Why Should You Hire Coast Construction?
- Quality, Value, and Service: These are the key components of any construction project, and our company delivers the best of all three.
- Turn-Key Projects: We handle everything beginning to end, from a detailed scope of repairs to a pristine final cleaning of the finished project.
- Our Experience: Damage repair is a niche market, and our extensive experience sets us apart from other contractors.
- We Are Specialists: We focus almost exclusively on fire and other damage repair construction projects. We are not involved in any other business that might divert our attention from your job.
- One-Stop Services: Although construction work is our specialty and the only part of repair work we handle directly, we coordinate, subcontract and manage all necessary activities for you. We work with the best vendors in all related fields.
- We Understand The Insurance Industry's Business Model: Yes there is one, and not very many people understand it. But we do.
- We Work For You, Not Your Insurance Company: But we do it in a fair, even-handed, diplomatic way without being adversarial with your insurance company, striking the proper balance between advocacy, trust, and cooperation.
- Claims Adjuster Interaction: We work with your adjuster to handle all aspects of your repair project.
- Insurance Companies Trust Us: We have a history of nearly three decades in this business and we have the respect of the industry. This makes us uniquely successful in our dealings with insurance companies.
- We Use The Industry Standard Estimating Software: We understand it intimately, utilize it exceptionally well, and know how to use the tools available and tricks of the trade to your best advantage.
- Estimating Software Formatting: This is a little-known but important component of the computerized estimating process, and we know how to use it to achieve the best results for you.
- Fast Settlements: We are able to reach an agreed cost to repair very quickly with your insurance company so that repairs to your property can begin as quickly as possible. (This process can take months if not handled correctly).
- We Help You Avoid Pitfalls: And make no mistake, there are many. Lack of experience and improper handling of aspects of your paperwork and job can have serious consequences.
- Adjusting Experience: Our staff has worked within the insurance industry and knows the inner-workings of the business.
- Knowledge Of Insurance Coverages And Policy Provisions: This knowledge and experience is invaluable in the effective handling of your project and dealing with your insurance company in order to safeguard your interest and maximize your benefits.
- Expert Experience: Our staff has extensive experience in specialized insurance consulting, arbitrations, mediations, and court testimony. This experience provides considerable insight into the inner-workings of the claims and repair processes.
- Financial Resources: We have the ability to fund large projects while waiting for insurance company and mortgage company payments. (These payment delays can be extraordinarily long. This is one of the pitfalls we help you avoid).
- We Handle The Mortgage Company Process: We schedule, monitor, and follow-up on needed inspections, payments, and the interactions between your insurance company and your mortgage company. (This process takes considerable time). You control all of the funds and all of the payments.
- We Eliminate Your Financial Responsibility: We structure our contract so that you do not need to pay us until your insurance company pays you and the bank releases the payments.
- We Handle Separate Coverages: These are additional components of your policy, claim and repairs that need to be properly developed and submitted. These include additional amounts of insurance, additional structures, landscaping, personal property moving and hauling, etc.
- We Handle The Building Ordinance Claim: This has become a very large component of damage repairs since new codes went into effect in 2009. We handle the development, compilation, submission and negotiation of all of this work (provided for under separate coverage). This is an extremely complicated and technical task, and has to be done properly and meticulously in order for you to be fully compensated for all necessary work.
- Code Claim/Coverage Limit Interface: We handle your building ordinance claim so as to safeguard your coverage limits and to provide the most benefit to you from this coverage. This is, again, an area that requires extensive knowledge and experience to handle properly, and is an area of potential problems if not handled correctly.
- We Minimize Potential Code Coverage Overruns: We administer your project so as to best avoid potential pitfalls in this area while optimizing inclusion of work that benefits you.
- We Handle Your Replacement Cost Claim: This is another aspect of your claim that needs to be properly documented, submitted and negotiated.
- We Handle Supplements: Yet another part of the process that needs to be documented, compiled, submitted and negotiated.
- We Do Drawings In-House: This enables us to produce drawings for your project very quickly and inexpensively. (And producing drawings inexpensively might leave more of your coverage available for repair work).
- We Control The Drawings: This is very important to ensure that the submission for the building permit (based on the drawings) achieves the desired end and serves your interest best. (This is another area of potential pitfalls).
- We Handle The Engineering: We have decades-long relationships with a handful of exceptionally good, fast engineers that give us priority service, are very reasonably priced, and work within our systems so that their drawings facilitate quick, effective and desirable end results for you.
- You Benefit From Fast And Reasonable Engineering And Drafting Costs: It's true that your insurance company pays these fees, but excessive fees unnecessarily consume your coverage limits. And producing these documents quickly gets your repairs moving that much faster.
- We Handle The Permitting Process: We know the intricacies of permit application submissions for this kind of work, and how to get permits issued as fast as possible. We have a long history with each and every building department in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties: they know us and trust us.
- We Handle Design: We provide complete in-house design services using 3-D color computerized design software to produce beautiful work for you. Every photograph on our website is an example of the tremendous talent and ability of our designers.
- We Work With You On Changes: We are very open to integrating remodeling and changes into your project. (Many of our competitors resist this because of the administration time and cost involved). Take a look at the descriptions and photos in our reference list (on our website) to see the huge transformations we are able to make for our customers-almost always with no out-of-pocket expense on their part.
- We Have Excellent Project Managers: They are organized, experienced, and a pleasure to work with.
- We Have Excellent Estimators: Our estimators remain available throughout the construction process and work with the project managers to effect fast, efficient construction and to handle code claims, supplements, design changes and insurance company issues.
- We Have Excellent Field Staff: Our staff foremen, carpenters, and painters are exceptionally capable, talented, and experienced craftsmen who are masters of their trades. Every photograph on our website is a testament to their ability and the quality of their workmanship.
- Our Foremen Know Our Systems: All of our field staff are conversant with and experienced in the specialized type of work we do and know how to work effectively with the scopes of work created with our estimating software.
- Building Inspectors Like Us: Because of our long history working in every municipality in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and having done thousands of jobs here, we know the building inspectors and they know us. They know that our work is good, up to code, and as a result we are able to make your project go smoothly and quickly.
- We Have Excellent Subcontractors: We have decades-long relationships with our subcontractors, we get preferential treatment from them, and we demand from them the utmost in quality and service. We get it, and so will you.
- Our Subcontractors Know Our Systems: Like our field staff, our subcontractors understand the inner-workings of the business we are in. They understand code issues, the intricacies of our computerized estimating system, etc.
- Our Low Overhead Means Better Value For You: Unlike virtually all of our competitors, we have no branch offices, no franchise fees, no corporate overseers, no new staff, and no related businesses.
- We Are Not Growing: We are the perfect size, we do not need to fund growth.
- We Don't Pay Rent: We own our own building. This lowers our overhead and we pass the savings along to you.
- Limited Territory: We only work in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Our attention is not diverted by projects that are too far away to be administered effectively.
- We Are Trusted By Local Fire Departments: We are on the Contra Costa County and San Ramon Valley Fire Department board-up rotation lists, and obtain referrals for board-ups from other local fire departments as well. We provide 24/7/365 emergency response services to fire departments, individuals, businesses, and insurance companies.
- We Have A Very High Consumer Rating: A 93% recommendation rate with nearly 50% of respondents rating us a perfect "10."
- Mutual Benefits: We strongly believe that every business transaction needs to be of equal benefit to both parties. We are confident that we will bring tremendous value to your project ensuring maximum benefit to you. We are bold enough to say that you cannot do better than to hire Coast Construction.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long have you been in business? We've been in business since 1983, over 30 years, and have done many thousands of jobs in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties during that time.
- Can I make changes to my property in conjunction with your work? Yes, absolutely. Improvements in design and finishes are a specialty of ours. We integrate them to the greatest extent possible into our work, we are willing to work with you on them to whatever extent you want, and our goal is to maximize your opportunity to have us produce for you the best project possible. Most people have a budget, of course, so there are limits, but the key is optimizing the use of the available funds to get the most of what you want and build the best job possible.
- Who does the design work, particularly the kitchen? Our senior project manager, who has been with the company over 20 years, is as good a designer as can be found anywhere. She has designed every project you see on our website. We can handle everything from the simplest finish selections all the way to a new home from the ground up. And do it, in my humble opinion, as well as anybody.
- How long will my job take to complete? That depends primarily on the city you live in and the building department. The biggest factor is how long it takes to obtain a building permit, and building departments vary in this regard. There will usually be drawings needed for the permit application, and because we do those drawings in-house, we control the time it takes and can get them done as quickly as possible.
- What about work required under new, more modern codes? The code upgrade or building ordinance aspect of damage repair work has become increasingly extensive since new codes went into effect a couple of years ago. This work is typically covered under a separate part of an insurance policy. It's very important that this aspect of the job be carefully handled to minimize the risk that coverage limits are not exceeded. And that in and of itself takes a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. It's also important that all of this work be meticulously documented, written up in the proper format, and submitted to the insurance company and negotiated with them if needed in order for proper payment for this type of work to be obtained.
- How do I get my mortgage company to release the funds to pay for the repair work? Under California state law, insurance companies are required to name mortgage banks on checks for repair work. This is to protect the mortgage bank's interest in the property. The mortgage bank will hold all of the funds, and there are quite a few hoops to jump through to get these funds released. Dealing with this process can take a tremendous amount of time. Providing that the owner wants us to, we can take care of all of that, and make the process completely painless. All of the funds are controlled exclusively by the owner. All of the payments go to the owner, and we never receive any payments directly from the mortgage bank. We handle this aspect of the process merely as part of our service.
- Do I need an engineer? Most of the time, on a job of any significant size, an engineer will be required. We have several engineers that we work with very closely and we can take care of all of the engineering requirements. We get the engineering work done as quickly as possible (in conjunction with the drawings that we do in-house) so as to get a building permit and get the job moving as soon as possible.
- Do I need an architect? The answer is almost always no. You won't need an architect for your insurance claim because the insurance company only owes you to put the building back exactly as it was, and that doesn't require any design work per se. In fact, insurance companies frequently aren't willing to pay for an architect. Nothing against architects (we work with some very good ones) but frequently the cost of an architect's design will go way beyond the amount of insurance claim proceeds. So unless a property owner has a lot of money to add into a project, an architect is typically contraindicated.
On the other hand, having said that, some people simply want to have architects involved for reasons of their own and if that's the case we happily work with them. But they are almost never actually necessary.
- How much will the weather influence the time it takes to complete my project? Surprisingly, weather isn't too much of a factor in completion time. Heavy rain during framing stages can slow things down, but once the building is framed we can keep it weather-tight, and make productive use of work days pretty much no matter what the weather.
- Does Coast get involved in things like drying the building, asbestos abatement, mold remediation, contents removal, or textiles cleaning? No, one of the big advantages of our company is that we are specialists in construction only, these other processes do not distract us from our core business and do not create any conflicts of interest in how we approach your project. One positive side to this method of operation is that we are able to help with these aspects of the process in most cases, by monitoring and coordinating the activities of these outside vendors. We are also able to help our customers locate and deal with the best vendors in all of these fields.
Should Ask Questions
- Why should I hire Coast Construction? There are lots of reasons, 46 of which are enumerated here. A good short answer might be that we are specialists in this field, this is the only work we do, we only work in a limited geographical area, we don't have any branch offices and we don't pay any corporate fees or franchise fees. We have low overhead, we own our own building, and most importantly we care about what we do.
- Does Coast Construction work for me or for my insurance company? We work for you. Our contract is with you, and you are our customer. Our goal is to produce for you the very best project that we can, given your circumstances. We approach our work from a standpoint of diplomacy and amicable dealings with your insurance company, but ultimately you are our customer and our allegiance is to you.
- How important is service to Coast Construction? That is an excellent question, because service is extremely important. Most people concern themselves with price where construction work is concerned, and that is certainly important but is often over-emphasized. And of course everybody expects excellent workmanship, and that's as it should be. But very few people take into account the experience of having the work done, and this factor makes a tremendous amount of difference as well. A lot of contractors rush through jobs, and essentially run roughshod over customers, not giving them adequate time to be involved in the project and get things done precisely the way they want them done. This can make for a very harried, pressured, and unpleasant experience. Being the customer is a lot of work, there's no two ways about it, but we try to make it as easy and as pleasant as possible.
- How are Coast's consumer ratings? They are exceptionally high. In a survey conducted through a major consumer organization whose name you know but we can't use because we don't want to pay their fees, we scored a 93% approval rating with over 50% of respondents giving us a perfect 10. We believe that this is remarkable given the nature of our business.
- Does Coast do anything other than fire damage work? We are specialists. Fire damage work is our business. We so some remodeling and commercial tenant improvement for our existing long-term customers, but that's it. And again, we compare favorably with many of our competition in this regard. A lot of them have ancillary activities going on like flooring companies, custom home building, water mitigation, contents work, and the like. All of those distractions take away from the importance of construction. At our place, all of our resources are dedicated to the precise type of work our customers are hiring us to do.
- Can I get caught in a bind where the insurance company and the mortgage company won't or haven't released funds that I need to keep the job going? Yes, with other contractors, but not with Coast Construction. We structure our contracts so that doesn't happen. But that is a very real potential pitfall and a lot of people paint themselves into that corner.
- Do I have to worry about my coverage limits? This is something that should always be carefully taken into account. Virtually every insurance policy is essentially many policies in one with separate limits that typically apply to different coverages. It's important to categorize the cost of work and write everything up in a proper format so that coverage limits don't become an issue. Again, this is where our considerable experience and expertise is extremely valuable.
- How is your organization structured? You will have your own project manager dedicated to your job, who will be responsible for managing the project day-to-day, including staffing, inspections, and most importantly dealing directly with you on design, selections, etc. There will be a working foreman on the job who will work at the direction of the project manager, and will manage the job site itself. Our estimator will remain involved throughout the project, dealing with pricing issues, change orders, code upgrades, interaction with your insurance company, supplements to the insurance company, and, of course any issues or questions that you might have.
- Some of Coast's competitors seem to have bigger operations. Does that mean they might be better for me? My answer to that is no, the opposite is true. We believe that Coast Construction is exactly the right size, it is exactly the size we want it to be. Not too big and not too small. Our competitors who have bigger operations just have gobs more overhead than we do, which can only mean one thing, and that is that they have to give you less. We have only the overhead we need to provide excellent service and an excellent work product. For example, we own our building, and we do not operate company trucks. All of this simply means that we can afford to put more resources into your project than our competitors who have big overhead.
- One of your competitors has promised me the moon. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I see astounding comments made by our competitors, and I know that many things are promised that simply can't be delivered. My advice is this: Get it in writing. If you ask a question and somebody gives you an answer that sounds too good to be true, ask if they would be willing to put it in writing and put it in the contract. And if they do look at the wording very carefully. Unfortunately, this seems to be a chronic problem in our small industry.
- Why shouldn't I have the guy down the street who is a contractor, or my nephew's friend, do this job for me? Damage work is far more specialized than the average person realizes. Many typical remodeling-type contractors think that they can handle this sort of thing, but it's really not a good idea. If you read the 46 Reasons Why You Should Hire Coast Construction, that will give you a good indication of just some of the issues that are involved in a project of this type.
- Is there anything about this process that I don't know? The fact is, damage repair work is highly specialized and there are many dozens of issues that need to be taken into account on every project in order for your interests to be properly safeguarded. We understand these intricacies, and know the "tricks of the trade" better than anyone.
Our primary estimators are Steve Mink and Kevin Morgan. Between them they have over 60 years experience in the construction and insurance fields. They are experts in damage assessment and damage repair work, and are experienced in the areas of residential and commercial new construction and remodeling as well as commercial tenant improvement. Additional activities and experience include consulting, expert witness, and Insurance Code 2071 appraisal work. When you work with Coast Construction, you have accomplished and capable experts and estimators at your disposal.
Our production managers are Christine Barsness and Linda VanPelt. They have considerable construction project management experience in addition to a broad base of valuable background experience that includes industrial production management, field construction work, technical writing and yacht renovation. In addition to being highly organized administrators, our project managers are tremendously talented and artistic designers creating truly beautiful and stunning work. They draw the structural plans for most of our jobs in-house, with detailed kitchen, bath and interior designs produced on specialized color 3-D software. When you work with Coast Construction you get efficient, friendly project managers. You will find them a joy to work with.
Kathy Hopkirk and Jodi DeVillier handle the office. In addition to dealing with the nuts and bolts of the operation, they also provide exceptional customer service. At Coast Construction you will always find a friendly, gracious, committed individual at the other end of the phone who knows what is going on and is willing to help.
Jodi DeVillier handles our marketing. She acts as our liaison with our commercial and institutional customers including insurance companies, developers, municipalities and self-insureds, and develops our promotional programs and materials. She has an extensive marketing and business background including business management and accounting.
Our in-house field staff consists of accomplished lead carpenters, apprentice carpenters, and painters. It is a point of honor with us to employ only highly skilled craftsmen and technicians. The overwhelming majority of our field staff has been with us many years; some go back 17 years. The varied and challenging nature of our work and our positive company culture enable us to hire and keep exceptionally good people. This, of course, translates into great job performance and work product for our customers.
Subcontractors, Vendors, and Suppliers
Our databases are precious commodities, because they contain the phone numbers of the finest construction practitioners in the area. Over the decades we have sought out and developed solid relationships with a broad-based, comprehensive, talented network of service providers who value our integrity and loyalty and as a result provide us - and consequently you - with service and performance second-to-none. When you work with Coast Construction, you will get the finest specialty trade contractors in the Bay Area.