This is a personal reference for Meritus Construction Management
and particularly for the owner, Petar Poucki
My project was a ground up renovation of a completely run down
home in a great residential neighborhood of Dallas called Highland Park.
After receiving bids from several GC’s and actually thinking we
had one in mind, Petar asked if he could look at the project. We thought ok why
not, but warned him we were feeling comfortable with another contractor. I
immediately recognized a difference in his questions regarding our expectations,
budget, architectural relationship, and time line. His questions went far
beyond the other bidders. He asked questions about our vision and plan, did we
have a contingency, what was our risk tolerance, expectations of quality of
life during the construction process. Frankly when he asked how my wife and I
make decisions, and if that process was stressful on us. We were stunned. We
had not considered either question. Then he asked what our exit strategy looked
like. We had to admit we didn’t have one. I knew by the quality of questions
that this was our man. After review of the property and after meeting on 2 more
occasions, Petar wrote a scope of work, schedule and contract that we
understood and our banking partner signed in a matter of days.
Petar spoke in plain terms, understood that I was not in the
business but also understood that I wanted and needed to fully understand what
would be done. Not just to hear about the work, but to know what was taking
place at my property and why. Petar also gave me realistic expectations of
timelines, budgets, pending challenges, code issues and challenges. Because we
did not have landscape plans, we had no plan for site drainage and many other
things that never would have occurred to me and were not even mentioned by the
other contractors. He factored these elements into the project.
As a side note:
The feeling I got from other contractors was that the less I knew
the better. Nobody actually said that but I did hear comments like “most
of this stuff you don’t need to know anyway” or ” we’ll let you know
if we run into any problems”, etc./ Petar’s approach was completely
different, transparent and very refreshing. He explained everything in the
detail I asked for, and when my wife needed reassurance he took the time to
speak eye to eye with her. He made sure that I knew exactly what I would be
paying for and why. This type of customer service is rare!
The project took approximately (4) months to transform a
dilapidated 70′s home into an amazing contemporary showcase.
Some Really Important Operational Points To Mention:
- Petar laid out the decisions we needed to make in order and by
date as per the schedule with both soft and hard deadlines.
- The Schedule and pace of the project was exactly what this
industry could provide, just enough time for decisions, and just enough speed
to keep our banking commitments in check.
- Each trade was asked to provide their selections, options and
finishes at a time when we could still make adjustments to perfect our vision.
- The building inspectors were handled with a basis of fact and
finesse which allowed for all our between the lines conditions to be accepted
the 1st time. ( the potential cost over runs due to code
interpretations were in the tens of thousands- Meritus took the issues to the
mat, made our case with the inspectors with facts, ordinances, code language
and common sense standards to fit our design intent and not add costs)
- The bidding process sampled the market. We hit the target with all
budget assumptions made by Meritus, and actually added some items with money
- In hindsight, the path created by Meritus and Petar was very
predictable, and not as manic a process as construction projects can be. A fun
and smooth running project.
- I felt in charge as the owner. At once heard, respected, and in
Some financial Considerations:
- The post construction appraisal came back at over $200k above our
expectations. Simply put the fee paid to Meritus turned into a 3 fold net gain
for my wife and I.
- Time, Quality, Value. It is
said you can only have 2 of the 3. I have to say we feel we received all 3 to
the best that could be realized.
- Petar kept an exit strategy in mind for us all along the way. This
is an extremely important point since he guided us to make decisions which
would leave us in what he called a “right side up situation” after
construction, rather than tied to an albatross which we could not sell.
- The fee Meritus charged never changed from the beginning. A
contractual promise kept.
- Petar and his wife spent the 1st evening in our home with my wife
and I. Petar broke in our kitchen with an amazing meal. We’ve become close
friends and if and when we ever sell this place, Petar will be there to guide
us through the next one.
- I can now say I fully understand and appreciate the OPEN BOOK
process Meritus offers and highly recommend it to anyone entering a
- Honest and good natured people do exist in the construction
- We will use Meritus Again!
Please fell free to get my contact info from Petar if you would
like to speak with me directly about my project.