We found Graeme and his team through our designer, Debbie at PAS Design Group. She had worked with them before, so as first-time renovators we were relieved to know that we could trust the quality of their work for such a large project.
We hired Somerset to conduct a major top-to-bottom renovation of a 100-year old home in the Annex. They tore down five walls, replaced all the knob and tube wiring, renovated our kitchen including trimming and repainting the cabinets, painted the entire interior of the home, replaced the flooring, and turned a tiny ancient bathroom and an adjacent laundry room into a spectacular marble bathroom.
We were very happy with Somerset and would gladly recommend them to others for a major gut-job for 3 reasons:
1. The team. Everyone at Somerset was very easy to work with and very easy to reach. We were in email and phone contact with Sandeep, our project manager, and his team nearly every day throughout the three months of the project. He did a great job coordinating the timing, the ordering and delivering, and the trades to make sure the project was completed on time and reasonably close to budget. On the site, Denis, the foreman, and his team (including his father, Jesus and brother, Aldo) were absolutely a dream. They were the nicest guys, worked very hard through long hot summer days with no AC, and even worked late into the night and on weekends to meet our tight deadlines. The week before we were scheduled to move into the house, they worked until midnight many nights to make sure we would be comfortable. We can't say how much we appreciate the great team we had.
2. The quality of the work. The team took pride in the quality of their workmanship, and did a beautiful job with everything --especially our bathroom. We had a lot of challenging tile work in our design, and it turned out beautifully. If we were ever unhappy with how something was done, Denis and his team would re-do it right away.
3. Integrity. In home renovations you hear a lot of horror stories about contractors leaving homeowners out to dry. We are glad to say we had the opposite experience. Towards the end of our renovation, there was a problem with the plumbing which caused our new bathroom to leak and cause a flood in our kitchen. Graeme and his team responded immediately and brought an army of specialized plumbers and contractors within hours to rip up our kitchen ceiling, fix the pipes, snake the drains and patch it and paint up before we even got home from work. If Graeme hadn't called us multiple times to apologize and reassure us, we would never have guessed there was such a huge undertaking to fix the plumbing. Not only that, but they absorbed the cost themselves which was the right thing to do. Also, we have a young child, and only had two months to complete the bulk of the work before we had to move in. Somerset managed our expectations by telling us the work would take three months to complete, but were able to finish most of it in 2.5 months to make the house liveable and safe for our family on move-in day.
Of course, as with all renovations, not everything went perfectly, and from time to time we did disagree with Somerset over budgeted vs. additional costs, and who was responsible for what. However, given the magnitude of our project and the tight time frame, this is understandable as we did not spend a lot of time going through a detailed budget up front. If we had more time between and more experience we would have invested more time to clarify costs up front.
Overall, we are very pleased with Somerset and would happily use them again.