Welcome to HomeWise

About Me

Graduated from The Philips Exeter Academy in 1974 and magna cum laude from Yale University in 1979, I started my professional life as an opera conductor. After a post-graduate fellowship in Belgium and an apprenticeship at the Frankfurt Opera in Germany, I accepted a position at The New York City Opera from 1986 to 1991, the last 5 years that Beverly Sills was General Manager there.
After leaving City Opera I founded a successful software company, SoftWise Corporation, that focused on the legal industry and ran it for 18 years. During these years I purchased several vintage Victorian/Colonial houses in Staten Island and, by necessity, began renovating them on the side, along with other contractor assistance (since running my software company took up most of my time).
I sold SoftWise in 2010, took some time off to consider next steps and then decided in 2012 to go into home renovations & restorations full-time.
I am passionate about everything that I do. I like to focus on older buildings which need lots of TLC and where details are critical to the success of the project. However, I have worked on just about every aspect of any renovation and space, traditional and modern. The design and the details are always what make a project interesting and challenging. And the more challenging the project, the more interesting it is!

William Robertson

Additional 5

Robert & Carolyn

Bill Robertson is a dream come true for anyone seeking a real deal contractor. For years, all I ever heard about general contractors was how terrible they were. Well then, we got lucky, because working with Bill was an actual pleasure.

What do you need from a contractor? You need honesty and integrity. You need professionalism and expertise. You need skill and know-how. You need real time communication. Bill brings all of those traits in spades and then some.

We did a full kitchen remodel and renovation that entailed a complete demolition, followed by installation of all new cabinetry, flooring, countertops and appliances. Bill oversaw every element of the job, every day, from design and planning through purchasing, construction and completion.

Our new kitchen is perfect, precisely what we had hoped for. Moreover, Bill was great to work with, providing us daily progress reports on the project to ensure that every aspect was to our satisfaction. Beyond that, his talent also includes the unique ability to do almost any part of the job himself, including building us special shelves, custom molding, and a special soffit to house our new high-tech exhaust fan that he found and sourced.

To be honest, the man is kind of brilliant. And that’s a good thing because he uses it in the service of the client’s job. Recommending Bill is the easiest recommendation we’ve ever made. If you need a contractor for your home, you won’t find one better than Bill Robertson.

Review by Mark

Waterfront Duplex Gut Renovation

What would you like to share about your experience with HomeWise?

My job was a complete gut-job and rebuild. They removed all interior walls and the entire second floor. Everything was moved and replaced... kitchen, baths, bedrooms, walls, floors, stairs, electric and plumbing! William was my General Contractor and performed several aspects of the job. The owner, William "Bill", was the perfect fit for me... we meshed. He's a former music conductor and IT entrepreneur. He's a thinker, a doer and a very decent man in an industry where those qualities make him a bit of an anomaly. My home is arguably the nicest in my community, and it's primarily because I was able to team with Bill and his team.

What did HomeWise do especially well?

The owner, is different than other Contractors in several ways, but none more important to me, is that Bill is an "educated thinking-man." I've had experiences with Contractors who were not skilled at solving problems, nor understanding a design that they were unfamiliar with. The design of my home was very unique and after interviewing numerous Contractors, it was clear that no one in the area had complete experience in what I was attempting to do. With Bill, I was able to rationally discuss all aspects of the job and know that Bill and I shared a mutual understanding. And most important, Bill and his team completed the build as I requested.

How did HomeWise handle any unexpected challenges or surprises during the renovation?

I had several surprises due to elements hidden in my walls, which could not have been easily foreseen. When changes were necessary or requested, Bill's conversations with me were about "creating solutions." Bill's primary focus was to solve the problem. We discussed options and selected the appropriate solution. Resulting costs, if any, were discussed up front, and I was given the option to make other changes with the goal of maintaining my original budget. I appreciated this approach.

Review by Philip

2 Bedroom 2 Bath Gut Renovation (Landmark Building)

What would you like to share about your experience with HomeWise?

Bill is a meticulous, detail-oriented, and thoughtful craftsman. He supervises his hand-picked subcontractors very carefully, and works alongside them all day long. He has a great work ethic, doing most of the work himself, whenever possible. He completed the project within the realm of expected expense, and was a pleasure to work with.

What did HomeWise do especially well?

For my project, which involved the gut-renovation of an apartment in a historic 1929 building designed by architect Rosario Candela, Bill researched sources for and obtained numerous hard-to-find items. He also created solutions such as a grill fabricated out of laser-cut hardwood to conceal a steam pipe, and another one to cover the doorbell ringer.

How did HomeWise handle any unexpected challenges or surprises during the renovation?

As in any project, the unexpected did occur, in the form of a leak which affected the apartment below. Bill quickly took action at his own cost to remedy the situation and made everything 100% right.