It’s hard to put an experience into words sometimes. I’m writing this review because I want everyone to know how much of a partner Benvenuti & Stein have become for us. There are lot of “home builders” in the area: How do you choose? Will it be done on budget? How long will this take? How do I know if I’m getting a good deal? The construction industry has a sometimes bad reputation for a reason – now we were venturing into that beast full speed ahead. That was our dilemma in June of 2015. We had recently purchased an 85 year old home in River Forest, IL that needed a complete gut rehab (including all mechanical systems). We were starting from an absolute blank slate (at least on the interior). After receiving multiple bids based on preliminary design, pricing was all over the board. $500,000 all the way up to $800,000. Again, the questions started up again… what makes one rehab cost X and one cost Y. In the process of vetting the design build firms we began to learn the famous quote, “Price is what you pay and value is what you get.” has never been more applicable. Ultimately, that is what our decision came down too – what level of quality and finishes (things we value) would make us happy. That eliminated the first few contenders. Now we had to decide again, “How am I going to trust someone to do the project right”. I had heard stories of how contractors would skimp and use the cheapest material and labor on the things I couldn’t see (everything inside the walls) and then apply the “finishes” a home owner had selected. We wanted both – someone who would rebuild this home like it was their own house – paying attention to every detail (especially the things we don’t see everyday). Is there a higher cost to get the job right? We decided the answer was “No” because we could have easily spent less to have the job done wrong. T We are so happy that we choose Benvenuti & Stein, a design build firm that brought a unique combination of ability to complete our project without cutting corners, uses high-end finishes and was able to work within budget. Their ability is project manage is what truly made this all possible and we have nothing but the highest compliments for their team. Full disclosure: I definitely have OCD tendencies. I really want things done right – all the way from the inside of the walls to the final coat of paint. Just ask Bob, Dave or Kris about my obsession with straight lines. Geno Benvenuti (CEO), Bob Zievel (Project Manager), Kris Sandoval (Designer) and David Collins (on-site foreman) delivered. The design and construction process were better than we ever could have ever imagined. We’ve done a simple remodel before, so we a basic understanding of the “you get what you pay for” concept. That’s why we went with Geno and his team. They were not the “cheapest”. There are other companies that can handle cheap. We wanted value and quality. They definitely understand the requirements of a customer that needs a project done right. But here’s the kicker: THEY WILL WORK ON YOUR BUDGET. We asked them to help us completely redesign design an 85 year old home – down to the studs and removal of a few load bearing walls. We collaborated to create something incredible but asked for a project plan that would allow us to break the entire project into 2 phases (phase 1 were the two main floors, phase 2 and 3 involve two additions and a basement remodel). Anyway, a full gut rehab and 5.5 months later, me, my wife and 2 girls moved into an incredible home. Geno: Thanks for pushing us. Your vision to see the potential of our space was really something special. Bob: Thanks for all the times you answered the phone to “run the numbers” – I felt like I was your only client… incredible. Kris: The voice of inspiration. Thanks for letting us design something we didn’t think was possible. We wake up every morning and can’t believe how this turned out. You’ve got a gift in how you put all the pieces together!! Dave… What can I say??? You were here every day. Your level and plumb lines we NEVER more than 1/64 off. You managed the trades like a boss of all bosses. Thank you. We will be repeat Benvenuti clients because of everyone’s hard work! To all the others homeowners evaluating design-build firms… My advice: 1. Get it done right the first time. Now is not the time to skimp. 2. Go with experience. 3. Don’t fall for the low bid trick. Benvenuti was only over by 2% on their original estimate. Most contractors say “prepare for 15% – 25% in overage for unforeseen things”. 4. And remember, you get what you pay for. If you would like a reference. Ask them about 1201. We would be glad to share our experience.” Jimmy & Carolyn/River Forest
Benvenuti rehabbed our kitchen by replacing countertops, backsplash, redesigning some cabinets, refinishing floors and painting cabinets. They also did extensive electrical and plumbing updates. They arrived promptly, cleaned the area every night had experienced employees and team members. Their work is always perfect and they won’t accept anything that is not. Their designer we worked with listened to my wants and needs and guided me to achieve them. This is our second project with Benvenuti and would not consider any other firm.” L. Fisher/Glencoe
I have used this firm for both design build from the foundation and for a major renovation of an existing condo. Both projects resulted in a living design that was exactly what I was hoping to achieve in the time frame that was presented. Quality work, great follow through if you need them to return for any issue.” J.Zager/Chicago
Benvenuti and Stein renovated our kitchen with custom cabinets and a completely new floor plan on our main floor. Their architects are visionary, the cabinet makers are brilliant, and all of the contractors and sub contractors are very professional and were a joy to have in our home for four months. The project manager made sure that they stayed on the timeline and met all deadlines. We plan to use them again in the future if we ever build or renovate.” Deb Wineman/Glencoe
I can’t say enough about the beautiful job they did. The custom cabinets are amazing and the space planning they did was incredible. We live in a 4 story home that has limited space and after the remodel we have extra room for storage! The staff was there everyday on time and very pleasant to work with. They even had the job finished on time. We will definitely use them for future projects! Thanks to all at Benvenuti and Stein!” Theresa R /Chicago Gold Coast
Benvenuti and Stein remodeled our kitchen, raised the ceiling in our dining room, and refinished our hardwood floors. Their entire staff is extremely professional, polite, honest, prompt and clean…The level of craftsmanship shown by their carpenters is amazing. The project was completed on time and we could not be happier with the outcome. We now have a kitchen, dining room, and hardwood floors that we are extremely proud of. The result is absolutely gorgeous. We recommend Benvenuti and Stein in the highest possible terms. They are simply terrific. We look forward to using them again when it comes time to remodel our basement! ” Philip Reny/Wilmette
…we recently celebrated our sixth year in our Benvenuti and Stein home… To this day, we regularly receive compliments on the design and craftmanship of our home. The cabinetry work, in particular, is second to none… Benvenuti and Stein embraces a formula of timeless design and superior craftmanship that is unequaled. Moreover, you stand behind the quality of your work with integrity and personal interest that is rarely seen in any business today. Thank you to you and your team for building a home for our family that we have thoroughly enjoyed over the past six years. We look forward to the next six!”
Chris & Jill Hartman/Winnetka
“Benvenuti and Stein remodeled our kitchen, raised the ceiling in our dining room, and refinished our hardwood floors. Their entire staff is extremely professional, polite, honest, prompt and clean. One of their design professionals, Kris, was assigned to us for the duration of the 3 month project. Weekly meetings took place so that we were always on the same page as to where the project was in terms of completion and whether any issues needed to be resolved. Any issues that did arise were resolved quickly and to our complete satisfaction. Kris spent many hours with us visiting various suppliers (granite countertops, kitchen and door hardware, appliances). Her advice was very helpful. The level of craftsmanship shown by their carpenters (custom-designed and built cabinetry and onsite carpentry for crown-molding, etc.) is amazing. The project was completed on time and we could not be happier with the outcome. We now have a kitchen, dining room, and hardwood floors that we are extremely proud of. The result is absolutely gorgeous. We recommend Benvenuti and Stein in the highest possible terms. They are simply terrific. We look forward to using them again when it comes time to remodel our basement! ” Philip Reny – Wilmette
Benvenuti and Stein is loyal and trustworthy, and they will impress you at every turn. After they finished designing and building our new home we threw them a party! Our home is our sanctuary and we had very specific ideas on how we wanted it look and how we needed it to function. The company came up with a design that was in keeping with our needs and the historic look of our neighborhood. We love it.”
Leslie & John Carothers /Glencoe
“I use Benvenuti and Stein because of trust. The work is done well and honestly”
“You have done a fantastic job and you may certainly use me as a reference.”
“We love Benvenuti and Stein. Great people – that’s the key.”
John & Janet Keller/Northfield
“We love our kitchen and baths. Very well done!”
James & Dorothy Currie/Northfield
“The people from start to finish were wonderful, professional, responsive and flexible.”
Gary Lenhoff & Linda Epstein /Northbrook
“We would definitely hire you again. One strong point is that you come back to correct or fix things years later.”
Wade & Beverly Fetzer/Glencoe
“The Benvenuti and Stein team was very professional and a pleasure to work with.”
John & Joan Gilchrist/Northfield
“Benvenuti and Stein is the Gold Standard by which all others should measure themselves in the home remodeling and maintenance business. These folks just get it – provide the best materials and craftsmanship with a smile. In addition, Benvenuti and Stein provides excellent maintenance years and years after your project has been completed. The same people work there and know your house. I cannot say enough nice things about this company.
Worth every penny! ”
Lisa & David Peterson / Winnetka
We love our “new” old house!”
Jamie & Tracy Sprayragen/Glencoe
“The staff listened and adapted our idea into workable results.”
Michael & Susan Kosin/Glenview
“We’ve enjoyed our ‘new’ house for 13 years.”
Byron & Diane Karzas/Lake Forest
“The people at Benvenuti and Stein are creative problem solvers. They can look at your home and know immediately how to make it better than ever. We redid our kitchen and expanded the family room and it’s so beautiful. It’s like having a new home.”
Joy & Dennis Black/Deerfield
“Benvenuti and Stein is amazing. We bought an old, rundown house and they turned it into a stunning family home.”
Molly & Andrew Goldberg/Golf
“We loved everyone we worked with. Helpful, responsive, professional . . . the whole team was fantastic and we are really thrilled with the results.
Jennifer Manning & Steve Feldman
“We enjoyed working with your firm. Responsiveness was 100%. We have already recommended Benvenuti and Stein to others. We are partial toward Design/Build after this experience. Cabinetry is beautiful and a perfect way to compliment the spaces.”
John & Marielle Babnik- Glencoe
“We couldn’t be happier with the professionalism and dedication to quality shown by everyone at Benvenuti and Stein. We have, and we will continue to recommend you without hesitation.”
Bill & Cathy Osborn- Winnetka
“We hired Benvenuti and Stein to turn a bedroom/bathroom into a dressing room. We have a room full of custom mirrored cabinetry that is absolutely gorgeous, window seats and a freestanding chest with jewelry drawers and a bench seat with a large drawer underneath.
They were wonderful to work with. The architectural plans were exceptional.
The crew working in our home could not have been more helpful and respectful of keeping things “tidy”. I always felt the whole group wanted us to be happy with the outcome and put their best effort into the project.
The project was on time and on budget.
I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE my dressing room and quite honestly have never seen one in person or a magazine that I like more.I hope I can use Benvenuti and Stein again.”
Lisa Tank – Winnetka
“We have used Benvenuti and Stein for projects both large and small. They totally redesigned the our 1920’s tudor to bring it into this century. We gutted the floor to open the space and added a new kitchen, powder room, replaced an old hardly used back stair with additional storage and on and on. On another occasion we redid my daughter’s bathroom-another gut and rebuild. Most recently, after a downsize to a condominium, Benvenuti and Stein designed and built the most beautiful bookcases for my husband’s new library. Everyone a Benvenuti is terrific and after having them in my house for several months, I can say I know them very well!” Mindy Munson – Chicago
“My wife and I have used Benvenuti and Stein for 2 projects and we would again. What we like most is the quality of their people. Everyone in the office and on the site behaves like they’re in the sales department. Not only are they courteous, but they’re responsive, competent, and they’re fastidious about housekeeping….everyday. We also found their invoicing to be accurate, consistent with the estimate and transparent. Lastly, they are respectful of the schedule and work hard to stay in alignment with it.
Geno Benvenuti and his architectural staff have a creative eye for how to capture space, and the end result is that the parts of our home that they have reworked always garner compliments while at the same time appearing to have been integral to the house for a long time. ” Jim Steinback – Northfield