Unlike many reviewers, we hired Amsted for a greenfield new build (not a renovation or in-fill). We are delighted overall with our custom home and hope to live out our lives here for as long as possible.
We chose Amsted due to their initial responsiveness and the in-house architect’s ability to get our vision from the get-go. There were major hiccups through the build, which has been running for 2 years. We were disappointed in some areas, but overall this a very good house, and we do believe that the staff and many (not all) of the subcontractors have true pride of workmanship. We would recommend Amsted for renovations. However, we would hesitate to recommend to friends, family or clients exploring a custom home. Most of the project was fantastic as reflected in our scores below. However, some areas have been very disappointing. Beyond the fact that our current project is not complete after 2 years, we would need a written commitment to maintain appropriate staffing levels for the project, including staff with designated responsibility to cross-check all plans before we recommended them for a new home on a greenfield site.
Amsted’s professional approach to this renovation delivered excellent results, on time and on budget.
Remodeling Concerns - We were concerned about the project not being on time or within budget, especially during the pandemic. We were very pleased that this was not the case. We were also concerned that there would be additional work required as they proceeded and multiple change orders put in place. While there were a few changes that were needed, they were reasonable and did not significantly inflate the budget.
Why Did You Choose Us? - We had the best experience with the initial contacts we met with, mainly Amy D, compared to the other companies we met with. It just felt right and it aligned with what we wanted in terms of honesty, organization, and professionalism.
Additional Comments - We are very pleased with the outcome of the renovation. Our living space is so pleasant to live, work, and entertain in. This is in large part due to the design team who were able to bring forward clever ideas to maximize our space that we could never imagine. They were able to help us express what we wanted and came up with various options, with pros and cons, that were reasonable and met our needs.
Very poor quality trades. Project manager didn't seem to know what he was doing and didn't address issues that arose. Much of the work had to be re-done. No quality control. And we had absolutely no recourse... we tried to get the supervisor involved, but the project manager told him we were difficult clients so the supervisor wouldn't even listen. The company didn't take responsibility for the lack of heat after they removed a boiler pipe in the room and expected me to pay to have it fixed... I could go on for 40 pages about the issues we faced with this company.
We are delighted with the result of our renovation and appreciate all the expertise that was available to us.
Areas Of Satisfaction - The quality of the finish of the job is excellent. Lots of little details of joinery make the new space look incredible. Everything has been done to a very high standard. The plastering team did an excellent job, as did the team who painted it all, and the man who laid all the tiles .
Why Did You Choose Us? - Very impressed by the initial consultations we had with Keith D. He made us feel like we could get a renovation done within a reasonable budget and allayed all our questions and hesitations. Also, the fact that Amsted is the "whole package in one" from design through to build is what we needed. Everything was taken care of, even down to the building permits from our township!
Despite everything, we understand the complexity of our project and know many builders could not have delivered what you delivered.
Amsted was consultative from day 1. They were responsive to all questions and suggestions, and they worked closely with us through many design iterations to come up with something with which we were happy. Despite some small reservations about the process we are very happy with the finished product.
Recognized Excellence - Paulette MacGregor is a superb project coordinator/designer, extremely responsive and pleasant to work with. Matt Farrell, the replacement project manager was very responsive, pleasant and drove the project to completion after numerous delays under the initial project manager. Also Kyle Goodman and Nick M are incredibly hard-working carpenters who pay attention to detail, meticulously clean the worksite each day and are very pleasant to have around.
Amsted's project management especially was excellent, and we highly recommend them to get you through a complex, extensive renovation.
Recognized Excellence - Every single Amsted employee we worked with was excellent. We don't want to list names for fear of forgetting someone - everyone was excellent to work with, skilled in their area and professional.
Very pleased with the professional, yet personable approach to our Sunroom project, enclosing our existing back deck.
Design/Selection Process Helpful - Great team. Everyone from design, to permit application to product manager and especially the skilled crew of excellent carpenters were friendly, happy and perfectionists.
Scope, Budget, Schedule - One can expect to run over budget, especially during this pandemic; but each step was well documented, no surprises and we felt we were listened to.
Client For Life - We are in the midst of our next project, renovating our kitchen which was inspired by the work Amsted did on our Sunroom.
Happy with the design and finished project.
Employees Professionalism - Everyone who we dealt with from project coordination to management to marketing to carpentry was 100% professional 100% of the time (though also 100% normal and relatable!)
Recognized Excellence - Paulette won us over at the start and never failed us throughout the entire project. She became our project's honorary sister/friend/aunt and we were actually sad when everything ended that she would no longer be in our lives! Michael Kline was also one of the hardest working, most dedicated people to work with. He treated it like it was his own and made sure to find solutions at any and all cost of his own. Steve Putinski finished up all the last touches and left our house in perfect shape. For the last couple weeks of the project, he was a comforting and knowledgeable presence in our home. Amsted is lucky to have such exceptional employees!
Areas Of Satisfaction - The professionalism and genuine kindness of EVERYONE we worked with. The expertise and quality of the work. The weekly check-ins.
Additional Comments - As happy as we are to have the project over and be in our beautiful (and expensive!) new house, a part of me is sad that we won't need to work with Amsted for a long long time.... Though you never know!
I am absolutely prepared to recommend Amsted in terms of quality, construction advice and expertise and dependability. At the same time, it is a Cadillac option. Everything is considered and factored in and you end up with a quality product, but you pay for what you get. Consequently my advice to a friend would be qualified by this consideration.
Initial Service (First Call) - All our communications with Amsted were prompt and courteous. Indeed, we were able to get them to call us back when multiple other providers we had considered didn't bother to return our calls at all.
Our project involved the demolition of an old addition to our century house in the Glebe and its replacement by a much larger one. We could not be happier with the outcome, and found Amsted to be a very professional, capable partner in turning our ideas into reality. They were a pleasure to work with, and we wouldn't hesitate to do so again should the opportunity arise.
We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Amsted team led by Paulette MacGregor and Hugh Trueman. Our biggest issue revolved around delays of materials arriving because of the pandemic. Any other issues we found were quickly addressed by our Amsted Team
Areas Of Satisfaction - Customer service is fantastic as is the actual work. We're happy with how our reno turned out.
I have recommended Amsted to friends based on the outstanding experience we have had during our renovations.
Why Did You Choose Us? - Having both design and construction together made working with Amsted more attractive than having to find separate companies to do each. This simplified the project for us and helped us choose Amsted.
Amsted provided a professional service and presence from our first meeting through to the after-project care. All details were addressed in a professional manner, and nothing was overlooked. Over the course of a normal project, and during COVID Amsted took the time to address all of our concerns whether they be from personal protective equipment or renovation-related questions. Each of the members of the Amsted team and their associated trades always maintained a professional and positive attitude, regardless of the challenges presented. A job well done.
Scope, Budget, Schedule - Even during Covid, Amsted was able to hold to scope, budget and schedule while maintaining the high quality standard that we had looked forward to in dealing with Amsted.
Professional & Organized - With undertaking a main floor remodel the reputation of the contractor and the quality standards and supporting processes was of primary importance. We entered in to the renovation with high expectations from Amsted and they completed the project and fully lived up to the reputation and expectations.
Trust - Yes - this is the behaviour that i have observed, and Amsted has earned our trust.
Very good process. No major surprises. Anything found was dealt with with good explanations. Great project manager
Expertise - used very skilled craftsmen and craftswomen
Areas Of Satisfaction - Communications and Project Management were exemplary.
Overall, our experience with a major renovation was very good. There were minor setbacks and inconveniences but these were dealt with quickly and professionally. This year with CoVid, there were difficulties that could not have been anticipated but I always felt that our project manager was on top of things. It took away a lot of the anxiety around big changes during trying times. It was very reassuring.
Job Site Clean And Secure - Excellent! The project manager (and his assistant in phase one) kept everything clean and all was tidy at the end of the work day. I was pretty pleased with my sense of safety when I visited the job site particularly once we were dealing with the extenuating conditions of a pandemic! I couldn’t travel to see the work progress quite as often as I would have liked but the health of workers was a high priority.
Employees Professionalism - Everyone I dealt with was polite, professional, and personable.
Subcontractors Professionalism - Everyone that I met who worked in any capacity was respectful and courteous. I was very impressed at times.
Areas Of Satisfaction - Guy keeping me posted with near daily pictures was very reassuring and necessary with CoVid isolation.
Recommend - This was a tricky project... mould found in the building with unknown source, vulnerable patients of the health system residing in the building, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The source of the mould was quickly found and remediated, without any disruption to residents. Amsted followed all the required infection prevention standards during construction which kept everyone safe. Work was delayed in starting, but not by much and progressed at a good pace. Utimately, everyone is very pleased with the finished space. COVID-19 required an additional overlay of precautions, and Amsted rose to the challenge.
Recognized Excellence - Sean Ryan, Project Manager.. Sean didn't start this project with us but picked up very quickly and managed the work beautifully. He was a real pleasure to work with.
Why Did You Choose Us? - Kind and professional staff and strong community recommendations
Amsted was recommended to us by our designer and we can honestly say that our experience with Amsted was nothing shy of exceptional. Our renovation was extensive (+ $750K) where we essentially gutted the interior and exterior of the house and left on the shell so there was much to be done.
My husband and I had a sense of what we wanted but Chuck Mills, Amsted’s architect, delivered an exterior design that was nothing shy of genius (that continues to conjure the wow factor in friends and strangers alike!) and floor plans that are very functional while still incorporating a modern day lifestyle. Our project manager, Jason Labelle, was on top of everything and our weekly status meetings were very informative and kept us up to speed. Communication throughout via emails, phone calls, and weekly meetings was excellent and the budget was maintained.
Probably what impressed us the most about Amsted can be summed up in a one word: Integrity. With a project of this magnitude, there are bound to be issues that arise but it’s how they are handled that shows the true character of a person/company. And in this domain, we hold the utmost respect for Steve Barkhouse, the owner of Amsted. Steve was always open, honest, so personable yet forever professional, provided sound advice, and the integrity showed through - particularly in resolving issues, that made us feel more like family than a client because he genuinely had our best interest at heart. And it is clear that these values are filtered down to the friendly, talented staff (ie. Mark, Marty, and each member of the team), the knowledgeable and skilled contractors, and even the quality of the building materials. To this day, we continue to be impressed by the ongoing customer service and support (mostly instigated by Amsted rather than by us).
We can’t thank you enough, Amsted, for making our dream home a reality. We would not hesitate to refer anyone and everyone to you!
Professional & Organized - The weekly meetings and prompt emails, calls, additional meetings kept things moving along efficiently and allowed us to know the status of things at all times.
Expertise - We could always rely on Amsted for sound advice. What was particularly helpful is that the staff would provide you with the options, identify the pros and cons, and the price so that we could make an informed decision.
Employees Professionalism - Professional, courteous, knowledgeable, and friendly. Couldn’t have asked for any better!
Client For Life - Without a doubt. And we would not hesitate to recommend Amsted to anyone!
Very satisfied with our reno!
unbelievably professional but with a down-home feeling
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Each item listed under "Customer satisfaction" represents a specific question asked by GuildQuality to customers of Amsted Design-Build as part of our survey process. The bar graph and percentage next to the question stand for the percentage of respondents that were "Satisfied" about that particular question.
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