Our project did not go very smoothly, to say the least.
The short version:
We hired Remodeling Concepts (RC) for a number of repairs, most importantly to repair serious water damage and address the underlying cause of the damage so that it did not happen again. The deposit was cashed in early August. Work did not begin until September, despite them telling us it would begin within days. They didn’t show up on days when they were scheduled and did show up on days when they weren’t. They did the project out of order, resulting in some of the work needing to be re-done multiple times. They repeatedly billed us for incomplete work. After the schedule fell far behind what was promised, our original project consultant was taken off the project and RC’s “Chief Operating Officer” became our de facto project manager. After another month or two, we were told by the owner that the COO had been fired, in part based on how our project had gone, and now the owner of RC would be running the project. We were told at the outset that everything would be complete within a few weeks; work did not wrap up until the end of December.
Since then we have had ongoing issues due to their work: a heating failure caused by the placement of a heating vent that they told us wouldn’t be a problem; frozen pipes caused by the up-to-code but clearly inadequate insulation they installed; and massive water damage - the exact same problem that we hired RC to fix.
We have had a horrible experience throughout this entire project and after. We do not recommend hiring Remodeling Conceptions whatsoever.
The detailed version:
- They cashed our deposit on August 7th. Our project consultant had told us that work on the siding would begin within days of depositing the money, and that inside work would be done off-and-on but would be completed within a few weeks. Work did not begin until September 8th.
- They were unable to stick with a schedule. We were told, "They'll be there Monday," "Sorry, they'll be there Tuesday," "Sorry, they'll be there Friday for sure." We were lucky to get even get that much communication, as most of the time we were the ones who had to inform RC that their workers hadn't shown up (when we got home from work, well after 5pm) because, apparently, the workers hadn't told them that themselves. On countless occasions, they did not come to work when we expected them and then showed up on days they weren't scheduled to work (so we could not, for instance, adequately prepare an area where they were going to be painting). Work that they promised would be finished Friday, wasn't; was then supposed to be finished Saturday, wasn't; was then supposed to be finished Monday, also wasn't; etc.
- We told them multiple times that we didn't want repairs on our interior water damage to start until after the exterior work was finished, even if the exterior work was “supposed to be” completed that day. They ignored us: the exterior work didn't get done, and the interior work started anyway. When it rained, the water damage reoccured as predicted in rooms where the interior painting was finished, including in areas where we thought the exterior repairs had been completed. To their credit, they re-repaired and repainted at no additional cost - multiple times, in fact, because the exterior work was still not done and the weather refused to cooperate.
- We were repeatedly billed for work that was not yet complete - occasionally work that was 90% complete, but other times for work that had barely even begun. Each time this happened, we remitted a check for those portions of the work that had actually been completed, in accordance our contract, which specified that line items were to be paid for as they were finished. At one point we had to remind them that this was specified in the contract, because they had complained about having to do work that had not yet been paid for.
- We added some additional siding work to the project a few days after signing the contract and weeks before the work eventually began, as a storm caused additional water damage elsewhere in the house. We repeatedly said we wanted to amend the contract to add the new work, and they repeatedly said that wouldn't be necessary, and that it would probably only be a few hundred dollars, or (as the COO implied) even that they might throw it in for free. Then, when the additional work was done, they billed us at nearly 3x the cost for another (larger, harder to access) piece of the siding. When we objected, they revised it down to 2x, still giving no explanation for the reason of the cost. Only after we objected again, politely requesting an explanation for the third time, did we finally receive an explanation (which was that they had vastly underquoted us on the cost of the back - fine; but it shouldn’t have taken three tries for us to receive an explanation that straightforward).
- Despite informing them, specifically and in written and photographic detail, that there was a missing piece of siding on the underside of one of our window eaves/soffits, they took this to mean that we wanted the windowsill re-capped. When we raised this issue, the owner denied we ever told him about this and that we had only ever talked about the sill (we never talked about the sill). We re-forwarded him an email we had forwarded to him two weeks previously in which we explicitly said the siding on the soffit was not done. To his credit, he called us to apologize.
- With the addition of the siding, our heating system was now venting too close to the wall. We had asked RC if they could adjust the positioning of the exhaust pipe away from the wall, and were told alternately that it “would be addressed” and that it was “not an issue.” It was not addressed, and it was an issue, as the proximity of the vent to the wall (less than three inches) registered as an air blockage and caused our heating unit to fail. We then had to personally hire an HVAC professional to come fix it. In his opinion the siding would also have been damaged over time as originally installed.
- Though a major part of the project, the brickwork started incredibly late. They allegedly ordered the bricks at a reasonable time, but they were allegedly backordered for three months; when the bricks arrived, they were manifestly not the bricks we had been shown and which we thought had been ordered, though our original project consultant claimed in a text message that these were the same we’d originally seen on the supplier’s website. We had them re-order new, different bricks, that were closer to the ones we’d originally approved. Because of this, brickwork couldn’t start until the week before Thanksgiving, and then had to be frequently delayed because it was too cold, so it took over a month for the brickwork to be finished.
- They rarely cleaned up after themselves, leaving nails and debris everywhere inside and out, despite that the contract specified that they would clean up as they worked. Their siding workers left siding scrap all over our and our neighbor’s adjoining backyards, trampled our flower bed and vegetable garden, and used our planters as receptacles for their cigarette butts and food wrappers. The masons, while rebuilding our stairs, poured cement down the street (to our neighbors’ alarm and displeasure), and after finishing the bricks they left behind dozens of nails and screws on the sidewalk and in the street. When all of the exterior work was finally done, and all trash and debris theoretically taken away, we spent hours cleaning up and fixing the things they’d damaged. (We had been promised reimbursement for the damaged plants and planter by the COO, but this, like most of his verbal promises, never materialized.)
- There appeared to be severe communication issues between RC, its employees, and its subcontractors. On several occasions, workers showed up and asked us what they were supposed to do, as this had apparently not been communicated to them beforehand. The owner repeatedly described a project to us as a “throw in,” until we pointed out that this project was included in the contract. A subcontractor showed up unannounced, after dark, to tell us that we didn’t really need the siding called for in the contract, just some new caulk around the windows in a particular room. (Seeing as that room had suffered a literal waterfall of water damage over the summer, and continues to receive water damage to this day despite the theoretically completed siding repair, it is clear that more than just caulk was needed.) RC told us repeatedly that a particular section of siding was complete; each time, when we ourselves went out on the roof to check, even as laymen we could tell there were obvious unsealed gaps, and even as laymen we could tell that the windows were still leaking. It was like pulling teeth: almost every time they told us the siding was “finished,” we had to call them back out because there were obvious portions that had been left untouched.
- Throughout the whole process, we repeatedly apprised RC of our problems and dissatisfaction with the work, contacting them immediately as issues arose. Despite their assurances that things would go faster/smoother/that nothing was actually wrong, the work continued to go at a snail's pace, with multiple delays and interruptions, and problems plagued the entire four months of work.
We cannot in good conscience recommend Remodeling Concepts for any major project whatsoever.