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Architect reviews in Des Plaines

  • F
    Senga Architects Inc.
    Awful Mr Senga came to the house and walked around and we agreed to a price. He continuously tried to get me to pay him more. He agreed to a certain date and passed the deadline, I asked him when I could expect to receive the plans, I got excuses and he became defensive. His first set of plans caused the city to delay the project because they couldn't understand what was happening. It appeared that a lot of the plans were on a template. On the first and second review the comments on some of the plan were told to be changed. We were required to completely redo the plans. I got nothing by excuses, he blamed me and city. The third review came back with more comments. Some comments were a repeat of the second review. Mr Sengas work is sloppy at best. I have never dealt with a more unprofessional architect in 8 years of flipping houses. He acted as if he was the boss. I learned that to get anything done I had to be stern with him. I had to micro manage the process which I find unprofessional. The city did the work for him by tell him what to do which was architector 101. The unbelievable comment was that he had written a rolled roof on a shingle roof. That is just one of a dozen 101 errors. I am forgiving for most things but not for basic errors. It is obvious that he is using unskilled interns and then not taking the time to careful review their work before submitting the product to me the customer. I paid him way to much. The city said we had to redraw they entire project and Mr Senga asked me for $2,000 to ad pain to misery. My partner had to leave so as to not blow a cork. He blamed me for everything. I texted him that the comments must be completed on Monday. His response was " I don't like you tone". My response was "What Tone". It is obvious his only interest is in making money. If you wish to have drama in you project than Mr. Senga is your man. He walked off the job. I have to hire a new Architect which I did in 5 minutes. He said good luck, I can't use his drawings, which I paid him money for. He said good luck your now going to be delayed will going through the whole process all over again. I will have to sue him for breach of contract. Which I will do on Monday. Attached are all the drawings that we gave Mr Senga. A nightmare of architect.
    - Arthur D.
  • A
    DESIGNfirst Builders LLC
    Design First remodeled and expanded my main bathroom on the second floor of a vintage bungalow. --Working with a designer as part of the quote process was helpful. The designer came up with a great idea of how to expand the bathroom with minimal loss of space in the adjacent bedroom and an overall better closer configuration on the second floor. --They spent time in the quote process looking at the challenges of working in an older home. As a result there were almost no change requests that resulted from something that was discovered after the project started --Having the design service included led to a much more polished look than I could have done on my own. --They were pretty accurate in the estimate to complete the project. They followed up on the punch list and didn't let things fall through the cracks. --I am a technology-oriented person so I liked the customer portal they have. I could ask questions or follow up on issues through the portal. I could also see the status of costs, etc. --The project manager was great at working through any issues where there needed to be an adaptation of the design as the project progressed --Overall the project came in close to the original quote. I did choose to do a few upgrades along the way First Design probably won't be your cheapest alternative, but I was willing to pay a bit more to have a major project run more smoothly.
    - SARA R.
  • A
    DESIGNfirst Builders LLC
    We highly recommend Design First. We needed our master bath torn out and redone due to water seepage behind the wall. We added some insulation as long as walls were open and chose to move the toilet and that involved some work with water lines and joists. We chose Design First because their price was competitive and they had positive reviews from others. This was a big investment for us, so we wanted it done right with experienced craftsmen and permits. We also liked the fact that they are very clear and transparent, listing all of the charges in this process upfront so you know what you are paying for before you agree to anything. They were very flexible with us supplying our own purchases and we made changes as needed along the way. The project manager, Derek, was terrific. He was hands-on as a supervisor and really quick to answer any questions we had. He got back to us within hours - sometimes minutes- and took care of any concerns. One example: after the shower was installed we did not like the shiny look of the silicone sealant applied at the base. The next day, they came out, removed it all by hand at no charge to us. The crew that worked in our home, headed by Damien, was skilled, cheerful and very efficient. They got our bathroom done ahead of schedule. We are very pleased with it, and would recommend Design First without reservation.
    - Kristin G.
  • A
    DESIGNfirst Builders LLC
    We solicited bids from three builders for our replacement
    room addition. Design First made several suggestions we had not thought of. They
    were also the low bidder. Nor did they push us to make a decision quickly
    because the price wouldn?t last ? which one of our other bidders did.
     The architect was
    professional, was familiar with all local codes, and made changes in the plans
    to match our ideas. The plans and specifications were correctly prepared. A
    glitch in obtaining the building permit was dealt with.
    When I, as a structural engineer, requested additional steel
    reinforcement of the foundation, the change was made at only a modest increase
    in cost.
    The construction work was performed by a succession of subcontractors,
    who were, for the most part, competent. The work was done to plan,
    specification and code.
    Problems included the breaking of our cable connection,
    twice, delays due to weather, and some sloppy work on the HVAC setup.
    Construction superintendent Mike dealt with these problems promptly, going so
    far as to fix the cable himself (still works). Cleanup was good, and the punch
    list was short and quickly worked through. The structure passed the city
    inspection with only three shortcomings that needed to be dealt with.
    We are completely satisfied with the work done by Design
    First. As a construction professional myself, I recognize good contractors, and
    Design First qualifies.
    - Charles H.
  • A
    DESIGNfirst Builders LLC
    Nick from DESIGNfirst was great.  He came over the first time to gather our ideas on the design and take some measurements.  He was very professional and friendly.  The second time he came over he shared with us the preliminary design and got our input.  We just thought the whole process was fantastic.  We ended up choosing to use a friend of ours.  If not for him felt very comfortable with DESIGNfirst and would have gone with them.
    - Jeremy H.
  • A
    Borek Renovation
    Mr. Borek came to my home to discuss the specifications of the porch. My porch was cited by the City of Chicago building inspector for a number of small items as irregularly spaced pickets, a crack in one of the stringers, missing hanging joist supports, etc and since my court date was in Sept. it was not necessary to begin building the porch immediately. Mr. Borek started the job on the date he indicated and set an appt. for a porch inspection with the building dept inspector.
    - Yvonne C.
  • A
    Terri was great, very personable and easy to work with, she was always on time and very professional. The price she quoted me over the phone was the price we paid when the drawings were complete, no sudden extra costs. The whole process could not have gone better. I highly recommend Terri Johnson for all your architectural needs.
    - DALE W.
  • B
    IDEA Architects + Builders
    There were some problems which in defense of Peter were not entirely his fault. He took on turning around the kitchen design in an expedited manner in order for us to take advantage of a sale at Ikea. Peter was contracted to deliver plans that included all the cabinets that we were to need to order from Ikea. Unfortunately while the design features were completely right within the plans delivered, unfortunately, during construction some issues arose that should have been accounted for in the plan. The main issue was the placement of the free-standing exhaust hood and cook top. Peter's design did not taken into account the centering of the cook top and hood that is adjacent to the bar (see photos). As a result, during the installation process the contractors recommended a correction that resulted in us having to change the cabinet plans for that entire side of the kitchen. Overall, it was just more of a headache to redo and not a huge deal. The most important work that Peter did was the design itself which was exceptional and we're very very happy with his suggestions.
    - DANIEL C.
  • A
    His firm was not a match for our needs.  Yet, he took the time to help and guide us.
    - Bill H.
  • F
    Michael Gould Architect Builders
    - Bob P.
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Building Architects in Des Plaines

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