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Jackie & Brendan Altwasser

Drink in the Rockwood experience! We savoured the 2016/17 vintage. Full of opulent craftsmanship, strong undertones of genuine care and customer focus and a hint of intrigue just before your possession. It’s a perfect pairing for an epic home-building experience! Allison has crafted this complete and extraordinary blend of a talented and passionate team, from Brad, Project Manager, whose genuine smile and big heart match his exceptional skill; to the design team of  Sarah, Kaitlin, Tamara and Ashley who constructed a masterpiece from our wispy thoughts and half-visions; to Matt and his finance team who provided transparent accounting and tracking of the budget and various ad-hoc reports; and to all of Rockwood’s amazing trades who possess the Rockwood traits of brilliant skills, passion and exceptional client care. Tasting notes of the Rockwood experience:

Enjoyable and home-build in the same sentence!

Allison said right from the start, that a home build should be an enjoyable experience. We didn’t think the two could go hand-in-hand, but we truly did enjoy it and we will miss working closely with the members of the Rockwood team. 

That was easy!

We were amazed at how easy the Rockwood process was. The initial architectural plan presented to us captured our vision perfectly form the information that we provided via Rockwood’s smartly designed questionnaire and our selections on Houzz.com. Dean Thomas, the architect, and Rockwood “got us” right from the start, so our final plans were completed with minor tweaks of the original concept. This held true for most of the detailed drawing concepts, and on the occasions where it didn’t quite hit the mark, the design team went back to drawing board until they perfected the vision. 

Decisions, decisions…smart decisions

The selection process was highly efficient. It struck the right balance of providing limited selections, so that we were not overwhelmed, and if the selection wasn’t quite right, no problem – the design team probed and searched until they found the right choice for us. In addition, whole concepts were presented to us so we weren’t inundated with micro detail. As an example, Rockwood provided the visual concept of our feature stairs so that we could see the big picture and the many details were left to them (with a previous home build with a different homebuilder, we were presented with about 20 selection decisions on our feature stairs. It was overwhelming, and it was difficult to envision.). The process got easier as we went along, as the design team got an even stronger sense of our likes and dislikes, and as we got more comfortable and trusting of the process.

Stunning build is the cumulative effect of attention to detail

One example was a floating shelf that we had custom built out of barn wood. At first blush, you would think this would be relatively simple, but it was very intricate to ensure no cut-line was showing to maintain the weathered barn wood look. 

Can’t find it, build it!

When we could not find master bed side tables to our liking, Rockwood had them custom built for a very reasonable price.

Don’t mess with it!

Rockwood should trademark some of their tried and true design concepts, like “The Rockwood Walk-In Shower” and “The Rockwood Waste Bin” as they have perfected these! Fabulous form and function!

Just bring a tooth brush.

Having the interior designers and decorators in-house, working alongside the project manager, simply made sense, as design decisions often impacted build decisions. Possession was a dream with furniture, artwork and décor fully arranged, sheets washed and beds made! We just had to show up with our tooth brushes the first night!

WARNING! You will have pick your jaw up from the floor.

Even though we knew the selections and had seen the house construction along the way, we were awestruck when we saw the final result. It was better than we had imagined or envisioned.

In Rockwood we trust.

Our advice is to trust the process! Of course, never hesitate to clarify and ask questions, but we found that the more we let go, the easier it got and yes, of course, there were some things that went wrong along the way, but Rockwood ensured everything was made right at the end of the day. Oh yeah, and when you are near the finish line and they say your house will be done in two weeks – you won’t believe it, but trust us, it will be!

By the way, we are wearing those smiles that Rockwood gave us.

Finally, we have to say a special thank you the entire Rockwood team. In July 2015, our home was destroyed by fire due to lightning. On one of the following sleepless nights researching custom homebuilders, we kept going back to Rockwood’s site as their visions and values resonated with us. As fate would have it, minutes later, we received an email from a friend saying that she had told our story to Allison Grafton, and that she and the Rockwood team was interested in helping us. Thankfully Rockwood agreed to take us on despite knowing it would be a major undertaking establishing a rebuild budget with insurance. In all honesty, the process with insurance was much more involved than any of us had thought, but Rockwood stood with us. Our project manager, Brad, went above and beyond and treated our insurance claim as if it was his own. Likewise, with Matt, Rockwood’s CFO, on the finance side. The turnkey solution of interior design was also key to getting us back home with all that we had to deal with. Every day we look at our beautiful home and the stunning results and we thank the interior design team of Sarah, Tamara, Kaitlyn and Ashley. We frankly don’t know how we would have done it without Rockwood. The collective skills of the Rockwood team and its partners are outstanding, but it’s their hearts that we won’t forget – these are genuine people who truly care about you and your family.  We truly are smiling!  Thank you to the Rockwood team!

- Jackie and Brendan Altwasser