A love of working with people sent this finance guy down a different path
At Sweeten, the experts in our network are experienced contractors and design pros we’d be thrilled to have working in our own homes. We check their licenses, insurance, quality of work, and customer service skills. Trust and open communication are the lifeblood of our free renovation service, and our personal connection to our experts enables us to match you to the best choices for your project. Here, get to know their personality and click to view their portfolio, including photos from past work and client reviews, so that you can hire the right team and renovate with confidence.
Check out Aaron’s portfolio here
Where are you from and how long have you been in construction?
I’m from New York, born and raised in Queens. I’ve been in construction for almost 15 years now.
How did you get into the field?
I kind of fell into the industry by mistake. It started with a part-time job while I was in high school working for a friend of the family who had a pretty big construction company. I have some family background in the industry but never gave it any thought. I had always thought of myself as a finance guy but realized I just loved speaking and working with people. I really liked engaging new clients, hearing about their prospective projects, and learning what they were looking to do—and it kind of snowballed from there. Being on jobs and seeing what you uncover during the work, how you fix it and seeing the end result is all really exciting.
What do you love most about construction?
One of the things I really love is seeing the progression. I love how we take something and have the ability to completely change it; it’s so cool. Seeing a job from start to finish is a lot of fun. My favorite part of the creative side is when we’re going through the planning and the “teasing out ideas” phase with our clients—I really enjoy that. Of course, it’s fun to meet new people as well; we’re dealing with different personalities, styles, and properties on a daily basis. There’s always something new around the corner. Needless to say, my job never gets boring!
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is someone who doesn’t want to be their own general contractor and who can really trust and confide in us for our opinion. This way, we can truly have a collaborative effort in creating a great space for them. Most of our clients are professionals who don’t have the time to do everything and appreciate the high level of service we provide.
What do you think is the biggest misconception that homeowners have when starting a renovation project?
A lot of people think that their project is going to be very quick, be able to start the very next day, and be inexpensive, because it’s just a small kitchen or just a small bathroom—they just saw an entire renovation on a television show, which was really weeks or months of work in just 30 minutes! Budgets and timelines! Good things take some time, right? You need to have a professional who has all the proper credentials, certifications, licenses, insurances and really gets the process. Most importantly, you need someone you can gel with. That’s the only way you’ll get the right outcome. For a lot of people we speak to, we need to be clear that there is almost always a wait to start a project. We are usually booked out several months in advance to begin physical work, although we begin working behind-the-scenes right away.
What is the biggest challenge you face when renovating in New York?
One of the biggest challenges for us is the number of building management companies and how they operate. They all have different turnaround times which can affect a project’s timeline and can be hard to forecast. Each individual building has its own quirks as well. We work through these things, but it can be challenging at times.
Favorite New York City restaurant?
Joe’s Shanghai is an all-time favorite of mine in New York City. Ultimate comfort food.
Favorite New York City building?
The Freedom Tower. It has a special meaning to me and many other New Yorkers. To me, it represents progress.
Take a look at some of Aaron’s renovations below and check out his portfolio for more photos of past work.(1) Rachel and Marco’s kitchen in Greenwich Village (2) Aimee and B’s apartment in Park Slope (3) Mary Ann and Frank’s master bath on the Upper West Side
Aaron has been a Sweeten general contractor since 2015.
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