5-Star Success Story: Denver

by The Contractor Files

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Contractor saves the day for Colorado couple

Have you ever built or remodeled a house? If so, you know the headaches that go with the territory. Not only do you try to achieve a certain objective, but you want it done well, on time and on budget. Without the right contractors, an already exasperating task can become a full-blown crisis. David Redfield experienced such frustrations when he and his wife, Juanita, built their house last year in Brighton, Colo.

Acting as his own general contractor, Redfield relied on an organization that referred him to a variety of subcontractors. The recommendations were successful until it came time to paint and stain all the interior surfaces of the 4,000-square-foot home. The painting contractor offered what Redfield considered a reasonable bid and a timeline of two to three weeks. Three months later, the project still wasn't done—and the completed surfaces were full of mistakes.

"The finish coat was awful," Redfield says. "There were nicks and blotches. You could see where they had switched rollers. Holes weren't patched around the light fixtures. Instead of taping off the juncture between the ceiling and wall, they tried to do it by hand. All the imperfections showed."

Furthermore, the crew did not use drop cloths, splashing paint all over brand-new hardwood and tile floors.

"My wife and I had to rent a floor buffer to try to remove the paint specks," Redfield says. "We're still picking bits off the floor."

Redfield gave the painters an ultimatum: If they didn't correct the problems, someone else would finish the job. Meanwhile, Redfield started researching painters in the Denver area. He had recently used HomeAdvisor.com to find a general handyman who was able to come to the house the next day to bring a railing up to code, Redfield says.

Because that experience went well, Redfield used HomeAdvisor.com to find a new painter. Within 24 hours, four contractors responded to his request. Redfield chose X-treme Maintenance & Painting (now known as Most Valuable Painters), owned by Joel Hernandez, because of the bid, promised timeline and availability. "We had just moved into our house, even though the painting wasn't totally done," Redfield says. "We were going to be on vacation for a week, so we asked them to do it then."

Hernandez and four employees worked on the job, which presented a variety of challenges. Not only did they have to clean up the mess the previous painters left, but they had to work with 10-foot ceilings on the first floor and a 25-foot cathedral ceiling in the entryway. When the Redfield family returned from vacation, they received a pleasant surprise.

"They were 90 percent done in the week we were gone," Redfield says. "Things were much, much better. They taped all the transitions between the ceiling and wall and repainted those areas. They used drop cloths where they were supposed to."

However, after a final walkthrough, David and Juanita found a few small changes to address. Within 48 hours, Hernandez's team made the fixes at no additional charge.

"Joel did the project in the time frame and budget he said he was going to do," Redfield says. "That's what we wanted."

For Hernandez, it was business as usual.
"It was very important for them that we were going to be done on schedule," he says. "We want to make sure the homeowner is happy before we leave the job site."

The Redfields showed their appreciation by awarding Hernandez's company five out of five stars on the HomeAdvisor evaluation form for categories such as communication, timeliness, cleanliness and professionalism. More important, the high ranking reflects the value of finding a qualified, prescreened contractor.

"I've heard a lot of bad experiences from homeowners, such as this one," Hernandez says of the Redfield project. "I always recommend looking up the Better Business Bureau and Web sites such as HomeAdvisor.com to see what kind of response homeowners have about a company."

"Joel did the project in the time frame and budget he said he was going to do."
—David Redfield

Share your 5-Star Success story. Send a brief description of your good experience with a contractor to FiveStar@homeadvisor.com. If your story is published, HomeAdvisor will reward you with $50 toward your next home project.