Choos­ing con­trac­tor job No. 1

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DAVID SQUARE

APROB­LEM that of­ten pre­vents home­own­ers from go­ing for­ward with a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion is find­ing a re­li­able con­trac­tor. “I held off on a ma­jor kitchen reno for 10 years be­fore I felt con­fi­dent that I had found the right man to do the job,” said Ian McTav­ish. McTav­ish said his decision was prompted by a ren­o­va­tion ar­ti­cle in the

sec­tion that de­scribed the virtues of a con­trac­tor who had com­pleted a beau­ti­ful kitchen reno in a Win­nipeg home. “I knew Tyson Hiebert was the man to un­der­take my kitchen reno as soon as I met him in per­son,” said McTav­ish, who had ob­tained two other quotes that were cheaper than Hiebert’s, but the con­trac­tors did not live up to McTav­ish’s stan­dards. “I am aware of too many peo­ple who have been burned by fly-by-night ren­o­va­tion com­pa­nies,” he said. “That’s why I set the bar high when I in­ter­view po­ten­tial con­trac­tors.” McTav­ish said fur­ther meet­ings with Hiebert con­firmed his in­stinct the youth­ful owner of Ham­mer­down Home Ren­o­va­tions was hon­est, re­li­able, con­cerned with cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and crafts­man­ship, as well as aware of his re­spon­si­bil­ity to try to com­plete a job on time and within bud­get. In­deed, since Hiebert launched his business a decade ago, he and his as­so­ciates have re­ceived rave reviews from cus­tomers and col­leagues alike. There are nu­mer­ous tes­ti­mo­ni­als on the Ham­mer­down web­site. Sherry and Marc said, “It’s hard to find peo­ple nowa­days that do what they say they’re go­ing to do. Tyson and his Ham­mer­down crew are those rare peo­ple.” Pearl said, “Tyson’s work is im­pec­ca­ble... He is flex­i­ble, de­pend­able and gets the job done.” The Bant­ing’s said, “Ham­mer­down did a great job on out base­ment ren­o­va­tion. Our project was com­pleted with care and at­ten­tion to de­tail.” “I set out to build a business that peo­ple could trust,” said Hiebert. “I do as much as pos­si­ble to com­bine good ser­vice with fine crafts­man­ship. My clients seem to ap­pre­ci­ate it.” McTav­ish said Hiebert’s team of ren­o­va­tors was cour­te­ous, oblig­ing and cleaned up their mess at the end of each work day. “A mem­ber of his crew al­ways left me a note about what had been ac­com­plished. If I re­quired fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion, Hiebert was al­ways avail­able on the phone or in per­son,” said McTav­ish. Hiebert worked with McTav­ish and his wife, Anna, to cre­ate an el­e­gant kitchen in a 30-year-old Oak­bank house that is nearly dou­ble the size of the orig­i­nal eat­ing area. To start, Hiebert and his crew knocked down a wall that sep­a­rated the kitchen from a for­mal din­ing/liv­ing room. The din­ing room was moved into the liv­ing area, open­ing up suf­fi­cient space for a ma­jor ex­ten­sion of the kitchen. The room was com­pletely gut­ted, in­clud­ing a linoleum floor that was scarred and scratched from years of traf­fic. Anna chose wide-plank red oak T&G floor­ing to re­place the linoleum. The oak was ex­tended into the new din­ing room as well as the fam­ily room, which is a step down from the kitchen. “The old floor in the fam­ily room looked so shabby by com­par­i­son that we de­cided to spend a lit­tle ex­tra and cover it with the wood as well,” said McTav­ish. A hard­wood rail with balus­ters that sep­a­rated the fam­ily room from the kitchen was taken out to im­prove visual and phys­i­cal ac­cess to both ar­eas. A pony wall that par­tially sep­a­rates the two ar­eas was capped with a thick slab of gran­ite with a deep cove mould­ing and a rounded nose to pre­vent peo­ple from snag­ging their clothes on a sharp edge. McTav­ish said the crema persa gran­ite was sup­plied by Cold Spring Gran­ite (Canada) Ltd. of Lac du Bon­net, and it was cho­sen be­cause of the pre­dom­i­nance of daz­zling colours in the fig­ure. “Be­fore the reno, our kitchen was quite drab so we de­cided to brighten it up with light-coloured ma­te­ri­als,” said McTav­ish, adding all the coun­ter­tops, in­clud­ing two is­lands, are cov­ered with crema persa, a lively stone with a swirling fig­ure con­sist­ing of small ar­eas of mocha in­ter­mixed with of­fwhites, tans and creams.

THE cab­i­nets by Kitchen Craft are painter’s white and the white ceil­ing is fes­tooned with a dozen pot lights on dim­mer switches. A large bay win­dow al­lows a gen­er­ous amount of light to en­ter the room. McTav­ish said he bought a solid gran­ite sink at Costco for a very rea­son­able price. A pull-out faucet is from Home De­pot. All the ap­pli­ances, in­clud­ing a gas stove­top McTav­ish loves to cook on, were pur­chased new. A con­vec­tion oven that “we are still try­ing to fig­ure out” is built into a cup­board at one end of the kitchen, a large stain­less steel freezer/fridge unit is fit­ted into an op­po­site wall, and a bev­er­age cooler is tucked un­der a short coun­ter­top. A seven-foot-high cup­board with four doors and a gen­er­ous amount of stor­age space was con­structed in a space for­merly oc­cu­pied by a din­ing room hutch. The walls are painted a light cream with a hint of green un­der­tone, which com­ple­ments a tile back­splash in­laid with long, thin coloured glass pan­els. “The kitchen has be­come our main en­ter­tain­ment area,” said McTav­ish. “Guests sit at the large is­land and talk to me and Anna while we pre­pare din­ner.” Does he feel he got his money’s worth? “Thanks to Tyson Hiebert and his crew, I got more than I ex­pected. I rec­om­mend Ham­mer­down Ren­o­va­tions to any­one who is search­ing for a first-rate con­trac­tor.” Go to ham­mer­ for more in­for­ma­tion and ren­o­va­tion pho­tos.

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