I have a rather unique and old collection: Halloween antiques ranging in age from 80 to 100 years old. It had been a dream of mine to have a "hobby room" with lighted, custom cabinets and dimmers designed to showcase and protect my collectibles so that I could enjoy them year round. As Malcolm had designed our kitchen several years earlier and we couldn't have been more pleased with the results, the first contractor I spoke to was Malcolm.
The day he said 'yes' he began to send me pics of visual inspiration and ideas for the museum room. These included photographs of the Pitt River Museum in England, and assorted "cabinets of curiosities". Any apprehension I had about converting our rec room in our East York bungalow into the Museum Room of my dreams dissipated.
There are a whole bunch of things about working with Malcolm that are hard to beat. He works with you, not for you. He is a font of creativity and ideas. He brings a passion for his craft and is a true craftsman. He takes an enormous amount of pride in his work. Once the spark is lit in him on a particular project, you just have to let him work, and let him do what he does best -- create. He's uncompromisingly picky and discerning -- if any of his crew do something that is not 100% to his satisfaction, he has them redo it. Must drive them nuts, but as a homeowner I love it! There is never EVER an instance of having to have an uncomfortable conversation and point out to Malcolm that something is not quite up to his standards -- he is always one step ahead.
He is resourceful. If he can't find a piece of molding he wants, he'll make a mold of it and create it for you without even being asked. He's an unusually good problem solver. He's direct and honest and will tell you if he thinks you are making a choice in an appliance or design of fixture that you may regret later. He was instrumental in sourcing an antique style of cast iron gas fireplace that would complement the somewhat unusual atmosphere of my collection and it's vintage. I showed him a photograph of an Art Deco wooden mantle I liked and he built it. He even installed the marble surround for our fireplace.
Though I must have driven him crazy with all the various heights and sizes of cabinets needed to house my collection, which ranges greatly in size, he never showed it. I think he saw this as an opportunity to do something cool and complex that he had never done before and he was committed to making it amazing.
When we ran into an issue with a third party contractor I had brought in installing something improperly, and being quite shoddy, he called my attention to it and helped me manage them. He sourced and found an electrician who had experience with museum lighting, as the needs were quite complex, multiple separate switches and dimmers, pot lights in the ceiling, etc. He not only designed and built my cabinets and room, but he project managed the whole build.
I took photographs at every stage of the project, from before, to various stages of the demo, insulation and drywall, lighting, cabinet and fireplace install. You can view them all in this photo album on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ghostofhalloweenspast/albums/72157688645478090
Basically, I think I've been spoiled rotten by Malcolm and his (fastidiously clean) team! And on the subject of the cleanliness of his team, they vacuumed and cleaned up EVERY day not just at the end.
It really is hard for any other contractor or supplier to come close to the standard he sets.
I would not hesitate to recommend Malcolm and his team, and we fully hope to work with him again in the future.