Cathy and I are now in our beautiful custom home built by Ravenwood Homes. It had been 28 years, since we built our last home and did not know what to expect, especially hearing from friends about some not so good experiences with SW Florida residential home builders. We did a fairly extensive search for builders, interviewing a number and doing reference checks, as well as seeking estimates for our plans we had not put on paper.
We selected Ravenwood Homes due the complementary personalities, strong references, and core values of transparency and honesty and have not looked back since our decision.
Our first experience was working with Jon Brija, their designer. He helped us navigate through our myriad of ideas and desires with good solutions and a vigil eye to keep us on budget with what we had plan for our new home. Did everything come out perfect, well close, but it was a custom home. We had heard of the challenges of custom homes vs. the standard cookie cutter model homes, where you have few options to modify and pay a bundle if you want more. Jon's patience, creative designs, and customer service was exemplary, He understood well new homeowners' stress and anxiety in making critical decisions and not over designing something unfordable.
With a very well designed plan in hand, we met with David Wishtischin, owner of Ravenwood. David impressed us with his construction and scientific knowledge, and a focus on delivering a quality home at a reasonable cost with full disclosure of challenges, opportunities, costs and their impact on our budget. He helped guide us to have a firm design prior to a final contract to minimize change orders, which can be very costly. This was not an easy task, as we had designed an all masonry, high energy efficient home with strong security features capable of withstanding hurricanes and other dangerous acts of nature and man. Several of our design features caused David a few more grey hairs in the field, but he always came up with a solution the best way it could be done with quality materials and an affordable price. He brought the project in on the budget, as we had planned. He was honest and open with us for additional owner requests, which I understand is inevitable with new construction. He negotiated fair prices and allowed substantial owner involvement with the building project.
Some of the strongest references with Ravenwood Homes were from many of their subcontractors. Having been responsible and involved in multi-million dollar healthcare construction projects, I learned a builder is only as good as their employees and subcontractors. "Pays me for my work on time" was a repetitive reference I received from the subcontractors I interviewed. Having seen the darker side of the construction industry, particularly residential, I knew how important this aspect of the business was to the quality of a project along with good planning and close supervision.
I was almost shocked by his subcontractors' customer service, and how friendly and responsive they were to Cathy and me, particularly knowing they are being pulled in multiple directions in the new chaos of the latest building boom.
Saving the best for last, not only were we impressed with the subs, but their Office Manager, Patti Biao and field construction coordinator Eddie Marks. They were extremely polite, responsive, and accommodating and reflective of Ravenwood.
In closing, building a new home, especially in today's regulatory, high cost and hectic environment, which can be nerve racking, Cathy and I felt our builder David Wishtischin and his staff and subcontractors & vendors helped us through the challenges in our journey as partners, and truly were committed to delivering the best home they could build for us.
“They knew exactly what we were looking for and
our vacation home came out looking spectacular!”
“They were so efficient on getting the job done. I can’t
imagine that anyone else would have done it better.”
“They changed our lives tremendously, and their customer service is exceptional. Would definitely recommend. “
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