I chose Keating based on the positive reviews on the Homestars website, an in-person meeting and based on the fact that they bill themselves as a one-stop shop for exterior work -- including windows, doors and masonry.
My experience with the company, however, was quite mixed. As with others, I got a detailed proposal for the roof work. This seemed impressive. However, there was virtually nothing in it about other components of the project -- new windows throughout, a storm door, repairs to the top of a deteriorating brick fire wall. At the moment, I didn't think that much of it. However, this was a mistake. That said, the night we met to review the proposal, we mentioned two additional deliverables that we hadn't mentioned earlier -- work associated with framing the interior of the bathroom window and creating an access point to the house's attic. Matt said something vague about how doing both of these things wouldn't be a problem. But we never got an updated proposal with updated costing. The absence of this, combined with a lack of detail on the non-roofing elements of the project ended up really negatively affecting my experience with Keating.
The roofing and masonry components of the project went quickly and smoothly. The crew did the job very quickly and well. They left the site very clean. However Matt didn't add the attic access request to the docket and so this wasn't completed. Then the window replacement came. It took A MONTH AND A HALF for this part of the job to get done -- way longer than most professional window installation companies would take. About a month into the work, I contacted Matt about the completion of the project -- which comprised of finishing the interior trims and sills damaged by removing the old windows, re-installing the storm door they put in (which was too short for the opening) and the interior bathroom window framing. He insisted that we meet during office hours at my home (which took me away from work). I then had a conversation with him where he said he'd have the interior trims & sills done the next day but would require someone to be on-site (again, another day for me away from the office). He also gave vague answers on the timeline for the bathroom framing work, adjusting the door so it fit properly and the attic access issue. His excuse? "We just don't get the same volumes for this type of work as we do for the roofs." That's unacceptable! Why couldn't they have managed my expectations on timelines at the outset?
It's also around this time that I am having other contractors quoting me on a separate brick restoration project. Matt somehow finds out (perhaps because one of the contractors shows up while the Keating guys are on site) and tries to pitch Keating for the contract -- a bit obnoxious & amatuerish given the excuses I've endured already.
Regardless, the following day I stay home from work and the worker who was to do the interior trims & sills NEVER SHOWS UP! I email Matt at about 1pm and he tells me to call the Keating office. I was livid that he was expecting me to do this. The point of going with a company that offered a full range of services was to avoid the air-traffic control of project management. It turns out that this worker was double booked.
Finally, this leads me to write an email to the principals at Keating -- John, Justin -- airing my deep disappointment. From here on in, I deal with John. I like John a lot better as the project point person -- he is direct and forthright in his communications (no BS Dale Carnegie crap). Part of this is telling me that if I want attic access this will cost $1200 more and the bathroom window will cost another $846, plus tax. I decline the attic access and eat the cost of the bathroom window, which they actually do a very good job on. However, the job only completes about three weeks later.
So in the end the most of the projects were done, and what was done was done well, but I had to nag, I had to compromise my expectations, I had to do A LOT of waiting and I had to pay more than I was quoted. Was this a good experience? Not really.