In July of 2013 our family purchased what we hoped could become our "no need to ever move again" home. The home had so much of what we desired, but lacked one key element that we had coveted throughout our search, a home with an open floor-plan within 40207.
We knew a renovation was in store, but had no idea of where to begin. After speaking with several professionals, it was suggested that the first and most important step for us was to meet with an architect. We met/interviewed 4 of the most highly recommended architects in Louisville, including Emily Fisher of Rock Paper Hammer. Emily's professionalism, creativeness, attention to detail, and understanding of exactly what we wanted separated her from the others. As a result, we hired her to draw up the plans for the project.
Simply put, Emily was amazing to work with and looking back, we can't imagine doing this project without her. She was incredibly thorough and thought of the "little things" that the other architects never even considered. Most importantly, she was INCREDIBLY patient with us. A project of this scale can require many decisions to be made by the customer. Emily walked us through each decision, but let us decide only after we felt 100% comfortable with each idea. She never rushed us because she wanted us to LOVE each decision, not just skip to the next step. Emily met with us at our home when it was convenient for us, even at night after work. She was always available by phone, email, or text. Always.
After the plans were complete, it was time for the next phase of the project, hiring a contractor to lead the construction.
Again, we met with multiple professionals in the area to get a list of whom they considered the "best of the best" in Louisville. These were construction vendors that work with contractors each and every day. They often see the beginning, middle, and final product of many of these projects. They absolutely know who does "good work" and who does "bad work". We were told at each stop, "be careful, there's more contractors that do bad work than good".
However, at each and every stop we made, a few names kept popping up as the people that do "great work" in Louisville. One consistent name mentioned was Derek Paprocki and his company "Rock Paper Hammer". Multiple remodeling experts stated "they're the company I'd use if I were having my own home renovated."
We next met with our 3 most recommended contractors, including Derek, to get a bid on the project. From early on in that part of the process, it was evident we wanted to work Derek and his team. He was the first guy back with the bid and descriptive down to the dollar on explaining the true cost of this project. He didn't present us with the wide gaps of what things "could cost" like the others. Just as importantly, hiring Derek meant we would be able to have Emily on site as well. At the time, we didn't realize how valuable having both the contractor and architect working on the same project together for it's entirety could be. Looking back, it was undoubtedly the best part of the deal and saved us a TON of time and stress. We agreed to a contract price and proceeded to the actual construction phase.
We could write many pages on the actual construction phase, but the takeaways are the following:
Derek, his brother Jovan, Vince, and Leonard were the greatest group of guys to work with that we could ever imagine. They were incredibly professional and respectful of the fact that we were going be living in the house during the remodel. They meticulously cleaned up every single day and even went out of their way to make sure nothing was left on the floor that our dog might try to eat/swallow. They truly became like part of the family.
From a quality perspective, it was simply remarkable to see the level of detail they provided in every single aspect of the job. Derek and his team also completed the project at the budget that he walked us through months prior, thus no surprises! The result was fantastic. They gave us the updated, open floor plan "no need to ever move again" home that we were hoping for.
We have several projects that we'd like to do in the years to come. Rock Paper Hammer will absolutely be the first company that we call.