Cardea Construction proved to be a class operation throughout this project. They engaged the services of a professional designer, which cost about 2% of the project cost. This designer discovered that the ramp could also serve as a ramp from the nearby garage access door, at a slightly lower level, which was a terrific benefit. The five-part project began with a pre-construction conference that lasted well over 2 hours at our home, in which everything, right down to where we leave each other notes, was discussed. A detailed description of the work, with cost breakdown and schedule, was provided. A payment schedule, based on achieving particular milestones, was agreed upon that was much more convenient than the "50% up front, rest on completion" that had been my experience. The pre-construction conference also introduced us to Steve, who was billed as the construction supervisor, and Phillip, the carpenter who built the custom indoor gate. As work began, it became clear that the construction supervisor actually served as lead craftsman, performing most of the work himself and calling in associates when needed. The atmosphere was entirely that of an artistic craftsman doing the best possible job, better quality but more slowly than a real construction crew.. During the work, removal of the balcony showed that there was a greater degree of rot than anticipated, and an engineer was engaged to help conceive a stronger design. Also, we elected to make the "fence," or railing, around the balcony match the railing on the ramp, though the original estimate was based on putting back the wrought iron railing that was already there. The ramp and railing, with its right angle to accommodate both doors, became a thing a beauty rather than a "handicap ramp." It adds to the appearance, as shown in the picture. We selected a color of paver stone and topping stone for the wall, and they were put in in a day. The underlying concrete patio was covered with a layer of sand, which was leveled, and then the paving stones were put on. The result looks fabulous. A torrential rainstorm occurred soon after completing, revealing two low spots where water pooled. They quickly fixed it, and a subsequent downpour showed that the fix was a success. In all, the project took a couple of weeks longer than scheduled, due in part to the extra balcony work and in part to securing a time with the city inspector at various steps along the way. Despite the extra balcony work, with the contract of engineering services, a more robust design, the total project cost came in within 2% of the initial estimate. Furthermore, we added features along the way (new railing, some cement leveling in front when they secured services of a cement leveler for the patio) that added another 3%. The results are absolutely delightful! We are having an accessible bathroom built by Cardea Construction, with work beginning upon completion of this outdoor project. Its review will follow when completed. The owner, the construction supervisor, the carpenter, and all helpers were unusually accommodating of our home schedule, very tolerant of our four dogs that would have to go out during the work time and insisted on at least barking at the workers (and sometimes leaving their mark on the neatly-stacked piles of construction materials), and considerate in every way. E-mails or calls at least every other day kept us up on how things were going, and no extra work was undertaken without prior permission and an estimate of the extra cost. Like the work, these workers were delightful. The two pictures show the before and after view of the project.