Building a new house is likely one of the biggest and most important financial events that most people will undertake in their lives. A little over 5 years ago my wife and I went down that path and purchased a house, for our three kids, and us, with grand plans of gutting it and substantially rebuilding the 1960’s vintage home. Trust me, you needed some real imagination with this place to get past the six different types of flooring, fading paint, crooked cabinets, pungent smell of incense, and general lack of upkeep. But the lot was great, and the neighbourhood a quiet hidden enclave of giant trees and humble folks, and so we were sold. After closing the deal we went about looking for a builder to help us with the project, and for most people, that’s likely the first time you’ve ever done that. Luckily we had some guidance from some friends about their process and what went well, and more often then not, what didn’t go so well. We asked lots of questions about costs, quality, timelines, and process. More often then not we got answers that included cost overruns, sub-par quality, and timelines that were never met. Armed with that knowledge we set about interviewing builders, designers, and contractors of all stripes, and the first thing you notice when you set down this path, is that there are huge differences in how people communicate their process, how they expect to get paid, how they control quality, and how they talk about their company values. So much so that it’s pretty hard to understand what it is you have to pay, and what you will get at the end of the day. That is, until we sat down with Melissa and Rob from Veranda Estates Homes.
The first thing we noticed when we met them was an air of confidence and a foundation of honesty, and we appreciated that immensely. You quickly find out that Rob started on the tools at his father’s company years ago, and worked his way into running the place by learning everything first hand. He had such a calmness and a professionalism about him during our whole process that you might think there is nothing that he hasn’t seen. That feels good when you are about to spend a pile of money on a big project. Melissa on the other hand is the perfect “yin” to Rob’s “yang”. She is wonderfully focused and almost militant on her attention to detail, and there is a passion with which she approaches her craft that I really admire. She cares intensely about every paint stroke, about symmetry, and about making sure things are done right. Everybody should want someone like her on their team on a project of this scale.
To be clear, I have purposely waited over two years to write this review. Our project was built on time, on budget, and was exactly the same high end quality that we had seen in every one of the projects they completed and toured us through before we broke ground. Since they gave us the keys we have had basically no problems, and of the small things we needed rejigged, they responded instantly. In the two years since we have moved in, we have continued to keep in touch with Rob and Melissa, not because they built our house, but because they became real friends of ours during the process. We still go for dinner, and we try to keep up with what is going on in each other’s lives. I will and have referred them to anybody that asks, and I openly gush about our experience with their company to anyone that cares about my opinion. We count ourselves lucky daily for having chosen them to build our home.
Sarah & Chris Maurer.