We hired Superior for a total remodel of our kitchen. The bidding came down to two companies, both with very good online reviews, and Superior offered a lower price so we went with them. (When the other company, Remodel Works, found out about Superior's price they lowered their price as well, but we already felt committed to Superior. In hindsight, we really wish we had gone with Remodel Works!)
Here's my wife's one-paragraph summary of our experience: Very disappointed with many aspects of this company: our 8-week project took over 5 months; over $9,000 over budget due to numerous change orders and miscalculations; we had two on-site supervisors (one was fired, one quit); and the quality of work was often unsatisfactory and had to be redone on numerous occasions. Hoping our issues will help you avoid using this company.
If you want all the gory details (which may help your remodel go smoother regardless of who you use), read on:
We're trying to post a fair review, so let's start with the positives:
+ Generally their folks are friendly.
+ Oh, and they pointed us toward a better choice for our range. Those are the only two positives we can think of.
Now to the Negatives:
- Even though the people are friendly, they seem very incompetent and lack knowledge of local building codes.
- Their photo albums of past projects reflect some very dated designs. If you want something more contemporary, be prepared to do most of the design yourself. Our sales rep at Dal Tile was very helpful in this regard. (One problem, though, as Dal Tile told us, is that Superior includes only enough in their counter and tile allowances for the very cheapest in materials, so plan on spending more than the contract price in allowance overages.)
- They asked us when we signed if we wanted to pay extra for plans and inspections. (We've since been told by others that that should not be a choice, but you can make your own decision on that.) They said the additional cost would be $5,000. We wanted the job done right, so we gave approval. What they didn't tell us was that the inspections could lead to thousands of dollars in other increased costs.
- They promised our job would be done in 8 weeks. It ended up taking over 5 months. (They give you a weekly calendar of who's coming when, but we learned that was often meaningless and people would be showing up on any day at any time. We had one countertop person show up at 6:30 in the evening.)
- They fired our on-site supervisor one-third of the way through the job, which made it very convenient for the new supervisor to blame all the problems on the old supervisor. Then the new supervisor quit the company a month before the job was finished, making us the de facto on-site supervisors for the remainder of the job.
- We wanted to move an 8-foot wall one foot into the living room. When we signed the contract, they said the price included what should be necessary for that part of the job. Half-way into the job, they told us that moving the wall was going to cost an additional $7,000! (Part of the reason for the overage was that new footings were needed under the house. They could have easily crawled under the house to check the old footings before we signed the contract, but apparently they prefer low-balling and making it up in change orders later.)
- Another example of low-balling and lack of knowledge about local building codes is that it wasn't until the middle of the job that they told us venting the range would be an additional $2,000 because the old vent was too close to a window. That vent was in plain sight from the beginning, so that should not have been a mid-job surprise! The only way to avoid the extra $2K was to buy an over-range microwave that had a recirculating vent built in. So in the middle of our vacation we had to research microwaves and order one that did not match the rest of our appliances. (And we'll now have to periodically replace the charcoal filter for the rest of our lives.)
- Also in mid-vacation, they notified us that our quartz countertop would need to have a seam in it, even though the dimensions of the counter had been known when the contract was signed months earlier. The finish on the seam was a four-inch band of glossiness that made it the first thing you noticed in the kitchen. This seam had to be reworked three more times before it's appearance was minimized.
- Final vacation note: We told them when the contract was signed the dates we would be in Europe, and discussed our departure in the days leading up to the trip. So what do they do? Waited until our first day in Europe and then asked us to make an $18K payment! Talk about unorganized.
- There were also additional costs for the electrical and plumbing, but we're not expert enough to know whether those should have been discovered before the contract was signed.
- Another mid-job surprise was that to pass inspection we would need to replace all of the smoke alarms throughout our house (some of which were almost new), adding hundreds more dollars to the job.
- Even though we gave them all the appliance and fixture model numbers up front, they installed a shelf behind the sink that prevented the faucet from being completely turned off. This meant we had to mount the faucet sideways.
- They asked to do the punch walk before the appliances were even installed! As it was, once we did the walk the list was two pages long - doing it as early as they wanted would have made it at least 3 pages! Even with only two pages, it still took them 8 weeks to complete the punch list, and another 3 weeks to remove the lockbox.
- In one part of the kitchen, the backsplash had to be installed three times, and it's still not great.
- They replaced the shelves in a small built-in we have with new ones that are very off-square.
- Toward the end of the job, out of the blue they decided a wooden transition strip between the kitchen and dining room floors was suddenly part of the tile allowance. Since we were already over our on our tile allowance, that was an extra $400.
- Both supervisors had told us that after inspection they would replace the dishwasher air-gap with a soap dispenser we bought, but after one supervisor was fired and one quit, Superior would not back up that promise and we had to pay someone else to do it.
So our bottom line is that we strongly suggest you look elsewhere for any remodeling!