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Concrete Repair reviews in Atascadero

  • F
    We hired Mark Simmons and his A-1 Concrete Crew to install a concrete retaining wall and patio in our backyard in April, 2016 and it has been a complete nightmare. The retaining wall is structurally unsound and has developed significant cracks (all concrete cracks, but less than a month after installation, you can fit a quarter in the cracks of our wall). When they were installing the concrete, the crew blocked the excavator in with the new patio and the operator demolished the side of our yard to get it out. This caused extensive damage to our yard. And, to add insult to injury, the building inspector for the City of Atascadero has now informed us that A-1 Concrete failed to obtain the proper building permits and that the work will not pass code because it is so subpar. Now we must rip everything out and start all over again. The cost is astronomical. We have paid for over 80% of the job and Mark Simmons refuses to give us our money back or to work with us to find a resolution. We have reported him and A-1 Concrete to the Contractors State Licensing Board and they are currently under investigation. Do yourself a favor and hire a Contractor of a higher caliber so you don���t have to lose a ton of money and time like we have.
    - Amber P.
  • F
    Madrone Landscapes

    The project was landscaping of our backyard and it extended over spring and summer, 2014. The design was iterated with Madrone over several weeks. Each iteration of the design was simpler than the preceding, with fewer materials, but surprisingly had a higher estimated cost. At the end, it was not totally satisfactory to us, but we proceeded anyway. Madrone just seemed to not be able to capture what we wanted in the design. We have a huge oak tree and we did not want plantings under the tree. We were shocked to see that many plantings were within the dripline of the oak when they were put in. The first attempt was clearly not to the plan, so we insisted they tear out that area (including irrigation), and redo it. They refused to move plants and shrubs any farther from the tree than the plan showed. Madrone must have misfigured the extent of the tree when drawing up the plans. Communications with the foreman became more difficult at this point.


    First of all, Madrone did a very good job building the hardscape: flagstone paths, flagstone floor for an existing patio wall area that had been a firepit, placement of cobblestones and boulders. The flagstones and rocks, as well as the (reduced) concrete lawn border, were salvaged from the previous landscaping. They also built a nice redwood grape arbor with seating area. Hardscape is one of their strengths.


    In all other ways, Madrone did not seem to be capable of truly professional work. Soil preparation was minimal. Subsequent inspection over the last two years has revealed that the depth of preparation did not comply with project specifications in some areas. Plants and shrubs were brought in by the dozens and often left above ground for days without proper irrigation before planting. Many died, probably because their roots had dried out too much; most after the 3-month guarantee period had elapsed. Many of the plantings were hastily done without care, so that they were not firmly in contact with the ground. Some of the day workers hired by the foreman seemed to lack attention and expertise. Sometimes there were delays of several days while the foreman and workers were on other projects.


    An example of poor planting technique involved the two golden cypresses that we had wanted. The first specimens were nice, appeared healthy, and were about 4 ft tall. Similar ones were planted on common ground by our local HOA about a block away. Ours died almost immediately. Madrone replaced them with inferior plants. In all, there were three replacements, and we ended up with two trees about 18��� in height, one half-dead when planted. One has survived after two years, looks OK and is about 2 ft tall. The other has partially recovered, but is still half-dead. Keep in mind that we paid dearly for nice trees! Meanwhile, the golden cypresses planted at the same time around the corner from our house have thrived and are now at least 7 ft tall each!


    In the planning stage, we insisted that the drainage be good. Madrone���s scheme for draining the lot seemed to be proper, provided that slopes were carefully determined. Much of the drainage seems to be OK, but there are two areas that have problems. One was discovered at the finish of the project. Either much of the lawn is draining outside of the drain pipe into an area that used to be dry, or there is a leak in the sprinkler system pipes. A perpetually wet area was created in which they had planted a very nice persimmon tree. It promptly died due to the wet soil and was replaced with a very inferior tree planted a few feet away. It almost died the first year, but may be reviving. Madrone sent a couple of people to look at the situation shortly after completion of the project, but they finally decided that there was probably no leak. They did not, however seem willing to do anything about the drainage in that area and stopped returning phone calls.


    When rains finally came in the winter 2014, it became apparent that the drainage in another part of the lot had been seriously compromised. The rainwater backed up against the foundation, whereas it was always dry before in that area. I had noticed some accumulation of irrigation water in that area immediately after completion of the project, but the Madrone representatives said that it did not appear to be a problem. When I tried to contact them in the rainy season, they did not return my phone calls. An outfit that does not stand behind its work is not worthy of patronizing, in our opinion!


    When the project was completed, I asked the foreman for a diagram of the irrigation system, showing the circuits with areas serviced, and the locations of pressure reducers and filters. He refused, saying that he did not know where everything was. He did list the approximate areas of watering of the 18 circuits, but that information was sketchy. They had used some of the existing irrigation system, tying onto it and modifying it as needed. He dodged the questions when I asked about the type of tubing and components used and told him of the high water pressures in our area. Unfortunately, they had covered over all the irrigation installation before I could inspect it.


    In summary, this is not a company to consider. Their work was substandard, expensive, and they did not stand behind it. Communication was poor, partially due to the foreman and his attitude. The design was poor, with inappropriate spacings of plants and shrubs. This became very apparent as the landscaping matured.




    - Jerry T. D.
  • A
    Advanced Concrete And Construction
    Advanced Concrete was professional, on time and gave me high quality work. The crew worked hard and I am very happy with the results. Those were dollars well spent and the patio will last for decades. I will use Advanced Concrete again.
    - Donna P.
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Concrete Contractors in Atascadero

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