Tim Trono and Carol Singleton
How often can you hire a contractor and they do such a good job and are such great people that you consider them friends afterwards? This was our experience with Kathe, Mike, and the crew at Dream Builders. We decided to renovate our kitchen, but we were leery of the procedure as we had heard many horror stories. After receiving several bids that were way out of our price range, we almost gave up on the remodeling idea. Then we were fortunate enough to meet Mike and Kathe Russell of Dream Builders at the Home Show in Sacramento.
Kathe came to our home and gave a free consultation. She spent quite a bit of time and discussed how we could work at maximizing space in our fairly small kitchen. One of the things we really liked about Dream Builders was they offered a lower-priced option where you select from a limited number of high-quality cabinets, granite counter tops and appliances, which they buy in bulk in order to get the price down. We loved the choices and the quality and it was nice to not be burdened with hundreds of options that can bog down the decision-making process. Certainly we had enough choices to pick what worked for us and our situation, but Dream Builders took much of the guess work out of the procedure. We then met with Mike and Kathe at their offices for a further consultation and proposal. Every last detail was put out on the table by them so there was no guessing or worrying. Their quote came in considerably lower than the others we were given. They made us feel like they were protecting us even before the project began. I believe, far too often, when hiring a contactor it can be an us versus them relationship. Right from the get go Kathe and Mike make sure you understand and feel it is a team effort to accomplish a mutual goal.
When the work started, Mike was right on top of things. He had a very precise schedule and watched over and ensured every detail was done correctly. There were numerous subcontractors, yet Mike always made sure they were there, did their job, and did their job well. Invariably on a project of this size issues come up, but Mike always resolved these immediately kept us informed and updated on every aspect of the project. As an example, at one point the hanging lamps we had picked out did not come in as promised by the light company. Kathe and Mike worked and pushed behind the scenes. In order to keep the project on time, they had us select a more expensive light that was more readily available and they paid the difference in cost.
Mike carefully picks his subcontractors, takes care of them, and ensures he oversees and takes responsibility for their work. We never had a problem with any subcontractor. The quality of their work, the products (cabinets, appliances, etc.), and the quality of the work of their subcontractors was superb. They are just good, honest, and trustworthy people. They truly care about their customers. They truly care about their work, their reputation, and your happiness. We cannot recommend them highly enough.
Christine and Paul Sherman
It wouldn’t have happened without Dream Builders. We’d been to the home stores but there were too many choices and not enough expertise. We’d talked to friends and heard tales of construction chaos, unmet schedules, and disappointing results. Our remodel was long overdue, but no contractor gave us confidence until we met Mike and Kathe. They understood from the homeowner’s perspective – they’d been through this themselves – and they had the skills to guide us. Not too many people can say they enjoyed their in-home construction project every step of the way, but we can.
Mike and Kathe explained what they would do, in detail, then they delivered what they promised and more. The planning sessions were a pleasure because they listened before offering suggestions. It helped that our choices were limited to a comprehensible number of things that we actually needed – including some that we hadn’t previously known we needed, but they were so right. The Dream Team introduced us to some of the features that we’re enjoying the most, including kitchen details, flooring and lighting options, and the new gas fire insert. “You might want to consider this,” they’d say, then the choice was ours. It simply couldn’t have happened without them.
Construction started with demolition noise and dust as expected, but it was a dramatic opening day. Then there was progress every day, right on schedule, and our new home materialized even better than we’d envisioned. DB Superintendent Paul Holmquist was on hand to check every detail; the guy’s fussier than any homeowner when it comes to getting it right. Thanks, Paul. And we thank talented designer Christina Medeiros, who helped with shopping guidance and then quiet reminders if we strayed off our initial budget. Thanks also to Jill Marrs for handling the details of paperwork, orders, warranties, and especially for that big manufacturer’s rebate that we hadn’t known was coming. A nice surprise! Mike and Kathe, you have a great team. Thank you all.
Toni and Jack Del Conte
After much time spent dreading the thought of remodeling (noise, inconvenience, dirt etc.), we decided to take the plunge and completely redo the kitchen of our circa 1965 home. Out with the oak, in with the new. As a person who loves to cook, I needed more workspace and more cabinet space as well. How fortunate we were to have found Mike and Kathe. They were able to grasp our vision, offer some great design suggestions and create an amazing space. as functional as it is beautiful. During the process, we were so excited about how great the kitchen looked, we had them continue on and make changes in our living area also.
Kathe is terrific with design and color and Mike is a "can do" kind of guy... detail oriented and committed to client satisfaction. They make an incredible team.
As for our concerns:
Noise? Yes, on demolition day.
Inconvenience? We were having so much fun, we didn't notice any!
Dirt? Everyone cleaned up completely after each day's work. (Did I mention that our house has block walls?)
So.... a year or so later, we called on Dreambuilders again to remodel two bathrooms. Fabulous!
-Toni and Jack DelConte
Nancy Ottum and Bruce Wright
Our kitchen remodel is stunning and we get nothing but positive comments from friends.
When details didn't work out as originally planned, DB immediately made it right, no complaints or questions asked.
When our extra replacement wood flooring came, it used a different system to snap together. They told Mike that it wouldn't work with our outdated style. Not one to take 'NO" for an answer, he personally reworked the pieces at home until they fit exactly.
Kathe and Christina were so patient and a delight to work with. Kathe helped us wade through the sea of choices and was ever mindful of our budget when making suggestions.
Nancy Ottum and Bruce Wright, Davis, CA
Jim and Laurie Beck
Rancho Murietta, CA
We could not be happier with the way our kitchen remodel came out. When we started, we thought it would just be different to look at, and probably more easy to work in. Now that it's done, it is so much more than that. The additional space, the more usable surfaces, the more practical locations for everything, and the removal of the overhanging cabinets. It is more beautiful than we imagined. And, all of the DreamBuilders Team of Kathe, Mike, Christina, and Paul were there to help out immediately, whenever there was a snag. We could not be happier.
Terry and Christine Joslin
Being able to visualize the design makes all the difference when doing a remodel.
Dream builders was the only company we interviewed that had a formalized process for the design, budget, and build process. If you really want a quality project for a fair price they are the only choice! What a team!
Susan and Mike Daddow
When we built our house, our sons were 5, 3 and 6 months old and with Mike being a farmer, I was the primary cook. Our kitchen was small and functioned well for a single cook, but as our sons grew up and started preparing meals and snacks for friends, the need for a larger, multi cook kitchen was apparent. Online research led me to Mike and Kathe Russell at DreamBuilders in El Dorado Hills, and we perused the online gallery of their work. After further reading of the testimonials of former clients, we emailed them and asked if they do remodels 50 miles away! We also emailed three other kitchen designers in the Sacramento area. Within 10 minutes, we got an email reply from DreamBuilders and I set up an appointment to meet them. We finally heard from the others - three days later.
As I walked into the showroom, I was greeted warmly and put right at ease. I met with Mike and Kathe to discuss our possible needs. Mike and Kathe wanted to meet my husband (also Mike!) as well so we agreed to another meeting which Mike and Kathe scheduled with my husband’s farming schedule in mind. Mike and Kathe made sure all the planning and design was a collaborative effort, even when it meant scheduling meetings after hours since my husband was in spring planting. We always received a phone call reminder from Jill the day before each of our appointments.
The design and planning stage was wonderful! Kathe and Christina listened well, and were very thorough and knowledgeable making sure we had ample storage while insuring the kitchen space was workable for numerous cooks. Kathe and Christina set up design vignettes in the showroom so we could pick cabinet door styles, backsplash tiles, and all our finishes. The computer program Christina worked with allowed us to “see” the finished product – my husband really appreciated being able to ‘see’ the design since he is not a ‘visualizer’. Christina accompanied us to the appliance showroom and granite showroom to help as well. Kathe and Christina know the current products on the market, and know where to get quality products at a lesser cost than perhaps some designer name products. For example, we were able to save money on one of our kitchen appliances because they knew who manufactured the ‘designer’ version of the appliance and it was the exact same thing but without the ‘designer’ price tag.
With the design finished, it was time to work out a budget. Mike Russell made an appointment with us to come out to the job site in order to bid the job, and explained he would have his subs there the same day so everything could be accomplished in one day. We had remodeled our garage ourselves about 10 years prior and we spent days arranging for the subs to be there to get bids. He arrived early, and along with his foreman, Paul, greeted each sub, introduced each to us, and then set about describing the job to each of them. Within an hour and a half, Mike Russell, Paul and all the subs were gone! A week later, we were presented with a workable budget by Mike Russell. Every aspect of the job was lined out with the budget for each alongside. It was easy to see exactly where our money was going and, if needed, where we may be able to save on costs. Jill was right on top of ordering materials, thankfully, our floor tile would have been backordered three months if she had not called as soon as the design and budget were in place!
Next up was the actual construction. Mike and Kathe could not have hired a better foreman, Paul, who we saw daily on the job. Paul was there to greet each sub in the morning, and made sure each sub left the jobsite clean each day. DreamBuilders creates a “Binder” for the jobsite that includes all the plans, the finish schedule, the daily schedule for what subs would be there, and also all the specifications for installation of all the appliances. It is amazing and we loved having it. We knew exactly what would be done each day and how the project would progress. Paul made sure everything stayed on schedule, listened when we had concerns, relayed messages to Mike and Kathe and put out fires as they came up. Paul is so thorough with his work that he draws the plans on the floor for the cabinets, appliances, fixtures, etc. and measures out everything before it is installed so there is no room for error. He measured and drew exactly where our pot filler would be installed so as to not interrupt the tile design over our cooktop backsplash, and when installed, that pot filler was at the grout intersection – he nailed it!
Mike and Kathe Russell, and the Dreambuilders team, made our kitchen remodel a breeze! The entire experience was fabulous from the first day we walked in their showroom. They honestly stand behind everything they do and want clients’ dreams to come true. When we thought about adding some trim to our cabinets after they were already installed but we wanted to stay within our budget, Mike Russell made sure we got our trim. We told him that if he ordered it we would install it ourselves to save on extra installation costs, but Mike Russell would not hear of it. Three days later, we came home and the trim was installed! When one of our quartz countertop seams did not match up exactly, Mike Russell said he would replace the entire countertop if it could not be fixed. Mike and Kathe Russell could be doing business in the previous century when a handshake and a one’s word is all one needed to know a job would be well done. Mike and Kathe Russell and the whole DreamBuilders Team go above and beyond. We met “good people” at DreamBuilders, people we can call our friends, and we are so thankful they answered that first email so quickly – our dream kitchen is a reality.
Bud and Loretta Powell
In 2007, my husband and I purchased our home which was originally built in 1965. We loved almost everything about it; the lodge like living room, the bright sunroom, all the glass windows across the back of the house which allow us to view our stunningly beautiful back yard. The only rooms we knew we would be redoing were the kitchen and two bathrooms. We lived with them as they were for about one year, and then it was time to update them.
We began our search for a contractor to do the job. Because of our advanced ages, we definitely wanted a company that was equipped to handle the entire process from planning to the end, including having a facility where we could view materials samples, plumbing samples, hardware samples, etc. After searching many avenues and not finding exactly what we were looking for, I went to the yellow pages of the telephone book, of all places, and came across the name Dream Builders Kitchen & Bath, Inc.. That name caught my attention. After doing further research about Dream Builders, I gave them a call and set up an appointment to meet. We were sold! We felt at home with owners Mike and Kathe Russell, we were impressed with their showroom, and also with their knowledge and willingness to spend the time with us learning our specific needs with regard to kitchen and bath design, then providing us with right-on designs and plans for our remodel at a price which fell within our budget.
The other people in the Dream Builders staff, Christina, Paul, and Jill, are also extremely helpful and competent. The staff follows the job from beginning to end, and the sub-contractors Mike and Kathe use are top-notch, and are all professional, careful, clean, polite & really know their stuff. And another one of the big, important things for us was the job was complete on the day it was supposed to be complete - even though we made a couple small changes along the way. That is almost unheard of in this day and age. We love our new kitchen and bathrooms. They are everything we dreamed of and more!
Give Dream Builders Kitchen & Bath, Inc., a try. You'll be glad you did.
El Dorado Hills, CA
I did a complete kitchen remodel. Mike and Kathe took the stress out of the whole experience by being there and really listening to what I wanted. Sometimes I walk into my kitchen and I'm in awe as to how beautiful it really is.
Linda and Gary Cook
Fair Oaks, CA
Before we started the project, DreamBuilders gave me a list of people that they had done projects for and all of those people highly recommended them. Now that DreamBuilders has put this whole new space in, I can truly entertain in the style that I want to. It's part of me because it was designed with me in mind. DreamBuilders truly makes your dreams come true!
George Pickett and Ginny Horning
We loved our river view home in Folsom, but for ten years we fantasized about the time when the interior ambiance would suit our taste. Kathe and MIke helped turn our dream into a reality, creating fantastic home decor in harmony with us. The process was not only fun, but resulted in gaining two new friends. George Pickett and Ginny Horning, Folsom, CA
Roger and Shari Merle
El Dorado HIlls, CA
Dream Builders remodeled our whole house. Prior to selecting Dream Builders we interviewed three other contractors including numerous references for each of them. We picked Kathe and Mike for our project for two reasons. First, their previous clients gave them overwhelmingly positive recommendations. Secondly, after a couple meetings with them and their staff, it was obvious to us that they were committed to providing a comprehensive service that would meet our needs and desires as well as our budget. Based on the innovative design, meticulous planning and scheduling of the project, and the quality and craftsmanship of the construction, we are very pleased with our new house and glad that we chose Dream Builders.
Gail Heckemeyer and John Sprankling
When we decided to remodel our kitchen and master bath, we had no idea of how incredibly helpful and important it is to have the right people working with you. Kathe and Mike were so highly recommended to us, that we decided it was worth the drive up to El Dorado from Davis to meet them and see what they had to offer.
From our first meeting, we realized that Dreambuilders was perfect for us. Kathe and Mike and their entire team (especially Christina and Paul) are not only experts at what they do, but they really listen to their clients and are very nice people. Once we decided to proceed, they went right to work and gave us a time table for completion that was very well organized and timely. They finished our job right on time and much faster than another remodeler had suggested the job would take.
One reason the job went so quickly and painlessly is that, after listening carefully to what we believed we wanted in our remodels, they came back with design suggestions and plans that were virtually perfect – they matched our image of what we wanted in almost every respect. In the few instances that we wanted something a little different, they went back to work and provided us with very appealing alternatives.
The quality of the work by the craftsmen who work for Mike and Kathe is also top notch. Every stage of our project, from demolition to the finishing touches, was performed on time and with excellent results.
We are extremely pleased with the remodel of our kitchen and bath, and we will definitely call on Dreambuilders for our next remodeling project.
Kath and Dave Winter
Dear DreamBuilders Team: Kathe, Mike, Christina, Jill, Leah, Paul and all the subcontractors involved with our kitchen project,
We love our kitchen! It’s everything we wanted it to be and most definitely my “happy place”. It’s where I’m excited to put love into our meals and break bread with our friends. Thank you for sharing your expertise, your outstanding attention to detail, your persistence in getting things right and the energy and enthusiasm you expended to please us.
This thank you note is long overdue. I apologize for the delay. I’ve been trying to find a new angle, maybe something you haven’t heard over and over again from your many satisfied clients. We finally came across an occasion that extended our happiness in our kitchen in a new light. How about this?
We had invited two couples to dinner and went all out in the food preparation. We started the evening in the kitchen noshing and drinking and chatting. Dinner progressed into the dining room with a lovely double mustard crusted pork roast, glazed carrots, arugula salad and bread. It was heavenly and I had used innumerable pots and pans and dishes in preparing dinner. Before dessert and while we rested our full bellies I tucked back into the kitchen and quickly filled up the dishwasher and soaked a few pans. I went back to join in the discussion and one of the men left the table and headed into the kitchen.
We opened another bottle of wine before I realized he was still in the kitchen. I found him washing pots and pans. I was mortified! But he was not to be deterred. He said, “I love your kitchen. I even love doing dishes in your kitchen. You have so much space and it’s so organized in here. I just love it!” I know exactly how he felt! It is perfect! I did tell him he was welcome to come over and do dishes anytime! When someone enjoys doing the dirty work in your kitchen, you know you’ve got it good! And we do know how good we’ve got it. Thank you so much DreamBuilders.
Tina and Bill Cox
We wanted to say thank you to all of you for the work you did on our house, from design to finish. The kitchen's transformation is stunning, and everyone has commented on how beautiful it looks and how functional it is. As I was moving things into the kitchen, I realized I was walking around the island to go from one side to the other, and it just felt perfect. We love it!
Thank you for making our vision become a reality.
Suzanne and Jim Schraith
El Dorado Hills, CA
Working with the talented design team at DreamBuilders gave us the opportunity to have a kitchen created that truly fit our needs. We were particularly impressed that, with the aid of computer graphics, we were able to envision the remodel as it would look upon completion. Organization within the team was key; and as our project was kept to a strict schedule, we always knew what phase of the remodel was taking place on any given day. We appreciated that Mike was just a phone call away should any problems arise. DreamBuilders turned what would have been a very daunting & complicated kitchen remodel into a process that we loved to see the progression of everyday.