We chose Prime Renovations to do a big renovation of our 3BR Brooklyn warehouse loft. We did a gut renovation of bathroom and kitchen, sanded and stained floors, built out two closets (wall work), did some large demolition, and did electrical work such as adding fixtures.
Hiring a contractor is like getting married - you are going to be spending a lot of time with the person, so trust and communication are key. I met three contractors at my apartment to get an idea of price and their approach to the work.
One contractor came recommended by someone in the building, but when he told me that he recommended scaling back part of my bathroom renovation to make the project easier, it didn't sit well with me. If the contractor is saying "No" at the beginning, imagine how that is going to sound one month into the project.
One contractor seemed great in person, had a lot of ideas, sent me a detailed quote, and then was very hard to reach for weeks, explaining that he was doing a lot of traveling. I believed him, but I am on my phone all the time, and I wanted someone more accessible.
Although I was tempted to go with the second person, I was a little weary about the communication issue. A friend who works in real estate told me that is normal with contractors, that you have to bug them to get a response. I believed him until I spoke with Jeff, who is the owner of Prime Renovations. He met me on time, replied to my emails and phone calls quickly, and had a lot of ideas for make my renovation happen.
There were a number of pros to choosing Prime Renovations:
- Communication: This is huge, Jeff is available by email and phone all the time. This is so important when you are dealing with all the stress of a renovation.
- Quality: Very high. I am a little shocked when I look around my apartment. It looks so nice that my wife and I can't believe that we live here. This also meant that many little things were done that make the project look high end.
- Subcontractors (flooring, painting, electrical, plumbing): These guys were excellent. When we had an issue or wanted to change things, such as the location of our chandelier, moving a ceiling fan, dealing with a problem dishwasher, etc., Jeff was quick to deal with it.
- Integrity. I don't use this word lightly. I am a psychiatrist and spend all day trying to help people understand their motivations. I believe that Jeff is an honestly good person who would not cheat a client. Although renovation is inevitably stressful, I trusted him with my home.
As a result, we love living in our renovated apartment. I am thankful I chose to work with Jeff and Prime Renovations.
ONE YEAR UPDATE:
The quality still looks great. We had an issue with the W/D and Jeff came out himself to look at it and then sent the plumber, who came for free. Outstanding guarantee. Also, my father is an engineer and home builder outside of the city and he specializes in spotting mistakes and errors in construction. He stayed with me for a few days and spontaneously said that the construction was very well done, especially the small details. Huge compliment and it speaks to the quality of my renovation. I love my apartment post renovation.