When John and Ann Smith discovered the little bungalow in Atlanta, they saw a diamond in the rough, says John. As an architect, he immediately envisioned the sparkling gem that the old house could be. He drew up rough plans, intending to polish them as the fast-paced project progressed. The Smiths believed R.L. Connelly & Sons was the best contractor for the job because the company does quality work, and Bob Connelly would go with the flow as the design developed. They were right.
- The contractor knew how to approach architect-owned jobs. Another contractor missed the boat by talking to the Smiths as if they were owners needing a design. "We weren’t looking for that," Smith says. By contrast, Bob Connelly has worked with architects, and that experience showed. He respected Smith’s design leadership and was comfortable working with good, albeit incomplete, drawings.
- Where appropriate, the contractor offered design ideas. Though he deferred to Smith on most design matters, Connelly used his construction expertise to contribute many ideas. He advised Smith to install all new hardwood flooring, rather than mix and match new and old. He also devised a way to pour new footings beneath the house and recommended reusing old fireplace bricks as patio pavers. "A lot of those strategies came from Bob," says Smith.
- The price represented a good value. Smith wasn’t looking to cut corners, but he wanted good value for his dollar. When a quality project comes in below $100 a square foot -- this one was $80 a square foot -- it’s pretty cost-effective, says Smith.
- Communication and decision-making were efficient. Connelly talked with Smith several times a day about the job and met with him a few times a week. For big decisions, he gathered the necessary information and met with both John and Ann.
- Work quality scored high. Connelly’s subcontractors did good work, says Smith. The trim carpentry performed by the Connellys was excellent. The stairs they built are one of the grander parts of the house, Smith says.
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