We first heard his name from our architect, Mark Demerly. So glad we did. Rob Froehlich, at Corinthian Fine Homes, was one of several top general contractors we interviewed for a very large scale project on our 1924 home. We could tell right from the start that Rob was a bit perfectionistic, like us, which was exactly what we were looking for in a contractor. Someone who does NOT cut corners, who appreciates quality workmanship and will do what it takes to make it so. We were planning a life changing project (backyard entertaining area) and we needed someone to oversee that it was done properly. We wanted a screened-in porch addition, a sizable pool cabana complete with outdoor kitchen and bath, a complete redo (removal of fiberglass, reshape for safety issues and replace with concrete/gunite type) of the existing pool, converting to salt water, a new backyard patio, limestone and bluestone patios, 2 bathroom renovations (gutted), and a mudroom with a hidden custom murphy bed project. It seemed a monumental task and we were frightened about the massive expense and wanted to make sure we were getting the right contractor for the job. We quickly decided on Rob, even though he was one of the most expensive contractors because he seemed to be the most realistic and the most "on our same page". We were asking him to create a mediterranean cabana that even we didn't even know exactly how to describe what we wanted it to look like. It's almost as if Rob and our architect, Mark, both crawled inside our heads to get to know us to create exactly the feel of the kind of cabana we wanted for outdoor entertaining. We showed them a few pictures of things we liked, but nothing that closely resembles our beautiful cabana today. It definitely met, if not WELL exceeded, our expectations. We LOVE it. People can't believe it is an addition, they say it looks like it has always been there. Best compliment ever.
1) ESTIMATE - Rob was extremely professional and responsive during the estimating process, was always upfront about the project costs and always worked with us to define the total scope of the project with a written estimate. His written estimates were most often always accurate. Changes and additions requested by us were always included on a written "change work order" form to be signed by us. Rob is the most professional contractor you will ever meet. He's one of the few contractors who understand demanding clients need for perfection. He's extremely responsive, flexible and detail-oriented. Rob takes pride in his work and his crew. You'll be hard-pressed to find another contractor better than Rob. While Rob's bid will not be the cheapest in town, you get what you pay for. His attention to detail is well worth the money.
2) QUALITY - Rob had multiple crews doing the project so that it was done as efficiently as possible. His foremen were excellent and the entire crew was incredibly courteous and professional. My kids actually missed them and wanted them to come back after they were gone! They cleaned up their workspaces on the exterior of the house and inside our home every single day after working and as they went along. Sometimes, they cleaned up too well, it looked even better than before they came! I have never known a contractor to keep things as clean and tidy every single day of the job. The various workers he brought in for the job were terrific - very attentive when it came to the details and all very friendly and approachable if you had any questions or concerns.
3) COMMUNICATION- Rob communicated frequently with us to give us status updates and kept us in the loop the entire time. We never had to ask him for an update... he just proactively gave us updates and this was extremely helpful. He seemed to always come by at least once a day throughout the course of the project to check on the quality of the work himself and ensure that things were going well. He didn't just defer to his foreman to manage the project. Rob stayed involved the entire time! Communication could not have been clearer, his understanding of construction and the entire process is extensive. Rob fully embraces the core of good client management: he's a busy guy, but in the every day dealing with him context, he has a way of making you feel like you're his most important client. His responsiveness was amazing. Leave him a voicemail or text? He'll typically will get back to you within 10-20 minutes even though I would tell him it's nothing urgent, take your time. Amazing.
4) SNAFUs- As with renovating many historical homes, there are always bumps in the road. Getting projects approved by the Meridian Street Historical Preservation Committee, old pipes covered in asbestos, leaky pipes, old knob and tube electrical, lead paint, working with electric company to MOVE electrical poles, getting the right permits for different jobs, working with insurance companies, inspections, etc… Things most people take for granted. Rob was persistent in handling these bumps in the road for us, keeping us informed the entire time and making the process go as smoothly as possible. He also worked directly with our architect from the start to make sure that together they were successful in our construction, additions, and renovations. Also things we thought were unrepairable, like a sagging tile floor- was resolved by raising the foundation 1-2". Also a large section of brickwork on our old home that was visibly noticeable under a window by driveway (actually convex) from old radiator steam damage, was removed and repaired. You can't even tell it was ever messed up! The quality of the work Rob and his crew did was absolutely fantastic. The masonry guys were awesome (Skelley Masonry). Finding brick to match the back porch addition proved to be almost impossible. Not for Rob, he came up with a solution. They removed the facing of brick from our existing garage, cleaned it up and used the exact brick to match on the most visible sections. The porch looks like it has always been a part of the house. Then, they replaced the brick on the garage with the new brick that was the closest match we could find. They were extremely focused on details and were meticulous in their approach to fixing the issues uncovered during the process. His team even re-did some of the work when they felt it was not perfect... this just blew me away that they were so particular about every detail. The quality work pleased the historical committee, so much so, that later work requests/constructions were easily approved since they knew the quality we as homeowners expected and the results we got from using such a high quality contractor to keep the home's historical beauty in tact.
5) OVERALL- Corinthian Fine Homes sets the platinum standard for contractors. As seasoned homeowners, my husband and I aren't new to the whole contractor thing. We've done a few major recons on different homes we've owned in the past. Rob exhibited the utmost patience and professionalism throughout the whole process. Patience being his forte since we weren't the easiest clients with whom to deal. Aside from out TONS of questions, he endured many curveballs such as "hey, can we completely change this and do this instead?" or how about since we see what a great job you did on this "Why don't we do this too?" complete add-on projects/rooms" kind of ideas… He's honest, reliable and does a great job of strategizing on how best to tackle a project; you can tell his approach is well thought out from the start, even though ours may not be!
In a nutshell, Rob completed several major construction projects for us, and the entire process from start-to-finish far exceeded our expectations. Rob and his crew (including his sub-contractors) all maintained a high-level of professionalism, punctuality, and cleanliness throughout the scope of our project. Their attention to detail is a testament to the passion they bring to the job, no matter how big or small. This puts them in a category well above the rest. They are real artists, and that is a rare thing to find these days. Rest assured that when you're working with Rob, you're in great hands. In a vast ocean of unreliable, unfriendly, untrustworthy, marginally capable construction contractors, it is so refreshing to find an island of true professionalism in Rob Froehlich. Highly Recommend.