while we figured out a more permanent living situation. On with the story...
The owner showed up, barked some commands at his subbordinate, in this case his wife, she took some measurements and he gave me a quote that I found a bit high. After sweating over it, I reflected on the guarantee that is transferrable through sale and this calmed my nerves. I gave them the go ahead... two weeks later the work started..
Things started out fine. Then little, greasy things began to surface. I went to open my garage, but oops, the underground power line had been severed somehow (Regional), and NO ONE advised me. When I phoned up to enquire what happened, I was given "I thought they told you". Nope, in fact they back filled over the damaged power line making it extremely difficult to find. I asked when they could make repairs, and the owner fed me "read your contract sir, that's your cost to deal with". I can deal with making repairs, but tell me about it. How could they know they damaged the line you ask? Well, they were using the outlets inside the garage to run their power tools and I gave them the code to open and close the garage door at the end of the work day.
NEXT, they charged extra to remove part of my concrete driveway. It was in the original estimate to remove this, but I guess 4-5" thick is way beyond regular thickness. Fact is 4" is a standard thickness for concrete in this installation.
I requested they install a sump-pump in a cubby hole near the rear of my basement, even put it in writing. They phoned me recommeding it be installed in the rear corner, which I agreed with as they are the 'experts' and I would just have to deal with the inconvenient installation point, whatever, as long as it's dry! Then I received at least two more calls while I was at work advising they will install it in the opposite corner of the house, in the electrical room. I thought great, but I stated "as long as you're sure" and "you're the expert".
They made a horrible mess of the sump-pump installation. It was not flush with the floor, left quite a mess for me to deal with, they didn't silicone the holes in the foundation the discharge pipes were going through, oh and they cemented the discharg pipe so it would discharge directly into the excavated part of the concrete driveway thus spitting the water right back into the weaping type/sump-pump system (mind you, there was gravel now... try pouring water into a glass filled with gravel if you want an illustration of how this does not make any sense).
I did a little visual inspection of the installation to this point which consisted of weeping tile around the foundation connected to a sump-pump at the front right corner of my home. Well, the weeping tile tapered up a lot then the connection to the sump-pump pit. I wrote a well worded letter, for real it was nicely written, not accusing anyone of anything malicious. The letter requested the owner explain why it was being installed like this as water does not run up hill, at least to my knowledge (wasn't written quite so sarcastically).
It further requested no further work be complete prior to discussing and explaining the installation. Well the owner phoned up and literally yelled at my pregnant wife while I was in the shower. She was so scared when she gave me the message. I called the guy back and he yelled at me. I calmly reminded him that he's the expert and it was not making sense to me. Shorly after, the weeping tile was installed lower in this area.
Shortly after the work was completed and after I paid an additional $4000.00 in total, I received my written guarantee. This isn't worth the paper it's written on. And I quote "THIS GUARANTEE IS A 30 YEAR GUARANTEE. ALL MATERIAL IS COVERED IN THIS GUARANTEE, PLEASE NOTE LABOUR IS NOT. THIS GUARANTEE IS TRANSFERABLE UPON THE SALE OF YOUR HOME. ALL WORK WAS COMPLETED BY 1671343 ONTARIO LIMITED. THIS GUARANTEE MUST BE KEPT WITH YOUR CONTRACT AND RECEIPT OR THE GUARANTEE IS VOID.
It should be noted that my name, address, and/or all other particulars were left off the guarantee, thus what property is it for. Further to this, if you read that guarantee again, it's basically stating the materials used have a manufacturer's guarantee and in no way guarantees the installation. Well I guarantee they did some work...
Here's where things get fun. A couple months later there was a huge rainfall and surprise, my basement flooded, approximately 1/2" of water. I called Regional and the owner came over. He advised they'd likely need to install another sump-pump in that corner of the basement (original corner), and some internal drainage tile would need to be installed in the basement floor. Great I paid all that money and have that fantastic guarantee! He got back to me with an additional estimate for that work. I lost it at this point and told him I wasn't interested.
After much deliberation I contacted a second, much more reputible company who eventually completed similar internal work, but they actually honour the intent of the guarantee. Happy with them!!
I had a third party come by to check out what the problem was with Regional's installation. After excavating two parts of the foundation, it was discovered the the weeping tile around the majority of the foundation was the better part of 2' (two feet) lower than the connection point to the sump-pump. This means that there needs to be more then 2' of water for the sump-pump to start doing it's thing... I wonder if this is the problem???
I decided to try and recoop some of these costs... keep in mind I was now nearly $22, 000.00 into an originally estimated $11, 000.00 job. I approached a lawyer and yatta yatta come settlement conference time, their slick Toronto lawyer acting on behalf of Regional Waterproofing's Insurance company, claimed I was the problem. They called me a flat out lier, and they even began producing witnesses whom I never spoke with or met, but they claimed I demanded things of them. I was advised to "take whatever small settlement they offer as court could cost me possibly $10, 000.00 or more if I was unsuccessful.
To sum up, Regional has no integrity, their work is shoddy, the owner is a bully, and their guarantee is garbage - I'd be embarrassed to pass that guarantee along to someone purchasing my home. Sorry for such a long read... but hope this helps.