Oct 29, 2016

It seems unbelievable. Who’s ever heard of having an entirely great experience with a building contractor, the whole way from design through completion of construction? All I can say, is “Wow!”

That’s what we got: a thoroughly pleasant experience and the end result we desired. What made the experience and the outcome so wonderful, were the ALC Design people and their desire to do what’s best for us. We wanted to add a large addition to our house, and met first with Brian, the company owner, who described his company’s process.

We had met with other companies previously, and we were immediately impressed with Brian’s concern for providing a work environment which disrupted us as little as possible. While other companies had asked us if it would be ok, for example, for the workers to use our bathrooms, Brian instead made no assumptions nor even asked such questions; rather, he just said that the workers would be staying out of our way, and he’d be providing a port-a-potty for the workers.

I had already completed my own conceptual design drawings, and we asked Brian not to change the overall design dramatically. After having his architect walk through the house and measure, Brian came back with detailed renderings. The only surprise during this entire project was what it would cost us to get what we asked for. Using Brian’s renderings as a basis, and new renderings as we requested changes to reduce the cost, we were able to iterate until we got the compromise we needed.

Phil was our project foreman and lead carpenter, and he was dedicated exclusively to our project. For the five month duration of the project, Phil was at our house five days per week, carefully overseeing the work of subcontractors, and then doing much of the finish work himself. Phil is a true craftsman. As only a single example, he took a concept that I had for “driftwood” around the fireplace and turned it into a unique and very pretty mantle. Phil was extremely diligent about ensuring that all work was completed to impeccable quality standards. The painting subcontractor was poor (I find it unlikely that Brian will ever hire that particular painter again). Phil, however, accommodated for that. He had the painters return many times to repaint walls until they finally looked good. In some cases, where the painters did not pay enough attention to straight lines where two colors adjoined, Phil masked and repainted those edges himself. Although this particular painter’s work was sub-par, Phil ensured that the end result was high quality and to our satisfaction, and we never had to deal with any aggravation over the subcontractor’s poor work. Phil also made suggestions for changes to our project that hugely enhanced the resulting utility of the addition! It is so much better with Phil’s suggested changes that we can’t imagine, now, not having them.

Brian would come by approximately weekly to see how things were going. Brian’s attention to detail, and desire for a superior-quality result, led him to ask Phil to work on parts of the house that adjoined but were not part of the contracted project, enhancing the final result at no additional cost to us. Project management and change requests were very well organized. We received, initially, a complete binder showing all of the work to be completed, and the specific items (sinks, counter tops, etc.) that would be used. We were encouraged to be involved all the way through the project, and if there were changes that we desired, those were readily incorporated, with any added (or reduced, in occasional cases) costs clearly identified on change order paperwork. We unconditionally and highly recommend ALC Design, and we plan to enlist them for our own future projects!

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