Emi & Conrad

Durie Street

We first met Paul Gallop of Men at Work about two years ago. It was a cold, wet October night and Paul was the final contractor in a long line of BILD-approved contractors/award winners to come through our door. We had all but made our decision but elected to hear one more estimate. Are we ever glad we did! Paul demonstrated that night what makes him unique among his peers: he listens, he understands, and he wants his clients to be happy.

We had been planning our once-in-a-lifetime reno for several years and were trying to be as diligent as possible in our research. We had heard the horror stories of renos gone wrong and had already experienced some of our own minor tragedies over the years from contractors who lacked integrity. We had experienced the frustration of spending time and money to do things over again. With two young children and limited funds, we could not afford to make a mistake this time. Paul understood all this far better than his equally reputable competition. Instead of just asking for what we wanted, he listened for what we needed. That night, when he stayed for almost three hours patiently hearing us talk about space, flow, storage, entertaining, family life . . . he was trying to understand us – how we lived, how we felt, and what would work best.

Whereas all the others proposed a similar “solution,” Paul’s proposal that night seemed almost radical: move the kitchen. It was so creative and well-thought out that it actually took us several weeks to understand that it was best. That decision has changed our lives. To think that it only came about because a stranger had the patience to listen to us and imagine himself in our position makes us very grateful. It says a lot about Men At Work that our experience with planning and preparing for our reno was more stressful than the work itself. Indeed, we have several friends who are renovating or have just completed major renovations who have not had the same positive experience with their contractors. Such seemingly basic concepts as working every day, adhering to a time line, following a budget, transparent payment schedules, following agreed upon plans, project managers who can manage, tradespeople who take pride in their craft . . . all seem to be exceptional rather than the norm. With Men At Work it is the standard. Paul’s frequent check-ins to monitor progress and gather feedback proved he was committed to our satisfaction.

Indeed, Men At Work are professional from top to bottom. Paul Gallop has chosen like-minded professionals to fulfill the dreams of his clients. Although our reno evolved from a simple kitchen update to a full-floor remodel, our budget remained relatively modest. I am certain that by Men At Work standards, our project was quite minor (Perhaps that was why the other contractors spent less time trying to understand our needs). Minor project or not, we never felt overlooked or less important. From Paul’s initial estimate, to designing, to demolition, to the finishing touches, Men At Work’s high standards were always on display.

Emi & Conrad