Like some other recent clients, we had a terrible experience with Design Platform. They were basically using our remodel to bring new revenue in in order to cover other debts, and now we have a lien on our property from one of those subcontractors. We just passed the fourth month of what should have been a simple, 180 square foot kitchen remodel and we are still far from finished, and Jonas DiCaprio and his team refuse to return emails, phone calls, or texts. In short, Jonas has been deliberately absent, the design portion of the work was unoriginal and overbilled, there has been consistent mismanagement of the project, and we now know that they have not been paying their subcontractors. In the strongest terms, we do not recommend Design Platform and are filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Colorado Division of Professions & Occupations. Read below for more detail.
Like other reviewers, we chose Design Platform because Jonas presented very well. He walked through our property, talked about design ideas for over an hour, and sold his services effectively. Once we gave him the $1,500 deposit in September 2018, however, he disappeared. He did not respond at all to our multiple messages for four months. We were initially working with his designer, who presented three non-functional designs that would have closed off our kitchen when we specifically expressed that it needed to be opened up. Ultimately we proceeded with a design that my wife and I conceived that is – or will be – much more functional. We chose the layout, the color palette, and the key design and millwork features. In turn, Design Platform tried to bill us nearly $10,000 for design work and claimed a ludicrous 198 hours of work on the design portion alone, when nearly all of the significant design work had been done by my wife and me. We pushed back significantly and settled on a fixed design fee of nearly $7,000 just so we could move on to construction, but that should have been our first indication to walk away.
Construction did not start until over two months after we had begun the process with Design Platform. For the next month, workers would typically show up briefly in the morning, leave until mid to late afternoon, then come back and do a couple of hours work before leaving around 4:00. The exception were the electricians and plumbers, both subcontractors, who worked efficiently and professionally. My wife and I ended up having to manage the project, despite the high management fees charged by Design Platform. The drywall and painting subcontractor would show up at random times, unsupervised, and ultimately did as much damage as he did productive work. His team got joint compound and paint on our original, pristine 1961 tongue and groove ceiling, used the wrong paint on an existing wall and never fixed it, and nearly ruined our window sills. We are still cleaning up paint and joint compound from every room he was in.
We knew something was wrong with the firm a couple of weeks ago, but were hoping that they would at least be able to complete our kitchen. They started losing builders last week and since then, Jonas and his remaining team became unresponsive, with the exception of an outrageous email where Jonas baselessly accused us of creating a hostile work environment in our home. Nothing could be further from the truth, and thanks to our home’s webcams, we have a video track record of our professional and amicable interactions with the builders and subcontractors. We are still in touch with most of them. It seems that Jonas has used this smear tactic before in online forums when one of his clients has an experience similar to ours, so our advice would be to read through other reviews and Jonas’ responses.
We just learned that one of his subcontractors has not been paid for the past several jobs with Design Platform, including the work he did on our property. We understand that he had no other avenue than to place a lien on our property and we will work with him to resolve it, if we can. But this is the latest and most egregious example of how our involvement with Design Platform has created difficulty and stress for us. We have tried repeatedly to find a solution with Jonas, but he refuses to respond to emails or have a simple conversation over the phone. Meanwhile, we still do not have a kitchen and are out many thousands of dollars to a design/build firm that has actively taken steps to neither design nor build. We recommend that you look elsewhere.