Set The Bar High
Project Date: September 2017
We had an excellent experience working with Newschool Builders on a significant renovation project in the Mad River Valley in late 2017. We live out of town and could not be on-site consistently, forcing us to put a lot of trust in Blake, Tanner and team. They really exceeded expectations on every front. A few things stood out:
1. The finished project looks amazing, thanks to their skill, hard work and good taste. We did not use an architect or designer on this project, and relied on their team to help us think through a number of smaller design decisions. Blake and Tanner provided great suggestions and explained options clearly.
2. Communication was consistent and professional. They responded to emails promptly (often within a few hours), pro-actively raised issues and laid out options with clear trade-offs. They also offered opinions at appropriate times to steer us in the right direction. In addition, they used software that allowed us to track the project status, review pictures, change orders and follow tracking against budget via smartphone and web interface. Given we were remote, this level of communication was critical.
3. They finished on-time, and on-budget. We threw a number of major changes their way during the project, and they still completed the project by the end-date that we established at the start of the project. For each of the changes, they provided cost estimates and then delivered within the expected range. The team is incredibly reliable - always on-site and working hard. I never had to worry about someone showing up on-time or work stalling.
4. They are nice guys who seem to enjoy and take great pride in their work. The project was a lot more fun because we really liked Blake, Tanner and other members of the team. We always felt that they really cared about the success of the project both in terms of finished product and our satisfaction with the process.
I would HIGHLY recommend Newschool Builders for any project large or small. We've completed a few renovation projects in the past, and Newschool established a new bar for what to expect from a builder.
Travis and Zoe - Warren, VT
Project Date: January 2016
Blake and his crew are hardworking and knowledgeable. Blake is a problem solver, and has great connections with subcontractors. Easy to work with, very concerned with my satisfaction as a client, and timely. I have hired Blake and Newschool Builders twice (once for a renovation to a remote camp which was done better than our imagination could of hoped for, and now for a three-home complex that is very demanding since it is renovation of a historic home to become a multi unit development that is high performance and full of detail). Newschool can do it all, from renovation to new construction, and do it well, timely and within the budget. The best contractor I have ever hired.
Richard and Kinny - Warren, VT
Project Date: July 2014
Newschool Builders finished our basement to a high spec for a spa and gym area as well as remedial exterior work to our guest cottage. They managed all aspects of the project with creative solutions and to exacting standards of themselves as well as their chosen sub contractors. Cannot recommend them enough!
Daniel - Stowe, VT
Project Date: September 2013
Newschool Builders did an amazing job on our home renovation. Blake and his crew were incredibly professional, managed the job well and on time, and their craftsmanship is beautiful. We would definitely recommend Newschool Builders for any project - big or small. They are knowledgeable, have a great sense of style and give just the right amount of advice when needed. We loved working with them.
Jonah and Sarah - Waitsfield, VT
Project Date: July 2015
We hired Newschool Builders to build our home. Blake and his crew offered friendly and knowledgeable service, as well as exhibited superior craftsmanship, strong problem solving skills and utmost honesty. We would recommend them to anyone!
Joel and Mckenzie - Warren, VT
Seamless Out of State Communication
Project Date: May 2014
My project was a complete renovation of my Vermont home, including the expansion of three separate rooms, a new kitchen, all new heating and electrical systems, new windows/doors and renovated bathrooms. At the time of the renovation I was living and working out of state but the communication with the Newschool team was seamless. I developed complete trust that the work was being done properly and this was confirmed during my site visits. Starting with our first meeting the team provided excellent design recommendations which dramatically improved the finished product. Scope changes were handled with complete transparency, I never had to question any of the costs on the project. I couldn't be more pleased with the renovation process as it unfolded or the the final results.
Gary - Warren, VT
Fluid Adaptation to Changing Scope
Project Date: March 2011
In 2010-11, we had another child on the way, and were in serious need of more space in our Warren home. When we decided to expand our house rather than go through the grueling process of moving, we began looking for local builders. We happened upon Newschool Builders when a neighbor whose house they were working on recommended them. From the first meeting, we felt that Blake was the builder for us: friendly, enthusiastic, full of ideas, and above all, respectful of our time crunch and budgeting needs. From the first scraped load of dirt to the final driven nail, the entire process went about as brilliantly as possible (from our end), which is something that I don't say lightly. So much of that was due to Newschool's quality craftsmanship, but also, and perhaps ALMOST as importantly, their ability to fluidly adapt to the shifting scope of the job. In the end, we would hire these guys again, as they say, in a heartbeat.
Jay and Kate - Warren, VT
Recommended by Architects
Project Date: March 2017
When I started working a year ago with my architect, Jim Sanford, he stressed the importance of hiring a great contractor to execute the complex design work we had in mind. I left that part in Jim's hands, and he selected Newschool Builders, who he described as head and shoulders above other local contractors. It was great advice from Jim, as Newschool Builders did an absolutely phenomenal job both in quality of workmanship, and importantly, coming in exactly on time. I set the target date for completion by June 30, and the furniture was moved back in that very day. Considering the scope of the work done, that was quite an accomplishment to achieve.
Additionally, Blake Hackerson of Newschool Builders gave me a lot of important input on ideas that hadn't been considered in the architect's original plan, which really helped give the apartment a very complete look. Moreover, Newschool Builders put in a lot of hours designing the intricate ceiling work with LED recessed lighting, which was a significant cost savings to me vs the hourly charge for the architect to have done all that work.
Many thanks to Blake, Everett, Ian, Joel and all of the rest of the Newschool Builders team, along with Jim Sanford's vision, who transformed our apartment into something truly extraordinary. It gives me joy every day to appreciate the incredible craftsmanship and artistry in the apartment now. In one word - awesome.
Todd - Warren, VT
It Takes a Team
Project Date: February 2017
We hired Newschool Builders to remodel our beloved Vermont ski home into a permanent residence. Blake, his project manager Pat, and the entire team did an outstanding job. They understood and respected our connection to the home and did an excellent job of marrying the old with the new. Our home challenged their carpentry skills with uneven walls, floors and ceilings. They surpassed our expectations with their attention to detail and clean trim work.
Everyone we met from Newschool including the subcontractors that they recommended had a great attitude, friendly, positive and patient. They listened to all of our concerns, answered all of our questions and worked with us to come up with creative solutions. They were an integral part of creating our home.
Best of all, they delivered on time and on budget. The detail and transparency with their financials was greatly appreciated. Blake takes great pride in delivering quality work and goes out of his way to make sure his clients have the best experience possible. We have been through several remodeling projects and this one was by far the best.
Perry and Valery - Warren VT
Bring Your Vision to Life
Project Date: March 2009
My house had a perfect location for a sunroom. I wanted walls of windows, a place where I could be a part of my backyard woods no matter what season of the year in Vermont. My specific list of design requests required artistry and a lot of detail work along with insightful understanding to allow my ideas to become a reality. The guys at Newschool Builders are the ones you want. Stop looking for a construction company. If you can dream it, Newschool Builders can bring it to life.
Jean and Ken - Waitsfield, VT
Andrew Volansky, AIA - Volansky Studios
As an Architect, I prefer working with general contractors who are collaborative, receptive to ideas and can bring their experience to the table to better a project. I find Newschool Builders energy and receptiveness to learning how the design manifests client goals to be refreshing. It isn't always obvious how a design has accomplished a particular client goal and a few thoughtful questions can bring to light why certain details or architectural moves were made. I value Newschool Builders interest in understanding the underlying design concepts as it helps them to make more appropriate project specific decisions during the construction phase. This approach, in my opinion is paramount to a successful project.
I often say that Newschool Builders have left a string of happy clients in their wake which speaks volumes in my book.
Andrew - Stowe, VT
Masterful Attention to Detail
Project Date: September 2015
Newschool built our garage and shop and finished a bay on our main house with special attention to the Victorian era exterior details to match the existing structure. From the moment our project started with the site work, through the framing and completion, there was masterful attention to detail. The project was completed on time and on budget. We enjoyed working with Blake, the crew and all who were involved in bringing the project to fruition. If at all possible, we will utilize Newschool Builders for any and all of our future projects.
Dee - Burlington, VT
High Quality Work, On Time & Budget
Project Date: March 2015
My wife and I hired Newschool Builders to convert an unfinished basement area into a media room and office along with a half bathroom. We could not have been more pleased with the results, for a number of reasons:
1. Engagement, integrity and good communication: Blake, the owner of Newschool, was directly involved from start to finish of the project. We came to have a great appreciation for his honesty, integrity and open communications throughout the process. He made great suggestions at the planning stage and was always straightforward about costs. We greatly appreciated that he would sit down with us at regular intervals during the construction to go review progress and to alert us to any possible unforeseen costs.
2. High quality results within budget: Most importantly Newschool did quality work with which we've remained very happy for the 3 years since completion. They did so within our agreed budget and with no unpleasant surprises.
All in all, we had a highly satisfactory experience with Newschool Builders and would recommend them highly to anyone looking for a contractor in this area. Should we undertake any new projects in the future, Newschool Builders would be our first choice!
Geof and Jenny - Waitsfield, VT
The Beginning of a Relationship
Project Date: September 2017
We contacted Newschool Builders for the installation of a new front door and side lights. The Newschool team was wonderfully efficient and our experience was simply fun. It was a small project, however the team did nothing short of professional and perfect. We have larger projects coming up and thrilled to have professionals we already trust and enjoy!
Justina - Waterbury, VT
Susan Teare - Professional Home Photographer
I love getting a call from Newschool Builders to photograph their projects because their work is of very high quality, carefully crafted and genuinely built with attention to detail. They are involved in a wide variety of projects - from commercial to residential - that are all thoughtfully designed and constructed with seamless collaboration. It is really a pleasure to be able to work for these guys year after year!
Susan - All Over, VT
Ellen Strauss, AIA - Sanford Strauss Architects
It has been a pleasure to work with this crew of young 'can do' guys! They bring a lot to the table, figuring out great details that really look good and still meet the highest energy efficiency goals. Their communication is great as we work on new construction and gut renovation. I look forward to a long productive relationship.
Ellen Strauss - Waitsfield, VT
Client for Life
Project Date: June 2013
Newschool Builders completed a major renovation and custom addition for us in 2013. They were experienced and detail oriented from the budget to the smallest details of our home. They were great communicators and so much fun to work with, patient with changes that we made to the budget and plan, incredibly organized, thoughtful and an overall joy to be around. They are tech savvy and we used Houzz and other media to hone our vision and share ideas, an enjoyable and efficient way to manage our large project. Their fine woodworking skills were an added bonus as they completed all kinds of gorgeous custom projects in our home, from built-in shelving and bathroom cabinetry to a custom fireplace mantel and a beautiful handcrafted dining table made using hand tools and reclaimed wood that we sourced together. We have worked with Newschool on many projects since and every time they amaze us with their fine craftsmanship, attention to detail, timeframe and budget, and their great sense of design. We will be working together for many years to come.
Ty and Madhurii - Fayston, VT