Diamond Certified Company Report

Westward Builders, Inc.

Diamond Certified Company Report

Westward Builders, Inc.

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 38 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Blake M.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were totally straightforward and honest the entire time. They came in right on budget, which has never happened before when working with previous contractors. They're very logical and they delivered what they promised.

They've been fantastic. They're honest, they have integrity, and they have excellent craftsmanship.

David H.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I work with a lot of subcontractors and Westward is at the top of the heap. They get the job done and they get it done quickly. They do outstanding work.

Quality, that is all I can say. They have built 2 homes for me.

Dale V.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very good at what they do.

They're competent and very good at what they do.

Read All 38 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Westward Builders, Inc. is a general engineering and contracting firm that builds retaining walls; performs foundation and earth work; and provides drainage, weatherproofing and structural repair services for residential (individual and multi-residential), commercial, and light industrial clients throughout Marin County. The company has special expertise working with the Bay Area’s unique soils and executes its projects to withstand the elements for many years.

Owner Terry Keast has spent more than 45 years working in the construction industry in various capacities. He established Westward Builders to apply his foundation and concrete knowledge to Bay Area projects of all types. “I’ve gathered a lot of information about weather conditions and water content over the years, which allows me to work with Northern California’s unpredictable weather in mind,” says Mr. Keast. “Heavy winter rains create unique building and structural challenges, but that’s exactly where we excel.”

Read moreShow less
COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Westward Builders, Inc.

COMPANY CONTACT
Service AREA

Marin County
San Anselmo
Larkspur
San Rafael
Mill Valley
Novato
Corte Madera
Ross
Fairfax
Tiburon
Sausalito

Get Directions
SERVICES PERFORMED

Residential
Multi-Residential
Commercial
Light Industrial
Drainage
Retaining Walls
Foundations
Structural Repairs
Waterproofing

BRANDS Supported
  • Cemex

  • Curecrete

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Westward Builders, Inc.

Company Profile

Westward Builders, Inc. is a general engineering and contracting firm that builds retaining walls; performs foundation and earth work; and provides drainage, weatherproofing and structural repair services for residential (individual and multi-residential), commercial, and light industrial clients throughout Marin County. The company has special expertise working with the Bay Area’s unique soils and executes its projects to withstand the elements for many years.

Owner Terry Keast has spent more than 45 years working in the construction industry in various capacities. He established Westward Builders to apply his foundation and concrete knowledge to Bay Area projects of all types. “I’ve gathered a lot of information about weather conditions and water content over the years, which allows me to work with Northern California’s unpredictable weather in mind,” says Mr. Keast. “Heavy winter rains create unique building and structural challenges, but that’s exactly where we excel.”

Read moreRead Less
Company Philosophy

"Every customer's job varies, but in the end, they all want the same thing–help from people they can trust, good communication and values, and quality results. Our mission is to deliver those elements to our clients and help them solve their structural and foundation problems."

Read moreRead Less
Comparative Summary

Few foundation contractors earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award, which means they’ve been independently rated Highest in Quality. Even fewer can also claim an owner with nearly five decades of construction experience and a staff comprised entirely of seasoned, highly trained professionals, but that’s exactly the case for Westward Builders, Inc. “Our experience really makes us unique,” confirms owner Terry Keast. “There’s nothing in the construction industry that we haven’t seen and become an expert at handling.”

Westward Builders has been providing a variety of general engineering and contracting services for residential, commercial and industrial clients throughout Marin County since 1976. In addition to handling everything from new home foundations and retaining walls to drainage, weatherproofing and structural repairs, the company has special expertise working with the Bay Area’s unique soils. “Northern California’s unpredictable weather can create certain building and structural challenges, but that’s exactly where we excel,” says Mr. Keast.

Unlike less experienced contracting firms that offer exceedingly low bids in an effort to maximize profits on low-caliber work, Westward Builders considers quality workmanship the top priority on every project. “Most low bidders are only worried about money when they do a job, but all we care about is the work,” explains Mr. Keast. “That’s what we teach our employees from day one. Everyone who works for this company shares the same attitude.”

Another attribute that sets Westward Builders apart from its competition is its knowledgeable application of industry technology throughout every aspect of its operations. “My many years of construction experience have taught me to never let industry changes leave us behind,” says Mr. Keast. “It’s not enough to say we have 50 years in the business, because products and techniques are constantly evolving. Continuous education and training is critical for maintaining our relevance in the industry.”

Read moreRead Less
Industry Info

The continued application of high-tech developments in construction equipment and materials means the industry is constantly changing. Developments in equipment also mean changes in methodology. When it comes to measurements, for example, most contractors are now using robotic, laser-guided layout systems, a technology that has virtually eliminated old-school measuring tools like batter boards, string lines and plumb bots.
Another example is hydro demolition, or the use of high-pressure water blasting for concrete demolition purposes. This method has replaced the use of the jackhammer in some areas because it enables contractors to remove small sections of concrete without damaging or undermining the structures.
In addition to developments in equipment, construction materials are changing as well, especially in the areas of eco-friendliness and energy efficiency. New types of coatings such as ICFs (forms that incorporate Styrofoam to improve insulation in concrete walls) and epoxy and cementitious polymers are more versatile and durable than their predecessors. These latest developments in equipment, materials and methodology enable contractors to work with greater efficiency and accuracy, which improves the quality of their work while saving you money.
Before you choose an engineer or architect for a construction project, you should first consult your contractor—they may already have a list of people with whom they prefer to work. “Engineers can vary dramatically, from budget busters to unqualified people who don’t know what they’re doing,” says Terry Keast, owner of Westward Builders, Inc. in San Rafael. “The same is true with architects—some tend to design things for their portfolios, not their clients. You should give your contractor the control to choose a quality engineer or architect who will work with your best interests in mind.”

Read moreRead Less
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I choose your company over a cheaper contractor?

A: If you get three bids on a job and pick the lowest bidder, there’s a good chance that company is worried about money and will cut corners whenever possible. However, if you know the contractor is focused on doing a quality job, then the work will be better and you’ll be happier with the results. This is the reason our clients ultimately choose us: Quality work is our number one concern.

Q: Do you work on projects of all sizes?

A: Yes, we’ve done everything from $3,000 drainage projects to $1.3 million foundation jobs. The recession has reduced the number of bigger jobs, but we’re fully prepared to handle anything our customers need.

Q: Can you pick an engineer for my project?

A: Yes. We prefer to pick the engineer ourselves because they can vary dramatically. Some over-engineer and can be harmful to the budget, while others are dangerously under-qualified. High-quality engineers know what they’re doing and understand the intricacies of the work, and that’s why we like to work with them.

Q: Can you find creative ways to save money on my project?

A: Absolutely. Creative ideas are often the keys to saving money, and our vast experience has really allowed us to develop those creative skills. When it comes to accomplishing a project, it’s not just about following the plan. For example, an architect can draw a 7/8-inch stucco finish for a retaining wall, but if the wall is concrete, we can apply a color finish and avoid the expense of that last plaster scratch coat, brown coat and color coat. We’ll come up with ideas like that to help you keep on budget without sacrificing the integrity of your project.

Q: Do you offer your services for construction litigation cases?

A: Yes. Our owner, Terry Keast, has been providing expert testimonies since 1978, and he’s developed such a good reputation that people will ask him to look at troublesome projects and offer his professional opinion.

Read moreRead Less

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Westward Builders, Inc.

View Comments
Shares

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Terry Keast

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Terry Keast is a lifelong veteran of the construction industry and owner of Westward Builders, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (415) 459-2130 or by email.

Terry Keast: Born to Build

By Matt Solis, Editor

SAN RAFAEL – When Terry Keast was a boy, he looked forward to spending every summer swimming in the local dam with his friends. But during the summer of his 14th year, something happened as he made his way to the dam that would alter the course of his life: he walked past a construction site. “We passed this site every day on the way to go swimming and I thought to myself, ‘You know, I’d rather be working,’” he remembers. “One day I went up and asked them for a job, which they gave me—hauling logs and doing labor work for $1.25 an hour. I was so happy to be working while my friends were fooling around at the dam.”

Terry spent the next several years working part-time for other Marin County contractors, and by the time he was a junior in high school, his boss wanted him to make a serious commitment. “He said, ‘Can’t you get out on a work experience program or something? I need you here more often!’ I went to see the Dean of Boys and he told me there wasn’t any work experience program for juniors, but my boss talked to him and he ended up bending the rules. From then on, I went to five periods of school before noon and then went to work for the rest of the day.”

After he graduated high school, Terry started working full-time and eventually made his way through the ranks of the construction industry, first as a laborer, then as an apprentice, carpenter, lead man, trim foreman and general foreman. After working on single-wall construction houses in Tamalpais Valley, he found the niche that would lead him into the rest of his career. “In single-wall construction, the foundation has to be perfect or else everything shows up dramatically in the exterior and floor boards,” he explains. “The foundation of one house was a foot out of square, and I told my boss I didn’t want to work in those kinds of conditions. I had a background in earthwork from a contractor I used to work for as a teenager, so when I told the boss I was going to handle the foundation work from now on, he said fine. I did that for quite a while until I left to start my own company. That was 38 years ago!”

In 1995, Terry decided to leave general construction behind to focus solely on foundations and drainage/earthwork/sitework/structural repairs. “I was frustrated by the inability of the industry to meet the demands for earthwork, concrete, waterproof membranes and drainage, so I decided to specialize in those services so I could provide them correctly,” he explains. “If the foundation is off on a building project, everything is off.”

A Bay Area resident since he was three years old (he was born in Washington), Terry says he finds comfort in the familiarity and idyllic beauty of the region. “We’re close to the ocean, the desert, skiing and lakes. When you add the food and entertainment, there’s nothing missing in the Bay Area. It’s a fantastic place to live.”

The temperate weather and natural landscapes of Northern California are ideal for Terry’s two favorite hobbies: golf and riding motorcycles. “I’ve been playing golf for about 25 years, and I play one and a half rounds a week, sometimes two. I also own two motorcycles. In fact, the first thing I bought when I saved up my money from that first job when I was 14 was a 1948 BSA Gold Star. It was single-cylinder bike with a gigantic flywheel and knobby tires, and I paid $75 for it.”

Terry’s passion for construction work has never waned since that summer day when he walked past the construction site and was fascinated by what he saw, and he says he continually finds new ways to get excited about the industry in which he’s spent his entire life. “I like the foundation business because it’s the only one the big-box stores can’t take away,” he says. “I never went into the army, I never sold vacuums, I never did anything else—I’ve always loved this industry.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: I’m a Giants and 49ers fan, but my wife is the real sports person. I do yard work until I hear her screaming, then I go in and watch the replay.

Q: What’s your favorite type of music?
A: I love all music, but I don’t like synthesized sound. I believe music must be played by a musician, not equipment. My mother sang and played the piano, my grandfather could play any instrument, and my brother plays bass in a band called Firewheel. We go to his gigs to dance and have fun.

Q: If you could immediately master an instrument, what would you choose?
A: Saxophone—it has a deep vibration and it’s the sexiest instrument.

Q: Do you have a favorite type of food?
A: I love seafood. We ride out to Marshall and have lunch at some good seafood places.

Q: Ever read a book more than once?
A: I like to read books that are part of a series, like Vince Flynn’s series about Mitch Rapp.

Q: What advice would you give to a construction newcomer?
A: Never think inside the box, never take no for an answer, and there are no problems, only solutions. If you take what people in this industry tell you for gospel, you’ll never make it.

Read moreRead less
Expert articles
  • How to Reduce the Impact of Water on Your Home

    SAN RAFAEL — In many cases, it’s not actually water that hurts a building the most, but rather the gas that results from water. Moisture builds up underneath some houses due to “capillary action,” which means the water comes up from the soil simply because it can (picture a dry sponge). This might not seem like a cause for concern, but if water comes up under your house and hits the warm air in your crawlspace, it’ll evaporate and turn into a gas that will start permeating your house and causing damage. Eliminating that gas is important because it attracts things like mold and mildew spores. Here are a couple ways you can reduce the impact of water on your home:

    Take care of your drainage. Many homeowners don’t realize that maintaining their drainage systems is an absolute necessity. First, it’s important to clean the end of your drainage system where it discharges. If your surface drain and subsurface drain are tied together downslope (which isn’t unusual), cleaning should never be done around the house. You don’t want surface water entering a subsurface condition—the water that comes off your roof or driveway is moving fast and at high volume, so it should never be injected into the ground.

    Clear your discharge pipe. If you live on a steep hillside, as your pipes move downslope, they’ll collect water in a box and one pipe will go to a discharge location. Most people don’t realize that their subsurface drain is dripping year-round because of sprinkler systems around the house, which feeds the pipe at the discharge location, and roots and grass can start to grow heavily around the end of the pipe, which can cause a blockage. You shouldn’t have to call a foundation contractor for this problem—just take a look at the end of the pipe once a year and make sure it’s clear.

    Read moreRead less
Expert video tip

Video: Caring For Your Drainage System

Complete Video Transcription:

SAN RAFAEL — Host Sarah Rutan: Maintaining the exterior of your home can be tricky if you aren’t sure what to look for. Today we’re with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Terry Keast of Westward Builders to learn more.

Expert Contributor, Terry Keast: Hi, I’d like to talk you about the impact of water on your house and/or your building. A lot of times its gas that’s hurting your house the most. You get moisture build-up under the house from capillary action or running water that’s running through your foundation somehow. Capillary water is the water that comes up in the soil because it can like a dry sponge as opposed to running and it doesn’t look bad to you but basically what happens is to it is the water comes up under your house and hits the warm air in your crawl space and it evaporates and turns into a gas and starts permeating your house. You want to keep that gas down because that’s the kind of thing that mold and mildew spores like.

You know, the other thing is taking care of your drainage. Most people don’t seem to realize that they have to maintain their drainage system. They have to clean them out, they have to clean the end where it discharges and if you have your surface drain and sub surface drain tied together later down the slope, which is not unusual, it should never be done around the house because you don’t want surface water entering a sub surface condition because the water that comes off your roof and your driveway is moving fast and is high volume. You don’t want to inject that into the ground so never let anybody put your sub drain and surface drain into the same pipe but very often on a steep hillside as the pipes move down slope they’ll collect in a box and one pipe will go to a discharge location.

What people don’t do enough of, because I get calls on it all the time, is that they don’t realize that the sub surface drain is dripping year round because the sprinkler systems around the house feeding the pipe at the discharge location and roots start growing up there and grass gets heavy around the end of the pipe and pretty soon its blocked. People say, “Well my pipe is failing.” I go up to their house and I looked around for a nice, lush spot and did around in there until I find the pipe, pull out the pipe rat and they are working fine but it should never get that far. You shouldn’t have to call me, it shouldn’t have to get that far, you should just look at that pipe once a year and make sure the end is clear yourself.

Those are some big issues and water is the enemy. Don’t forget.

Host, Sarah Rutan:  Thank you to our Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Terry Keast of Westward Builders. I’m Sarah Rutan

Read moreRead less
Westward Builders, Inc. WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Westward Builders, Inc.
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 38 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Westward Builders, Inc. : Average 9.7 out of 10 based on 38 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Blake M.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were totally straightforward and honest the entire time. They came in right on budget, which has never happened before when working with previous contractors. They're very logical and they delivered what they promised.

They've been fantastic. They're honest, they have integrity, and they have excellent craftsmanship.

Dale V.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very good at what they do.

They're competent and very good at what they do.

David H.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I work with a lot of subcontractors and Westward is at the top of the heap. They get the job done and they get it done quickly. They do outstanding work.

Quality, that is all I can say. They have built 2 homes for me.

David S.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

4 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Throughout the years, I've dealt with more contractors than I can count on both of my hands. By far, Westward Builders completely, 100%, positively puts them all to shame. They're responsive, prompt, professional, and they're nothing short of amazing.

They're honest and they know what they're doing.

Keith G.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

5 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend them. They do excellent work.

They're timely, communicative, and detail-oriented. I'm pleased with the quality of work they do.

Gary R.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

6 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

You get an evaluation as to what is necessary that is right on target. The head of Westward Builders is an extremely knowledgeable contractor. Terry has always found the most efficient way to get things done.

Not only was the work done professionally, but when the people came to work, they worked. They remained involved with what they were doing. I had no problems getting a response. When I have many other questions, I can always get a good response.

Kevin B.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

7 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Terry paid great attention to detail, and he always explained what he was doing and why.

Their attention to quality

Michael U.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

8 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend them.

If I email him, he responds immediately. He does very well.

N.M.L.C.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

9 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were awesome. Soup to nuts, top to bottom, they were organized, clean, efficient, and fair.

V.E.H.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

10 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did a great job. They were very responsive and polite, even the workers who did the work. They were doing work for a 100-unit condominium association. I got so many comments from owners about how polite the workers were. They were working on decks outside, but they always made sure the owners had access. Their billing was on time and always correct. They came with plenty of people. They were always on time.

Beth W.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

11 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Terry is truly a professional. He is awesome. He knows what he's talking about and he doesn't lie to his clients. His guys have worked for him for years, which tells you something. They come in and they know the way Terry wants things done. If they find a problem, they call Terry right away. They do things the right way.

Wendy W.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

12 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Terry is really great to deal with. He knows what he's doing and he can analyze things. They were on time, quick and efficient. They were in and out.

J.D.M.C.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

13 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The quality of the work and their attention to detail

Alice T.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

14 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were just so professional. He told us about every process he was doing, and he kept in touch. He informed us about any changes that were going to occur in advance, so we never felt left out of the loop. He also explained everything in detail. And when he couldn't be on the job, he let us know who would be in charge in his absence, which I really appreciated. I liked the whole crew very much. They worked very hard, and they were always on time. They always did a full day's work, and they cleaned up before they left. They kept the work site safe and clean. They were honest, efficient, and trustworthy. When I had to go away for a couple of days, I felt completely safe leaving them with the key. Terry also referred us to some other workmen who were also great. He was excellent.

Enrique B.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

15 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Their professionalism, their promptness, their knowledge, and their quick response, I was very happy with them.

Lawrence B.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

16 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were fantastic. I'd like to give them a '20'. They did beautiful work. We could not have been more pleased. The crew was fantastic. They cleaned up. They had very creative solutions. They came highly recommended to me, and I have recommended them to many of my friends. They went above and beyond to please me.

Norm C.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

17 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do great work.

Robert F.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

18 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were efficient, and they did the job right.

Carroll P.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

19 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have a high level of expertise in all areas of foundation and drainage.

Gary R.

VERIFIED Westward Builders, Inc. CUSTOMER

20 of 38

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were outstanding.

Read All 38 Survey Responses at Ratings View