Complaints from consumers about contractors usually have something in common, a lack of reliability, whether it's price quotes that can't be relied upon to be met, deadlines missed, not delivering the promised quality, running away with your deposit, or just the overall failure to do what they say. But it can be impossible to know if one is really reliable when you haven't used them before, unless their previous customers told you exactly that; that they're already proven reliable.
And that's just what we heard from previous customers of Frederick County firm PM Cermak Remodeling in Frederick MD (now PMCR Corp) and owner Peter Cermak, including for remodels, new construction, or damage repair.
Proven Reliability Means High Rate of Repeat Customers at PMCR in Frederick MD
PMCR owner Peter Cermak explains that one reason new customers feel so able to rely on him is they probably already know someone he's done work for, even if they don't know it yet. "With the referrals we get, it's obvious they know someone who's been thrilled with our work. But if they weren't referred to us, they probably still know someone we've worked for, a friend or a neighbor of theirs."
That was the case with one of the customers we called as research for this article, Dena, who told us, "He had done some work for somebody in our neighborhood. He did a bathroom for me and did a great job."
And Peter Cermak puts in the effort to make sure he's reliable for ongoing high satisfaction years after the work is done. One way he does that is by giving customers many options in appliances, materials, and approaches. That's important because even when customers have already hired a designer, many times that designer is stuck in a rut and is doing the same fixtures and appliances for every client over and over again. Peter tells us, "The last thing you want is to regret elements of the project after it's done, wishing you had done it some other way. So I put in the time to ask the client if they've considered different brands, different details. That way clients are thrilled with what we've done long after it's done."
That long term satisfaction without the buyer's remorse that often comes from other companies has a lot to do with the high rate of referrals and repeat business enjoyed by PMCR, like that from a customer we called named Drake, who said, "I've known Peter Cermak for a number of years. He's helped me with numerous things from basement projects to fixing things, garage projects and all of that. He's always done good work and I've found him to be a good person." And another customer named Sam told us, "Peter's done work for me several times over the last couple of years. Most recently he did some work in my basement due to a flood from my neighbor's hot water heater. I've been very pleased. He's always the first person I think about when I need any of that kind of stuff done."
PMCR in Frederick MD: Hands-On Owner Means Reliability for Quality Results
Less experienced contractors have to bring in additional companies for too many facets for the project, which increases the chances for miscommunications, delays, and increased costs. Unlike them, as a master remodeler, there isn't much Peter Cermak hasn't already done successfully before which means he can be relied up on to handle everything from roofing to fire and water damage repair.
He can also be relied upon to actually be working on the job site, compared to big companies where even if you met with the owner initially and he has impressive experience and credentials, later he's nowhere to be seen once the work is underway, instead leaving it all to less experienced crew. Peter tells us, "I'm always on site managing everything and making sure it's being done right. It lets me give our customers better quality control than they'd get with someone else."
That regular presence of the company owner means PM Cermak Remodeling can also be relied on for ongoing communication with you throughout the project, unlike companies that leave you wondering how things are going. Peter Cermak says, "There hasn't been one day in the last year where we didn't have a least a 15 minute conversation with the customer letting them know where we are in the process and what to expect."
That also means Peter can check in with the customer all along the way and make sure they're happy with each choice and phase of the project. That's unlike other companies that just use the excuse that they built what was on the plan, rather than allowing the customer to modify things as they see them in real life for the first time. Why does Peter put in that effort where so many others don't? He says, "You eliminate any unpleasant surprises at the project's end, and the customers says, ‘Wow, this guy really cares'."
That caring about both the quality of every aspect of the job, but also about the customer was cited by those we heard from, like one named Sarah who said, "Peter did a wonderful kitchen for me. I thought that he was really exceptional. When I put the granite in my kitchen the gentleman who installed that said my cabinets were completely balanced and he was really impressed, and that impressed me. They did a beautiful job and he's such a nice guy, a family man. Really a good job and I definitely recommend him."
Frederick County resident Peter Cermak lives in Frederick MD and is married with two children. Friends say they know him as someone who likes to help, is social, and is a good friend you can count on. Customers say he is friendly and dependable. He's an automotive enthusiast who is currently restoring an old Corvette but he only allows himself an hour a week for that. "My real hobby is perfecting my trade and having all the specialty tools for it," Peter says.
So in an industry plagued with unreliable contractors, Peter Cermak and PMCR in Frederick MD are the ones previous customers cite for complete reliability for quality results at good prices, and for doing what he says he will do in a way that has led to a high rate of repeat and referrals business. In the words of George, one of the customers we called, "He did extensive remodeling in my home, work on three bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room and a paneled closet. All of them, we just can't believe how great it was and the prices were very reasonable. He's an artist and follows through. Very careful and very diligent. I'm a very pleased with the work and the prices. You'd be very happy with him."