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Exterior Contractor reviews in Chittenango

  • F
    Women At Work
    We had heard good things about Women at Work, so we first tried contacting them this past winter to see about setting up an estimate. We were told to contact them again in March. We did as instructed, and this time were told that someone would come by the house to have a look and that they would leave an estimate in the mailbox. We never received an estimate. We tried a third time, and then moved on. If for some reason Women at Work was unable to take on our job we would have respected that. But by not saying anything, and leading us on they wasted our time and effort.
    - Daniel R.
  • B
    CNY Handyman Inc
    We hired O'Tooles Handyman Service to remodel a basement room (drywall, windows, and lighting) and perform drywall work upstairs replacing a 70's era stone wall (plaster stone glued onto painted drywall). 
    O'Tooles does not offer a single quote like other contractors which covers both materials and labor.  Instead, they write an estimate.  The estimate is their guess at the total materials needed and total hours of labor.  The bill you pay at the end is for any materials purchased by them plus the total of hours labor (literally number of hours times the hourly rate).  They purchase all materials at Home Depot by default, or you can supply the materials.  They do not markup the materials they purchase, although they do charge per-hour labor for the time that their folks are buying materials and travel time to/from Home Depot.
    Our observations from the job.
    1)  While O'Tooles does not markup materials they purchase, we did have challenges with materials estimates.  The original estimate, which was given by the person who did the work after an on-site inspection, was significantly lower than what the initial materials purchase ended up being (it was estimated at "a few hundred dollars" and it ended up being more than 1700, and there was additional material cost past that).  In fairness, part of the overrun was caused by changes we asked for in the job and additional work needed after the wall was opened, but the estimator (the guy that was on site doing the work) did a very poor job at estimating and then relaying that estimate (and the increase in materials cost) to me.  If I had to do it over again, I would have the estimator detail the materials list and costs at the time of estimate, and again as we changed the scope of work, in order to avoid substantive misunderstandings.
    2)  All labor is billed by the hour.  Unlike other contractors who give a quote for the job (and who then have an incentive to complete the job as soon as possible to maximize their profit), O'Tooles only gives an estimate for total labor hours.  This is both a bug and feature.  O'Tooles will say this is a feature as this allows the customer complete control over the number of hours paid for and this would be correct.  The bug in this approach, however, is that this forces the customer to very closely monitor the hours worked by the on-site personnel and ensure that each hour is being used in the way they want.  In other words, much of the management responsibility is shifted from O'Tooles to the customer.  We didn't quite realize that for a few days and after an "interesting" conversation with O'Tooles in which we threatened to have them leave (and they came closer than they think to that), we came to an agreement and was able to mostly complete the job.  My recommendation, based on this experience, is to only use the per-hour labor rate for smaller jobs (like up to a few days of total labor) and insist on a fixed-price labor rate for larger jobs than that.
    The work performed was satisfactory.  The on-site guys, working with us, were able to come up with solutions to issues as they arose (when you open a wall, you never quite know what is going to happen). 
    Based on our experiences, we would not recommend O'Tooles for large jobs (weeks of work) but would for smaller jobs (days of work) primarily due to the way that they bill for labor.  Ironically, we ended having them do less work than we originally wanted because of that despite having two contractor quotes in-hand for less money and more work than O'Tooles performed.  We picked O'Tooles because of their good rating on Angie's List and, as stated before, would not use them for any large job again.
    - Richard C.
  • A
    Bob Ryder Painting
    Bob and his team went above and beyond in painting our house and
    recognizing some underlying and extensive damage which had been done by
    carpenter aunts. They proceeded to repair this damage thoroughly (not
    just paint over it). Although the job ended up costing more than had
    initially been estimated, Bob was upfront throughout the project in
    keeping us informed of some of the and quot;issuesand quot; which had arisen, which
    needed to be addressed, and which were not obvious until his team
    started scraping the house in preparation for painting it. They also
    did a great job on repairing and painting our white picket fence, which
    had several posts which were falling apart.
    - Carolyn D.
  • C
    Arrow Fence Company Inc
    unknown
    - paul C.
  • F
    The Masonry Worker Inc
    unknown
    - Thomas M.
  • C
    A & G GERVAISE CONSTRUCTION
    .As of now, August 23,2014, still nothing has been done even with repeated phone calls asking when he will put back on the piece that blew off.  This makes it 3 YEARS now and counting.
    - Arthur F.
  • A
    Steve Byrne Painting
    Extremely nice and professional guy. I'm not sure if I could have gotten the work done cheaper, but I really felt comfortable with him so I went ahead with it.
    - Jonathan G.
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Home Exterior Specialists in Chittenango

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