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Saint Louis Home Remodeling Articles
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Construction for a significant master bath renovation in an older home with
lots of legacy problems (non level floors, out of plumb walls, etc.) The
following comments are based on our experience and our needs, and may or may
not be relevant to your situation. I am not an expert, but do have familiarity with most building trades.
very polished, award-quality product that shows very well. The visible parts of the work (tile,
cabinets, lighting) were of first quality, but not always what we had asked for
in the beginning. Things we especially liked in the remodel were the heated floor (!), the Bain Ultra Thermomasseur tub, the Grohe bath fixtures, pocket doors, the counter top and tub surround, and the
continuously although not every day, or all day on the project, finishing close
to, but a little behind the schedule they laid out. Their
other jobs interfered occasionally, but not badly. On any given day, it was sometimes uncertain if someone was coming or not.
organization is fairly large, so you find yourselves dealing with several
individuals within their organization and several subcontractors during the
course of the project. Our experience
was that information flow was sometimes a problem, particularly especially between and with
their subcontractors. For example, people
doing demolition do not always inform subsequent workers about the status of
things as they were or to be reinstalled.
When developing the
project, we spent several hours with
tradeoffs. Once the contract was signed,
was turned over to his production manager,
employees and subcontractors. Anything
not written in the contract but discussed verbally with
this transition. Make sure anything you expect to happen appears in the
written contract, including watching out for the dog, if that is important to you.
When things do go
is easier for the customer to accept the mistake than create an additional
delay while it is being corrected. (See other comments below). We do suggest
you personally double check with each subcontractor or employee as they show up
to see if what they are planning to do matches your expectations. We found subcontractors frequently send a
different person at different stages in the project, so
conversations and understandings with the initial person were usually lost to
later people. We sometimes experienced some
difficulty getting specific construction schedules, a problem for us since we
have a dog we like to let out. Not knowing for sure
when and how many people were coming meant we had to keep him in much more than
Many decisions are
made during the process of selecting fixtures, tile, lighting, etc. We found that
a contemporaneous written record with us that allowed us to confirm that these
decisions “registered,” or that they entered the paperwork system. Sometimes it wasn’t until the product is
delivered that the discrepancy was discovered.
One example: the granite supplier in particular did not get the
selections/changes that were made on
until after fabrication and at installation.
While they offered to correct this, we accepted it as is because
correcting it would have been disproportionately costly in time and
materials. We wanted the job to be
We had the unfortunate
experience of finding many of our selections of decorative tile to be
discontinued or out of stock indefinitely, in some cases learning this weeks
after the order was accepted.
worked very hard to create alternatives, including searching for, and finding discontinued materials in a
paying so much for what in one case was a sixth choice. Just be aware that even
if a material vendor accepts an order, it doesn’t mean it will happen. You can count on it only when the material is
in your house. I
this is typical, or an industry-wide problem having to do with the recession,
but it caused us quite a bit of angst.
photographically and then corrected most of them ourselves over a holiday weekend. Their first
response when we did this was very negative, even angry,
eventually refunded the cost they had budgeted for insulation.
On the other hand, plumbing, electrical, and
particularly tiling subcontractors were good to excellent, as was the
sense is that while
are important to the final visual display and obvious function of their
product, they are less concerned about construction details not visible in the
final product, leaving responsibility for this quality largely up to the subcontractors
themselves. If you use them you might ask a knowledgeable person look things over just before the drywall goes up. Building inspectors generally do not comment on quality of work, only on completeness.
The contract they ask you to sign is definitely structured in their favor, since the payment schedule
is mostly tied to dates, and not to contractor performance milestones
(inspections, etc.) that in my experience agreements of this kind usually
specify. We were uncomfortable signing
the agreement, but being up against a tight schedule, we were willing to take
problem in our case.
Insist on a written,
detailed cost estimate to support their bid.
but only after repeated requests. It is also an important way of verifying the
scope of the work they expect to do.
While we are quite happy with look and
feel of the final product, we feel that
the areas of internal communication, communication with the customer, and the
quality of some of their subcontractors, particularly given that they consider
themselves a high-end construction company.
Our experience with
Nothing was left in our yard at the end of the project.
The crews kept everything as neat as possible while still working.
Any item not done exactly as needed for County Inspection was immediately corrected.
All materials used were high quality. We went with the recommendations (our choices of course) of the professional owner of the company who was quite knowledgeable regarding all aspects of our job! .
There was no down time on this job.
Despite cold weather, the crews worked long hours. Any lunch time taken was appropriate time-wise.
We would definitely use R&R Remodeling for any of our needs again.
We HIGHLY recommend them for anyone considering any of the work they do.
He followed up quickly via email that the only possible way to do the work would be for a time and material--which was true for all contractors that came to the house.
I don't want to knock the guy because he did arrive promptly and trust me on this---after I explained what happened a lot of contractors were not even interested in looking at the mess I was left. The only reason I would not hire him in the future is that he really kept pushing the cabinet purchasing---
I think this company is on to a really good way to do business. Had it not been for my dire straits I most surely would have given these guys a
We were told the project would start in 3 – 4 weeks and
would take no more than 3 to 4 weeks to complete. In all we decided to have
Direct replace all of our home’s windows (17 of them), two exterior doors with
storm doors, roof, siding, and gutters.
stated that he had what he needed. We
got a call the next day from
because his girlfriend’s kid spilled something all over his measurements. This time
only at our house for 5 min and said he had what he needed. It was not until August 7th that
notified us that our windows and doors had been ordered.
August 20th, we attempted to contact
the schedule for the install so that we could coordinate our work schedules to
have the work done. Messages were left
because no one answered the phone. After
not getting a response, we sent e-mails to the various individuals that
identified as those that we needed to be in contact with. We still did not get any response.
August 26th we still had not received any communication from
with us, to which he did the following day.
He apologized for the delay and said that materials were scheduled to
come in either on this week’s truck or perhaps next weeks. He gave me his number for direct contact.
August 27th – We receive a text message from
the front door we ordered in steel is “no longer available” and so they are
substituting a fiberglass door instead.
and to get a “feel for the job ahead of him”.
September 10th –
morning to let us know that the dumpster would be delivered and marked where
the dumpster should go. Later that day
the roofing materials showed up.
September 12th –
Saturday September 14th –
windows. It turns out that 90% of the
This along with the fact that our house was built in 1956 made for a
difficult install. They completed the
work on September 20th.
September 21st –
installing the siding. September 23rd –
Siding was completed.
September 24th – We get a message from
still are not in and that they have put a rush on them.
September 27th – Gutters are installed. We also get a call from
doors still are not in but that he is going to travel to Ohio to pick up the
doors himself and do the install on October 2nd.
October 6th –
ordered. Once again incorrect measurements
were taken thus requiring them to modify entry ways to accommodate the doors
ordered. In addition they had to remove
the new siding from around the back doorway in order to install the door
causing even further delay in completing the project. Another issue that arose was with the front
door. We were told by
front door came with a peephole. When
the doors arrived, low and behold the front door did not have a peephole. The contract we had did not specify a
peephole because we were told that it was standard on that door. This caused
peephole and install it. Once again
further delaying the project.
October 6th - I go up into the attic to check the roof vent
that we had
the roof so we called
assured me that it would not.
October 7th –
job. He still needed to install the
storm doors, finish the install of the doors, and do a bit of drywall work that
was still from when he installed and framed two of the windows. Once again issues presented themselves
quickly. The front storm door was to be
a full view door but the screen had a bar through the middle of it. The back storm door was to have a sliding
window in it but did not.
owner came out and stated that what we got is what was ordered but may have not
been what was discussed with
After going back and forth with him, he stated he really did not owe us
anything and that if he were to be paid on the “process” vs the “final result”
he would never be paid. He however
proposed that he would take some money off of the balance due and we could keep
but the back door like everything else in this project was ordered in the wrong
size so mis-measured that there was no way for
due upon completion of the project, they wanted payment in full and we were
told they would put a rush on the new door.
(It took 7 weeks to get the first order)
I decided to short the payment to make them have some “skin” in the game
to attempt to insure they would return and install our door.
Nov. 11 2013 - After still not receiving any information
about the "rushed" storm door that we still are waiting to have
installed, we contact
checked on it and that the door was just being manufactured. (about 5 weeks since they rushed it).
Nov. 17, 2013 - a small storm came through our area and blew
off the ridge cap shingles. Several
shingles hit our cars damaging them. I
day to do the repair to the roof however once again
responded. In checking with the BBB site
there are now 8 complaints against them and we have just added ours now making
the complaint count 9. I will keep this
posted as to what happens....
BBB's first attempt to contact them.
(They had until
The BBB has sent them a 2nd note and have given them now until the 18th
to respond. As of this date we still do
not have the storm door installed.
A kitchen island was moved during installation of hardwood floors, but reconnection of the electrical outlets was sloppy. Both outlets had wires crammed up in the electrical boxes and improperly secured wire. One outlet had a bare place on the positive (black) wire, and the other outlet was cracked on the ends when reinstalling. A new dining room chandelier was hung with the electrical wires bearing the weight instead of the chain.
They might be OK for hardwood flooring installation, but there were some dings and dents and gaps in the flooring after installation. The gaps in one area were closed, but we overlooked a couple of other areas, and they did not correct the gaps. Some of the dings were patched. The bathroom floor tile was OK, but the grout was not properly worked in, leaving air pockets and fragile areas. When redoing these areas, another color grout was apparently used, because these areas dried darker than other areas, leaving a mottled appearance for the grout. Some grouting ended up on the new upstairs hall carpeting, but fortunately most of it came off. Painting was average, with some less observed areas sloppily painted.
In general, specialized requests were not done well. Two attempts were necessary for the fireplace tile installation, and then I had to
There is photo documentation if anyone wants to see it.
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