and Alan Jay Rom December 2003
This message is for those who are desiring to have construction done either at their primary home, secondary or vacation home, or business. It is directed to those who either have a vision of exactly what they want the result to be or know they need additional space but are unsure about the details. In both cases, Stephen Cohen is the person you want to work with you.
In our case, we knew exactly what we wanted the result to be. My wife and I inherited a condominium located in an old and historic building. We wanted the condominium to look like it would have when the building first opened in 1909 (with modern conveniences) and we wanted the result to be exactly as we would if we were moving in ourselves. (We are renting it.) The condition of the condo was not good; wall and ceiling plaster was cracked, it had the original electrical wiring and gas outlets, the plumbing needed to be replaced, and we wanted all of the paint on the woodwork stripped and the original wood exposed, including the ceiling molding. The window sashes needed to be changed and the windows "tightened." Be it from pictures or just "vision," we were clear about what we wanted the condo to look like when the work was done.
But, as we soon learned, translating the work to be done into final results requires a lot of thought. That is where Stephen Cohen comes in. He worked with us every step of the way. Since doing one thing is interrelated to the next steps, a lot of thought has to be given to detail. Steve listens and (patiently) explains. He demonstrates; he shows examples; he explores alternatives. When all of this is done, making the final choices becomes much easier, for he has done the work to make the final decisions easier to make. In the end, we got our vision, down to the choices of paint for the walls, the kind of lighting fixtures that carry the "mission" theme of the leaded windows in the living and dining rooms into the other rooms, to the redesign of the kitchen and bathrooms, to the redesign of the closets and storage space to make maximum use of limited space, while not making it appear to be doing that, to the sanding of the beautiful wood floors.
Not only does Steve rely on the best sub-contractors for work, and not only does he carefully oversee their work, but he is a master craftsman and artist, himself, and did a lot of work, particularly in the kitchen. We thought of our experience as if we were on "This Old House;" Stephen Cohen is Norm Abrams. He worked with us each step of the way, showing us how one step interlocks with the next step, until the job was done. He is an excellent listener.
For those who do not have in mind exactly how the project will turn out, our experience working with him is convincing that his taste is excellent. You will have more options because there is more than one way to accomplish your desires, and this is accomplished by his working with you to understand what you want to accomplish, doing a lot of background work, and showing you the options, and how each will look, so the choices you make are informed ones.
We invite you to ask Steve to show you pictures of the work he did for us. If you retain Steve to work for you, you will be very happy with the results; we are.
Rom, Executive Director
8 Winter Street, Ste. 402 Boston, MA 02108 (617)482.8686 phone (617)482.9111 fax
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