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General Contracting reviews in Boston

Real People ~ Real Reviews ~ Real Results

  • Provider name locked. and his team at Provider name locked. are a pleasure to work with.  We have worked with them two times now- the first time for the fairly complicated exterior paint job on our 3 story, porched house (lots of trim, lots of colors) and 2 car garage along with window replacements and light carpentry work on two floors.
    We were so pleased with the quality of Provider name locked. 's work, their professionalism,  and their fair and competitive pricing that we used them a second time this past spring to paint several of our interior rooms.
    We look forward to working with them again in the future to finish off our window replacement project and to paint the rest of our rooms on the first floor.
    We would recommend Provider name locked. and his team (and we have!) anytime!

    - Lesley P.
  • Provider name locked. 's estimate was higher than others', and the reviews we read here and on Yelp indicated that Provider name locked. can be easily insulted and quirky, but we picked them anyway because their schedule met our needs, Provider name locked. seemed to have a good eye for design, and because the carpenter (Provider name locked. ) and plasterer (Provider name locked. ) got good reviews for quality. I can confirm that Provider name locked. does have an eye for design and project planning, and that Provider name locked. 's rough carpentry and Provider name locked. 's plastering work is very good.  However, I would strongly caution anyone against hiring this company for crown molding, or probably any other kind of finish carpentry, and I would generally caution anyone against working with Provider name locked. unless you get all of your expectations about the quality of the work committed to on paper. Ask lots of questions about the specific skill set of the crew for each bit of work, and exactly what the finished results will look like, and what they will do if things don't end up that way. Buyer beware.

    I went to the project site several times to inspect progress. The rough carpentry and plastering were done nicely. On my third trip, to see the freshly installed crown molding, I could see that it had not been mitered at the correct Provider name locked. in several corners, such that the edges lined up unevenly. This left a "lip" in some cases where one Provider name locked. extended past another, and a "gap" in other cases where some or all of the Provider name locked. didn't meet the Provider name locked. of the neighboring piece.  In still other cases where the crown molding was just supposed to stop rather than wrap around a corner, there was a gap between the "return" piece and the wall. Finally, along the length of the crown molding, there was a clearly visible gap where the crown molding meets the wall, in some places as much as 1/8"-1/4" wide, which was very visible from most vantage points.

    I called Provider name locked. as soon as I saw these issues and he assured me that this was just the roughing-in step, and that they had a whole second day reserved to fix up everything with caulk (tubes of DAP). I expressed concern that some of the gaps seemed rather large to fix with caulk, and that I didn't understand how mismatched edges (particularly protruding corners) were going to be fixed with caulk and leave a smooth, paintable surface.  He assured me it would produce a good result.  That evening after work I researched crown molding installation issues and learned that caulk is indeed a standard solution to very small cracks, but that professional-grade work doesn't require a lot of caulk, especially not in corners, where the two mitered edges are supposed to line up without a big gap or a lip.  I wrote Provider name locked. an email explaining my concerns, and in the morning we talked on the phone and agreed to meet at the project site.

    This is the point in our project where Provider name locked. started to exhibit seriously unprofessional behavior.  When I got there, he was removing masking tape from the floor and first just ignored me while I crouched next to him saying hello. (Update 11/24 - the tape appears to have permanently marred the floor in that one location, which I didn't notice until two days later.)  I started walking around the rooms inspecting the crown molding and Provider name locked. joined me after a few minutes. We agreed to walk the whole apartment together. Many of the small gaps between the lower Provider name locked. of the crown molding and the wall had been effectively sealed with caulk, but there were still small gaps along some of the seams, one whole room hadn't been addressed at all, and the largest gap (a 1/4" gap about 2 feet long) was still just as wide.  I mentioned that my online research said that for gaps this large, one needs to use plaster to re-grade the wall to meet the molding. Provider name locked. didn't respond. As we walked through the apartment, he trailed sullenly behind me by several feet, sometimes looking at his feet or out the window as I pointed at various spots, calmly pointing out mismatched edges. I said some were so mismatched that they might need to be recut if it's not possible to make the mismatch disappear with caulking and patching. Provider name locked. said nothing.  We got done walking the whole apartment and then we were interrupted by a phone call I'd been waiting on.  When I tried to resume the conversation, Provider name locked. said they all needed to get to work, and didn't I have to get to work, too?  I told him yes, but that I wanted to know what his thoughts were on the various issues I'd pointed out.  He said curtly that they would spend some time that day fixing those spots as I wanted, in addition to re-placing the doorbell ringer back where it goes (which had left an exposed hole in the wall), and cleaning up the project site. Then he opened the door for me to leave. Seriously unprofessional.  Later in the day he called and said they were done, that the only thing left for them to do was to install some folding closet doors that hadn't arrived yet.

    The next morning I went to the project site again, and noticed a few improvements, several remaining deficiencies, and a few ADDITIONAL issues.  Along the length of the crown molding, most of the thin gaps had been effectively filled with smooth caulk, with no leakage onto the adjacent wall. The 1/4" gap was filled with caulk, too, and it didn't look good.  A couple of the corners looked better, but many did not.  He said they had used plaster and sanding to re-work the mis-matched corners, but I saw no evidence of this, just caulking and clear glue.  Indeed, several corners looked WORSE than the day before because there were now big globs of plasticky caulking on the surface of the crown molding, and even smeared on the walls below in several spots.  The doorbell ringer had not been moved back into place, so there was a clearly visible hole in the wall above my front door.  

    I also noticed two things that had escaped my attention previously: some newly installed baseboards produced very poorly matched edges, such that both have a very visible "lip" of wood protruding past the adjacent piece; and a bit of trim that was supposed to be installed around the top of a support column was missing.  So I called Provider name locked. again, and told him that some things definitely looked better, but also explained the issues I was still seeing.  I started talking about the crown molding, and he flatly stated that they are "DONE dealing with the crown molding."  I said it's not done, though.  He said they're "DONE with it!" and that I'll "have to hire someone else" if I want it fixed any further.  I told him I can't pay him his last installment if the work isn't done, and he said fine, and that he would return the spare keys he still had.  I sent him a follow-up email with photos showing examples of the problems I was still seeing with the crown molding, and also detailed the other few items that still needed to be done (the folding closet doors, the doorbell, the column trim, and removal of a small pile of construction debris from my back porch) and said that, independent ofthe crown molding issue, these items needed to be done or I would consider him in breach of contract. I also wrote and posted the first version of this review, ending with "I hope to update this later with a more positive outcome."

    The next day I'd arranged to start painting with two friends - I planned to start with the ceilings in the hope that the crown molding issue might yet be resolved. Provider name locked. emailed and called to say that Provider name locked. would be back to deal with the four items I'd emailed him about. I said fine. Provider name locked. showed up and started working on those items and our little painting crew stayed out of his way. An hour or so later, Provider name locked. showed up and was suddenly civil, even cordial, asking if we might talk privately somewhere. He asked if he might hear my concerns again. This time he listened. He asked clarifying questions. He got up on a step ladder to look closely at what I was talking about. Ultimately he decided to send Provider name locked. on to the next job while he, Provider name locked. , stayed behind to give it a last shot with the crown molding, using caulk and Patch-n-Paint. It was like talking to a completely different person.

    Admittedly, at that point I was so concerned that I'd be left with crappy crown molding that I ratcheted down my expectations. I didn't bring up the two-foot-long, 1/4" gap between one wall and the crown molding above it, which Provider name locked. had stuffed with a thick bead of caulking and which is still clearly visible as a cheap fix. I gave up the idea that anyone was going to recut the two bits of baseboard that meet very poorly at two corners. And I was willing to accept any amount of improvement in the worst of the mismatched crown corners. To Provider name locked. 's credit, he did a good job fixing almost every problematic corner, spending several hours sanding, patching, caulking, smoothing, and removing most of the glops that had been messily smeared on neighboring surfaces. (The next day I did a few more touch-ups to the crown, and still need to revisit the baseboards to see if additional patching and sanding will bring them in line, but it's WAY less work left for me to deal with than before.)

    So then I had to wonder why this was all so contentious and difficult in the first place. I never raised my voice or was nasty in any way that might warrant such unprofessional behavior. It was confusing when he suddenly switched 180 back to the civil, agreeable person I'd met on day one, offering me a handshake and asking "Are we OK?" It reminded me of the time I lived with a manic depressive roommate for a year - you just never knew which person was going to be there when you got home.
    - Stefanie S.
  • Everyone at Provider name locked. Transition was wonderful. Quick response for an appointment. Provider name locked. came out next day to evaluate the work to be done. A few days later, Provider name locked. , came at 8 am and had great suggestions. He went to buy all the supplies needed at the nearest Home Depot. Provider name locked. did an excellent job finishing and painting the 6 windows.
    - Charlene H.
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