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Matt M., Newtown Square, PA—Finished Basement
Short version of the review – If you are looking at any sort of major/minor home project you should absolutely talk to Meridian. They are organized and very thoughtful, but above all else, they seem to genuinely take pride in their work.
We interviewed a number of contractors for what was going to be a significant renovation to our existing home – finishing an approximately 1,600sqft basement. From the start Meridian was different. Initially, I was skeptical of their approach in that they don’t come out, spend 15 minutes at your place and then provide a free rough estimate of services. Their approach is much more thoughtful, however, they also expect to be paid for the initial estimate phase. They will come out to your house, do a thorough inspection/discussion of what you want done, what types of finishes you want etc and come back with detailed plans and budget – the catch is you have to pay for this before you really know what the finished product looks like and what the total cost will be. As I said, I was initially skeptical of this approach, because it is very different from most other contractors. However, after meeting with, and talking to, Larry, I got over my skepticism and could not be more pleased with not only the finished product but the process in-between as well. Different is clearly better in this case.
Everything Meridian did and all of the contractors/employees they used were professional, courteous and talented. Larry came to our house (a fair distance away from their offices) numerous times during the design phase to walk us through drawings/3D renderings etc in order to make sure we were getting exactly what we wanted. He was always willing to work around our schedule (we have 2 young kids) to make sure we were comfortable with the finished product.
Whenever we went to a vendor to pick out materials the vendor always had a detailed description of what we needed well in advance. Also worth mentioning, every vendor I spoke with praised Meridian for being so organized and easy to work with. This is likely due to another Meridian employee – Martha – who stays behind the scenes organizing all of the vendor materials and deliveries. Meridian makes the whole process as easy as can be for homeowners.
During the build phase Larry had weekly meetings at our place to walk through what was going on the current week as well as the plan for next week and to work around any scheduling issues we might have. If we had any questions or noticed any issues with the construction, Larry and his team took care of it immediately (note: we did not have any major issues during construction). There were no surprises around the cost of the project either, since part of the design process includes a very detailed budget and payment schedule. In fact, Larry actually talked us out of some things because he thought that the cost outweighed the benefit. Even though he would have made more money on the job he put us, the clients, first. Every contractor should work this way, not every contractor does.
As far as build quality, after living in our finished basement for about 2 weeks we have had found a few incredibly minor issues (a loose closet door pull being the worst thing). Even though the project is technically “done” Larry and his team are just as responsive now as they were during the actual construction – they are coming out next week to basically walk through our very minor list of issues to fix them. This is part of their approach – they did not walk us through the finished basement and give us 30 minutes to find anything wrong before cashing the last check and disappearing. Larry’s specific advice was: “as you live in it over the next several weeks, if you see things you don’t like or if you think something is wrong let me know, we’ll fix it.”
Major construction/renovation of any sort can be extremely stressful, as a homeowner the best thing you can do to manage that stress is to hire someone who cares as much about your home as you do. We have done several projects at several different homes over the years and I can easily say that Meridian is by far the best company we have ever worked with. They are organized and very thoughtful, but above all else, they seem to genuinely take pride in their work. I have no reservation about recommending them to anyone thinking about a major/minor home project and have already given their name to several neighbors and co-workers.
Thank you again to Larry, Mick, Martha, Austin, Matt and the rest of the Meridian crew for all of their hard work.
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