Great customer feedback on a builder I've recommended in the past


That would be Ferdinand Steyer and his Mountain Works/Baumeister

Dear Chris,

As an avid reader of your blog, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for a recommendation I found several years ago, since actually, this was the second time that I have used Ferdinand Steyer of Mountain Works for a major addition of a home in Greenwich.

Aside of mentioning of course the expected and achieved, high level of execution and finish, I wanted to note what I found to be the interesting change in the business model that Ferdinand had implemented.  First to note, he had added a separate entity called Baumeister Inc. and instead of being a typical General Contractor like Mountain Works is, he proposed an alternate model of a somewhat modified Project Management to me.  Although in essence, as far as my experience went, he still acted as a GC taking care of the entire project from permitting to the final CO, the major differences were very appealing to me. 

First, he charged a flat fee for the entire project, which surprisingly wasn’t based on a percentage of the project cost, but his expected time involvement allowing me to better understand what to expect.  So even when I made changes that caused a substantial increase in cost during the project, it never increased his fee.  Secondly, uniquely,  I paid all contractors directly, which provided me with complete transparency and control of the cash flow. I don’t know about other people, but in my past projects it had always bothered me to hand over huge amounts of money, not really knowing or understanding where it went exactly.   

Additionally,  in his new model, since he worked on a flat fee, all the discounts, from the subs to materials, he negotiated were passed on to me, a substantial savings. In my case these savings actually made up for his fee.  Further, as a bonus I was able to charge huge amounts via my Credit Card and as you can imagine, the points I racked up allowed my family a nice vacation!

So again, thanks for the recommendation and keep up the good work!

A Grateful Reader

Recommendations are always a slightly risky affair, because even the best people can either screw up or simply fall into a contentious relationship with the customer, and the person who relied on my recommendation quite rightly bales me.

So I'm very happy this one worked out so well.