In 2017 we approached OGC regarding several projects, including the construction of a coach house. The City of Ottawa had recently introduced a new bylaw which allowed the construction of coach houses, and among all the companies we consulted, OGC was by far the most knowledgeable regarding the new bylaw and how it would apply to our property.
We dealt with Ken at the very start of the Coach House project, from the initial consultation through the planning process. Ken listened to our ideas and proposed different layouts and features which could potentially work on our property. We worked closely with him for several months and we recognize and appreciate the level of patience he had with us while entertaining all our ideas and seeing how they could be incorporated into the plans and scope of work. Our first impression of Ken was that he was very knowledgeable and it was easy to communicate with him. It was extremely important for us to work with someone we felt we could communicate with, and that took the time to listen and understand our needs/wants! Ken understood our vision with the project and had lots of great advice, and always made himself available to answer our questions. A significant amount of time went into finalizing the scope of work and we never felt any pressure to sign an agreement with OGC.
Ken also invested a lot of time ensuring the city and community was on board with the project, and attended community meetings to present the project and address any concerns raised. This was done to satisfy and facilitate permit requirements and ensure the project proceeded smoothly.
For the construction stage, the project was handed over to Paolo, our Project Manager. From day one, Paolo was extremely enthusiastic about getting the work started and making sure the project stayed on schedule. He kept us updated on the work schedule, and would anticipate decisions we needed to make at our end (regarding finishes etc) so that the work schedule wasn’t impacted. There was a significant amount of materials which were our responsibility to purchase outside of the contract with OGC, and Paolo helped make sure that timely decisions were made and that materials were on site so that they could proceed with the work without delay.
Paolo was managing multiple projects simultaneously, however he never made us feel like our project was not his priority. He promptly acknowledged and responded to all our questions and concerns, and kept us informed, which was extremely helpful in keeping us calm and happy. A project of this size could be extremely stressful for people (like us) who aren’t in the industry and don’t know what to anticipate. Paolo always took the time to keep us informed and never made us feel like our concerns weren’t important.
During construction we encountered some issues related to city requirements, the design, and the existing site conditions; some of which could have been anticipated by the designer at OGC. We were frustrated at times because we were required to find ways to address these issues or make changes to the scope of work, but Paolo engaged the right people within OGC to help develop solutions and remained positive throughout.
We developed a great deal of trust in Paolo because he continuously ensured the quality of the work was done to our satisfaction/standards. We also cannot emphasize enough the level of patience he had with us, and how much he contributed to our sanity, and minimizing any stress or anxiety we had about undertaking a project of this size. We are extremely grateful that he was responsible for our project. We also want to acknowledge Andrew (the operation’s Manager at OGC) for his attention to the project at various times during the project.
The only negative aspect of the project with OGC was that we felt there was a lack of guidance (initially) with respect to the design or choice of finishes. We struggled when selecting materials and making choices which would be both practical and aesthetically pleasing at the beginning of the project. However, towards the end of the project we met one of the designers (Deidre) who was absolutely wonderful to work with. She helped coordinate the purchase of materials and was always available to help out even though she was introduced to our project in the final stage. Her design taste and suggestions were very much in line with what we liked and wanted, and it provided us with more confidence in selecting some of the finishing touches!
This project was really important to us, as we felt it was a large investment with a fair amount of risk involved. We are extremely happy and satisfied with the final result and absolutely love the outcome, as well as our decision to work with OGC!
We believe that OGC puts a lot of emphasis on communication and building strong relationships with their clients. At times, we can honestly say that they went over and above and we feel that relationships likes these are hard to come by in this industry.
We would definitely work with OGC again in the future!