Two of the Most Valuable Things…
Two of the most valuable things [about the seminar] were the contractual terms and the question and answer period.
Stephen and Susie Gerrity, Sherman Oaks
For the past 8 months we have been working with Penny Spark on a long-term project to improve the layout and landscaping of our home in Pasadena. As this project has developed, we have found Penny to be accessible, knowledgeable and extraordinarily helpful in guiding us through the planning process. With her assistance, we have been able to obtain a comfort level in engaging qualified professionals to help us with various facets of the work to be done. Penny has proved herself to be a trusted and invaluable advisor as we move forward with these plans.
Ken and Eileen Leech, Pasadena
Apparently the shower pan had been leaking for some time. The contractor you presented to us whom we hired, wasn’t the least expensive but I like to deal with people I can trust and we had that comfort. He did a great job make the situation right and kept us informed along the entire way. It turned out, we learned, the leak had been going on for many years (the wood and joints supporting the weight bearing walls had rotted.) He replaced all that and did a great job…it was patched but looked like new. When it was finished, we were very happy. Our 2nd experience with your service involved adding a front porch, including having it tied in just right, with our existing roof line. We’d attempted drawings and permits on our own, but we turned to you when we realized we needed help. The team you gave us was a perfect fit. They had good experience with projects like ours, including of our size and scope. With their design work talent and ease of working with the county permit department, the job was done without a hitch. We felt comfortable with their expertise and they were completely trustworthy. The attention to detail they put into it was great, there were touches added we hadn’t even thought of, and it came out beautifully. We’ve had nothing but compliments from neighbors who love our porch. It’s helped the value of our home and we’re very happy with it. This morning, my wife had her morning coffee out there; it’s added another living area to our home. They really went above and beyond and gave us a lot.
Ron Berry, Credit Union CEO, Altadena
Our roof failed after the wet winter and we had water damage in our master bedroom. Thanks to our friend who told us about your service. My wife and I are busy working professionals and if we’d had to do all the due diligence — we’re not experts –it would have taken us a lot of time. Your service made it really convenient and we appreciate that you really listened to what we wanted. We got 3 roofers through you, picked one and he was awesome. He was available quickly, got it done in a day and it was a great job; there hasn’t been a problem since. It couldn’t have been easier. When it came time to renovate (our bathroom was completely unusable) we moved into our back house. Based on our great experience with you before, we returned to you and you were very patient with me. Thanks for the 3 general contractor referrals, we chose one as you know and he was super helpful. He went shopping with us. He taught us about tile, what’s in vogue and more. The demolition was done in August and we were back in our house before Halloween. The kitchen project was a total gut, too. We reconfigured our space, got a new tile floor, custom cabinetry, all new appliances, quartz countertops, all new doors and windows, fresh paint and more. Then we re-did the office in the back…insulation, A/C, wood floors. We did a new deck and driveway gate, all new plumbing and painting of the guest house and office interiors. When a remodel goes well it can still be trying. Your general contractor and his team made it as easy as it could have possibly been. We can be picky, but they were creative and gave us lots of options. I can’t imagine it could have gone any smoother. He exceeded my expectations. We love our kitchen and we’re spending a lot more time at home this year, enjoying it.
Ben Bollenbacher, Insurance Executive, Marina del Rey
Our very outdated kitchen – especially since we love to cook – became a thorn in our side. We decided to remodel so we could enjoy a new kitchen rather than update it when selling our house in the future.
This was not just a simple cosmetic rework of existing cabinets but, rather, a complete gutting of our kitchen, down to the studs. After reviewing our requirements, Penny sent three vetted contractors and each presented us with ideas on how they would approach the project along with detailed bids. One of the three immediately rose to the top of our list and we asked to see projects he had done for other clients, after which we were quickly convinced that his work would be master craftsman, perfection-like. The scope of work outlined in his bid was precise and we appreciated his honesty regarding the estimated timeframe for the project, along with what we viewed as a precise, comprehensive and realistic budget. Every tradesman that he brought to our job was professional, showed pride in their work, and respected us and our home. In the end, we are not only delighted with our new kitchen, but extremely pleased that the project came in on time and within budget. The highest compliment we can pay Penny and our contractor is that we will definitely hire them for our next major project.
Marcia and Jim Brammer, Tarzana
“Hank” took over quickly after my previous contractor failed. (The first contractor had led me on for months and then bailed on me). I wanted to remodel my master bathroom and he gutted the entire bathroom. Gutting the shower required him to re-plumb and re-tile it and replace the enclosure. He also replaced the built-in bathtub with a free-standing tub which also required new plumbing. He installed new lights and fans, to code, installed new tile flooring, painted, and more. The demo took a while (there was a lot of stuff in there!) he and his helpers were considerate and neat. He is conscientious about making sure everything is being done per the city requirements, codes, permits, etc. The work has been done well and looks good. His team is very helpful; they answer all my questions and make sure that what I want is what they’re doing. They’re very communicative. The bathroom looks beautiful.
Suzie Steres, Calabasas
Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for such a wonderful business you created. We could not have asked for better service and workmanship from the various contractors you referred to us over these past several years. From solving our concern with the neighbors tree that fell on our house and then our low water pressure problem, to our 2 bathroom remodels and new French doors and windows, along with all the other miscellaneous things. We so appreciate all you’ve done for us. (I remember when we watched HGTV and renewed our loyalty to you. There was a couple who spent $170,000 for a remodel and the contractor had no clue as to how to follow code and they ended up having to demolish all his work and start all over at their own expense.). We recently sold our house in Altadena and moved to Texas. We found a house here that needs quite a lot of work. Boy, do we ever wish you were here!!!! Thank you again. We wish you the best and continued success in your business.
Michael and Cindy Gohn
Thank you for the exceptional craftsmanship and efficiency I got through your contractor and thank you for your friendly customer service and responsiveness. It’s a gift to clients. I’ve come to you for many needs at my home over the past 6 years and it’s been wonderful to have someone to turn to for any kind of project and get recommendations for people who are right for the job.
Betsy D., Educational Consultant, Altadena
We had been wrestling with the L.A. City planning department for about 3 years over how to solve a problem of an unpermitted condo. It seemed nearly impossible to accomplish the goal and make them happy. We finally arrived at a mutually acceptable solution and the final phase of the planning was reached. They said we had to join together 2 contiguous condos. SoCal Home Improvement was able to bring life to this project and commence the construction almost immediately. Their contractor thought of cost-saving solutions we hadn’t even considered. Not only was the work done beyond my expectations but the contractor was a sweetheart…always available, always accommodating, always willing to consider financial alternatives for us. Happily, we are now done and new tenants have moved in so our money-losing investment has become a positive income-generating one, while at the same time, all the city’s planning department concerns have been resolved. I wouldn’t think twice about calling back to SoCal Home Improvement for any need.
Larry Wolf, Attorney at Law
My wife and I recently decided to “reface” our Kitchen and adjacent Utility Room. We both dread the search for competent contractors which had been such a painful process when we rebuilt our master bathroom several years ago. Fortunately I had recently been introduced to Penny Spark as a business contact with her own “consulting business.” When we met I was pleasantly surprised to learn of her Southern California Referral Service. We ultimately replaced the vinyl flooring, removed the old wallpaper and repainted ceilings and walls. For each service we were introduced to two contractors. In all cases they were competent and professional. Their proposals were competitive and we picked the individuals with whom we felt more comfortable. All the work was done on time and on budget. We definitely feel all were highly cost effective services.
So we are very pleased with the results and with the “ease” of finding competent contractors with this service. Clearly they know many capable contractors in many areas of service. I would highly recommend them to all my friends and business associates . . . and I have started doing so already. We will definitely contact them for future work on our home. Actually, we are engaging the same painting contractor to paint our dining and living rooms later this year. Thank you. We love the results!!
Hayden Claisse, Professional Executive Coach, San Marino
Thank you does not seem adequate to say for your handling of the repair and painting of our French windows and doors and gates, kitchen walls and ceiling; not to mention refinishing our deck. Understanding the issues, vetting and referring three qualified painters, and ensuring we were completely satisfied with the one we chose seems like an enormous amount of work and follow through for a service you provided without any fee to us. We are delighted with the outcome after a painless process where workers showed up on time, took care of everything per our understanding, and left our property in immaculate shape. Penny, you can be certain that we will recommend your company to everyone we can. Thank you again.
Marcia and Jim Brammer, Tarzana
We decided to add on a master bedroom, bath, laundry and exercise room totaling 850 sq. ft. and remodel 300 sq. ft. to create a kitchen greatroom. Southern California Home Improvement Referral Service referred us to Greg for architectural drawings. He was really terrific to work with and we liked his ideas. He was very flexible and fulfilled our wish that the addition match both the look and the construction elements of our existing house. Seeing his plans unfold has been very exciting, the house came out great, and we would absolutely use Southern California Home Improvement Referral Service again.
James, Communications Executive, Pasadena
The service found me a skilled contractor to build a staircase. I’m very selective when it comes to quality and who comes into my home. Eric was a great referral for me. Also, the heating and air conditioning man they referred saved me $5000 over the contractor I was going to use.
Rob Floe, Financial Planner, Pasadena
In 2005 I came to know Penny Spark of Southern California Home Improvement Referral Service when her firm was instrumental in a residential remodeling project for a neighbor. I was struck by the attention to detail, obvious craftsmanship, and site ‘cleanliness’ exhibited by the contractors there and learned that my neighbors’ satisfaction was directly attributable to their relationship with Penny – not just because of the clear quality of Penny’s contractor recommendations but, rather, as a function of her fierce and unwavering commitment to ensure her client’s needs were continually and fully realized. As I learned from both my neighbors and their relatives further down our street, Penny’s willingness to “go the extra mile” was not an isolated case: she rolled up her sleeves and stayed constantly involved in the project as if it were being accomplished for her own home.
My family embarked on our own remodeling adventure in 2006 with the objective of gaining an entirely new kitchen in the same space as our previous one. We soon learned what satisfaction comes from an advisor with a vast knowledge of the contracting trades and the diligence to ensure the job would be founded on an equitable relationship with our contractors – just as she had delivered for her previous clients. As someone with decades of experience managing complex software development efforts, it proved an immense pleasure for me to work with a professional determined to see that all parties delivered on their commitments. I cannot speak more highly of the entire effort which could not have occurred without Penny’s experience and participation in our achieving our desired outcome.
My family continues to entrust a significant amount of work to Penny’s firm without the slightest desire to find another advisor. Our home has become witness to the level of professionalism Penny’s firm exhibits and we are now relying on her to direct a complete overhaul of our church’s social hall. The finest compliment comes from the committee responsible for the work at our church – all of whom were unanimous in the choice of Penny based on the quality of the work they have witnessed in our home. I commend her as a trusted advisor who remains vigilant in regard to the satisfaction of her clients. The advisory role she holds in our projects is equal in every respect to other professionals in my life such as my attorney, physician, and pastor. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Roy J. McManus, PMP, Chief Operating Officer, TeemBrains, Inc.
Over the last several years I have used Penny and the SCHIRS services on a variety of projects on several of my properties ranging from handyman repairs to major re-models. She provides invaluable guidance and assistance in helping me focus on what I want to accomplish and clearly understanding the possible alternative ways that I might get to my goals and, more importantly, the tradeoffs associated with those alternatives. She is incredibly knowledgeable and understands the way her clients look at their homes and the projects they’re considering. Then she helps her clients to develop the insights and perspectives needed to successfully select and hire the right contractors to assure that the projects will be completed properly and on time and on budget.
J. Russell McClellan, Managing Director, Argonaut Consulting Group L.L.C.
I contacted SoCal Home Improvement when a co-worker said she’d had a good experience with them. I had purchased an older house in Studio City, which needed a new roof, chimney, and windows. I also wanted to have some exterior drainage work done, replace a bathroom, do some electrical work, and spruce the house up where it needed it. I was on a tight schedule because I needed to move in relatively quickly. SoCal Home Improvement referred me to three contractors and said they’d refer more if I wanted. After meeting with all three, I picked my top choice, who turned out to be terrific. He was responsive, helpful and reliable. The entire job went very smoothly. It finished on schedule and on budget, and looks great! I couldn’t be more pleased. Since then I’ve returned to SoCal Home Improvement for referrals for other needs. I’ve hired another one of their contractors to do a stucco repair. They’ve also referred me to a craftsman for a plaster art restoration. I couldn’t be happier. (P.S. Penny’s starting to feel like a personal friend, not just a smart business connection.)
Lora G., Studio City
My neighbor referred me to Southern California Home Improvement when I mentioned I needed a good interior painter. He said he’d had many good experiences with the service. I called and got what I needed. They gave me candidates to interview who asked a lot about what I wanted and responded promptly for interviews and estimates. The estimates were good and I opted to go with the painter whose proposal was particularly clear and detailed, and laid out as I’d requested. The work days were scheduled to accommodate my schedule, the job was started on time, and completed on time if not a little early (and exactly to the proposed price). The workers were great; neat, quick and friendly, though not overly social which I appreciated. When I now walk into the newly painted areas I notice how carefully and perfectly the work was done. The job was tidy and there was no fuss. The workers put everything back in its place (and more). Thank you for giving me what I needed, at a good price and on schedule. It was so nice to know the people you’d connect me with would be safe to have in my home.
T.M., Computer Engineer, Pasadena
We own an English Tudor style home (white stucco and brown cedar trim) and before we could move forward with the painting we wanted to do, we found we had termite activity in some of the wood. When I mentioned this to one of my friends, he recommended I call SoCal Home Improvement because they could refer me to qualified (and more importantly, quality) contractors to do the work. I was sent 3 termite inspectors and all of them were professional and qualified. Each of them came by on a timely basis, surveyed what work had to be done, and provided estimates. I chose one and they did really quality work and actually had great follow-up and great customer service. I could not have been happier.
David D., Los Angeles
I called SoCal Home Improvement because of a broken window blind and apologized for calling about something so small. My need was responded to as if it were as big as a remodel. Then I had a problem with my main water line. I’m particularly cautious about plumbers…I’ve heard stories about unscrupulous ones who dig up lines needlessly. The contractor they sent was respectful of my property, walked me around to show me everything, explaining along the way. He asked me to watch the video taping of the line while it was being done, so I’d understand my situation and get all my questions answered. My 3rd call to the service was for an inspector. He, too, was really thorough, clean (he wore gloves), and respectful.
It’s been a win for me 3 times in a row. What I really like about the service is I don’t need to worry. It’s just so easy to pick up the phone and know whatever it is will be taken care of right, without any stress.
Jerry Cohen, CPA, Westlake Village,
I had a rotted exterior wooden stairway to replace and needed a structural engineer, plans, permits and a builder. The job required demolition, foundation, masonry, concrete-and-rebar, carpentry, stucco and plaster patching, painting and welding. I got the help I needed through SoCal Home Improvement. The contractor I selected gave me an excellent price for replacing the stairway with a new steel one and he delivered high quality work on schedule and in budget. He always kept me informed, returned phone calls, and maintained a positive, helpful, “can-do” attitude. The job site was kept neat and the final product is excellent. I couldn’t be more pleased.
Dick M., Engineer, Pasadena
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