Custom Home Bars, Custom Homes, Green Building, Home Additions, Home Extensions, Home Remodeling, Kitchen Design, Kitchen Remodeling, Custom Cabinets, General Contracting, House Framing, Home Design, 3D rendering/modelling, Whole Home Renovation
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Best of Houzz, 2014 - 2017 in both quality and service categories!
19 Reviews for Urban Abode
These weren’t common revisions, meant to bring a project closer to completion or to correct a miscommunication. These were new concepts altogether - changes that discarded the work we had completed in favour of new spaces, new inclusions, etc. After we’d complete the incredibly long list of incredibly granular changes, half of these would be dispensed with in the next request from Susan anyways. We were paid for a service - NOT to be kept on retainer. As Susan mentions - she has been designing a kitchen renovation for a year. A YEAR. That was how long was spent deciding what she wanted BEFORE engaging us - but as I quickly learned it might just take another year for a 12 x 10 kitchen. We weren’t hired to design anything - we were expected to go on an unending journey of the mind through the ups and downs, lefts and rights, trial and error, discovery and abandonment of every idea that entered our clients mind. Each revision request was hidden between pages of dialogue and musings on the benefits of hanging clock radios and the heights of pans for drawers. Every offered idea from our side was met with a complete rejection and judgement of it being foolish, or unnecessary.
I feel for the trades that agree to work on this project. They have no idea what they are in for. They will need to deliver 3-4x the service, put in hours of unpaid work, be treated as fools by their employers for not noticing the note on page 27 of their client supplied instructions for installing a faucet, and they will DO ALL OF THIS at RISK of their reputations if they decide that its not worth their time.
What I will say is that our initial concept did take longer than usual to come out. Design/creative work can be challenging, but no doubt timelines need to be respected. We provide complex renderings, and perspectives, and due to the nature of the work, to get something that accomplishes the goal, is important. Susan allowed us more time because of the projected summer start. She also mentioned months between revisions. This is not accurate at all - we would wait on responses for weeks on end - even at times she'd decide to MAIL out papers. I never once put off meeting face to face, and often did during the process meet in person to go through and discuss. Finally, we were told after revision 4 that everything was great! Then after a few days we got an email saying that on second thought nearly everything was wrong. After another revision in an effort to complete and more changes, and more revisions, and 'oh yeah we want a wall here now, redesign the cabinets here, oh we want more shower niches here,' it was the end of the road. She emailed me saying that she felt we both misunderstood what was being provided.
I feel sick even commenting on this. It's damaging to the work of my team, and a company whose reputation I've worked hard to build - that we all have. This is disappointing. I may be breaking a cardinal rule here as a business owner to respond to this, but this is what we do - we put ourselves out there - we risk it all - and we try to please. Do we get everything perfect? No. But we work to make it right. In this case - there was no 'right', and we had to accept that the service we sold and provided 3x over would not be enough for the client. Could we have done things different - most likely - would it have yielded a different result? Probably not.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with others! As you know, I love the design you chose for your living room! ;)
I also appreciate the feedback on both Rob and John, and have passed along your compliments to them. I'm glad you mentioned the drapes too! The reality is that renovations are dirty, inconvenient, and can have surprises. I've always wanted to build a business and provide a service that would do its best to ensure that when those surprises occur, that we take accountability and ownership of our job sites. When the drapes got dust on them and needed drycleaning, it was an easy solution for us to take care of any related expense.
Once again, thanks for putting your home in our hands. I'm thrilled with the end result, and it was such a pleasure to work with you and your family that I hope we get do it again!
I'm so glad you and Mark are both enjoying the new space, and that you were so patient as we worked through a few bumps and surprises. I cannot wait to take photos of the space and post a full showcase on Houzz! Thank you for taking the time to write the review, and for your very kind words - I hope we deserved them! :)
Being 'right sized' in a time-intensive service-based industry like renovations is a challenge - too little work or too much could be the difference between 2 projects or 3 projects on the go. Since completing this project for you guys, as owner of Urban Abode we've changed our tack a bit to focus on tackling less projects at once, to ensure we meet expectations on all fronts. This past few months we've been able to do this by bringing in more people to our team for project management and interior design, and that's allowed me to scale the service I personally offer as the owner.
Overall, I'm glad you had such a positive experience, and we're really proud of the work we did in your home! I hope you enjoy your home for years to come, and thanks for trusting us with your home!
Reviews like this are such a huge asset to a company like mine, I'm so glad we earned your trust, and that your so pleased with the result. As complimented as I am, you deserve a lot of the credit too, the final design is a total collaboration. :)