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Basement & Foundation reviews in Hartsdale

  • A
    Places Prepared LLC
    Places Prepared was the general contractor for several projects, which included demolishing and installing new concrete steps and a walkway, replacing a 30+ year old roof, chimney repair, and installing a basement drainage system. This was a lot of work that needed to be initiated and monitored, and I understood that Places Prepared had a lot of other clients, but I always felt like I was given full attention throughout the whole process. From the initial planning stages to the finished products, I was thoroughly pleased with the communication, professionalism, clarity, and courteous manner. What also stood out to me was their willingness to go the extra mile to make sure I was fully satisfied, even to this day they reach out to make sure I am still happy. One of the values listed on their website is as follows: "Here at Places Prepared, we value people. We listen and we care. Clients are people first, and clients second. That perspective shapes our work." Usually, companies will post cliche statements to get you to do business with them, but I can never attribute that to Places Prepared. They treated me as a human being, not financial opportunity, and they delivered on the work promised and more.
    - Matt K.
  • A
    Basement Solutions LLC
    The original repair consisted of placement of a french drain. When the water leak conti ued, they came back, extended the french drain and sealed a crack in the basement wall. The crack was the actual source of the leak.
    - Christopher D.
  • F
    WFC Construction Management Inc
    WFC began demolition on the project the week of November 25, 2014. We were told by Mr. DiPalma that they had pulled the appropriate permits. Later, we discovered the building permit was not issued January 5, 2015. We were told this was normal, and not to worry. We discovered later this is against the law.
    Although demolition was completed by December 15, 2015. The removal of debris never fully happened (the garage is still full of debris from 8 months ago). At that time we made a payment when requested by WFC Inc. despite the demolition not being completed. It should also be noted here, that the existing hardwood floors throughout the house were great condition; however, during demolition, they were not covered or protected in any way, leaving huge scratches and gashes everywhere.
    After demolition, work completely ceased on our home.
    We understood the dormer portion [the new master bath] of our remodel would depend on weather, but the vast majority of the work was indoors, away from the elements, and heated. The house was also vacant. From the completion of the demolition in December until mid-February, no work was done on the house. We received little to no communication about what was happening with our home.
    After nearly two months of no work, I hit a breaking point and decided to terminate our contract. Only after I sent, the email terminating the contract did I receive communication from Mr. DiPalma apologizing for the lack of progress on our home. He pleaded for us to continue on with WFC Inc. and assured us in writing and verbally that he would be done with our project, not only by June 20, 2015, but three weeks early. He also re-affirmed that we get weekly progress reports (which never happened).
    Over the course of February, March, and April work progressed on our home in fits and starts, and it seemed that Mr. DiPalma might be able to keep his promise; however, the quality of the work was sloppy and almost every day we had to ask
    Sabato (aka "Sammy") to address issues. However, during mid-April we hit another period of slow down.
    At this point we began expressing our grave, on-going concerns about timing and progress; we began making it very clear, we didn?t see how this could possibly be finished on time. Sabato's responses over the past six months were always the same: "trust me", "relax", "I only want this to be beautiful project for you". After this point, he became much more pointed, and when I tried to point out work that wasn't right, I started getting the response of "this is my project, don't tell me how to do my job".
    On May 16th, Mr. DiPalma assured us that he would start having workers there seven days a week until the project was finished. Note, there was only four weeks till the end of the contract, and there has been no finish work, all three bathrooms were completely bare sheetrock--no flooring, no tiling, no fixtures, as was the kitchen--no cabinets, fixtures, flooring--nothing. The roof and siding weren?t repaired after months with only tar paper and a tarp covering the new areas. The floors weren?t touched. Electrical, HVAC and plumbing were all a huge mess, somewhat roughed in, but not labelled, not connected. The electricity was on with live "hot" wires all over the house.
    On Saturday, May 30, 2015, we came to the house and discovered that there was no one working at the house. I texted Sabato immediately to ask where the guys were, and I was informed us that he had given his men the weekend off and that they would
    not be back until Monday, June 1, 2015. I reminded him again that we were three weeks away from moving in and there were no bathrooms, kitchen, etc. etc. (the above description was the current state of the house). He had a terrible argument, when he basically told me that the work wasn't done because I hadn't picked out a floor tile and was missing a payment. I will write separate reviews on his business practices and "Design Studio". Needless to say, this was a complete mis-characterization, which I will explain later.
    Around 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 31st, we returned to our home to find Mr. DiPalma?s men there, filling their van with items from the house. They took all of their scaffolding, tools, and equipment, along with many of our tools and other belongings, leaving only a living room and garage full of debris behind. Based on this action, we assumed he abandoned the worksite.
    Since terminating the building contract with WFC, we have had researched the consumer protection laws and had two licensed contractors, the Town of Greenburgh Building inspectors, and a licensed electrician come to the house to take stock of the work performed and assess where the project stands currently. All the professionals confirmed that the work was haphazard, sloppy, even dangerous, and, in several cases, the work was out of compliance with building code. The sentiments of every professional we have
    had look at the job thus far has been shock and disbelief of the level of unprofessional work.
    At the end of all of this, we trusted Sabato and WFC Construction with our house. We spend 8 months and a huge amount of money. We are now in the position of having no where to live, with pets, and re-doing all of this work, along with upcoming litigation to rectify this situation.
    Pictures and other evidence to follow!

    - Thomas H.
  • F
    The provider assessed the Basement Floor, Basement Walls, Floor Condition, Overall Mold Conditions
     and any Visible Foundation Cracking.
    The provider did not assess and/or address the following points - Landscape Drainage, Gutters, Down Spouts, Structure, Doors etc. Also, we never received our "15-point foundation inspection report".
    We basically paid $55 for a sales pitch, and not for an inspection (same one we got form other companies... for free!). The sales person was trying to sell us the company's product, he never really did a full professional inspection, and we never received any report for this "inspection".

    - Ben B.
  • D
    Vulcan Basement Waterproofing
    We decided to use Vulcan based on a recommendation from a neighbor. We had received other estimates with various prices, but felt most comfortable with our reference. What a mistake. The Vulcan representative who came to give us the estimate was ok and we felt did not oversell what we needed. At that time I asked who would be coming to do the work. We were told that anyone on the truck and crew had been working for them for a number of years, so I assumed honesty. I could not be home the day they came. A drywell drain was dug and laid in one day. We covered what we could and they covered nothing... not a single thing. (Apparently they told us this but I didn't realize that they would come without a tarp.) They broke a cabinet top, as well as a dryer vent. The work was done too quickly and was shoddy. The well was reportedly not dug deep enough and the concrete laid on top was spotty and uneven. That was bad enough. But to top it off, a member of the crew (supposedly a substitute) stole our PS3 game system and all the PS3 games, even though they were covered by our tarp. To say we were disappointed and furious barely covers it. We had to pay someone to come in to help me clean up their mess. And then it took someone else weeks to repair the damage done to the floor tiles, to repair the sloppy workmanship and to restore our basement. The only good thing I can say is that they took the price of the physical damages and of replacing the PS3 and games off the top of what we owed. Yes, it was busy after Hurricane Irene but there is no excuse for what happened to us. Avoid Vulcan. There are plenty of other honest businesses out there who can waterproof your basement. The work came with a 10 year warranty. Let's hope we don't need to use it.
    - Joan P.
  • A
    Alure Home Improvements Inc
    The installation went very well. It was done in the time alotted. The men were very professional. All scrap was removed and the area left clean and neat. I like the room very much, but if I had it to do again, I'm not sure I would spend that kind of money on the basement.
    It did pay off, however, when we had a flood during the March 2010 storm. The wall panels and flooring were easily removed, the area cleaned and we didn't have to worry about mold.
    - Mary D.
  • F
    Rock Solid General Contractors Corp
     Before continuing with the report I must interject the following information:
    I have had severe and painful spinal stenosis since mid-2002 and, due to a flair up in pain, almost cancelled the project.
    It was apparent that I could barely stand , let alone supervise the project in detail. 
    However, based on the excellent reviews on Rock Solid's performance provided by Angie's List, I felt that I could, with minimal supervison, trust Mr. Walsh to follow my instructions.
    I was more than willing to endure the pain and follow along as long as Jim Walsh did not deviate from our verbal  agreement. I assumed that, everything had been going well since no one informed me of any deviation to our agreement. 

    What gave me pause from the very beginning is that Rock Solid did not provide me with a contract or a written statement of work.
    When the work was supposed to conclude all I received was a
    non-detailed Bill for $6500.

    It was with blind faith that I trusted Mr. Walsh and, with a minimum of examination of his work , paid him $6500 for his efforts. then spent a number of weeks on Oxycodone while trying to recuperate.
    The one thing I was careful  about was my instructions regarding the work required. What I asked for was exactly as depicted in A) and B) above.
      At no time did I modify my requirements or change my mind. 

     How did it go overall?
    Unfortunately,my blind trust turned out to be a complete disaster. I thought I was being listened to but it seems that Mr. Walsh had a different agenda. While he appeared to understand and acknowledge my instructions, his attention was directed elsewhere.  
    When I felt better  I took the time to examine the results in detail and I was shocked to see what Mr Walsh had attempted to do.

    What Mr. Walsh actually did 
    A) The front Patio
    As previously mentioned, the existing Bluestones were firm and generally in good shape, althought not firmly bound together.
    Mr. Walsh himself commented that greater than 80% of the stones could be saved. 
    I made it clear that I would gladly pay for any new stones needed, as long as the overall job was done properly. I did not argue or  dispute any increased cost that Mr. Walsh thought was needed . Again it was a matter of my misplaced trust.
    When I felt better physically, I could not believe what I allowed Mr. Walsh to do.
    The remaining Bluestones appeared to have been badly altered and were no longer unscathed.
    Very few of the stones were undamaged. Their tops were badly warped, chipped , cracked and layers were peeling.
    Corners and edges were torn away. 
    In addition, It appeared that Rock Solid introduced an unethical way of trying to hide some of this damage by covering the damaged  stones with  mortar cement, which was also used as grouting. I became strongly suspcious that this was done so I used a Power Washer at 1/2 max PSI (800) and found that  the suspect cement was conveniently covering stone edges that were badly damaged. When I confronted Mr. Walsh with these findings, He claimed that the power washer pressure must have been set too high and chewed through the bluestone. If 800 PSI was high enough to damage the stones, Mr. Walsh better find a new supplier of materials.    
    It also appears that Mr Walsh used 3 different matterials for grouting this small front Patio . He used a charcoal colored brittle type, A light gray mortar type one would use on a chimney and a Rubberized Sealastic. The combination of these 3 types truly give a new meaning for the definition of the word "UGLY".     

    B) Work Done on The Side of The house
    As  previously mentioned, I was concerned with water leaking into my "Finished Basement" during a rainshower, I advised Mr. Walsh to :
    Step #1 Seal the surrounding side of the house with waterproof cement which prevents direct entry of falling rain.
    Step #2
    Let the Gutter Downspout gently exit along the surface of the waterproofed cement via an L connection directed towards the rear of the house. 

    What Mr Walsh actually did:
    Step#1 was done exactly as I requested so direct rainwater no longer pooled or puddled near the basement entry points.
    In step #2 However, Mr. Walsh reinserted the gutter downspout directly through the waterproofed cement and back into the basement. After the recent rains, my wife and I had to literally pump this water out of the basement. So Mr. Walsh got it half right. When I questioned Mr. Walsh about this, He gave me a BS story that he actually added a Dry Well to remove the excess water. I have my doubts as to whether Mr Walsh understands what it would require to design and install a Dry Well.
    All he needed to do  was follow what I had outlined previously which was: 
    1- remove the added downspout connection to the basement.     
    2- Seal the added  and unneccessary hole with waterproof cement.
    3- Reconnect the L shaped downspout from the gutter and, as previously stated, allow the downspout water to gently flow towards the rear of the house.

    I have tried to contact Mr. Walsh a number of times via telephone but he has yet to return my calls.
    I will not attempt any repairs untill I document this disaster with phographs. As they say you have got to see it before you believe it. 
    I have a very impotant question for someone of authority at "Angie's List".
    Perhaps they could explain how Rock Solid  could present an almost perfect Review Record (almost all A's), while I found them to be almost completely unethical and dishonest.
    If you check your records you can see that I've used  Angie's List a number of times before and my reports were all mostly A's  In general I found their subcontractors were honest and competetent. 
    However, after this experience, I will look at "Angie's List" with a lot more skepticism. 

    - MURRAY S.
  • A
    Quaker Road Associates
    Bruce and his team did a fantastic job--they were extremely responsive and timely, gave great advice based on what we were looking for and never tried to oversell us (either on scope of work/services or materials). They were reliable, neat, very flexible and very easy to work with. The price was very competitive. The quality of the workmanship was top notch! Highly recommend them.
    - Robert A.
  • B
    Connecticut Basement Systems
    They were efficient, responsive, and the price was right.
    - Eva n.
  • A
    Basement Solutions LLC
    project started and finished on time
    - Christopher D.
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Foundation & Basement Contractors in Hartsdale

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