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Woodworking reviews in Holt

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    Teachout Builders Inc & Teachout Roofing Inc
    I usually approach working with contractors with some anxiety, but this was a really excellent experience. I am so happy with the process and the results! Taylor Teachout gave me a written quote (which required a $35 earnest deposit - he was willing to give me a verbal estimate without a deposit). Along the way, we made some changes in the plan, and he was always clear and reliable about what the up-charge would be (and these were very reasonable). They tore down one deck and rebuilt it before tearing down the second deck, so I'd continue to have one deck as a second safe egress point throughout the project (there's one exterior door at ground level).
    The two decks, both at second-floor level with stairs, are very different in design. The front deck,  which is around 7'x18', has composite planking, and rails/posts/stairs/outer beams are wrapped/capped with a plastic material for low maintenance. The rail design is unusual - I wanted it to have horizontal lines, so they used composite material to make something that looks like the fence on a Kentucky horse farm. Below the steps, they replaced a small (maybe 6'x6'?) planked landing with composite plank also.  They researched and found a supplier for a sturdy white plastic-coated handrail so the whole thing would match. The finished deck definitely improves the house's curb appeal. Friends have admired the end result.
    The back deck, about 10'x18',  is a plain wood structure, with composite deck planks and top rail. The lower rails are stainless-steel cable. This was the first time Teachout had installed cable rail, and I was extremely impressed with how thorough they were about educating themselves, and planning methods/details so the result would be good. Gary, who did a lot of the work, even made jigs to drill holes through the posts so they would be exactly aligned and correct, even on the slanting rails of the stairs. The bottom of the stairs lands on a cement pad that slants away from the house, and they made custom pieces to ensure the bottom end is well supported. I wanted tall posts on one side of the deck, so they put up posts that go up about 9' from the deck floor on that side, and topped it off with a wide beam of dimensional lumber on each side, with the ends cut in a simple decorative curve, so it looks really nice.
    On both decks, the stairs were on custom-cut stringers. There are 4 stringers for the approximately 3' wide steps - well supported. The risers on the stairs are filled with plank, not open. They were careful and thoughtful about placement of posts so that the stair rails joined the deck rails cleanly. The ground support posts are 4"x6", not just 4"x4", and set in cement, and doubled support beams and joists are 2x10. I watched what they were doing as they went along, and all the work is carefully straight, plumb, tight and true, even in places that don't show. (At one point, I told Gary he was building the deck like it was furniture.) The details are amazing - the back deck top rails are slightly wider than the posts; he cut a small angle at each side so the rail tapers neatly to the post. At the corners of the rails (which fall between posts because of the cable rail installation details), he cut a diagonal instead of a square butt-join. All the wood posts were sanded to eliminate splinters. 
    So, both decks were completely custom, not something they could just knock out because they've done the same many times before.
    Throughout, Taylor communicated with me well about when they would be there and what to expect. I had told him I wasn't time-sensitive, so they did take some breaks to fit in other work, but he always communicated about this. He was also very responsive to questions and concerns. (For example, we discussed pruning of some shrubs so they could get at the work, and they minimized pruning one I wanted to preserve.) He took great pains to make sure I was happy. They always had quality in mind. For example, at one point, they called me outside when they were repairing siding to ask whether they should move some siding from the garage then replace that instead of using new siding on the house, in case the existing house siding was sun-faded enough that the (minor) color difference would bother me.
    The whole crew was friendly, helpful, and courteous.
    I always find reviews more believable when there is some info about things that could've gone better. The only even remotely critical thing I can say is that Taylor was not very accurate about predicting how much calendar time it would take to complete various steps - but this is in a context where I was very clear from the start that I wasn't concerned about when the work was done, as long it was before full winter. (They started in September, and did post-job clean-up 12/5.) Regardless, they stuck to the quoted price, and never were slapdash about details to be quicker.
    Bottom line: I have two beautiful new decks, I was happy with the level of communication, and I think the price was very reasonable for what was done. My dad was a carpenter, so I have some clue about what good construction looks like, and I'm very happy with this.
    I would absolutely use Teachout Builders again for other projects, and recommend them to friends enthusiastically.
    - Ann T.
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    Teachout Builders Inc & Teachout Roofing Inc
    Showed up on time despite a horrible storm.  The estimate was reasonable.
    I went with not hiring a deck to be built.  Another contractor went above and beyond in showing me that the previous deck had actually rotted some of the structure of the house.  I put off building the deck for another year in favor of repairing the rotted joists and beam.  
    - Gordon M.
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    Marty's Handyman and Consulting Service LLC
    I emailed six different carpenters listed on Angie's List, Marty was the only one to respond and did so within 24 hours of me sending the message.  I described to him the work that I needed done and we agree on a free inspection a few days later (my scheduling conflicts not his).  He was on time for the appointment, friendly, professional, courteous and appeared to be clean (didn't smell like cigarette smoke, alcohol and took off his shoes when he entered the home).  
    He was examined all of the potential work that I needed done, as well as a few additional items I had thought of between our phone conversation and his arrival.  We agreed on a price and he requested 50% up-front.  All of the work was performed to my satisfaction and I would recommend him to others and use him again myself.
    - Troy M.
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    Centennial Woodworking
    Perry met with us (for several hours!) to go over our wish list. He was able to incorporate almost everything we wanted into his design. (Only items that were a little far-fetched were left out. <grinz>) He was knowledgeable and forthright. He gave us options and reasons for the options. He explained why we should or should not do something. We were able to meet at his location, where he was able to show us around to see the different finishes and cabinetry. Perry is very sincere and easy to work with. His creations are gorgeous! We are proud to show off everything we have from Centennial and look forward to more work from them. We can't wait to do our laundry/mudroom and additional built-in cabinetry in our family room. Additionally, we really felt that Centennial was a true value for what we received.
    We did have one minor issue with a hidden waste basket (many months after the fact), and Perry sent some one to fix it promptly.
    I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend Centennial. I cannot say enough good about them. They were one of only TWO contractors that I would recommend after building our home. Perry was one that did not try to take advantage of us since we were building a new, larger home after losing ours in a fire. It seemed that most everyone else thought our insurance money was something for them to cash in on. 
    I would gladly show pictures of our kitchen, master bath, other baths and mantle to anyone interested.
    - Jennifer Q.
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    Champion Windows and Home Exteriors of Grand Rapids
    The room is almost all glass on three sides. it was build on our existing deck. The sunroom was built in stages, building the frame and then measuring for the final transsom glass. this was a very busy season for the Grand Rapids office, so it took a little longer than we thought it would, but it was worth the wait. Quality is outstanding. We are very happy with the results
    - Royce S.
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    Centennial Woodworking
    When we had to build a new home after our house burned down, I researched several kitchen companies and decided on Centennial Woodworking. I had met Perry Salyer (the owner) at the Home Show at the MSU Pavillion. We talked and I looked over his work. Out of all the shops I met at the home show, Centennial stood out. Perry designed, built, and installed our kitchen, our vanities, a built-in, and our fireplace mantle in our new home. He listened patiently (for hours!) to what we wanted and built us something even better than we dreamed! His guys installed everything on time. The granite we purchased through him was magnificent. All of our pieces are more like furniture and are definitely built to last. Centennial is one of only a few contractors I would recommend out of all the contractors we had working on our home. Perry does what he says he'll do, when he says he'll do it. His price was more than fair - I would say even a bargain! I simply cannot say enough good things about this company. Perry is very straightforward and honest. One of the nice things is that he's a realist. He's not a (insert negative stereotype here) salesman. He presents various possibilities to help you achieve your goals - and here's the kicker - WITHIN your budget! He is one of the few contractors we dealt with that was not out to see how much they could take us for. He was like a breath of fresh air during our construction process. We enjoy entertaining and all of our friends rave about the work Centennial did for us.
    - Jennifer Q.
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    Ronald Kramer
    Very well! Ron has been very helpful and open to my design suggestions. His feedback and ideas have been right on. He has done everything as agreed. I have had little to no budget for this renovation to a previously repossessed home. He has been willing to work with me to purchase as many of the materials as possible from Habitat for Humanity. For example, 98% of the backsplash and 80% of the kitchen island top came from Habitat. We designed these features together. All jobs are beautifully done. He has taught me what is involved and I have participated in all projects, which was part of our original agreement. He is a gifted and very creative artisan. I highly recommend Ron and his work. He has proved indispensible to me in the beautification, function and renovation of my home:)
    - Kina K.
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    Franklin Home Improvement
    unknown
    - phil w.
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    SJ & Son Property Maintenance
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    - Jeff K.
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    Franklin Home Improvement
    Josh is very friendly but professional. He is also neat and cleans up after himself. I will be using him again!!
    - cindy s.
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