The Penny Ice Creamery
Santa Cruz Green Builders has been a tremendous partner in developing our businesses in Santa Cruz: The Penny Ice Creamery and The Picnic Basket. The Penny location required a complete floor to ceiling (and beyond) remodel of a historical building. SCGB executed the project with skill, professionalism, and care. They offered excellent advice that saved us time and money, and were especially considerate of our opinions and input. We greatly appreciated their ability to offer multiple options, giving us the opportunity to balance cost, design, and sustainability. All aspects of their projects with us have been completed with exceptional thoroughness, giving us complete confidence in the longevity of their work. We recommend Santa Cruz Green Builders without reservation, and we look forward to working with them again.
- Zachary Davis & Kendra Baker, Owners, The Penny Ice Creamery & The Picnic Basket
When we interviewed contractors for the remodel of our 1907 Craftsman beach home we looked first for an experienced team knowledgeable in the nuances of green building. That is exactly what we found in Santa Cruz Green Builders, and more.
Taylor and Spencer were flexible and fair in the bid and finances of the project, references, and offers to view their recent projects. Even with our multiple change orders due to unexpected findings, their friendly manner made our interactions a pleasure. They were very professional and timely, cleaning up the site at the end of the day.
Their proactive problem solving was a plus. When issues came up, such as the discovery that old studs were 2x3’s instead of 2x4’s they had solutions and cost estimates ready to address the situation. We had a general idea what we wanted in our green remodel, however they always had additional innovative and thoughtful alternative options. Santa Cruz Green Builders also had an excellent, experienced team of flexible specialists working alongside when needed.
In summary, we were very pleased with Santa Cruz Green Builders in all areas of our remodel, and would be happy to recommend them for whatever the building project might be.
- Jim and Joanne Lewis
Santa Cruz Green Builders is about 3/4's done with building our new home. We are over the moon about Spencer, Taylor and the crew. I am a subcontractor myself so I have some strong opinions about what makes a project go well (or not well!). First, they are really invested in doing good work. Since Spencer and Taylor are hands on with everything from framing to plumbing and electricity they are always looking two to three steps ahead. I don't think we had a single "redo" in our entire project. Taylor proactively researched better and more affordable lumber alternatives to what our plans called out. This saved us thousands! (Rarely do contractors look out for the homeowners' bottom line. In fact, contractors often profit from higher material costs as they add 15-20% to materials as part of their contract). They keep a clean and safe job site. They have good relationships with building inspectors -- I can't express how important that is. We sailed through inspections. Finally, these guys are just solid human beings. They treat their employees respectfully, show up on time and return phone calls. Taylor and Spencer have treated our project as if it were their own.
- Dave Liotta
These guys have done various jobs at our home and they were highly skilled, reliable, reasonably priced and very friendly. I can recommend them without reservation.
- Foster Gamble
I highly recommend Santa Cruz Green Builders as a residential building contractor, especially for custom homes in cases where you care about being cost effective but also sensitive to energy usage and environment. Taylor was the general for my project at 160 Harmony Court. The house is complicated, on a tight budget, and I wanted to make it as green as possible. Initially I chose SCGB because the bid was so detail oriented and thorough, I could tell his numbers were the most accurate and they were also very reasonable. I only had people highly recommended by multiple people bid on my project and from the very start, they stood out as really not missing a detail – which ultimately saved me money in the long run as they caught many of the necessary issues from the start.
During construction Taylor has proven himself to be very hard working, proactive with communication, easy to work with, and continued to be on top of the details. He does not miss anything. He also has made many suggestions on how to improve on the plans, from small changes to light switch positions, to improved insulation and sealing for energy efficiency, to creative suggestions about cabinets and nooks. There is also a big advantage, that I never realized as a novice, in that Taylor does his own plumbing and electrical. This may sound minor but it is part of what allowed him to make great suggestions and save us money. It also saved a lot of time because the interior is often what takes the longest and delays the project, but he could start this work early and do whatever parts were ready, not waiting to line up these key aspects with a sub. This really saves time and money.
Bottom line is that Taylor is detail and quality oriented as a person and it bleeds in to every part of his life. His home is immaculate. He always met his commitments and worked weekends if he needed to, and he wanted the best solution even if it meant less money for him. He is always watching out for my best interest and I believe I will have a much better home as a result of his diligence and care. Taylor is also patient, handling my many novice questions and ideas with honest, thoughtful, and detailed responses. Being an engineer by trade, his level of information always helped me feel good about the decisions and put them to rest quickly. I can’t say enough in this area as his thoughtful, open, thorough nature sets the tone for a low stress experience and a high quality output that is a key component in the trials and tribulations of building or renovating a home.
- Christy Brandt
Santa Cruz Green Builders worked with me on my remodel in Campbell - they handled the deconstruction, foundation, and framing/windows/doors as well as all the exterior trim/decks/arbors. All the work was top-notch and has garnered praise from the other contractors I've hired. Taylor's estimates for cost and time were spot-on.
Santa Cruz Green Builders have been a good source of ideas and suggestions for all stages of the project. Communication while working together was excellent, with any issues or mutual decisions getting worked out very easily. We reused the siding from my original house, which took some extra time to re-mill. They were very upfront about the extra labor it would involve - no surprises along the way. When a door showed up that was the wrong size, they were able to quickly fix it on-site and then customized it to blend in with the siding. I think they enjoyed the challenge and even ended up saving time and some money (the door supplier gave us the option of returning the door or reducing the price).
I've been acting as my own general during the project and I've learned how many phone calls it takes to track down different materials or items, and I now look back and am surprised at how easy they made it look.
I have no reservations recommending Santa Cruz Green Builders for any kind of construction work - small one-room renovation or full-house construction. I've been very happy working with them.
- Scott Heeschen
Santa Cruz Green Builders built their own home for my wife and I. Let me explain: Spencer and Taylor took the time, from start to finish, on all the details of building our custom home, so much so, that it felt like they were working on their own home rather than one for a client. Starting with the bid process that was detailed, considered, and informed, which helped us make important decisions about finish, design, and construction to save costs where appropriate and spend in areas where we wanted, Santa Cruz Green Builders was great. When it came to the construction process both Spencer and Taylor were meticulous in their process, clear in their scheduling, and accessible for questions. One thing we came to realize early on in the process is that there are A LOT of decisions that need to be made when building a custom home. Spencer and Taylor took the time to help us make key decisions, gave us a timeline for certain milestone decisions and let us know how certain choices we might make would impact the final budget. During construction Spencer and Taylor kept a clean and organized work site which was greatly appreciated since we were living on the property during construction. We are so happy with the final project. Santa Cruz Green Builders was great to work with and they are still accessible as questions or tweaks arise. We would recommend Santa Cruz Green Builders to anyone who is interested in building a custom home, remodeling, or adding on. Their knowledge and consideration of sustainable practices is exceptional as well. We whole-heartedly recommend them for your project.
We have worked with Santa Cruz Green Builders for a number of years now. They have almost completely remodeled our home, section by section. Some of the work they have done for us has been remodeling our master bath, kitchen, entryway, changing out many of our windows and doors, installing a fence and building a deck. Their work has all been top notch! They are professional, clean, courteous, helpful, knowledgeable and just plain fun to have around! We've had the pleasure of working with both Taylor and Spencer as the main contractors and we found both equally talented and easy to get along with. They were both always willing to answer any questions that we had and if they didn't know the answer to a question, they would find out and get back with us.
The two major projects that they completed for us were a master bath remodel and a kitchen remodel. The kitchen remodel was quite extensive as it involved moving and adding walls, installing windows and doors, moving doorways, adding rounded archways and installing a huge skylight. It was all done flawlessly! The tile work in the kitchen and bath were both very detailed and their subs did an excellent job with the installation. We also chose to add a live edge bar to our kitchen area and although it ended up creating a lot of extra work for Santa Cruz Green Builders, they did a beautiful job and didn't charge us for the additional time.
In addition to these larger jobs, they have also helped us with various small jobs along the way such as installing a moisture barrier under the house, adding a drain in our front patio area, installing a sump pump under the house and installing two french doors.
One of the reasons that we originally chose Santa Cruz Green Builders was because they had a focus on green building and this is important to us. In addition, we've found that their prices are more than fair. They are truly delightful to have around! I completely trusted them in my home, whether I was there or not. That's important to me and I can't say that I've felt that way about all contractors that I've worked with. We've worked with other contractors previously and there's no comparison. I can't imagine ever working with another contractor again!
- Julie Callahan