Barbara P. (Chicago, IL)

Using resources from Angie’s list, I contacted three masonry firms for bids. A “freelance mason” had recently knocked on our door and pointed out that the tops of both our chimneys were crumbling and explained what kind of damage might be expected to the contiguous parts of the house if it continued to deteriorate. We knew about the deterioration – but not how seriously it was affecting our home. The three companies came out and inspected the chimneys. Two of the companies seemed to do thorough inspections, going up on the roof, examining the interior of the three fireplaces venting through the chimneys. One company did only an external inspection and said that was all they needed to do in order to determine the extent of the work needed. Roman, from Coast to Coast, took the time to explain why he was inspecting each area, what he was looking for, why remediation was/ was not indicated for that area, why he would choose remediation a versus remediation b, materials that were options, laid out the pros and cons of different choices, gave a time frame of start to finish days necessary to complete the job, explained why he advised against doing the masonry repair during the cold weather, invited my questions and completely answered my questions.  He also explained that once he offered a bid, that price would remain through the spring (which is when he suggested was the most appropriate time to initiate this type of job) and would not require a deposit to “hold” it.  From start to finish, Roman was professional, extremely knowledgeable about what was needed, low key in his presentation and friendly in his demeanor.  The other company that also did a thorough inspection also explained their process.  However, they recommended that even more work be done and were less accommodating with answers when questioned.  I had done my “homework” re chimney repairs prior to contacting any of the companies and had a fairly comprehensive idea of what might be necessary.  Roman was the only contractor who willingly gave me an understandable rationale. Factoring out the additional work suggested by the second company, the bids varied from high to low. Coast to Coast was in the middle. Actually, I think I had really made up my mind even before the bids all came in.  I had read the reviews about Coast to Coast prior to contacting them and liked what they ALL reported.  Of the contractors I met with, Roman was definitely the most professional and knowledgeable. I also liked the fact that he has his own crew and doesn’t use subcontractors. Once we decided on a start date, Roman gave us the name of the foreman who would be in charge of the actual work and crew but also let us know we were free to call him at any time if we had additional questions or concerns. The crew arrived on the contracted day in April, worked the entire day, and cleaned up everything before leaving. They did this for every day they were here. Although some of the work required the foreman, Stanley, to be in the house, I hardly knew he was here because he – and his crew worked so quietly. Every member of the team was a gentleman and a pleasure to have working on the project. Stanley explained- every morning- what work would be accomplished that day. At the end of the day, he told me what work had been completed. He kept me informed every step of the process and always inquired if I had any questions. I never had questions because he was so informative! He also expressed obvious pride in the quality of work performed by his team. Prior to accepting the final payment, Roman wished to know if we were satisfied with the overall job done. Absolutely yes! Roman and his Coast to Coast team are heads above any other company I have used for a major project – and I have had some wonderful companies here. I give them an A+++ from my first phone call to my final payment!  They did everything and more and I feel we received more than our money’s worth. They are not just a masonry company, they are true craftsmen. Thank you Coast to Coast.

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