THIS IS AN UPDATE. I have upgraded my original overall rating to A. Ted sent his crew back out to address some of my concerns and they did a great job. Thanks, Ted! *************************** Overall I have been very pleased. Ted was pleasant, quick to respond, worked with me about changes to the original plan and was flexible. I had a 28 x 14 foot partially in-ground pool on a sloping yard. Some of the pool's cement walls extended up as much as two feet above ground. My back yard was not the most accessible as it was fully fenced and laid out in such a way that getting large machinery to the pool area was challenging. Ted worked with me to find a plan to do this without having to tear down the front fence. Originally, Ted thought that he could jack-hammer holes in the bottom of the pool and fill it with the rubble (as is typical), and then fill in with soil over the top. It was very important to me that I have at least 2 feet of soil on top of any rubble so that I could run a deep rototiller over the area as it was going to become a vegetable garden. After looking for a bit he advised that he would have to remove at least some of the cement. He quoted what we believe was a fair price for doing this work, as well as removing all the decking material, small pump house, pipes, fencing, leveling the yard so that it sloped evenly away from the house, and relocating or replacing some drainage pipes. He was also going to make sure that the electric service that had been run to the pump house was properly buried and he'd leave it with a junction box attached to a post near the old pump house. He also offered to remove a large stump near the pool. Because the decking covered much of the pool footings, I specifically asked how he would handle additional charges if he got under there and found that there was more to do, or that he had to remove extra material. He said that his quote was firm and that it was his job to quote correctly so that if surprises occurred he would cover them. He originally quoted $8,000 and then we agreed to add $300 to this to add a load of good garden compost soil. Ted's bid was very generic and did not go into details. In retrospect, I wish that we had been more specific on the details. The bid did not include the stump removal, and described the job without speaking much to leveling the yard. I did call Ted, and he assured me those were included. His word was good and there were no issues surrounding these items. However, once the decking was removed, it turned out there was an additional cement retaining wall, and more cement footings that were going to prove problematic to cover. This turned out to be a small point of confusion in what we originally agreed to. It was absolutely resolved to my satisfaction ? but it likely would have been better if we'd had the contingency as part of the original bid. I think we both would have felt better about it. On the day work was scheduled to start, Ted came out to go over the plans with me. As it turned out, I had found out that the electricity that had been run to the pump house was actually just a wire laid under the pool decking. I decided not to have Ted run that to the bottom of the yard and just asked him if he would instead put the junction box at the house. I had removed some branches from large trees, and completely removed some small trees in preparation for the job and asked him if he could remove the debris along with the decking, etc. I did not expect him to do this as part of the job since it was additional work. He and I settled on a very fair price for not only removing the branches, but also for removing the stumps. I was very pleased by his cheerful willingness to do this extra work as a last minute request. In addition, he and his crew agreed to relocate a small tree and a bush while working on the yard ? again at what I considered to be a very fair price. Ted's crew was very pleasant and prompt. They removed the decking, piping and debris quickly and efficiently. They neatly rolled up some chain link fencing that I planned to keep and put it in the garage for me. They also saved aside pier blocks that I wanted to keep and moved the pool filter and pump into my garage. They were all very willing to be helpful and make sure I was happy with the work. While he was there that day, Ted also looked at the RV parking pad attached to the garage. It was where the large truck was going to either have to park, or come around and we were trying to ascertain whether or not it would support the large equipment. As we were looking at it, Ted noticed a number of significant cracks in the foundation, and in the garage foundation. I have been having problems with water leaking into the garage ? flowing in from this parking pad. Ted advised that I should remove this old pad as it was likely contributing to the demise of the garage foundation. He advised that he would remove it for an additional $500, slope the ground away from the garage foundation, patch the cracks in the garage foundation, and if I wanted it, would deliver a load of gravel to create a replacement parking area at the cost of the gravel ? no charge for delivery. Coming at the last moment, I was unsure about whether or not I wanted to do this, and wanted to talk to my spouse. We had to make a quick decision as the excavator would be arriving the next day. We actually ended up calling Ted early the next morning so that my spouse could be in on the conversation, and appreciated Ted's willingness to talk over the details and explain again, the positive effect that removing the pad could have on the garage foundation. In the end, we decided to do this additional work. I have been very glad that we did, as my garage has now been dry after some torrential downpours. There is one small section of footing that he missed which is sticking up and preventing me from planting lawn there. I intend to call Ted to ask him if he will return to remove that. I suspect he'll do that with no question. Overall, I have been very pleased with the work that Ted and his crew did. Our backyard (though bare currently) looks amazing and slopes evenly. The tree and bush that he moved appear to be thriving in their new locations. We are confident that the garden area is free of cement. While originally quoted at 8,300, the job ended up costing us just about 10,000. Most of that was for additional work which was negotiated at the time ? the removal of extra debris, removal of the parking pad, delivery of one additional load of garden compost, and the relocation of the bush and tree. I felt like all of his charges for this additional work were fair. The only place where I think that Ted expressed some concern that he was going above and beyond, was when he determined that he was going to need to remove the additional cement retaining wall, and also remove the very large cement footings of the pool in order to give me the 2 feet of soil for my garden area. That was not something that he planned on. I did not want him to incur additional cost when we both had originally thought he would only have to remove some of the cement, not all of it. He gave me a very fair price for removing the additional cement and I greatly appreciated his willingness to take all of it out for a price that I doubt covered his costs. He absolutely made sure that I was happy with his work. If there was one suggestion I would make, I would encourage folks to write up a detailed list of the items included in the scope of work. Ted was very helpful and often offered to do additional work free of charge. However, he and his crew did not always remember those details. One member of his crew said that he'd clean the gutter on the garage as part of the work removing the parking pad. That never happened. Ted nicked a tree with the excavator and said that he'd not only put some repair patch on that, but would also do the other trees where I had limbed them. In the end he offered suggestions of what to put on the trees, but didn't do the work. I had to remind him about running the extension of the drainage lines, and in the end his crew only did one of the two lines that I thought was included in the original bid. The pump house electric wire turned out to be dead, but it was not ever attached to a junction box, but rather left coiled on my deck. I'm not sure exactly where it is connected and I'll likely need to hire an electrician to come out and either disconnect it, or attach it to a junction box. Ted advised that his crew would cut a number of roots in the area by the parking pad and then rake it before they left to smooth it all out. When I arrived home from work they had gone, but that hadn't been done. I don't think Ted ever returned to make sure all was done. To his credit, I think that if I had called him he would have sent the crew back out to fix that up, but I didn't call, as I felt he had given me such a good price on some other items it felt petty to complain about that. I think Ted's heart and integrity were in the right place ? he really went above and beyond for me in some areas and was very flexible as I worked through some additional requests. His offer of the additional work was heartfelt, I think he just forgot or got sidetracked. I would recommend that you schedule time at the end of the job to have Ted come back and make sure all was done before his crew leaves. Due to my work schedule, I was not able to do that and I think it would have been helpful. I would absolutely recommend calling Ted ? he's pleasant to work with and will work with your budget. He will take the time to explain the details and will make sure you are happy with the plan.