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Custom Furniture reviews in Bee Cave

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  • The workmanship was OK. Three of the shelves were bowed and the mattress holders popped off as soon as we tried to put the elastic over a mattress. The display models appear to be of a better quality than the finished, delivered product.  The biggest problem was that we were told that our price ($3500) included the queen mattress, but when they delivered the bed and shelves there was no mattress. In checking the invoice we found that the mattress wasn't specifically listed even though all of the discussion with the salesman included the mattress for approximately $600. All of the specifics were figured on a computer that we couldn't see and only the final numbers were written on a paper invoice. This should have caught my attention, but, unfortunately it did not. So after we were missing the mattress we appealed to both the bookkeeper and the salesman. Neither gave us any relief, nor did they explain their pricing, We ended up repairing the shelves and mattress holders ourselves and bought a lessor priced mattress from a mattress company.
    - Patricia Z.
  • Summary
    At no point did  anyone, aside from the project manager, have a firm grasp on what my project entailed.  The office staff does not acknowledge problems, but instead minimizes them, which can be irritating.  For example, after multiple failures to complete a project it is perhaps not a good idea to tell a client "good news, only two more issues to go." 
    Unless you live next door to SHI don't count on the office staff when they tell you the crew will be there at 8:00 am, just go ahead with your plans for the morning.  I found it helpful to simply ask the crew to give me a call when they were knew what time they would be there.  They were great about that and very accurate.
    Do expect the office to call right before the end of business to ask if you can be free the next day.  This is difficult if you have clients of your own.  Do expect them to call you at the end of business to tell you they can't be there the next day as scheduled.  This is also difficult when you have clients of your own.  Clients get justifiably irritated when you try to move them back onto your calendar. 
    Don't expect all the necessary people to be present for your project.  In fact, they may not even be aware a person is a necessary party. 

    Prior to project:

    I contacted SHI in late August 2012 through Angie's List.  An appointment was set up for September 17, 2012 at 1:30.  Mickey arrived on time at my home.  We went over what I wanted done.  He gave me a verbal estimate that landed in the middle of two I had received from other companies.  We decided to go with SHI due predominantly to the reviews on Angie's List.  And, I also liked the idea of there being a project manager that was assigned to your job.  Mickey was getting married that weekend and was unavailable to get a written estimate to me, but Emily (one of the owners) put one together and I received that on October 1, 2012.  I accepted the estimate and a meeting was set for October 10, 2012 to go over the contract with Mickey at my home. 
    At the October 10, 2012 meeting Mickey explained they were busy and that mid-December would be the time frame for my job.  I signed the contract and gave Mickey the down payment.
    A meeting was set up with the designer/project manager for October 24, 2012.  Chad arrive on time. I had an actual photo of the built-ins I wanted made, so the meeting didn't take long.  The empty alcoves were very deep and I didn't want the built-ins pushed all the way back, so if anything took time it was deciding how deep I wanted the cabinets to be placed in the alcoves.  We discussed the need for electrical work for the puck lighting in the cabinet tops and that outlets would need to be pulled forward into the lower portion of the cabinets.
    I gave Chad a sample of the paint color I wanted the cabinets to be. The sample was in a small unmarked can and was given to me for touch ups by the company that made our shutters the year prior.  When I opened the can, there was a little rust around the ring but the paint color looked fine.  I asked if he thought that was okay, (I had a whole gallon that had been color matched to the sample about 2 months prior to our meeting and would have happily opened that) Chad thought it was fine and quite frankly, so did I. 
    Chad asked me to email the photo of the cabinets to him and I did so before he left.  I was told I should receive a drawing of the cabinets in about two weeks for approval. I emailed a couple of times starting around November 17, 2012, because I had not received the drawing and had no idea how long it took to build these things.  I wanted to make sure we would on target for a mid Dec. install.  I received the drawing on December 3, 2012. 
    The project:
    In general the project took too long.  The end of August to mid May for two built ins and kitchen floor removal/wood install is too long. The narrative below will explain why, at least with regard to the first phase.  After that, I had to put off the floors off for a bit due to my work schedule.  Additional delays were due to the floors not being installed properly.
    We were scheduled for installation right before the holidays.  The morning of installation someone from the office called to inform me they would be there by 10:00am.  I asked how long they estimated for installation.  She read through some notes and said 2 to 3 hrs.  I noticed she had not accounted for the time for the electrician to do the necessary wiring prior to the built ins being installed and she said "oh, yeah the electrician."  10:00 am comes and goes.  I call and am assured they will be there soon, unless I would prefer they come after lunch time.  I let her know I preferred they get here as soon as possible.  Around 12:30pm an electrician shows up.  He has no idea what he is supposed to be doing and was pulled off another job to come to my house.  He calls the office for information.  He says he has to run to Home Depot to buy the 2 puck lights.  I told him he would need four, two in each alcove.  He said the office said 2 total.  I pull out the contract and show him the description of work.  He is clearly annoyed with the office and heads off to home depot.  He does the wiring and deals with the outlets to be pulled forward into the lower portion of the cabinets.
    2:30 the crew arrives.  They pull the built-ins into the house, and they are the wrong color.  One of the crew tried to convince me it was just the lighting.  Back they go.  There was much debate about who was to blame for the color not being right.  In any event, they have changed their policy and when a wet sample is provided, a dry sample must be provided as well, so hopefully that will not happen again.  I agreed to pay for the actual cost of the paint for the second painting.  I regret that now in light of future events.
    2nd try: After the holidays:  One guy, Charles, shows up.  These units are huge.  I watched as he nearly went into cardiac arrest getting them inside. The color is perfect.  But the arch in the top of one has popped away from the rest of the unit and upon inspecting the bottom of the units I notice the recessed kick plates which were part of the design are missing.  The backs of the units were basically two pieces of plywood and wobbled about.  I had assumed at the last failed install that the carpenter would be doing something to support the back on site, but wary, I decided to clear this up as well.  He said he wasn't told to do anything.  He and I sat down and went over everything.  He called the office and sent photos of the issue with the arch.  He also told them the repairs would need to be made at SHI and he would need an electrician for the installation anyway. They apparently disagreed until it became obvious they thought the units would be pushed all the way back into the alcove's back wall for support and all that would be needed was a hole to reach the outlets.  (This was made more amusing to me as I looked at the outlets dangling from my wall from the first attempt at installation where they had been pulled forward for placement in the units.)  I now wanted to scream.
    Dale, the electrician shows up.  I told him I didn't know why they had him rush over as the units had to go back.  He informs me they told him to "hightail it over here." I called the office and was informed they were trying to decide what to do, but Emily was in a meeting.  I knew they had to go back and wasn't willing to give up an afternoon worth of work when I knew they had to go back.  So, back the units went. I was informed by Emily the reason for the misunderstanding was due to her trying to cover others and rush my project for the holidays.  I met with them in September, it was now January. And, really the bottom line is that the written job description spelled out the project. 
    Third attempt:  Everyone necessary shows up!  The units have all the correct parts and the backs have been properly supported.  Plenty of people who have come to my home have commented on how nice they look and ask if I would recommend the business that made them.  No.
    I will spare you the details of the floor demolition and wood installation.  Suffice to say the same poor communication continued.  There are gaps between the wood planks here and there, and a couple of planks are not level with the others.  One pops up almost 1/8 of an inch towards one end and is starting to rise up on the other end.   There was another board they they managed to secure down, but could not fix this without ripping up a large portion of the floor.  I really just did not want to go through it anymore.  I was also supposed to have new quarter round as well, but it became clear that no one was aware of that and quite frankly, I didn't bring it up because I didn't want to delay this being over.  Like another reviewer they took 500.00 off the cost.  They also gave me a gift card to a local restaurant--which wouldn't you know--had no cash loaded onto it.  Was I surprised?  Not one bit.   
    The actual crews were polite and some are quite good at what they do.  I know some of the guys I had are now gone.  The electrician, Dale, and Charles, the carpenter are no longer there and they were among the best I dealt with.  Chad is great. I do wish he had been able to actually be my project manager as was promised, but he is spread way too thin.  I basically had Emily handling things, and well, you know how that went.  Chad was there for the initial meeting and later came in as things went south.  That is not what I contracted for.  I apologize for the length of this review.  All I can say in my defense is that I could go on for another page or so, mainly regarding my infuriating experience with the office staff, but again, I will spare you.  If there are any misspellings or grammatical errors, I apologize but I will not be proof reading this as I lack the will to spend one more moment on this project.

    - sarah c.
  • He shows up on time, takes detailed notes and measurements and ask all necessary questions.  He then provides a price quote -which he has always honored fairly, even with change-orders the price is always in-line with the original quote.  If scope is lowered slightly he lowers the price accordingly -all too rare!.  He completes the work in his shop which is great for crowded job sites or live-in remodels.  He also provides custom paint jobs on request and this is a great option. No fumes on site, no chance of someone damaging the paint before it dries etc.  If needed he will send progress reports and photos of the railing to make sure it is correct and their is no mis-communication.  Install is on time, and he is flexible and accommodating.
    - Nathan C.
  • We met with Nathan who gave us a rough draft of possibility in order to replace (as well as match color and design of another cabinet) the existing media ctr. along with his charges to do the job. Afterwards we received three different drafts from him by email. In consideration of the handeling of the stereo equiptment we had some concerns and agreed on a second meeting at our home in which Nathan brought Travis Jordan from Fanatix (partner company) along. Nathan emailed some more cabinet drafts and we finally met a third time, in order to discuss some cloth materials for the speaker door. Our knowledgable friend (german Ingenieur) helped by making the material decission and Nathan who brought Fry along this time, finalized the order, which included additional lights. At installation day, Tracy, Thomas and Fry came to the house, all three joung man were very polite and friendly besides doing a wonderful job, removing the old cabinet by replacing it with the new one. The installation went very smooth and everything was kept very clean. The installation of the stereo equiptment was finished the following day and here too, Travis exceeded our expectations. The finished cabinet media ctr. lookes great and matches a 100% the other, already existing built in, by color and design. We noticed the installation of the lights at the top part of the cabinet were missing and I called Nathan, who sent Fry back to our home.We discussed verious options regarding the top part of the cabinet and at the end decided to wait and install the lights later. The project was a very positiv experience, the media ctr. looks great and matches perfect.
    - BEATRICE C.
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