After reading the complaints about Schmidt Quality Construction in Downers Grove, Illinois, I am sick to my stomach for all the customers, vendors, and subcontractors who have been hurt in any way by this company. It always sickens me when the very few in my industry are successful at doing harm and not good. When I Googled the name, I found complaints dating as far back as October 2006 - shortly after they opened on Curtiss in Downers Grove.
I must make a comment from a BBB Torch Award winning remodeling company's point of view. I am the owner of IHM Remodeling Repair Contractors, also in Downers Grove, IL for the past nine years. We just won the 2007 BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics which is not a common award for a small, NARI Certified, remodeling company. So, I am qualified to make a small comment that will hopefully help anyone reading this before they choose any service provider to work on their home.
There are very good, honest, honorable and quality Professional Remodelers out there. But, because they are honest, theyt will not tell a homeowner that the cost of a remodeling project is lower than what it will really cost. Like IHM, they will tell the truth from the very first estimate. So, please, please, please, do more than look at the bottom line of the estimates. Check out all companies and persons that you are considering through The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (www.narichicago.org), the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org), and the Attorney General's Office of the State of Illinois. Just because someone has membership/trade organization logos on the company brochure does not mean they are actual members or members in good standing. Go to these resources' websites and look up the companies. Better yet, place a call to these organizations and ask if they know about these companies - they usually know all about the bad ones.
First and at all times - always ask the cheapest estimate why they are the cheapest. I can guarantee they are not including things in the estimate that they should and are lowballing just to get the job. Once your house is torn up, they will claim that it was only an estimate and therefore, the new problem just discovered wasn't included. Or, they are not covering their costs of doing business and will use your money to pay their bills from a previous job or an ongoing job before yours starts.
I don't know if this was the case with Schmidt, but it has been my experience with other similar situations in the past that the homeower got 3 estimates or more searching for the one that will do the work for the cheapest price. This is the most dangerous way to choose a remodeler, contractor, repair person, etc. Unfortunately, by the time they have taken all your money and peace of mind, you are out of funds to now get the work done right. There is no second chance when it comes to home repair/remodeling projects.
Finally, I apologize that there isn't a reliable form of regulation in our industry. So, it's even more important that a homeowner do their homework and take the time to check companies out. I'm not saying that those who were hurt by Schmidt didn't do their homework or even knew where to go to get info. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people for no reason whatsoever. It's little comfort, but I will pray for all of you that have lost their hard earned money, valuable time, sleep and peace of mind. I will pray that all of you will recoup what you lost in some way or another. My hear goes out to all of you. Sincerely, Dawn M. Tuskey, President, IHM Remodeling Repair Contractors (www.ihmremodeling.com).