Behind the Before and After | The Contractor Decision

Updated: May 27

For someone who researches and thinks a lot about major decisions, I did not really overthink the contractor decision - in the end. But for months it was taking up major brain space; I was constantly asking myself “How was I ever going to find a contractor?” “How am I not going to get screwed?” You hear ALL the horror stories - people who take deposits and never show up. Guys who start the job and never come back to finish. To me, this was the most petrifying decision we would have to make. But somehow…it just came together.


We had met with Cherie, our kitchen designer from Metropolitan Cabinets, and she was well on her way to a first draft of the design of the new kitchen and dining rooms. So now we needed to start having conversations with contractors to find the best price and fit. An acquaintance in Medford mentioned to me that she worked for a contractor. I sent her a message asking two basic questions: 1- Did they do residential work? And 2- Are they taking new clients? The answer to both was yes - and I was told to go online and fill out an inquiry form.


The company was Fresh Start Contracting out of Burlington, MA.

Above: Cherie from Metropolitan Cabinets and Marlon from Fresh Start, our Dream Team, the worksite (aka our home), and the whole crew at Fresh Start (no, our kitchen doesn't require ALL of them ; )


They got back to us, set up a Zoom consult and it was…easy. Because they do so much work in the area, they knew our house layout and what we were looking to do. Their Google reviews were stellar and they easily provided past customer references when asked. When I spoke to those past clients they couldn’t speak highly enough of their Fresh Start team and their professionalism. Based on some research I had done and developers that I spoke to I knew the quote we got was top dollar. But we decided it was worth paying for peace of mind. I was satisfied; I didn’t shop around - which is SO rare for me. But we just had a gut feeling these guys were the right fit. So we signed the contract…and then it was a 5 month wait for the job to start based on their schedule!


That left me plenty of time to daydream over their portfolio - check it out, it's super-cute and showcases the range of spaces & styles they've done, in homes in our area, from Medford boho kitchen to Harvard Square historic . . . and their Facebook page has lots of great project photos too.


And they've been so careful about every little thing - they even honored our request to set the dumpster on the lawn, rather than our new driveway, so that they wouldn't damage my beloved pavers. The lawn? Is a future project.


I'm writing these Behind the Before & After posts about our kitchen renovation because I want to share our process - including any bumps along the way - so that homebuyers and homeowners can get a look at what really happens when you take on a major renovation. Clients ask me all the time, "Should I renovate?" And my answer is - usually - this, "Renovate for you, now, and how you want to live" so I'm following my own advice and inviting you to follow along.


Read more about our kitchen renovation here! And feel free to comment or contact me with any questions you have!!


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