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Savoir Faire Design / poor quality reno

1 West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Review updated:

This Rene guy is so smooth. He can talk the talk but he sure can't walk the walk. He claims to be a "designer" but I highly doubt he's more than a painter that thinks he can take on anything.
Just look at all his little business's. From painting to designing and reno's to house cleaning. My what a talented guy. I don't believe he has more than two people working for him at any given time.
If you hire him I'd recommend you oversee the project yourself or you may be in for a very big disaster in the future like we discovered.
He low-balled our reno and basically stopped showing up to the job when he realized he was way, way over budget due to his own inexperience. Of course he tried to get more money, using all kinds of excuses.
But the worst thing was the quality of work, it was so bad, if we had not caught it when we did, we would be having water running down the inside shower wall, and extensive mold and water damage.
The tub was not leveled when installed nor were the floors. The tile floor is so uneven and poorly laid, that the toilet was rocking until we had our new contractor fix it.
The list goes on and on. This experience would qualify for a "Holmes on Holmes" reno nightmare.
Hiring Rene at Savoir Faire Design cost us more than double what it should have and a very stressful 6 months. I wish i would have followed my gut instinct and fired him when the first" Red Flag" showed up.
I truly hope i can spare someone else from experiencing your dream kitchen or bathroom turning into a horrible nightmare.

If

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  • Sa
      30th of Oct, 2011
    -4 Votes

    i have to say i was quite surprised to read this last review about savoir faire designs. i was googling their web site this morning to send them an email when this letter showed up. i have to say i had the opposite experience with them. Our house reno included extensive electrical and plumbing work, hardwood refinished, bathrooms gutted and redone, stairs removed, bedroom added, closets added, all mouldings redone, completely repainted and floors tiled. Amost all of the work was done while we were out of town. Colors, designs, fixtures were chosen perfectly by rene. He just seemed to get our style and know what to do from there. Done on time, withing budget and to complete satisfaction. Have recommended them to many friends who have been equally happy. If you want the truth about them read the countless testimonials on their website.

  • If
      16th of Nov, 2011
    +3 Votes

    I'm glad your experience was a positive one. I wouldn't wish what we went through on anyone.
    I just hope you don't have any "problems" a year or two from now, due to poor quality workmanship.
    I also know of at least one other unsatisfied client of his as well.
    We have pictures, and the 2nd contractors notes of inferior work that would have caused many problems in the near future.
    We also still have the message on our voice mail from Rene saying he would reimburse us $5000. towards having to redo our bathroom, which was never paid, nor have we heard from him since.
    We paid good money to have a professional good quality job, and ended up in a nightmare! And that is the TRUTH!

  • Do
      2nd of Apr, 2014
    +5 Votes

    Could not agree with you more. We have just walked away from a reno with Rene before finishing...if he ever would. After more than two years, and this is a condo overhaul mind you (not every room; not two years). We have an appliance with no front panel (it took a good year for a dishwasher to show up), cabinetry that is warped months after installation, cabinetry that is peeling (too close to high BTU stove...a laminate and not baked on), short cuts taken left and right that are cosmetically attractive...and no transparency. No receipts. No appliance documentation. No willingness to specifically identify a cabinet maker used. No ability to pursue anyone for anything. And now, we are faced with tearing out an entire kitchen paid for and reno'd by Rene...because of seriously poor workmanship. Doubling our cost of course. Friends we recommended him too had endless problems (bumps/waves in floorboards, mismatched cupboards, and I don't know what else if anything). I strongly advise...stay away. I would never have said it two years ago upon meeting the guy, but there are serious communication issues, execution issues, business/talent management issues, and vendor management issues here. Huge, huge waste of hard-earned dollars and many tears and anger experienced along the way.

  • If
      2nd of Apr, 2014
    +3 Votes

    To bad you never read my complaint about him. I do feel your pain and anger cause we went through a real nightmare with him as well.
    We never got receipts for our cabinets either. He was fast to blame the cabinet maker for everything, but we found out that he had not paid the cabinet maker all money owing, and he also told some of his employees that we hadn't paid him yet, making them wait for a pay cheque, which was pure B.S. Hopefully word of mouth goes along way and this guy goes out of business, as obviously he should not be in this business!! Good luck with your next contractor.

  • Db
      17th of May, 2014
    +5 Votes

    I've sub-contracted for rene and seen his blatant disregard for his clients up close. He mocks them, talks bad about them and laughs about it, sickening. We try to be a reputable company(BBB, Homestars), but had to disassociate from him when I saw how he operates. I see his website is gone and only hope he's out of business. I'm not one to wish bad on people, but he is of such low-character and his actions are so negative, causing others suffering, it's only right for him to be out of the contracting business. I know he had a house-cleaning arm of Savoire Faire, he should stick to that as damage he could cause doing that is minimal.
    If you're a prospect contractor reading this, DO NOT WORK FOR HIM. He'll drag you down, and good luck getting paid. Every excuse in the book, he's such a whiny victim when it comes to paying his bill it's embarrassing. He has no shame and no self-respect. Greedy ###! Harsh, I know, but the truth often is.

  • Da
      10th of Jul, 2014
    +2 Votes

    Rene Bertrand and Justin Sturby are now out of business. Seemed like it was only a matter of time.

  • Ro
      13th of Jul, 2014
    +4 Votes

    I worked for this guy, and he didn't pay me. I hate rene betrand, worst boss ever.

  • Pr
      20th of Jul, 2014
    0 Votes

    they are not out of business
    changed the name to copperpointdesign
    http://copperpointdesign.com/

  • If
      20th of Jul, 2014
    0 Votes

    Gee, I wonder if someone sued his butt off and he changed the name of his company to try and avoid paying restitution. Sure hope people read up on him before
    giving him any money!

  • Db
      28th of Sep, 2014
    +2 Votes

    Googled them and found builder's lien on Rene and Dr. Kovacs for 39K! What a thief, should be locked up. He'd probably be happy in jail(wink wink).

  • If
      28th of Sep, 2014
    -1 Votes

    I agree!

  • Ri
      20th of Oct, 2014
    +1 Votes

    I worked for Rene Bertrand, contract work, he lied to every one of us, making the other contractor he hired look bad and as an excuse why he didnt get paid and thats why he couldnt pay us. He literally owes nearly 600, 000$ + to countless trades people, made former employees damage their credit because they lived off credit cards hoping Rene would pay them, it never happened...he lied constantly to all of us, it was horrific when we all discovered the truth about him and by that time it was tooooo late. He took off with the money and paid for his lifestyle, BMW's, living on Beach Ave in Vancouver, USED to live at the Fairmont at 6-8 K a month ( from what I was told) and the list goes on. He is an amazing story teller, his gentle tone and mannerisms would trick everyone. You will always second guess your instinct because he was so good at manipulating them to make you think you were crazy. Its too bad, he could use that talent to be a man of his word, instead...he now started COPPERPOINT design...I'm WARNING EVERYBODY DO NOT HIRE HIM. He is a master of manipulation. Trust me if those other trades guys ever saw him again, they wont wait for the law, they WILL be the law.

  • Ri
      20th of Oct, 2014
    +3 Votes

    Here is a picture of him writing me a cheque that bounced.

  • If
      20th of Oct, 2014
    0 Votes

    He also has a cleaning company, I believe it is called "Savoir Faire Lifestyle" or something like that.
    Hopefully he will get his share of what he has dished out to so many trusting people.

  • Br
      23rd of Oct, 2014
    0 Votes

    His new business name is Copper Point Design. All that is written here is true. Public Beware!!!

  • Da
      6th of Nov, 2014
    -1 Votes

    Does anyone know if Rene is still living and working in Vancouver?

  • Db
      15th of Nov, 2014
    0 Votes

    Not sure if he's still in town, probably. He lived before at the the edge of Yaletown near the water. Maybe on Marinaside? Try calling Copperpoint Design. Probably him reincarnated, ripping people off still.

  • Da
      23rd of Jan, 2015
    0 Votes

    Any updates on Rene? It looks like Copperpoint Design is no longer in business.

  • Lo
      14th of Feb, 2015
    +1 Votes

    Totally agree with the complaints. I saw him recently and he's still up to his usual tricks. God knows who or how much money he's into for... He's working in Vancouver during the week supposedly painting some woman's restaurant downtown and living in the interior on the weekends. Just curious...where does all the money goes that he swindles from people? Anyone know?

  • Al
      18th of Feb, 2015
    -4 Votes

    I have to say I am surprised by what I have read above. As somone who has worked with Rene and for his company for several years I can not disagree more with what is written above. I have observed Rene to be very particular, skilled and dedicated to his quality of work to all of his clients. I have known Rene to go through some hardships throughout his business with finances and as well with finding really good quality trades with intergrity and quality of work. As a business owner myself in the same industry, these hardships are faced among all of us from time to time. Rene has always treated me fairly and honestly and has always fulfilled his financial obligations to me. It is a bit surprising to me about the comments that are made about wondering where he is or is he around. For this I have a simple suggestion for those of you who are looking for him; call him. His phone number is the same as it always has been, and his voicemail is still his recorded voice. For those of you who have misplaced his phone number, or forgot what it is, allow me to remind you: 778-835-9441.

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