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Basement & Foundation reviews in Southington

  • A
    Matt was recommended to us by a neighbor to do some cliff side excavating and install a retaining wall. Several other contractors had looked at the job and been unable to recommend a course of action, but Matt knew exactly how to proceed.  The result surpassed our expectations due to Matt's design sense and eye for detail. Mat is personable, reliable, organized, and easy to deal with. His planning and professionalism ensured that the job went smoothly and was completed on time and within budget. We highly recommend Neighborhood Services.

    - Stephen G.
  • A
    We called Better Built Basements for a quote and they came out to look at our project a couple days later, emailed the quote a few days after that, then as soon as we accepted their proposal, they promised us a definite start date within a few weeks.  We've dealt with other contractors who said they'd call us "when they were ready to start" and we'd end up waiting months, so being promised a specific start date was awesome!  But then because our project was on the smaller size, they ended up being able to squeeze us in even earlier than their promised date - that was fantastic!  They completed the job in less than a week and the resulting drywall job is absolutely beautiful.  We couldn't be happier.  We were also amazed at how well they cleaned up after themselves.  We expected to have sheetrock dust throughout our entire house, but there was nothing.  Apparently they use a vacuum attachment when they do the sanding, so there is almost no dust.  We would definitely hire Better Built Basements again.
    - Gina L.
  • B
    Very flexible, friendly, and good responsiveness. I made a request for a quote through Angie's list, and they responded promptly. Even though they are quite busy (aren't all tree services around this time of year? =)  ), they came out the Saturday after I contacted them.
    The gentleman who came out was very knowledgeable, made sure the tree and its surrounding partners were in good health, and explained what he would be doing to remove the tree. I was not pressured to sign anything on the spot, and he left a clear written estimate / statement of work. The way he explained things exhibited a good knowledge of what he was doing, and the given price was actually quite fair - I'd been given other estimates, and two other providers offered roughly equivalent prices.
    If I hadn't found a local competitor that came in with a better price and came well-recommended by my next-door neighbor who used him last fall, I'd have used Sotil Tree Service hands-down. I'll certainly be in touch with them if I need more tree work done in the future.
    - Nathan B.
  • D
    Better Built Basements (BBB) was not the least expensive of the three contractors to quote my basement renovation job.  But they came with positive reviews from Angie's list and others.  Overall the the finished product is as expected, but the job was punctuated with periods of miscommunication, arrogance, disrespect and, after the job was completed and a problem occurred
    with the electric panel set up, denial of responsibility and an irrational and emotional response from the president of the company to a problem they created.  A concise listing of events and occurrences, some of which illustrate this perspective and some that may be of use for homeowners who have never been through a renovation:
    ·       In the beginning of the job, BBB said that I could track progress and job activity on a cloud-based software called ?buildertrend.?  After checking the site three times during the first two weeks of the job, no updates were posted to the site. The response from BBB was ?we don?t put every activity up there.?  None were posted.
    ·      During the job, we were informed by BBB that one of my town codes supposedly stated that there needed to be ?air flow?
    between floors.  BBB wanted to cut a hole n the floor between the basement and first floor to allow for this flow.  When we questioned the town code (it turns out they did NOT have to cut the hole), the president, on the phone with his worker on site said ?you tell her (my wife) we are cutting the hole in the floor or we?re off the job.?
     ·      When I called BBB to change the size of a full-wall mirror from ?above the outlet? to ?floor to ceiling,? the President of BBB said ?The mirror is 5x9'2 inches. They never go to the floor and it always goes above the outlets. If you want it to go floor to ceiling with the outlet I can get you a price but it will probably be 1000-1500 more (than the $500 included in the cost of the job). They
    charge a lot to cut the glass for outlets and larger mirrors over 5 foot high. We talked about this at the signing. In 7 years we have never done a floor to ceiling mirror they are too cost prohibitive.?  I cancelled the BBB mirror and ordered the floor to ceiling mirror from a local fabricator who was happy to accept the job. The cost was $1,100 total installed, not the $1,500 - $2,000 suggested by BBB.  BBB applied a $500 credit to the final cost.
     ·      At the end of the job, we did a walkthrough with the original salesperson.  All went well. I called the next day
    reminding him of the ?free TV? offer on the BBB postcard that we discussed at the beginning of the job.  His response
    was ?I don't think that we talked about a promotion when I was just there for the sign-off.... I looked at your contract
    and it didn't come up at the signing either because its not listed on the contract.?  When I reminded him that the offer was not contingent on the contract language but an explicit promise on the postcard, he gave us the TV.
    Now for the ?after-job? events:
    The final sign off occurred on April 30, 2015. The job, as I mentioned, was well-done overall and they delivered what
    we expected.  On Thursday, May 21, three weeks after the BBB job was completed, I turned on our central air conditioner
    for the first time this season.  One of the units was not blowing cold air, so I scheduled a service call with my local HVAC contractor for Thursday, May 28. The contractor arrived, took a look at the AC coils and tried to turn on the unit.  There was no power. He
    inspected the electrical panel (which was re-positioned and re-wired by BBB as part of the basement job) and asked us if the panel was new.  When we said ?yes,? he asked if a licensed electrician did the job.  When we asked why, he said that the AC unit was wired incorrectly and needed to be remedied ASAP.  The cost from my AC contractor for uncovering the BBB electrical mistake was $280. 
    This is the email I sent to BBB on May 28? ?One of my air conditioner units was not working, so I called [my AC contractor] to
    check it out.  After taking a look at the AC unit, he went to the electrical panel.  He informs me that the panel was wired incorrectly and needs to be re-wired with a new breaker for the AC unit.  He stated that it is a hazard. Can your electrician call [my AC contractor] ? to discuss the issue and solve it today?  I?d hate to see this turn into am unsafe issue.  Thank you.?
    BBB responded quickly and sent an electrician to fix the problem. I sent the following message to BBB? ?Can you
    guys please consider paying the bill from the AC company?.  Turns out the only thing wrong with the AC was the electric hook up.?
    BBB?s response? A terse? . ?We don't cover outside contractors.?
    While replacing the breaker and re-wiring the AC unit, the BBB electrician shorted an adjacent breaker and ?fried? a TV that was plugged into an outlet in the basement.  When I heard of the mishap and having received the terse message that BBB does not ?cover outside contractors,? I sent the following message to BBB?
     "The only reason why the AC was not working was that the BBB electric job was done incorrectly. That cost me $280 from [AC contractor]. When [BBB electrician] came out, he did something to the panel that blew out the TV hooked up in the basement.  He
    said he would replace that.  At this point, I need some assurance the electric is safe and correctly installed and
    that the $280 charge will be reimbursed and that a new 19? brand name TV will be delivered on Saturday.  These actions
    will essentially stop me from sharing this story with local broadcast and social media, including Angie?s list. 
    Let me know what you think.  Thanks.
    A new TV was delivered later that day.  The electrician admitted his error in wiring and was apologetic and professional.
    The president of BBB responded to my email via a voicemail? Here are key excerpts:
    ?Sorry about your AC not being hooked up?
    ?He (BBB electrician) made a mistake.?
    ?[Our electrician] is a licensed E-2 electrician so I can assure you that it was done properly?
    ?You didn?t call us first before you called your AC guy and that?s on you.?
    ?I?m not paying for your AC guy?s bill.  I?m not doing it.?
    ?As far as your threat to go to.. Angie?s list. I have your email showing that you are threatening me.  I don?t respond to threats.  That doesn?t work for me.?
    ?What I can tell you from the bottom of my heart is that I don?t respond to threats.  So as far as you threatening me about Angie?s list? or the TV or whatever else, I?ve got attorneys too, so don?t threaten me.?
    The comment regarding the expectation that I should have called BBB first when the AC was not working does not hold water.  Using this logic, I should call BBB when any electrical device in the house is not working properly, expecting that it could be from poor wiring in the new BBB-installed electric panel. 
    While the overall job was completed as designed, and likely would have earned a ?B? rating, it was sometimes a painful journey.  And the events that occurred after the job was completed, including the refusal to pay the $280 HVAC charge, showed inept management, the lack of a customer-centric perspective and led directly to this poor review of Better Built Basements.

    - Craig S.
  • A
    Ron was very professional and patient. He came on time and provided a lot of information and options. We really appreciated the educational conversation. Unfortunately the projected cost is above our budget and we decided to use a different contractor.
    - Cindy Q.
  • A
    Luc from Attack-A-Crack was very patient and professional. He responded very quick and was very knowledgeable on crack repair. He was honest and the price was reasonable. Justin was on time for the appointment and was experienced. He did a great job on the repairs and cleaned up afterwards.
    - Cindy Q.
  • A
    My bathroom was installed in two weeks.  I was advised it can take 3 weeks and I expected it to last longer because of the inspections.  However, it was finished in a shorter amount of time.  Here's why I like BBB.

    1.  They are here when they say they will be at the time stated.  The website Builder Trend keeps you informed of what jobs are scheduled for what day.

    2.  All of the workmen were extremely neat and got the job done as expected.

    3.  They are trustworthy.  I worked from home the first day but felt I could comfortably go to work and not worry about what was being done at my house.  I would come home and whatever was scheduled, was completed.  If there is a question or concern, you are contacted promptly.

    4.  Per the contract, I picked out my fixtures, they picked them up and installed them.  There were no surprises, the contract was met as written.

    5.  Everyone I came in contact with was professional and courteous.  This is a big plus in my book!

    6.  After the sign-off of the job, I felt I could not live without an extra electrical outlet in the washer/dryer area (for ironing) and that the ceiling insulation and plastic covering was understandably disturbed and coming down in some places in the storage area.  An email was sent and the result was that Jim sent two men to take care of these items on my schedule.  No hassle--this is excellent customer service. It was done today.

    I am a satisfied customer from quote to end of job--plus some!

    If you are the type of customer that wants to be involved in every aspect of the job and wants to talk to each worker and ask questions as it goes along, you need to be available when they are at the job. Otherwise, you will not see or hear from them.  This was not the case for me.  I did not want to be home.  If I had a question, I emailed the office or called and received my information promptly. 

    I am planning on having them replace my basement stairs--they have a stair company!  Also, I like the flooring so much I will be installing that in my other bathrooms.  This is my 5 star endorsement for BBB.
    - Patricia D.
  • A
    At first, the cost of the BBB quote seemed a little high, and my husband and I were going to wait before we moved ahead with the project. But after getting quotes from other contractors and subcontractors, we felt that BBB was a good value and really knew how to do basements.  Their standard practice includes steel framing and mold-resistant sheetrock, which adds a little for material costs, but after having experienced a moldy basement in the past, is well-worth the investment.  We decided to go ahead and sign the contract with Jim.  The workers were incredibly efficient.  They'd usually put in very full days and leave the basement spotless when they left.  Even after jack-hammering up the floor to install pipes for a new bathroom, the space was swept clean at the end of the day.  BBB provided us with a schedule of work, updated for each week.  As questions and concerns arose, Jim was incredibly responsive by phone, email and text.  He was very proactive in correcting these issues, having workers come by within an hour or two.
    We did run into a few unexpected issues though.  So although I'm giving BBB an A rating, I was torn.  I'd say they are really somewhere between an A- and a B+.  
    The negatives: (1) The carpeting allowance included in the quote was for a basic carpet.  We knew that we would likely pay extra for better quality.  Our impression was that the $2.25/SF allowance was for carpet material and that everything else was included.  It turns out BBB included carpet material, padding and installation in that price.  What we thought would be several hundred dollars extra for a better carpet turned into $1,500.  (2) The HVAC guy was not impressive.  He made a few mistakes along the way (that were eventually fixed), but losing your heat twice is not fun.  (3) The project took a few weeks longer than the 6 weeks we were originally quoted.  Part of the reason was because we were never given firm deadlines for picking out our bathroom fixtures. "Pick them out ASAP" is not as helpful as "We are going to install your vanity this Friday, so make sure it's picked out by Monday," for example. (4) Jim and his crew are builders. They had some design suggestions, but are not architects or interior designers.  I found it troubling that the framers designed our bathroom without considering that the low ceilings would not accommodate a normally-placed shower head. It wasn't until my husband was walking around the newly framed basement did he realize that the bathroom would need to be moved slightly. (5) The painting was not done as carefully as I would have liked. We had to have the poor painter return three times to complete touch-ups. There are still minor pin-holes and bubbles on one section of our wall.
    That said, the basement now looks awesome.  My husband and I were involved with more of the design and selection of features than I originally anticipated, but we are very happy with the finished product.  For full disclosure, we were told that if we complete a review on Angie's List, we could expect a nice Starbucks gift card in return. We weren't asked to give an "A" review, but I certainly thought the Angie's List folks should know that BBB customers might be getting an incentive to submit reviews.
    - Elyse K.
  • A

     Overall, the work on our home is exceptional. We believe Professional Home Builders stands by their company description.  Everything is spelled out and itemized.  The cost is accurate and they stay true to the original costs.  If anything changes it is optional for the home owner and you are allowed to make your own decisions without pressure. The work is consistent and the quality measures up tremendously. The crew consists of professional tradesman who follow through with Victor's plan which shows in their work. They showed up on time and cleaned up before they went home. Altogether we feel this is an honest company and we will be using Professional Home Builders & Design LLC for all of our contracting needs.

    Thank you,

    Mr. & Mrs Mike Gomez
    - Holly G.
  • A
    great job. no leaks since work completed.
    - ralph l.
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Foundation & Basement Contractors in Southington

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