This was the second time we called Gabriel and Joe to come and look after a number of things we needed done to make our 100 year old home a little nicer to live in. Our first project with them took place in January and after the work was done, we knew we couldn't be happier hiring anyone else.
Our 100 year old home has badly needed some upgrades. We have already touted Gabriel and Joe's extensive skills in all the work they touch, but to be specific, what follows are the various projects they worked on most recently for us.
Our shower had to retiled. Easy enough, until you open up our walls. This became more of an extensive job than my husband and I had thought and added a couple of days onto the project as an unsupported partial chimney head was found in the wall behind our shower. An unexpected find, Gabriel and Joe fairly ballparked and requoted the original estimate. After doing the extra work, so began the masterful tile work that Joe is so well known for. The work is absolutely seamless, gorgeous; especially given the difficulty of slightly curved walls and uneven ceiling due to bad past drywalling by previous owners. The amount of time put into this project is obvious and well worth the gruelling effort as the effect is perfectly tiled walls. I have to mention the teams' design flair. I felt confident enough to let them choose the specifics of the tiles based on previous design work, and I only specified that white be used as a base to match the rest of the porcelain in the bathroom. With this creative liberty Gabriel and Joe chose serene and appropriate detail tile (more or less a mosaic type introduction) fixed at eye level and surrounded this with simple white tiles with striations pulled from the mosaic work in brick pattern layout.
During the time that Joe worked on the tiling, Gabriel worked on building a new set of risers and landing in our living room. The risers on the other side of the stairs were removed as access to the upstairs was available from 2 sides. A contractor with a passion for carpentry and an extremely gifter wood-worker, Gabriel spent a good deal of time on this project, as the risers would be clearly visible at all times being in the front room. The work is simply flawless and much was done without us asking in terms of fine detail and care to make this project stand out yet still blend with the room. The fine carpentry details speaks of the original age of the home. The 2 orignal additional landings for this stairwell were given the same look (as well as being structurally enforced as per necessary) as the one that was newly built so that there was consistency in design. The hardwood that was laid on all three of these landings is smooth and absolutely creak-free now!
The two final projects we had Gabriel and Joe work on were for the front of our home; the railing on the front porch and the front door. Although a deck existed from previous builders before we found the G&J team, our front deck needed a railing. Our goal was to add some privacy to our front porch (as the front window looks into the living room) and to provide additional curb appeal to the front of the house. The deck skills of these guys are phenomenal and it didn't take long before they were done (despite the correction of more structural issues stemming from previous builders). The railing adds so much more than just visual appeal. It is truely a pleasure for us to enjoy the front of our house as an extension of our home; this is a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
The older homes on our street, like ours, lack windows and therefore light. We insisted on changing the front door so that we had a half light window. We also anticipated changing the storm door so it was full length glass. From all the jobs done before to the door frame, the framing was uneven and crowded. A LOT of wood came out of the doorframe and after much work on rebuilding the frame and fitting the new front door, the doors and frame look neat,tidy and much more even than before. After all of the installation, the doors are so wonderful to use; so quiet and smooth and offering so much more light than before. The guys even saved us money by fixing the existing storm door so that it opened and closed more efficiently, effectively and much more quietly. I can't even hear the door open and close now.
Gabriel and Joe are probably the most important investment we have made in our tiny, narrow, doll-house like home and they provide us with much peace of mind. They are careful, considerate, honest, patient and hard-working individuals. Their work is done with diginity and a set of values from another time.
They never once have complained of just how difficult we know it must be to haul large tools and materials into our tiny house and to work in less than a 950 square foot space. They try their best to provide us with the most valuable and cost-effective strategies to design and rebuild so that we get the best use and value from our home. They have really taught us how wonderful your quality of life can be with a few simple design decisions and some hard work - which they save us much of! We value their opinions and expertise and we always feel our home is in good hands. We will be sure that we use them for our soon-to-be kitchen renovation later this summer.