After seven years of living with the basement of their Pasadena, MD. home a construction zone, Robyn Cincinnati and Greg Moore decided it was time to hire a remodeler to complete the home improvement project they had been doing themselves for nearly a decade. It wasn't that they couldn't do the work themselves. It was more that life was just getting in the way. From work to children's soccer games, there were just too many distractions. So the couple decided to visit the Annapolis Home Show and talk with prospective remodelers.
"I'm the type of person that knows right away when I meet someone whether I want to deal with them or not," said Cincinnati. After interviewing seven different companies at the show, she ruled out four immediately. Jeff Hall and Villa Builders were among the three that passed the initial "good-vibe" test. "What I liked about Jeff was that he was very honest, a man of his word," Cincinnati reported. "It was really important for me to be able to trust someone coming into my home and know they would do what they said."
The project involved converting the basement of their 4,800-square foot Pasadena home into an entertainment center, complete with TV room, space for a pool table and arcade games, as well as construction of a large bathroom with a custom steam shower.
Although Villa's price was slightly higher than the other companies they interviewed, they were satisfied overall with the price. What they liked best was that Jeff asked a lot of questions about the types of materials they wanted and other factors that would impact the project's cost before he gave them an estimate of costs.
Along the way there were also many nice touches. Villa contributed ideas on the configuration of the space that the couple hadn't considered, such as keeping the space open, putting attractive columns around structural elements, and helping them focus on their "must haves" to keep the budget under control.
Once construction started, they were impressed by the fact that the company sent out letters to the neighbors to let them know about the project to explain the arrival of the portable toilet and dumpster. Early objections to the toilet prompted Villa to build a privacy fence around it and paint it to blend into the neighborhood, which satisfied everyone in the neighborhood.
Lines of communication were kept open throughout the process, with weekly phone calls from Villa to check in on the project. Of course, Jeff was there most days to answer any questions and finalize decisions as they were needed.
All in all, the project took three months to complete. The couple decorated the new space with a Caribbean motif to make the former basement a festive and bright place for family time and entertaining.
"I just love it down there," said Cincinnati. "We have a wet bar, wine and beverage cooler, microwave, 56-inch round card table, billiards room, electronic dartboard and space for a NASCAR arcade game down there. My husband and his son are down there all the time, playing pool or Wii games."
Best of all, added Cincinnati, "It didn't take that long. I couldn't believe it. I had been waiting seven years!"