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Chicago Home Remodeling Articles
Home Remodeling reviews in Chicago
The amount of work that was done for the price paid makes Harmonious
Having read previous reviews - I didn't recgonize some of the names that people had problems with.
We never had an issue with people not showing up - in fact his teams were ready to go EARLY and work SAT and SUN if necessary.
In the end, the project came out well - there were some minor design flaws and issues along the way, but when picking a contractor for a project like this, the process can be just as important as the final project.
Not all was bad: I'll start with the pros:
-Nick - our initial project consultant was fantastic and essentially sold us on Design First - he came out to look at the space, came out with a number of different layouts, and we felt he really listened to us. He presented us with nice computerized 3-d renderings of what the space would look like and a very detailed line item quote for the project.
-Worked with city well to get our permits through in a timely fashion
-Very efficient with demolition process
-Good overall design process, good variety of cabinet and countertop choices at what seemed like a wide range of price points (note, though, products are significantly marked up - probably not unique to this design-build firm)
-actual final result of remodel turned out pretty well and so far, no major issues since using the kitchen (minor issues only - sink had a small leak at the time of install, appliance install fine and cabinetry solid
-Have a cooking school at their design center with free access to their classes.
-when issues came up, they were fairly responsive; however, I felt like these were issues that should not have come up in the first place....
-nice online dashboard that tracks project schedule, fixture selections, etc. (see caveat below)
-project communication - had a plethora of communication and planning issues:
or two, she cancelled a meeting with minimal notice, and also in the end designed an L-shaped kitchen counter where the corner of the "L" was designed to be completely unsuable storage space (eventually sort of fixed) without really informing us.
-our initial project manager
handoff to the new project manager was *AWFUL* and I ended up having to leave work early multiple days just to get the new
team up to speed. We found out much later that
-Despite their well designed online schedule, there were numerous times were scheduled events didn't happen as planned - electrician didn't show up one day, flooring didn't get done, no one was on site when deliveries were supposed to be made (twice) appliance install kept getting pushed back, etc. Explanations eventually happened with various reasons ranging from reasonable (design process) to absurd (electrician was found sleeping on another job so they had to let him go and scramble to find other electricians) Of note, it seems like they do subcontract most of the labor, which I think is probably the norm for a design-build firm like this
-Tried to coordinate the project with a flooring contractor to get flooring done as part of the project (at about 1/2 of the cost that D1 was charging) - despite my best multiple attempts to get D1 and the flooring guys to coordinate with each other, D1 did not keep up to schedule to work with them to get the flooring done, also resulting in numerous lengthy delays for us (and essentially wasting days with the other contractors
In the end, the project, which at the beginning was supposed to start in late February/early March and take 4 weeks, ended up starting in mid-to late March and took over 10 weeks to complete, despite our constant pleas to get the project moving ahead (I think without our pleading, the project would have taken over 3 months). I'm not saying they were completely unresponsive, but it also sounded like they had a number of projects going on at the same time, and just didn't have the manpower to respond to a lot of the issues that came up in a timely fashion, particularly at the time in our project when our PM took off for Mexico. I had numerous contacts with
He answered and returned phone calls when needed and got the job done in the time frame that was originally quoted.
I would recommend him to others needing similar service.
(a) Proposed budget for materials and labor, and proposed duration of project, once materials are selected.
(b) 5 drawings showing design from different
Our original intention was to have work done in February 2014. Unfortunately, the bathroom re-do project is not likely to happen this year.
Their work is nothing to highly brag about still I was/am satisfied with it and have received many compliments on the look of my ceiling beams.
Yet, although I did not complain about it, I do
believe that the beams the company attached to my ceiling could have been cut
much better for a more professional and consistent look of the long runs of
beams across the length (25') of my ceiling.
If everything goes fine then, no problem.
On the other hand, be forewarned.
The company's President signed a contract. One aspect of the work the company did for me
was deficient and needed additional work.
The company breached the contract by refusing to return to my home and resolve an issue involving the way the ceramic tiles were laid on top of the wood floor in the Foyer area (6 'x 5') . Expansion/contraction of the wood caused the grout in all tiles to crack and recede from adjacent tiles. The area needed an underlayment board then tiles laid on it.
I sought the aid of the BBB since I had obtained
info about the company on its website. For over
two months, the company misstated and many times just lied to the BBB concerning factual accounts of what
happened to cause the breach of contract issue.
The company would not abide by the contract warranty and
small claims court was the only option for me that forced it to do the right thing by me, fix the ceramic tile situation,
and abide by the contract it signed.
You can read more about my complaint against this company if
complaint against the contractor leaves much to be desired. In my opinion, it is a
company made a good faith effort to resolve the complaint, but customer not
satisfied with business response."
Because I refused to enter into the BBB's binding arbitration with the
company, the BBB renders that as "...company made good faith offer, but
customer not satisfied..." This
statement paves the way for the company to keep its excellent BBB rating (NOT). I now wonder about other like statement shown
for other BBB customer-complaints. The
statement is just very far from the truth of the matter. I gave a full rendering of what happened between
1 Affordable Pro and me and I supported all my statements with documents. Yet, in the end, BBB and the contractor
wanted me to enter into binding arbitration to resolve the matter. Note that there is a fee associated with the BBB’s
Binding Arbitration process however, if BBB’s arbitrators handed down a
judgment in my favor, neither that panel nor BBB can force the company and/or its president to honor
the judgment. I still would be forced to
civil court enforce the BBB arbitrators’ judgment in my favor. I skipped BBB's Binding Arbitration and filed
a small claims lawsuit against the company (I wanted to just see the company's officers misstate and lie,
under oath, to a civil judge as they had lied to the BBB about the facts of my complaint against it), but the company resolved the matter to my complete satisfaction very
shortly after receiving my
Lastly, the Small Claims court judge granted my motion to dismiss
the case, signed the motion documents, and instructed me to give a copy of it
to the defendant 1 Affordable Pro (its President). I immediately mailed the Defendant’s copy of
the granted dismissal to the President of 1 Affordable Pro, by Certified Mail/Return
Receipt, using the identical address that I used when I served the
& Complaint to him. To show you what
kind of person/company this is, the President never picked up the Certified mail
from the post office. Not even after I
telephoned him and informed him of what the Certified Mail was… The Certified mail was returned to me a few
days ago as 'never picked up" and I am keeping it unopened to show whomever that the company failed picked up
this mail. This speaks volumes about this
company to me. I will not contract with nor use them again. I will use contacts on Angie's List from now on too.
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