Diana Humphrey whizzed through the kitchen remodeling process, calling just one remodeler: Stronghold Construction. She approved the company’s design proposal with few tweaks, accepted the estimate without negotiation and dashed off a check to set the construction in motion. From start to finish, she never regretted her targeted approach.
- The salesman/designer read the client’s needs and responded with a successful design. "I went with Stronghold because of Joe [Kubik, the salesperson and designer]," says Humphrey. She had few specific ideas for her kitchen remodel, so Kubik came and got a feel for the house, she says. A few days later he came back with a design that immediately clicked for Humphrey. Throughout the project, Kubik’s design recommendations were right on. "I trusted his expertise," says Humphrey.
- The estimate was high -- but fair. "I wanted to spend $30,000 at the start," Humphrey says. The project cost nearly three times that much, but Humphrey was not bothered by the price. Stronghold is definitely not the cheapest, she says. "I’ve built houses before, and I’ve learned that you get what you pay for."
- The contractor stood behind the estimate. "We planned on reusing some cabinets" from the existing kitchen, says Humphrey. When lead carpenter Michael Thatcher discovered that they could not be aligned properly with new cabinetry, he built all new cabinetry boxes in Stronghold’s shop at no additional expense to Humphrey. Stronghold absorbed that cost.
- Communication was easy. Thatcher kept Humphrey updated on job progress. His daily log was there for her review and to add notes. "He’d ask questions quite often," Humphrey says. Because she has a home office, it made asking questions easy. "I’d just go talk to him whenever I wanted." Thatcher called Kubik to answer any design questions he couldn’t resolve.
- Everyone on the job did good work. Humphrey couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the quality of construction. "The workers were all absolutely wonderful," she says. Thatcher’s ideas also earned praise. He was good at finding storage places -- such as above the refrigerator and under the microwave -- and came up with the location for the microwave in the island for easy access by the kids.
- The company’s job-site manner engendered trust. The workers were kind, polite and clean, says Humphrey. All Stronghold crews wore jeans and a company shirt. They kept the site clean and took extra precautions to keep it safe for Humphrey’s children and pets. "I was very comfortable with them in the house," she says.
- The completed kitchen is as good as promised. It’s beautiful and functions well. "It looks like it came right out of a magazine," says Humphrey. "It’s made the house so much more usable."
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