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Home Builder reviews in Paramus

  • F
    Progressive Renovations
    They told us the chimney was completely shot, but they could fix it for thousands of dollars. We needed it done as we were selling the house. Paid them up front for the work and also a deposit for the additional work. After many phone calls and excuses they did not come back to complete the work. I finally reached out to the boss and the only thing they ever finished was the new porch. The work was at best fair to poor. I finally gave up on them and cut our losses. Thankfully we moved away, but even though I don't live there I would never give them any business or any decent review.
    - Kimberly C.
  • F
    Finest Home Designs LLC
    Terrible, terrible, terrible.  However, I understood that going with Joseph Peters was a risk.  He was the 2nd low bidder out of five bidders.  Luckily, I structured the contract & payment schedule accordingly to protect myself and therefore did not lose too much on the deal when I fired him although considerable re-work was required.  As in all reviews, don't take my word for it, photos never lie. 

    A few words to the members & Angie's List staff before the review.  It's extremely important to know who you're dealing with.  Who's selling the job, who will be overseeing the job and most importantly know the company you sign the contract with.  I deal with contractors frequently, and I've seen too many times a quote from company A but a contract from a similar sounding Company B.  Huge red flag.   Angie's List is invaluable for reviews, but it doesn't stop there.  I check outside reviews, BBB status, date the NJ company was founded, if multiple companies similar in name are founded in same town or by same principal, and status of the HIC license against the information provided.   Does the HIC license match?   For instance, Joseph's Angie's List profile states he's been in business since 1965, however the current company "Finest Home Designs LLC" of New Milford was only founded on 4/26/13.  This is a potential red flag which could mean he may have gone out of business a few times in the last 50 years or perhaps it's just an administrative change.  I would later find out from Joseph that the business is NOT in his names but rather his wife's.  This was news to me & also a potential red flag.

    I consider myself very lucky that Joseph's crew didn't show most of the time.  This allowed me to inspect the minor amount of work completed and uncover considerable faults & deviations from our contract & the approved plans.  Both the underlying construction + the final finishing options are important, however finishing can always be replaced.   The most important aspect is the underlying "foundation" of construction materials for long lasting quality.  This is where Joseph skimped. 

    Pros

    Joseph knows construction.  He spent a good amount of time coming up with a solution for a few projects I had in mind.  However, his quotes were astronomical and I chose to test him with the fireplace project.  The price for the doghouse was reasonable with a moderate amount of profit .

    Cons

    Schedule & communication: Another reviewer noted that Joseph was impossible to get in touch with except for text message.  This is very important I would come to find.  Joseph said the work would take 1-2 weeks, I gave him double that and he wasn't even 30% complete.  Joseph never responded to calls, voicemails, emails and only a handful of text requests at his choosing.  He never once provided a schedule or even a heads up of who/when folks would be showing up at my house.  He personally showed up at my house once only at 6:15am unannounced, luckily my wife saw him and I was able to speak with him. 

    Insurance: 
    Homeowners don't realize how important it is to get a "Broker certified, Certificate of Insurance (COI)" listing the homeowner as an insured on the contractors policy.   The homeowner needs to be listed as an additional insured to be fully covered & to ensure the policy isn't cancelled mid-project.  This was a requirement of our contract which Joseph & his crew never fulfilled.  What's so important is that Joseph used (2) non-english speaking immigrants to do the work.  This in & of itself is not a problem, they did decent work if somewhat messy, but they were not covered by his policy since they were not employees.  If anything happened to them, it would be on my home owners policy. These guys couldn't afford to buy a $35 extension chord, they're lucky they didn't die or get seriously hurt using this modified chord  (See attached photo). 

    Quality: These guys cut corners to save effort & pennies in materials, literally.  Rebar never installed in footing, CMU not properly installed nor did end result match existing color (grey vs. white) coloring additive would have cost a few dollars, anchors not installed correctly, framing for fireplace were wrong dimensions.  Instead of properly cutting my existing vinyl siding, they tore it all off along exposing my home to the elements for 2+ weeks.  They also pulled a LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRE outside the house & left it open to the elements.  (see photos).  Once Joseph made sure my house was open to the elements and he assumed I was vulnerable, he pulled the oldest trick in the book & decided he wanted to renegotiate the contract.  

    In the end, I asked Joseph to my house to review these issues & refused to make the 2nd payment install for "framing".  He only performed 1/2 the framing (much of it incorrectly) and did a terrible job with the CMU & wanted to be paid.  The completion date of 3-weeks had already passed and Joseph hadn't purchased a single finishing materials (Sheetrock, insulation, vinyl siding, caulk, nails etc. etc. ).  Joseph then came to my house & unexpectedly brought his wife, apparently the owner.  They wanted payment of which I refused many times until work completed & issues fixed.  We met in my dining room with the fireplace framing 6' away, they both refused to review the work.  THEY NEVER REVIEWED THE WORK!   They also asked if I would write a blank check or call Lowes & authorize credit card purchases on my behalf with my card number.   In the end, we went our separate ways. 

    Joseph refused to relocate a single electrical outlet which was clearly listed (as item #1) of the contract.  Joseph said that he wasn't going to comply with the contract unless he received substantially more money than originally negotiated in the contract.  Lastly, Joseph attended a meeting with the fireplace unit vendor in which we made 1 or 2 changes.  A written recap of the meeting was circulated to all parties to confirm what was discussed & a no cost impact for these minor changes.   Joseph performed the changes (redux in scope) that were in his favor & did not comply with the additions in scope & tried to play a game.  I finished the fireplace without him (see photos).

    In summary, I took a calculated risk with Joseph.  The risk didn't pan out but the contract & payment terms were structured in a way as to not hurt me vert much.   Lastly, don't ever rely on "Town Approval" of certain conditions.  Joseph had received "Approval" for footing & framing inspections.   However, he didn't meet most of the contract conditions.   Towns in Northern NJ usually only check to make sure you're not building with Popsicle sticks.   In this particular case & the inspection I personally scheduled, no one asked for approved plans & the inspectors go by first names only.   There's no documentation except for a sticker with no identifying marks for town, permit # or inspector credentials.   Building to code is the most minimal/terrible standard you can build to and should not be accepted.  I've heard way too many times a contractor say "It passed inspection" so you must accept it - So what? No I Don't have to accept it.  The Inspectors aren't reviewing the approved plans many times let along verifying that you're contract requirements have been met.
    - kenneth m.
  • F
    Jersey General Contractor, Inc.
    The contractor name is Javier. He did a very bad job and did not even complete the work. The contract was signed mid August and was supposed to complete in 4 to 6 weeks. Its been 6 months and the work is not completed yet.
    He claimed he obtained the permit for kitchen work but did some of the work like adding wall with out in fact obtaining the permit.
    After I found out from town office that no permit was obtained, he delayed giving me the copy of the permit and after insisting, he stopped showing up for work.
    He got 75% of the money but barely did 50% of the work.
    Complete kitchen work is pending and I couldn't even order cabinets because he did not obtain the necessary permit or do the inspection.
    Very bad job is done on painting and floor and will have to redo most of the work with some one else.
    Bathroom is done with out fittings. And lot of places grout is either missing or spilled across tiles.
    Window job is completely pending.
    Afraid this person is not a genuine contractor and I am canceling his contract. I will have to give most of the initial job to another contractor now and will lose around $10000.
    Nobody should ever give any work to this company.
    - SUJITH S.
  • A
    BUD GARLASCO BUILDERS
    Last year, we hired Bud Garlasco Builders to remodel the front of our house.  We were so satisfied that we hired him again this spring to renovate our basement.  Once again, Bud did not disappoint.  Bud and his team are highly skilled, hard working and reliable.  The entire project, from the initial proposal to the final stages, was well thought out and expertly executed.  Even the scheduling of supply deliveries and subcontractors was organized in such a way that not a moment was wasted.  The project was completed way ahead of schedule and we are thrilled with the results.  We have recommended Bud and his team to our closest friends and would highly recommend them to anyone.
    - Dan S.
  • A
    BUD GARLASCO BUILDERS
    We started by interviewing 5 general contractors for the job, soliciting ideas for the job, assessing experience, competence and general references.  Unlike the rest, Bud was always punctual, always professional, always with good ideas and references.  Bud?s administrative team was on top of the bidding process with a professional, detailed quote that memorialized all we spoke about in detail! Bud just put us at ease from the moment we met him. Bud brought together a group of professional subs that were as responsible and passionate about doing the right thing as he was!  The job was completed earlier than expected and on budget.  The entire process went smoothly; I was always in communication with Bud and his foreman and never left in the dark.  We?re proud of the end product and are planning to bring Bud back in for a basement job.
    - Dan S.
  • A
    Northcore Construction Corp
    We originally looked at over 6 General Contractors.  Then we found John Lipari of Northcore through service magic.  We were impressed with his knowledge at our 1st meeting in the run-down ranch we bought.  He looked at the plans we had from the architect and began suggesting changes right then and there.  We went to his corporate office which had it's own display area with every building material we'd need to select from to do the job.  I mean he had roofing, siding, lighting, house automation, central vacs. kitchen cabinets all installed and represented.  We were truly impressed.  We knew he wasn't the standard fly-by-night GC that worked out of their truck and disappeared as soon as the job was complete.  When we asked for his estimate, he delivered a 25 page binder with everything detailed down to the cost of wood, everything.  There was nothing missed and things we never thought of..  Nothing was hidden and NO fine print.
    In the 1st few days of construction, during demolition, he found to unreported septic tanks.  Within hours, they were dug up, pumped out, compressed and carted away. He was at the house every day even Sundays, going over measurements and  checking the work done and planning for the next days work.  He even took thousands of pictures during construction so that if there was any question of what was in any wall, he'd know in an instant,  Though with his memory he'd probably never need to refer to it.
    In the end, he took a run down 2200 foot ranch and ripped it down to the sub-flooring.  Extended the back to square the house and built a beautiful side stair colonial for us.  He did it all within budget.  Everything extra that we added we paid for separately , but he still watched over the work.  Now we have a 3300 sq. ft. house of our dreams.  I would recommend John and Northcore to anyone, everyone and every family member.
    - Alan B.
  • A
    Schroeder Construction Co
    Without Eric I don't think we would have been able to get this wonderful home we have today! Eric provided us with a clear timeline for the job. Eric was on time, very clear in his communication, fair, and hard working. He offered good suggestions to save us money. Any changes we requested were sent via Fax and Eric would respond accordingly. He was always fair with his charges on any of the changes that we requested after the job had begun. At the end of the job, after we paid him, we gave him a checklist of some items that needed to be fixed or looked at. Eric came right back and fixed all of the items with no questions or problems. It's been about 7 years and his construction is holding up very well! We really liked working with Eric and would strongly recommend him!
    - James F.
  • A
    Prominent Builders
    So long story short, My basement was ruined, the sheetrock was soaked, mold was growing all over So I knew I had to install a french drain, we were to introduced to Prominent Builders by my friend, who recently renovated his house by Prominent builders. I had heard a lot horror stories about contractors, But I heard great stuff about Prominnet Builders, so we met with Mike, one of the Owners of Prominent Builders, that very meeting with Mike I was convinced that I was in good hands because there is certain sincerity about Mike, and his extensive knowledge being in the industry for 20 years, most importantly though he able address our concern of the situation, and provided resolution to my problem. A week Mike give us a detailed plan of work and a detailed line item cost of the entire work. no hidden surprises. Frankly I never expected such professionalism for a building contractor. Mike and his executed the plan perfectly, they on target, the plumbers, the electrician, the carpenters, the painters and the project manager were professionals. They turned my old mold filled, and flooding basement, into a classy living area for the entire family. They just blew mind away, their work ethic great, attention to detail, and overall a great experience. I recommend them when I get a chance. True Professionals..Awesome service.
    - Ramesh M.
  • A
    Kaplan Architecture LLC
    They are pretty good. 

    They have been exceptionally courteous, responsive, and exceptional work ethics. I can get in contact with them immediately.
    - praveen m.
  • A
    Northcore Construction Corp
    It went excellent. They were a bit expensive but they were worth it.
    - Alan B.
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Home Builders in Paramus

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