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Masonry reviews in Austin

  • A
    J&L Masonry LLC
    John-Anthony and his team were fantastic. My project was a bit unusual and they executed it brilliantly. J&L Masonry was the first to respond to my request for an estimate, provided an estimate immediately, and placed my project on its calendar as soon as possible. The entire process was incredibly professional and pleasant. I���m receiving numerous compliments on the completed project.
    - Montgomery M.
  • A
    Morningstar Landscaping & Construction Inc.
    Great. Jodi and her crew are easy to work with, thorough, professional and did and excellent job. We found their ability to be flexible when we changed our minds about layout or design during the project to be a real asset.
    - William B.
  • A
    Morningstar Landscaping & Construction Inc.
    Jodi and her team did a wonderful job and were great to work with. Our back and side yards were basically dirt and weeds, and we are on a slope so we had major problems with soil erosion. We needed a quick, low-cost, high-impact landscaping update before putting our house on the market and she knocked it out of the park. We love the updates! Everything looks wonderful and she worked really hard to keep the budget reasonable for such a major job. We have gotten so many compliments already from our realtor's team and our neighbors! And she was super fun and easy to work with, and has given us a ton of advice for our new place as well. Would easily recommend her for any landscaping job!
    - Amanda P.
  • A
    Morningstar Landscaping & Construction Inc.
    Jodi is EXCELLENT! I don't have enough wonderful things to say about her. We have been corroborating for months on our extensive landscaping project. Jodi has been responsive and come to visit twice to review our project. Our project is awaiting HOA approval and we can't wait to get our modern landscape started. Our project will consist of hardscape, pavers, driveway modification, sod, irrigation, tree trimming and relocation, planters, deck and fire pit area, playground, etc. etc. I have no doubt that Jodi will provide us with outstanding results! We can't wait to watch our front, back and side yard be transformed. I will update my review once the project is complete. Don't hesitate to give Jodi a chance!
    - Michelle C.
  • A
    Morningstar Landscaping & Construction Inc.
    Flawless delivery with continuous improvement and honest answer that reflect on her overall kindness as a person. Its not just landscaping its like soulscaping she builds a garden around you and harmony with crazy texas climate.
    - Lisa J.
  • F
    Morningstar Landscaping & Construction Inc.
    The reason I���ve delayed in writing this review is fatigue from repeatedly getting taken by sleazy contractors like Jodi Phillips. Writing this review just makes me re-experience dealing with Morningstar Landscaping. I also fully expect Jodi to respond to this review by attacking me, denying responsibility, and place all the blame on me, like she does in every D-F reviews you can read on Angie���sList. What is so obsequious to me is how she denies responsibility but often closes by wishing the reviewer well. Read my emails that barely illustrate the terrible experience I had. Jodi Phillips is just the last in a long line of bad contractors I���ve hired who flourish in Austin���s booming construction/remodel market. Online reviews in Yelp and AngiesList indicate most people hire Morningstar for relatively small jobs compared to mine. Mine was a $65,000 dollar job. Angie���s List photos show mainly hardscaping, not landscaping. I started talking with Morningstar Landscaping in November/2017. I was ready to get started. When meeting with Jodi, I provided my landscaping plan designed by a professional. I also emphasized the fairly complex drainage issues I needed addressed. I gave Jodi a detailed plat of my drainage problems, showing storm water runoff flow patterns. At the initial meeting with Jodi, I walked the property, pointing out my main drainage concerns. ���I LOVE DRAINAGE!!, Jodi gushed. Jodi took cues from what I said and effused how much she loves projects like mine, has some great ideas, selling enthusiasm that she���s going to deliver everything you want, and more. Sign a contract and a very different reality sets in as the months pass by������.. Morningstar���s website is very pretty. There are a number of awards and professional associations listed. I looked them up. American Horticultural Society [*** Link removed ***] $35 membership fee, anyone can be a member, no certification involved. American Horticultural Therapy Association $145 and you are a member. [*** Link removed ***] Mission Statement: The dissemination of information relating to the principles and practices of horticultural therapy as a treatment modality. Are you hiring a landscaper or looking for a treatment modality? Either way, all you need is $145 to join; there are no professional requirements or training. I wanted a landscaper, not therapy. 2016 Austin Small Business Excellence Award I can���t find anything online identifying who this organization might be. I did find an article about these types of awards being handed out after a cash donation to the group. There was nothing linking Morningstar to this. Angie���s Super Service Award There are a lot of Five Star reviews on YELP and Angie���s. This review doesn���t try to imply that those are not accurate. I notice most accompanying photographs show primarily hardscaping, not landscape. Little planting areas wouldn���t be hard. My job was just the opposite, lots of drainage and landscaping, and not so much hardscaping. I was sucked into hiring Morningstar by only reading the five star reviews, and I fault myself for not being more thorough. What are important in the Angie���s reviews are not the complaints themselves, but Jodi���s responses to. Jodi attacked anyone complaining about her. There was nothing conciliatory, nothing about wanting to make it right, make the customer happy, no explanations or apologies. Whatever the customer���s complaint, it was their fault, not Jodi���s. I was married to a narcissist and our country has elected the worst example of narcissistic behavior. They are never wrong, can���t deal with criticism, and lash out at anyone they perceive as critical to their actions. They lie and distort reality. YELP Review 2/28/2018 Stay away. The owner is unhinged. We made an appointment over a week ago. We spoke to Jodi on the phone and she was pleasant at the time. While we were waiting for our appointment, she just cancelled on us telling me I was rude while texting her. I would never hire someone with so few skills. She made it our problem. Don't make it yours. Stay away Project Delays My first emails with Jodi are dated November 17, 2017, the last one on July 26, 2018. Read the dates on my emails. Some of the excuses from the beginning: ��� Can���t get the plants until Spring ��� Cat bit or scratched her and she has an infected arm ��� Dogs are sick and are taking her time and keeping her up at night. ��� Jodi���s sick. A LOT. ��� Her first crew foreman came and I had to walk him through the entire project after I���d explained all this with Jodi. I gave him detailed rainwater runoff flow sketches of the property, showing how the water flowed and where the problems were. He and I designed the drainage, not Jodi. I gave him the only copy of my lawn irrigation system zones. Jodi was never on site for more than a few minutes, usually just to get a check. ��� Three weeks later, hearing nothing back, Jodi tells me she had to fire him. I lost three weeks and the only copy of my irrigation zones. ��� I had to start all over with a new crew foreman and repeat designing my drainage, the landscaping, and the irrigation system with him. Jodi was never there. ��� Crew chief took nine days off in June, delaying the planting until July. She didn't start my project until late April-2018, and instead of first installing the landscape beds and buying plants, Jodi instructs the crew boss to first do the hardscaping, driveway, sidewalks, patio. The hardscaping had almost no interference with the planting of the landscaping beds which should have been installed first before July. Jodi���s going to respond that my hardscaping work had to be done first. It didn���t. Doing it first pushed back the planting dates. Summer���s heat and drought was right around the corner. In late April, Jodi calls me to say a roll-off dumpster was going to be delivered and I needed to meet the driver as early as 6 am and tell him where to put it. I had never had a roll off dumpster delivered before. In the predawn hours, the driver and I discovered the dumpster could not be placed because of my heavily treed property. Jodi did not find a location, did not meet the dumpster delivery herself, and as usual, was nowhere to be seen. At this point it becomes obvious Jodi had nothing to do with job oversight management. I sent her an email telling her I expected her to start taking responsibility for her company���s jobsite. After that, she stopped by occasionally, but was never on site for more than a ten minute drive-by, usually involving getting a check, never overseeing the work nor even talking to me unless I approached her. I ended up being the default contractor for the job. The crew chief would constantly be asking about the job details, something Jodi should be taking care of. Imagine hiring a builder for your new home, then being asked construction details by the carpenters, electricians, plumbers. That was my experience. At some point, I realized the crew doing my job was just some jack of all trades subcontractor Jodi had found. Jodi had not presented him with the full scope of work, so he had underbid the job. He knew nothing of the planting and irrigation that was specified for the entire backside of the house. The contract specified Morningstar was to follow the landscape design specifications. That did not happen. I got ����� inch of decomposed granite on the pathways, versus the several inches specified. Nor did I get the compost specified which would be crucial to the new plants. Jodi���s lack of job oversight and semblance of planning resulted in all my plants being installed in July/2018, absolutely the worst time to plant during the heat and drought of Texas summer. During the rushed planting, I was talking to one of the crew. He said he was a roofer but he was hired for my job. These guys did not amend my thick, heavy clay soil when planting. No compost around each plant. They dug a hole in the hard clay and buried a lot of the plants too deep. Then they threw mulch over the beds, half covering many of the plants and the trunks of my live oaks. Plants started dying immediately. The drip irrigation installed was not good. Regardless of a plant���s water requirements, they all got the same amount, if they got any at all. In one instance, 2500 square feet of landscape bed ran off one source, far too much area for the irrigation to function properly. Upslope plants got no water; lower areas flooded and became swamps. There were problems I wanted addressed, but Jodi did not respond, she���d gotten her money. More about that in a minute. Drainage I���d been pointing out all along wasn���t done, my little bit of decomposed granite was being washed away when it rained. Dead plants that died because of the way they were planted and the lousy drip irrigation (she doesn���t warranty dead plants ) There were immediate problems and contractual work not performed. One landscape bed by the front entry door had no plants in it whatsoever when Jodi thought the job was finished. She wouldn���t have known it wasn���t planted because she never was onsite. She and a helper drove up on a Saturday morning and hastily stuck the plants in the ground in a few minutes. I never saw her again, but did have very unprofessional emails/texts afterwards. Speaking of money: Jodi wants all your checks written to Jodi Phillips, not Morningstar. If your project is over $10,000 thousand dollars, she will ask for checks amounts less than $10,000. In my case, that was $9,900 dollars. Why? Jodi takes your checks to your bank and cashes them. Federal banking law requires all cash transactions of $10,000 dollars or more to be reported, so it���s probably not reflected in her tax returns. She could turn over her taxes to the IRS for audit if she disputes this. In my case, she doesn���t collect, report, or pay Texas sales taxes. I didn���t know there were Texas sales taxes on landscaping, but I found out in my post Morningstar research. See my email where Jodi wants to keep me tax exempt. When Jodi had taken my money and refused to respond, I had my landscaping assessed by a master gardener and another person who was a landscape designer and certified arborist. I was told many my plants were put in too deep, that the mulch topping had buried them, that mulch was placed several inches up the live oak trunks and needed to be scraped away. The plantings should have had compost in the planting hole, but were just stuck in the clay soil. The arborist called this putting a $10 dollar plant in a 5 cent hole. I have to fix all the drainage. I insisted Jodi come and fix the problems and unfinished work. She said there was a death in the family and needed to deal with that. I sent condolences and waited two weeks before contacting her again. This is when I realized I was dealing with someone with a pathological mental illness. Read the Emails and Follow the Dates how long the project ran. Jodi To:Bill Boulton Nov 17, 2017 at 6:27 AM Morning, that can definitely he taken care of. From pix looks like a need a French drain with 2-3 catch basins. Also gutters will really be your best friend on water diversion. Gutters r not hard to install so get several bids. I���m very specific on how we do our French drains. I see them done wrong constantly and ppl re-spending money in them. So everything is proper install and considering the slopes of land, velocity of water, and proper area to end pipe. Just lemme know and when I���m mobile let���s meet to discuss. Thx for the pix! J. To:Jodi Jan 5, 2018 at 10:01 AM Hey Jodi: Thanks, guess you'll have something for me soon? I want to get drainage issues fixed before spring landscaping. Once I see what you have, I can look it over and provide any feedback. To:J. P. Apr 19, 2018 at 10:01 AM This week makes the fourth start date you've missed. You've cashed $20,000 worth of checks. ***? To:J. Apr 19, 2018 at 5:48 PM Just FYI, we signed the contract the end of February, you told me you'd start mid- March. When March came and went, I thought it was set in stone for Monday, April 9. I spent all weekend getting ready, you did call Sunday to let me know you had an irrigation problem. That was OK and you said it would start Monday, April 16. This week went by without hearing from you until I emailed. I want to be present, not to supervise, but to see that my concerns are addressed and answer any questions that might come up. I plan around the dates I get so I can do that. J P To:Bill Boulton May 28, 2018 at 6:06 PM Good to hear your well is ok! I'm in touch. Wow this heat is very intense. Kip went to the ER on Fri, and I've been down since Sat night. Hope you're doing better than us. Here's the additions. I kept as much wholesale as i could Please do next draw to Jodi Phillips so i can keep you tax exempt. We should be finished with your patio phase by Weds. and i can start marking out your beds very soon. I'm concerned about the heat though on the plants to be honest. Darwin will be back in about 9-10 days and i can go over next phase. Hope you had a great weekend and i'll be swinging by tomorrow to check on things. :) Jodi To:jodi@morningstarlandscaping.net Jul 13, 2018 at 9:36 PM My guess is 90-95% of the water in the drip goes where there's no plant. About a 10-12" inch piece of the drip pipe is actually close enough to the plant, but that small portion of water is inadequate. I'm looking at a large number of stressed plants that recover when I hand water. I'm going to take off mulch and photo how little pipe is close to a plant. A lot of plants need more water Hey Bill. I had a bday, attempted to take time off for a week to enjoy. Instead am down a week with a bad fever. Ugh! We don���t warranty plants as they are live goods. Nurseries do not either. Let me know which one it was. Or text a pic. I hope to b back n action Sat if I���m lucky. J. I told Darwin to contact u yesterday. Please only water in AM. Night time is ineffective and not great for plants. It���s extremely hot here so increase from 45 to a good 1.25-1.5 hours. Drip is double what heads would be. I���ll touch base with Darwin again. I had very bad new on Thurs I���m dealing but I���ll get ahold of him. Thx. J. To J. P. Jul 26 at 10:33 AM Jodi: I hope you're back in Austin so you and I can finalize the job. After spending $65,000 thousand dollars, I feel like at the very least you should be interested in doing the job correctly to make the customer happy instead of drawing red circles and arrows on the landscape plan to defend not following the plan. The missing three bamboo muhly and a proper planting bed is a minor item to do. Pam Penick erred in one place by not drawing edging, but I was the landscaper, I would have pointed this out to my client and taken care of it. Edging wasn't drawn for the bed adjacent to the end of the driveway but it was put in because the need was obvious. I'm watching some of the plants die despite the drip working properly as per Darwin's inspection. Mexican feathergrass, rosemary, and four unknowns that were dead less than a week from planting, two golden thyrallis, etc. . . I keep having to ask for the steel edging that will keep the mulch from washing out onto or down the driveway during rains. The new drainage discharge is a problem, one that I'm taking care of myself but the downstream flow should have been considered. The roof for the housing over my irrigation/pressure tank system was broken off and I'll have to remove the metal roofing to re-attach it. These are things I'm not bringing up for you to correct. Not fixing the bamboo muhly planting, edging, and the dead plants is nickel and dime on a $65k job and how this is addressed impacts my overall impression of the job. I can call Darwin about the edging, but that shouldn't be my responsibility. I'd like to get these last things taken care of. J. To Bill Boulton Jul 26 at 3:21 PM I���m not sure what part of 2 deaths in My family you don���t understand! You won���t listen, you won���t water correctly, we do not warranty plants- read contract. I���m in AZ for the Summer dealing with a murder/suicide. If u want edging, I told u to contact Darwin. I���m happy to send you an invoice on all the extra plants I put in too. Follow instructions and ur plants won���t die. But I���m dealing with My family now, and you are way beyond anything I need to deal with right now. If u hv an issue with the design -take it up with Pam. Most her lay out was so off it���s unreal but u insisted to keep it exactly like she drew. Best to you, but I have to be with My family. Blows Me away how callus you are. J. I felt she was lying to me, that she wasn���t in Arizona for the summer, and even if she was, she had an obligation to send the crew to address my problems. So I got Jodi���s home address from TCAD and a friend and I drove down there the next day with my camera. There she was, in the front yard of her home, a crew working on her house and a beer in her grieving hand. I stood in the roadway right of way and snapped some photos. Within an hour I had a text from her threatening me with the police, called me sick, called me a stalker. She urged me to get help���then added the word Please, as in, Please get help. I didn���t have any more contact with Jodi Phillips. Not much point in that. She���s a liar, tax cheat, and poor business person, unethical and lacks any responsibility for the lousy landscape and drain work I have to fix. So I ask those of you reading this review, who really needs help? Hire her if you want, the guy who did my stonework, Felix, was very good. That���s it. The hardscaping pictures on her website and reviews do look good. The landscaping, drains, and irrigation she did was a joke. I had to pay her and still be responsible for the day to day management of the job. If anything goes wrong like it did with my job, don���t pay her until it���s the way you want it. I���m paying professionals to fix the plantings, tear out the irrigation and replace it with a system designed for my repaired landscaping. I feel that there is something terribly disturbing about Jodi Phillips.
    - John B.
  • A
    Morningstar Landscaping & Construction Inc.
    We have been getting estimates on a covered pergola and kitchen ideas, and had our consult with Jodi. She educated us on the difference of construction, prices, and looks and then gave us wonderful input on the variety of grills out there. She gave us the proposal within the week and also 2 local vendors to go look at grill too. We decided to go with Morningstar because we felt the most comfortable with the time spent, and the work sites we visited that they have done. They did a beautiful job on the pergola and love the stonework for the kitchen and landscaping. After months of interviewing companies, we are very satisfied with the work performed and costs. Very nice crew, clean, and appreciate the time Jodi took, and definitely her creative eye.
    - Jennifer R.
  • A
    PUTTRICH & SONS LLC
    Puttrich and Sons responded to my request for a bid within a couple of hours. I sent a few photos of the needed repairs. Fred Puttrich and Micah arrived the next afternoon. They took the stone pillar completely apart and rebuilt it using the same stones, plus one or two substitutes. The work was done promptly and professionally. It was a pleasure to deal with Puttrich and Sons.
    - Richard N J.
  • A
    PUTTRICH & SONS LLC
    These folks are fantastic... They showed up a few hours after I requested the quote and actually was already looking over the project (collapsing/crumbling stone wall in front of house) when I arrived home! Gave me a very agreeable bid 20 minutes later and finished the whole job by 2 PM the next day. They performed excellent work and the wall looks as good as new. I am extremely impressed with these folks��� craftsmanship, customer service and overall professionalism - definitely would hire them again and recommend them wholeheartedly to anyone needing masonry work!
    - Paul M.
  • A
    Blue Diamond Remodeling Inc
    Most excellent! Blue Diamond's ability to work with us with all our idiosyncrasies and inexperience was very welcomed. Their transparency with costs, scheduling, sub-contractors, city inspections, and permits, gave us a huge amount of confidence. Their ability to incorporate our changes was relatively seamless. Also, their focus on communicating via email, text, or phone calls, kept us current on the issues that occurred during our remodel. All in all, they were excellent and are working on other projects with our family.
    - Mark D.
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