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Home Builder reviews in Jamaica Plain

Real People ~ Real Reviews ~ Real Results

  • Construction started on time. The employees were respectful and cleaned up at the end of each day. They made any minor changes requested on-the-spot. Their work was beautiful and professionally done with no short cuts taken. The majority of the work was completed on time. The inspection process took longer than expected but this was due to the inspector providing incomplete instruction on what changes were needed. We recommend Marco Polo based on the quality of the work at a competitive price.
    - Tess N.
  • We cannot imagine having gone through the process of a whole-house renovation with anyone other than Kevin Cradock Builders. Kevin took our diamond-in-the-rough 1800s Georgian Colonial, brought it back to life, and made it our dream home. From the earliest stages of planning to the very last touches, Kevin and his team were, professional, courteous, and knowledgeable.  Renovations are usually very stressful, but working with Kevin meant that we never questioned our decision to bring a very old house back to life. 
     Kevin himself is incredibly hands-on, and his efficient communication can?t be beat. He answered every concern and question, whether big or small, clearly, concisely, promptly, and with the highest level of experience and expertise. Though we know he has a large shop and oversees many large projects, the level of attention we received made us feel like his only client.  
    Kevin is the most honest GC you?ll ever meet.  With contractors we?ve dealt with in the past, we?d often receive many change orders and end up paying much more than anticipated.  Kevin is the opposite and I can site a couple specific examples.  Mid-way into our renovation, we decided to add a jack and jill bathroom at the last possible minute.  We asked Kevin for a ballpark estimate on what it would be to add it on.  He gave us a price and we informed him to move ahead and build it.  A couple days later he emailed us with more precise numbers and said it would cost about 25% less than what he quoted us.  Another time, we met with Kevin for a meeting and he mentioned that our heating estimates came in below budget, so instead of having electric baseboard heat in our basement in-law suite, he was going to upgrade it to forced air by gas.  Kevin never makes promises he can't keep and consistently over-delivers.
    Kevin?s building knowledge is vast.  There is no situation that Kevin has not seen before, and his deep understanding of architectural and renovation styles and trends meant that he knew exactly what to do in each situation we encountered. So many times throughout the process, we simply asked Kevin what he would recommend doing and moved forward, and we were never disappointed with the outcome.  We met with him and Susan, the designer, each week, so there were never any surprises about timing or cost, and we always had a very clear idea of when he needed us to make decisions by
    so as not to slow down the project.  Kevin and Susan were always maintaining detailed spreadsheets of any decision / purchase (i.e. plumbing, lighting, paint colors, etc.) we were making which made the process stress-free and organized. 
    Kevin runs an incredibly organized operation.  Even at the height of the renovation, the work site was always immaculate at the end of the day. His entire team, from the carpenters, to our amazing foreman, Jon, as well as the sub-contractors, could not have been more friendly and a pleasure to have working on our home.
    Kevin respected our budget and at the same time built a gorgeous house with everything we had ever wanted in a home. You can really see that Kevin is a carpenter at heart in every detail of our home.  He built us custom built-in bookshelves in
    the living room flanking our fireplace, a beautiful media wall in the family room, custom inset cabinetry, wainscoting, and a mahogany island which matched floating shelves in the kitchen.  Each element built was simple and perfect.  He made sure he knew just the look we wanted, and then delivered it in the most beautiful way. 
    Kevin saw the potential in this beautiful old house, and truly brought it back to life.  We cannot imagine having gone through this process with any other team.  We are now clients for life, and enthusiastically recommend him at any chance we get.
    - Josh M.
  • I think of Kevin every winter when the pipes freeze. I live in a 150 year old house. The only pipes that freeze are the ones Kevin put in in 2007. The pipes actually froze during construction. It took his full crew a solid day to unfreeze them using an industrial blower. I asked him to relocate the pipes to an interior space. He didn't want to because due to the way our contract was set up, he would have been responsible for the cost. Kevin swore up and down that the finished pipes would not freeze because he would insulate them and install an electrical heating element.. Foolishly I believed him. The project was completed in the spring so I did not find out what a liar Kevin is till the next winter, when the pipes immediately froze. They have been freezing ever since. I called Kevin, he never returned my calls. Why should he? He already had my $40,000. I have been calling him every winter since 2007. He has never even returned a call. Finally, this spring, I am doing another big renovation. I found another contractor who agreed to move the pipes. I called Kevin one last time. I knew he wouldn't fix his mistake at this point, I just asked that he send a carpenter to open up the chase and underfloor and then close it up when the pipes had been moved. He didn't return my call.
    The pipes are the big issue but there were many smaller issues. When he framed out the foyer, he forgot to put in the coat closet that was clearly marked on the plans. He agreed to install the closet, but in return for the time and materials it would require, insisted that he be allowed to not re-install the radiator that had been in the space. Again, foolishly, I agreed, now I have a cold foyer. The door to the deck that he installed in the foyer never closed properly, the door knob was not aligned with the frame properly. In the winter I keep a huge rolled up carpet up against the door to keep the wind  from blowing it open. The lip to the doorsill was also installed improperly. This allowed water to get under the floor. The floor is completely warped and will have to be replaced.
    Kevin neglected to install the shelves I requested for the side wall in the bathroom, and said I should buy a stand-alone cabinet for that space. He also didn't install shelves in the shower that the plans called for and then suggested I purchase shelves which he charged me to install. Finally, the plumbing in the brand new bathroom was shoddy. You have to jiggle the handle on the toilet. The sink drain plug was simply never attached to the lever, so if you pull the lever up to fill the sink with water, the plug doesn't move, you have to push it down by hand. Minor stuff but irritating in a brand new bathroom!
    I am not rich and it has taken me 7 years to save up for my next round of renovations. I am going to have to spend $15000 to repair Kevin's work. I have never had a chance to discuss any of this with Kevin because for years he has ducked my calls. I have even gone to his shop several times to confront him, but he is never there.
    Kevin is a piece of work.. Steer clear if you can.
    - David G.
  • Brian Hernon showed up for his estimate with every single one of his
    subs. They all got back to him with a price, and he got back to me
    promptly. His bid was 80k under the next lowest bid, yet he was using
    all the same materials. Brian is the foreman, and he shows up to swing a
    hammer everyday-he's also a master carpenter. The job started October 1
    of 2011. Brian and his team (Jose and Mentor) demoed our entire house
    and saved every viable scrap for re-use in the renovation. They dug,
    poured foundation, framed and finished in 6 months and nine days.
    Brian
    is the most respectful and easy to work with contractor I have ever
    encountered. I was living around the corner in a rental, so he had to
    put up with myself, my two kids, my husband and my dog showing up
    everyday. He was always happy to see us and my kids love him and his
    subs. Along the way, Brian made several valuable suggestions that
    contributed to a beautiful finished product like widening a hallway,
    re-configuring some windows and re-building a staircase. He was open to
    any suggestion I made and tried his hardest to get me what I wanted.
    When
    our floors were finished, Brian was unhappy with how they turned out.
    He had them re-done immediately, at no cost to me, and the second time
    around was a success. His dedication to his customer's happiness goes
    further than most contractors I have encountered.
    We moved back
    in in April, 8 days after the projected finish date (pretty good in my
    opinion). Brian and his team even helped us move boxes. We are
    thrilled with our and quot;newand quot; house. It is functional, durable, strong, warm
    and well-lit--everything our old home wasn't. Brian and his team
    responded to every punch list issue we had within 3 months of us moving
    back into the house. Since then, we haven't had any issues beyond a
    faulty door knob.
    I have always heard that a renovation this big would be a huge nightmare, and I should just move instead of renovating. The experience wasn't terrible, in fact it was easy and exciting. I think Brian and his team made it easy. Because of them, we got to stay in our neighborhood, near our friends, in a house that works for us.
    - Susan F.
  • He was excellent.  HE is very careful in his work and he communicates well. He is very responsible unlike other contractors.  He follows up on everything and if he can’t he calls to communicate.  He is sensitive to people’s finances.  He is a builder primarily. He did a fantastic job and it was high quality work.  He has a good sense of humor and he does great work.  He is very responsive and very responsible.  He is reasonably priced. He is not cheap and he is not outrageously expensive, he is mid range.
    - Nan S.
  • The old porch was demolished in one day, new footings were dug and poured, new support structure built, all posts and beams finished, new floors and ceilings, gutters, pre-painting, and painting. All exterior woodwork and the decking are all finished in Azek composite material.

    Mike and his team were exceptional at both customer service and workmanship. When he came out to give us an estimate he actually showed up at exactly the time he promised. The estimate he gave us was detailed and guaranteed for 90 days. Rain slowed down his previous project but he kept us up to date every few days as to his progress and our start date. Once MMC started on our project they were totally dedicated to it - no running back and forth to the next job.

    The carpenters showed up every day at 7:00 am and worked straight through until 5:00. They move very fast! They also covered our yard every day with a tarp to keep sawdust and debris down to a minimum. They finished after a few weeks and the next day his painting sub came out and the painting was finished in two days. A few small items that were unexpected Mike provided to us at cost. The electrician and the final inspection were done within a week after the carpentry completioin. No surprises, no gotchas, no inspection problems.

    All of our neighbors have complimented our new porch. We couldn't be any happier!
    - Dan S.
  • This was a challenging job, as you would expect when removing the roof is the first step. Mike McCormack was fast and professional with an exceptional attention to detail. Some rain came into the house during the roof off stage so MMC ended up replastering most of the ceilings on the second floor. This work was done at his cost and with the same professionalism that characterized the whole job.

    Unusual among contractors, Mike is a perfectionist! He actually did more work than we originally planned - e.g. replastering the front stairway leading up to the second floor. So even though we went 20% over budget all his choices turned out to be good ones in the end. Also unusual is Mike's speed and the way contractors work dovetails to keep the overall project time as short as possible. I've heard of projects like ours stretching on for months and even years. This project was totally done in 3 to 4 months.

    We are now hiring MMC again to rebuild a double decker porch.
    - Dan S.
  • Thumbs up!! My architect friend agrees that everything looks great, the price seemed reasonable, and Roy is a great guy. Good communicator & friendly. He also did a great job of quickly getting out to my place to give me a free estimate. Finally, I love that Roy is conscious of energy-efficiency & green building. My only VERY MINOR critique is that Roy didn't let me know that the work would be delayed a couple days. The delays were totally understandable (he first got into a minor car accident, and then got legitimately sick!), but I would've liked to have been kept in the loop. (In both cases, I found out about the delays from my tenants who were eagerly awaiting a bathroom w/ a ceiling; the second delay occurred between the destruction & construction.) It sounds like it was an honest oversight (sounds like his secretary dropped the ball?),and a day or two delay is obviously no big deal, so this was by no means a future deal-breaker! Also, I was not incredibly easy to deal w/ myself, since I wasn't in town when most of this was happening. I would (and surely will!) hire Roy and Dependable Builders again.
    - Tom F.
  • Hire these guys. Mike, Henry and the rest of the crew were terrific. Cannot say enough good things about quality of work, speed, and foresight on projects. They had a healthy and appropriate ''can do'' attitude rather than making every project seem like an impossible task. No surprises, no whining, no hidden costs. Excellent pool of subcontractors. Helped with a number of side projects and went the extra mile, even took out our trash on several occasions. Inspectors were happy with their work. High quality of final product, no corners cut, and a lot of attention to detail. Were able to adjust plans mid-project.
    - SIMON A.
  • The carpentry was of reasonable quality but an electrical connection was shorted to metal cabinet. This lead to a very dangerous voltage connected to the cabinet. We hired an electrician to repair.
    - Dan S.
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Home Builders in Jamaica Plain

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