Ive been in the same boat as most people here, youre scouring the reviews hoping to gauge how good a potential contractor is. Ill give you the quick summary first: McLaren Custom Homes is now our trusted partner in any home project my family or friends get involved in. I say partner because you genuinely will feel you are collaborating with a company that is on your team. This is the first company Ive ever worked with that I can be completely honest about finances with. I cant stress enough how important that is on large projects. Now, for the long-winded version
It actually started with a quote on a garage at my old house that convinced me that I could work with this company. Jons quote was more thorough than any other company I had spoken with. He was also the only one to discuss cost options while pricing instead of just demanding to know my top budget. It built a lot of trust that he was pricing the cost of the work and not just agreeing to my budget. I HATE when Im asked my budget first because I dont know the cost of each portion of work so I cant tell if Im being ripped off or not. Although we had decided to use Jon if we went forward, we sold that house and bought another property
While house-hunting I decided to email Jon and ask how I could loosely estimate costs related to extensions or additions. Keep in mind, I wasted this guys time on a detailed quote for a project I never did. I wasnt expecting an answer. A couple days later I got a very long and detailed email describing general numbers I could use with examples of different levels of finish. He didnt respond right away to just get me off his back. He waited until he could properly respond. I told my wife we absolutely have to use this guy on whatever we buy.
We bought an old house with a crappy layout and knob and tube wiring. We knew we had some work to do. Of course I had Mclaren come and quote on a complete remodel of the main and upper levels of the house. I was going to try to save money by leaving the basement and exterior alone. I got the same level of care I got for my previous quote. Detailed walk through with lots of notes and discussions on options. Sometimes Jon would lead me to a better solution than I planned. Sometimes I wanted what I wanted and Jon respected that.
He wasnt the only one to quote. He was the only one to provide a quote that properly described all the work involved. It broke down the many layers and order of operations. I found myself wasting so much of his time on the phone discussing things and changing things. At that point I just hired him because we were already collaborating on this.
Of course, I am not the easiest customer because as soon as we started I changed my mind about doing the basement and exterior. These were properly quoted and discussed to get solutions that fit my budget (which I now felt completely open discussing!).
Of course, when dealing with an old house, you are going to run into problems. We ran into a few big ones including some structural issues. Jon would walk me through the problem and we would discuss the options and costs. Whether we needed engineering or specialized trades, the solution was always available. Jon also coordinated all the appropriate documents and inspections with the city.
Right through to the end of the project, I was changing minor things or asking for some extras. These were all handled with the same level of care and cost-consciousness as all the scheduled work.
One little touch that I loved was the project group chat. All the guys are on it and actively update. At any point in time I could get pictures or videos or send links for ideas I liked. It meant that I didnt just have access to Jon. I could directly speak to Ross or Dan about whatever specific things they were working on. Or we could all give opinions on options that would pop up. It kept everyone updated and on the same page. Why dont more companies do this?!
I could keep going but you get the idea. In the end, I cant begin to describe how happy I am with how my house turned out. I got the look and quality I wanted at the cost I expected. I could have given these guys a stack of blank cheques and I wouldve spent the same exact amount down to the last penny.
Thank you so much, McLaren Custom Homes!
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- Company Response
All I can say to this Mike is thank you! To get this sort of feedback on your customer experience is the best reward we can strive for in this line of work. Ross, Dan and I really feel like the biggest thing we strive for is not just high quality work at a fair price - this should be standard - we really try to go above and beyond to make sure our customer experience is giving them exactly what they're looking for (and sometimes more). The scale of projects we do are huge, especially for regular customers that have little or no experience with them. They can be stressful and overwhelming at times. We do everything we can to guide our clients through the complexities of the projects and hopefully help them enjoy themselves in the process. To hear this feedback from you, Mike means to me that we have achieved and exceeded our goal on your project. I think the transformation we achieved on your home was arguably the most drastic ones we've ever done based on where it started. I couldn't be happier with the end result, and we certainly are very grateful for your positive feedback on your experience working with us. We would be delighted to work with you again in the future. From the whole team - Thanks Mike!!