Why did you look for a contractor?
Remediation and retiling of a rotted deck and two rooms.
Why did you choose this particular contractor?
Willingness to take care of the entire job; great customer-facing attitude.
How do you feel about the results?
If a friend asked you for a referral, what would you say about this contractor?
He’s the kind of person who does things right. I trust him.
The Full Scoop
An outdoor deck is the perfect target for water damage, and ours was no exception. Even though our home is not so old – built in 1992 – a serious case of dry rot had developed under the deck’s tiling.
We started this job because of the deck, which needed repair and retiling. Then the tile floor in our utility room started cracking; the builder hadn’t laid the correct board originally. While we were at it, we also wanted to replace the tile in our entrance.
I interviewed 3 tile contractors, but none would agree to take on the entire job. It was always the same story: “You guys take care of the remediation before we come in, because we don’t do it.”
Then I found Pacini's Tile Works. He was willing to accommodate us and actually has a remediation specialist on board. He also came with me to buy the tile and delivered it himself. (The other contractors wanted me to pick up the tile for them.) And his price was in line with everybody else’s – nobody bid cheaper. All those things were pluses.
The total price, including tile, was $9,000. We picked a very expensive mosaic stone for the entrance, which required some skill to install.
There was a lot of prep work and that’s where he really stood out. He had to tear off the tile, rip up the subflooring underneath and replace the boards that had dry rotted. After installing new framing, he put in the tile board and finally tiled it. I think the results are excellent. In fact, I’ve been happy with the whole process and I’m a professional project manager, so I don’t accept substandard work.
What advice would you give to other homeowners based on your experience?
- Make sure your contractor can handle the whole project, not just tiling. Don’t get trapped into having to be the project manager.
- Look for people who are willing to be flexible. Avoid this type of attitude: “Don’t bother us, know what you want, don’t have your wife change her mind …”
- Listen to expert suggestions. Our contractor suggested a new type of tile for the deck, which I hadn’t thought of using. It turned out to be a good idea, though. The tile looks like wooden boards, yet it’s water resistant.
- You want experience. This tiler has been in the business 25 years so he knows what he’s doing. He came in and told me exactly how he would handle the job. That’s what I was looking for, not “We’ll make it up as we go along.”