There was a sharp knock at the door.
It was Millie from 2A, in a fluffy bathrobe and panda slippers. "It's raining on my kitchen table." She lives directly below us. "You've got a leak."
The corroded pipes had finally given way; the kitchen hadn't been updated since the Nixon administration and we'd been putting off redo-ing it.
Millie gave us the number for the best plumber in the neighborhood, and the next morning, my husband Cooper and I waited nervously for the verdict.
"This is just a bandaid," he said. "It'll last three-four months. But after that . . . kablooey."
"Oh no," I wailed. "We have to redo the entire kitchen before Millie's ceiling crashes down on her head!"
I immediately started searching for contractors, dishwashers, and flooring. Hours later, after reading every Yelp review and blog in all 5 boroughs, I was overwhelmed. Not only that, I was terrified the costs would be astronomical. There's no way we can do this ourselves.
But if professionals were going to redo it, we needed the holy grail: high-quality, affordability, and it had to be fast. One name that came up multiple times in our search was Block Renovation.
I'd never heard of it, but what makes them truly different is that they bring design, materials, and construction under one roof.
We looked at their site, and immediately noticed two things: their renovations were gorgeous, and so reasonably priced . . . Okay. Plus, that includes a designer who will create 3D-renderings of our new kitchen. Hello 21st century.
Their success is due to the coordination of their teams - each project is planned and built with precision, cost-efficiency, and the highest standards - they have their own contractors, and first-rate project management planning.
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Too Good To Be True?
We dug deep, clicking around the site, previewing exquisite designs. And, since they offered a free estimate, we filled out their brief questionnaire (pre-war, or post-war apt., etc.) - just to see.
Within 5 minutes we had a free estimate that provided a price range for the renovation. The numbers made sense, so we continued on, still ready to back out at any moment, if necessary.
Next, Block conducts a site survey - a Certified Contractor inspects the site to develop a game plan. Then, based on photos and videos of our kitchen, Block delivers an all-inclusive proposal.
With such a straightforward, transparent process, and clear pricing upfront - we took the plunge and went with Block.
The Magic Is In The Planning
After Coops uploaded the "before" shots for our dream kitchen, Block got back to us with a timeline. The pre-construction phase - which includes board approval and permits - and design and procurement can take 2 - 3 months. And the construction phase could take a month or so. That's super-fast!
During the design period, we had thousands of options to choose from - from fridges to sink fixtures to wall paints. When Block delivered a detailed 3D-rendering of our customized, architect-designed space, we were ready to begin.
They indicated precisely what we'd get before it was built, then ordered and delivered all the necessary materials so we didn't have to source them ourselves.
Suddenly, it was time for construction. They assured us that our Certified Contractor would follow a set of proprietary Block construction standards to ensure a high-quality renovation that includes protection, demolition, plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and the full installation of all fixtures & finishes.
Expecting to see coffee cups and litter strewn about the place, we were impressed by how well-organized and clean the site was, how easygoing the team was – and how quickly things were progressing.
There's No Place Like Home
When everything's finished, we say goodbye to the friendly workers, and feast our eyes on our new kitchen for the first time. Block's exceptional design decisions actually expanded the room.
Such light, such space - timeless simplicity in the heart of our home.
I'm happily snapping "after" photos - selfies of me and Cooper beside the stove, the gleaming fridge - when the doorbell rings.
It's Millie, with a bottle of champagne. "I'm here for the unveiling!" She stares about in amazement.
Coops and I clink our glasses with Millie's and toast, "to Block Renovation."