Historic Hyde Park house
"Krista Ernst was the General Contractor for our project -- a major renovation of a historic Hyde Park house. Her involvement was start-to-finish, beginning with conceptual discussions and continuing right through permitting, demolition, construction and finally some minor after-move-in warranty issues. Literally, no part of the house was left untouched. Her performance was exceptional.
Two major areas in which Krista excels are scheduling and management of her subcontractors and her perceptive ability to align to her client's needs and wants.
Krista has a loyal tribe of subs that exceed normal behavior in meeting the schedule and quality needs of her projects -- and that is invaluable. With Austin's current construction boom, I was initially concerned that this could be a significant problem. Maybe it is for others, but not for Krista.
It's a sure sign of mutual respect and exceptional communication that her subs show up when needed, they do the job right the first time, and (almost without exception) only need to do it once. Re-work is almost non-existent on her jobs, but when necessary, she's there to make sure the final resolution is as-ordered or better.
Krista's client skills are equally exceptional. She never tries to talk her clients into accepting her vision of what they should want -- but neither does she passively await instruction. A house project includes literally thousands of small and large decisions, and Krista is extremely good at presenting alternatives when clients get stuck on some detail that could stop the flow.
Krista is the client's advocate when it comes to cost, and she is always on the lookout for ways to provide the quality required at the best value. A leading example is reuse of existing materials -- and when renovating a vintage house, many materials are simply unavailable today. But with Krista's care, we retained much of the original elements that give our old house it's charm.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Krista to anyone considering a similar project, big or small."
Mike- Hyde Park
1925 Bungalow Add-on
"We hired Krista for an add-on to our 1925 bungalow. Every step of the way was an absolute pleasure. Her rates were very reasonable and she was always accessible. Unlike other professionals involved, she understood that this was our house, so she went with our design decisions, not hers. While she gave her advice, she was never offended if we didn’t take it. Krista was extremely respectful of our time and space, as we were living in the house during much of the construction. We were also impressed with her attitude about any problems that arose: she was quick to remedy mistakes and without argument, extra charges, or even a hint of annoyance.
And Krista showed an uncanny willingness to do whatever was needed to get the job done. At one point the painters needed some nails ground off from under the roof but they were 20 feet in the air and the temperature was 101. To avoid any delay, Krista climbed up the ladder herself with the grinder and proceeded to grind the nails down in that heat with sparks falling over her. Incredible dedication.
Lastly, Krista is fun to work with. She has a great sense of humor and a wonderfully positive attitude that is a big help during what can be stressful times. Highly recommended!"
North West Hills Floor renovation
"When I tell people about our experience with Krista as our GC, I always preface it by saying, 'This is the general contractor story you never hear.' She was nothing short of incredible!!
I'll never forget when she told me that she'd complete the job in 6 weeks and I firmly doubted that possibility given my experience with home renovations in the past. Yet, she not only finished on-time, but under budget! My wife and I left the house for the first several weeks during the demolition, and Krista was always on-site and updated us daily on the progress made by her and her conscientious crew. She explores options when problems arise, perfectly synchronizes the variety of tasks going on during any one day, efficiently manages materials and resources and even talked my wife and I off the ledge a time or two when things didn't look quite right.
In the end, she and her subs delivered a beautiful first floor renovation that was far beyond our expectations. You cannot possibly go wrong with Krista and I regularly recommend her to friends and colleagues!"
Mike- North-West Hills
D.C. Kitchen Renovation
"Krista and Alan did an amazing job on my kitchen renovation, which they managed to complete lickity split, including building a new structural support for one wall! I am thrilled with my new kitchen, which beautifully blends the original exposed brick and heart pine floors of my 1920s home with crisp white cabinets and stainless steel farmhouse sink and appliances.
Krista and Alan custom built countertops from ambrosia maple slabs, maintaining the live tree-edge as an elegant, subtle design detail. I was impressed with their attention to detail and thoughtful approach to the design, but even more so with their creative problem-solving. It was important to me to maintain the historic character of the home, which required Krista and Alan to find creative approaches to address sloped floors, damaged bricks, crumbling plaster and structural challenges, all of which they did efficiently and with beautiful results. I honestly just can't thank them enough. Our new kitchen has improved our quality of life and brings us joy every day."
Caryn and Josh- Washington D.C.
Barton Hills Renovation
"Krista did an amazing renovation on our house - the entire downstairs plus master bed/bath and guest bath upstairs. It was a pretty big job with moving load bearing walls, electric, plumbing, new floors, insulation, brand new kitchen and baths….the works. However, Krista did it all on time (just a few months) and on budget!
I knew it was going to be a good experience before she even began. She said she would need access to the house so that all her subcontractors could come over and do their bids. “A couple hours in the morning is all I’ll need” she said. I thought “no way- multiple subcontractors coming over, none of them will be on time, this will take all day.” Boy was I wrong - they all showed up on time or early, everyone was done in a couple hours!
That scenario sums up how the rest of the renovation went. Krista runs a tight ship! We were out of town for a lot of the renovation and Krista made sure we had daily updates on the progress and any punch lists that needed completing. After seeing our neighbors stuck in renovation hell for months (or years), I am forever thankful for Krista and her crew! I would recommend her in a heartbeat!"
Beth- Barton Hills
Travis Heights Kitchen and Living
We have known Krista Ernst for over 15 years and she was the perfect choice to remodel our kitchen and downstairs. From her positive, efficient attitude to her eye for detail, functionality and beauty we couldn't be happier with the results.
Krista has a wide range of skills that were showcased in our project. First- she is organized and very good at creating and following a plan. Her communication with us and our architect about what was needed was clear and timely. She has a wonderful group of subs who work with her who are all professional, respectful and hard-working. And she was willing to work with some of our people to help cut costs a bit.
During the project Krista was able to regroup when we were handed surprises and come up with economically feasible and aesthetically beautiful solutions. She did all of this while not showing frustration, she jumped in with a sledgehammer when needed and kept us up to date with our options. She is a stickler for schedules and it was clear she was disappointed that the project took half a week longer than she predicted. That said, she removed a wall, moved another wall (1 foot thick walls made of brick), put in a support header and completely remodeled our kitchen from head to toe, with significant changes to 2 other rooms, in 9 weeks!
3 years after our kitchen remodel we are still completely in love with it. Our kitchen continues to look and function beautifully. We continue to be thrilled and strongly recommend her for any of your future projects. Just try to not schedule her when we remodel our bathroom!
Joellen- Travis Heights