Los Gatos Remodeling Contractors

in Los Gatos, CA

Remodeling Reviews in Los Gatos

C

Rating
Executive Summary: Excellent quality, but a complete and utter financial train wreck.
For a more thorough write-up, as well as photos of estimates and invoices, please refer to my Yelp review of
....more /> THE GOOD
So let’s start with the good. Mr.
is a great contractor, at least as far as the final physical product is concerned. The work that he did for us was, for the most part, high quality; only a handful of relatively minor mistakes were made. The mistakes that he did make were fixed on his own dime, or at least so he claimed; there was no way to actually validate this with the level of detail we were provided on his invoices (more on that in a bit). On a job as big as this one, that is saying a lot. Not every contractor in the world can handle a job that involves ripping out the entire foundation of a home and supporting the home so that it remains level while a new foundation is built. Additionally, he came highly recommended by other professionals. The work itself is 5 stars.

THE BAD
Financial
When it was all said and done, our job ended up being 96% over budget. For those of you who think that number must be a typo, let me write it out in words: NINETY SIX PERCENT. To give you a clearer picture of the financial impact to us, the initial estimate for this job was $163k. However, when it was all said and done, we had written checks to Mr.
totaling $329k. We had no reason to question his estimate; $163k is a whole lot of money, right? Who hears $163k and thinks, “Hmm, I think that’s understated by 96%?” We certainly didn’t. In fact, we thought, “Wow, $163k seems a little pricey, but since Mr.
is highly recommended, so let’s not cut corners. Let’s hire him anyway.” To make matters even worse, Mr.
didn’t even wind up performing all of the work that was included in his job estimate. My father had to step in and take over some of the less demanding tasks toward the end of the project, since the project outlay was ruining us financially. Mr.
did not purchase any of the lumber for the deck except that for the joists, nor install it, nor did he purchase or install the rock veneer. He also did not purchase or install the wood flooring for our new addition, or frame out any of the rooms in the addition. So he managed to exceed budget by 96% without even performing all of the tasks outlined in said budget! Now, was some out-of-scope work performed? Sure, but nowhere even remotely in the vicinity of 96%. I put together my own Excel spreadsheet comparing budget costs to actual costs, and I calculated the total cost of out-of-scope items to be roughly $45k, or 28%. Furthermore, there were multiple out-of-scope items that we never would have approved had we been given a more accurate financial estimate at the outset. Unfortunately, the grossly understated estimate
to a number of unfortunate choices during the course of this project, such as moving our propane tank and re-routing our power lines. Neither of those things needed to be done; we only approved them because we thought the job was going to cost $163k, and therefore, we thought we could afford a couple of extras. These were unwise choices that were based on an extremely faulty job estimate. I have to admit that personally, I find it hard to believe that a contractor who has been in business for, say, +/- 30 years could prepare such a grossly understated job estimate completely unintentionally. If that kind of misstatement were truly an
accident, then as far as I am concerned, it represents job negligence. It is unacceptable to present clients with information that flawed. It puts the clients’ financial well-being at risk. It certainly put our financial well-being at risk.
If I were reading this review, my reaction might be: isn’t it your job as the homeowner to rein in the contractor? To ensure he is on track and prevent this kind of gross overrun? I
’t disagree with this sentiment, but we encountered two problems every time that we tried to gauge progress. First, Mr.
has an uncanny knack for dodging any and all attempts to pin him down or get a commitment on anything. I honestly think he could have been a politician with his ability to answer a question without
-actually- answering the question.
’t believe me? Try it for yourself sometime, if he’s currently working for you.
Every time we tried to find out how long a task might take, we got this response: “Well, it depends on X, and on Y, and on Z.” I can’t think of a single time we tried to get a firm commitment and actually managed to get one. It’s always “well, there’s this, and that, and the other.” Blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah. I’ve never worked with anyone so squirrely before, and it drove me absolutely crazy. Second, once we got to $150k in spending, we asked Mr.
for a “Cost to Complete.”
He put together what was essentially a second estimate that was presented to us mid-August (when he was 4 months into the job). At that time, he estimated that we could finish the job for $93k (this excludes his estimate for the work on the deck,
since my father ended up doing this work). However, between August 25 and the end of the job, we actually paid Mr.
Sands $177k, or 90% more than his SECOND estimate!! You’d think the estimate would be more accurate as you got closer to the finish line, right?? Well, think again. Even now, months later, I am still flabbergasted when I think about it.
Ethical
When he was wooing us as clients, Mr.
indicated that because he lives in our neighborhood, and would have no commute to our job site, he would be giving us a 6% reduction in his profit and overhead rate (from his normal 16% to 10%; see attached photo of the job estimate). This wasn’t something that we asked for; rather, he offered it to us. We, in turn, factored it into our decision to hire him. When we received our first bill, we immediately noticed that he had invoiced at a 16% profit and overhead rate. When I presented him with his quote, and asked what had happened to the agreed-upon 10% rate, he replied with, “Oh that, that’s a year old. I’m not going to honor that now.” Umm, excuse me? My disgust must have shown on my face, because after a pause, he then offered a pathetic excuse, something about how we hadn’t started our job in December, and he had to maintain his liability insurance between December and April. Frankly, it didn’t ring true to me, and I think it was just the first thing he could come up with off the top of his head. First of all, we weren’t able to obtain our
permit until December 2012. That’s not our fault, it’s the County of
’s. Secondly, we never said that we would start our job the second we got our permit – who starts a job in the middle of the rainy season? What sort of
would do that? As far as I am concerned, it was a flimsy excuse offered to cover the fact that Mr.
simply had no intention of ever
honoring his promised 10% rate. I was, and still am, livid. Had it been up to me, we would have fired Mr.
on the spot for the lack of ethics he displayed that day, but clearly, I was overruled. However, I lost all faith and trust in Mr.
from that day forward. I find myself second-guessing his motives for everything now, which is a lousy way to feel about somebody you are giving hundreds of thousands of dollars. To his credit, Mr.
bowed to pressure from me midway through the job (when it became clear that we were going to vastly exceed his job estimate), and reduced his rate from 16% back to the agreed-upon 10%. However, he did not do so until we had already paid him $147k at 16%, which translates to an extra $8,800 in ill-gotten gains. Even if I buy the whole “insurance premiums” argument that he made, I am fairly confident that his insurance premiums for 4 months were nowhere near $9k.
On a related note, the entire practice of charging clients a percentage of total job costs strikes me as a huge racket, regardless of industry practice. At one point, Mr.
indicated that part of the justification for that percentage is the fact that he has connections and can secure the cheapest subs for the job. Not necessarily true. I obtained independent quotes for the following during the course of the job: windows, tree work, fumigation, floor refinishing, and downstairs drywall. In all cases except windows, I was able to obtain lower bids than those procured by Mr.
. Mind you, I wasn’t scraping the bottom of the barrel, either – I only contacted companies with 4 or 5-star ratings on Yelp, or A/B ratings on Angie’s List. Needless to say, we ended up using my contacts for the tree work, fumigation, floor refinishing, and downstairs drywall. I find it unsettling that I was paying Mr.
10-16% of total job costs when he wasn’t necessarily even locating the subcontractor with the best value proposition. The lesson here? Future clients should consider obtaining independent bids on subcontracted work whenever possible.
’t assume Mr.
has your pocketbook’s best interests at heart. If anything, there is a large conflict of interest because of the way that he bills – the more Mr.
is able to invoice you, the more he takes in through profit and overhead.
Miscellaneous
This is a somewhat minor, but Mr.
provides virtually no detail with his invoices (see attached photos). All you will get is a 1-page summary with a few line items totaling anywhere from $15k to $40k. It’s not nearly enough information to provide clients with any way to ensure invoicing accuracy. Should you wish to hire him as your contractor, I recommend insisting on copies of all subcontractor & material invoices, as well as time cards for him and his crew, from the get-go. You will regret it if you
’t. I speak from experience on this.
- James G.
A

Rating
We are extremely happy with
,
and all of SOD crew members.
So we have just purchased our new home, which needed serious updates to make it look like our home. We decided to start with the kitchen, which was outdated and closed, and the master bathroom that looked like it came out of the 70's. We called a few contractors we found and the third meeting was with SOD, well
&
came and there ideas just blew us away.
asked us our likes and dislikes in the old kitchen and while questioning us, really got what our vision was, her ability to point out some of the things that we couldn't see was just great.
was straight to the point, didn't promise anything he couldn't provide, I really liked the no bulshit approach he had. ( some of the others bidders made us feel like they would promise anything just to have us sign a contract ).
SOD also re pipe and rewire the whole house. they also upgrade the main electrical panel to 200amp.
did an amazing job on our kitchen, opened up the space to the living room, and I just love that I can show off my new kitchen every time I host a party.
I must say that since day one they make sure that the house is covered with plastic, paper and they make sure to keep the site clean every day, even that we are not living at the house!
Their crew were professional, on time and we always knew what was expected to happen. The office always updated us on the schedule on daily basis (they are using some kind of online project management software).
Now we are done with phase one which was the kitchen addition and the next step will be master bath.... I can't wait!!!
I must say their bid was not the lowest one we got, but it was worth every penny more we spent.
I would update once our bathroom will be completed ;)
Thank you everyone for an amazing job!!!
- Lee Y.

Los Gatos Remodeling Articles

Remodeling reviews in Los Gatos

C

Rating
I called
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
for a quote on remodeling 2 bathrooms in our home. They were 1 of 4 companies/contractors I contacted for quotes. The Customer Success Manager came to my house along with someone to take measurements. It was a quick appointment - they were out in 30 minutes. I mentioned that one of the issues we needed to solve was finding a way to make the master shower larger and I was interested in ideas on how to do that. 10 days later, I received a 2-sentence email that essentially gave the overall estimate for the job - no details on what that amount covered or what, if any, recommendations there were for the master shower. I emailed back to clarify what that covered and to ask about the shower since the quote was quite high. That was for materials, permits, construction, and design, but did not include any work to modify the shower - that would further increase the cost.
I was disappointed in the lack of detail provided with the estimate and that there was no response or explanation regarding the specific issue I raised with the shower. They did say they weren't as competitive with bathrooms, more for bigger jobs. But I think they should have said that up front, as well as addressing, in some way, my request for the master shower. I gathered from their estimate (both how high it was and lack of details on services provided for the amount quoted), that they weren't interested in doing the job. They were significantly higher than others who provided estimates.
- Ruth W.
A

Rating
We recently had a slow drip in the ice cube maker in our kitchen which warped our hard wood floors. Long story short we called a Water Restoration Management Company and in one day they destroyed our kitchen unnecessarily removing cabinets and breaking granite counter tops.
I had known that
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
builds beautiful high end homes sometimes even with vineyards but I did not know they were in the remodeling business.
They were really amazing helping us negotiate with the insurance company to get a more realistic settlement. It is incredible how many details and sequence of activities have to be orchestrated to keep on schedule.
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
,
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
project lead was so even tempered and all over any open item that came up.
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
showed real hands on leadership based on his domain expertise in kitchens and cabinets. Many of the sub-contracters had worked with
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
for years so they are high quality and don't mess around and get in and get out. They are true craftsmen with meticulous attention to detail. Ed Freeman, owner of West Coast Granite and Marble blew us away with the granite counter tops.
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
owner
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
really goes out of his way to make sure you are happy and communication is daily and weekly.
We lived in the house during the kitchen remodel (not fun) and every day before they went home they cleaned up so we were not inconvenienced.
All in all it was a real positive experience and I would recommend without reservation.
- Peggy G.
D

Rating
I had to call him to get an appointment. Just a cookie cutter approach. He seems to be in a hurry. Gave me an impression that he was doing me a favor. He was a bit condescending in the discussions. His proposal had no drawing or sketches to see how my remodel will look. His estimate had a big caveat at the beginning that he reserves the right to change the estimate if he had missed something.
I got an estimate from a other service providers for free and better quality.
- Manickam S.
A

Rating
I visited the showroom in Mountain View and was very impressed with the quality of their cabinets (Crystal). I met with Silwia, the designer, at the showroom. You need an appointment. She is extremely knowledgeable, informative, helpful and a pleasure to work with. I would be happy to work with her on my remodel. The company designs and installs. They offer a wide selection of cabinet styles, woods and finishes, all of which were beautiful. They do the entire remodel- permits, all construction, plumbing, electrical etc., not just cabinets.
Silwia emailed me an estimate based on my choices of cabinet style wood, finish, specific measurements, and construction drawings I provided. She was happy to quote for an option that I wanted priced separately. I would like very much to work with this company based on my experience so far. I did expect the quote to be higher than my own rough estimate but it was beyond my budget, even before getting a quote on outfitting the interiors and adding in countertops.
I indicated NA on the price because I am still obtaining bids, and can't yet fairly compare to any other company.
- E B.
A

Rating
They were unique. We had interviewed a number of reface individuals and we were not able to find anybody that was doing a quarter inch facing but these people do three quarter inch. We did solid cherry for all the cabinets reface and of course all the doors, drawers, and pullouts. The drawers are dovetails, solid maple and so were the pullouts. We had them redo some sections because we were doing a little redesign. It looks brand new. They are beautiful. They took a bit longer than expected that would be my only complaint. It took them five weeks. They only had one person in the end and he was doing such precision work that we didn’t complain at all, it was worth it. I looked for years before I picked them and I had found nothing like them at all. It was a large kitchen, there were three small sections that were new and that were redesigned, and the rest were refaced. So it was a combination work.
- J. H.
A

Rating
We have a detached garage that we wanted to make into living space, including adding a bathroom. This included adding all the plumbing for the bathroom, the flooring, adding a wall, adding a frecnch door, a window, stucco, and building a small redwood deck outside the french door.
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
and his crew did great job. High quality work, the crew was friendly and professional, and
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
kept a close eye on the progress of the project and communicated with me as often as I wanted (he was always easy to reach). He was also very flexible as we made changes to the plans as we went along. And he came in within $1000 of the original estimate. I would definitely use him again for any major remodeling in our home. And, lastly, his estimate came in equal to or less expensive than the two other estimates I got. I have already recommended him to one friend.
- Jeffrey H.
A

Rating
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
's attention to detail was amazing. On our first consultation, I knew he was the tile guy for me. He listened to what I wanted, made suggestions, but stuck with whatever I really wanted. He and his helpers took extra care to
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
down drop clothes over all flooring and covered anything that could possibly get dirty during installation. He took an odd idea I had to continue tile across the wall and make it come to life. I can't say enough. He's a true professional and is very nice to work with.
- Patricia R.
A

Rating
Overall the work went well although the start was delayed for a variety of reasons. In general,
Los Gatos Kitchen And Bath Remodelers Provider Name Locked
is very helpful with design ideas and suggestions which was very handy. There were only a couple of instances when we could have used a design expert to help with important, big-ticket decisions such as window selection and the design of the tile work. We have mixed reviews for the tile subs used. They took longer than estimated and had to redo some of the grout work. But the end product looks very nice.
- Genevieve P.
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All Kitchen And Bath Remodelers in Los Gatos, CA

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

3D CONSTRUCTION

P.O. Box 355
Soquel, CA

A Nelson Finish Carpentry

1955 Taylor Ave
Newman, CA

A & G Construction

511 Hannah St
San Jose, CA

A B West Construction

522 N Claremont St
San Mateo, CA

A Benchmark Energy Solution / Home Tight Inc.

8880 Cal Center Dr
Sacramento, CA

A D Construction

1105 Rodriguez St
Santa Cruz, CA

A Force of Nature Complete Restoration SVC, LLC

3436 CROFFUT PL.S.E.
Washington, DC

A Green Home

1103 E 16th Avenue
San Mateo, CA

A HONEY DO LIST

PO Box 814
Belmont, CA

A Nor Cal Handyman Company

4497 Latimer Ave
San Jose, CA

A P C Development Inc.

14633 Darius way
San Leandro, CA

A&D Construction

294 Grove Way
Hayward, CA

A&E Construction

831 ViaGranada
Livermore, CA

A&O Construction

666 hermitage pl
San Jose, CA

A's Handyman

33 Birch Lane
San Jose, CA

A. Saberi Interiors

3409 Beresford Avenue
Belmont, CA

a1 Home Repairs Inc

6088 Glen Harbor Dr
San Jose, CA

A1 Home Service

158 Wshington Blvd
Fremont, ca

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Los Gatos Zip Codes

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