We had ten contractors bid on our backyard patio project. In addition to being one of the lowest bidders, Brian was the only one who clearly understood our vision for an artistic, yet functional, outdoor living space. As an engineer, I was impressed by Brian's technical competence, as he answered my questions about drainage, reinforcement, expansion, etc., to my satisfaction. However, it was Brian's creativity and sense of aesthetics that really set him apart from the pack. Unlike most of the bidders, who seemed primarily concerned with the cost per square foot and with checking another job off the list, Brian was clearly focused on the quality and appeal of the finished product. He worked closely with us to perfect the size and shape of the patio, even as he laid out the forms, and provided honest feedback when he thought he could improve upon our ideas. He used curved lines to soften our otherwise square house and yard. (The patio doesn't contain any straight edges). He incorporated nine colors in the concrete (rather than the standard two) to achieve a very natural look that complements our siding perfectly. He suggested a unique, asymmetrical design for the steps leading from our back door to free up more usable space on the patio below. He used a stone face and slightly darker hues on the steps to make them look like slabs of natural stone. He was attentive to every detail, such as the direction of the saw cuts and the sheen of the sealer, to achieve a stunning result. Our original plan called for a simple curved retaining wall to help tie the patio into a hillside that runs parallel to the house. However, we threw a curveball at Brian when we changed our minds and decided to replace the wall with natural boulders. He ran with this idea, transforming the hillside into a magnificent hardscape that gives the impression of a sandstone outcrop. Brian spent an entire Saturday morning with us, carefully maneuvering giant boulders into just the right position. (Several of them weigh well over a ton). He was patient and receptive when we asked him to tweak the placement by a few inches. He cleverly situated a few boulders so that they double as seats for the patio. The formerly unremarkable hillside now has a lot of character and perfectly complements the flow of the patio. Throughout the project, Brian and his crew were professional, courteous, and accommodating. They arrived to work promptly each morning, didn't cut any corners, and left the site reasonably clean each evening. Overall, we are thrilled with the finished product. The patio and hillside have received numerous compliments from family, friends, neighbors, and other contractors working on the house. One visitor commented "This looks like something you'd find at a mansion in Hollywood." Another asked if she could move in next door so that she could wake up and look out at our beautiful backyard each morning. One very minor criticism - Brian fell a bit behind schedule in starting our project, in part because of the weather, in part because of equipment problems, and in part because of delays in several of his other projects. If this happens to you, be patient and persistent and stick it out. You won't regret it! Brian truly succeeded in turning our vision into a reality. Our patio and backyard are more beautiful than we ever could have imagined.