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Hardscaping reviews in Fallston

  • A
    Solid Brick Contracting LLC
    We want to provide feedback about our mixed experience with Oscar and Solid Brick Contracting (SBC). They were contracted to demolish and build a new patio along with landscaping of planting beds. Oscar was able to start work the beginning of June, which was ten days earlier than expected. The crews were diligent, hardworking and knowledgeable producing a quality product. We were so impressed with their work that we negotiated to replace our concrete driveway before the patio was completed. The estimates for both projects were very reasonable. While the patio was completed, there was a follow up required to extend the underground drainpipe that was connected to the downspout. The landscape borders turned out great. The weather was not helpful and delayed our driveway construction. Once started during the last week of July, the demolition took a day longer than expected followed by rain that filled the excavated area. The excavated material was placed next to the driveway for grading of the adjacent yard area. The concrete was eventually poured after forming was completed just after noon on Friday. It was a long day for the crew working from about 7:00 a.m. until after 11:00 p.m. (including a few hours for curing before brushing the surface). Oscar and the crew came out the next day (Saturday) and partially removed the framing. In good faith we made the last payment with an understanding that they would be back Monday to complete the work. Unfortunately, they did not return for several weeks. To allow the concrete to properly cure, we did not park on the driveway for a week (during the Fourth of July week). The rest of the wood framing and yard grading was not done until the end of August. In doing the driveway excavation, they accidentally hit one of the landscape border walls. They ���repaired it��� while grading the side yard. While they tried to repair the wall, it still needs attention due to loose blocks. One corner of the patio is loose as well, possibly from bringing the equipment in to excavate for the drain pipe extension. We have contacted Oscar several times to complete these follow up items and seem to be on the back burner. These really need to be repaired before winter brings the freeze thaw cycles that will make the situation worse. We have been waiting patiently through August and September. Our neighbors were so impressed with SBC���s work that they contracted with Oscar to demolish and replace their patio. The construction of their patio also took longer than expected along with a drainage problem at their basement entrance. A crew finally return to our neighbors to start a repair to stop water from entering the house. That repair is still not yet completed. Our neighbors and us discussed these things and the time to correct problems. Obviously, our neighbors drain repair takes precedent and should be completed before Oscar completes repairs at our house. While we are thrilled with our projects, our biggest dissatisfaction is the lack of attention to promptly follow up on correcting problems.
    - Steve F.
  • A
    Solid Brick Contracting LLC
    Oscar Padilla the owner of solid brick contracting was very professional. He kept us informed him in every step. The crew was very professional and respectful. They were very fast and they did everything we agreed on the contract . They did an amazing job on our retaining wall and the paver patio. I will definitely use solid brick contracting again for any other projects . We highly recommend this company .
    - Stephanie J.
  • A
    Woodfield Landscaping Inc
    They worked within our budget and committed to the price. They did what they said they were going to do, worked thru some very tough weather conditions and finished on schedule. All of there people were a pleasure to work with from the office to the workers on site. Woodfields work was of the highest quality and we would recommend them and will use them again in the future.
    - John L.
  • A
    DCI Landscaping
    Dave and his crew were great. Professional, prompt, and skilled. My house sits on a sloping lot so Dave and his crew had to move in 24+ tons of CR9 (crushed runner stone) to level out the patio area. It only took 4 days for the patio area to be backfilled and leveled and the patio pavers placed. The playground area took 2 days. Regrading, topsoil and seeding took 1 day. We were not in any rush to get done, I was just amazed at how quickly his crew accomplished so much. It did take us a month to get on his schedule because Dave and his crew are in high demand, but again we were not in any rush. Dave gave us exactly what we wanted and gave his expert advice when needed. It was pleasure working with him and his crew. I highly recommend DCI Landscaping for anyone who needs a paver patio or drainage work to be done. At this point Dave has done all of the patio work in our immediate neighborhood with no complaints and lots of praise.
    - Rachel M.
  • F
    Work was supposed to begin on August 19th but was delayed and rescheduled for August 28th, which wasn't a problem until what was supposed to be a two-week job took 7 months to complete -- and it wasn't completed by Marrocco.  He pretty much abandoned the project and I had to hire another contractor to finish it. 
       The first day of work consisted of removing  the old patio.  There was no supervisor on site and I had a hard time communicating with the workers.  They did not have a truck to haul the old patio away so it was stacked on my driveway and sat there for 2 weeks.  On the second day a supervisor was on site.  I noticed they didn't have the stamp for the pattern I had called for in the contract.  The supervisor told me they couldn't do that pattern. This was all told to me after the contract had been signed and it had been confirmed by the salesmen that the pattern I wanted could be done (which was one of the main reasons I hired Marrocco's). After several phone calls with their office Mr. Marrocco agreed to reduce the price of the contract.  Which was fine.  After redesigning the pattern, I discussed it with the supervisor and he said the redesigned pattern could be done.  As he was stamping the new concrete I noticed that he was not doing the pattern as we discussed.  He became very angry when I mentioned this to him and he left the area.  The stamping was completed by two other workers (not as was previously discussed).
        Workmanship was very poor.  They did not square up the forms to make sure the patio was 12' x 19'.  When I asked for a measurement check along the front of the patio it only measured 18' 10". This was a problem because the pattern agreed to now would not fit properly.  This called for another redesign of the pattern. 
       The contract called for 4" of  reinforced concrete to be placed on 4" of gravel.  I did not get the 4" of gravel paid for.  This became quit evident when they ran out of concrete after only 3/4 of the patio was poured.  The supervisor went to Home Depot and brought back bags of concrete. While he was gone the crew continued to finish off the concrete that was already poured and began adding the color and hardener to it.  After a few hours the Supervisor returned and proceeded to mix the bags of concrete with water directly in the patio (rather than in a wheelbarrow and then pouring it into the patio).  The slump of the concrete was not tested before pouring and I was not sure that the strength would be the same as what was poured from the cement truck.  After the concrete had hardened a very visible line between the first pour and the bagged concrete pour could be seen.  Trying to get in contact with Mr. Marrocco after that was extremely difficult.  Phone calls went unanswered and on the days he said he would meet with me he did not show up. Three weeks later on September 18th  I finally met with Mr. Marrocco (this was my first meeting with him). He was hostile at first, but then agreed to remove everything and start over. At the meeting we agreed on Sept. 23rd to have the work redone.  He did recommend a pattern that he could do which I agreed to and he also agreed to be on site while all work was done.  After delays, unanswered phone calls and unkempt promises of showing up again, it wasn't until November 11th that demolition of the first work was started.  This was after a complaint with the MHIC was filed.  The work done while Mr. Marrocco was on site was much better than when he was not there; however, he would leave for hours at a time when he was supposed to be on site. 
       With regard to the techo-bloc walls specified in the contract, I was told by the salesman that Marrocco's could put in this type of wall.  This was not so true.  Three times the placement had to be redone because the first layers were not buried deep enough.  As the crew was laying the pavers I pointed out to the Supervisor that they were not using a running bond pattern.  He seemed confused at this statement and I had to explain what a running bond pattern was.  I also had to point out how to chip off the end blocs to get the same finish on the end of the wall as along the sides. 
       After the second pour had been redone Mr. Marrocco was scheduled to come back the following week to finish the walls, clean the concrete and seal it.  Well the following week was rainy, but he  never came back the week after that   to finish the project.  After another round of unanswered phone calls and unkempt promises I no longer trusted Mr. Marrocco to follow through with finishing the project.  It became apparent that he had abandoned the job.   After sitting through the cold winter, I ended up hiring another contractor to complete the job.
       Overall, it was a very stressful experience and I DO NOT recommend anyone hiring this company.

    - Sharon Y.
  • A
    Beechtree Landscape & Design

    As above- Scott was able to visualize a harmonious final product (despite the chaos during pool construction), coordinate its execution, manage the delivery, and articulate what was required to all parties along the way. I had a few other landscapers early on   take a look at the project and they were flummoxed by the scope and complexity. Beechtree was clearly the only company that had a clue.

    The high attention to detail, daily communication, professionalism, and follow up were a much needed and welcome relief from the abysmal experience with the pool company. Scott offered lots of advice along the way-- everything from how to prepare the ground for decking prep by using soaker hoses to settle the soil to suggesting the stone masons come back to fire edge the coping stones to advising on the placement of conduit and drain lines. With not a lot of advance notice he put together a comprehensive plantings package to bring out the best in the hardscape and overall environment of the site. His team are very hardworking, experts in their craft, respectful of the homeowner, punctual, and friendly. As opposed to many supervisors, Scott was on the jobsite everyday ensuring quality, making adjustments, and at times going out his way to fix aberrations or mistakes made by the previous contractors.

    I have used Beechtree on 5 projects over 6 years including masonry, brickwork, transplantation, tree plantings, and landscaping. Not one of the dozens of trees has died, the masonry is more solid that the foundation of the house itself, and the plants are all thriving. I am certain that the value of the property has increased at a multiple of what we spent on Beechtree's services-- so I view this as more of an investment than a transaction.

    - Maryellen G.
  • D
    Lehnhoff's Landscaping
    Picked up a business card for Lehnhoff's Landscaping at Wirtz and Daughters.
    I emailed them about an estimate for a hardscape project that would include steps to a newly installed swimming pool and a flagstone walkway. An appointment was made for 5/23/14 at 5:30 pm. I received a phone call from them saying they would be about 15 minutes late. A young man, (i forget his name) showed up at 6:45 pm. Frankly, by that time I thought they weren't going to show.
    We discussed the project, he took some measurements and said he would get back to me. After 10 days, when I didn't hear anything back, I emailed them again to see if they had an estimate for me. As of this writing, there's been no response.
    Communication is key! I might have forgiven the late arrival for the estimate, but since they have been incommunicado ever since, I could not possibly use them now.
    - Matthew G.
  • A
    DCI Landscaping
    It went great! Dave had excellent ideas for how to maximize the usable space but keep the design of the patio very attractive. The crew was professional and courteous. The demolition portion of the job was done efficiently and well cleaned up. The stone patio which is a mosaic pattern of color and stone size was thoughtfully and beautifully installed. Dave also chose perennials for the plant beds that gave us great color all pool season long. I  was very happy with the whole experience. My yard has been transformed!
    - Sarah B.
  • B
    Beechtree Landscape & Design
    I like the fact that Scott's crew only works on one project at a time. Once they start, you see them every day (all day) until they are done. Scott spends a lot of time at the site while work is performed and has his workers make corrections when necessary. He and his crew are very professional. 
    That being said, here is the bad. Part of the estimate included an option for stairs, which we decided to wait on, until the project was about a week in, then changed our minds and wanted stairs. Scott said they were too busy to do it now, however, if we called him back in January or February, he would come back out when it's not so cold and do the stairs for the same price. I called him back at the end of January and told him we wanted to schedule the stairs......he told me that he never said he would do it for the same price and then gave me a new estimate that was approximately 30% higher than the previous November. Needless to say, we gave the job to someone else. 
    Lastly, half-way through the job, he said he no longer had any of the 8-10' Crape-Myrtle's in stock, so he was going to be putting in 10-12' ones instead, we said that was fine. When we met to pay the remaining balance, the trees were not $350.00 he originally quoted, but $500.00. When asked about this discrepancy, he responded that he had to charge more since they were bigger trees (he neglected however to mention that part when he told us he no longer had the smaller trees in stock). 
    Overall, I actually like Scott and his crew and I think they do good work. However, he proved himself to be a normal contractor when it comes to money. Watch your step with him on any changes and always get what you can in writing!
    - Steve and Fong C.
  • A
    The Outdoor Connection Inc
    Barry and his crew showed up for work when they said they would. They were very professional and courteous. The weather was horrible outside (hot, humid, etc.) but they still put in a full day of hard work each day until the job was done.
    - Steve and Fong C.
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Patio Pavers in Fallston

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