As a single Mom with a full-time job I knew I couldn?t navigate the maze of regulations, Code requirements, subcontractors, bids, scheduling, etc. by myself. I needed an experienced contractor who would guide me through the process smoothly, safely, on time & within budget, advise me if I had unrealistic expectations, anticipate problems & offer me options, etc. For these services I was prepared to pay a fee. I vetted several firms & verified positive reviews. After an interview & some negotiation about scope of work, price, schedule, & terms, I contracted Cosgrove & Sons. Key considerations for me were their stated ability to create design drawings from detailed sketches I provided, their stated knowledge of Code & Permit requirements, & the work experience they described on similar projects. Unfortunately, my experience with Cosgrove & Sons performance has not been consistent with their claims. I am now in month 10 of a project they said would take about 2 months to complete, there is still work that is incomplete or incorrect, they are not responding to my emails, & there is no clear end in sight. Some examples of issues that caused project delays & added unnecessary cost are: Code & Permit: Cosgrove purported to know local Code & Permit requirements, yet did not pull some Permits until after construction started & pulled other permits only after authorities issued notices of violation. Some electrical & plumbing work was performed by general workers rather than licensed subs. Cosgrove's mistakes caused difficulties & delays in securing the Permit. In one of the failed inspections, the inspector made him tear out all the new kitchen drywall so the inspection could be performed Schedule: The Cosgrove contract estimated 8-9 weeks to complete the project. It is now week 40+ & they are still not finished. Cosgrove promised to keep me informed about schedule changes by providing work plans & regular progress updates; these were never sufficiently detailed, accurate or regularly updated. The extra 8 months the project has taken has prevented my family from comfortably using our home and cost me about $1000 for extra offsite storage for our belongings Communication: Cosgrove committed to timely & regular communication, including weekly in-person meetings & written progress updates, but these rarely occurred. I would routinely have to ask for (often have to insist on) updates, including asking when inspections were going to be scheduled. Several times workers were scheduled to be onsite or pulled off the job without adequate notice (< 24 hours or no notice at all). At this time, I have no word from Cosgrove about when they will be back to complete the project. Dimensional Error: Cosgrove installed a new interior bedroom wall in the wrong location. When questioned, he chose to extend the bedroom addition rather than place the wall according to drawing. But then didn?t place the new foundation wall to fully accommodate his error. As a result, the bedroom is smaller than I wanted. Kitchen: Without consulting me, Cosgrove installed a Formica countertop in the kitchen (contract called for quartz, which Cosgrove delayed ordering and subsequently local supplies ran out). Only after I questioned this did it become clear that the Formica countertop was installed in an effort to pass an inspection, which would have triggered a payment. I objected to this scenario & insisted on the inspection being delayed until the quartz could be installed. Flooring: Cosgrove's flooring subcontractor installed new oak floors with many problems - sizeable gaps, knots, shakes, uneven joints, etc. - at the height of summer heat & humidity, meaning these would become bigger problems in winter when the wood strips would shrink & cause seams to open up even more. I was especially concerned in this highly visible area. At first, Cosgrove wanted me to accept the problems as "normal", then he proposed to use filler, and then to cut out some sections of the floor and glue in patches. I did not agree to any of these "remedies" since I paid for a new floor, not a patched floor. I insisted the Sunroom floor be reinstalled because many flaws were in the center of the room, which is high traffic & highly visible. Insulation: Cosgrove planned to install fiberglass batt insulation in the ceilings to achieve R38, but local code requires R49. When his plan was rejected by the Permit Office he then decided, without consulting me, that he would make the roof ?thicker? (using scissors trusses over the Sunroom) to allow for more batt insulation. It was only after studying his permit drawings that I realized he was planning to change the roof structure, which would have significantly changed the pitch of the ceilings & made them lower in both the Bedroom & Sunroom - this was aesthetically unacceptable to me. In order to resolve this situation I stepped in and found a sprayed-in foam insulation product & installer that met Code requirements without changes to roof structure, dimensions, & details. This saved Cosgrove the additional cost & labor of the trusses, but I had to absorb additional costs for the spray foam insulation. Cosgrove's back-&-forth with the Permit Office delayed the project for several weeks Electrical: Some electrical work not performed by licensed Electricians including installation of some switches, moving some fixtures, etc. Several electrical outlets are placed in random locations, some switches are inverted, others are crooked, & security lights & bathroom fan do not work properly, even after several attempts by Cosgrove to resolve the problems Heating System: The contract with Cosgrove included modifications to the heating system & installing new baseboard radiators. I repeatedly asked for heat load calculations for the rooms getting new radiators, but the subcontractor was either unwilling or unable to provide the calculations. Cosgrove left the issues unresolved, which delayed the heating installation, but he continued with other work ?out of sequence? (flooring and baseboard was installed, walls were finished, etc.) which resulted in extra work to remove, repair or replace them. At Cosgrove's suggestion I eventually located my own heating subcontractor who provided the calculations, could schedule the work, & provided a cost estimate. Cosgrove objected to paying his price (probably higher than his original sub) but he still didn?t suggest he would find his own alternate & offered only a fraction of the added cost as a credit even though a completed heating system was included in his contract. Only after I indicated that I would take this issue to arbitration (as the contract stipulated) did Cosgrove agree to credit the full amount of the estimate (less additional costs for work beyond what was agreed in the contract). This delayed the construction by several weeks Doors & Windows: a. I opted for more expensive doors & windows than what was described in the contract & I paid the cost differential. I gave Cosgrove part numbers and descriptions to use when ordering, but made a typographic error in one part number. When placing the order, Cosgrove could not get the entry door I had selected. Rather than calling me to tell me he could not order what I asked for, he picked a different door & sidelights on his own. When the product arrived it did not match what I picked out & was too big for the available space. I rejected the door & sidelights, insisted on being reimbursed by Cosgrove & ordered a new entry door that was the right size. Tthis meant waiting an additional 6 weeks for delivery b. All doors & windows were to have the same exterior & interior trim details as the original house, as I had noted frequently & consistently both verbally and on the architectural drawings. Cosgrove told me they could make & install the exterior trim around both the windows & doors, so I opted to go with his suggestion rather than ordering the manufacturer's window trim. When Cosgrove employees installed the new windows they had no exterior trim at all ? a detail I wasn't aware of until after the siding was installed. This is still a disputed item and not an easy fix c. Two windows arrived with damaged sashes, which I promptly pointed out to Cosgrove when they were installed. Nearly four months later, the damaged sashes have still not been replaced & may no longer be covered by warranty Architectural drawings: During the bidding process & contract negotiations, Cosgrove committed to provide me with architectural drawings using his commercial software. The contract also stated that he would provide drawings. Cosgrove committed to provide these before the project started, but he had difficulty generating accurate & sufficiently detailed drawings (including cross-sections showing celing heights, intersections of roof planes, trim details around doors & windows, etc). At least 4 sets of drawings were attempted & each time I promptly returned them with many notes questioning dimensional & factual errors, omissions, descrepancies, & questions. Many of these issues were not adequately addressed or corrected on subsequent submissions, causing needless delays. These drawings were necessary for getting the Permit and to be used as the basis for construction, so the workers would know what was required. The fact that the drawings were never entirely completed or accurate led to many delays, misunderstandings and construction errors Changes: the need for many of the corrections I insisted on can be traced directly to Cosgrove not providing sufficiently detailed & accurate drawings, a lack of attention to detail & planning ahead, and the assumption that I would accept lots of "little" mistakes even if they cascaded into bigger problems over time. When Cosgrove would send through requests for payments, i would find charges for 'extras' I didn't ask for or agree to, partial or missing credits, and other types of accounting errors.