Recently we were called to look at a tile job that a customer was having issues with. She had hired a handyman to do some work for her and had paid for the job in full before he had begun the work. FIRST......please, please do not do this!! It is understandable to pay a portion of an estimate if your contractor is going to have to order supplies before starting your project but for smaller renovation projects (between 2-5k) we rarely charge anything until the job is completed!!
The work was really sad.....shims under tile are not recommended (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice). We did our best to help this customer by writing a letter for her to take to the better business bureau stating the deficiencies that were visible. Hopefully she will be able to recover some of her losses.
The majority of the work had to be completely removed and we started from the beginning so that this particular bathroom is now a bathroom the homeowner can be secure and happy with for years to come. The job is done and our customer is very happy with her beautiful new bathroom.
So how do you make sure that the contractor you are hiring is legit and that the work will be what you have been promised? ASK for referrals and actually call those people. Better yet ask to go see some of their work.
Last summer we had a customer looking to have her kitchen cabinets resurfaced and she asked if she could see some of our work. I arranged to meet her at one of our customers that we had recently done a full kitchen cabinet resurface project for and she got to see first hand the quality of work that we do as well as hear first hand from our customer about the process and our work ethic. Needless to say when we left this new customer was ready to book her project!! If you ask to see pictures that is ok......but seriously it is so easy these days to copy and past anyone's photos on the internet that it I would recommend either going to see the work of the contractor/tile installer or at least to call a few references that they provide. If you meet resistance when asking to physically see their work.....that should speak volumes to you and I would recommend moving on in your search! Of course if you live anywhere in the lower mainland we would love to come out and give you a complimentary estimate and discuss your ideas!!
Hey, we would even travel if it means that we get to stay someplace warm ;) (Hawaii) for a reno project! LOL.
Just in case you don't already know about a really great site to gather ideas for decorating, design, renovating. The site that we use regularly is Houzz.com . There are some great tools on the site for you as a consumer to be able to communicate exactly what it is you like and the look you are wanting to achieve. When we start a design project with one of our customers who is having trouble deciding exactly the look they want we will generally ask them to go to the houzz site and start an "ideabook". It is an easy site to navigate and you can create different ideabooks and then send a link to your designer or contractor. It is a great way to make sure that you are both on the same page!! As they say....a picture is worth a thousand words....this is SO true!! I can't tell you how helpful it is to have a customer send me an ideabook they have created before we start on the design process.
You can even add little notes to each photo that you save so that if it is just the lighting you like.....type in lighting, or the sink type in sink.
Another thing i like to do is have both the husband and wife create their own ideabooks and then send them to me before they have looked at each others file. This way i can see where the similarities are between both of their styles and help to make the choices during the project just that little bit easier.
I use this site often and am going to use it to design my garden this spring! They have great articles, advice and most of all the vast amounts of photos are truly an amazing resource!!
Here are a few of the photos i have saved in my "ideabook" for our backyard. I love this seating area and firepit and would like to incorporate the trellis over top so that we can have some shade or rain cover for those rainy summer days that would be nice to still get outside.
How often do you change your furniture around or pack up and move?? When James and I were first married not only did the furniture get re arranged.....it got moved to a different city or province!! Yep, We have moved 8 times throughout the course of our 18 years of marriage and I managed to pack up a house and move during almost every pregnancy. Something I do not recommend. It took us a bit to figure out that James was so used to moving (something like 28 times in his childhood years) that staying in one home for very long didn't feel right.......till we started to move furniture around! LOL. Seriously, just a few days ago he moved all of our bedroom furniture around and it must be true! Change is good ;) For him it is almost as good as moving and since figuring this out we have managed to move only once in the last 10 years.
So have you been thinking of making some changes to your living space? I highly recommend it and know just the people to help you get it done!! James and I love to give an old tired room a fresh new look!! Our most recent change was a bare wall that was in our living-room. We actually had the "sketch" taped up on that wall for about 6 months before the transformation started. It is now a beautiful fireplace with glass circle tiles and custom trim work!!!
Just a few summers ago he completely changed the entire front of our home (check out the DECKS tab) and we literally had people driving by and stopping to look and chat about what he was doing. We have a deal in our home......if i can draw it James can build it. Needless to say i have done quite a bit of sketching in my time and the end results are ALWAYS better than my sketches!
This was literally a bare wall a few months ago. Now we have a built in gas fireplace complete with floating shelves on either side, beautiful glass tiles which we picked out at the Vegas Surfaces Trade show last year.
James' finishing touches to the crown moldings and columns is exactly what i had pictured in my head!! So what room or wall in your house needs a new look. Feel free to give us a call and let us help you fall in love with your home again!