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Contractors for finishing basement

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by ssripada, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. jkronay

    jkronay New Member

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    Hello everyone,
    This is J.K. Ronay, owner of Blue Moon Construction. One of our satisfied clients had shot me a note that there were some concerns with our work being posted on the forums and since I call Ashburn home and Broadlands has helped make our company what it is, I felt like I should respond.
    I am not going to respond to individuals, but more the group forum.
    First and foremost, you know that every employee at Blue Moon loves their job and takes our clients projects very seriously. Hence the many awards we do win for our attention to detail and quality of work and customer satisfaction. Yes we have grown tremedously in the past three years, Blue Moon isone of the top ten growing companies in Loudoun County. But quality with the growth must remain top priority.

    For my project managers, yes, I do have a few young Broadlands residents I have hired to run projects and they are learning as they go on some of the managing aspects of the job. This is fairly typical with any company in a growth phase, and those that have posted, know that they can reach me at any time and did throughout their projects so I could step in and help if necessary.

    For staying on schedule, Please keep in mind, our construction schedule is based off of availability of materials or certain lead times. Our labor schedule does not change, In the few cases I see listed here, we cannot control supply of selected materials many times such as backorders or damaged materials arriving on jobs. There are also processes that have to e followed to do the job properly (ie, tile before shower glass being ordered). We do our best, but we have to rely on our vendors just as you would as consumers when you buy items. Our new scheduling system is top notch and there should little to no variance.

    To note on the hiring of subs. The only subs we use are: our Electrician, E.L, Kellogg of Fairfax (25 years in business), Reimsys HVAC (10 years), and Plumbing Wizard (20 years), most GC's sub out major trades for insurance and warranty reasons.

    7-Eleven: Everyone else on our team, from framing, trim and drywall to tile work is in house. And it has been this way for both the cases I see mentioned on this forum. There is not a person that works on a Blue Moon job that has ever been "picked up from 7-eleven". Nor will there ever be. I have had my team for 8 years in place except for new managers, who are learning to work with the team and working to implement my work process I built Blue Moon on.

    As far as one of the comments, it is clearly unfair to "become uncomfortable" with us, when you expect a $60,000 basement for $40,000. We price our jobs out with detailed line items showing every cost, we are very straight fwd and honest from the start on our bids. I cannot do projects for free, we simply price what a client wants, materials, labor and profit. Our clients get a project with great value, certainly not cheap.

    We also work with many Designers and Decorators in the Ashburn area, that love using us to complete their work.

    Sorry to be so long winded and yes there are aspects of the jobs that Blue Moon can improve on and I have not seen a contractor perfect anything to this date. We work continuously to improve our systems and 99% of our clients seem thrilled with our process and quality of work hence our referral rate of over 80% (typical would be 50%). Of course I am biased when I see people unhappy and assume we can never do anything wrong, but that is not the case in our line of work. We want all of our clients happy and I accept any and all criticism as long as it is fair. So thank you for posting your opinions.

    My door is always open, for anyone that would like to discuss past work concerns that need attention or future work, my phone is always on, as much as my wife hates it...
    My Direct line is : 703-774-8171

    Have a great Holiday Season from all of us at Blue Moon.
    J.K.
     
  2. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for responding JK - my personal opinion is that it helps show that you take this kind of feedback seriously. These are public forums and available for all to read - including the owners of the companies frequently mentioned. We (homeowners) really rely upon each other here for advice and shared experiences. And I do hope that others reach out to you with concerns.

    The one thing that concerns me the most is your approach of using a few young Project Managers. If there is one thing that I would not want, is for the Project Manger to "learn" with my basement. I hope that is not a common practice and I will be paying close attention to this when hiring my contractor to finish my basement. I do not agree with that approach as a customer..... for what its worth.

    Thanks again for taking the time to share your feedback.
     
  3. jkronay

    jkronay New Member

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    I try to keep up with any posts on our company for this helps a good company grow stronger.

    Let me touch on one thing that seems to be misunderstood. When I put a young project manager on a job, they are certainly well educated in construction practices and know how to run a job. They simply are new with me and yes, since they are what I consider young, need more attention from myself or our older project managers to mold into a great project manager.

    I would never leave a project manager to run a job by themselves until ready. I get plenty of calls from even my experienced project managers with a need for help or answers to questions unknown.

    My team of project managers has been taught it is better to ask for confirmation twice instead of installing something wrong and I think this can come across as unknowledgabe, when in case, it is simply being thorough.

    Again, just clarifying so no one thinks they are getting a greenhorn running their project alone.
     
  4. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.... that was the impression I was getting. Someone who is working as the Project Manager, in my mind, should be one of the most experienced members of the Team....assuming that their responsibilities include oversight of work being performed.
     
  5. HoosierGirl

    HoosierGirl New Member

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    We very recently hired Blue Moon to build a closet organizer in our master bedroom closet. We are extremely happy with their work. We asked them to complete the job by Thanksgiving and other than a few touch ups, the work was completed on time. We now have beautiful solid cherry custom built ins including, drawers, shelves, tie racks, belt racks, jewelry drawers, hampers, built in ironing board, shoe racks and cubbies. We were very pleased with all of their subs, especially John who built the system and even hired their painters to paint a spare bedroom and do some other repairs we needed. We have hired multiple contractors for other projects and have become familiar with delays due to weather, supplies, materials, subs, etc. and expected delays, but other than a day delay for the painters who got stuck on another job longer than expected, there weren't any delays and they still completed it the day before Thanksgiving. Our supervisor was a Loudoun County resident who has lived here for almost 20 years, the carpenter was an older english speaking gentlemen from Winchester who has been building built ins for many years and the painters were hispanic, but there was always one who understood english or their supervisor was an easy phone call away to assist us. I know our project was a small one, but the work they've done which can be seen on their website is gorgeous and I see they've won awards for their work and their staff was pleasant to work with and we couldn't be happier! Sorry to hear that some aren't happy with them, but we have been recommending them to others and will continue to do so.
     
  6. redon1

    redon1 aka Aphioni

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    since you called me out directly j.k. I will only respond by saying price was not the issue. we chalk it up as not bring a fit on communication style, anything further on a public forum would be argumentative and unprofessional.

    we know blue moon does beautiful work, we've seen it, and wouldn't have even considered them as an option to do our basement. clearly they are a fit for some, and not others, like every business on the planet. :)

    that's why you get bids from multiple sources on a job as big as a basement, and you choose your best fit. this company will be in your house and in your life for months...


     
  7. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    I'm always skeptical of people who join just to praise or complain about a company. Just sayin'...
     
  8. Genco

    Genco Member

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    It's also funny that one of the testimonials on Blue Moon's website is from a relative of somebody who works for JK as their "office manager" T. McGinn is the name on the website and M. McGinn is the office manager. I personally can say that it was a mistake to hire this firm and I'm willing to admit that mistake.
     
  9. hometheaterguy

    hometheaterguy New Member

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    I've worked on a few projects recently for Innovative Construction Management out of Leesburg, both projects were here in Ashburn and turned out looking great.

    www.icm-va.com
     
  10. jblnd

    jblnd New Member

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    Just wanted to bump this thread. Any new contractors out there? Has anyone had a good experience with Blue Moon lately?
     
  11. chris67

    chris67 New Member

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    General Contractors SHOULD Sub out all professional licensed work I.E (Electrical-Plumbing-HVAC) Because they are not licensed or insured to do that type of work. They are not licensed because they don't have the time in that trade and do not have the aptitude to pass the State wide test for those professional trades. (FYI- to all Home Owners-Don't let these General Contractos and Handyman Buffalo you that they are licensed and Insured to do Electrical-Plumbing or HVAC) They are braking State law and can be prosecuted! Most General Contractors in this are violating the law! And this why home owners are being ripped off and getting sub-par work! (Any home owner could get a General Contractor or Handymans license in about a week!) What does that tell you?
     
  12. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    chris - are you speaking from experience? It would be helpful to know as a homeowner if this is just an opinion based upon experience or are you more specifically attached to the industry and have expertise in this area?

    I think all of us would agree that as a homeowner it is best to work with a Licensed contractor. But what are some correct steps to take to ensure up front that this is the case with all General or sub contractors that come into your house?
     
  13. chris67

    chris67 New Member

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    Dave: Quick note to all home owners. You can checkout any contractor to see just what they are licensed to do. Go to Dept of Professional and Occupational Regulation -license look up. http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/LicenseLookup/ Again I want to stress, do not let these General Contractors or Handyman do any kind of skilled trades work such as Electrical,Plumbing or HVAC. They are not qualified to do this type of work or they would have a State license to do so. And don't let them buffalo you into pulling a home owner permit. Buyer beware!
     
  14. Rhaegar

    Rhaegar Member

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