While we don’t often post reviews online about personal projects or providers we work with, we’re making an exception here as we believe that more people need to hear about the incredible work done by Oakwood, Design Candy and their related teams. I cannot possibly stress how much of a difference having the right partner to work with for a renovation can make an impact.
First off, when Steph and I bought our first home together it was a stressful process as I believe it is true for any first-time home buyers. There is so much going on between mortgages, moving, inspections, work and balancing all of it, just that process alone can be a nightmare. Add to that the rather ambitious idea that we wanted to renovate some key elements of the house /before/ we moved in so that we didn’t have to
Enter: Oakwood. We’ve had a great relationship with them for a long time (They previously renovated Iversoft’s newest office) and we have always visited their design centre just off of trim road in Orléans with envy. When we bought a place down the street from their design centre, they were a natural choice for a partner. We were working with a close friend on the design and inspiration for our planned renovation and Oakwood’s team was absolutely amazing at working with us. They were able to provide their own recommendations and design insight while working within the vision Design Candy had presented and, unbelievably were willing to work with the insane timeline we’d set for ourselves (a little over 4 weeks!) Start to finish. Let me also say right now, EVERY single person we spoke to going into this renovation told us that renovations run over time and over budget and no amount of praise for Oakwood or belief in their process and teams was going to change that. (Spoilers: They NAILED the timeline!)
• Completely demo and renovate Kitchen
• Upgrade home electrical service from 100A to 200A
• Sand and refinish ALL hardwood in the house
• Disassemble, sand, refinish the main staircase and replace all wood spindles with new metal ones
• Update most major lighting fixtures
• Repaint the entire house
• 4.5 Weeks until we moved in (Start to finish)
Start with some inspired designs, napkin sketches and continue forward!
During the design phase before we took possession of the house we coordinated with Sharon at Oakwood, she helped coordinated all of the moving pieces, created the schedules, budgets and timelines. She was an absolute godsend and our hero through this ENTIRE process, not only was she always multiple steps ahead of us ensuring that everything was going to line up, she was proactive in helping to enforce Oakwood’s core process and make sure our stress was in-check at all times!
In order to help keep timelines moving, we volunteered to take on the demo of the kitchen ourselves as we could start on the evening we took possession and have the kitchen ready for a crew to tackle the next morning!
This is where I want to highlight the absolute insanity that was the next 4 weeks of our lives and the incredible professionalism of the entire Oakwood team. Not only were they able to coordinate all of the electricians, plumbers, painters, contractors, flooring specialists, appliance installers and deliveries they did so without a missing a beat even when one of our appliances arrived damaged in shipping!
If you’ve ever wondered what an entire kitchen and appliances look like in boxes, here is a small idea of what happened next after the demolition was completed and the kitchen arrived
Nearly 3 weeks into the project it was incredible seeing just how much had been done, cabinets were going up, plumbing had been done, the countertop team was in and measuring everything to finalize the cutting and polishing of countertops and we couldn’t believe how close things were getting to move-in day! As always we absolutely loved getting our daily end-of-day reports from our on-site project manager who summarized everything that had happened that day as well as the text updates from various tradespeople as they completed different steps and wanted to send pictures of work they were proud of, we could not possibly have been happier or felt more comfortable with the team that we knew was taking such good care of our new house!
One thing that blew us away during the entire process was despite the 20+ people involved with all of the various elements of the renovation, painting, floors and more every single one of them spent painstaking time focusing on small details, little perfections and making sure every element matched the designs, specs and was absolute to the standard that Oakwood prides itself on!
With so much going on it was easy to forget that the entire house was also being sanded, restained and painted from top to bottom!
With so much going on, we wouldn’t want to spoil too much of the surprise, the end results of the work that Oakwood, Design Candy and so many others did for our new home was beyond words. We continue to be humbled every time we come home that we’re able to call this ours and enjoy the craftsmanship and work that went into every small detail.
Since the renovation work was completed and as we’ve settled into our new home I have not yet missed an opportunity to talk about how great an experience working with Candace, Sharon, John, Marc and the entire Oakwood and Design Candy teams were.
When you’re dealing with a world of chaos in a renovation where every timeline is dependant on another, suppliers and work can so easily be tripped up by simple mistakes or oversights, Oakwood stands head and shoulders above any other company we’ve ever spoken to. They have detailed reporting and processes to keep owners involved in every step of the process while also giving a ton of confidence that everything is happening just the way it is supposed to. They easily adapt when the unexpected happens and were proactive in helping manage our expectations and mitigate our stress throughout. This was easily the largest personal project either of us has ever taken on and overseen as customers and we cannot speak highly enough of the professionalism, results, and efficiency in which everything was delivered.
We’re looking forward to our next project with the Oakwood team and are happy to act as a reference so others can avoid the renovations headaches and nightmares we’ve heard so much about from other companies and contractors!
~Graeme & Steph