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Home Builder reviews in Bath

Real People ~ Real Reviews ~ Real Results

  • Steve is a newbie contractor who doesn't understand how to build a business based on a reputation for integrity. We have 3 complaints about his work: 

    1. Before the work began, a rather expensive galvanized round thermometer was hanging on the railing of our deck, oriented toward our house so we could read it. This was a housewarming gift from a friend. When the work ended, it had vanished. During a phone call, I asked Steve where it was, and his too-quick, too-emphatic response was that he never saw it. I have photos of the thermometer. It was there. He or his team either broke it or stole it, and he didn't have the business sense to reimburse us for it. 

    2. Steve's young team did the work extremely quickly and without attention to best practices or pride in work. I have read that decking should be laid so that the grain faces downward to prevent cupping. Some of the deck is laid this way; much is not. As far as pride in work, Steve did not bother to have his team sand the rough ends of lumber used on the stairs, nor did not bother to sand off the lumber stamps. Two of the spindles ($1.17 each at Home Depot) were splintered or badly broken in the process of moving the stairs, and his workers couldn't be bothered to replace them. Instead, they sloppily nailed in the broken spindles. Finish carpenters, they are not. 

    3. I believe Steve was over his head on some aspects of this job. I have had many sliders and French doors on previous homes and have never seen a metal drip edge under the handled the way Steve handled ours. When he finished, it was sticking out at a 45 degree angle where it could catch on clothing. We asked him to address this, and it took 6 weeks for him to take care of it. That happened only because I stopped at one of his work sites and asked that he do this. 

    4. While I was not at our home when he did the work here, I was home when he roofed my next-door neighbor's house. Workers got into an argument and were screaming and cursing (the "F" bomb) at the tops of their lungs. I couldn't help but hear.

    We will never use this "contractor" again, and I further advise people who want to take a chance on him to get a full, written quotation regarding the materials that will be used and the price of the job. 
    - Karen D.
  • He was excellent. I was very pleased with the work. He is a builder, he does everything. I was very pleased with all the workmen and how they left everything. It was a little extra because the realized there were 3 layers not one and they replace some boards. I was very pleased. The work, the clean up, manners of people were just nice young men and they seemed to know what they were doing. They came out and just did it. He was recommended to me by someone who used to be in the building business and I was very pleased.

    - Judith C.
  • A year ago, my wife and I relocated from Chicagoland to the Midcoast of Maine where we purchased a lovely garrison colonial home on 2 acres of land on the top of granite and pine covered hill top.
    As we moved into our first winter we discovered 2 shortcomings to our house.  The first was that the building did not have rain gutters and rainwater and snow melt shed all along the foundation.  As a result the floor of our cellar would occasionally get wet enough to require the use of a shop vac.  Second, the house is oriented on the property so that the back of the house where our deck was located faced north and the roof line ran from east to west such that the sun did not shine directly through any window on either the north or south side of the house.  This resulted in the interior being very dark in the autumn and winter months and not coincidentally difficult and expensive to heat.  We determined that a room addition added to the living room on the north side of the house had the possibility of providing sunlight to enter on 3 sides of the room and with ample windows and screening could provide a light, airy room in the warm months and a snug, bright room in the cold months.  Further we decided to add a Vermont Castings wood burning stove in the center of the north wall. 
    We had some rudimentary ideas about how this addition properly designed could remedy the 2 issues listed above.  At this point we realized we needed to acquire some real talent for consultation and execution. 
    We knew no one in the area so we referred to Angie?s List where we had found success in the past.  And through it we identified Fred Hilchey the owner of Upright Building Services.  The interview process was critical for 2 reasons.  First we needed to discover a great deal about the character of Fred Hilchey, i.e., integrity, work ethic, creativity and problem solving. 
    And second we knew we needed a builder with a very broad and complete skill set.  We were fortunate since Fred
    and his small crew met all of our needs. 
    His consultation and advice at the beginning of the project turned out to be spot on.  He recommended a metal shed roof that attached to the existing roof of the house and continued the same pitch 15? further into the back yard.  Powerful rain storms during the latter part of summer and early fall have shown that he was right and the water is sluiced far enough into the back yard so as to drain down the granite hillside and not into the cellar which has remained bone dry.  We expect the same result as snow slides off the metal roof this winter.   
     The second issue regarding heat was that the interior of the addition has a cathedral ceiling that slopes up and attaches above a window to a den.  Fred advised that when the stove was heating the addition it would not only provide heat to that room but with the aid of a ceiling fan heat would vector up the ceiling and through the sliding window he installed and provide some heat to the upstairs rooms.  As it turns out he was once again quite correct as that little wood burning stove now supplements the heat for the 4 upstairs rooms and bath and we can nicely regulate the degree of heat by opening and closing the sliding window and the doors to the various rooms.  Thus 2 mechanical issues regarding the house with Fred?s experience were ameliorated in a very satisfactory way.  Additionally as can be seen from the list above Fred?s aesthetic and architectural sense have made this addition both functional and beautiful.  The exterior is consonant with the overall design of the house and the 5? casement windows and functional transom windows and the sliders at the east and west ends of the addition allow us to capture a breeze no matter the direction of the wind.  The interior is also beautiful due to the size of the windows and the proximity to the pines and wild life.  But also the finish work and detail once again exceeded our expectation.  The ceiling is
    tongue and groove pine which will color and develop a fine patina with time.  The window sills are all over sized to accommodate tea or coffee cups and small plants. 
    The project as Fred warned was not without its difficulties.  Immediately in trenching out the foundation Fred ran into ledge which required pinning the foundation and where the addition attached to the house was also where the attached garage
    joined the building.  This made for a very difficult roof transition.  At each step as problems were encountered Fred and his team analyzed and solved them elegantly.  There were no surprises.  Fred consulted with us each time the unexpected occurred or he had an idea to enhance the finished project.  No corners were cut.  The work was meticulous inside and out.  The result is beautiful and exceeded our expectations.  Would we hire Fred Hilchey again?  You bet.  We have already scheduled him for our kitchen remodel right after the Thanksgiving holiday.  As a side note Fred?s team reflects what Upright Builders stands for notably his right hand man, Jason, has the same dedication and work ethic that Fred Hilchey personifies. 
    - Jan B.
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Home Builders in Bath

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