September 1, 2014
This email was directed to former Mayor of Santa Cruz City Hillary Bryant about the Indicator Stairs, Westside, Santa Cruz.
I'm sending this note later than I intended. Surf conditions hadn't led me to the new Surf Statue stairs until a few days ago.
What a dramatic improvement! The submerged landing at the bottom leads you to the new, square-edged steps. You can get onto the stairs and out of the waves much more quickly and safely now, with less risk of being knocked off your feet. The results are all that any of us had hoped for.
Thank you so much for your help in getting this project started and keeping it moving during slow times. Without your interest we might still be waiting for results. I know that Public Works has a lot of competing demands and it might have been hard for them to focus on this one, but with your help it got done, and done well.
I was very pleased that Tom Ralston was the contractor. His skills with concrete construction and his adaptability to the constantly changing conditions of the ocean were the magic combination that gives us this fine result.
Again, thank you for all your help.
Santa Cruz Long Board Union (SCLBU)
June 21, 2014
You and the team took a run-down back yard and turned it into what is now a piece of art. We started with another contractor and after our first meeting he sent his architect to discuss the plans. We meet him two weeks later he came back with notes on our first meeting and no plans. I fired them and called you. We met you and Tracy four days later you came back with a quote and started on Monday.
It was not just the speed but the customer service and friendship that was built with Tracy, Sergio and the entire crew that was special. Your company feels like one big family and we were lucky to join you for a month through this project. I am also a business person and the time you invested with Lisa and myself, and the project was greatly appreciated.
If you ever need a reference have them call me anytime.
Tom, Lisa, Eric and Desi Valiante
September 19, 2013
We had a driveway and front porch which were broken and heaving. We needed them replaced and we wanted a path added. We also needed some drainage work done at the same time. We got three bids, and Ralston was the middle one. They took the time to understand the project, patiently answered a million questions and promptly started work when we were ready. Their crew showed up on time and worked flat-out until the project was done. They were all very cheerful and polite, and they seemed to genuinely enjoy their work. When it came to aesthetics they were very serious about it, debating between them how it should be done to look best when we didn't have an opinion. They did some extra little things that were part of the spirit of the project but which were not part of the contract. They finished on time and on budget.
We now have a nice driveway of regular concrete as well as a new path of colored concrete built in graceful curves. It looks great and we're very happy with the results. Even after the job was done and paid for, they promptly replied to email questions.
When we were shopping for bids both of our neighbors told us that Tom Ralston does great work. Now I can see why he has such a great reputation.
G.K. Santa Cruz, CA
September 25, 2012
Tom and his team were hired to redo the concrete hardscape for our home (replacing original aggregate concrete). We compared Tom's bid to the other bids we received and found him to be more than fair relative to the competition.
Tom visited our property multiple times (sometimes accompanied by his crew), shared his ideas, gave advice, and never pushed us in a direction that he felt we wouldn't be comfortable with. He even hosted us on a Sunday at his own shop to show samples of finishes, despite it being his one day off ... but he proved to be a fantastic listener who understood what we were after, and even recommended changes to the initial design that resulted in an outcome that exceeded our expectations. And the result is AMAZING.
What he did with our outside even made people notice our interior renovations more. He and his team worked while we were abroad -sending photo updates during the entire process. And we were right to trust him. He is also a perfectionist, and was willing to redo entire areas of finish to make sure we loved the result. His skill with making concrete look sleek, modern yet inviting is unusual.
Our landscaper, who also does concrete work, was shocked by the quality and look of Tom's work. I would recommend Tom wholeheartedly (and have done so to multiple people).
Linor Levav, Vice President Sales and Business Development @ Interlude.fm
July 25, 2012
I highly recommend Tom and his crew. We remodeled our house from top to bottom and decided to go with concrete floors in every room, so it was important to hire the right person to do the job.
Our wonderful concrete floors are a major feature of the house, laid on top of a new hydronic heating system. Our vision was to extend the same flooring outside around the pool, and Tom helped us realize the vision of a space that blurs the lines between inside and outside. With Tom and his team, there is much more than just competence, there is artistry.
If you are looking for a contractor with a creative eye, you will find that with him. We are loving our concrete floors every day.
March 21st, 2012
Your crew did a wonderful job on the project, from start to finish. Your entire team, especially your foreman Sergio, included me in all design decisions and took my ideas and concerns seriously. The project evolved throughout the process to something that turned out spectacularly. Every time I walk outside I am truly amazed at the quality of the work and how well each different area blends together with the next.
In addition, having you win the WOW! Award at the 2012 Decorative Concrete Awards Competition was icing on the cake!
I look forward to starting a project with your team on the rest of the property in the near future.
Thank you again,
Executive Vice President and CFO
View pictures of the Ruppel Pool Deck.
Monday, June 4th, 2012
OUR LEATHER FLOORS
When we decided to build our final home we spent much time thinking and discussing the floor finish. We had built and lived in homes with different floors and when we considered concrete as a finish floor what came to mind was the floor of large box retailers not something we wanted in our home.
I had seen some of Tom Ralston’s concrete work but had not yet seen his acid stained concrete. We had selected Tom as our concrete contractor for all of the foundations and exterior flat work. As we talked with Tom we became more convinced that we wanted acid stained floors for our entire home. We had a vague idea of color and Tom took off making samples upon samples until we all agreed that we had the “old Leather” look that we wanted.
Since we do not have baseboards in our home Tom poured the 2-1/2 inch thick concrete floors after the gypsum board walls were complete and painted. After a curing period the floors were acid stained and finished.
After living with our floors for eight years we ask why everyone does not have acid stained floors. The maintenance is a breeze and the floors have stood up to grandchildren and five dogs. Thank you Tom and your entire crew, especially Tracy Whitesell, for making our home the special place that it is.
Richard & Rosaleen Zlatunich
View pictures of the Zlatunich project.
May 31st, 2012
We are pleased to write a testimonial for Tom Ralston Concrete. Tom has completed three jobs at our home. We first started with concrete counter tops that were acid stained. We had the old cream colored tile with brown grout. The finished product was outstanding and brought our house into the modern world. Tom’s crew was first rate and the disruption to the remainder of our home was minimized as much as possible. Tom is a perfectionist with an artist flair. His suggestions and attention to detail were instrumental to the final outcome. We are extremely pleased with our new modern kitchen. Tom and his skilled crew then took out all of our extensive twenty five year old decks and replaced them with beautiful concrete retaining walls and a fantastic finished stone patio. The masonry work was also fantastic. This patio is the highlight of our extensive yard and garden. Lastly, Tom did a concrete floor in a small bathroom that we are extremely pleased with as well. I am a true believer in Tom Ralston Concrete and would highly recommend him for all decorative concrete and masonry work. If anyone would like to call us to discuss Tom’s work please call us at 831 426-3140.
View pictures of the Wiles project.
"If you want to work with someone who is as excited about your project as you are, Tom and his crew are your best bet. Every step of the way, Tom remained cheerful, eager, and wonderfully creative. He is a problem solver, and makes sure the job is done to the highest caliber, with every detail accounted for. He goes above and beyond what you would expect from a concrete contractor because he is a true artist and a generous soul. What more could you ask for?"
See photos of the GeoStrata Terraces in acid staining and the whale bone in specialty items.
February 26, 2009
Subject: Appreciation for concrete work
Dear Mr. Ralston,
I am writing this letter on behalf of my mother, Mary Elizabeth (Betsy) Woolpert.
Your firm was chosen by our plumbing contractor Geo H. Wilson to repair a concrete excavation made in my mother's concrete floor in her home on Martinelli Street, Watsonville, CA. That excavation, made into the exposed concrete floor of the kitchen and family room of her home, was necessitated by a leak of the radiant heating copper piping within said floor.
With her floor being fifty years old, and the excavation in such a conspicuous area, she feared that with the leak fixed, she'd be left with unsightly flooring. With the job complete, that's not the case at all. In fact, your concrete specialists replaced the excavated concrete in a visually appealing shape, and with a surface texture and coloring matching the surrounding concrete flooring magnificently.
She is most appreciative of the professionalism of each and every member of your staff, and of course, the appearance of your firm's final concrete work. Moreover, the courtesy extended by your providing such work at no cost to her was certainly uncalled for, and yet received by her as your being very kind.
Cc: Betsy Woolpert
As you can see, I've included with this letter a set of slides that follows along the steps that were required to transform my driveway from a drab, cracked slab into a thing of singular beauty as can be seen in Sunset Magazine. I hope the slides will be of use for you in presentations and/or reminding you of the sequence of complex steps that you learned with Neil Stringer.
I wanted to give you and your crew high praise for the professional and courteous manner in which all concerned handled this project. I realize it was a learning experience for everybody, but look at the results! Despite unfamiliar techniques, the project went smoothly. The driveway has a unique look that draws lots of favorable comments. It breaks new grounds technologically. It saves time, money, and a demolition mess. It allows for the natural movement and heaving that takes place as a result of expansive soils and tree roots. The cracks are invisible, too!
Please fee free to add my name to your list of satisfied customers. Use the slides in whatever manner you want. I'm also enclosing a print of the finished driveway. I am still interested in following up on visiting other projects that you have been involved with. Publicity never hurts, and from what I've seen in your portfolio, there are good possibilities for story material.
Peter O. Whiteley
80 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA
Mr. Ralston and Co.,
Thank you so much for the stellar job your company has done with the wheel chair ramp for Brian Stow!
The Stow family and I are and were delighted to see such a beautiful ramp built with color that matches the house.
From start to finish, it was a pleasure to coordinate and work with your crew to have this happen.
I want to personally thank you and your crew for an outstanding job and you all made it so easy by your willing and helpful attitudes and actions that are making life easier and brighter for the Stows.
Great work and thank you!
Ryder Webb Construction #840956