Now that Christmas / New Year holidays are over and family visitors have left us, I thought I would write you a testimonial about my new wine cellar. Here goes:
Rosehill Wine Cellars is Highly Recommended
Without any hesitation, I recommend Rosehill Wine Cellars Inc. for turnkey design and installation. Why am I giving such a strong recommendation? Here’s why:
1. Design & Quotation: Gary LaRose showed up on time at our home and quickly set to work looking over the area selected for the cellar. He took careful measurements, then re-measured a couple of dimensions again to ensure he was very accurate. He talked through some options for the cooling equipment and racking, as well as cellar design. He then recommended I drop into Rosehill’s showroom to look at some racking choices, materials and finishes, as well as cooling equipment choices. I had already been to the showroom, just before I decided to add Rosehill to my shortlist, but I went back a couple of times to get ideas and make decisions on various items. Rosehill’s west end showroom is well laid out and offers several material choices, colours and racking options, which makes the decision-making a lot easier.
A week later I received very good drawings and a detailed quotation. I had a short list of three contractors for this project and without any question, Rosehill’s drawings and quotation were the most detailed and easiest to understand. They also offered the best use of the space, as my cellar was not that big (7ft x 8ft). After some discussion with all three contractors, I narrowed it down to two and then had detailed discussions with both. After a couple of discussions, it became clear that Gary’s experience and practical approach offered the best value for money and a proven track record with lots of satisfied customers to which he could refer. Rosehill’s design was a little more imaginative than the other two contractors, particularly the diamond shelf below the stone counter. Also, I really wanted a glass door and glass window beside the door so I could see into the cellar and have its ambience add to our beautiful basement recreation area. Gary came up with a very nice design to achieve this objective, but do it in a way that did not weaken what was a support wall for our two storey home.
So I made the decision to go with Rosehill, subject to a satisfactory contract. The contract paperwork was simple, easy to understand and the milestone payments set to work stages completed was fair.
2. Room Preparation – What’s really good about Gary is the communication. When he says his team will arrive on site to work on a certain date and time, they show up and don’t waste time getting to work. The first stage (stripping down the room and preparing it for racking) was done very well. I kept the same tile floor (Gary’s suggestion) to save money, and it looks great with the new cellar. Everything else was re-done, including framing, spray foam for insulation and very precise square joints, door and window framing by Rosehill’s very skilled tradesman, Chris. It’s important to note that Chris was employed by Rosehill and not an independent contractor. The spray foam people were a contractor, but Chris was there to supervise and ensure this task was done as agreed. What was appreciated by us was that every night Chris was tidy up and put away slip covers so that we could continue to use the rest of our basement living area. Also, Chris very carefully covered all nearby furniture and carpeting with plastic to protect it. Even the tile floor in the cellar was covered over to protect it during construction.
3. Problem Solving – When the room was stripped down, we were surprised to find a solid concrete wall on one side of the cellar room that made placing the equipment room just the other side of the wall not possible. Gary quickly arrived to discuss the problem with Chris and myself. They quickly came up with an amended design for the equipment that involved a ceiling mounted cooling unit instead, but with the compressor still outside. This solution turned out to be very good and works well in the cellar.
4. Final Racking Design – Gary and Chris both separately re-measured the finished room for the racking a couple of times. The attention to detail and precision was impressive and appreciated. As a result, Gary came up with a suggestion to tweak the design to improve the look of the cellar in terms of crown molding and overall balance with the window and door frames. At the same time he ensured that the bottle count for the cellar was maximized. I looked over the amended drawing and could quickly see this final amendment to the racking would look much better, so I gave the green light to do it. This started the racking design, which included walnut wood with a bees wax finish — have a look at this in the Rosehill showroom as it’s stunning.
5. Final Racking Installation – Chris returned six weeks later to start installation of the racking. Accompanying Chris was Rosehill’s delivery truck that had all the carefully packaged racking material, including beautiful a beautiful stone counter top I had seen in the Rosehill showroom (“antique leather”). After carefully unloading everything, Chris started to work. His experience and professionalism was evident, as he methodically prepared the installation. Its also important to note that Rosehill has its own carpentry shop next to the showroom that does all the racking and cabinet building and finishing — this ensures that what you get is exactly what was agreed in the drawings. The installation by Chris was done in careful sequence, including getting the two sub-contractors (mechanical cooling equipment and glass window/door) were brought in for measuring and installation at the appropriate times. Again, Chris was always on hand when they were there to ensure that what they did met Rosehill’s requirements and commitments to me.
6. Attention to Detail – There were lots of pleasant surprises when the installation was progressing and completed. Here are a few: (1) Walnut door leading to adjacent cold storage was solid and beautifully crafted. It was fitted perfectly and included a special weather strip built into the bottom of the door that comes down automatically when the door is closed. (2) Chris checked with me on location of ceiling lighting installation, window location and size next to glass door to ensure I was happy with it. (3) Glass window its a double thermal pane for better insulation performance. (4) The walnut wood used for the racking, wooden door to cold storage room, crown and floor molding was well chosen of the highest quality. (5) glass door is solidly hinged to floor and self-closes. (6) crown molding on ceiling, door frames and floor molding is very detailed and installed perfectly. (7) the warranty paperwork for the mechanical cooling equipment was completed and submitted to the manufacturer by Rosehill on my behalf. (8) During the cellar work, for a reasonable extra charge, Gary also did a few add on jobs for us, in addition to the cellar, that were much appreciated: A few odd-shaped kitchen shelves were cut to fit an odd shaped pantry; special door to access water meter and water shut-off valve in basement; some drywall work around the cold storage room furnace ductwork.
7. Anything I didn’t like? – Really there was nothing, mainly because Gary was very upfront about everything (including the timetable), so that my expectations were always met or exceeded. Remember, it does take months not weeks to get a cellar installed properly, so don’t expect it to be wrapped up quickly. Also, it’s done in two stages for very good reason: (a) Completion of the cellar room preparation comes first, then the cellar room is re-measured to ensure the racking, cabinets, door/window frames, crown molding, etc. fit perfectly, it has to be re-measured carefully so everything fits like a glove — and it does. (b) After re-measuring the finished room, then the racking, cabinets etc. was all built in Rosehill’s shop, which took about 6 weeks before they returned for racking installation. Every item in the contract was honoured by Rosehill.
8. Finished Product – We now have a beautiful and very functional 650 bottle wine cellar that we enjoy. Our friends and relatives were very impressed and complimentary when they saw it for the first time over the Christmas holidays. It has added to the value of our house and will give us many years of enjoyment. Our thanks to Gary and his excellent team at Rosehill Wine Cellars.