Columbus Master Bedroom Remodel

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Recent Review: I want to say up front that I am very very pleased with the results of the remodel.  I also want to say that I couldn't have been happier with our designer, Connie Mann.  She was fabulous to work with, had a very pleasing personality, great work ethic and wonderful, creative ideas and details and was a true professional.  We also loved the guys who did the actual work.  They were also professional and courteous and skilled at their jobs.  This seemed to be an extensive job (to me) and they completed it on time, in three months.  So, with all of this glowing praise, why do I say I wouldn't use Dream Kitchens again?  In short, the owner.  On the face of it he comes across very friendly, but we ended up feeling manipulated.  The actual project was completed in three months, but the planning began in January and went through August.  Most of that was due to our needing time to make choices.  We also had the 24 hour care of our 2 1/2 year old twin grandsons living with us until July that year.   The owner, Kevin Schmidt, was accommodating to our need for time.  We had also told him upfront that we could not begin construction until the boys were out of the house.  Our biggest problem became one of trust.  When we were first shown three designs for the kitchen area, BEFORE we had decided to put any money down and commit to Dream Kitchens, we asked what the approximate cost would be for one of the designs (the one we liked best and decided to go with).  We were told $75,000.  That fell within our budget range and of course we knew it was likely we would make changes or additions and raise the price some, but this seemed a solid base.  After we had put money down and spent more time on finalizing the design we found out that the price he had quoted only included 2 walls of the kitchen.  He hadn't included the built-in buffet wall, nor the pony wall alterations between the kitchen and family room.  That was additional and he hadn't considered it part of the kitchen  --  even though that was part of the design we were looking at when we asked the price.  That was the beginning.  There was also no "contract" provided.  He said that if he gave his clients a contract that would scare them off.  To the contrary, we saw a contract as protecting both sides in this undertaking.  He just wanted us to sign agreements to pay amounts on a given schedule.  We held firm and demanded a contract.  Our son-in-law is a lawyer and he downloaded a generic contract for remodeling which we presented to Kevin.  Kevin agreed to use it.  It gave dates for starting, work to be done, a payment schedule and penalties for late completion.  Other issues were getting firm prices on items.  The cabinets were not an issue.  Connie gave us those prices as well as for the granite and marble.  For the wood flooring  --  I got the quotes from other outside sources and kept those out of the Dream Kitchens contract  --  to Kevin's chagrin.  But for the plumbing fixtures (sinks, faucets and toilet)  and lighting allowances and windows, it was like pulling teeth to get a firm price from Kevin.  It was all evasive.  The plumbing fixture store would tell me it depended upon what discount dream kitchens would give.  Kevin would say it depended upon the plumbing fixture store and what discount they would give.  We built our house in 1979, with WILMAC, and I learned then that builders get discounts and either pass those discounts along to you and charge for their labor or don't pass the discount along and that is partially how they pay for their labor.  If I remember correctly, Kevin wanted to add 25-30% on to any outside  product. This was in addition to the "lump sum" he listed in the contract for labor costs and the discounts from outside vendors.  It was always impossible to pin him down on anything financial.  I have a neighbor who got so far in the planning process with Dream Kitchens before pulling out due to "issues" with the owner; and she had a friend in Bishop's Bay who chose not to go past the first meeting because of the "red flags" related to the owner. I feel Dream Kitchens delivered a great service and product.  As I said, I was very happy with the results.  I sincerely appreciate the employees  --  they work very hard and are very talented and I don't want to hurt them in anyway.  I felt I was in a wrestling match with Kevin the entire time  --  once our eyes were opened and we realized how he worked.  If I was a new client looking at what Dream Kitchens' had to offer and it seemed like something I would like  --  I would go in with very specific questions (he's like a politician in that he answers vaguely) and demand specific answers in writing.  If you stick to your financial guns  -- you will probably be happy with the rest.
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Business Description: Locally owned and operated small family business. Primary field of expertise is handyman services ranging from cleaning out gutters and remodeling rooms to lawn care and snow removal. We also refurbish wood furniture and make custom, one of a kind wood furnishings.
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Business Description: We are an award-winning design-build remodeling and interior design firm serving the greater Madison and Milwaukee areas. Kitchen and bathroom remodeling, room additions, and whole home renovations are professionally designed by our staff. We offer a wide range of full-scope architectural, interior design, and planning services that can be customized to meet your needs. Our team works directly with you to come to the best solution for your home or business.
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angies list certifiedAngie's List Certified
Award 2018Super Service Award
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Recent Review: Very happy with the work performed. Prompt, courteous and professional.
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Recent Review: Randy extended the bedroom floor over an area that was originally open to the room below creating a large walk in closet. He removed the existing closets and moved the wall between the bedroom and bathroom. He acted as general contractor for the plumbing and electrical work, as well as doing most of the carpentry work himself. He always showed up when he said he would, did very high quality work, and is as honest as they come. We ended up with a more spacious bedroom and bathroom without enlarging the footprint of the house. The cost estimate of $5,400 is the carpentry labor Randy provided.
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Business Description: Genesis is Madison's largest painting company. We Color Your World! Earning the Angies list super service award winner numerous years. All work comes with a 3 year 100% Warranty. We don't collect any down payment and payment is due after your final inspection and walk through. All major credit cards are accepted or use our no payment no interest option. You work with a full time estimator/project manager assigned to your account, and we also have two full time customer service reps available at all times in case you need a quick contact during the job. I addition to our A rating here on Angie's list (see super service award) we have also an A+ rating with the better business bureau. Our employees our career painters, paid by the hour so they can take the time needed to do the job right, the first time.
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Recent Review: Wonderful design.  Very professional and responsive to my concerns.  Good people to work with.  Just went a little over budget and schedule.
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Recent Review: On Monday, Julie came to my house and picked up the window warmers up to be re-strung. She said she would try to get the work done quickly because one of the windows was in our master bedroom which faces the front of the house. Three days later she was back and installed them. Great friendly service!
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Business Description: Whitty and Sons Construction, LLC. specializes in residential remodeling within Dane County.
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Recent Review: Keith did an excellent job as usual. The work is perfect. He was professional, courteous, friendly, and punctual.

Reviews in Columbus to Remodel Master Bedroom

ARandy Kraemer Builders LLC
Randy extended the bedroom floor over an area that was originally open to the room below creating a large walk in closet. He removed the existing closets and moved the wall between the bedroom and bathroom. He acted as general contractor for the plumbing and electrical work, as well as doing most of the carpentry work himself. He always showed up when he said he would, did very high quality work, and is as honest as they come. We ended up with a more spacious bedroom and bathroom without enlarging the footprint of the house. The cost estimate of $5,400 is the carpentry labor Randy provided.
- Don W....
AInner View
Wonderful design.  Very professional and responsive to my concerns.  Good people to work with.  Just went a little over budget and schedule.
- Carol W....
ACreative Energy Designs Inc
On Monday, Julie came to my house and picked up the window warmers up to be re-strung. She said she would try to get the work done quickly because one of the windows was in our master bedroom which faces the front of the house. Three days later she was back and installed them. Great friendly service!
- Patricia K....
AKW Construction
Keith did an excellent job as usual. The work is perfect. He was professional, courteous, friendly, and punctual.
- Martin P....
AInner View
It went perfect. Jodie and Kevin both really get to know to you and are wonderful people to work with. I met with Jodie a few months back to come up with design, colors. She led us through the design process, color selections, hardware selections and I rarely left the house to go to a store, Everything came to us. It saved so much time in the beginning and throughout the process as all decisions were made.  We were presented with a detailed estimate before we began construction. Construction started on time. Kevin and any of his contractors are incredibly neat and thoughtful. As others have mentioned, Kevin's work is all about perfection. We could not be happier with the tiling, trim, painting, cabinets. Our bathroom looks like it came out of a magazine.  Jodie stays on top of all the details. she is very detailed and is a a top rate project manager combined with a great sense of design. She stopped in on a regular basis to see how things were going, communicated frequently to make sure we knew how things were progressing. As with all projects, I changed my mind on a couple of things and Jodie did a great job of helping me make good decisions. In fact, I realized I could trust her judgement on most things when I was not sure what to do.  Jodie and Kevin are both perfectionists, just who you want working on a job like this. They both do a great job of inspecting everything and demand perfection from any subs they use.  We are just waiting on the countertop now and will be in our new space soon.  The only problem I have now is deciding "what I want them do next?" I already plan on having Jodie help me with other colors in the house and we have two more bathrooms to remodel so I know we will be calling them back.  You really cannot go wrong with Inner View.
- Dawn F....
AThe Gofer Guys LLC
He arrived when he said he would, and all the trim looks excellent. No gaps and seams are flawless. In addition, he cleaned up nicely after the work was done.
- Candy L....
ATK Designs & Consulting, LLC
Tonya was fabulous to work with always timely and responsive and always had great suggestions. I felt the really worked with me to do the right thing for the charge or flow of the house with an eye on the budget. I highly recommend her.
- Martha L....
AThe Builders Group
Dan Eccles, the owner, impressed us from day one. He takes great pride in his work, and he listened very carefully to what we wanted in a finished basement. He communicated with us daily, and he even came over to our house in the evenings (after we had returned from work) to explain the work that had been completed and to answer any questions or concerns that we had. He was very sensitive to our budget, and when appropriate, recommended cost-saving choices (i.e. using in-stock trim colors). Dan supervised the subcontractors who were working at our house very closely, but in many cases, that was unnecessary - the subcontractors were polite, professional and efficient. The finished basement is gorgeous, and it is finally an inviting space in which we can spend time with our kids. When we had a wall-opening filled in our bedroom, he did everything he could to ensure that the drywall dust was kept to a minimum. Our final project was the most surprising - Dan removed a soffit in our lower bedroom to see if more insulation could be added to the wall (the guest bedroom had always been a bit too cold). When the trim was removed, he discovered a large crack in the foundation. A structural engineer looked at the crack, and we were very unhappy with the amount the structural engineer charged us for a 30 min. visit and a very brief written report. When we talked to Dan about contacting the structural engineer ourselves to express our frustration, he responded, "That's my job as your contractor." He is in the process right now of settling that. We recommend Dan highly - he has great pride in his work, integrity, and he communicated everything very clearly and respectfully.
- Laura L....
AHome Improvement Company LLC
It goes without saying (since we have been working with Home Improvement Co. and owner, Mike McManamy for 10 years) that we have been more than satisfied with their work. Over the years they have transformed our fixer-upper home into the equivalent of a parade home. Their craftsmanship and attention to detail is top notch. Mike is very good at interpreting our vision and facilitating the best approach. He is good-natured, easy to work with and always available and responsive. Most important, he is honest, trustworthy and forthcoming about any problems that may arise. We have had such a good experience with Home Improvement Co that, even though we just finished a major remodel, we are already planning our next project (a master bedroom suite).
- Ellen C....
DCB Home Renovations
I was told the project would take about 4-5 days or so and it ended up running into two weeks+, as at times he or would show up late and/or leave early.  The painting was not even close to being in the realm of a professional paint job.  I had to point out blatantly obvious areas that needed touch-up throughout each of the three rooms on multiple occasions, and the painting looks especially terrible around the door casings. (I have since had a new contractor come in to move forward with further home renovations and he noticed right away that the finished paint job was terrible, and that the trim looked awful painted, and that he would never recommend painting that type of trim, but instead replace it for about the same cost as painting it).  One day I was especially angered to come home and find white paint streaked all over my brown carpet and even down the hallway coming from our third bedroom.  Upon going into the other two bedrooms, there was also multiple areas of paint on the carpet in both of these rooms as well. When I informed Chris, he did work on using a product to remove the paint from the carpet, but as you can imagine, this was not perfect, and took alot of extra time.   Also, the patio door in the master bedroom was installed incorrectly, with the door not sealing correctly; Chris did appear to correct this, but we have since noticed that one of the glass panels of the patio door seems to have been installed upside down.  On the new closet doors in all three bedrooms, the hardware was placed incorrectly so that the doors were not functioning in opening correctly.  Chris did move the hardware to the correct spot upon my informing him of this, however the old areas still need to be sanded and painted over again as they are highly visible.  Chris set up an appt to come address this following the end of the project, and he never showed up.  No email or phone call.  Unfortunately I had made the mistake of paying him the remaining balance prior to this, and so had a pretty good feeling he would not show up to finish this.  Please beware as It is heartbreaking to part with your hard-earned money, with results like this.
- Angela S....