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Excavating reviews in Aurora

  • F
    Blackstone Property Maintenance LLC
    We had a water drainage issue with our property and a separate area that needed to be raked and seeded. Tim, the owner of Blackstone Landscaping, came over and looked at the project. He explained that the entire area could be re-graded to facilitate drainage and promised that they can re-grade any property without the need of a French drain. While he did recommend a dry river bed, he said it wasn���t necessary and that re-grading the property could take care of the problem alone. Blackstone���s quote came back with basically three steps: 1) kill everything and start from scratch 2) bring in top soil and re-grade for proper drainage and 3) hydro-seed the yard. While the quote was higher than we expected, Tim���s enthusiasm and seemingly friendly personality won our business. Blackstone started the project and we noticed from the beginning that no herbicide was applied to kill the grass, weeds, moss, etc., as stated in the quote. Instead, all the weeds and grass were just ground into the existing soil and some areas covered with a new layer of top soil. When we asked Tim about this, his response was that this would not make a difference in the final product. Against our better judgment, and with no real alternative, we acquiesced and continued the project. While Tim was here on the first day, I walked around with him on our property pointing out and verifying things we wanted him to do. He was very nice and was saying he would do the things we were showing him, without hesitation and seeming sincerity. We thought we were on the same page. We had also asked Tim during this time, if he would be willing to take up the asphalt on our driveway, widen and straighten it in the process, and then lay down some crushed limestone. After about six hours of work, Tim announced they were done for the day and would be back the next day to finish. At this point, the yard looked sloppy (as expected), and we assumed it would look better after they were finished the next day. They arrived around 10am the next day and were completely done and gone by 2:30. They did very little re-grading or raking and were basically there to apply the top soil and hydro-seed. Large parts of the backyard were left untouched, and the boundaries were not straight or even looking, so the finished product looked quite sloppy, like something we could have done ourselves if we had rented the equipment. They didn���t do as much re-grading/reseeding to the front yard as Tim had agreed to do, nor did they fill in the ditch in the front yard like Tim promised. In addition to the above, there were low spots, none of the debris was raked out, and random pieces of wood, rocks, and vegetation were visible at the edges of the fresh topsoil. Tim claimed these things would go away after the first mow. The hydro-seed was sprayed everywhere - on trees, rocks, the dead vegetation left in the yard, sewer drains, and on the house. The only instructions we received were verbal: water 3x a day and when you mow the grass the exposed tree roots won���t grow back. As for the driveway side project, instead of widening or straightening the driveway as promised, they just took up the asphalt that was already there. When Tim came back a few days later to lay the crushed limestone on our driveway, I expressed my concern regarding the main job. He started addressing my concerns but quickly grew visibly agitated (large arm movements, talking louder and faster). He stated the ground was too wet to do the rear part of the property (the very job I hired him for) but offered to provide another quote to resolve the issue. He said that he would rake the debris but then no grass seed would be there. Tim stated that correcting the obvious low spot where water was already pooling would have to wait until the spring. If Blackstone does come out to address this or the many other issues, I will be happy to update this review. As the conversation progressed, Tim grew increasingly agitated and stopped addressing my concerns; instead, he changed the topic to payment. Staying calm, I explained that I wanted to reach a reasonable payment schedule to ensure my concerns were addressed and fixed. He quickly started walking towards his truck and told his crew to stop working. (This turned out to be for the best given the fact that they were not doing what we wanted with the project.) He offered to not charge us for hauling away the old asphalt, but before he left, he threatened to place a lien on the house if we did not pay the remaining balance that very day. Being naive to the lien process and not wanting the legal hassle, I reluctantly agreed to Tim's offer of withholding the final 5% payment and paying the remainder that day. Tim called me a couple hours later - I initially thought his call was to work things out and to apologize for his unprofessional behavior, but his call was just to threaten once again to place a lien on the house if we didn't pay (yes, after I agreed to pay - not sure what he was hoping to accomplish by this). No apologies, no trying to reach a reasonable solution, nothing. Because he was so quick to repeatedly threaten the lien process, I wonder if he has done this with other customers not satisfied with Blackstone's services. Enough time has passed that parts of the re-seeded lawn have grown. Not surprisingly, so have the weeds, vines, moss and mushrooms that would not be there if Tim had done the job right. None of this can be treated until the new grass matures. What I didn't expect is how patchy the new grass is. In some areas of our property, new topsoil was applied, but it was not applied in others. Some areas were re-graded, but some areas were not. Nothing grew in some areas that were re-seeded. What did grow is different thicknesses, heights, and colors, large areas of the original grass remain adding yet another variation to the yard. To add injury to insult, the water drainage issue was not corrected. Water still pools in several new low spots left after the re-grading. After it stops raining, the standing water lasts for days to weeks, depending on the spot. The entire thing looks worse than it did before the project. I believe it will be many years before my yard recovers from Blackstone's work, and I am going to have to shell out even more money to fix his mistakes. We got a second opinion from another landscaper on Tim���s work, and they agreed it was a poor job. They said Tim should have came to spray everything and let it sit for one week to wait for the spray to kill everything. After at least a week, then Blackstone should have completely hauled away and removed what was dug up before applying new top soil. Needless to say, we wasted significant time and money on Blackstone and write this review to help others not make the same mistake.
    - Chris P.
  • A
    Sal's Heating & Cooling
    Sales was the contractor making the offer.  Two of their techs. showed up on time and did a VERY PROFESSIONAL job and did it quickly.  I had a minor problem in January of 2016 and they responded within 24 hours (I called on Monday and they were here on Tuesday).  I told them that it was not an emergency but they were here in a hurry any way.  OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE.  Their technician stayed until he was sure that the problem was fixed.  MANY THANKS
    - Roy S.
  • A
    Sitework Developing Inc

    The provider was able to successfully correct a severe drainage issue on my property, and they have given me a usable space now in my backyard.  They were clean and thoughtful, and listened to my concerns.  They were careful not to upset my neighbors.  One of my neighbors allowed them access to get to my backyard, and in turn the provider went the extra mile to fix and grade the portion of their stone driveway that they used, and also supplied fresh stone to finish it off. They also went the extra mile to get more mulch to put on one of my front beds to match an existing bed and to tidy and finish off the area post seeding.

    They successfully capped a problematic old drainage system by a former tenant, and regraded the front yard as well.  I am very happy with their work.  The only issue I had was in getting final confirmation of the project details, but once I had that they were swift to follow through with a start date.


    - Nancy C.
  • A
    Sitework Developing Inc
    They arrived on time and were very careful with their work and cleanup.
    Using their snake camera technology they inspected the drain pipes we suspected were the cause of the leak and determined they were not cracked. Then with digging only a small outside hole above where the water was coming in, they found a small hole around where one of the drain pipes leaves the foundation which was allowing moisture in.
    We're very happy with their work and they completed the project in half the estimated time, lowering the expected bill.
    I highly recommend them.
    - Guy L.
  • A
    Pepera Plumbing

    When Jim returned my call, he made sure to ask the necessary questions to determine what the proper size would be for a replacement tank so there would be no delays..  He showed up promptly with his assistant and proceeded to drain and remove the old defective tank, clean the area, and replace and reroute our plumbing so we would have an easier access to the water filter. The entire process was completed in three to four hours and looks great. It's nice to have water flow back in the house without having to worry about the strain on the well pump.  We will definitely have Pepera Plumbing back to complete more repairs when the weather warms up. A job well done!!!


    - Edward L.
  • A
    KICC Service
    He also does other types of property grading to work with the way the dirt and water flows away from my house. He does excavating and construction and is a good worker. He is very conscientious and I think he knows his business pretty well. We have used him on several projects. On the last project he worked on with us we thought we were going to have to spend a lot more and have a lot more work done, but he solved it quickly and we did not have to invest the extra money because he pointed out stuff that we could do different. He also put in a new septic tank for us and did a good job with that. He came out and did troubleshooting on any problems we had with that. He goes above and beyond what the job is and is eager to please his customers. He prices his jobs per project and does not charge an hourly rate. He has taken care of the problems that we have had.
    - Gail L.
  • A
    Integrity Waterproofing
     Steve A was on-time for the initial inspection and estimating visit.  Steve inspected the basement where there had been water seeping in (by the sump pump) and the corresponding area outside the house.   Steve had lots of pictures from previous work which helped explain the probable cause(s) of our problems and how they would resolve them.  

    IW called to schedule the work and Steve?s two sons came out to do the work.  They were delayed in traffic but they called to let us know.
     
    The guys worked hard (in the rain) to complete the work in the two days estimated.  At various times throughout the process they called us out to review what they were doing and explain what they were finding.   They also replaced the sump-pump pipe in the basement.
     
    One disappointment was that the discharge pipe from the house to the street was partially obstructed and the guys were unable to clear it.  I had to contract with Roto-Rooter to get this done before they were able to complete the job.  This added another $200 to the job.
     
    Another disappointment came with the 1st big rain following the work.  While there was no longer any water seeping in, the primary pump-float was now getting hung-up on the new pipe, effectively preventing it from triggering the pump!  The back-up float/pump was kicking in so we were saved from a flood.  

    While I was fixing the pump-float issue, I noticed that the primary pump had been set-up onto a couple of bricks at the bottom of the sump.  The bricks had been used to the hold the primary pump in place (it used to vibrate so much that it sometimes would become unattached from the pipe).  I also noticed a lot of mud at the bottom of the sump.  I think this was from when they / Roto-Rooter were trying to clear the discharge pipe and muddy water was coming in the footer-drains.  Maybe that?s why the pump was now elevated ? to get it up out of the mud.  I used a Shop-Vac to suck-up all the mud.   I also have a Radon remediation system in place which means the sump cover needs to be sealed.  I should have asked for this (the sealing of the lid) to be included but considering the pump-float issue I?m glad this was not done!  

    Bottom-line is that we no longer have water seeping in the basement.
    - Roelof d.
  • A
    STAPLES PLUMBING INC
    The plumber brought in a camera to survey a sewer line that had a history of plugging. The camera survey revealed an exit point different from a previously assumed exit point. Since we were anticipating basement water proofing as well as a new basement floor, it was crticial to discover the exit point of the old sewer line. The camera determined an exact location and facilitated the destruction of the old sewer line and the construction of the new line. Sean Beale, the plumber was very knowledgeable about the problem at hand and offered a very fair price as well as sound recommendations through out the project. In addition, the plumbers removed a cast iron sewer stack and replaced it with plastic. Sean was very careful with the project since it was possible that loose pipes could have resulted in damage to walls and plumbing fixtures. He climbed to the roof to check on the stack outlet and used his assistant to snap the old sewer stack out and install the new. Entry to existing walls was minimal. A very competent excavation was necessary to replace a section of old clay pipe with new plastic. I observed Sean and the excavator noting the location of a gas line while carefully working around it. New inside sanitary sewer lines were laid and appropriate code approved drains, vents, and clean outs were installed. Further, a dormant water line was fished under the foundation and brought inside of the basement so that a future water hook up could be installed. Old plastic valves were replaced with copper and some copper plumbing were rerouted with complete success. A first class double laundry tub was mounted on the basement wall that made for a very efficient laundry facility. Drains and hookups were completed. All fixtures and fittings were of high quality. The fittings were not sweated into place. They were placed with a new state of the art compression tool. No solder drippings were noted. All and all, this consumer was very pleased to use Staples for rather extensive work. Seal Beal was excellent as the foreman of the job. He was polite, notified the ower of his intentions and cleaned up after his work. In addition, his assistants were very polite and did excellent work upon Sean's direction. It is with considerable enthusiasm that I recommend this VERY PROFESSIONAL company to others.
    - CAROL R.
  • A
    GRADEWORKS INC
    I feel their prices are fair. They did a beautiful job! They went above and beyond for us. They filled in everything well. They worked very well with the other company that we had here as well. They were very professional. They were here on time. We would definitely use them again in the future and would recommend them to others.
    - MARY L.
  • F
    SUPERMAN SERVICES
    This company used to be called Superman Services and I saw that Ray White has just placed an add in the Twinsburg Bulletin with his company name changed. He gave me a pricing with an estimate and told me to put half the money down on the excavation process. I have a record of his fingerprints and drivers license # that the bank put on the check when cashed. I know this is him. I hired him in Oct./Nov. of '07 and he still has not even started the work, but definitely got my money ($2,300). Stay AWAY from this company. He talks in circles and comes up with numerous excuses and tries to throw you off with the fact that his girlfriend is a lawyer named Sue and I don't know how this is relevant to the job. I just want my money back and I want to hire a different company. I don't trust him to even step foot on my property; who knows what he will try and pull.
    - LINDA P.
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