Diamond Certified Company Report

Jim Gardner Construction Inc.

Diamond Certified Company Report

Jim Gardner Construction 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 66 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Devin S.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend him to others. He did a really good job.

They were very upfront and straightforward about their recommendations, and because of it, things turned out really well.

Joanne H.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 66

Quality 9
9 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are prompt at returning phone calls as well as setting up appointments. His work crew is knowledgeable. The only thing was that they leave their tools behind.

His services, and he returns my calls in a timely manor. He is honest if he is busy. He will give you a time frame. You don't have to guess if he will call back or not.

William H.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He is honest, not the cheapest, but he is the best value.

Honest, dependable, and follows through

Read All 66 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Jim Gardner Construction Inc. provides structural repair services for residential clients in parts of Alameda County. The family-owned and operated company has the training and equipment to handle everything from drainage system repairs and basement digouts to foundation replacement and seismic retrofitting projects, and its in-house design capabilities allow it to effectively manage each job from start to finish.

Owner Jim Gardner says Jim Gardner Construction’s customer-oriented approach to the construction process has been a crucial aspect of its success. “We understand that home improvement projects can be stressful and messy, so we try to make everything as easy as possible for our clients so they feel comfortable about what’s happening. By providing good communication and keeping their jobsites well-organized, we can make sure they have positive experiences.”

Jim Gardner Construction focuses on educating its clients so they have a better understanding of what their homes need to thrive. “A lot of houses in the Bay Area are quite old, so it’s important for us to explain why certain repairs are necessary to ensure structural integrity,” says Mr. Gardner. “By interacting with our clients and analyzing their situations, we’re able to formulate plans that best suit their needs.”

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Jim Gardner Construction Inc.

COMPANY CONTACT
Service AREA

Alameda County

SERVICES PERFORMED

Drainage Systems (French Drains, Downspouts & Site Drainage)
Structural Repair Work
Foundation Repair & Replacement
Basement Digouts
Entry Stair & Porch Replacement & Repair
Earthquake/Seismic Retrofitting Repairs & Upgrades
Retaining Walls

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Jim Gardner Construction Inc.

A recent outdoor patio project by Jim Gardner Construction

Company Profile

Jim Gardner Construction Inc. provides structural repair services for residential clients in parts of Alameda County. The family-owned and operated company has the training and equipment to handle everything from drainage system repairs and basement digouts to foundation replacement and seismic retrofitting projects, and its in-house design capabilities allow it to effectively manage each job from start to finish.

Owner Jim Gardner says Jim Gardner Construction’s customer-oriented approach to the construction process has been a crucial aspect of its success. “We understand that home improvement projects can be stressful and messy, so we try to make everything as easy as possible for our clients so they feel comfortable about what’s happening. By providing good communication and keeping their jobsites well-organized, we can make sure they have positive experiences.”

Jim Gardner Construction focuses on educating its clients so they have a better understanding of what their homes need to thrive. “A lot of houses in the Bay Area are quite old, so it’s important for us to explain why certain repairs are necessary to ensure structural integrity,” says Mr. Gardner. “By interacting with our clients and analyzing their situations, we’re able to formulate plans that best suit their needs.”

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Company Philosophy

“We believe we have a responsibility to educate our clients and come up with intelligent, well-reasoned solutions to their problems. Our goal is to provide every client with the kind of seamless project that makes the entire process pleasant and enjoyable.”

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Comparative Summary

Construction companies are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competition, and those that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award are already several steps ahead. In addition to its Diamond Certified status, Jim Gardner Construction Inc. sets itself apart by focusing on a specific section of the industry that many companies aren’t qualified to work in: structural repair. “Our mission is to help homeowners determine the structural needs of their homes and the significance of doing those repairs properly,” explains owner Jim Gardner. “By combining a basic engineering approach with a carpentry background, drainage knowledge and other skillsets, we’re able to offer a unique service.”

Jim Gardner Construction has been providing structural repair services for residential clients in parts of Alameda County since 1983. In addition to handling everything from drainage system repairs and basement digouts to foundation replacement and seismic retrofitting projects, the family-owned and operated company utilizes its design capabilities to effectively manage each phase of its clients’ projects in-house.

Unlike less experienced contracting firms that take an “assembly line” approach to every job in an effort to maximize their workload volume, Jim Gardner Construction takes the time to educate its clients and help them make the best choices for their homes and budgets. “We don’t assume that every client needs the same solution—we’re honest about what needs to be done and the best way we can accomplish it,” says Mr. Gardner. “We always base our work on the proper solution, not the amount of money we’ll make.”

Ultimately, Mr. Gardner sees Jim Gardner Construction’s ability to look at the “big picture” as one of its most important attributes. “Unlike remodeling, structural repair work isn’t intuitive,” he says. “For example, settlement cracks aren’t always a foundation issue—they can also be caused by structural problems or drainage issues. We’re able to give our clients the information they need to deal with these types of situations and choose repairs that protect their homes for many years.”

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Industry Info

When it comes to fixing your home’s structural issues, it’s important to work with a specialist.

Doors that won’t close correctly, cracks in ceilings, pooling water outside of the home…these are warning signs that shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, according to Jim Gardner, owner of Jim Gardner Construction Inc. in Oakland, they could signal serious problems with your home’s foundation, structural supports or drainage system. What’s more, they’ll only get worse (and more expensive to fix) over time. So, who can you call to look into the cause and fix the problem?

Many homeowners simply call a general contractor, but Mr. Gardner says it’s better to go with a structural repair company that has experience dealing with these types of issues. “People need to understand that if their projects are primarily structural, they need to deal with professionals who specialize in this type of work. Structural repair experts have an in-depth understanding of engineering and can give you a ‘big picture’ diagnosis.”

Mr. Gardner says many structural problems come from poor drainage, a fact made worse by the unique geography of the Bay Area. “More than drainage from rainwater coming off of roofs, subterranean waters and water flow directed by tree roots, pipes, sewer lines, and other water conduits can cause softening pockets of soil that lead to sagging and shifting foundations. That’s why it’s important to find a contractor that’s able address the root of the problem rather than simply the visible effects. Contractors have a responsibility to educate their clients and provide them with proper solutions, but they can only do that if they have the experience and ability to effectively deal with these types of issues.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will it take to complete my project?
A: It depends on the type of project. We work fairly quickly—the average foundation project takes about a month and most drainage jobs take two to three weeks. Larger jobs like basement digouts can take two to three months, but we rarely have projects that take longer than that because we staff our jobs effectively.

Q: How many people will work on my project?
A: Structural projects usually have four to six people working on them.

Q: How much will it cost to complete my project?
A: Cost primarily depends on the nature of the job and whether we’re able to complete the work as optimally as possible. There are cheaper ways of doing things, but our goal is to come up with the correct solutions and do each job properly. We never suggest solutions based purely on money. If there’s a reasonable alternative that’s more cost-effective, we might consider it, but we always base our work on what will provide the best solutions.

Q: How involved is the company owner in daily projects?
A: Our owner, Jim Gardner, monitors most of our work. We also have a project manager and a foreman on each job. Everyone communicates to ensure the project goes smoothly, so you’ll always have someone to talk to.

Q: Why am I noticing cracks, doors that don’t work, or water pooling in or around my home?
A: These kinds of issues are reflections of what’s going on underneath your house—specifically, the crawl space, basement and drainage ditch. We look at structural elements like drainage, foundations, retrofitting, slabs, concrete, posts and piers. We consider how all of those things fit together and determine how they might be causing the problems you’re noticing.

Q: Why should I hire you instead of a general contractor for structural repairs?
A: Our structural repair specialty is unique. Most of the work we do gets handled by general contractors who don’t do this kind of work on a daily basis. If your project is primarily structural, you need to deal with specialists who have an in-depth understanding of engineering and are able to give you the entire picture.

Q: Why should I repair structural problems now instead of later?
A: Structural problems tend to get worse as homes get older. We also believe climate change is accelerating structural problems. Higher amounts of rainfall and large amounts of rain in shorter periods of time are accelerating drainage problems, and drainage- and structure-related issues are becoming bigger problems for homeowners. We’re able to look at these types of issues and find solutions that help our clients now and in the future, including rigorous drainage systems that won’t get overwhelmed by large amounts of rainfall.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Jim Gardner Construction Inc.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Jim Gardner

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Jim Gardner is owner of Jim Gardner Construction Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 254-5887 or by email.

Jim Gardner: A Sound Structure

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

OAKLAND — After more than 20 years doing structural work, Jim Gardner has established himself as an expert in his field. However, the foundation of his professional expertise didn’t form overnight; rather, it was something he built up gradually. “After college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I worked a bunch of different jobs, including firefighter, swim instructor and river rafting guide,” he recounts. “When my mother moved to the Bay Area from Southern California and bought a house, I offered to fix it up for her. I’ve always been handy, but I’d never done any real construction work at that point, so I just dove in and learned as I went along.”

Jim enjoyed working on his mother’s house so much that when he was finished, he started his own handyman business. “While working as a handyman, I progressively took on new projects and expanded my skill set,” he says. “After spending a year or so working with a contractor, I got my own contractor’s license in 1983. In the mid-’90s, I did my first foundation project and fell in love with structural work, which is my specialty today. I liked the heavy duty aspect of it, with all the heavy machinery, but I also appreciated how critical a building’s structure is. After all, it’s what holds everything else up.”

Today, as owner of Jim Gardner Construction Inc., Jim says his favorite part of his job is solving problems. “I like taking on challenging projects and figuring out solutions. Sometimes I’ll be looking at a situation, scratching my head, and suddenly there’s this ‘A-ha’ moment and I see what’s needed. It’s very satisfying to find a solution to a problem and then implement it for the client.”

A resident of Piedmont (where he lives with his wife, Lisa, and their two daughters), Jim spends his time outside of work on a variety of pastimes. “I enjoy outdoor activities like camping, fishing and hiking, as well as traveling with my family. My daughters are both involved in sports, so we do a fair amount of traveling to out-of-town games and competitions. Speaking of sports, I’m a diehard Golden State Warriors fan—I never miss a game. And, of course, as a UC Berkeley alum, I also root for the Cal Berkeley football and basketball teams.”

When asked about a professional philosophy, Jim espouses the importance of communication. “Contractors have a reputation for being dishonest, but I think a lot of that stems from poor communication,” he explains. “When there’s confusion around the scope of the work and expectations are unclear, it can lead to a lot of problems. I try to avoid that by spending time communicating with my clients and making sure we’re all on the same page. I think that goes a long way toward securing a positive outcome.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jim says he’d head for the hills. “It’s always been my dream to buy a place up in the mountains, so that would probably be my first priority. I’d also go on some trips and do some of the things I haven’t had much time for over the years.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first job?
A: As a teenager, I had a summer job at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. I did model building for some of the space probes they were working on. It felt pretty cool having security clearance to get into a NASA facility.

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: It’s funny, I’m kind of both. I used to be a cat person, but then we got a dog, so it’s hard for me to choose now.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar in Oakland.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect rocks and tools.

Q: If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
A: Either Tahiti or Fiji—basically, somewhere that has a beach and is far away.

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Expert articles
  • Solutions for Drainage Problems

    OAKLAND — When it comes to drainage, most homeowners don’t realize there are two different types of water that need to be addressed: surface water and subterranean water (also known as groundwater). Furthermore, these two types of water each require specific solutions to prevent subsequent problems.

    Surface water solutions

    For most properties, the primary source of surface water is rainwater that comes off the roof. While all homes have some form of gutter and downspout system, the downspouts on some older homes don’t properly divert water away from the structure; they just drain directly onto the ground. When this is the case, the water goes directly into the soil next to the home’s foundation, which can lead to foundation erosion and settlement over time.

    To prevent this, make sure all of your downspouts are connected to piping that diverts rainwater away from your home’s structure. Ideally, all of your downspouts should terminate at least five feet away from your home. Another option is to install permanent underground drainage lines that carry rainwater to your yard or the street.

    Groundwater solutions

    Groundwater is water that gets beneath your foundation and, if not addressed, can seep up into your crawl space and basement. A good solution for groundwater issues is what’s called a French drain—a gravel-filled trench with piping that redirects water away from the area. To be effective, French drains need to be dug below the lowest point of wherever your drainage problems are occurring.

    By addressing both surface water and groundwater, you can develop a comprehensive drainage system that protects your home exterior and foundation from related problems.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Avoiding Drainage Problems

    Complete Video Transcription:

    OAKLAND — Host, Sarah Rutan: From your roof to your foundation, it’s important to have systems in place to ensure proper drainage and avoid related problems. Today we’re in Oakland with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Jim Gardner of Jim Gardner Construction to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Jim Gardner: So, I have a few tips for you about drainage. The primary source of drainage problems at your home, is the water coming from your roof which channels through your downspouts. A lot of older homes especially, have no connections to their downspouts, i.e.: they’re draining directly adjacent to the building. Those downspouts need to be connected to some form of piping that collects the water and gets it away from your house.

    Either plastic corrugated piping which brings water away from your building or permanent underground drainage lines that take the water to your yard or to the street. This is extremely important because lack of proper surface drainage leads to foundation settlement issues and other problems within your home.

    The second thing to think about is that there are two different types of drainage: surface drainage and subterranean drainage. Subterranean drainage is water that gets underneath your foundation and often comes up through basement floors, basement walls and areas underneath your house. This type of drainage needs to be controlled with French drains. French drains need to be dug below the lowest point of your water problems, and that water needs to be collected in a separate piping system from the downspout drainage which we talked about earlier.

    When you can collect both sources of water and get them away from your building, you can develop a comprehensive drainage system that will help you for the long term.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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Jim Gardner Construction Inc. WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Jim Gardner Construction 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 66 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Jim Gardner Construction Inc. : Average 9.4 out of 10 based on 66 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Devin S.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend him to others. He did a really good job.

They were very upfront and straightforward about their recommendations, and because of it, things turned out really well.

Marie C.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were great. The guys that came out to do the work were really good.

They were really fast.

Paul G.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do excellent work. It's not cheap, but it's excellent. They have a terrific crew.

They have a really good crew that is very competent.

Lyndsey G.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

4 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He was really honest. I got him as a recommendation from a real estate agent. He was upfront, very friendly, and the team was really good.

He is reliable and trustworthy, very upfront about everything. He was also very personable, the kind of person you like having around.

Penny B.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

5 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did a great job.

I don't know what to say. They did a great job.

Kathy M.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

6 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Like I have written in two different review sites, you would be crazy to hire anyone else.

The workmanship, communication, and the ability to communicate any issues

Tia B.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

7 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He was honest and direct with everything he was doing. He replaced the entire foundation.

I felt he was honest and that is the service I received as well.

James A.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

8 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Trustworthy, professional, and he did a great job.

He communicated about what they were doing, and he did some extra things.

Barbara L.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

9 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did a great job.

They were done pretty quickly.

Sheila

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

10 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were excellent, on time, and clean.

How efficient they were

Christina B.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

11 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say to talk with him in person not via email.

He was prompt, he followed through, and he went the extra mile to make things right.

Martin P.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

12 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He is very professional and will make sure the job gets done.

There was a problem that at first seemed like a simple fix. It turned out to be much more, and he just included it in the job for me.

Margaret M.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

13 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

High quality work, very responsive, and very easy to work with, I loved working with them.

Very honest, he told me what the range would be, and we negotiated. Whenever I had questions, he got right back to me. His workers were great. I got compliments from my neighbors on how it looks. I can't say enough good things about him.

Mary P.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

14 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Very efficient, they did what they needed to do, and they knew what they were doing.

He explained everything including the cost. He did one major French drain, which went down 12 feet. We haven't had water in our basement since.

Patricia D.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

15 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He was not the least expensive, but we needed a good quality job, and he did it.

He is very good at documenting everything from what needed to be done all the way through.

David K.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

16 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Straightforward and to the point, they were on budget and on time.

I don't know. They addressed all of my questions. They laid out a verbal commitment, and they were all met according to plan. They were reliable.

Sebastian H.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

17 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He is super responsive. They do work that I don't understand, and he is really good at explaining it.

The high quality of his work, we have never had any issues.

Penelope S.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

18 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were clean and on target with the estimated time to get the project done.

They were knowledgeable and experienced. They did what they said they would do in the time frame they said they would.

Maria T.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

19 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I trust them with difficult technical jobs.

Their level of expertise, they know what they are doing.

James F.

VERIFIED Jim Gardner Construction Inc. CUSTOMER

20 of 66

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very good at what they do.

They are easy to deal with and very flexible.

Read All 66 Survey Responses at Ratings View