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Home Builder reviews in Venice

  • A
    What started out as a refresh of a 1950s bungalow (i.e. majority of the work cosmetic upgrades only) to be completed in five (5) weeks, turned into a much more complex and extensive renovation project. As with any old house, there were unforeseen things that came up. In addition, I added scope during the project (new kitchen cabinets, reconfiguration of bedroom closets). While tough and quick decisions had to be made, the Regal team managed to accommodate all changes and still meet the five week timeline to have everything substantially complete. Not only did they stick to schedule, but also delivered quality finish work. I am very satisfied with the overall experience and would highly recommend this construction group. I want to give particular recognition to Sean who endured my daily texts, provided sound design advice, and delivered on his every word. Also, Manuel (site superintendent) and Jackson (painter) were very professional and exceptional in their attention to detail. Cindy at the office was always responsive and helpful as well. I sincerely appreciate the positive experience and highly recommend the Regal Construction and Remodeling.
    - Kevin H.
  • F
    I really do not understand the "great" reviews on this site for PHB... I really think someone from "Angie's list" should take a closer look at the reviews (IP addresses, locations, etc...) because I truly believe that most, if not all, of the "A" ones are fake! This was by far, the worst experience we have ever had with any contractor/builder ever! Instead of the 4 months promised, it took them almost a full year to complete the job. In all this time, the communication was horrible, the first crew was composed of totally unskilled, sloppy and lazy people not even close to the promises we got before the contract started. After the crew was changed, and also after we have received 2 (Two) "Lien Notifications", which means their subcontractors were not paid and I was going to be forced to pay, the work started again. For what I have been told by the new subcontractor, a lot of staff done by the first crew needed to be redone, otherwise we would not have passed the inspections. On top of that, the owner (Tamir) is extremely rude, and has no idea how to talk to a customer. Be very careful with their salesmen as well, mine was a guy called Shai... They will lie and deceive and say anything just so you sign the contract. Oh, and talking about the contract. If, after all you read on this site about this awful company, you still want to hire them, do yourself a service and have a lawyer (specialized in contracts) to read your contract. Also go on and read everything there is to read about hiring contractors and California laws and follow those rules step by step. I am telling you this because working with PHB comes with a lot of surprises... one of them being that pretty much all your phone conversations will be recorded!!! Yes, RECORDED... just in case they will ever need to sue YOU! They are getting ready for everything, but providing you with a well done job and a good customer service. But I strongly advice you NOT to hire them! I hired them because they were the cheapest, but I have learned my lesson... Next time I'll pay a little bit more! I am not blaming the guys and gals at the office, they only do what they're told... But I am amazed that they're still in business! They are NOT looking for customers, they're just interested in making the SALE! Anyway, this is just a bit of what happened during my dealing with PHB. Again, I will never hire them ever! Worst company I have ever dealt with! THE WORST!
    - Sebastian Claudiu A.
  • A
    I was very apprehensive about starting the process for this remodel as I almost didn?t even know where to start. Everyone has horror stories of hiring a contractor. I did my research and read numerous reviews on Angie?s Lists, Yelp, and also took recommendations from friends. Although all of the people I read about and spoke to seemed top-notch, what made Farnsworth Builders different was that Wes (the owner) was very easy to talk to about everything.
    Wes brought in his architect to also take a look at the structure of our home and to assess how the project could be completed. We would be tearing out walls, adding large windows, adding a balcony, and a patio door so there needed to be a proper structural assessment of the home. After the architect completed the design, Wes gave me an estimate, and I was ready to go with him. He asked me if I had received any other bids and I told him I wasn?t going to bother as I felt most comfortable with him right from the start. He insisted that I get some other bids because he wanted me to be completely comfortable with his process and estimate but it would be good to see how other contractors worked and what their estimates would be. He explained what to look out for and what kind of questions to ask. 
    I ended up interviewing several contractors and architects and all of them were great, but I did not feel the kind of rapport I did with Wes. His architect also explained that one of the bonuses with hiring Wes was that he could also be consult on the interior design, picking out products and items for the house; basically it was a ?one-stop shop? with Farnsworth Builders. Wes had even said that after we got the design from the architect, we didn?t even have to hire him as our builder. We could take the design and go with someone else. But of course, we told him he was the one we wanted to use. In the months before the start of the remodel, Wes guided us into preparing for the remodel. What I needed to look into, what kind of cabinets, tile, bathroom products, doors, etc. By the time we started, we were in a really good place and had most products delivered and ready to go. Wes insists on having everything ready before he starts so there aren?t unreasonable delays and wasted time. 
    His workers were on time every day, on schedule, cleaned up after every work day, and a pleasure to have at our home. They were such a pleasure to have at the house. My husband would even hang out with them after the day and talk shop.
    We had some major issues that were discovered from the previous owner's "remodel" (using that term very loosely), but Wes not only explained the problems but helped us fix things without breaking the bank. Throughout the remodel, Wes would explain what was going on, what needed to be done, and kept us fully informed on the process.
    I felt like Wes was building our home as he would his own. There were times that he would redo something if it wasn?t exactly to his specification. And other times he would ask our opinion on something and I would just tell him to do it as he would his own home. That?s how much we trusted him.
    When we had our final inspection, our inspector praised his work. He said that he knew Wes?s work and completely trusted that everything was done according to code and knew that Wes is not the type of contractor that cuts corners or does anything unsafe. 
    After almost 4 months, our home is complete and we are beyond thrilled. The process from start to finish was the best I can imagine for any remodel. I can't recommend them enough.
    - Stella T.
  • A
    JLM was great. I called a bunch of different places for estimates, and found these guys to be the most reasonable AND really good at explaining everything to me--which as an asbestos removal newbie (and hopefully I'll never have to do it again!) was really helpful. He was on time, conducted the testing, gave me the results within a few days, and in addition, answered a bunch of other questions about a possible mold problem that was happening in the house at well, saving me lots of $$ on mold remediation.
    - Sandra B.
  • F
    The provider never contacted us after our request for a bid/consultation about a new fence. I thought Angie's List was a website that provided reliable contractors. I guess I was misinformed..
    - BARBARA T.
  • A
    This family owed business is honest, speedy and clean. I was quoted so many different prices and they actually charged me more then half of price quoted because they only did the work needed. This is the 3 rd window they repaired. Awesome!
    - Roberta B.
  • A
    We received bids from Hi-Tech back around April 2013 and started construction in the beginning of June. The project did get started off slowly and with some challenges and the original expected completion time was not met.  However, when David stepped in, things started to get done correctly and quickly. His crew was professional and the workmanship was high quality.  We are thrilled with how our house turned out and love having the extra space.  Joseph also oversaw the project, even while we were on vacation.  We had complete trust and confidence in them while we were gone and had no issues with it.

    It was our first remodel, so we do recommend bringing a lot of ideas and pictures to the table when you are making decisions.  Also, make sure to have everything spelled out in the contract so there's no confusion. 

    We added a bedroom over our living room, removed a wall between the kitchen and dining room, and extended the kitchen out 4 feet. All our flooring was redone, along with the facing of our fireplace and the cabinets next to it. Everything turned out absolutely beautiful and even better than we expected. I would definitely recommend working with Hi-Tech and make sure to request David. They will do a wonderful job!
    - Monica M.
  • A
    Ron has been my contractor for the past 25 years. (It's unusal to be speaking to your contractor after on assignment, but not only have we become friends, he is the only contractor I would consider using for any large or small projects)
    On my house in the Hollywood Hills, he added a new room (increasing the floor plan 400 square feet) and put a new roof on the entire house. Because of the costs -- we broke it into three stages -- so Ron found places where we could stop, so I would have enough funds to continue the project. It did take about 6 years to complete the house -- but it looks great and there have been no problems with any of the work.
    When I moved to Venice -- into a 100 year old Craftsman house -- as things went wrong. (The old owners were do it yourselfers -- and not very good ones at that), Ron first replaced a shower leaking into the room below with a 5x5 foot, six shower head shower, that matched the look and period of the house. A year later, we replaced the original bathroom (which was Japanese modern) with a bathroom that also looked like the period of the house -- using bathroom fixtures from the early 1900s -- a standard 1906 giant claw foot tub, a Mott 42 inch pedistal sink and John Douglas toilet from the period.
    Three years after that, when replacing a back porch which was falling down -- we found that the kitchen's foundation had rotted away. Ron got the necessary permits right away -- jacked up the house, poured a new foundation to the city's new standards, and rebolted the house. Then replaced all the rotting shingles from 1912, with shingles custom made to match the ones on the house (from Washington State -- there is only one lumber yard in the country that would do that kind of work) and replace all the shingles that faced the west (we're a block form the beach) and made the house look the way it did when it was first built in 1912.
    At the same time, we added a bathroom where there was a tool shed. In this case, we used the original sink and bathtub from the first bathroom and found another Jon Douglas period toilet. You could never tell that the bathroom was added on. It looks like it was always there.
    Ron takes care to make sure every detail matched the exhisting house and I applaude his insane focus on that detail.
    Like I said, he's the only builder I've been using for 25 years.
    - Jay K.
  • F
    As above!! 3 months projected and 6 months later the job had to be COMPLETELY 100% torn down and started again by another company. I had to bring in Westlan Construction to fix their mess! I can recommend Westlan or Alisal Builders in the area.
    - Wade W.
  • A
    Although there were some issues, I cannot help but give these guy an A rating because their work ethic and overall desire to always make things right at every turn was simply over the top. They were honest and professional from start to finish, did an excellent job and kept the project on track and within the budget. We spent over $100,000 with A.G.A over the course of a year and I can honestly say it was worth every penny. Work was done to code with regular city inspections and overall everything looks great.
    Description of property
    Condo, top floor, 3bed 2 bath with roof deck
    Work Performed
    Gutted an existing powder room and turned it into a laundry room
    Demolished a wet bar and old laundry room and created a full bathroom in its place
    Leveled the floor of the entire top floor loft of the condo
    Rebuilt and tiled the entire roof deck which was deteriorating and leaking
    Rebuilt a redwood planter that runs the length of the roof deck
    Replaced the 14' sliding glass doors that lead to the roof deck
    Replaced and painted all doors and hardware throughout the condo with moulding (6 doors)
    Patched and resurfaced all walls with skim coat to get rid of 1970's textured surface
    Painted entire condo interior
    Replaced and painted all doors on two full size closets
    All demolition, plumbing and electrical for the above work, some was quite involved to ensure that we conformed to city code for condos
    What Went Right
    They showed up pretty much every day they said they would and did all work as specified and to code. The end result ended up looking great, and when things were not done to our satisfaction, A.G.A. would usually bend over backwards to try to make us happy. There were not a lot of surprises or any real cost overruns. When there was something that we hadn't anticipated (needed to level the upstairs loft of the condo) I was comfortable enough with Ilan to have a verbal agreement that it was obviously going to cost more without bothering with a change order. Probably would have been better on my part to insist on a change order, but it speaks to how honest these guys were that at times, I didn't even care because I knew they weren't out to nickel and dime me or screw me over. In fact, as far as costs go, I am pretty sure they ended up losing some money on our deck job since it ended up being more involved than they anticipated. But instead of passing on the costs to us, A.G.A. just ate it.
    What Went Wrong
    As far as design goes, it was up to me and my wife to figure out how we wanted things to look. If you are looking for an HGTV-esque contractor who comes in with samples and helps walk you through options for how you want the shower to look and what finish to use where, this didn't really happen with us with A.G.A. This was ok since we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted, but it's worth mentioning.
    Also in order to keep costs down, it was us to me and my wife to procure finishing materials (tile, moulding, etc) and even large items like doors. Lastly there were times when A.G.A. would ask us to find our own guy to do work that they didn't perform, such as buying and installing Silestone countertops in our bathroom. Later, when the vendor we found ended up doing a mediocre job, A.G.A. would come back at us and say "Hey, you should have asked me...I have a guy that could have done that!" This happened a couple of times and it was frustrating.
    There were other small examples of disorganization on A.G.A's part (asking us to order specific sized doors for the laundry room, which turned out to be too small - not once but *twice*) and a few instances where the last 10% of the work was never quite up to the quality that we expected (some sloppy finishing work here and there), but since they would always try to come back and fix our outstanding issues until we were happy, I really can't fault them too much.
    There was a problem with part of the deck leaking after the first heavy rain, and they fixed it immediately. I still need to have them back to repair some interior water damage caused by the leak, but I am waiting until some other roof work is done to ensure its not done prematurely.
    Overall A.G.A. did a fantastic job. There were a few hiccups here and there but the fact that they were so honest and did everything they could to make things right when there was even a small problems counts for a lot. I think we got very lucky choosing A.G.A.. I have heard horror stories of contractors not showing up, refusing to fix shoddy work, overcharging and generally being a nightmare to work with. A.G.A. was the complete opposite of this and it was refreshing and a relief to do business with a contractor with integrity and a solid work ethic.

    - Jake K.
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Home Builders in Venice

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