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Friday, July 19, 2013

Microsoft Remodeling Company

I have to share my good fortune in finding a wonderful, quality home remodeling company to help me upgrade my older home.  And first let me assure you that no one at the Microsoft Remodeling Company has paid me in any way to pass on this glowing review of their services.

Our house before the Upgrade.
First, a little background:  My home is about five years old.  I know, I know, you're wondering how in the world I can stand to live in such an outdated house.  But give me a little credit, I was trying to be a good steward of my money, not wanting to completely lose out on my investment in what was supposed to be a top-of-the-line home when I bought it way back then.  Yes, it's true that its incandescent lights, while providing a soft, golden glow that makes my whole family feel warm and fuzzy, are ruining this earth by their very existence and need to be destroyed and replaced with the harsh glare provided by earth-friendly light-emitting mechanical orbs.  And lest you accuse me of dodging my responsibilities as a future grandparent, the sheer number of deadly pitfalls lying in wait to maim and sicken defenseless little children who might run innocently through my house is staggering.  I assure you that these dangers have been rooted out and banished as far as humanely possible.  (And of course, we'll be sure to teach those little blessings that running in a house is a safety no-no.  They'll learn it is much safer to sit and read the latest Consumer Reports warnings than actually run around and have fun.)

Okay, so I was surprised to find that when I advertised for bids to remodel my home, Microsoft Remodeling Company was the lowest bid to come in.  Actually, there were only two bids, and the higher bid, from iAAA Apple Construction, was not only nearly twice the lower bid price, it also came with some rather strange stipulations.  No matter what redesign I wanted, I had to make my doors so short and narrow that none of my friends (and most of my family) would never be allowed to use my house.  The garage door would have been so bizarre that I would have had to buy an entirely new car made exclusively by iAAA Apple Construction's sister company iCar Manufacturing.  They also demanded that I use 170 instead of 110 in my outlets.  (This seemed very strange indeed, and I spoke with my local electric company who assured me that while it would work, and it would have more power, there were no electronic devices that I could ever plug into 170.)  Needless to say, I did not go with the bid from iAAA Apple Construction.

Microsoft Remodeling Company assured me that they could provide everything I would want in my remodel.  They did, however, inform me that they would have to make some slight alterations.  Since they were the only company I could hire, I decided that I would go along with their slight alterations.  I'll admit I was a bit shocked at what they considered slight, but my friends and family assured me that I would eventually get used to the changes, so I allowed them to proceed.

Our house after the Upgrade.
Of course I see why they called the changes slight: they did not change the number of bedrooms, they did not change the layout of the rooms.  And their minor readjustments were really rather interesting, if I am to be honest with you.  When they told me they wanted to relocate the refrigerator from the kitchen to my bathroom, I was struck with the boldness of such a move.  After all, who would have thought of such a thing?  It was certainly ground-breaking.  And when they rerouted all of my water lines, which had originally run inside the walls and floors, to run on the exterior of the ceilings, I admit I had my doubts.  But when they pointed out that not only would repairs be simpler this way, but I would feel a leak as soon as one started, I had to go with the flow, so to speak.  Other changes came fast and furious, so much so that I cannot name them all here.  I will, however, mention one or two more.  It took some getting use to the fact that my driveway, which was on the left side of my house, and connected my garage to the street, now runs along the back of my house, out of sight (which is certainly a better aesthetic choice) and connects my back door to my neighbor's compost heap.  The fact that they completely eliminated my wife's greenhouse to de-clutter the backyard, insisting that she can use an off-site rental storage service for her plants, bothered me a little.  But as I said, I think I'll get used to this over time.

I only have one small complaint about my business dealings with MRC.  Though I have asked them to stop, they often show up at the house, usually in the middle of the night, and make even more minor adjustments to my home.  Last week they moved all of my outlets four inches to the left.  The handle that is used to flush the downstairs commode has been removed, and now the handle on the master bath commode flushes both commodes simultaneously.  Just last weekend, they ordered us all of out the house, insisting that they had to install an upgrade that would require shutting down the entire house for an hour.  The gas was shut off (and this meant all of the pilot-lights had to be extinguished) the electricity was cut off, the phone/Internet/cable line was disconnected, and my two cats and one dog were sedated.  By the time everything was turned back on and we were allowed back in the house, I could not find one thing that had changed in the house save for the fact that my older cat was suddenly more sluggish and drooled like a man in a dentist's chair.  The hair has begun to grow back on his tail so I'm pretty sure that was not one of the updates they worked on.

But really, I can't complain.  My house is now modernized, and continues to be modernized on a weekly basis.  And since they were cheaper than that bunch of crooks at iAAA Apple Construction, I'm completely satisfied.  The changes just take a little getting used to.

One last thing.  I sent a letter to MRC to ask where they moved the pilot light to my water heater.  They responded by saying that while they couldn't answer my question, there is a local community group of customers who get together to discuss topics like this.  They felt quite confident that another customer would be able to help me figure it out.  Now that's what I call service.


  1. By watching bad movies I have learned that you probably can find an eccentric, tattooed loner who can build you just the house you want and with features you've never imagined. You will likely find him in his mother's basement. (N.B. You will not be able to pull permits or schedule inspections for this house.)

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