Archived Q&A and Reviews
Foundation contractor needed
My husband and I just purchased a small two bedroom home in Albany. We need a foundation contractor to bolt the foundation and to repair or replace the foundation. Part of the foundation has a basement and part just has unfinished crawl space. We are considering options to make the basement extend the length of the house. Does anyone have any experience with a foundation contractor that is reasonable priced, reliable and can guide us in our financial/aesthetic considerations? We are looking for a full service professional who is able to obtain all necessary permits. We went through this on a past house and went for days without water and heat and faced cost overruns- we definitely want to avoid this. We have spoken to George Walton of Alameda Structural but found his prices out of our range. Are there other reliable contractors in the area? DJ
We've recently used Sorin Feraru to replace the foundation on our new house. We've used him and his crew before and we were very happy with the work. Sorin is reasonably priced, straight forward and knowledgeable. He helped us with remodeling our previous house and replaced the foundation on this one we just bought. His crew members are hard working, helpful and respectful. We highly recommend using Feraru & Associates. You can reach Sorin at 510-228-7366.
Alameda Structural just finished our seismic upgrade, which included substantial foundation work. We highly recommend them. The crew were friendly and professional, they did an excellent job, were always considerate, and kept the workspace neat. A genuine pleasure to work with -- we look forward to working with them again in the future. Andrew
I highly recommend Alameda Structural Inc. George Walton came out, looked at my house and my engineer's drawings and gave me an estimate on the spot. I had tried to save some money by keeping some of my old foundation and adding onto it. George told me it wasn't worth it and I had another firm give me a price and he was right. George's workers tore everything out and put in a complete new foundation with the correct drainage and waterproofing. I would have had a mess if it had not been done this way. But since they do hundreds of these type of jobs a year, they've seen it all and know exactly what to do. I was adding a second floor and they got all the hold downs in correctly and I had no problems later. His crew was hard working, fast and courteous. My engineer had two different rebar sizes and Alameda Structural took the largest size and used it everywhere. I look at my foundation now and marvel at how much better it is than the old one. nickatia
Recommendations for a Foundation Contractor?
We are looking for a foundation contractor to help us figure out the best option for seismically retrofitting our foundation. We bought our house in north Oakland this year and have been told to first try bolting the plate to the foundation and if that doesn't work we will need to partially replace it. We are not looking for someone who simply says we need to replace the whole foundation, but someone who is willing to work with us to explore all our options. If anyone has any experience with a foundation contractor or advice for starting the process, I would love to hear it! melissa
We used Michael Massoumi (Impact Construction) to retrofit our house. We ended up just bolting and shearwalling, but he's a full-scale foundation contractor and could have done a larger project. Michael gave good advice, the work was on time and on budget, and the work crew was professional. We knew we were in good hands when the structural engineer we worked with said Michael had done the foundation on his house! Michael Massoumi Impact Construction, Inc. (510)841-6423 Jennifer
Call Counterforce (Thomas Bruenig 213-5400). We had them replace our foundation, lower our basement slab, and install seismic upgrades. I have been impressed by all of their work! Though I am NOT an expert, every other contractor/engineer/builder who has seen the work on our house has commented on the fine quality of the work done by Counterforce. rinda
Contractor for new foundation/garage expansion
Our house in San Francisco needs a new foundation. We've had plans drawn/engineering work done for the foundation and garage expansion. We were all set to sign a contract with one of San Francisco's big garage companies, but we did some online digging and found out this company operates under several names and is involved in lawsuits right, left and center! We've already interviewed a bunch of contractors and this seemed like the best of the bunch. Now we're a little scared. This project is big $$$ for us and we can't afford to have anything go wrong. Any recommendations for good foundation/garage contractors who work in SF? Or tips on how to research and a good contractor?
I have to give a RAVE recommendation for Gary Gatterman, a contractor who does foundation and structural work, earthquake retrofitting, framing and demo--pretty much everything that needs to be done. We read great things about him on BPN, and were very pleased to see that he lives up to his reputation. He's been working with us on a major remodel for the past few months, including new foundation and all the other things I listed, and he is amazing. He's a nice guy who is easy to work with, he knows a lot about building, he points out things that we didn't see, and he's very responsive and collaborative. His number is 510-427-2465. Really could go on and on, he's that good! Karen
Michael Massoumi, Impact Construction, (510) 841-6423 did a very substantial and complex project including seismic retrofit, deck replacement with new structural foundations, and multiple 'fix-up's on our idiosyncratic Berkeley hills 1960's cliff house two years ago. He and his crew did an outstanding job in applying somewhat sketchy engineering specifications to the reality of an older house, paying attention to sound structural solutions, as well as careful and architecturally consistent finish detail. I was very pleased that he sought solutions that would make the house more livable, safe, and enjoyable, rather than the minimum that would get by.
He worked effectively with the City of Berkeley inspector to get final project approval and I think Michael was the first to get Berkeley to approve ipe as meeting the fire code for decks in the Berkeley hills!
The project was lengthy, and involved both indoor and outside work as we lived in the house throughout the project, it was very important that the crew were flexible, considerate, and easy to work with. The cost for the project was reasonable compared to other contractor bids we received, and additional charges were only for major changes. We are delighted with our transformed new home and have had Michael back to do additional projects. happy contruction survivor
Need to replace queen anne foundation
Looking to get our foundation replaced. Hope to add a little more head room in basement. Anyone out there recently have their foundation replaced? Need some excellent recommends. We have old queen Anne ...plaster inside walls. K
We used a company called Terra Firma Geotechnical to do some foundation replacement at our house. They did a fine job, and we had no major suprises. The work was on schedule and budget. It was nice because they took care of the design and permitting also.
The company for you is Feraru & Associates. They replaced the foundation for our house an year ago and we are very happy with the work. The price was within our budget and the job was done in a timely manner. We highly recommend them to everyone ever since. You can contact them by phone at 510-228- 7366 or by email at office [at] feraru.us
Foundation work - Need a Contractor or Concrete Co
Hi all. I am looking for recommendations for a general contractor or concrete company to do a small foundation project - basically doing some simple but possibly time-consuming excavation of the perimeter of a small-ish room, putting in a bunch of rebar, sand and gravel, and then pouring concrete. I only have one bid so far, from a major company, and it's (way) too high, so I'm looking around.
According to the guys I'm working with for other aspects of this project, this is pretty straightforward and doesn't require massive expertise. It's more about labor and needing a crew to dig and haul dirt. This shouldn't be a contractor's first such project, but if they only have a few similar projects under their belt, it should be okay. Most importantly, they need to be able to read the plans drawn up by the structural engineer and follow them precisely, b/c this is all permitted and needs to pass inspection. I need this work started ASAP, and a very rough estimate is that it might take a small crew 2 weeks to complete. Hoping to find someone a little more hungry for work than the expensive company who just bid on this. Thanks so much for any recommendations! sarah
I highly recommend David Ford (J. David Ford Construction, 510-845-9076) for foundation work. He did work on our foundation at our previous house ten years ago and on our new house last year. He is thorough, careful, and pleasant. He got the work done on time, charged us exactly what he said he would (unlike many other people who have worked on their house and it always ends up costing more than their initial estimate) and even helped us file for our seismic rebate with the city of Berkeley. I would not hesitate to call him again if we ever need foundation work done again. N.H. in Berkeley
Hi there... John Grivas and his crew from Bay Area Deck and Remodel do concrete and foundation work. Sometimes you have to wait in line because they are busy, but its worth the wait. Give him a shout... he's on yelp and his number is (510) 533-6131 Sara
Don't know if you already found a foundation contractor but if not I recommend the services of Van Every Construction, licensed contractor. (Incidentally you dont want to mess around with getting an unlicensed contractor). They do foundation, drainage, waterproofing, all that stuff you need before the rains come in. The owner Donna Gianoulis can chase the water away just with her smile and great customer service. Her husband is the contractor and is highly skilled. You can reach them at 510-839-5810 or VanEveryConstruct [at] mac.com Good luck! Lis
Foundation repair Advice
I recently noticed that my hallway was sloping and had the house floor surveyed. My house has some parts where the house is sunk by 3 inches. The company that did the survey wants to put 8 piers (each $1000 per piece). I am trying to find a second and third opinions on these foundation problems. Has anyone done foundation work in the past? Any recommendations on reputable companies? I live in the Pleasanton area. Marta
Josh Kardon, http://www.jbkse.com/ has solved quite complex issues for our hillside home. He 'errs' on the side of safety and security, he is incredibly qualified. One component of our remodel/restructure was pouring a wall 80' x 5' x 8'- yep! We also poured 8 piers to bedrock- well, the contractors did. This req'd designs for supporting the entire house temporarily. Josh makes us feel secure. And he's nice. I absolutely recommend him highly. Keith Abbey wrote plans for a smaller structure, though I was not as involved, all went well and he was professional, responsive, thorough, and pleasant. cp
for your foundation questions talk to Integral Home Improvements, they are very knowledgeable and thorogh. you get a 30 min. free consult. 510-904-2786 vishnu
Don Waters construction did an extensive foundation replacement on my house 4 years ago (replaced about 2/3 of the foundation) and did an awesome job. We had an independent structural engineer come out midway through the job to check their work and again at the end. Of the 3 bids we got, Don Waters was the middle on price, and I feel like we got our money's worth - they also showed up when they said, and finished the job within the amount of time and money promised.
Recommendations wanted for foundation contractor
Hi, My husband and I are purchasing a home that needs a new foundation and wanted to get some recommendations on foundation contractors for a house in Berkeley. I'm getting a quote from Alameda Structural. Thanks, K
I'd recommend Alameda Structural strongly. They did our foundation capping and seismic retrofit several years ago. Speak to George Walton.
Alameda Structural just replaced our foundation. We are delighted with the results. They did an excellent job and the team was thorough, professional and a pleasure to work with. I'd recommend them in a heartbeat. FWIW, we also got quotes from Gen-Tech and Dan Peters Construction. Laura
You'll probably get several recommendations for Jim Duval at Duval Construction in El Cerrito. Jim and his crew completely rebuilt our foundation ten years ago and did an excellent job. They also did the shearwalls/seismic bracing/strengthening in our basement. He's the best. He's been in the business for a long time. Not sure if this is current: Duval Construction 8642 Terrace Dr El Cerrito, Ca 94530 (510) 527-7428 Satisfied client. Sam
We recently had a seismic retrofit completed on our house in El Cerrito and had a really good experience with Rick Hoffmann Services. Rick specializes in foundation/seismic work, window and door work, and does the full array of contractor services. We got three bids (one was from Alameda Structural) and felt that Rick's was the most thorough and was a fair price. His job references had really great things to say about his work. Rick's crew was extremely professional and they completed the work in a timely manner and without any cost overruns. They were very respectful of working in our home. When there was an issue (i.e. a nail came through our living room wall), Rick made sure the problem was taken care of. Rick has an eye for detail, and even though the work was being done in our basement (a place where aesthetics don't matter much), Rick made sure everything looked good. Also, Rick worked really well with our Engineer and with the City's building department. The permit approval and inspections went really well. In summary, we thought Rick and his team did a great job, and we have hired him again to do some work on our kitchen. Molly
Foundation repair using piers for old house (100+)
Looking for contractor who can level the floor of old houses and do foundation repair using piers. We recently moved to an old house (1905) on a hill in Vallejo. It looks 2-story from the front and 1-story from the back. One corner of the house settled more than the others and we also noticed a crack on the foundation wall. I called Alameda Structural but they do not work in this area. Any good or bad experience with other contractors experienced with piers? Thank you.
ken, I replace the foundation for my house and the work was done by Constantin from C G Builders. He did a very nice job. Was very easy to work with him and we never had a problem that could not be solved. My house is not located on a slope but if you visit his site (www.cgbuilders.info) you can see that he is working right now at replacing a foundation for a house on a slope. I keep calling him for different jobs around my house and last time he told me about this house he is working on. As I know there are around 20 piers that he has to dig. But better talk with him. I trust his work and that is why I recommend him to you. You can contact him at 510-305-5680 or at info [at] cgbuilders.info. Jessica
Re: Contractor for foundation repair?
I would like to recommend you contact George at Alameda Structural. We are working with them right now on a job and I am very happy with their service and their workers. He will not work on a job unless you have plans drawn up, but if you need a structural engineer, he has suggestions on whom to contact. I also understand with the market being kind of soft now, he will take on smaller projects that normally he would not. Good Luck
Excellent foundation contractor
Looking for recommendation on foundation work. Want company that performs excellent work and will deliver it on time and within budget. Must also be familiar with the review and permitting process. Work site is in Kensington, if that matters. Thank you!
I highly recommend George Walton with Alameda Structural. He did a whole new foundation and seismic work on our house. His team is superb and his prices are extremely competitive. You can't go wrong with him. He also has lots of prior recommendations from BPN. His phone number is 510-523-1610. Nicole
I live in Kensington, and just had my front porch rebuilt by Structural Renewal, Inc. They were on-time, on-budget and did very good work. They do major structural work, including foundations. Also, they are familiar with the sometimes bizarre permitting process in Contra Costa County. Their office is in Richmond, and their phone number is 510-524-3112. Feel free to contact me and come by to see the porch. ck
Fantastic Retrofitting and Foundation Contractor - Gary Gatterman - (510) 427-2465 When we had our home done, I did alot of research beforehand and interviewed a number of contractors. We ended up using Gary Gatterman. I can unequivocally recommend Gary. I got bids from 4 highly recommended companies and his bid was MUCH more extensive and reasonable than the others. While doing the retrofit, we found some serious problems with our foundation and framing. Gary went way above the call of duty to add this work at a minimal cost into his busy schedule and did a fantastic job. During the permit inspection, the inspector recognized Gary's work and highly complimented the foundation work. He said that Gary does some of the best foundations and retrofitting he sees. Gary is extremely scrupulous and thorough in his work. In addition to doing a great job at a reasonable price, he is also one of the nicest persons I have ever met. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions Gary Gatterman of Gatterman Construction
We were very happy with the work we had done on our foundation in the Berkeley Hills by Engineered Soil Repairs. The engineer I worked with, Lisa, was very nice and explained everything in laymans terms. The work started and ended on time, and cost exactly what we agreed to. The crew cleaned up everyday and was polite. We found them by looking in the Diamond Certified Directory and I would definitely use them again. Vicki Tomasik tomasik
We recently worked with George Walton, Brian Bouchard, and their crew at Alameda Structural to complete the remaining foundation and retrofitting work needed on our home. They were efficient, communicative, and earned our trust, especially after taking financial responsibility after a billing error. They are highly recommended, can boast lots of experience, and were highly responsive from start to finish. roselynn
Foundation work: I wanted to recommend a contractor that recently did a really good job on my house his name is Fritz Spalek he is a German trained General Contractor he specialise on earthquake security on residential structures he has been working in this field for 21 years, right after you talk to hem you will see how knowlageble he is. I meet hes wife and they are good pleople. you can reach them at (510) 685-4044. Sicerely M. Benuto Martin mbenuto
Need to do some foundation work
Our house is quite old 1925ish. When we moved in we knew there was some foundation work that was needed to be done. We only have a crawl space under our house that should be dug out to be the recommended 18in. (it is really low towards the back of our house. We also need to have the foundation re-inforced in parts, and might as well throw in a earthquake retro-fitting to that as well. We are looking for, of course, someone good, but also easy on the wallet. Any help or suggestions are appreciated. Thank you. Kathie
We just had our whole foundation replaced. Alameda Structural did the job and we were VERY happy with their work. George Walton is the head of the company. You can reach him at 510-523- 1610. Nicole
Try Rick Patterson of Haven Builders. He did a retrofit job for us and was extremely reasonable. While his is a smaller company, he is not one of those fly-by-night, ''handyman'' contractors. He was very professional, personable, and a total perfectionist. He arrived on time every day (something very telling and important to me) and finished each day by cleaning the work site. His work is quite good. E-mail him at rick [at] havenbuilders.com or call his cell: 510-978-1786--good luck! mary
Foundation repair in the Berkeley Hills
Looking for a contractor and engineer to help repair a foundation. The current foundation is ninty years old and in a slide zone in the Berkeley Hills. So far we haven't had good look finding engineers on our own. We definitely need someone who is responsive and who can make reasonable recommendations. N.
I shopped around for a while looking for a foundation company and all roads lead to Alameda Structural. They have an amazing reputation and it's well deserved. The electrician I hired had his whole foundation done by them. The pest inspector when I bought my house said that they were better than his own company for remediation! George runs the place and was easy to work with for me. Good luck: http://www.alamedastructural.com/ Judiah
I would like to recommend Douglas Carver at Live Oak Structural, Inc. www.liveoakstructural.com. I needed a partial new foundation at my 80+ year-old house in Oakland and he did an excellent job. I would definitely hire him again. Good luck! rosie
Try calling Rick, the owner of Haven Builders--he is very professional, calm, fastidious, and knowledgeable. He did a whole retrofit job for us--not cheap but very reasonable. We got three quotes and Haven was right in the middle. He has an engineer that works with him too. More than price, however, it was meeting with Rick himself that persuaded us to go with him-- his number is 510-978-1786 or rick [at] havenbuilders.net Feel free to give me a call if you have further questions! Jenny Jenny
I recently had foundation and seizemic support work done on my home built in the 20s by Structural Protection Services. Rick Bringel runs that outfit and he is no-nonsense and knowledgeable. They also got the work done in half the time because of efficiently timing inspections (Berkeley no less) and having a clean and respectful, but numerous crew. Their number is 510-531-1317 Rich
Need to replace damaged wood in foundation
We need bids on foundation work under our house, report shows fungus and dry rot, termite infestation, need to replace damaged wood. Anyone use a contractor for this they felt was reasonable? SOS! Emily
Robert Leitz at Decade Construction is amazing- I found him trustworthy and easy to communicate with. 925 938-2410 925 864-2907 decade [at] sbcglobal.net rachel
We used Alameda Structural for our extensive foundation work. They were professional, on-time and did first rate work. We have heard since that they are the ''gold standard.'' Call George, the owner, at 510.523.1610 M. Miller
Whatever you do, do not hire RJ Clark (Ron Clark). He would not do what we asked, tried to use materials that were of lesser quality than called out by engineer, had inexperienced workers, and paid more attention to trying to cover up their mistakes than to getting it done right. He was never on the job, only came to demand money. We got his name through Alameda Structural so we thought he would be okay. I checked BPN and only discovered after we fired him a horrible review under ''Contractors'' not foundations. The last poster had an almost identical experience to ours (including he threatened us and would not have the porta-potty cleaned which was disgusting.) I could go on and on. He's that bad. Learned the Hard Way
Need substantial foundation work done
Can anyone recommend a good local contractor that has done foundation work at your house? We had a structural engineer look at our foundation and apparently we need to have the house lifted up and have substantial foundation work done. We just need someone with a good reputation that has done other similar work in Berkeley. Thanks. Thea
We had our entire foundation replaced last year. Duval Construction did the work. They worked every day, were polite, kept to the price, had good interactions with our neighbors, the city, the other trades that worked here (plumbers, electricians), etc. The whole experience was easy - not often does one say that about construction. I am sure they are not the cheapest in town. That being said - they are in the area and seem to have done half the houses withing spitting distance. The number is 510 527-7428. Tracey
For you foundation I strongly recommend you go with Sorin Feraru - he's a general contractor with experience and a lot of patience, very hard working. He did an addition and foundation work for us in Berkeley. I got his name on BPN also. c.j.
We had major foundation work done by Jim Duval of Duval Construction and I can't recommend him enough. His crew shored up at our house, removed the old foundation, dug down several more feet to create usable space, reworked the drainage around the house and the waterproofing, and gave us a new, very strong foundation and basement floor. His prices are fair, he's straightforward to deal with and explains things clearly, and his people are very competent and pleasant. margit
Good foundation contractor: James Pearl: 510-339-6655 There is a previous (positive) post about him on BPN on June 2003. I have not used him personally but know someone who has used and referred him for years. anon
Victorian needs some foundation work
My husband and I recently bought an old Victorian two level house in Oakland (near Emeryville). The house needs some foundation work as well as some other ''cosmetic'' work. We are looking for a contractor who is reliable, efficient and reasonably priced. Any suggestions please reply to the post or you contact me directly. Thanks so much! Mara
I would recommend Richard Schukert of P Construction. He and his crew did seismic and foundation work for us, and many of our neighbors. His crew is very clean and respectful, unlike many we have worked with on other projects - no music, swept up every day, nothing left unlocked, etc. Also, Richard gets all the permits taken care of, so nothing to worry about when you sell your home and get inspections (which he also arranges). good luck! heather
I cannot recommend Dirk Setchko (510 812 5077) highly enough! He's excellent excellent excellent! He is experienced, capable, trustworthy, easy to talk to, flexible, and his crew! They are efficient, friendly and great to have around. We're in the middle of a foundation project right now and it's been great. Anon
Shifting foundation needs attention
Part of our foundation has rotated noticeably over the last couple of months, and there seems to be some shifting in the house. Can anyone recommend a general contractor who could evaluate the foundation and fix it if necessary, along with taking care of some smaller painting and carpentry projects? Thanks! Amy
Both my husband and I and a neighbor used Sorin Feraru's services for foundation work and we're very satisfied. He's very knowledgeable, he listens to all you have to say and all you want done and does and very good job and in time.He's licensed and well known in Berkeley. Here's his number: 510-228- 7366 cindy
We had some major foundation work done this past summer and were very happy with All Seasons Construction (510) 525-7123. We found them referenced on the BPN from a post a few years ago. The ownership has changed since then. It's now being run by Mark Corello and he is a very honest, professional and a nice guy. The crew was polite and couteous and the job was finished a little ahead of schedule. It was not cheap but we were very happy with their work. Huiling
Foundation contractor for a 1920's home
Can anyone recommend a foundation contractor? We have a 1920's Central Berkeley home that needs to have the foundation redone.
We had the foundation on our 1920s Albany house redone 6 years ago and highly recommend David Ford 510 715 4801. We have recommended him to several friends & they were happy also. Jen
For house painting (exterior and interior) and general contracting, I recommend Mircea Ilie Construction in the highest possible terms. For painting the exterior of my house, Mircea gave me a great, fair price (in-between the low-ballers and super-high priced ones), began on time every day, and completed the job with careful attention to every detail. One side of the house had so many cracks, he recommended a re-stucco there--this turned out beautifully. The crew made repairs to some roof beams so seamlessly that I can't remember which ones were broken off. They also put in windows for me, and finished the inside moldings--again, as much an artistic job as a practical and solid one. Moreover, his final price was the same as his estimate--there were no unexpected increases in costs. The experience was the antithesis of what we've come to expect from contractors. His number is 510 575-5434. His website is www.mircea-construction.com nancy
We used Alameda Structural and recommend them to anyone who asks. They were incredibly fast and their bid was $30K less expensive than anyone elses. It seems that they make their money by their efficiency - and they are efficient. But it could be a more challenging relationship if you had a lot of changes, etc. that slowed down the work. His project coordinator, Brian, was great to work with. Really attentive, checked in with me practically every day (we lived on site during the work) to make sure everything was okay. Rachel
Drainage problems in foundation
We are looking for an engineer/contractor to help us address some drainage problems in our new home. It would involve foundation work. At the same time we are looking to have a seismic upgrade as well as pave our driveway and possibly redo our garage. All of this work is in the same general area of our home. We have a 1932 Mediterranian with TWO sump pumps. Any recommendations? Laura
Our old house in Oakland needed a fair amount of drainage and foundation work soon after we bought it (much to our chagrin). We consulted Calin Smith with Smith Engineering and Development Co. regarding our house. He was fabulous - very bright, motivated, and quite capable of explaining the problems and solutions in a manner that us non-engineers could understand. He came up with plans for drainage, foundation retrofitting, and seismic upgrades that were both structurally effective as well as cost-effective. I recommend him without hesitation. KN
Need a new foundation for 1925 home
We need a new foundation put on a 1040 square foot one-story home in Oakland that was built in 1925. I have gotten quotes from the well established structural companies like Gen-Tech, Ward Construction and Live Oak. However because these companies are so well known and established, their prices are at the extreme high end of the range. Can anyone recommend a good, respected, licensed company that does foundation work but is willing to work with you on the price because they are not so well known? Lisa
Try Build Right Construction,INC. in Berkeley. They have been around for about 20 years and do lots of foundations. telephone number is 510 845 5169. on solid ground
We are replacing the foundation for our 80 yr. old house and are thinking of using Alameda Structural. We've read the archives & the one review of A.S. Has anyone else used them & can recommend them? We'd like to hear it all! Any advice about foundation work is appreciated. Thank you! Anonymous
I highly recommend Alameda Structural. When we bought our house last year, we needed a whole new foundation, and George Walton of Alameda Structural came highly recommended. He also gave the lowest bid of five people we asked. Throughout the replacement process, he and his employees were professional, fast, courteous and responsive. The foreman on the project was very available to answer questions and address any concerns we had. I work from home, and the workmen were quiet (as much as possible when operating jackhammers) and polite and cleaned up nicely when the project was done. The work ended up costing exactly the amount of the estimate, and took a few days less time than estimated, and the office processed our paperwork with the city quickly so we got our rebate within a couple of weeks. I am not an engineer and can't evaluate the quality of the work, but it easily passed inspection and I have no reason to think they didn't do a fabulous job fan of alameda structual
We used Alameda Structural for a large foundation job on a hillside and they were fantastic. Their price was a very good value for the quality. The crew we had were very experienced and capable. The owner's crews have an excellent work ethic. They work their butts off. They finished our large project earlier than they had scheduled. We're going to have them do another job for us, too. The owner has been around for a long time and has an excellent reputation. He's a nice, down-to-earth and honest guy. He's got a lot of jobs ongoing all over, which is great when you need to adjust the manpower level----he can bring extra help in or, if you hit a delay for some reason, he can move the crew to a different job for a few days 'til yours is ready again. Our foreman was a smoker but was extremely thoughtful about going away from the house for smoking. He was very experienced and knowledgeable-----he knew more about what was going on in our plans, and any problems they contained, and how to solve them, than our Structural Engineer , our architect, and general contractor combined. The crew were also super- honest. The foreman arrived at least 1/2 hr early each day, too, and got the whole day's work planned. He was so experienced----he ran the whole job (structural) flawlessly. I'm so glad we hired them. Good luck. Very pleased with Alameda Structural
We are currently in the middle of a $100k complete foundation replacement w/ Alameda Structural. We had 3 bids on this project (one contractor said it was more difficult than he wanted to tackle) and their pricing was lowest. We hired a structural engineer to draw up the plans since it was a reasonably complicated foundation. The project is in week 4 out of 5 weeks and we are living in the house as they are working on it.
As a layman, my impression is that they are a well-oiled team - incredibly fast and very well organized. They have large crews, work 6 days a week (if homeowner oks). I didn't see the inefficiency of crew members standing around - I think it is because they know what they are doing and plan well. Our foreman had 20+ years of experience and his supervisor had +15. The permits went through smoothly (after we negotiated some issues around our oddball garage access); as did our inspections. The city of Berkeley inspector made of point of telling my husband that they were doing a good job for us. My husband, an architect, is very impressed with the professionalism of the crew and quality of work that they are performing.
George Walton (owner of Alameda Structural) seems to be a straight shooter and we have really enjoyed the foreman and supervisor. They consulted w/ my husband around various issues (sewer under house, furnace, stair placement, etc.) to ensure the best results as they went along.
Foundation work is expensive and it isn't all that fun. But given all of that, it has been a very good experience. We heartily recommend them. Soon to be earthquake-safe!
Jim Duval at Duval Construction did the new foundation for our second-storey addition and we were very impressed with him and his crew. We highly recommend him. John
We need to replace the entire foundation of our early 1900's house. We are planning on having it done this summer/early fall (i.e. dry season). We have just hired a structural engineer to prepare the plans. When the plans are done we'll solicit bids from area companies I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has undertaken this size project: Who did you hire to do the actual job? (I'm looking at Alameda Structural, Ward Construction) What worked well? What do you wish you did differently? Did you require the construction company to put your house on their insurance policy? Were the other insurance issues while the foundation was being re-built. Where did you store the stuff from your basement? How long did construction take? What should we know that we don't know now? Many thanks! weeziethedog
We had our foundation replaced in November of 2004. The project took about 2 months, however, we also had a lot of dry rot in the walls that were replaced at the same time. We used Gen-Tech and loved our experience with them. Their website is www.gtinspects.com. The guys were very clean and did a great job. I've had several contractors over since for bids on other jobs and many of them have commented positively about the foundation work. You are smart to do the work in the summer. We did our foundation in the winter and without the cripple walls our house was so COLD! The one thing I wish we had done was install a french drain at the same time, since they had already dug a trench. Living in the house while the construction was being done was no problem. You really couldn't tell that they had elevated the house because they only raised it a couple of inches. Good luck with your project! Meredith
I would like to second the recommendation for Gen-Tech. Gen-Tech replaced the foundation on my 1926 home, as well as repaired extensive termite and dry-rot damage. The crew did an amazing job. The foundation looks great and the crew did a lot of extra work, such as reinforcing our front porch, sealing off the garage from the crawl space, and installing an access door at the back of the house. All at no extra charge! Plus the crew was wonderful to work with. They were exceptionally clean and swept our front porch every day. Our yard looks cleaner now than before they started! The crew also signed for packages for us, took out our trash when we were on vacation, and threw away some tree branches we had cut down that were too big for our trash can. I was worried about taking on the stress of such a major construction project, but everything went so smoothly. I actually even missed the crew once they were finished! Gen-Tech was a great company to work with and their bid for the job was very reasonable. They can be reached at (510) 774-8997, or on the web at www.gtinspects.com. Meredith
Hi! We are looking to get some feedback about three companies who have bid to do some foundation work on our new (and first) home. If anyone has had experience (good, bad or mixed) with them, we would appreciate getting your impressions and level of satisfaction with their work. - Jim duval from DUVAL construction - Gary Gutterman from Gatterman construction - George Walton from Alameda Structural Thanks!
We had our foundation replaced on a 100+ yr Victorian about 12 years ago by George Walton of Alameda Structural. He was easy to work with, met his commitments as far as timelines and quality, and was priced competively. I highly recommend him. Seth
I cannot recommend Alameda Structural highly enough - they were timely, within budget, did a fantastic job and were a joy to work with. In addition, most importantly, they came back 2 months after the job was done to fix the heater which had been damaged during the work, without questions! The comparison to my next door neighbor, who is now in small claims court with his foundation contractor, could not be more stark. Phenomenal company!!! kelly
We used Mark Wijsen of MW Construction (510-336-1725) for our foundation and drainage issues. He can give you an estimate and he'll know whether you need a structural engineer or not (we didn't need one.) He was very thorough, honest, and hard-working. He came back multiple times during the rainy season to check on his work and always kept us informed about the status of our project. jc
We are looking for a contractor to do the Foundation and Framing on an addition we are doing in Lafayette. We are acting as the General to save money. I looked in the archives and everything was fairly old. Any new recommendations out there. Thanks
For foundation and drainage work, I highly recommend Mark Wijsen of MW Construction (510-527-1725.) He is fabulous to work with. He is prompt, courteous, and thoughtful in his work. His after-work customer service (i.e. phone calls, in-person visits to check on the work during heavy rains, etc.) went well beyond our expectations. His work was of high quality and he is very professional. We plan to use him in the future when we pave our driveway. Feel free to contact me with any follow-up. Jennifer
All Seasons Construction specializes in drainage and foundation work. They do excellent work in all sorts of remodels. Call the owner, Steve Sanchez, at 510-525-7123. He is very honest and reliable. Aug 2004
We used Mark Wijsen of MW Construction (510-527-1725) for our foundation and drainage issues. He can give you an estimate and he'll know whether you need a structural engineer or not (we didn't need one.) He was very thorough, honest, and hard-working. He came back multiple times during the rainy season to check on his work and always kept us informed about the status of our project.
Licensed concrete contractor to replace foundation
Hi, We want to replace our foundation and are looking for a licensed concrete foundation contractor who is responsible and clean. It is also important that they can finish the project on time. Does anyone know of a contractor who can do this job? Thanks! iris
We are about to embark on some foundation work in Oakland and have a bid from James Pearl Engineering and Contractor. I wonder if anyone has used him who might be able to let us know how it went? Also, if anyone was a great contractor and engineer for foundation repair they'd like to recommend, that would be welcome too. Tha Julie
There were two messages seeking a foundation contractor. I highly recomend Calif. Earthquake Safety, based in Alameda. Owner is Jim Winter - thorough, committed nice guy to work with. His is incredibly knowledgeable about earthquakes - how the ground moves, how houses do and won't move...his workers are friendly and skilled. He replaced our foundation 3 years ago - not the lowest bid but I don't regret one penny we spent. His number: 510-527-7233. JB
We had our foundation replaced last summer by Jim Gardner. The job included pouring concrete. His work is good, he is responsive, and he finished the job on time. We recommend him. Jim Gardner Construction, 655-3409
I recently had about $20,000 of foundation work done on my 96 year old house. I interviewed four contractors and chose DOT construction based on the promises the owner gave and how professional he seemed. (Can we tell there are problems ?) Well, there were. He did not cover a beautiful redwood (softwood) floor as promised and it now has gouges. He also promised that the way his company would support the house there would not be cracks. There are now NUMEROUS crackes in my plaster. The marble tiles in my bathroom floor have loosened to the point of making noise when stepped on. While I understand things happen during construction, I found it impossibe to have a productive conversation with the owner. When I brought up the issue about the redwood floor, he told me I should have hired my friend's contractor- because I mentioned he had covered her beautiful wooden floors. I don't think he lived up what he promised. feeling burned
We just had our foundation re-done, including seismic upgrades.Overall, be prepared for an eerie feeling when you're house is up on stilts! Get 2-3 bids. Start with George Walton at Alameda Structural. We ultimately chose George Walton because he has a great reputation and, although he was 5% more expensive than the other bid, he is known for doing foundations ''overkill''. We also put in a drop dead completion date clause in our contract. For every day over, we would deduct $300 from the final invoice. His crew is small, shows up on time, leaves on time, and is nice. They explained whatever we had questions about. Most impressively, however, was how George left our place when he was finished. His guys painted everything, blended any stucco work exactly to the rest of the house, and replaced any broken items (a bucket and a screen in our case). We had to call him back to re-paint one section and he did without a hassle. You can also try Gentech. From the research we did, these two firms are two of the better ones in the area. We were told by some friends who used Gentech, however, that they dragged their project out forever. Gentech pulled guys off their project and put them on another project. Also, I heard that Gentech does not always like to answer a lot of questions from interested clients like ourselves. Note: George is a little gruff and may explain things differently than Gentech i.e. you may not get the same solution with both firms. Regardless, don't be afraid to ask the firms to re-bid certain items or to get a deeper explanation. They might trim a little here or there to get the job. We had a friend who had just gone through this help us understand the bids and it was invaluable to have his thoughts. Alexis
My husband Mark is a contractor who specializes in drainage and structural work (foundations) so I can tell you that you should have no trouble finding someone who can handle both of your problems.
One person who comes to mind is Jim Perl (the structural engineer who was mentioned in the same digest as your original post). Mark has worked on several jobs that Perl has engineered and has a lot of respect for his approach to both drainage and foundation issues. I'm not sure if he works out as far as Pleasant Hill.
If not, ask your realtor for advice. I know my husband gets a majority of referrals that way. They should have a list of quality people who work in your area. Susannah
We used Jamie Pearl last year when we started getting a lot of water in our basement (he was recommended by friends who had used him for significant foundation work). We thought he was fantastic. He crawled through every tiny space under our house and walked around the house to carefully inspect all of it. His response? Yes we could put in another $10,000 worth of french drains--would he do it if it were his house? NO! His advice was that we put any boxes up on shelves and not worry about it because our foundation was fine. He is very practical and won't do more than needs to be done unless YOU want to. This was also the experience of our friends. I highly recommend him. M. Wing
To the person asking about Pearl Construction & Engineering. We recently purchased a home in need of foundation work, specifically drainage. I must disclose, the listing agent contacted Pearl for an inspection and bid. The bid was reasonable, but the workplan to deal with the drainage problem just did not make sense to us. Rather than draining water away from our home, their plan was to drain water towards the center of the foundation, put in a sump pump, and pump the water out. This did not make sense to us - and several other engineering/contractor professionals agreed, that was not the best way to deal with our problem. We contacted another foundation and building contractor: Ward Construction (I believe they are in Richmond) phone (510) 215-3636. Their plan (without us prompting) was to place french drains and pumps around the house to stop water from getting to the foundation areas. The bid was $4000 more than the Pearl quote. They were punctual, courteous, planned to ruin our plants/garden (listed on bid) - but DIDN'T hurt one plant! They started our project at an earlier date than expected (because they finished the prior job early), finished our job early (and a bit under budget). I would highly recommend Ward Construction. Good Luck! Judy
- Francisco Sanchez
Foundation work - extensive excavation and drainage
I am looking for someone who can do some extensive foundation work around the back of my house. This would require extensive excavation and drainage work. We want to take a Berkeley bungalow cellar with a low ceiling and excavate to create a height of 7 feet. Has anyone had similar work done, or other foundation work done who can recommend someone? We have someone qualified and interested who could do the work, but know we should probably get other opinions. There was only one posting on the web-site, so I would appreciate any responses. Sarah
For foundation and earthquake retrofit work, we have used Counterforce (510) 835-5400. This included excavation for a new foundation for our new garage, installing a french drain, putting in concrete, etc. We were very pleased with them, and have hired them twice (on different projects.) Karen
We had our foundation upgraded by Jim Duval at Duval Construction and we couldn't be happier. Jim was very conscientious, and a rarity for a contractor, returned phone calls on the same day! His team did great work and was the lowest bid and really listened to what we wanted to have done and made it happen. Rob and Diana
We used Jim Duvall about 3 years ago to re-do our crumbling foundation. He came highly recommended by our house inspector and lived up to his reputation. Did the work expertly in a timely fashion, and he's a nice guy as well. Our house is about 90+ years old. We decided not to excavate to deepen the basement, but he could have done the work. He's also done other homes in our neighborhood. His numbers are: Office - (510) 527 7428 Stacey
We used Ned Clyde Construction for our drainage work, new foundation and replacement retaining wall. They weren't terribly personable, but they did what they said they'd do, and they did it for the price they'd originally quoted, and within the timeframe specified. I have not always been so lucky! Thus far, it seems to have held up, though I'm no foundation expert. Good luck! PLR
I have used Gen Tech Construction, Inc., 510 530 0687 for foundation, drainage and termite work and have found them to be very good. High quality work, professional, reasonable rates. Mary
Replacing brick foundation on Victorian house
Looking for recommendations for folks who do foundations. Any recommendations/advice welcome. We have a 110 year old Victorian with brick foundation. Thanks! Ellen
In response to the person looking for someone to do foundation work on her old house . . . try Gatterman Construction at (510) 427-2465. The owner, Gary Gatterman, has done a lot of work on our old home, and we've been extremely satisfied and impressed with the quality of work. His prices are very reasonable. Carolyn
We had our two story 1923 Craftsmen brick foundation completely replaced 2 years ago by Ring construction. It cost $19,000. I highly recommend Ring (I forget his first name). They came in on-time and on budget and he was very thorough in explaining the steps involved--he also did one half of the house at a time which felt less insecure than taking the whole thing out at once. It took one month to finish. Mamaroja
I can highly recommend Dan Marzilli of Gen Tech Construction for foundation and drainage work retaining walls, slabs etc. Their prices are reasonable, they do quality work, on schedule and tidy up when complete. You can schedule an appt. for an estimate at 510 530 0687. They are currently scheduling work for next year. Mary
We're having our house's foundation replaced and the foreman takes some jobs on the side. He has been wonderful- good worker, prompt, efficient, all round nice guy. He's going to replace our fence for us, and retaining walls are definitely in his realm. His name is Jorge Rodriguez. Here are a couple of numbers for him: pager- 510-765-6291, cell-925-200-9948. Gayle