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Water And Smoke Damage reviews in Winchester

  • C
    Pifer Construction
    We chose Pifer Construction because the design they presented was the best for what we needed although their price for building the deck was almost twice as high as the other estimates.  They took our special problems into account, i.e., the past problem with flooding in our  basement from rain due to the deck we had at the time and the way the water bounces off our home and our neighbor's home.  We needed the basement entrance roof replaced but it needs to be absolutely watertight and we also wanted the deck to rise above the entire basement entrance as further protection as well as to have a nicer deck.  It was important, too, that the deck be watertight underneath so that we could store the lawnmower, a wheelbarrow, shovels, etc., underneath it without any of them being affected by the weather. 
    From the beginning, though, there were problems with communication with Pifer.  They were supposed to bring us 2 designs for the deck, one for an 8 x 12 and an 8 x 20.  Court only came by with the 8 x 20 on June 9, which was way too expensive.  It took two weeks to get the other design from him  because he said he didn't have my email:  but he must have lost it because I did give it to him.   He could have called me at any time as well, and I left him several messages telling him that the job was Pifer's but I needed to see the plans and the contract, which needed to be signed, in order for anything to get going.  Despite that, it took 2 weeks to finally get a copy of the plans.  At least he came by quickly to sign the papers once I received the plans, though it took close to 4 months for the deck to finally be built after they were signed.
    The papers were signed on June 27 and it took 2 weeks for me to finally get a copy of them, and then only because I called: they weren't sent to me as they were supposed to have been after they were signed.  I had been told the deck would be started the first of August when we signed, but when I called the office I was told "oh, the contract says August, so that means the last week of August or the first week of September." That date came and went.
    This went round and round.  Court Pifer wouldn't return my voicemails nor messages most of the time. They were ignored.  It was frustrating.  Every time I was told my deck would start construction at a certain time, that time period came and went.
    The truth is, if I have another small job I would never use them.  If I have a big job ($10,000 or more), I absolutely would.
    Finally, September rolled around and they decided to get the permit to do the deck.  We had to wait for the city to issue the permit, which took time because of zoning issues (I apparently live in a flood plain).  It took them a couple of weeks to issue the permit, and even after that it took Pifer 3 weeks to begin construction, which didn't start until October.  
    The fact of the matter is the deck is beautiful.  The men who constructed it did a wonderful job and were very professional.  The basement roof is watertight as is the area underneath the deck, which has special sheeting underneath (which looks like metal but is actually plastic) to keep everything dry.  It is not only what we wanted: it is nicer than I thought it would be.  Their work is just about flawless.  Even though the city had them make a change to the decks plan, even that added to the beauty of the thing.  I can't fault their work: this deck was built to last 20 years and I have no doubt it will last at least that long.
    As I said, I would recommend them, but only with the caveat that it be for a big job because otherwise you will undoubtedly run into the same problems I did.
    - Sharon C.
  • C
    Master Dry LLC
    I picked Master Dry because they were decently rated on Angie's list but mostly because they were available. (Many people had flooding issues after this storm, and one major company I called said they couldn't even do an estimate for two weeks!) I supplied my contact information to the Master Dry person on the phone, letting her know I was not physically at the house (a rental) and asking for advance notice of any workers' arrival so I could have time to drive to meet them at the house.
    The next day, I got a phone call from the Master Dry office saying the workers were at the house and no one was home. Fortunately, when I contacted the workers directly, they agreed to wait for my arrival after saying no one had told them to call ahead or given them any contact information. Two men, one clearly a new trainee, checked things out and said they should be able to do the remediation over the weekend, even though it was Memorial Day weekend. I did not get an estimate. (I attribute not noticing that and not asking for a written one to my panicked state.)
    On Saturday, the workers did call ahead to let me know they were able to begin the work, which they did: removing wet drywall and paneling and doors. One of the three people working was a middle aged, overweight woman who left exhausted well before the end of the first day, taking with her the truck that was supposed to haul away debris. The debris sat in the side yard of the house for two more days before being removed. The remaining two workers did stack it reasonably neatly as out of the way as possible. They sprayed everything with an organic antimicrobial solution and placed 10 large fans and a very large dehumidifier in the basement, saying they would run for 3 days and that I should then wait for an additional 3 days before beginning repairs. They finished and left at 5 pm on Saturday. On Thursday, the fans were still going with no word from Master Dry to me. By then I had informed my insurance company of the incident, and when I told my agent the remediation was still ongoing, the insurance company sent a representative from a Master Dry competitor to measure moisture left in the basement. They found it to be dry enough to begin repairs. Also, someone who had retired from doing this type of work happened to visit the house during that period, and ventured the opinion that 5 fans would have been enough for such a compact space. This matters since the fans bill at $30 each per day.
    I notified Master Dry to finish the job. The woman I spoke with was defensive, denied it had been 5 days (this was late on Thursday), and informed me that, since I was stopping too soon, they would not guarantee the remediation. On the plus side, I got a quick response and a dry basement. The lead worker was knowledgeable, pleasant and proficient, and explained everything to me. The damaged drywall and paneling was also cut out in a way that left neat edges, facilitating repair. Interestingly, in keeping with the phone denial, they ended up only billing me for 4 days, not 5, even though they did not pull the equipment until midday Friday. I am left to wonder, however, how long the fans would have run and been billed for had the duration not been challenged. Hence my hesitation to use them again or recommend them.
    - Martha G.
  • B
    Pifer Construction
    The roof came out well. They changed the terms of the contact in response to something that my mom who occupies the house that she done without checking with us and we were the people who actually signed the contact with them so that was bothersome.
    - Rodrigo V.
  • A
    American Home Pride
    The price was very competitive. It included material and labor. Their quality was better than other contractors who have done work for us. can't even tell that he cut out the drywall and replaced it. For responsiveness, they were right there and on time. They kept everything very clean, put tarps down everywhere. You couldn't even tell there had been a construction company here. He was on time, he is good about his word, very clean.
    - Adrienne M.
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Water And Fire Damage Services in Winchester

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