Frequently Asked Questions
How can I be sure that I'm hiring a good contractor who knows what they're doing?
Always ask for references and then ask about the crew who will be doing your job. Companies use different crews and the quality of their work can vary. When you call the references, find out what crew did their job and make sure that you get the same crew for your job.
Is it really that important to choose a contractor who is up-to-date with the latest industry technology?
Yes! The industry is constantly changing due to high-tech developments in construction equipment and materials and this means changes in methodology. For example, most contractors now use robotic laser-guided layout systems, a technology that has virtually eliminated old-school measuring tools like batter boards, string lines and plumb bots. For concrete demolition purposes, jackhammers have been replaced by high-pressure water blasting known as hydro demolition.
Construction materials are changing as well, especially in the areas of energy efficiency and eco-friendliness. New types of coatings such as ICFs, epoxy and cementitious polymers are more versatile and durable than previous coatings that were used. These new developments in equipment, materials and methodology enable contractors to work more efficiently and more accurately to improve the quality of their work and save you money.
Why should I choose your company over a cheaper contractor?
"If you get three bids on a job and pick the lowest bidder, there’s a good chance that company will cut corners whenever possible because they're worried about their money. But if you know the contractor is focused on doing a quality job, then the work will be better and you’ll be happier with the results. This is the reason our clients ultimately choose us: Our focus is on doing quality work.
How do you work with your clients?
• A consultation will start by my asking how I can help them. I would then listen to what they have to say, identify the problem, explain it to them and talk about how we can solve it.
• I do everything that I can to make sure that they understand the truth about what I'm going to do. As an example, a new foundation on an existing building can create cracks. Engineers who design foundations for additions will often anchor the addition into bedrock but leave the original part of the house sitting on top of weaker soils (called a floater foundation). The original portion of the house will rise and fall from expansion and contraction as the seasons change and the difference in performance between the 2 foundations will cause cracks to appear. In explaining this situation to a homeowner, I would tell them the truth about what's going and not paint a rosy picture as some contractors who want a job often do. Trying to minimize the situation will only cause trauma later when they find out the truth.
• I stay in constant communication and call them regularly to update them about what's going on.
• I treat my clients like friends and I then try to earn their friendship.
Can you find creative ways to save money on my project?
Absolutely. When it comes to accomplishing a project, it’s not just about following the plan. Creative ideas are often the key to saving money and our vast experience has allowed us to develop those creative skills. For example, an architect can decide to use a 7/8-inch stucco finish for a retaining wall, but if the wall is concrete, we can apply a color finish and avoid the expense of the final plaster scratch coat, brown coat and color coat. We’ll come up with ideas to help you keep on budget without sacrificing the integrity of your project.
Do you work on projects of all sizes?
Yes. We’ve done everything from $3,000 drainage projects to $1.3 million foundation jobs. We’re fully prepared to handle anything that our customers need.
Will you pick an engineer for my project?
Yes. We prefer to pick the engineer ourselves because their work can vary dramatically. Some of them will "over-engineer" and can be harmful to your budget, while others are dangerously under-qualified. High-quality engineers know what they’re doing and understand the intricacies of their work. That’s why we like to work with them.
Do you offer your services for construction litigation cases?
Yes. Our owner, Terry Keast has been providing expert testimony since 1978. He has a good reputation and people regularly ask his professional opinion about their trouble-plagued construction projects.
I understand that water can have a serious affect on my home. How can I reduce its impact?
In many cases, it's not actually water that hurts a building the most but rather the gas that results from water. Moisture builds up underneath some houses due to "capillary action" which means that the water comes up from the soil. If the water comes up under your house and hits the warm air in your crawlspace, it will evaporate and turn into a gas that will permeate your house and cause damage. It's important to eliminate this gas because it attracts mold and mildew spores.
How can you reduce the impact of water on your home? Take care of your drainage by clearing the discharge pipe. Maintaining drainage systems is an absolute necessity. If you live on a steep hillside, the pipes that move down-slope will collect water in a box and one pipe will terminate at a discharge location. The subsurface drain is dripping year-round because of sprinkler systems around the house and this water feeds the pipe at the discharge location. Roots and grass can grow heavily around the end of the pipe and this can cause a blockage. It's important to clean the end of your drainage system where it discharges. Be sure to occasionally examine the area around this pipe and make sure that it's clear.