I'm thinking of renting one of those vans with the speakers on it and going around my neighborhood spreading the word about Weilers Kitchens. I think that they're so good, people should destroy their kitchens just to have them redo them. They put on their website that they are most interested in their customers being satisfied. That's something a lot of businesses say, but every single person on their staff really means it.
We had seven or eight people working for us and every single one cared that we were happy and satisfied more than anything else. They respond to your questions and concerns within the day. Sometimes they even call you when you haven't called them just to check and see how everything's going. When something happens, they listen to what your feedback is and try to come up with a solution that fits your own goals for the project. They really listen to what you're saying and don't have a preset solution.
Pete and Jen were the people who worked with us on the design element at the beginning. They were super. Jen is so good; she actually won a couple of awards for kitchen and bath designs. She did a showroom design and when I walked in and saw it I said, "That's what I want. I don't have to figure out what I want." I actually stole her stuff--she said I could. We used her thing to get going and come with our own answer for the kitchen. There are a few differences.
When Pete sat down with us, he came three different times and stayed for two or three hours. We were really ambivalent at first because we have another property in Maine that's only half done and we're trying to save money to finish it so we can get more use out of it. This was a big expenditure and we had an idea in our heads of a limit to what we would spend. Basically, we wanted to get it done as cheaply as possible so we could have money for our Maine house.
We didn't know what to expect. Pete answered so many of our questions. He is so knowledgeable. I can't even really explain it. He's not just knowledgeable in his field; he's knowledgeable about everything. When he explains things to you he will explain the whole rationale to it in a genuine, upfront way. We felt like we were getting straightforward feedback and not a big sell. He took so much time with us. By time he left we said to each other, "We have to sign up with Weilers. It doesn't make any sense not to."
He didn't come in and tell us we needed to do a million dollar kitchen. He had really excellent ideas about how to save money, but also about why investing some amount of money is really warranted in terms of long term investment game. When we wrote our evaluations both my husband and I tried to stress that we don't regret a single penny we spent. We think they were absolutely fair in their price. You get so much more for your money with Weilers than with any other place that's providing a service. We're in our early sixties and we've been homeowners for a long time and have had to work with a lot of different service people. Weilers is the best we've ever had on every level. We were really impressed with them.
They do quality work. All of their employees who worked on the project were top in their field: the plumber, the electrician, the tile guy, the woodworking guy. The woodworking guy had so much attention to detail. Every little thing was done so well. That's partly why it makes sense to hire people like this. You just don't know as much. They have specialists in each area with quite a few years of experience who know a lot. All of that knowledge put into their work ends up as quality: quality cabinet installation, quality electrical work, quality tiling. We might have muddled through it on our own, but it wouldn't have been quality, quality, quality everywhere you look.
The biggest thing is that it's a long term investment. It pays out over and over and over. They change the whole feel of the room they're working on. In our case they changed something that was really hideous into something that's really magnificent. Every day I go in there now I get the benefit of that. The emotional reward of living in a nicer environment is significant. It's more conducive to your well being. The design Jen and Pete worked on opens up the space so it's brighter. They also used every available space for storage--it was a small kitchen--without giving up openness.
I ended up with a much more practical kitchen. Before it was so impractical in terms of storage and shelving space. I was the queen of the frozen dinner. I never spent time in my kitchen; I hated it. Now it's my favorite room to be in. It's changed so dramatically. That's something I'm going to live with as long as I have that kitchen. And because it's such high quality, that's going to be a long time. Eventually we want to resell this house and move to Maine. They say bathrooms and kitchens are the biggest things you get back money-wise when reselling. I think you're supposed to get back up to 59% of what you invest in them. I swear they did such a good job that I think we'll get back 150%.
I sent my older sister before and after photos and she wrote back not only that she loved it, it's gorgeous, and we have really good taste (I told her it's Jen and Pete who have good taste), but that she knows our kitchen will be why we sell our house. That was her biggest comment and it's true. It's a beautiful kitchen and everybody who has seen it is staggered by it. It feels just right for the rest of the house. They kept the feel of the house and translated it to the kitchen, but made it the best it could be. They created a magnificent kitchen in a small space where you wouldn't expect a magnificent kitchen. That will be a huge draw when we sell the house.
The other thing is that they are really fun to work with. Most people think it's not fun to do a renovation because it's a big disruption to your life and you have to move everything around. I actually am a person who's not great with change. I don't like having my routine mixed up. This wasn't bad at all; it was just fun. I was sorry to see them going. We are actually thinking about how we can come up with some way to get them up to Maine to do our Maine house.
They really make it as unobtrusive as possible. All of the employees on their team are thoughtful, considerate, and polite. They only went through the back, not through the entire house, and they cleaned up after every time they left. Every time they were here they let us know at the beginning what will be happening that day and at the end of the day what will be happening the next day. If there are any changes in who's showing up or what time they'll be starting, they call you. They call you when they say they are going to call you. That's unheard of with service people.
They're quiet, neat, and nice. They're really nice people. You can tell that Pete has a desire to create a company that's really different and special in how concerned and nice everybody is. You get the sense that everybody who works with them is a decent, nice human being in addition to being a quality, skilled craftsman. That makes a huge difference. They're just nice to have around. It's unusual to have a company where all of the employees are that way. Pete really cares about the kind of employee he hires. He's trying to create an atmosphere where his company is special and unique. I felt like they had sort of become my friends and I missed them when the work was done.
Jane is the other huge reason why it makes sense to hire Weilers. When you do a project like this, tons of what's involved is coordination and organization. The cabinet guy has to come at the right time in conjunction with the plumber and the electrician. They have to do everything in a certain order and parts have to be ordered within a certain schedule. A lot of the reason projects get delayed is because there's no one who knows what they're doing with the schedule.
Jane is the best ever at that. Everything is perfectly coordinated. If you're doing it yourself, hiring several different contractors, you're doing that all by yourself. It's very stressful. There are ten million little details that have to get coordinated. Jane is an expert at that, so the whole stress of it isn't even involved for you. You hand the burden over to her. It makes a huge difference. I've heard so many people talk about the awful stress they lived through doing a kitchen renovation. We didn't worry about a thing. We knew everything would be taken care of.
There was one little thing where a shipment came in with one less handle than we needed. Two hours later and we had that handle. I don't think I would have been able to do that. Jane knew what to do. She also handles the contracts. She's a really detailed person and really organized. We had a perfect understanding of what was going to happen all the way along. She keeps all the guys on the right schedule and makes sure everyone's going to show up at the right time.
Rick was our project manager and made sure every day to tell us what was happening and for the next day who would be here. He's just a great project manager and held the whole thing together. He did a lot of the work in the beginning especially. He also comes back at the end to make sure everything is fine and the way it should be. He was the best project manager I've ever seen and we've worked with a lot of different ones through various jobs.
They finished the project earlier than they were supposed to. They finished the whole job in less than three weeks, including the tearing down of our old kitchen. And it was a big job! It's amazing for the size and scope of the project. It was just planned and coordinated so well. They keep things moving. They don't sit around and take three hour lunches. I almost wish they would have taken more breaks because they were working so hard. The project gets done really fast.
All of their employees should be named because they are all so great. They're all the best at what they do. With each person, I've never seen anybody better at doing that job. If you have been considering redoing your kitchen or bathroom and have been putting it off, do it. Anybody who has an inkling in the direction of any kind of home project should call them and do it. There's no way they won't be ecstatic with the result. It really is unusual. In this day and age you don't necessarily find people who care so much about what they do and about both doing it well and excelling and also keeping the customer satisfied. I think the degree of excellence you get from Weilers is very rare, so I really do want to tell people that these guys are very special and that you won't have the opportunity to have a team as great as them ever again. It doesn't come around that often. Get them now. You don't want to wait until Weilers isn't around anymore.
They give you a gift bag at end with little things related to your kitchen or bathroom all wrapped up. It's such a nice gesture. They sort of become your family for time when they're working. Then it's all over and they're leaving. The gift bag is kind of like saying, "Don't worry; we haven't forgotten you. Here's some stuff to let you know we're still with you." Potholders and this and that--it's not the objects so much as the thought. It's a nice way to end the relationship.
It's on my agenda this week to call them about coming in and doing our bathroom. Now for any big project I don't even have to think about what to do; I just call Weilers. It can be five years later and something's gone wrong and you can call them and they won't pretend like they don't know who you are. They're still there for you. That's the sense I get from them: they're there for us. That client relationship is something meaningful to them. It's not something where once they get the check it's, "Goodbye, I don't know you anymore." The relationship is more important than money to them. Yes, they need to get paid because they need to make a living, but they're not trying to get every cent they can. You get this huge sense from them that you matter most.
Hilary and Charlie Evans