I WISH our only complaints were the delays and “unforeseen” additional costs typically associated with home renovations. And while Karma Home Design’s delays have been absurd and their add-on costs preposterous, it is the dysfunctional management, unprofessionalism, and complete lack of customer service we have suffered through for 6 months and counting (they are STILL not finished what was to be a 2-3 month project!) that prompts this review. Early March 2014, we purchased a house and worked through remodeling plans with Karma Home Designs before moving in. On March 23, 2014 we signed and paid our deposit to Karma to build a laundry closet and walk-in closet, and on April 23, we signed and paid a deposit to add a master bathroom to our home remodel project. Jordan, Nick, and Kris are incredibly friendly people – they pass the “who would you wanna have a beer with” vote but DEFINITELY DO NOT get our vote of confidence for home renovations!
Days and sometimes weeks would pass where there was no work done at our home (this is NOT including the wait times for permits and other official/reasonable delay). We never knew when Karma staff would show up and let themselves in with the work key after long periods of unexplained absence, so when they did, it repeatedly set off our home security service or intruded on my wife breastfeeding and tending to our newborn (Karma was to be finished before our baby’s arrival…). When we asked for 24 hours notice of irregular worksite visits, our request was disregarded and surprise visits (along with security and privacy breaches) continued. We asked that construction foot traffic be restricted to worksite areas of our home, trespasses on our tenant and personal areas continued and Karma management balked at our protest telling us there are “so many rules to follow” and advised us to “post signs” rather than their taking responsibility for their staff. The inaugural months in our new house have been replete with home intrusions. From having Karma management wander into bedrooms in other parts of our home while someone is resting (THREE TIMES this happened!), to continuous obvious and “untidy” use of our personal upstairs bathroom after we have specifically designated the restroom on the main floor for worker use, or finding urine stains on and around the brand new toilet in the bathroom remodel, to having staff kick up their feet to relax in our nursing rocker to watch a movie on our main floor TV or sit and get comfortable in our basement family area (we have photos) – we can only imagine what goes on when we’re not home to monitor in person!
Each time we submitted design details or product specifications requested by Karma, the managers would just sit on the information for WEEKS before taking any action which led to expired permits and expensive missed opportunities. Project details were inaccurately conveyed to work staff or sometimes not passed along at all, leading to several instances of work having to be torn down and redone, further delaying the project and destroying cherished elements of our restored 1920s home. On-site staff, including the plumbers, electricians, and carpenters, regularly sought us out in our home regarding time sensitive specifications and details necessary to complete their work that we had already submitted to Karma management weeks prior. We have even had to stop workers in the middle of major tasks (like building walls and drop down ceilings) due to incorrect dimensions clearly not in accordance with what we submitted to the managers. In these instances, we were fortunate that one of us was home to notice the error and stop it before it cost more time and money. The downside is that we’ve been paying tens of thousands to be our own project foreman…
To make matters worse, the work that has been finished is shoddy, structurally unsound, or irreparably flawed. Unleveled countertops, slanted walls, and misaligned doors are negatively impacting adjacent elements and areas of the project site. Specific layout and design details have been botched in ways that cannot be remedied without starting the project over completely. And when we raise these concerns with Karma management, they blameshift to other managers or blame us the clients, until we submit to them photographic or documented proof of THEIR error.
Karma’s internal management communication have cost US BIG TIME both in regards to money AND energy. We have spent countless days trying to reconcile what was discussed and agreed upon with one set of project managers in the spring and what latter half project managers understood to be included in the invoices we’ve paid. We have gone back and forth for days as Karma has avoided fixing and paying for their own errors. While Kris has been very diplomatic in negotiating this rift, it has not been without avoidable additions to our bill and our headaches. This entire experience has been a NIGHTMARE!!!