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Professional Work reviews in Berkeley

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  • For quotes process, I saw Mike Hassler himself on October 2. I also saw two other companies: ABC and Nahman. Nahman's estimator would only quote for a full system replacement, for more than $10k, and ABC, while helpful, felt like it was too far away (in the South Bay). Also Mike at Hassler convinced me of his and his company's expertise during the quote process. Mike made it seem like a small, agile operation, but upon working with the rest of the company, there is at least one bookkeeper, one appointments arranger, a construction manager, and at least two installers besides him. The reason I mention this is that while Mike made me feel well taken care of, he was difficult to reach after his first visit and quote. Another detail lost in the company process was that Mike said he could arrange the work "within a couple of weeks" (which I wanted) but when his quote went through his company process, it was 2 1/2 months. One of the things he and I discussed during his first visit was building out my air return housing and installing a proper return grate. But that didn't make it onto the quote in precisely those terms. Mike used more general language in the quote and didn't revise the quote when I asked him about it, just saying, verbally "Yes, that's covered." This put me in a bind later, which I will explain. Ultimately, the company handled it in a way I think was more than fair. But leaving me feeling like I was left in the lurch for a couple of hours wasn't the best. Anyhow, there was a delay, first, where the company's bookkeeper was waiting for my 10% downpayment, and I didn't know it. After I worked that detail out with them (around 10/25/2017), a month had already gone by and the appointments maker delayed the process again by first making an appointment with me for a "pre-construction site visit" (scheduled for 2 1/2 weeks after I made the payment - 11/16/2017) and then, with little apology, cancelling it a day before it was supposed to happen (11/15/2017) saying that it didn't need to happen. (In fact, it did, because of the bind I mentioned previously.) Their next appointment was available another month later, on 12/14/2017, when the work actually happened. During the actual construction, the company sent one worker, which was fine - I was expecting he would take 4 to 8 hours. We mutually understood and agreed on all but the air intake work. For the air intake, Mike Hassler said he would include in the quote language for doing light carpentry and building out the air intake frame so that a proper grate could be installed on it. It takes up the bottom 2 feet of my linen closet, and is well situated in a central location in my house. When he sent the original quote, I couldn't find the language in the quote, so I asked Mike about it on 10/14/2017, and Mike called and said it was included and I shouldn't worry. So, being a trusting sort, I didn't worry. During the walkthrough prior the worker doing the actual repairs, he called that out, saying that he wasn't lead to believe that was part of the work. He said he would call Mike and work it out and let me know where we stood on that. A couple of hours later, he said that another Hassler truck was bringing the grate, and a few hours after that, it was clear that the company was planning on supporting that part of the quote, and doing the work. So it turned out well, but I hate feeling like I'm paying for being trusting, even for a few hours. I was worried it was my fault for not handling the quote/contract right, and that sucks. I'd even started making plans with a handyman to do the work separately, not knowing how Hassler would eventually handle it. The quality of the work was top-notch. The worker was careful to talk with me about how I wanted the grid installed, and he did it well. He also talked with me about the details of the work he would do, then did the work as promised. He communicated well, both arranging for a good lunch time for him, keeping it short, and also working with me to test parts of the system as he worked on it, and having me come down to the basement a few times to review work in progress and explain what was going on. My only two issues were: - The carpentry on my air intake return was not included in the written quote, and not transmitted as institutional knowledge about my construction, which put me, for a few hours, in a tough spot. - My urgency with this job was not transmitted or considered a priority by the company beyond Mike, the quote guy/owner, and the worker himself, so the actual construction didn't happen until 2 1/2 months after I received the quote, even though I kept pushing for quicker service. Aside from that, the work was good and the process (although slow) was effective.
    - Malcolm G.
  • The work went really well -- the crew was professional, punctual and very hardworking. The communication between the foreman and city inspector, structural engineer and the lab testing were seamless. The work was completed in a timely manner as proposed in the contract.
    - Priscilla Y.
  • Rex Keys store and office is just blocks away. Their service rep came down immediately and evaluated the problem, telling me which things needed to be attended to by the U.S. Post Office itself and which they could handle. Within half an hour they were back with the needed lock fittings and keys to replace those on all the affected personal mailboxes. The work was done quickly and efficiently. The rest of the Homeowners Board was astonished at how low the materials and labor costs were!
    - Phyllis Brooks S.
  • There were some inconsistencies in invoicing and billing especially for the delivery, install and the sales. The sales guy that we worked with quoted a different price from what the delivery folks billed. The delivery folks billed higher than them. I think it was in the end a miscommunication. The installers did a very good job and they were very quick. The price was a little high. They are kind of a high-end appliance dealership so they could potentially drop their prices and make their customers happy, but they are a high-end appliance place so we get what we pay for. Their responsiveness sort of contributed to the whole problem with the invoicing for the delivery services but it wasn't too bad. It was just that there was some delay.
    - Malcolm G.
  • After a full 16 emails back and forth trying to request a bid and schedule an appointment, after attempting to answer a number of questions that would be self-evident with as little as a drive-by, after accepting that a meeting at 5:00pm was not possible because the contractor would be ?exhausted,? I finally got confirmation of an inspection appointment. The time committed to was an hour and a half ago and there has been no knock on my door nor a phone call. I?ve built my schedule today around their visit and I don?t appreciate being disrespected. If the job is too small or they?re too busy, just say so.
    Bay Area Retrofit may do great work and they may do it at great prices, but they can't prove it by me. Their website is very slick and informative and I have no doubt that their knowledge-base is extensive. That said, their customer service and reliability leaves much to be desired. I?m familiar with contractors who become unreliable as the job is finishing up ? they are being pulled to start the next one ? but in my experience it?s unusual to get blown off before the job even begins. Really?
    - Steven R.
  • They did it immediately, accessible and they did the job done really fast. It's very reassuring that you have a plumber that you know you can always reach and who'll always be there in half an hour. We like the fact that the Women's Organization is necessary.
    - John B.
  • They were efficient but I don't know that I necessarily trust them to just leave it and walk out. I would suggest anyone who goes stay and actually witness the destruction.

    Their location was convenient, being right next to the freeway.

    They have a nice, efficient office in a moderate sized industrial business with all the appropriate machinery.

    - Richard R.
  • Impeccable, exquisite work; the best contractor I?ve worked with in my many remodels. T. James is just now completing a major remodel at the home where I live and work so I had months of day-long interaction with Todd and  his crew.  These are very considerate people and very skilled craftsmen.  Todd was a breeze to work with throughout, flexible, accommodating, attentive to all the details while ensuring that the work be done as quickly as possible at a rate I consider a bargain given what other contractors had bid.  Cale, the foreman for my job is a master, overseeing a first class crew.  Come take a look at the work. Though the project was more practical than luxury-oriented, the precision gives the whole house real class.  I highly recommend these guys, and am glad I discovered them here on Angie?s list.

    - Jeremy S.
  • Working from detailed AUTOCAD plans, Rustworks fabricated all of the railing parts accurately and on schedule. Then they did a perfect installation. The team was on time, very professional and a pleasure to work with. Plus the cost of the job was exactly what they estimated. We are very happy with their work and will use them on future projects. We also highly recommend them to others.

    - Linnea C.
  • I've never particularly enjoyed trying to learn a second language (in school, using Rosetta Stone, etc.).
    Several friends recommended that I try learning Spanish one-on-one with a local tutor, and I saw that Cristina (Ina) has good online reviews, so I decided to give her a try.
    Her first language is Spanish, and she speaks fluent English, too (with a cool Spanish accent), so I find it easy to relate to her language-wise.
    And as a tutor, she's perfect for someone like me - friendly, gentle, patient, understanding, and very likeable. There's no 'pressure' to learn - she guides and encourages me at a pace that's perfect for me, and I'm actually learning to understand and speak Spanish! (Yes, that deserves an exclamation point!)
    So do I recomment Ina? Without any hesitation, absolutely - just please don't book her entire schedule - I need my appointments with her, too - gracias :-)
    - Joel K.
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Professional Services in Berkeley

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