Recent Review: We contacted Ernie, among other providers, because we found him on Angie's List last October. We needed to update just about everything in our home, so it was going to be a long, and large project. I think we had a total of 11 contractors come out to give quotes. I believe around 6 of them were from Angie's List. We settled on Ernie for several reasons. I liked the vibe I got when dealing with him. There were a couple of contractors who came in who felt a bit shady. Ernie was down to earth, easy to talk to, and easily offered up suggestions when I was stuck on exactly how I might want something done. I also told him our project would probably be done in pieces, as we had a lot to do. He seemed okay with this. However, although we might have been focusing on just one project, we continually discussed what the best way would be to do what was coming next. He communicated often, and always returned phone calls. He was great at working around my schedule. At first, things were slow because I only had one day off a week. We weren't comfortable allowing anyone in without one of us home. It wasn't long before I felt okay with allowing him to come and work while we were gone. We never had a formally written contract. Often during the process I worried about this, recounting all the horrific tales I'd heard from others about contractors changing their prices, or what they're doing, etc. Our agreements were all verbal. I wouldn't recommend verbal agreements, because it really is better to have everything hashed out in detailed writing, and I realize we took a gamble in doing so. Ernie did talk about bringing in a written contract on several occasions, but it didnt happen while this part of the work was being done. However, I didn't insist either. In the end, his quoted amount stayed the same. It felt disjointed at times, because some things we discussed didnt get done, or were part of the original quote yet were done separately, later. The backings on the steps are an example. That was part of the original quote, yet later I paid for it to be done separately. There were also supposed to be a couple more lights going in, to my understanding. Now, the basement isn't completed yet (we are doing things in increments as money allows) so the lights will still go in. It was my understanding, tho, that as part of the original 1st stage quote that there would be at least 2 others. Yet, there were other things that were part of the original quote that I decided against having done, and Ernie adjusted accordingly and I paid quite a bit less than the original amount quoted in the long run. Ernie did arrange for drywall to be delivered. Some materials were included in cost, and other times I was responsible for getting materials. Some people may want a contractor to just be all inclusive, but we preferred to purchase some of our own materials. Ernie was very good at giving us advice on what to buy. If he had to purchase something outside of the included cost, he simply presented the receipt for re-imbursement. No up charge. The above examples are really why one should have everything in writing. I don't believe for a second that the things I felt were left out was intentional. My understanding of every detail we agreed to may have been different than what he thought. It was such a minor thing because, as I said, in the long run we still paid a very fair amount and the work was quality. That means more to me than creating conflict over a difference of understanding when the money paid out is still very much in the ballpark of where it should be. Had I felt he was jerking me around, that would be a different issue entirely. But I never felt that way. No, I think having the written contract just helps both parties know exactly what is being paid for. When I paid the remainder of the money for the completion of the first increment of basement updating is when I received an itemized list of what had been done. We've been in talks with Ernie about updating other parts of the house as we are able. We bought new kitchen floor, and was going to have Ernie install it. His quote just for installation of our tile floored me. Once I researched it, his amount was right on par with average installation costs of tile. I just had no idea how much it was BEFORE buying tile!!! Of course, that was MY failing. In the end, I used my brother and his friend for the flooring because my brother works for a commercial flooring company, and he did it for about $1300 less simply because I am his sister. Had I not had such a personal relationship for such a cost, I certainly would have had Ernie in here laying that floor! All in all, Ernie gave quality work at a reasonable price. He was good whether the job was just to hook up my new dishwasher and sink, or a much bigger job of dry walling and putting a ceiling up in a 300 SF room. I certainly intend to use in in the future for any kind of updating and repair work around my home!