Please accept this as a letter of personal reference and recommendation for both Northway Construction and Chad Karas, in particular. We initially employed Northway Construction for a relatively small building project and kept them on for two much larger projects over the course of three years.
Our multiple projects were challenging in their complexity and especially by virtue of the fact that we needed to coordinate the planning and construction with Chad from our home in Maryland, over 1,500 miles away. While excited to initiate this long term project, we were hesitant about making such a significant commitment, given that we couldn't "walk the project" as frequently as we would've liked, which meant we needed to work with someone we trusted completely. We were fortunate to find that person in Chad Karas, as he became our "eyes" on a daily basis.
Chad was exceptional in communicating with us, using cell phone and computer technology to communicate and share pictures. He kept us abreast of the challenges and developments that naturally occur with a project and firmly but gently kept the projects on schedule by focusing on decision work streams.
It would've been so much easier to simply "build to specs"…but Chad really understood us and our desired outcomes.
We were very grateful for the many times that Chad would interrupt the project to be sure that it was truly heading in the direction we envisioned. On a number of occasions, Chad would call to say: "I know this is what the plans call for, but I'm not sure that it is what you're really shooting for…" and he would then proceed to offer alternatives. It would've been so much easier to simply "build to specs"…but Chad really understood us and our desired outcomes.
Finally, Chad has continued to follow up on the project, post completion…which is the true measure of a contractor. Chad is fond of saying "no regrets" as his mantra to insure that we, as his clients, get all that we expect…and then some.
It is for all of these reasons that we would certainly employ Northway and Chad Karas again, though given that our property is "built to last 100 years," I don't expect to need them very often.
We enthusiastically recommend Northway and Chad Karas to any and all prospective clients.
Joseph A. and Suzanne E. Sullivan
DIn September 2006 we decided to remodel our lake home in Brainerd and chose Northway Construction to handle the project. Initially, we wanted to tear down an existing garage and replace it with a new double garage and a master bedroom/bath above it. As time went on the project expanded to include enlarging a half bath; re-doing a stairway; removal of a stone/brick barbeque grill in the lower level; replacement of a support beam; a new bathroom on the lower level; re-configuring the furnace/utility room; a kitchen re-do on the main floor; and new doors, baseboard, and moldings.
Even though we lived 150 miles away we always felt very confident that everything was being watched over and handled as we would have ourselves.
We feel a very thorough job was done researching subcontractors so the best one was selected for each task. Northway has the experience with and knowledge of the subcontractors in the area and knows their strengths. The heating/cooling of the new bedroom over the garage presented some unique challenges so three HVAC firms were asked to present their proposals. The selection was made after evaluating all three.
Even though we lived 150 miles away we always felt very confident that everything was being watched over and handled as we would have ourselves. There was excellent communication and we never felt we couldn't call and find out what was happening or ask a question. In many situations, efforts were made beyond our expectations to see that potential problems didn't happen or a better way was found to accomplish an objective. We always found the job site left neat and clean.
Steve, Bob, and Ed were very easy to work with as were all the subcontractors. We are very satisfied with the results: in fact so much so they are now working on Phase 2.
Ginger & Bill Simek
ust wanted to follow up now that our big project is complete. You may recall that when we started it was only going to be a roof replacement project with maybe a little structural work underneath the roofing. When your folks did the infrared testing showing how poor the sidewall insulation was, the project expanded to the exterior siding. Your very thorough inspection and evaluation was very helpful, complete with photos indicating the need for a good deal of siding repair along with the insulation, plus the need for a number of window replacements. Rather than do it in pieces, we decided to do the whole project; roof, siding, insulation and windows, a rather large project.
Your team was great and the project really turned out well. Our whole family remarked on how much warmer and cozier the house felt during the cold, cold Christmas holidays.
We appreciated the fact that project cost was kept at the estimate you had given, even though there were a number of unknowns inside the walls and the roof.
We appreciate the fine work of you and your team and would be happy to have Northway work on another project for us anytime.
The timetable was right on schedule, with a little slippage due to delayed delivery of a few windows.
Your communication with us was great. We appreciated the regular emails, the phone calls, and the project updates. Even though we were 150 miles away, we felt connected to the project and what was happening.
We haven't found a thing that needs adjustment or change: maybe something will be noticed in the spring.
We appreciate the fine work of you and your team and would be happy to have Northway work on another project for us anytime. I know our neighbors; the Arrigoni's feel the same. So, thank you for all the hard work and fine results!
Don and Janet Wegmiller
Dan and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for our positive experience with Northway Construction and the rebuild of our lake home. We would recommend you to anyone that is contemplating building or remodeling. We have built seven homes and have done several remodels and hands down place Northway at number "1" for our overall experience. This comes with the highest recommendation as all of our homes have been built with quality custom home builders with great reputations.
We were overwhelmed when we learned that we had extensive water damage to our lake home. How appropriate that Northway Construction came to the table with extensive experience with water related rebuilds. What started out as devastating turned out to be a "hidden blessing." From day one, you and your whole organization made the building process as painless as possible, helping us select an architect that best suited us, working aggressively with insurance companies, Service Master and finally subcontractors, always
keeping our best interest in mind.
From the beginning and throughout the project, their attention to details, sense of urgency, and experience instilled a sense of confidence that the job would be done right.
You delivered an exceptional quality home at a fair, reasonable price, and on schedule. JJ Levenske and Tim Sipper and crew worked diligently to find cost saving measures without sacrificing beauty and quality. From the beginning and throughout the project, their attention to details, sense of urgency, and experience instilled a sense of confidence that the job would be done right. This was very important to us as we were only able to go "on-site" a handful of times during the building process.
We now have a beautiful home that more efficiently utilizes our space and fits our family better. To top it off, we have never had such a short punch list. We believe that can be attributed to the quality of workmanship from the Northway "team" down to your subcontractors. We salute your high standards.
Please feel free to use us as a reference for future prospective clients. We would be happy to have them come through our new house and see for themselves the quality product that Northway Construction produces. We would definitely rebuild with Northway again!
I just wanted to send you a quick note to say thank you for a job well done.
The basement build out with an office for me is going to work out great. It turned out just like we planned with no surprises. Kris and I were concerned about us not being home during a good part of the month it took to finish the job. That is why we selected Northway Construction. We had confidence that the project would be handled professionally -- and it was.
We had confidence that the project would be handled professionally – and it was.
The idea of all the subs, you, Kris and me together on site at the same time to discuss the project together allowed for great communication of everyone's ideas and bids with no surprises. I really appreciated Jeff Barnett overseeing the subs and informing us on the progress. He's a keeper. I was really amazed how clean the site was while the project was underway. At the end of each day the basement and outside work areas were clean and tidy. Even though the workers had to walk through our foyer, kitchen and informal dining area to get to the basement door, there was never a mess for me to clean up -- not even sheet rock dust I met several of the subcontractors and they all appeared professional, friendly and interested in quality work.
Again, thank you for doing a great job.
Have a great summer.
Nikki and I are absolutely thrilled with the remodel of our cabin that Northway Construction completed for us over the winter and the early part of the summer. We had high hopes for the remodel in using the same space more effectively and in transforming the look and feel to that of a Scandinavian lake home. Having had a chance to live in the cabin now for the summer (in 2007) and for a week each at Thanksgiving and at Christmas we are even happier with the cabin than we could have imagined. The place is a very solid and 'tight' feel to it. Everything works and is aesthetically pleasing, yet we are using the same space and fewer resources. We have all commented on how cozy the cabin now feels, and how well everyone sleeps there.
At Thanksgiving, we had our friends the Perese's and their three children to stay, so there were ten of us -four adults and six kids - staying for four days. We were all able to stay comfortably, with no-one sleeping on pull out beds, nor keeping others up at night with thin walls and loud well pumps operating whenever anyone went to the bathroom at night. We also had my parents stay for a week at Christmas and were able to entertain several times - including your wonderful family! -which we had never been able to do before.
Northway Construction is meticulous on details.
We've undertaken big remodels before and highlight several of Northway Construction's special talents that differentiate them in our minds:
Steve worked superbly with the team we assembled (architect, designer). This was crucial to the success of the project and helped ensure good alignment between plans and reality.
Northway Construction is meticulous on details. Our foreman James and the crew were wonderful to work with.
Our 'punch list' items were minimal and handled promptly. As one example, when a pipe developed a small leak, Steve and crew responded with a couple of hours to get it handled. They even admonished Nikki's mother (who lives in the cabin during the summer) that she should have called the night before at 1O pm when she first discovered it!
Steve worked with us on the three priorities of time; cost and quality. We have received very good value.
We are very pleased that the cabin was able to qualify under the LEED for homes certification process. We wish all homes were able to be built this way. We are keeping track of our bills and can already see a difference- using space more efficiently and using fewer resources on an ongoing basis makes us feel good that we are doing our small part to secure our planet’s future.
In addition, the quality of the craftsmanship is apparent every time we are there, from the shutting of drawers, to the warmth on a cold winter's day, or the cool on a hot, humid summer afternoon. Thank you for a fantastic job, very well done! We are most grateful.
Best wishes and lots of future success!
Simon Foster and Nikki Sorum
Just a note to let you know how much Pat and I are enjoying our new four season porch. Why did we wait so long? Part of the answer to that question is finding a contractor we would be comfortable with, one we would trust to do the job right; just the way we wanted it. When we started the process and found that Steve Northway had started up a new company, we knew the search for the right contractor was over.
It is really refreshing to work with a company that insists on
getting it 100% right.
When we called and you came to the cabin to meet with me for the initial visit I knew we were going to be in good hands. There was no reason to delay this project any longer. It is really refreshing to work with a company that insists on getting it 100% right.
We really appreciated the options you presented to us for the types of windows that would be just right for our project. We are very happy with them.
If you ever get another client with a similar project as ours, feel free to call on us to show them what you did for us. We like to show it off.
We would recommend Northway Construction and Dan Stanifer to anyone.
Hugo & Pat Linder
Your leadership and attention to detail were indispensable in making our architectural goals a reality; we quite literally could not have done it without you. Not only did you truly care about us as clients, we were able to rely on you to share and understand our vision. This translated into you getting the most out of Northway's personnel, but more especially marshalling the subcontractors to work in ways fitting of our unique project.
The entire Northway team was always respectful, prompt and accessible. If we felt it urgent, there was always urgency. If we felt it important, the Northway team felt it important. I appreciate your direction and the example you set in this regard. I can never thank you enough for taking your time on nights and weekends to work through various problems inherent to a project this unordinary and complex.
The entire Northway team was always respectful, prompt and accessible. If we felt it urgent, there was always urgency. If we felt it important, the Northway team felt it important.
During the construction process you and Bob Kummet were always willing to explain things that we might not have had a comprehension of and you were always open minded as to our ideas, view points and opinions. Your team did a wonderful job of interfacing with the architects and engineers from Widseth, Smith and Nolting; you did an excellent job of understanding and implementing their plans while eliminating redundancies.
As you know all too well my family was living in our home during the final phase of construction and my wife and I were actually sorry to see your team go as we came to view all of you as good friends.
Day or night, I always felt you gave your full resources and attention to us and the project; for that I thank you.
Warm personal regards.
Stewart C. Mills III
We just wanted to convey our thanks and appreciation for all the work you and your company did for us during our home repair project last summer and following a water leak.
We cannot say enough about the professionalism exhibited, and the quality of work completed, by you, Pat, and the subcontractors throughout the process. We especially appreciated the fact that you took on all the coordination among everyone involved (subcontractors, suppliers, insurance adjuster, etc.) and made our lives much less stressful. We really were able to turn everything over to you and relax.
You and the crews involved went above and beyond, in our estimation, to get the work done right and we could not be more pleased with the end result. Even though our repair/restoration project was relatively small in comparison to large building projects your firm undertakes, we always felt like it was treated as a top priority.
You and the crews involved went above and beyond, in our estimation, to get the work done right and we could not be more pleased with the end result.
I'd like to say that we waited to write this note of appreciation because we wanted to see how the results held up after a few months, but the truth is closer to simple procrastination, however we can truly say that even now we continue to comment on the great work, and we have had absolutely no follow-up problems.
All-in-all, our experience with you and your crew was a very positive one, and we would not hesitate to recommend you and Northway Construction to anyone who may ask.
Brad & Denise Erikson