How does one find a good builder?

by Mike Hagye and Joyce Davis, home ownersTo Whom It May Concern:

We wanted to put into writing our immense satisfaction with Solluna Builders and everyone associated with them.

Before we set out building, Mike had read a USA Today article from April 13, 1999, which discussed the numerous risks and problems associated with home renovation. The remodeling industry, even more than the standard home builder profession, has more unreliable scam artists and shoddy hucksters. Moreover, the greatest complaint was the horrible situation of overcharges or "new" charges (or more appropriately, jacking up the profit) due to builder incompetence or dishonesty (usually both). Stories of half-finished projects, shoddy work, contractors placing liens on properties, etc. were numerous. And "low-balling" preliminary estimates to snag an owner's contract, then start mounting up charges and costs, is a common occurrence. Armed with that bit of "good news", we approached remodeling with little enthusiasm.

We had built our original house with a custom builder, and were fortunate to have a good one. But that industry has been more regulated in comparison to remodelers. How does one find a good builder in this jungle of risk and potential monetary loss?

We found Wayne and his crew at Solluna Builders on the Internet. We didn't know anything about them, but were pleasantly impressed by Wayne' s good nature and up front, straightforward way of describing our potential profit. In time, we were able to hammer out a rough project outline. This is when we got to meet other members of his company. We were constantly impressed with every Solluna employee, no exceptions; none.

Eventually, after the usual bank/financing trials and tribulations, we were ready to talk money. And this was the best part. We could not believe that Wayne was giving us estimates that he virtually assured us, barring any unforeseen catastrophe, would be the final project price! Wayne even went beyond most builders to break down by detail the cost of each phase, down to the specific task! This was very unusual and actually began to make us enthusiastic about this project!

To sum up the ensuing three months, we cannot be more emphatic that Solluna Builders is absolutely the best housing company of any kind we have experienced. They always explained to us what was being done, why, and how long. And still the costs remained faithful to the estimate. Any miscommunication or mistake in construction was immediately cleared up. As we now sit in our new addition, looking at the quality of work, we cannot believe such a company exists in today's gimme-the-money-and-shut-up world! We also have to hand out a special commendation to Solluna's work crew. These guys are all very nice, personable, and responsible. Mike especially enjoyed getting to know and kid around with them. They weren't just emotionless faces, but people who cared about satisfying the owners at every turn. We were also impressed with their range of skills -painting, framing, excavation, drywall- they do it all! This was an unexpected bonus. And, as I said: the final costs are true to the estimates!

It is our belief that, since Solluna performed so exceptionally well for us in the far riskier world of remodeling, they also do a stellar job in the more regulated new home building area. Whether new home, new addition, or remodeling, we cannot strongly and sincerely enough recommend the good and quality people who work for Solluna Builders. Feel free to take a look at our addition from start to finish, in pictures, at our Web site - Wayne can give it to you.

Wayne and crew, best of luck on future projects!


Mike Hagye and Joyce Davis Completely Satisfied Owners