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General Contracting reviews in Lawrence

  • F
    John and I spoke a week ago, he agreed to meet to go over an upcoming project, I made a half hour drive just for him to let me know 5 minutes in advance,that he wasn't going to show up and told me "I might as well get someone else for the project".
    - Randy B.
  • A
    Benchmark Contractors Inc
    BENCHMARK CONTRACTORS never fail to deliver! I absolutely love the work they did installing my new Hardy Plank Siding. Hardy Plank can be a pain to put up because it's heavy AND fragile. The guys worked 5 days a week from 9:00-4:00pm breaking only for lunch. First, they removed the 25 year old wood that had rotted in some places on the house. Then they repaired the exterior wall siding over the fireplace. All the old guttering was removed from the house as well. New insulation was installed on the house. The guys followed Hardy Plank Siding guidelines during installation, making sure the siding stayed dry and free from moisture. During this time, I noticed a neighbor was also having her siding installed and in 2 or 3 days it was complete (and it didn't look so hot). BENCHMARK CONTRACTORS installed my new siding over a 2 week period. They took their time because quality matters to these guys. Quality of work is always more important than speed. That's what I love about these guys. You might pay a few extra bucks but the end result is ALWAYS worth it! I took several pictures of the exterior of my house and posted them. One look and you can tell my guys are professionals. Several months after my siding was installed, I drove to the old family farm in eastern Iowa. As luck would have it, I secured a beautiful set of old French doors from the farmhouse just before an upcoming demolition. I brought the doors home, leaned them against a bedroom wall, then called John Butler from BENCHMARK CONTRACTORS. I explained to John that I hit the jackpot and now I needed a hole cut in my bedroom wall to install these awesome French doors! Naturally, several questions come to mind whenever someone wants to cut a big hole in the wall. So John came to the house to check out the doors and assess the project. John indicated that the French doors were interior doors...but I wanted to use them as exterior doors (going from the master bedroom out into the back yard). I could visualize how beautiful these doors would look once they were installed in my master bedroom. Desperate, I looked at John and said, "do whatever you need to do John, but can you just make them work? Please???" And John Butler from Benchmark Contractors did just that! First the guys had to remove some of the new siding (sorry about that guys) and cut a new hole in the wall. I didn't have the original door frame, so they had to construct a new door frame. They installed the French doors and, in order to make them work in the bedroom, they added a set of custom made winter storm doors. The screen doors were made to match the narrow French doors. The paint on the exterior of the storm doors matched the new trim paint on the exterior of my house. I was totally pleased with the quality of the doors and the entire installation. The cost of the James Hardy siding for my house was $11,000. BENCHMARK CONTRACTORS installed the new siding and they built and framed-in my French doors from the family farm for $9,450. They siding is top quality and so was the installation. I do not anticipate ever having to replace it again. If you want average work, call your regular go-to guy. But if you've got a special project and you want it done right the first time, then call BENCHMARK CONTRACTORS located in Topeka, KS!
    - Melissa B.
  • D
    Renovation MD
    I give RenMD an overall grade of D because of the unfinished items. If everything was completed they would have received a C. 
    My initial feeling was that RenMD was not qualified (unable to produce photos of previous kitchen work). However we were running out of time and needed to get it started.
    As we got closer to spending 25K it was clear the job was not going to get done?Even after eliminating some major items like countertops, kitchen island, pantry shelving and the 20+ items mentioned below. 
    Job was canceled before completion. A list of unfinished work is detailed below. To be fair, I had RenMD put new siding on additional (approx 100 sq ft) location above the addition, which was not part of the bid.
    Overall quality was less than expected (new floor boards move up and down, new wall corners not square, some not even close). It?s hard to judge the finish work since most of it was not performed.
    Initial meetings went well, staff was cordial and able to discuss what was needed, but did not produce anything as far as a plan or any vague attempt to convey any details of the project. No finalized plan: No drawings, no blueprints, no sketches covering the details of the project (outlets, lightboxes, what?s removed, what stays & goes).  We received more drawings and plans from other contractors who didn?t get the job. The lack of a plan was a continuous burden throughout the project. Many decisions had to be made on the spot when client just happened to be there. These decisions were rushed and reduced the overall potential of the project. 
    In retrospect, I think RenMD was just going to go in and install cabinets over they old drywall, leave the outlets and do a minimal amount renovation. 
    Ren MD is paid by the hour. There is no incentive for efficiency and accountability. Client pays for mistakes, oversights and poor materials planning. Example 1:There is no incentive to prepare a materials list and consolidate trips to the store when client is paying for these supply runs. For the duration of the 4 week job there was an average of over 1 Home Depot run per day (15 minutes to the store + 15 minutes back + shopping time, all at $50/hr. Example 2: RenMD accidentally cuts a water line. Client pays for it to be fixed (then re-fixed with copper and solder). From the time of the original cut, clean-up, repair, rework there was potentially 3-6 hours in that situation alone?all of which is client paid. 
    We are very disappointed in RenMD and finding inadequacies on a weekly basis that eventually needed to be redone by client. Here are some of them:
    Trim Removal: Poorly handled trim, which is going to be reused, is scratched and thrown in a pile in the garage. Instead of keeping them organized and marking where it came from I have to pay someone $50/hr to figure out where it belongs, sand out and finish any scratches that originated from them being thrown into a pile. This goes back to hourly incentive and efficiency. Client had to organize and stack trim.
    Materials: Client paid an additional 10% on all materials, including cabinets & shelves and anything that was picked out by client prior to job start. That makes RenMD responsible for making sure the materials are correct when delivered. This was not done and resulted in a series of costly mistakes that prolonged the project and resulted in rework by RenMD, and later by Client.
    RenMd had the cabinets for at least a week in storage. No one checked to see if they were 1) the right size and, 2) if they were damaged. Two of the major cabinets were the wrong size, another was damaged, and several doors were damaged. Reordering cabinets added additional waiting time and ultimately additional costs of reworking already completed tasks (moving outlet, relocating gas line, delaying shelf placement). The new cabinet that replaced the broken cabinet is .25 inched taller that the rest which created problems for the counter that the client had to install.RenMD tried to fix broken cabinet with glue but result was not acceptable. RenMD replaced cabinet at no charge.
    Floating Shelves: Shelves were sitting in the kitchen for at least a week. Nobody checked to see the specified mounting requirements. All shelves required a specific number of contact points with the framing as described in the instructions located in the box of each shelf. In order to obtain the minimum required contact points areas in the framing behind drywall had to be reinforced, which was not done by RenMD. Client had to remove all the drywall (15? x 8?), reinforce studs, then re-sheetrock, mud, and finish. Client paid an additional 10% of the total cost of those shelves to RenMD.
    Floor Sanding: There are 12.5 hours of floor-sanding time logged in and the floor was far from done, not even close. I think they rented a flat vibrating sander instead of a drum sander. Floor had to be finished by client using a drum sander. It took my wife and I about 8 hours.
    Outlets: They reused many of my old outlets. A 25K kitchen and they didn?t get a new $2 outlet that didn?t have paint all over it?  Nails: I had to continually pick up nails in my driveway and yard. There was no effort on their part. I don?t think they own a magnet. Still finding nails. New framing over the foam: New roof framing has been nailed over the exterior foam, not sure if this is correct but was assured this is OK. 
    Client was left to finish the project. Here?s a list of the items that had to be done after reaching 25k:
    Remove NEW North drywall and add reinforcement for 6 shelves and hood.
    Re-Sheetrock N wall, tape, sand, mud, etc
    Sand remaining unsanded walls on N, W, and E walls
    Mud and sand to finish
    Install window trim
    Attend to 1/2 East wall (move cabinet, install outlet for kit light, mud, sand)
    Prime walls, Paint All
    Install Stove
    Hood install
    Shelves install (required tearing out N wall to add shelf reinforcements per shelf instructions) 
    Install NW cabinet and SE (replaced) cabinet (RenMD offered to do the SE cabinet)
    Relocate RenMD installed kitchen drain (too high), repair drywall access location
    Relocate RenMD installed gas line to accommodate stove being flush with wall (RenMD installed 1st time in wrong location, moved it over, still incorrect. Client moves third time)
    Purchase and Install counter top
    Purchase and Install sink
    Install dishwasher
    Install final trim on windows x4
    Varnish Window trim
    Install floor outlets
    Install final 6? floor board on west floor 
    Sand Floor
    Stain Floor
    Finish Floor
    Make Shelves for pantry
    Make Island
    Insulate under bay floor and cover with plywood
    Install, and finish sheetrock in basement
    Finish entry stairs (install trim, sand finish)
    Reinstall front floodlights
    - jonathan w.
  • A
    Dirt Clods Landscaping LLC
    Outcome was excellent.  Dirt Clods Landscaping owner Marcus far exceeded our expectations in creativity, design, construction quality and flexibility.  Not only is he a talented designer who listens to his customer but he understands "curb appeal".  He is very personable and a delight to work with.   This was not a landscape design done on paper by someone in a remote office and created using big box store prefab materials.  Rather this was understanding the customer's vision, agreeing on an overall design, and then tweaking the design as needed during construction to achieve the owner's goal.   All materials were natural stone, wood, brick and mortar.  The original historic design of the property was retained.  Stonework was hand cut to create a unique design which blended into and enhanced the existing terrain.   An added bonus was to discover Marcus is also a skilled carpenter able to replicate existing design features of a 100 year old home.  This was a 7 week project in which Marcus himself was on site every day, directing all workers and subcontractors, and doing much of the work himself.   Everything was custom tailored and we participated with him in the design/build process daily.   The home is located near downtown in a historic district which presented challenges in getting equipment and materials onto the property.  Marcus and crew arrived on site every day at 7:30, took only a short lunch break and often did not leave until well after 5pm.  The work site was always, without fail, left neat and clean at the end of the work day.  No major project like this is without unexpected issues.  Marcus always explained the problem and presented alternatives.  He guided us when we needed help and in hindsight his advice was spot on.  Together we made informed business decisions about how to proceed.   The project was completed as per original contract estimates.  The property looks great and our basement is dry.  You can trust him to understand your expectations and perform quality work at a fair price.   We enjoyed this project from start to finish and were more than pleased with the final result.  We encourage you to consider contacting Marcus at Dirt Clods Landscaping about any landscape project you may have in mind.
    - Lee H.
  • A
    Pace Builders, Inc.
    There were no issues.  The business details were very professional: contracting, insurance, billing, receipts, etc.  The work was very high quality.  My highest compliment is they used outstanding judgment on what to do and how to do it.  I love hiring people who think while they are working.  The crew, to a man, was outstanding.
    - Kurt L.
  • A
    Kenneth A Peters Builder Inc (KAP Builders)
    It would be impossible to have had a better experience than we had with Kenn. He did a 700+ addition to our older home. Everything was handled so well and we came in on time and slightly under budget. Kenn is an amazing man as well as a contractor.
    - Rochelle M.
  • A
    Wedman Construction
    Larry and his crew were the general contractors we chose when we finished our basement. He didn't have the lowest bid, but his prices were completely fair and, unlike our cheap bids, he knew what he was doing! As an example - another contractor we spoke to was completely prepared to take out a load bearing wall, even indicating that it was absolutely no problem to do so, but Larry immediately identified it as a load bearing wall, explained what would be involved in labor, materials and cost to remove it and provided me with all of the information I needed to make the appropriate choice.
    He was willing to complete the project in phases, allowing us to self-finance the project, and he worked with us along the way to implement changes to the plan as needed.
    His crew was professional and courteous. We were so comfortable with them that we allowed our child to remain in the home during the day with the crew working downstairs.
    His crew personally did all of the framing and finishing work, but he was present to oversee the work of his subcontractors and to meet all the inspectors personally.
    Working with Larry was a pleasure and I would absolutely recommend him and hire him again myself!
    - Jessica R.
  • A
    Benchmark Contractors Inc

    Overall, the project was a huge success! The kitchen remodel project turned out much better than I could have ever imagined! Everyone who sees the kitchen cannot say enough about how beautiful it looks. On a side note, I didn't understand the value of good craftsmanship until I saw a friend's kitchen remodel that had numerous flaws which stuck out like a sore thumb! Little things, like, are the cupboards at the right height? Do boards meet evenly? Is everything installed correctly? These "little" flaws add up to one big eyesore if they are overlooked along the way. Butler Enterprises took the time to address the fine details and as a result, my kitchen looks fabulous!

    The project moved along at a nice steady pace and was completed in about 60 days. The only delays occurred when the floor and countertop folks took longer than expected to deliver their product. I guess we don't have control over everything! I cannot say enough about the quality and charactor of the crew from Butler Enterprises. Hire these guys if you're in the Topeksa/Lawrence area and you'll get the job done right. Hire someone else of luck to ya!
    - Melissa B.
  • A
    Passow Remodeling
    - Belinda H.
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General Contractors in Lawrence

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