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Excavating reviews in Roswell

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  • It went way better than we ever expected. These guys did an amazing job in our backyard and exceeded my wife and my expectations. Brad was great to work with, very good communicator and kept us updated on all aspects of the work. We didn't know what we wanted in terms of the walls and stairway they needed to create. We provided some guidelines on where the patio would go but they did a great job determining the curves and the transition from our driveway to our deck and retaining wall stairs. Brad designed the area and we were so pleased at how it came out. The installation manager, Alfredo was also great. The crew worked hard and cleaned up every day. They did things a lot of little things that made the final outcome great. This was just a great experience working with them. We love the backyard and are now getting much more use of it. I don't see how you can go wrong with these guys.
    - Joseph T R.
  • It started with a laundry list of some outdoor items we wanted to take care of: 1. Fix chain link fence in back yard (damaged by falling tree/limb) 2. Mulch & Pine straw for front and back yards 3. Replace back yard deck 4. Design suggestions to “Touch up landscaping” in back yard 5. Design suggestions to “Touch up landscaping” in front yard 6. Assess big hard wood trees on property – any that pose a potential threat of uprooting/falling? I actually googled “pine straw” and Outdoor Makeover popped up and I could see 5 Star ratings. That certainly piqued my interest. After reading several of the reviews (even the ones that said they are not cheap – but the quality and service are outstanding) – I decided to reach out via the website to inquire about my ‘to do’ list. I was impressed with how responsive the team was and how quickly I was able to schedule an appointment for Navid to come and meet with us. When all was said and done (a couple of “phases” for different projects) we ended up with: Several trees removed and stumps ground Makeover of front yard (plants, stonework, mulch, sod, etc.) New driveway and walkway to front door steps Sprinkler system in front yard Lighting in front yard Corrected drainage issues Repair of HUGE sink hole in backyard (unexpected, but Navid’s keen eye picked up on the issue) New wooden deck in back yard with built in planter (great job by Omid and team) New stone patio in back yard Plants and Sod in backyard Stepping stones, mulch, pine straw, etc. in backyard Sprinkler system in back yard Lighting in back yard Repair of fence in back yard (not really their “thing”, but Navid helped us out) Hopefully I didn’t forget any of the major items! Navid and his team, and Omid and his team: Were wonderful to work with Listened to our input and asked follow-up questions for clarification Touched base/involved us every step of every project to be sure we were satisfied and that our requirements were being met Were flexible with us if we decided to make modifications and explained if the changes would increase the cost Came in with a full team for each project and completed it quickly (per the schedule they indicated – except when weather interfered) Followed up after project completion to be sure everything was OK and corrected any small items that were not Thank you Navid and Omid! Carolyn & Mike M.
    - Carolyn M.
  • Awesome!! Todd came as scheduled to discuss our design and vision of what we wanted. He completed a design that we could complete in stages. It included, clearing underbrush, grading, demo existing deck and pavers, fence, porch, outdoor kitchen, paver patio, flagstone, shrubs, trees, drainage, sod, lighting, irrigation and waterfall/pond. He considered everything we discussed and offered his expertise in horticulture and hardscape. The project began with clearing, demo of deck and patio. Some of the existing plants and trees were then relocated. The grading began for the new design to define shrub/tree beddings and sod areas. Paver patio and fence were installed. Todd agreed to meet at a nearby home and commercial landscape nursery that he uses. He drove us around the grounds to the numerous greenhouses and we selected trees and shrubs specimens for our project. I never felt rushed and he took time to answer all my questions. They completed the installation of trees, shrubs, flagstone, drainage and sod. Let me say, this was a large project. All in all everything went very smooth. I can't say enough about Todd and his team, Jorge and his crew, Nate, Kade and Daniel. Juan and his crew that completed the fence. Todd was here everyday to make sure everything was going as planned. He was quick to return phone calls, text, emails, etc. He agreed to come back and check out everything in the spring and correct any issues due to settling, etc. Highly recommend Pro-Green Landscape!! A+
    - Sheryl M.
  • This is my first Angie's List review, and I'm more than pleased to write it!  In fact, this is a difficult thing for me to do physically because my right arm is in a cast and I have to peck this review out mostly left handed.  I called Banks late Thursday and explained to them that we had four service providers out to our property over the last two years and no one was able to find our septic tank.   The last guy said he thought it was probably under our deck.  Before ripping our deck up I wanted to be 100% sure it was necessary.  I explained all of this over the phone to the Banks rep.  She scheduled someone to come out on Monday morning to find our tank, and then pump it if possible (if it wasn't under the deck).  They called me 30 minutes prior to arriving just as they said they would do.  Paul arrived, and he and his assistant were in the back yard less than five minutes and they found the tank!  I couldn't believe it.  Part of it was under the deck, but enough of it was accessible past the deck, so they began digging.  They worked quickly and hard to dig down three feet to expose the septic tank access lid.  They pumped and inspected the tank.  They did a thorough job of pumping the tank.  They totally exceeded my expectations - I  hoped that they would at least be able to find my septic tank, and then some time down the road pump it out.  They found the tank without any special tools/methods so they didn't even charge for locating it, they only charged for pumping it!  They refilled the hole with dirt and cleaned everything up in a professional manner.   These guys are the best!  I highly recommend them.

    - David L.
  • This is a contractor which is difficult to properly rate. There were some positive aspects to my experience, and some equally negative aspects. In addition, I do not have experience with other concrete contractors in the area so cannot do a comparison regarding some of the technical/engineering disappointments, in that I do not know if other contractors would have routinely done better.
    First off, I would say that the concrete subcontractor the Hemma uses ? Thomas Concrete ? has a top notch product and is one of the reasons I decided to go with Hemma in spite of their less than sterling ratings here. (I also was swayed by their BBB rating of A+, they have been in business under the same name for a long time, and that some of their negative ratings here are by people who seemed to only do negative ratings.) Their pre-sales pitch and material is also very smooth and convincing in its detail. In our multiple pre-sales meetings, they were made fully aware of the fact that one of the main reasons we had decided to go ahead with a new driveway was drainage problems with the existing driveway, which they said was a common reason for replacement and that they could resolve the issues pointed out to them with no problem.
    Those things said, my total experience was rather shy of completely positive. The key item here is that the new driveway they initially installed had a drainage problem that was much worse than the old driveway. Also of note: the complaints of others of poor responsiveness turned out to be valid for their Project Manager, Frank Diaz.  He stopped answering calls when the going got rough. However, my experience with their Operations Manager, Jeff Hardman, was rather better. He did reliably respond to my questions and concerns. See below for more detail on these. Obviously I cannot comment on their honoring their warranty at this point.
    Their quote gave a price that was not the cheapest, but was in the ball park of others and we were not looking for the least expensive, but rather the best value that would solve our problems from a reliable contractor. Their pre-sales gave me the feeling of confidence that they would do this.
    On the day they said they would arrive to start work, they said they would be there at 7:30AM; they did not arrive until after 9AM., which we were told was because of equipment problems (Bobcat broken oil line). These things happen. Where it started to go wrong was the dumptruck with the underlay material arrived at 10AM while they were just getting underway removing the old driveway. So they have to clear a place for the gravel to be dumped, which happened to be in the area of the drainage problem. I suspect this was the origin of the failure to correct the drainage. (I have photos of the issue.)
    The workers also told me that they could not do the front door step and approach walkway as had been planned because the ground was too high. In reality, the issue was they had not prepared the area properly, and when I said that no pour would happen with the present setup, the Project Manager returned and with the workers corrected is, so that it would be as originally described and planned. I wonder why would I even need to engage them on this. On the positive side, the shape and location of the new front walkway were very well done. My takeaway is that I do not know if the Project Manager is just overstretched, or otherwise inattentive for some reason, but this and the too early gravel delivery are just poor project management. In addition, the project manager also gets low grades on engineering understanding and skill. I do not fault the original work crew at all.
    The driveway was completed and we were in the concrete curing stage when a rainstorm came. Ouch! The water from the ?corrected? part of the driveway just flooded over the existing brick wall and into an area that would then seep into our
    basement. This was what was precisely supposed to have been fixed!
    So began the effort at resolution. We stopped payment on the check I had mailed in good faith since the appearance of the driveway was very good, even though the work was not finished. (Never again will I make this mistake.) You'll have to decide if they would have responded as they did if we had not done this or the check had already cleared. Their operations manager, Jeff,contacted of us and came out to go over the problem with us. He offered three solutions, two of which really would have been makeshift, so we opted for the third. While this solution did not make drainage flow on the complete driveway the way I feel a well engineered driveway would be, it did fully solve the immediate problem of where the water runoff went. That said, on this one item, I am satisfied with my dealings with Jeff in resolving this, and he continued to respond to and answer issues that came up.
    The unfortunate final touch was just as I was starting to feel a little better about Hemma, we ended on this note. The removal of 4 panels of the newly made driveway, regrading and a second pour all went well enough. (Slight mismatch in color on the re-pour.) They said they would be back in a week to finish up. I Emailed Frank and said please do not come on the next Wednesday since we would not be here and would he please give us at least 12 hours notice on when they would show up. Yes, you guessed it:: Wednesday they showed up unannounced mid-day. We just happened to have gotten back here. Since then, no note of explanation or apology. Moreover, the workers (different team than installed the driveway) ran their concrete saws with the garage door open; what a mess the clouds of concrete dust made of the garage and car.
    Would I recommend Hemma to someone? Probably not. Would I tell someone to avoid them at all costs? Also probably not. But I would get more detail written into the quote and I would supervise them very closely, which might be hard to do if you
    are not retired as I am, especially given their reliability on dates and times. But whatever else is true, take pictures as the work progresses.
    I will return to this to report their warranty performance should that be needed, but so far, so good.

    - Richard A.
  • Arnold's septic provides a high value service, though with some caveats. They arrived as scheduled (quickly) and provided a fix that was quite economical (compared to other offerings) and seems to be working fine some months later. Roots had taken out the entry area to my leach field and they inserted a bypass that feed the remainder of the field, which appeared totally dry and so was getting none of the tank effluent before their repair. This was done at a most reasonable cost, rather less then other services wanted. Also importantly to me, Arnold did not talk down to me and was very clear on my options once he'd diagnosed the situation. He also took ownership of a problem that developed months afterward (water main leak) and had it repaired by his plumber (Brian - 770 238 6586 - excellent) who came ASAP that same evening when we reported the leak to him (leak was verified by the town utility folk).
    The caveats are fairly minor: this is a high margin business so one would think that there would be an extra degree of service care. However, in spite of our request to bring his backhoe up our (soon to be replaced) driveway, he came up our front
    (and rather steep) front lawn which made a bit of a mess of it. The other is that more care with the back hoe might have prevented the damage to the water main running to the house and also might have avoided shattering the 4" outflow PVC pipe on the septic tank. I also would have been happier were a "T" ($5 at Home Depot) used rather than just inserting the shunting flex pipe into a cut in the field pipe. But, those quibbles said, all seems to be working so this may be satisfactory. Time will tell. Also of note to some potential customers is that he does not carry comp; not a big deal for what I had done though not risk free of course.
    - Richard A.
  • Please note that this review is for work done in late 2011. Keep that in mind as you read this and other reviews.

    We interviewed a few landscaping companies for this job, and based on the combination of excellent reviews here on Angie's List and the fact that Outdoor Makeover had by far the lowest estimate of all the quotes, we decided to use them.
    First of all, let me say that Navid is a very personable and pleasant man. He behaves professionally, and I believe that he truly wants to do excellent work for his clients. Unfortunately, we found the work done by his crew was not what we had hoped for.
    --Seems like he listens,
    --Tries to accommodate customer wants (such as using native plants),
    --When problems were brought to his attention, Navid always tried to make it right,
    --Trimmed an existing hedge to neaten the area even though it was not part of their scope of work,
    --Adapted well to additions to the work (at extra cost, of course, but we expected that),
    --Moved a pile of pea gravel out of the way of their work, without an additional charge
    --Substituted plants on estimate for other plants (maybe those on sale?) at last minute without consulting us, some with drastically different effects on the landscape appearance,
    --There was no plan that we saw ahead of time. He seemed to decide where everything would go as they were working,
    --Did not know when crew was going to show up each day,
    --Placement and grouping of some plants did not make sense, leaving a scattered appearance (like putting yucca plants next to creeping yew - a desert-style plant next to a northern-style evergreen)
    --Crew lacked attention to small details, like planting the hollies for a hedge the same distance from the house, or with equal spacing from each other,
    --Crew seemed to be unfamiliar with the needs of some plants, such as which need to be planted with the rootball high,
    --Crew had great difficulty finding the existing irrigation, and did not completely refill the holes they dug to hide them when done,
    --Crew pulled up the phone line while digging (fortunately, we do not use a landline), and exposed the cable line while digging. The cable line was not reburied when they were done, and the phone line will need replacing from the phone company if we ever want to use it.
    --Some perennials nearing the end of their season were treated poorly, and looked trampled upon installation,
    --Drip irrigation was in some places held down by rocks moved out of existing border edges and french drains instead of tacked,
    --Hole drilled through garage wall for irrigation control was not caulked.
    --Does not seem to be an expert on irrigation systems - brought in another person for advice after things were not going well.

    Considering the volume of positive reviews on this site, we were quite surprised that there were so many issues, minor as they may seem. Considering the expectation people have of a yard at a house in our neighborhood, we will not be using Outdoor Makeover again.

    Update, 4/9/14
    After this review was posted, Navid contacted me. Even though it has been a long time since the work was done, he offered to try to do something to help make us happy. We declined, but appreciated the effort. All of the above points had been discussed with him immediately after the work was completed. He says they learned what they could from our feedback, and have grown in the last couple of years.
    - Melinda D.
  • They were courteous and professonial. Their crews wore uniforms and showed up on time. When we wanted additional work done, the supervisor accommdated our change order. The supervisor arrived several times to check on the work. The team cleaned up their work after every shift. The yard looks great and we'll use them again.
    - Marlon M.
  • Bill was great to work with.  He was always patient and followed up with me over email and the phone during the estimating process.  We worked out together a vision on what we wanted the backyard to look like.  He explained to me what was possible  and even made some suggestions on changes I hadn't even considered.
    When Bill came out to start to do the actual work he came when expected and the pool demolition proceeded as expected.  He went above and beyond to help make the project a success.  At no additional cost we put in 4 underground drain gutter lines.  Even when we ran out of the piping that I had bought at the store he sent his staff to go pick up more for me in his own truck.  He was dedicated to getting the job done and done right.
    The only hitch that I would say is that in one of the thirteen loads of dirt that we got were full of rocks.  I spent the weekend racking out rocks for that section of the yard.  Not really within Bill's control.  Although he told the truck driver not to bring any more loads like that out here again.
    I would also mention that you should have your expectations inline.  This is heavy contraction machinery coming into your property.  Our concrete got torn up a bit from the dumpster, bobcat tracks and dump trucks.  I kind of expected this ( also the driveway was already cracked and 35 years old).
    When we replace the driveway I will definitely call Bill to come out and do the excavation work.
    - jessica m.
  • Our pipe dream was to have a big, green yard for our toddler to play in, and Outdoor Makeovers helped make it a reality. It was hard for my husband and I to see beyond our over-grown property, riddled with sink holes so we interviewed several companies to get their take. It was clear from the beginning that Outdoor Makeovers offered a very educated, and designer-ly perspective that was respectful of our family objectives, our financial situation, and our particular property. We were interested to see how one company could have such an influx of positive reviews, and wondered if we might be just a number to them; we were very pleasantly surprised to feel like we had known Navid for years and it became apparently clear that he and his team are genuinely deserving of all the hype. He spent an evening with us walking our property and brainstorming ideas and quickly formulated a plan. We were very impressed with how seamlessly he coordinated the various efforts and how quickly everything took shape...just 1 week! Each of the various crews were super friendly, timely and responsive and made a concerted effort along each step of the project to initiate dialogue about any issues we may have had (we had none, of course). In addition to the scope we agreed upon, Outdoor Makeovers went above and beyond to help us out where they could (I think they could tell how agriculturally challenged we are!) by mapping out some ideas for plantings in the future, and full instructions on how to avoid killing anything :) . We are grateful for their candor, their vision, their ability to implement, and mostly we're grateful for the beautiful yard our daughter will have to make her childhood memories. Thank you!
    - Katie J.
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Excavators in Roswell

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