Master Shower TileThis blog began as a means to dig into the nitty gritty of building a custom home and to openly evaluate the pros and cons of those working on the project. You all know I'm not afraid to give an honest critique. But once in a while you run across a subcontractor who is so skilled, dedicated, and competent that there is nothing to do but cheer from the rooftops. Emil Danila of European Accents is just that kind of contractor.

This blog could begin and end with one statement: If everyone who worked on our house worked like Emil, the house would have been done in April, it would look like it cost a bundle more than it did (and it would actually cost less than it will), and it would last until the end of time. Period.

Tile came into the picture rather late in the design process. We hadn't actually anticipated using any. But, eventually, tile came out a clear material winner and we switched gears to include it in a number of places. We collected a number of tile bids, selected European Accents, and signed the contract.

Kitchen Glass TileAbout ten minutes later, Emil was hard at work. And he worked tirelessly — through the weekends and the Labor Day holiday! — to get it done in a timely fasion. There was a lot of work to do and we were anxious to get things finished. He was literally the first person at the site every morning and the last person to leave at night. He became the guy who unlocked the house for everyone else and locked it up at night.

Emil was willing to let us buy the tile wherever we chose, without all the usual back end markups. He bid a clear price for labor and materials (other than tile) — and he didn't ever try to change the prices on us. A number of times we considered adding special things. Again, he gave us a clear, written price and stuck to it.

Laundry Room TileAlong the way, Emil kept in touch with us at every step. He asked questions to make sure the tile was exactly as we wanted it. He made great suggestions that enhanced the look of the tile and did what was needed to make the tile work in odd configurations.

Finally, he has amazing expertise and attention to detail. Everything was done with the utmost care. Some of the tile we purchased (from Home Depot) wasn't quite uniform. He showed us the problem before installing, but then was able to configure it in such a way that no one will ever notice the problem.

If I ever, ever, ever need tile work done again, I will be calling Emil Danila. I cannot recommend him highly enough. If you need anything tiled in your home or office — big or small — please contact Emil and let him bid on your project. You'll be pleased with his prices — and his work ethic and craftsmanship are unmatched.