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David Figueroa is a lifetime veteran of the construction industry and owner of Kodiak Construction, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 350-6447 or by email.

David Figueroa

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

David Figueroa: It’s a Hardscape Life

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

MARTINEZ — After getting an early start in construction, David Figueroa worked in several aspects of the industry before eventually finding his niche as a concrete contractor. “I started doing construction when I was in junior high school, and I’ve been doing it ever since—more than 40 years now,” he says. “I got into concrete work in the early ’80s, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that I had the opportunity to do it exclusively. Since then, our business has continued to grow, and I now work alongside my son, Michael, who is one of our estimators.”

Today, as owner of Kodiak Construction, David explains why he likes working with concrete in particular. “As a guy who likes to move around a lot, I appreciate the fact that concrete work is fairly fast-paced. You don’t have to wait three months to see the final product; you can see it right away and then you’re on to the next job. Also, you can do beautiful things with concrete, with a lot of room for creativity. There’s no mold for it—every project is different.”

Originally from Mexico, David came to the United States at the age of 20 and today resides in Martinez with his wife, Jane. “I really like the Bay Area setting: the weather is good, we’re surrounded by water and we have many different microclimates. For example, when it’s really hot in Martinez, you can go on the other side of the channel to San Francisco and it’s much cooler.”

In his life and career, David espouses the importance of honesty in business. “You have to be honest and straightforward with your customers,” he affirms. “When there’s a problem, you don’t hide from it; you do your best to take care of it. Sometimes, even when you try your hardest, things don’t work out as planned, but at the end of the day, if you’re honest and follow through with what you say you’re going to do, your customers will be satisfied.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, David says he’d do some traveling. “In addition to seeing more of the U.S., I’d like to spend some time in Mexico, just fishing and enjoying the simple life.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Italy. I’ve always wanted to go there.

Q: What kind of food do you like?
A: Mexican—basically, anything with a tortilla.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
A: I usually don’t eat breakfast, although sometimes I’ll stop for a donut and coffee.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect gold and silver coins.

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Considerations for Concrete Installation


MARTINEZ — When installing a concrete feature such as a driveway or patio, it’s crucial to follow proper procedure—otherwise, the installation will be susceptible to settling over time. Here are a few important aspects to consider: • Whether it’s plain soil… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: The Importance of Soil Compaction

Complete Video Transcription:

MARTINEZ — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re installing a new concrete driveway or patio, don’t overlook the importance of the soil base beneath it. Today we’re… Read more

Francisco Cortes is president of Green Environment Landscape, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 372-7932 or by email.

Francisco Cortes

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Francisco Cortes: Always Growing

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

WATSONVILLE — After embarking on a career in landscaping, Francisco Cortes charted a professional path marked by continual growth and development. “Before I got into landscaping, I was working in a warehouse and wanted a job where I could work outside,” he remembers. “A friend suggested becoming a landscaper, and after looking into it, I decided to give it a shot. I really enjoyed landscaping work and decided to take some college courses to learn about landscape design and irrigation. Several years later, I became interested in hardscaping, so I joined the California Landscape Contractors Association so I could learn more about that aspect. Basically, the past 30 years have been a continual process of learning, developing my skills and expanding my company’s capabilities.”

Today, as owner of Green Environment Landscape, Inc., Francisco says his favorite part of his job is hardscaping. “I enjoy hardscaping work because you’re always doing something new and different, which brings a fresh set of challenges. Plus, clients are always excited to see the job progress, so it’s very rewarding when we show them the final product.”

Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Francisco immigrated to the United States in the late 1960s and today resides in Santa Cruz County. Outside of work, he maintains an active lifestyle. “I enjoy working out at the gym, going for walks along the beach and singing mariachi music with friends.” Francisco also enjoys spending quality time with his son and two daughters.

When asked about a professional philosophy, Francisco believes in the ethic of continual self-improvement. “My goal with each project is to do better and learn something new,” he explains. “I’m the kind of person who’s never satisfied with the bare minimum—I’m always looking for ways to improve upon things, whether it’s a project I’m working on or just developing my own skills. That’s why I see every new day as a fresh opportunity to learn, grow and become better at what I love to do.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first job?

A: I was a field worker. I picked lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and celery. That’s where I first learned to love working outside.

Q: What’s your favorite season?

A: Summer, because I get to spend more time at the beach.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?

A: Jalisco Restaurant in Watsonville.

Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

A: Father’s Day postcards from my kids. They’ve been sending me these postcards for years and I’ve kept them all. I love that I can look at them anytime and they take me back.

Q: What’s your favorite dessert?

A: Carrot cake.

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3 Tips to Conserve Water in Your Yard


WATSONVILLE — When it comes to irrigating your yard, small steps and smart practices can go a long way toward conserving water. Consider the following tips: Water less often for longer intervals. Many people water their lawns and gardens every day, but… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: 3 Ways to Save Water in Your Yard

Complete Video Transcription:

WATSONVILLE — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to landscape irrigation, small changes in methodology can add up to significant water savings. Today we’re in Watsonville with Diamond… Read more