My wife and I had interviewed several design-build firms and couldn't find one we liked until we met Jeff Tortorea from Lost Pond Construction. After having spent thousands already with a competing firm on a design that we didn't love, and couldn't afford to build, Jeff was willing to help cost effectively modify the architectural work we had in hand so we could more cost effectively develop a set of drawings that his team could use for permitting, architectural review, and construction. Following two months of Architectural review meetings and revisions with the city, we had approval to proceed with construction. We wanted to raise the roof to camouflage the distinct appearance of a split level home. We wanted to centralize all living space to the first floor, and wanted to be able to heat and cool the home?s zones with energy efficient HVAC equipment, insulation and windows. On the exterior, we re-sided the house, added a three car garage to the first floor, added an enormous screened in composite porch, poured a new cement patio and replaced all windows, gutters, and downspouts. Inside we remodeled three bathrooms, expanded what had been a very cramped kitchen and dining area into a gourmet kitchen and spacious dining area. We transformed a first floor in-law suite to our Master Suite complete with stone fireplace, and luxurious en suite Master Bath. We raised the roof to create a soaring 14 foot open span Great Room with a massive stone fireplace and hand hewn post and beam truss style beams. In the course of opening all the walls to complete the renovation, Jeff's crews found many surprises that needed to be addressed. Each time they found something new, Ric (the project superintendent) would contact me about what they discovered, and how they proposed to remedy it. They encountered issues related to structure, electrical, plumbing, septic and foundation during the course of the six month renovation. Each time they did, we were made aware of the issue and given pricing and timeframe to correct. As the project supervisor, Ric was on the job site every day, making sure things ran smoothly and he was available to answer any questions we had. In addition, his work ethic and quality control of the job were second to none. We knew Ric treated our house like he was building his own home. He managed the flow of work through his in-house employees and an army of trade professionals who partner with Lost Pond Construction on larger builds like this one. Despite delays from suppliers, and juggling schedules with tradesmen, the project was moved ahead at an acceptable tempo. On occasions when there were delays, they were caused by municipal slowdowns as happened during our two months of architectural review and permitting, weather related issues as happened when we relocated the septic tanks and had so much rain we couldn't backfill the void left by the tanks that got removed, or the schedule conflicts created when trade subcontractors like the mason who tried to squeeze more into a day than was realistic. Overall, the delays added about six weeks to the initial completion date, which was acceptable to us when we considered all the additional work that had to be done to address the surprises they found. On a large project like this, it is critical to have trust and faith in the people you hire to do the work. They are going to be in your lives for upwards of half a year or more, so it is important to have a healthy working relationship with your contractor and the on-site project manager. Jeff and Ric were terrific to deal with. Their designer Barb brought a wealth of advice and much appreciated guidance as we chose cabinetry (species, stain, glaze, and layout) as well as flooring, wall color, and much needed assistance with coordination of siding, roofing, soffit, fascia, and door selection. Though there were budget and time over-runs during this project, I always felt like Jeff and Ric were giving me honest information, and that at all times, they were advocating for my family and me at each stage of the project. And in the end, we didn't get a house, we got a home. My wife and I are thrilled with the finished product. It took the collective efforts of a lot of people working some long hard days to bring about this transformation. We are grateful to the people of Lost Pond Construction for making our house the dream home we had envisioned for so many years. We highly recommend them to anyone looking for help with any kind of home improvement project.