I hired Sergey to do a full remodel of one floor (~1,500 sq. ft.) of a house in the Richmond in San Francisco. Full gut of kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and rebuilding of a small extension. The whole space was painted and floors were refinished. Nothing was left untouched.
Sergey is very, very responsive. He will answer all texts, phone calls, emails etc. and if he happens to miss a call (which almost never happened), he returns it in minutes or sends a text to let you know when he can talk.
The quality of work is very good. Sergey works with a contractor named Artur who is a whiz at his job. Artur fixed every problem, made a few things I thought were not possible happen, and he was just really, really great. Between Sergey and Artur, they were able to realize the vision I had of my house. We were not significantly over budget. I do wish that Sergey had a better system for reimbursement of receipts. For example, Sergey bought things like trim, siding, and extra plumbing parts that I was to reimburse him for. Though I asked him for receipts multiple times, Sergey would show me pictures of receipts on his phone piecemeal and each receipt contained other purchases of rough materials that he was to be responsible for. Just confusing and difficult to do an accurate accounting. I just ended up paying him what he told me was the amount for all the reimburseable purchases without really seeing the receipts. Do I feel like Sergey fluffed the receipts? No, but I still would have liked a clear accounting of them.
Overall, there are little details that were missed like small scratches in the refinished floors possibly made by ladders or tools, areas where paint wasn't retouched, socket plates that were installed sort of loose etc. BUT I am being picky and I can live with those little things. This next bit is the important part. Sergey has continuously made trips here and had workers come fix little things even after this project is technically done. This is a huge bonus and shows a sense of responsibility toward the project and pride in his quality of work that is certainly appreciated.
This is where my biggest gripes lie. This was a 4-month project and we took 5 months to complete. Everyone expects delays in construction and I did too. But, it's the way in which the delays happened that frustrates and still irritates me. Work here was about 85% done by the end of month 4. We scheduled movers at the end of month 5 because Sergey promised that everything would be 100% finished in the extra month's worth of time. 10% of the remaining work was dragged out for the next three weeks. I let Sergey know again and again that movers were already scheduled for a certain Friday and that everything had to be finished before then. Sergey said ok and since the only work left to be done was installing all lights, light switches and socket plates, I felt relatively good about everything.
The entire week before move-in day, no work happened. Sergey told me all of his workers were coming Friday to do the remaining work. I could not believe this. Friday was move-in day and I had told him I needed time for cleaners to come since everything was very dusty from the construction. There is no other way to summarize the end of the project other than to call it a complete and unmitigated disaster.
Sergey had 4 people working while we had movers moving things in and since Sergey had told me cleaners could come that Friday, we had cleaners there at the same time. Things still were not finished and instead of being able to use that Friday night and Saturday to unpack, work was still ongoing so we had to cram all unpacking into that one Sunday. Also, since Sergey had said the house would be ready for cleaners, I hired people to do a move-in clean for $450 which ended up being a total waste because workers were still creating messes everywhere. There was no accountability on Sergey's part for this. The amount of stress created because of the blown timeline was huge.
Basically, everything was going great for 95% of the project. There were small hiccups, a little bit of tension and miscommunication here and there, but honestly everything was going pretty well for such a large project. I am still sour about the end of the remodel which Sergey knows and understands. The project just did not have to end this way and it was his job to make sure of that. However, I do have to emphasize that Sergey is continuing to come back and take care of small issues such as installing toilet paper holders, a heating grate that had been lost but turned up, fixing our shower fixture handle so the water could get hotter, etc. It's been almost a month since we moved in and as time passes, I feel less angry about the end of the project mainly because I am really enjoying the space Sergey created for me and because he is still responsive and taking care of leftover project odds and ends.
Will I hire him again? I'm not sure. We have a lot more large-scale work to be done so we will need contractors soon again, but it's hard to say right now. However, it's a strong possibility.