VV Contracting is a small business comprised of two very smart and dedicated craftsmen, Vladi and Andrej, and working with them has been more than a success and a pleasure. So let me tell you some specifics by borrowing from a famous old poet……..How do I love working with these guys? Let me count the ways!
Our house was built in 1920 and has needed some major renovation since we moved in more than 12 years ago. We avoided any real renovation because we knew it would be filled with many challenges, some predictable and some not, and some we weren’t sure could ever be suitably resolved. We were right that there were challenges but we were wrong about just how suitably things could be changed in a timely and affordable way. In actuality there was not even one issue that Vladi and Andrej were unable to solve and with great results! To name a few issues, we had structural problems, plumbing problems, electrical mysteries, previously improperly renovated things (some against code - ugh!), and of course the usual ugliness and outdated stuff that screamed to be improved. We did a full renovation of both our kitchen and our master bathroom, did so with very reasonable cost and finished ahead of the originally expected time frame by almost two weeks. I say that the cost was reasonable, not “cheap”, and there is a difference. If you want cheap, cross your fingers while you hope it is done right because there is nothing more sickening than having work done for a cheap price but a low standard, only to have to redo it at great cost. We chose the route of reasonable cost to have it done absolutely right the first time. We are absolutely thrilled with the results and in fact are scheduled to start further renovation with them after the Christmas holidays.
So, as I said earlier, let me count the ways we loved working with these guys!
1. Very detailed estimates:
Before the work started we received a very detailed estimate from Vladi and Andrej, partly because we wanted it, but also because it is just how they do business. They are not vague about cost and want no surprises. The estimate was totally accurate except for two totally unpredictable and invisible problems: the hidden plumbing problem under our bathroom floor, and the design changes we asked them to make more than once after we were in process. These guys were not only patient and accommodating when we changed our minds on a few things, but were also extremely helpful with guiding us in figuring out whether our desired changes were possible (they always were!). And of course, we expected to and did pay the difference in time and materials for the changes we made.
2. Great communication:
Vladi and Andrej gave us realistic expectations about when they could start our job and once they started, they showed up daily when they said they would! I know this sounds small but we’ve done renovations many times over the years in other houses and some of our biggest frustrations were general lack of communication and specifically just wondering from day to day if they might show up again. Vladi and Andrej really do let you know when they’ll come, announce their arrival, and let you know when they’re leaving. No daily surprises from them.
3. Respectful of us and our home:
When you are living in a renovation zone it’s hard to keep the dust and mess under control, not to mention the presence of many large and small tools necessary for the renovation. Vladi and Andrej ALWAYS cleaned up at the end of every day and on Friday afternoons before they left – cleaned up the dust and put their tools away. It made a stressful situation as good as was possible. I thanked them profusely at first and was told by them, “Look, if this were my house, I wouldn’t want things left in a mess so we aren’t going to do that to you.” It is just the kind of people they are.
4. Highest technical standards and ethical standards:
Nothing, absolutely nothing, was covered up or avoided by these two highly ethical and competent professionals. For one example, when a particular plumbing issue was discovered in our bathroom, Vladi and Andrej brought us to the problem, had a detailed discussion about the problem, the options and recommendations. When the solution was agreed on, it resulted in a delayed finishing date for the plumbing to be properly reset, but it was never a question to them -- they do it right or they don’t do it. And yes, it cost us a little more than we’d planned but we gladly paid to finally put the plumbing right once and for all. We now have bathroom plumbing that is PERFECT. There are more examples but just know they were all with the same result – perfection.
5. Top quality craftsmanship:
We chose to put a natural stone in our bathroom shower and on the bathroom floor, a process that requires great skill, focus, and patience if you want a beautiful result. Our final result is absolutely perfect -- is no small feat in a house of this age with floors and ceilings that are not level. The stonework is stunning and better than we imagined. The same process of skill, focus and patience was used in the kitchen with special lighting.
6. Competent, experienced, and confident professionals:
Vladi and Andrej are not only technically very competent and knowledgeable, but also very experienced. This means they are not afraid to provide opinions and recommendations that come from that experience, while fully respecting the homeowner’s wishes in the end. We were very grateful for their input along the way and it helped us rethink several decisions. The best part of their way of working is that their standards are so solid that they will opt to not do work if it is not well done technically and always within code.
7. Personable and pleasant:
Vladi and Andrej are truly delightful people -- important when they are in your house for weeks on end! They were and are a pleasure to have around, interesting, considerate, funny, kind, independent, and appropriately businesslike.
8. Innovative thinkers:
If there is a problem, Vladi and Andrej can innovatively figure out a solution, whether the solution requires a technical or a creative solution (or both!) They are particularly innovative regarding their capacity for ideas of how space and materials can be used. We made some decisions with their input that we simply would not have thought of had they not been so open and innovative. We would trust them to help us decide anything about our house.
9. Collaborative natures:
We did work with a designer to guide our decisions for both the kitchen and bathroom. Vladi and Andrej worked beautifully with her and I don’t mean they always agreed! We appreciated that they could all have conversations to resolve different viewpoints in a very professional way with the end result of keeping the customer-homeowner happy. It is a beautiful thing to behold three well-regarded, confident, competent professionals work out any differences of opinion or approach, never digging in their heels, and always keeping in mind that the whole point is the customer-homeowner’s satisfaction.
10. Proud of their work and their reputation:
It is clear that Vladi and Andrej take great pride in the quality of their work as well as their reputation of great integrity. When you watch them work you can see they enjoy the challenge and creativity of renovation. They would be bored to do the same thing everyday and I am guessing that is why they don’t do new construction. In conversations with them both, I learned that they each have a multi-generational family history in this line of work including furniture building, cabinet making, restoration of historic structures and furniture, and remodeling and renovation of homes. No wonder they are so proud to do their work so well as they carry on their proud family traditions.
And finally let me say in closing that if you are looking for someone to make your home look beautiful but also structurally sound in every possible way, and for a reasonable price, you will be lucky indeed to work with Vladi and Andrej from VV Contracting. You won’t regret it.