He looked through the shell of the family home, the wall studs exposed, carpets and flooring gone and only the ugly subfloor showing. He cursed under his breath and then again out loud, after all, the contractor wasn’t there to hear it. Four weeks ago he and his crew had finished up the five weeks they spent on the job ripping the house apart and left to work elsewhere. They’d promised to be back after the weekend, but no, a month had passed with no sign of their return. Even when they were working the project, it was piecemeal, two or three guys showing up to work a few hours and then leave, making the demolition drag on and on. As he looked over the ruin of his home, he wondered if it would be months or years before the job was through. At the rate it was going, years seemed to be the most appropriate answer.
Almost everybody has themselves, or a friend with a contractor horror story like what I wrote above, and much, much worse. So as the time drew near for the remodel to adapt my home for handicap access –and some desperately needed modernization, I was apprehensive. Plus that, mine was a Veterans Affairs run project, with the VA pitching in a large share of the cost of the work. With what I’d heard of contractors, coupled with the laconic and glacial pace of VA workings that I’d experienced, I had great trepidation about how smoothly things would go or how timely it would progress.
There was no need for apprehension on my part. In this, the sixth day of the project, a total home remodel, the houses interior had been removed and the work inspected, and the framing for the new walls and round the house decking was in place, and plumbers and electricians were now mingling with the construction crew, rewiring and replumbing the home. With chortling glee I have realized that I will have no horror story to tell of my project. Instead, I have a tale of tremendous efficiency, competence, and accomplishment. The project, originally expected to take six weeks or more will, they believe, be coming in two weeks ahead of schedule.
My contractor is a company out of Marysville, WA. called BCHI –Builder’s Choice Home Improvement and they specialize in projects for veterans. A more dedicated group I have yet to find. They have a great understanding of the VA system, so great, in fact, that their system of generating forms and working within the picayune guidelines and policies of the VA, that the VA may adopt it as a requirement for all contractors working on VA projects for vets. They deserve it. Their work is done with great care and competence, a level of professionalism totally uncommon to the world of contractors. They are anti-stereotype to the greatest degree. They not only take pride in their work, but have a respect and gratitude for veterans that shines clearly in everything they do.
Understand, I’m a customer –and a pretty freaking picky one– giving BCHI the double thumbs up. I was given no discount for speaking up –in fact, they don’t even know about my blog and haven’t solicited my compliments in any way. I’m speaking up because I’m seriously impressed. See, a lot of people talk up supporting troops and vets, and to a huge degree it’s lip service; nice to hear but absent any demonstration. Hardly the case here, these guys really do care and can’t accept a compliment or thanks with turning it around to thank me for the opportunity to contribute to the welfare of veterans.
True, the job is far from done. Another three weeks remains before the expected completion date. But it would take a seriously profound change to make me think they’ll miss the deadline they’ve given themselves and me. If any vets out there in the Northwest need contracting work performed, this is the company to go talk to. I will open my home to anyone who wants to see an example of their work. You’ll see why I’m so impressed and grateful to have had them recommended to me. Of course, it was other vets who, after working with BCHI told me I’d be crazy not to hire them. The company happily let me choose nearby former customers to ask for references on their work. (Something many other contractors would never consider doing.) They were as enthusiastic as I and I began to see immediately why they were so thrilled. The company handles all of the paperwork, leaving the vet needing only to sign off on the prepared paperwork. That made dealing with the VA a walk in the park. Then I got to see their work for myself in real time, and see how great an attitude all of the workers manifested.
Like I said, I’m impressed, and as someone who deals with challenge in a chronic way, that’s a gift of great price.