We purchased our first home together last spring and we knew upon purchase that the first order of business would be a large renovation. We were pretty nervous about it because neither of us had ever hired contractors for a large job and we knew that this renovation was the thing that would make the difference between us being happy in our new home, or hating it. We researched contractors for at least a month and met with at least 5 different companies. We really wanted the renovations to start immediately upon us taking possession of the house, so we wanted quotes prior to us having the house. We brought our top choices through the house on one of our ‘inspection’ visits to the home. Built By Pros was by far the most co-operative company that we contacted. They had us come out to their office to go over everything and then they also came to the house for one of our inspection visits. Out of the companies that actually came out and saw the house and gave us quotes, we felt that Built By Pros was the most reasonable, the most professional, and the most understanding of what we were looking for. We felt very comfortable with Suzanne and Ricardo and we liked their proposal. They had us back to their office to go over all the fine details and come up with the final quote. We hired them before we even had possession of our home.
Suzanne and Ricardo are very responsive, they are great at keeping in touch and keeping the homeowners in the loop along the way. They got started as soon as possible and had a reasonable timeline for the work that we needed.
Our home needed:
- a full gut of the 2nd floor, our new master suite area (including moving/removing walls, plumbing, electrical, insulation, and adding a gas fireplace, flooring, a feature wall, a 5 piece master bathroom, and walk-in dream closet complete with make-up vanity)
- adding HVAC to about a 3rd of the home that previously had no HVAC run to it, and adding an air conditioner
- spray foam insulation of garage ceiling and around all the new HVAC running through the garage to heat & cool our 2nd floor
- gut and then frame/insulate/re-drywall/finish our very large front foyer (which the previous owners added as an addition and we discovered had zero insulation!)
- fully insulate our 2 attics
- a full gut of one half of our basement, including removing/sealing up an old window, removing all the exterior walls and adding insulation/drywall, adding new flooring, a full wet bar with custom cabinetry and built in appliances, adding electrical and plumbing)
- waterproofing our basement from the exterior
There are a million more details I could add about the work that was done, but really, they transformed our home from a place I would never live into the home where we will raise our children!
Their team was fantastic. We absolutely fell in love with the guys who we saw every day… they were there from when we moved in almost every day until mid-winter… the house felt so empty without them when they were gone!! They felt like family! (Will, Mau, Marco, Bastian, and the team… cookies for you anytime you want to stop by!)
The guys were truly helpful in every way. Always willing to help us out and always sought out clarification from one of us if they weren’t sure of something.
Suzanne and Ricardo remained always responsive throughout the project, and helped guide us through decisions we weren’t sure how to make. I can’t tell you how many times we were messaging them from stores…sending pictures and asking for opinions!! Our house wouldn’t look right without their help!!
We also appreciated Suzanne always sketching everything out for us; it helped us all to visualize the final product and to feel comfortable that we were all on the same page.
The team was very thorough throughout the project and in completing all the little things at the end that we pointed out were missing and/or not quite finished (as promised), and the payment schedule was as discussed and they were always willing to clarify any questions we had and/or go over anything we didn’t understand.
We did learn a few things about budget (being our first large reno), and that is to be very clear at the beginning regarding the scope/size/expectation of what you want. We ended up going well over our original quote, but that was partially due to numerous add-ons that we decided on throughout the project (added electrical items, added the attic insulation, the entire front foyer work, expansion of the waterproofing work due to water we found upon taking possession of the house, etc.) and partially due to some mis-communications between us at the initial proposal/quote phase (our basement wet-bar was much larger and more like a kitchen than what was budgeted for, and our taste in finishings was also higher than the budget…). I will say that Built By Pros will work very hard for you and with you to keep you on budget if your budget is strict, but we were more concerned about getting everything that we exactly wanted than we were about staying on budget (or time) for this project. We really appreciated them working with all of our changes and add-ons, we know it made the project much bigger and more time-consuming than they had planned for.
There were, of course, bumps along the road (as is expected with any large reno), we had some issues with getting the new HVAC to really work properly (they came back numerous times and had the mechanical engineer come back a few times to look into it), some issues with the electrical (they had the electrical work re-checked and in some cases fixed by a 2nd master electrician), and a few other little things, but they always responded to our concerns and fixed them as soon as possible.
We keep in touch with Suzanne and Ricardo; they have helped us with numerous recommendations since our project ended and they have come back to help us when we had further waterproofing concerns. We very much feel like they actually care about us, the quality of their work, and ensuring that we are happy. We have a few jobs right now that we are just waiting for them to quote on, and another, much larger one that we really hope to be able to proceed with in the future, and I highly doubt that we would want (or trust) anyone else in our home!
- Company Response
Thank you sooo much for the thorough review. We also really appreciated the partnership approach you took to plan and carry out the work. There were many changes along the way, because the home was new to you and we were uncovering new challenges and opportunities along the way. We are so happy that the new master suite and basement rec room look so fantastic. They reflect your sense of style and zest for life. We know you and your new family will need more Reno's in the years to come, so please keep us on call.