We feel incredibly lucky to have had Ron for our project. I called about a dozen contractors, interviewed four, and eventually chose Ron Admony. He seemed the most amenable to my doing the finish carpentry. We agreed the contractors would handle structural, electrical, and plumbing, and I would do cabinets, trim, and everything else myself.
- Ron's diligence, professionalism
- speed of work
- new-construction windows
- shower pan
- interior paint
- "workers" not "craftspeople"
- fast but not careful
- complicated tile installation
- door and trim paint
Treeium's workers are amazingly fast but not particularly careful. The approach seems to be "let them go for it and we'll fix it if it's wrong". This was sometimes stressful (especially when work was sloppy or wasteful) but Ron was quick to remind us they'll redo everything until we're happy. Considering how slowly I worked compared to the contractors (I did the countertops and cabinets and slowed the whole project down), I came away with a new respect for fast work, and appreciative to have them on the project. I have to remind Hiro of this sometimes when she's frustrated by something the contractors missed, but it's not possible to do this kind of renovation the way I'm doing the cabinets.
Both Ron and I made a number of mistakes. Here's how Ron dealt with them.
- faucets installed crooked (contractor error - Ron noticed and had it fixed promptly)
- leak in kitchen sink trap (contractor error - first and second fixes didn't work, but Ron made sure they kept trying and the third fix worked.)
- shower controls installation location (contractor error - Ron fixed it)
We have a special showerhead on order (Nebia) that requires a large gap between the controls and the water outlet. The plumbing installers didn't follow my measurements on the drawing exactly, so we had to move the showerhead outlet. This was a hassle but Ron wasn't at all disappointed. As for the mistake itself, I'm sympathetic that the contractors didn't understand why there should be such a wide gap, and I could have been more helpful by making the measurements more clear.
- fancy showerhead damaged by contractor (contractor error - Nebia will fix it)
Struggling with the installation of the Nebia showerhead, the contractor tried to take the showerhead apart. The problem wasn't in the showerhead and he wound up damaging the showerhead housing. Ron apologized profusely and will pay for any replacement costs, but Nebia says they'll send me replacement parts for free (though they haven't done that yet). Next time I would have a dedicated plumber install the Nebia (rather than Treeium).
- less-than-perfect drainage with new gutters (contractor error - I've forgiven it)
In heavy rain, water drips down the wall near our front door due because the diverter above our entry doesn't work perfectly. It's a minor thing and Ron didn't think the contractor would be able to fix it. If it ever bothers me sufficiently, I'll tackle it myself with some caulk and a hose.
- tile pattern change location (my error - Ron saved me)
Ron and I met with the tile installer to talk through the bathroom and specified the line on the wall where the tile would change patterns. We mistakenly placed the line outside the shower step by an inch, a position where it wouldn't be possible to cover the seam with the shower glass. This was entirely my mistake but Ron cleverly realized we could widen the shower step a bit and scoot the shower glass out to cover the seam.
- uneven tile around niches (contractor error - I've forgiven it)
Christian did a good job on the floor and wall tiles but struggled with the complicated "mural" pattern around the shampoo niches. Cutting the tiny pieces one by one and fitting them around the cutouts proved "very difficult", and the result is not as clean looking as the other areas. His suggestion to use white tiles on the walls of the niches (instead of the complicated mural) wound up looking a little less refined than we wanted. I'm okay with imperfection.
- insufficient tile order (my error? - Ron coped well)
I was responsible for providing tile for the project and underestimated the amount needed for the project. I sent my estimations to Ron to check in advance (because there was a three-month lead time on the custome tile) but I don't think he took the time required (a whole hour on site, probably) to truly check my numbers. Only a dedicated tile company could probably actually do that. Ron was completely understanding and jumped back to work as soon as I had the tile.
- exterior landing (my error - Ron saved me)
We changed the swing of the exterior back door and I didn't realize it meant the steps would be on the wrong side of the landing. Ron made quick work of simply adding steps on the other side of the landing as well.
- toilet height (contractor error - I've forgiven it, for now)
The wall-mount toilet is set at about 22.5" (at least 4" higher than standard). My feet don't touch the floor and Hiro looks like a little kid. Unfortunately, with the wall fully tiled and all the plumbing connections, it's a hard thing to change. So I'm going to try making a small box we can stand on. If that doesn't work, I'm confident Ron will return to fix it in the future. We'll live with it for now and see how it goes. I'm confident if I can't stand it that Ron would help me in the future.
- mistakenly painted door (contractor error - Treeium reimbursed cost of door)
We ordered a custom poplar interior door we intended to stain but came home one day to discover it had been painted white. Ron credited us the full cost of the door and we'll decide whether we want to fix, paint, or replace it later.
If you're considering Treeium and Ron Admony for your next project, feel free to contact me with specific questions.