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Core Landscaping

Founded 2009 • With Angi since September 2011

3.4

(5) Verified Reviews

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Description

Chris Windmueller / foreman 408 849 2008...

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Verified Reviews

A few reviews for this pro...
1.0

03/02/2020


Brad N.

The job that wouldn't end... Core Landscaping completed a landscape project for our front yard that included replacing our driveway with colored cement, adding a walkway path from our driveway and street into the courtyard of our front entryway and back gate with travertine pavers. We added several new planting areas and added new plants to an area under a large giant sequoia redwood tree. The bid was about $70K. We had completed a much larger project in our back yard that included over 2000 square feet of the travertine pavers around our pool which was completed in 7 weeks a few years back. After that project we had a sense of what to expect with this project. Too bad our previous contractor recently retired because we had no idea what we were in for with Core Landscaping. The project was a disaster in so many ways: * Time frame: we were quoted 5- 6 weeks to complete the job, it took 14 weeks! Started on Oct. 3rd and finished January 9th.There were days that they just didn't show up without any notice. After we paid them for a milestone, they would go work another job and not show up for several days in a row. * Absent owner: We saw the owner, Mark Core, a total of 2 times; when we signed the contract and once because we insisted he come and discuss the schedule with us around Thanksgiving (when the job should have already been completed). This was very frustrating because the foreman, Chris Windmuehler, and the owner didn't seem to communicate much either. There were constant miscommunication about the schedule, the ordering of the plants and even what was being invoiced (many times we would be invoiced when the milestone was not 100% completed). * Quality of work: We didn't expect that we'd have to be the quality control for the project but the foreman or the owner were not doing this. It seemed like they just covered stuff with mulch and hoped we wouldn't notice. The 2 main crew working at our house were nice but they didn't have the experience to manage themselves. For example: - Planting: They couldn't read or follow the planting plans so many of the plants ended up in the wrong place. Several we later realized were in our neighbors property. We ended up replanting about 80% of the plants because they were in the wrong spot or they just didn't dig the holes deep/wide enough (see attached photos). - Installing Travertine Pavers: We give them an "A" for cutting the stone (they brought in someone to do it) but then we'd give them a "D" for the installation. We remember how it was installed in the back yard. It's even on YouTube but they did the work backwards by installing the French pattern stones first and then adding the border stones. The result was unlevel/uneven pavers. They also cracked/damaged many of them with their installation method. - Irrigation: The plans called for drip spray irrigation but they used drip tubing (netafim) with emitters every foot. We didn't realize it was not what the plans called for when we signed the contract so that's on us. It's ridiculously easy to install but it's not the most efficient for many types of planting areas and plant arrangements. What really annoyed us is that they could have done it right without much more work or cost. The problem with drip hose is that many of the emitters aren't near a plant so most of the water is wasted. * Change Orders: We weren't happy with how they tried to gouge us with changes to the plans. For example, we originally had planned for the travertine pavers to also include a pathway to our backyard gate. In an effort to reduce costs we asked them to bid without that extra pathway but include 24x24 inch stepping stones to the gate. They reduced the bid by $1600 dollars, not much but we decided to do this. However, the pavers we selected didn't come in 24x24 so the contractor suggested using two 16x16 pavers in parallel. We agreed assuming the cost would be similar. They billed us over $2K for the change. So, it ended up costing us over $400 for our 3rd option. They didn't seem to understand why this upset us. They did compromise and include ground cover plants and irrigation between the steps but it still cost more than if we stayed with the original plan. Here are some lessons learned: 1) Take the time to speak with a recent client of your contractor. If they can't find someone who will speak with you then walk away. 2) Have them add something to the quote that references the plans so you can be sure they follow them and if not you will have recourse. 3) Don't believe them if they say they can't find the plants you want. We found everything they said couldn't be found on the internet. 4) Don't let them add the mulch until the end of the job so it doesn't cover up the irrigation, etc. 5) Observe the irrigation works well for every plant. 6) Don't pay them the last check on the same day they finish. Take time to review what they have done. Even if they give you a sob story about making payroll.

Description of Work
New driveway, walkway, lawn and planting areas for front yard.

Category concrete driveways,landscaping,irrigation systems,lighting,hardscaping

4.0

06/04/2015


antonio M.

The whole project went very smooth and on time. No surprises. All the employees and Marc were very friendly and easy to talk with. Mark and I got together and agreed on the type of plants needed and on a starting date. The crew arrived on the agreed start date on time and finished on time. Marc mentioned that we might lose some plants during the winter and they would check on this in the spring. I did lose a few plants (out of 300) and Marc replaced them on approximately 5/18/2015. I was very pleased with the conversion and happy that I chose Core Landscaping to do the work.

Description of Work
Convert 4,294 square feet of lawn area to a drought tolerant garden.

Category landscaping

5.0

11/23/2013


James S.

John and his crew were quick, efficient and very professional. Over the course of a week the completely transformed our front yard area from the blight of the neighborhood to one of the focal pieces. We were excited each day to come home and see the progress. He worked with us to pick the various plants and trees that would attract the desired wildlife. Since the job was completed he has been back a few times to check on the plants to make sure they are taking hold (he replaced one that had a bad case of transplant shock), to adjust the watering and to teach us some gardening tips to keep the garden beautiful all year long.

Description of Work
Gentle Giants Gardening created a beautiful native plant and butterfly garden in our front yard, complete with a drip irrigation system and pathway. They also trimmed and removed trees and bushes in our back yard.

Category landscaping

2.0

04/24/2013


Karissa A.

My experience with them did not go well. The owner was very very nice and very responsive, but the actual work they did was like pretty poor. In fact we joined Angie's List to find other landscaping contractors so that we could have the work redone. We actually have just hired a contractor we found on Angie's List, thanks goodness, to basically redo all the work that he did. They are cheap, but you get what you pay for.

Description of Work
Core Landscaping did landscaping work for us.

Category landscaping

5.0

09/03/2011


Lily L.

Core landscaping is not your dime-a-dozen landscaper. When it comes to doing organic veggie gardens, they are probably as good as it gets, because the owners are organic farmers themselves. Doing organic veggie garden is very different from conventional landscaping, where weed control and aesthetics can be resolved by blasting your lawn with chemical pesticide. When you plan to eat everything you grow, the matter becomes much more complicated, you must build an ecosystem. John, one of the owners who practices subsistence organic farming in his San Francisco home, understands this only too well. He is extremely knowledgeable, and provided lots of guidance and insight for my project, down to the details of how certain vegetable boxes should be placed in1/2 shade to be provided by growing fruit trees so that I can grow a particular vegetable. He also selected water permeable materials for my pathway so that the rain water can be better retained by the surrounding soil. On the finishing day, he spent a few hours planting seeds with me in my newly vegetable boxes teaching me some really neat and critical tricks to maximize yield and space utilization. This is NOT what you can expect from any landscaper out there. I am extremely lucky to have run into a team of people with such in-depth knowledge about organic vegetable gardening. Core's team is very professional, hardworking and ethical. There was once that the organic compost company I insisted on using delivered a mountain of compost in the street next to my lot instead of in my driveway. Before I had a chance to plead my case to Marc, he and his team shoveled the compost till late at night to clear everything off the street so that my neighbors would have no complaints. Marc, the other owner, is always cheerful and reassuring, and whatever he promises, will get done as you expect it. When Marc was out of town for the first half of my project, John was always available on email even if he was not on site. I can't be happier with their customer service. I was searching up and down the Bay Area for competent veggie garden contractor, and interviewed many self-proclaimed organic garden contractors only to feel disappointed. I even ended up hiring a couple of so-called edible garden contractors on East Bay to design my plan. But their expertise doesn't come near what Core can provide, despite higher quotes. I like them so much that I will retain Core for my backyard organic garden conversion as well.

Description of Work
Converted my big front yard (~3000 sqft) into an organic vegetable garden and partial orchid, scope of work included clearing and pruning, fence work, mulching, soil prep, applying a new layer of certified organic compost, multiple redwood vegetable boxes, some hardscape, irrigation and planting of fruit trees, organic edible hedges as well as ground cover.

Category landscaping

    Core Landscaping

    Founded 2009 • With Angi since September 2011

    3.4

    (5) Verified Reviews

    Business Details

    Phone Number

    Address

    14090 Blossom Hill Rd

    Los Gatos, CA 95032

    Services Offered

    Installation & maintenance of tree work, irrigation, drainage, lighting, fencing, retaining walls, concrete, masonry, driveways, carpentry & stone.

    Services Not Offered

    Ask for details

    General Information
    Free Estimates
    Yes
    Eco-Friendly Accreditations
    Yes
    Payment Options
    Check
    Senior Discount
    No
    Warranties
    Satisfaction