It was almost 3 years ago that we decided we wanted to build a patio in our backyard and every year since then, we've had to put off the project due to cost, finding the right contractor and availabililty. Being a first time homeowner, embarking on our first-ever home reno project was very perplexing for me, as I had heard countless horror stories about contractors from friends and online forums. It was already June by the time I decided that this year I wanted the backyard patio built - and I was skeptical that I'd be able to enjoy the finished backyard this year.
When I posted the project on Homestars, I got almost 17 responses and I spoke to 8 companies in the first 2 days. When I first spoke with Julien, I told him that there are 3 contractors coming to visit the project site that weekend. I think he probably sensed that this was my first rodeo in the home reno space and he politely offered to help review what the other contractors offer to do and their cost - no strings attached. My main concern was that I didn't want to sign on a project and wait x number of months for the work to start. He said he has multiple crews and can move things around if need be.
After getting quotes and speaking with a few companies, I decided to go with Julien because he was very transparent about what he can/cannot do, made recommendations and design suggestions when I asked for them without being overbearing, provided his expert opinion when there are obvious bad choices in design and was able to give me a clear answer when he can start. He also gave me the option to go visit a project that he was doing at a nearby location and I got the chance to speak with the homeowner who "sang praises" about Julien and his crew.
From start to finish the project took 13 days. From the very beginning, him and his vew showcased a level of professionalism and attention to detail that left me thoroughly impressed. He was able to guide us on the style and color of the patio, where we could go and see some samples and also gave me exact phases of the project by which I needed to make certain decisions ( e.g patio stones, choice of steps, electrical wiring etc)
Most of the time, I didn't even know they were working at home. Julien always made sure that he asked for feedback after each stage was completed. And when we needed to make some design choices and changes, he'd explain the situation very clearly and patiently wait for us to understand and provide feedback. He actively listened to my concerns and welcomed any changes I requested. Overall, they meticulously planned and executed every aspect of the patio, ensuring that no detail was overlooked.
Communication was always clear, concise, and transparent. The contractor consistently kept me informed about each stage of the build, providing updates on progress, any challenges encountered, and the timeline for completion. This open line of communication made the entire process smooth and stress-free.
One aspect I want to call out again was that I was amazed at Julien and his crew's work ethic and commitment. I wanted the project completed before a family event in 2 weeks and we unfortunately lost a few days due to bad weather. So, his crew worked a few days till 8-9PM to finish the job on time. After the work is done every day, they'd clean up the whole place before leaving. What impressed me even more was their thoughtfulness in alerting the neighbors when cutting tiles to prevent any dust from entering their homes a gesture that was greatly appreciated.
So, here I am, sitting in my perfectly built backyard patio - which was overrun by weeds only 2 weeks ago. The grading on the patio and side walkway is perfect, the color combination/pattern/texture of the patio is exactly what I wanted, the grass looks like a pristine green carpet.
I cannot recommend Julien and his crew enough for anyone seeking to transform their outdoor space. Their exceptional skills, attention to detail, and dedication to customer satisfaction made the entire patio construction experience effortless and enjoyable.