Looking to remodel?
Here’s my vote: iCornerstone (yes!) or General Contractor (no!).
Back in 2000, we hired Richard Connolly to help us tear down and rebuild an enclosed front porch as well as demo an existing kitchen to make way for a new bathroom/laundry room and add a completely new kitchen.
Not only was he extremely knowledgeable and easy to talk with, Richard was totally committed to working for us, listening to what we wanted while still offering his creative eye, considerable experience, insight and ideas for improvement i.e. window shapes, placement, cathedral ceiling, exposed beam.
We used his book, "How to Avoid Building Or Remodeling Hell", as an indispensable, objective tool to research our project and become more knowledgeable about it before the work even started. The end result went beyond our ability to imagine and totally exceeded what we had hoped for as our dream kitchen!
To this day, we still get more compliments on both the kitchen, revised bath/laundry room as well as the front porch (which we call the Lodge).
The kitchen and lodge have become the defining rooms in our house, and the places where our family just seems to love gathering the most.
Four years ago, several of our friends were putting additions on their houses. Their general contractor was a local guy, one we knew socially and considered a friend, and before long, we found ourselves sitting at the kitchen table talking with him about the possibility of adding a second floor on our house.
We had pondered calling Richard again but remembered a letter from him saying that he had recently gone back to teaching.
To this day, we still have problems with that addition – fuses blowing all the time (new code breakers he told us) as well as walls in the utility room that never got patched back up. At the end of the project, I became very unhappy with the way some of the cedar shingles were weathering (turning black each time it rained).
I called the contractor several times and asked him to please come and take a look at them. He replied something about the flashing and never showed up, despite my many calls. Each time it rains, I am reminded of how unsightly they look and how I feel that contractor let us down. I gave him one last call, only to find out he had retired and moved out of state.
Having experienced both a general contractor (which left a bad taste in my mouth) and Richard Connolly, aka iCornerstone (happiest kitchen ever!), I would highly recommend hiring Richard over a general contractor any day, local friend or not!
Not only did our second floor addition go way over budget, but several issues along the way are still unresolved.
A few weeks ago I contacted Richard to ask a question about the water connection underneath the kitchen that he built for us 16 years ago. Not only did he answer the phone (!) and my question, but within minutes, he connected me to an online Drop Box for the full record of our project complete with blueprints that he completed back in 2000.
Now that is service!
Back then, we could tell right out of the gate that he was honest and passionate about his work…now here, some 16 years later, he still is!!
He laid everything on the table up front and made us feel totally involved in the project knowing that should anything come up along the way, he would be there to iron out the kinks with us.
Not only that, he connected us to the subcontractors and suppliers, which was such a gift and made us feel even more a part of this project. He met with us several times along the way and was very visible both in person and over the phone each time we needed to go over the design and specs of our improvements.
With iCornerstone, we had total control and were involved with everything – especially subcontractors we hired and retailers who provided our materials and kitchen cabinets.
Our project was on time and under budget, and we sacrificed nothing from the standpoint of quality or performance. To be able to say this some 16 years later is testimony to the integrity of iCornerstones work.
I can’t say that for the general contractor and resulting dissatisfaction with several issues.
I decided to look on Angie’s list to try and find someone to help us deal and resolve these issues once and for all and realized I had never posted a review for the work done for us by Richard of iCornerstone, back in 2000.
So I’m here to affirm, after 16 years of loving the work, I highly recommend him today even more!!
Hey, Richard, do you do shingles?? : )