We had a very dated, 90s-built kitchen with botched varnish gloss doors and therefore overdue for a replacement. We spoke to at least half a dozen kitchen contractors, some we liked, some not, but ended up with Rodrigo as he gave us a very competitive quote for the kind of features that we were looking for.
Here are the pluses of working with Rodrigo and his partner, Florentino:
- Great communication - he will keep you posted on the progress of your kitchen..will always answer your calls, texts promptly within minutes. He will give you advice on what can work in your space, colours/designs that you likebut knows how to stand-back and give you the final say. I have dealt with other contractors in the past that would insist on what they want for you..even paint colours..and its pretty annoying to be bullied into a decision on your very own home.
- Adheres to timelines - Rodris Kitchen is still a relatively new company, despite Rodrigos 20 years experience of building kitchens, so Rodrigo is very conscious about the customer experience on timelines. Our reno happened right in the middle of pandemic-related delays in materials, so there was a week of delay on the arrival of the kitchen doors, which was out of Rodrigos control. He gave us a new date for delivery, and delivered 2 days in advance of that committed date.
- The cabinetry finish is exactly what you get from higher-end suppliers - we had our sights fixed on a more prestigious kitchen contractor, but due to budget limitations, we had to look elsewhere. Rodrigo gave us what we wanted from that other vendor- soft-close doors, tongue-and-groove drawers, lazy susan, quality of wood, a great counter supplier who could match our first choice of Cambria countertop, selection if cabinet hardware, etc.
- Skill - Rodrigo knows what what hes doing and is very efficient and meticulous in the fabrication and installation process. He removed our bulkhead and re-directed the central vac pipe within the bulkhead..measured and installed everything meticulously. There was a slight error in measuring the window valance above the kitchen window, and he offered to take the valance back and work on it to correct the measurement by a half inch, we just insisted not to as it was barely noticeable. There was an error from our flooring contractor on the hole cut in the tile where the dishwasher drain is located making part of the gap show behind the peninsula, and he convinced us to change the tile, instead of alternative patch-ups we were ready to consider.
For review partiality, here are the points for improvement or slight bit of dissatisfaction we encountered:
- Payment terms - He asks for a 60% upfront downpayment rule before he presents to you the drawing/plan. We negotiated for it and asked for concession by us giving the d/p on the same instance he is showing us the drawing, with it subject to correction should we want anything changed. He also wants full payment the day he delivers the cabinetry, not on installation. For clients who are working with a vendor for the first time, it can be pretty worrisome as you dont know if you can trust a vendor well enough on such a big spend without any reassurance you are getting the kitchen.
- Small one-man operation (with just an assistant) driving up extra costs - His total kitchen quote was very reasonable, but because of limited labour, anything extra comes up pricey. The additional central vac pipe length to redirect our central vac pipe cost about $20 from Home Depot, but he charged us material and installation of $400. The corbels I wanted installed on my traditional kitchen counters cost $250 apiece, and I had to buy and provide the wood appliques for the valance and vent covernot included in his pricing despite the very minimal cost. He suggested cabinet lights, and lighting quote for 8 potlights in the cabinetry is $2500good thing we didnt got for it!
All in allwere pretty satisfied with the outcome. Rodrigo is also pretty personable. You just need to have a clear discussion upfront on costs and what the extras will cost you down the line.