We have just completed another major renovation project with Dennis Marquis (Cedarbrae Construction) and we couldn’t be more pleased. We started with Dennis some 12 years ago when we essentially re-built our entire house over a six month period of time. Fortunately, several of our neighbors observed the commitment and quality of work of Dennis and his sub-contractors and he continued to work in our area on and off for the next several years. Dennis remained in contact with us and continued to provide advice and help with all of our issues. He was always willing to help out – either himself or one of his hand-picked sub-contractors. When it came time to repair and renovate again, we went directly to Dennis and he came to advise, estimate and plan the project. His estimates are well thought out, fair and accurate.
Dennis is the contractor but he is also the main builder; he comes to work every day and he is very much “hands on” and involved. This time we were able to live in the house while we renovated and somehow Dennis and his team were able to leave the worksite clean and safe and the house quite livable at the end of each day. Probably his best feature is his flexibility and willingness to adapt and modify. He has excellent suggestions with respect to materials and building methods and he is certainly up to date and well connected with suppliers. We are great supporters of Dennis Marquis and Cedarbrae Construction, he has become a good friend and we recommend him (and his work!) highly.
We hired Dennis Marquis in 2012 for a major renovation and addition project of our 1960s University area bungalow. The project included gutting the whole bungalow, main floor and basement, down to the studs and installing all new plumbing, electrical and heating ducts. New forced- air furnaces, HRV as well as new in floor heating were installed. Several walls were removed or rearranged on the main floor as well as in the basement in order to open up the space. The existing bathrooms, kitchen, bedroom and living room were remodelled and a new office created. New windows and insulation inside and outside as well as new siding was installed. A spacious new first floor with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and laundry room was added on top of the bungalow. A new roof and solar hot water were put in. Preparations for full solar electrical at a later date were already put into the walls. The foundation was dug out and cracks and weeping tile were inspected and repaired.
Our goals for the extensive project were to a) renovate the house and its floor plan up to 2012 standards, b) create comfortable living space upstairs for our three kids and c) make the house as environmentally friendly and energy- saving as possible while d) retaining the beautiful vintage charm elements of the older home (which Dennis had already renovated in 1998).
The planning phase took about 3 months in which Timur and I sat down with Dennis many times and designed the floor plan and features the way we wished. Since both of us were utterly inexperienced in renovation projects, Dennis was able to help us a lot with his decades of experience, may it be with advice how to wisely design a really practical and beautiful floor plan with what is doable in an existing older home, or how to deal with the new utilities installation plannings, or by giving us an abundance of excellent design and construction ideas we would have never even thought of being possible. After we had worked out wonderful plans, a time table of 1 year construction time and a budget were set.
Dennis and his crew were able to start construction immediately after. Timur and I were very involved in the project and we met nearly daily at the site and walked through together with Dennis. Everything went very smoothly and according to planning. Problems as they occur when you open up older walls were discussed daily, and Dennis always had a practical solution in his mind already. There was not a single problem he was not able to handle perfectly. The communication was absolutely perfect, with Dennis answering his cell phone right away and email discussions in the evening. During our daily visits at different times during the day, Dennis was continuously on site and supervising everyone, may it be his own employees or the sub trades. He seemed to always be at their heels which helped tremendously with staying within the set time table. Dennis also closely supervises job safety and we have on several occasions witnessed him insisting that sub trades who previously did not act by the safety rules use harnesses, hats etc.
We always felt taken care of wonderfully. Dennis was very flexible and was able to accommodate us when we changed and added wishes constantly in the course of the project. He had a lot of excellent cost-saving ideas. Since he is a skilled professional carpenter himself, he did some wonderful decorational detail work to the house in order to retain the vintage style, like custom mouldings, custom window sills as well as custom built- in furniture in the wood type and style we wished.
The project was finished after exactly 1 year as planned. We slightly exceeded the budget due to added wishes that Timur and I had during construction that were not part of the original contract.
Ever since we are back in our newly renovated house, everything works perfectly and we could not be happier. Looking back at our experience with Dennis, there are a few things that indeed make him stand out in the world of contractors. First off Dennis is highly professional in all his work. Be that in dealing with us, his employees, or the sub-trades, Dennis was always precise and clear in his communication. Second Dennis was always open to new ideas and new trends within the world of building and renovating. He would make inquiries and then find us knowledgeable professionals to discuss whatever ideas and wishes we brought to the table. Third is trust. We do completely trust Dennis and even now after living in the house have no worries when giving him the keys to do some new projects we have come up with. Finally we always had the feeling that he treated our renovation project as if it was his own given his level of care and apparent love for details. We never had the feeling that he cut any corners for convenience sake. He made us feel that no problem was ever unsolvable and that he’d find a way to make things happen. And that he did.
We highly recommend Dennis Marquis and his team for anyone’s renovation project.
Timur and Susanne, Edmonton
“We are very happy with the work Dennis in our basement. We love it. He was able to make an unfinished basement into a most liveable space. He also tried hard to keep us from overspending the estimate. We are also crazy in love with our large bathroom and especially our shower, with the jets and the seat to sit and enjoy. We recommend Cedarbrae for any renovations. Michael and Beryl Nahornick