Hiring D Gartner Contracting was the best decision we made while building our home. Darwin and Jackie care for their clients as if they were family. Our build felt like Darwin’s priority as he was eager to offer suggestions and answer questions. We also appreciated that our job site was always clean and organized. The sub trades were always lined up one after another making our build move along quickly and efficiently. Darwin has an incredible work ethic and eye for detail, he does not rest until he is happy with the end result. We so appreciated all of Darwin and Jackie’s professional advice and guidance along the way, they kept us on budget and still getting exactly what we were looking for in our house. After living in our home for over a year we are continually impressed with the quality craftsmanship he and his team were able to deliver.
~ Trevor & Danielle ~ Chilliwack, BC
In the summer of 2017, my wife and I embarked on finding just the right builder to construct our custom dream home on the 5 acres we’d owned and lived on since 2007. We’d long ago decided that we weren’t moving from this property until they carried us off, so we’d have one chance to get it right, and our builder would be the key. We had very specific ideas about the look and feel of our home, but were also working within a budget. Our plans were for a two-level traditional 3-bedroom home on a full walk-out basement. All together it would be about 3500 square feet with lots of natural light, a 3-sided fireplace, covered porch and country kitchen.
After asking friends and colleagues for referrals, as well as scouring the internet for builder’s sites, reviews and pictures of their work, we decided on four builders that we would interview and share our plans with for a quote. Each of the interviews went well, and frankly we didn’t know how we were going to make our decision; but one builder, Darwin Gartner, already began to stand out. He was the only one who not only looked over our plans in detail, while he was with us, but also made some suggestions on how we could improve the design as well as reduce costs.
When the interviews were over, we awaited the quotes from each of the builders. Soon, one of them contacted us to say they were too busy to take on our project. Then another sent us a one-page “quote” with a very high price and a number of typos. He didn’t seem that eager. The third sent us a thorough but boilerplate quote with a fairly high price, which we took under consideration. However, Darwin then contacted us and said he’d like to sit down and go over his quote.
When he arrived, I was surprised to find he came bearing a thick binder of his sub-contractor’s quotes and his own numerous notes and calculations based on our specific plans. We spent three hours walking through the details, in which he was transparent about costs, processes and expectations. My wife and I were both very impressed with the level of work and detail Darwin had put into our quote, and it seemed to us that he was the most serious about getting our project – and getting the details right. And to our surprise, his price was the most competitive too. Over the following weeks, we finalized the details and made our decision to work with Darwin and Jackie of D Gartner Contracting, and we never looked back. We finalized the plans that winter and applied for a permit in March, and by the time it came through, we were able to break ground in August of 2018.
Now Darwin’s crew may not be the biggest, but they lacked nothing in experience, craftsmanship, friendliness and respect for us, the owners. As a former renovation contractor and finishing carpenter, I was constantly impressed that they took the time to do the quality of work I would want to do myself, and not simply try to speed through to lower their costs. Darwin’s high expectations for himself and his crew were evident in the care they took to get things right, and he was always open to my observations, questions and suggestions along the way. We lived next door in what is now a guest house, so we had a front row seat for the entire construction process. Every day we walked the site and our excitement grew as we envisioned the day we could move in. Over time, we got to know each of Darwin’s crew and felt like they were building “our house”, not just “a house”.
Completion of construction proceeded through a very cold winter, and by April we were nearing the finish line. Along the way, there were a few very minor hiccups here and there, but nothing serious and nothing that wasn’t resolved quickly with Darwin. He took responsibility for everything that happened on the site, and his commitment to quality and his integrity throughout the process was continually evident. Along the way, Jackie kept us up-to-date on the administrative end of things, and together, her and Darwin made the process go smoothly. And as for the sub-trades that Darwin uses, they all did a great job for us. They engaged us in the process to make sure we were all on the same page, and at times when there were minor misunderstandings, they worked hard to ensure we were completely happy with the end results. It was evident to me that Darwin has great long-term working relationships with these companies, and that benefitted us throughout the build. And I noticed that whenever we were out picking materials or finishes for the house, I heard nothing but good about Darwin. That was encouraging.
When we finally moved in on April 20, 2019, we began to really appreciate the care with which our home had been built, and truly appreciated what a great process it had actually been. You hear so many horror stories about people clashing with their builders, filing lawsuits and winding up with jobs not being finished properly, but none of that was our experience. Quite the opposite. Dealing with Darwin and Jackie always made us feel confident, informed, respected and cared for. If I wasn’t so happy living in the home they built for us to spend the rest of our lives in, I would readily hire them again.
I whole-heartedly recommend D Gartner Contracting for their quality of building, their overall value, their customer care, their integrity and, most of all, their genuine commitment to making the entire experience of building a custom home a good one! These may be “old fashioned” qualities, but Darwin and Jackie are keeping them alive.
Steve and Karen Steinebach