The Art of Dwelling, Inc.
Deck and Porch
Photos and Videos
Fence and Gate Installation
Micheal at the Art of Dwelling did a great job installing my automatic sliding gate opener. He was easy to work with and reasonably priced. He made sure I was completely satisfied with the project! I would recommend them and I definitely would hire him again!Oct 8, 2019Verified
I wasn’t going to review “The Art of Dwelling” because the owner Michael was very enthusiastic energetic and makes you feel he cares. However that is the reason we decided to write this review even though we didn’t go with Michaels company. (Or he got what he wanted.... keep reading) We are doing a full kitchen remodel (60-100K after everything) and received a few bids before Michael came in the picture. He had a vision of knocking walls down and doing things we didn’t think of and we became on board immediately with his vision. Michael gave an estimate from his idea immediately. Didn’t ask our price range he just said a number and said he deficits make it happen for this number. Michaels quote was a the highest of the three other companies that mirrored his idea... however we went with Michael because were not just going with Michaels vision but also his drive and energy. 1 weeks later my husband met Michael. Now the bid increased 5K. Michael never said why it increased because we didn’t add anything to the scope of work we discussed a week before. This was our mistake not to question even a slight increase immediately. Weeks go by and then his cabinet guy comes out to get measurements. Then another week his crew comes out. Michael tells them what needs to be done when the works starts. Another week goes by and after 5 visits and 2 of them with his crew nothing changed as scope of work or talk of increasing the budget. He finally sends the contract (4 days late than promised). He sent it by email stating sign right away and to let him know when the cabinet guy can come out within the next day or so. However nothing in the email explained why the bid sky rocketed 10K!! We sent an email immediately asking for clarification because nothing was added to the scope of work. His email ended stating they were “trying to get water from a rock” to get us the kitchen we wanted.... what??? As the owner Michael would have fired the sales person giving a bid 15K difference than what was initially quoted for over a month without any work changes. Instead Michael responded to our email 24 hrs later (no call) stating the sub contractors prices came in higher than expected. Ok instead of hiring 5 guys hire 4.... I don’t know hire a different crew... Michael didn’t explain anything because he was ripping us off. Michael mentioned that he had 3 crews itching for work because it’s the slow season. However now they want prime dollar and that prime dollar is an additional 15K?? These are Michaels staff members so not sure how he couldn’t budget this properly. We thought it would have been something with the work as an excuse NOPE sun contractors.... hahah laughable. After 2 days we turned Michael down and didn’t hire him. As the great owner and sales person Michael is he responded with “Hate to hear this but if you change your mind let him know”. No call, no how can we work this out no APOLOGY. We feel Michael was taking advantage of us. A few days before he sent that contract told him I was battling cancer. I was in the middle of Chemo and would be during the duration of the this full kitchen remodel. A few days later we get a 15K increase contract!! We weren’t even worthy of a phone call to discuss this increase... Michael though we would just sign it and not question anything. Maybe he though we were so far along we’d just sign it because of the stress and drainage of my cancer. Maybe he was just trying to take advantage of a combat veteran? Maybe he was trying to take advantage of a gay couple? Maybe he just wanted to increase the contract so much we’d walk away because he didn’t want us as clients? Maybe he isn’t a good business man and needs help on giving estimates after 20 years? Whatever the reason may be I just wish I had an opportunity to read a review like mine to help guide me and give me an outlook Michael. Again when I met Michael he is very nice, energetic and makes it seem like he knows what he is talking about... that is why it’s hard writing this review because a lot of people probably feel the same way but think “but Michael was so nice” and they don’t review him. In fairness Michael did take 4K something off and made it seem like he was giving us such a great deal... he would be almost losing money on this deal he says in the email. It was disgusting and he should never string customers along and jack the bid up 15K and come down 4K and make it seem like your giving me a deal... it’s still 11K over!!! A real owner would NEVER a 100K remodel walk away unless they didn’t want the project for their own prejudices mentioned already.... I’ll let Michael pick one because it was never explained to us. Nate and DaveNov 5, 2019VerifiedThe Art of Dwelling, Inc.'s reply
Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry that your experience with The Art of Dwelling, Inc. left you feeling taken advantage of. I am sorry for any pain this may have caused you. We value each and every customer. We strive to provide superior customer service. Because of this goal, we met with you several times in order to discuss your project, take measurements, have cabinet CAD work completed. All of this was done without a contract, free of charge. We put in significant amount of time and cost to earn your business and trust. This investment of time was necessary to be able to give you an accurate project cost. We want to be honest and transparent with our customers, so we take extra time to get the final project quote accurate. We do not want to say we can do a project for a certain price, start the work for our clients, and then change the price or shortcut the project because it can’t be done for the price sold for. For us to give a refined scope of work with solid pricing to a customer without thoroughly understanding the scope of the project and what the client is trying to accomplish, it would be irresponsible and misleading. In the initial meeting any price discussed is a generic estimate, a broad range. The number that was discussed in our initial meeting based on possibilities was a range of anywhere from $60k-$100k based upon quality and material selection, as well as the extent of the work that was still to be determined. We engaged you over a series of meetings and consultations where the price was never firmed up or put into a contractual agreement, but was in a state of flux. This is the point of all the meetings in order to nail down the specifics of what the customer wants. After much consideration of the specifics of the project, then a proper, official quote is presented and a contract is entered into to begin work. I am sorry that this business process left you feeling unhappy. With your project there was never a contract signed or entered into. With all that was being done and the quality of work that we offer the pricing was beyond fair. In an effort to be fully transparent to you and any potential clients who might be considering working with The Art of Dwelling, I have defined the project and costs below. We did not walk away from your project and we really wanted to work with you on your kitchen remodel. This is why we put in time and effort for a couple of weeks trying to get everything clearly defined and priced. We called to talk on the phone and sent e-mails as well so that we have clear documentation of communication. We also like to talk face-to-face or on the phone so that we build trust and relationship and are not just distant on a computer. The Scope of Work entailed $20k for appliances, close to 90 linear ft of custom solid hardwood cabinets ($15k), 90 ln. ft. of solid surface level 2 countertops ($5k), extensive plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work by licensed trades to reconfigure entire space and add new fixtures and can lights and duct work, over 100 sq. ft. of tile work on the backsplash with floating shelves, newly framed pantry room with custom shelves, over 400 sq. ft. of tile work on flooring, exterior brick work and reframing of windows, adding French doors, saw cutting concrete to re-orient gas lines and vent hood pipe, engineer letters and architectural drawings to install a 24 ft. structural beam, over 4 weeks of labor costs, sheetrock work and reconfiguration of coffered ceilings, all new fireplace façade with close to 180 sq. ft. of cladding, sheetrock work, and removal of cabinets around existing fireplace. Total Project Costs: $ 73,450 If you just look at raw material costs, not counting any labor at all, the extent of this job is well over $50k in materials only (cabinets, cabinet hardware, countertops, appliances, tile, lights, fixtures, drywall, wood for framing, paint, doors, bricks, grout, nails, etc.). The price you were getting, again, was beyond fair.
I had the privilege to work with several members of the Art of Dwelling team and they were all not only professional and good at what they do, but they were nice and polite as well. I thuroughly enjoyed my remodel experience which is not something I expected. I had an unrealistic deadline, but Michael and his team made it happen.Oct 3, 2019The Art of Dwelling, Inc.'s reply
Thank you Lisa. It was a pleasure to work with you and we look forward to working together again in the future
Great experience. From design to build to finish out the team was awesome. Excellent attention to detail.Oct 11, 2019The Art of Dwelling, Inc.'s reply
Thanks for the feedback Rob. We really enjoyed working with you on this project.
Excellent craftsmanship and a team that is clean and respectful! Michael Ponder has the technical knowledge to make it right and the creative mind to make it GORGEOUS. Our Remodel was on time and on budget!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best in the business for certain!Oct 4, 2019The Art of Dwelling, Inc.'s reply
Marjorie, You are a great client that makes what we do every day all the more enjoyable. Thank you for your business and we look forward to working with you on future projects. The Art of Dwelling team
License Type: Building Contractor (Dallas, TX)