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Home Improvement reviews in Fiskdale

  • A
    We recently had a spray foam insulation project finished by Sure Seal of New England in September, 2017. The thinking that we needed more insulation began a few years ago with massive ice dams which appeared to be caused by heat loss via the roof. We had an energy audit done through our energy company which pointed out some flaws in our existing insulation system. Essentially their suggestion was to have one of their recommended contractors blow in cellulose on top of the existing fiberglass batting in the attic. I researched on line and discovered that this additional insulation was still not going to meet existing code and even though a lot of the expense was going to be covered I remained very skeptical about going this route. After months of stalling I called Sure Seal of New England. Owner Fran LaPlante took a close look at the situation and pointed out the problems that the energy audit had found. However Fran offered another solution with the open cell spray foam that made more sense to us. Our Cape Cod style house has some challenges such as a central chimney for a wood stove which we rely on for 85% of our heat (with heating oil back up, at least while I physically can do the firewood). Also when the upstairs was finished 35 years ago by a contractor I trusted, the fiberglass insulation was not properly installed. There were no proper vents (as specified) installed at the soffit vents (which were especially cut in at the time) or in the slants from the knee walls to attic space on the front. I went to work one day, came home and all was closed in and “properly vented” per the word of the contractor, who I had no reason not to believe. I believe that the only reason the roof substructure had not rotted out completely is because I had preformed some remedial actions. My actions were only short term solutions to a worsening problem. As of 2017 there was some mold in the attic and behind the knee walls although it was not completely out of control, but certainly needing attention. Still skeptical, we hired Fran to spray in foam in the attic and around the cellar bays above the foundation. Up front Fran and I decided on a plan of action whereby I could save some money by removing the fiberglass batting on the front slope walls in order for the foam to flow in properly. The day arrived for the foam team to spray and all went well in the cellar and front half of the attic. The back half of the attic space was very limited where dormer had been added. Fran thought that the existing insulation could be reached and moved out of the way so that the foam could flow in unimpeded. However the insulation turned out to be stapled in where the dormered slope of the house met the house. The contractor that swore he used the “proper vents” indeed had omitted them but had a surplus of staples to go around that day. Here’s where Fran’s company started to impress us. Rather than continue the foam spraying and ignore or cover up the problem, Fran came to me to explain the predicament. My first and “gut” reaction was “here we go, the extras are going to bankrupt us”. However, we talked out some possible solutions. I decided on the most drastic but best route to take after examining all the facts and financial considerations. This solution was to take the roof shingles off the back half of the house (soffit to ridge vent), remove bottom 4’x 8’ foot plywood sheets the width of house (5 pieces) , spray in foam, replace with new plywood, then re-shingle the back of the house. As it turns out the entire back of the roof was in rough shape and from the moment the shingle stripping began it became obvious that all the plywood on the back needed to be removed. Snow loads, insufficient ventilation over the years and the fact that the plywood was only 3/8” thick vs. 1/2” and obviously substandard had exacted a toll. Incidentally, this extra work was done by a team of efficient and professional roofing contractors that were arranged by Fran to do the work. They are an adjunct to his insulation team in case he runs into tricky situations like this one. The primary point however is that Fran was open and honest with us throughout the project. I did spend a lot of time on the roof myself, hopefully not getting in the way but seeing and being actively involved with the project. This is not for everyone of course but I’m a “hands on” type now, having smartened up over the years, and Fran incorporated me into the project to my satisfaction. The finished project turned out extremely well. At one point I essentially was “over a barrel” as they say, but as things turned out was given very fair pricing on the additional work (plywood, shingles, labor etc.) as Fran refused to take advantage of the situation. What I learned from the experience: • Fran LaPlante is a “straight shooter” who has lots of experience with foam insulation. • Fran will not cut corners or take the easy way out if this means not doing the project correctly. • Fran will treat you fairly and wants you to be satisfied with his work. • Fran is more concerned about building a strong, loyal customer base than making a quick buck. • Sure Seal of NE has the capabilities of offering carpentry services if your project requires it. • Sure Seal is a company that puts its customers first and foremost. I know this is a long review. I could have written in many more details, however I think that I’ve made my points to help you as a homeowner make a decision about Sure Seal. I’ve been burned in the past and hate to see anyone else taken advantage of in this day and age of information technology. This time around we found a great small company with ethics and pride and would like to recommend to anyone thinking about the merits of spray foam insulation. By the way, neither my wife or I knew Fran until we called him a couple of months ago after hearing Jim Polito’s ads on WTAG. This letter is unsolicited. Thanks again to Fran, Joe, Julie, Sam and rest of team that helped us deal with the challenges that we faced. I believe we’ll be comfortable in our home this winter, I’ll certainly have an update available come spring. Ken Gliesman, Fiskdale, Massachusetts Questions:
    - Kenneth G.
  • D
    Initially I was going to not review Mike Beaudry Construction. His latest refusal to fix something that his crew did wrong made me want to warn others about his low quality work. He completely renovated my entire downstairs in a lake house (about 850 sq feet) including the kitchen and a bathroom. Now I see that instead of venting the range hood outside as promised, his crew simply put a piece of venting on the outside of the house without ever installing the ductwork or anything else, leaving the hood venting into the brand new kitchen. He will not answer my requests to come and do the work properly. His crew is comprised of his daughter and a couple of guys who obviously are not carpenters. They installed the kitchen cabinets crooked and used no shims. Just laid them against the crooked wall. It was very obvious to the naked eye – no level or measuring needed. He argued that it was the countertop was cut crooked instead. I had to bring in the counter guy and pay another contractor to explain to him what we all could see before he would reposition the cabinet. Additionally, his crew nicked a cabinet door and just painted white over it. He would not acknowledge that and told us we did it. It is a summer house and no one was living there since it was March and being completely renovated at the time. He does not demand any quality from his subcontractors either. We had a $4000 flooring allowance and STILL ended up paying another $3K in overages. The floors we got were vinyl and carpet. Since we supplied the bathroom tile, the area for the allowance was far less than 850 sq feet. I called the floor guy myself and he admitted that the flooring supplies were not that much, it was a lot of labor. WTH? We paid for labor as part of the contract. If paying a fortune was not enough, the bathroom tile remains covered in cement where it hardened and did not get wiped off by the installer. Additionally, after installing a luxury vinyl floor, his flooring guy thought he would cap two steps with commercial type aluminum edges. Mike did not care that it was terrible looking at all. He told us it was “industry standard” and the flooring guy said there was nothing made of wood-look vinyl on the market. It took me 5 minutes on Yahoo Shopping to find what I wanted for under $100. Mike expected me to pay for it however – despite the expensive flooring costs already. We had agreed to pay for allowance overages, which was not a problem if he presented an invoice showing it. We had a glass shower door made as part of the project. When the man came out to measure for it and we agreed to the design, the man told us that Mike had told him he could charge whatever he wanted since we were paying for any overages. WTH? There was a $2000 overage on a one panel shower door that had a $2000 allowance!! I confronted Mike on that and he denied he said such a thing. Who makes stuff like that up? The work crew had no respect for our things at all. I had a removable wooden island with a wood finished top, it is a piece of furniture. Rather than removing it, they used it as a workstation without any covering at all. It is ruined now since the wood top is so scratched up. An 8 year old would know that you do not work directly on finished wood. The crew left everything covered in drywall dust and dripped paint. Mike also sold our things without our permission. We told him outright that we wanted to keep a woodstove and the metal chimney which was not very old and we had a buyer. When we arrived the chimney had been sold by him without our permission. He offered nothing except a “sorry”. Additionally, we arrived one day to find a stranger unaccompanied in our yard removing the deck awning which Mike had sold to him also without our permission. I could tell more, but the above should be warning enough.
    - Laurie P.
  • A
    I called James on a Sunday to come and help out with an electrical issue. I'm a new landlord and was in desperate need of help. He was super friendly, and was at the property in a few hours, fixed the problem and put everyone at ease. There is more work to do, but he is hired!
    - Coleen T.
  • A
    We could not make a higher recommendation for Solid Contracting.  They showed up on time and often stayed overtime to work on the project, which was completed on schedule, and changes we requested as the job progressed were handled graciously.  The entire crew was courteous, respectful and pleasant to work with, and they went out of their way to make our visions a reality.  The quality of their construction is second to none because of their attention to the smallest of details.  Hiring a contractor and keeping on top of the project can be a daunting task, but Solid Contracting made it as easy for us as it could possibly be.  We would certainly hire them again in the future. 
    - Edward C.
  • A
    Jesse and Josh are experts at carpentry.  Their work is amazing and really has made a significant difference in our home.  

    The tile work was also very well done.  They paid close attention to details, edges, etc and were always asking my opinion to make sure every last thing was to my satisfaction.

    In terms of reliability, they set proper expectations and were all on time and courteous when on site.

    I would use them again in a heartbeat.
    - Rayna W.
  • A
    The Decksperts took on the complicated project of building a deck on top of our porch over-looking the water on Hamilton Reservoir. This project was complicated because they had to partner with our roofer to remove the existing roof on the porch and then sister the ceiling joists to add strength. After the joists were sistered the roofer would then close the roof, add ¾ inch plywood and a rubber roof. They are sistering the joists so they can handle a heavy load with the added deck materials and a crowd of fun loving guests . All this had to take place during a multiple day period of dry weather, something very hard to come by lately. Unfortunately, the existing joists were not to code. They were only 2x6s and there were electrical and cable wires that had been slotted in multiple locations across the joists, weakening them. So, we had to work with the Building Inspector to identify an alternate plan. The end result was that we had to find an electrician on an emergency basis to come out to do some rewiring. This involved punching through walls and redirecting wires. We also had to "raise the roof" a couple of inches with the added joists to add additional strength to the structure. Decksperts rolled with the punches; they were excellent partners and active problem solvers. And, we found an electrician to come out on a same-day basis, fortunately, and Decksperts partnered with him to resolve the electrical issues. After the new roof was in place, Decksperts installed a sheet drain on the roof and then the Azek pavers, directly on the rubber roof. Decksperts also added railings around the new deck and a set of stairs down to the patio. We originally planned to have stairs down to the driveway, but we had to go to Plan B when they discovered the stairs would be right on top of part of our septic system. Again, Decksperts worked with our Building Inspector to get approval, on short notice, for the change in plan. I was extremely impressed with the quality of their workmanship. The team was very responsive and they were very flexible in overcoming the challenges that they faced. The team has a great attitude on the job, superior technical knowledge and exceptional problem solving skills. They were an excellent partner with my roofer and the electrician and they worked well with the local building inspector. The deck is beautiful!
    - William T.
  • A
    Paul was an excellent partner throughout this process.  The vast majority of the project was completed while we were away in Florida for the winter.  Paul provided us with excellent advice, counsel and guidance and took the lead on establishing bathroom designs and working with all subs.  If Paul didn't think something looked good (e.g., a color choice, or a bathroom fixture) he would call and share his opinion, ask questions and we would agree on a go-forward approach.  There were no major surprises as we went through the project.  He did an excellent job with his subs of anticipating issues and in making changes to ensure compliance with code.  Paul's detailed approach to quoting pieces of the project and in billing as we went, was meticulous.  This was especially helpful in the beginning of the project as we needed to make decisions about what work we were going to do and what we would have to cut from our project.  The quality of the work was excellent too!
    - William T.
  • F
    I had to call another roofing company who came in within 1 week and repaired the roof at a fraction of Albana's
     If anybody is looking for an excellent roofer - Dicky Matos is the name.
    Albana is running a scheme collecting money for no work at all ( aside from driving to the customer's house).
    Big-Big mistake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    - elena s.
  • A

    We were impressed with Bryan's knowledge and his respect for the knowledge we have as owners of this stove for about 8 years. They were both very friendly.  When they were done, the younger Bryan cleaned the wall where sooty hands had touched.  All in all, a very pleasant experience.

    - Susan S.
  • A
    The two technicians arrived promptly and quickly set to work in the cellar with their electrical snake and computerized camera equipment. They discovered a huge ball of roots which required quite a bit of time and effort to saw through and remove. They ran an expandable saw to thoroughly clean the drain line fifty feet, and ran the camera again to inspect the line. They professionally and efficiently solved any problems they ran into. I highly recommend them.
    - Michael G.
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Home Improvement Services in Fiskdale

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