An Entire Shoreline Restoration Job from a Customer’s Point of View
If you like having plenty of detailed info before putting time and money into a project to improve your property, this page is for you. One of our customers wrote what is perhaps the world’s most detailed review (ever).
On this site we show in detail how we build shorelines, what aspects are proprietary and unique, who the Lakeshore Guys customer is, and what to expect of us as professionals if you choose us. Our photos of landscapers’ butchery show you how shorelines often look like before our work, and the photos of Lakeshore Guys’ work show you how shorelines look after our work. We hope all of that shows you what the whole shoreline-restoration process is like.
The trouble is we’ve only been able to walk through our process from our point of view. Until now. Our customer’s review is so detailed that we think it tells you what to expect even better than we can. This review shows our whole process from the customer’s viewpoint.
The Eberts’ finished shoreline, 4 weeks after our work:
Our customer is actually two people: Deann Ebert, and her stepson, Wayne – both wonderful people. Deann reviewed us first, and we put her review and a before-and-after photo at the very top of our “Reviews” page. (Please read Deann’s review, if you haven’t already.)
Wayne also write us a review – of nearly 3,000 words. Some of it you can read in Wayne’s Google Maps review of Lakeshore Guys; Wayne chose to break up the review into 4 parts, the first 3 of which Google Maps didn’t accept for some reason. Just the same, Wayne sent us the whole review, and we’re glad he did.
Wayne watched the entire project, end to end. Often he was a few feet away, with us on the shoreline. The reason his review is so detailed is that he saw the entire Lakeshore Guys process. We’re equally glad we got to know him and Deann in the process.
Here is Wayne’s review in full. We have not edited it: we’ve only broken up a few giant paragraphs into smaller pieces (for readability), and we’ve added relevant photos and 3 time-lapse videos that show the Eberts’ job from start to finish
“Joe and the Lakeshore Guys are, to put it simply, the best. When you read their other reviews, you will see words like “amazing”, “phenomenal”, and “awesome”, and they are all those things. But those are pretty ambiguous words. I have been in and around working crews for over 45 years, and I have never seen a group of people that was more passionate, more dedicated to quality, and most important, more committed to complete customer satisfaction than the Lakeshore Guys. Like I said, they are simply the best. My review is based on a shoreline repair that was done to my step-mother’s property, but I had the good fortune to be able to take time off work and be present for the entire process.
“After several years of severe shoreline damage, we had rip-rap put in by a local company and the shoreline got worse. The improperly installed rocks just gave the ice a better surface to push against. As the damage continued to get worse we started looking for a better solution. That’s when we came across the web site for the Lakeshore Guys. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on their web site to see that these guys are not your average landscapers playing with a shoreline. I expect anyone’s published “after” photos to look good, and theirs were beautiful, but it was clear that these guys had a pretty good understanding of the unique dynamics where water and ice meet land.
“We decided to see what they could do for us. We emailed some photos of the damage to Joe, and he got back to us quickly and knew exactly what the problems were. The next step was to get Joe onsite. The lot presented some challenges he needed to see, and we needed a little hand holding and reassurance that we weren’t throwing good money after bad. We were over a hundred miles away, so Joe told us there would be a charge for an onsite consultation, but it would be applied to the job if we decided to proceed. Fair enough, and the price wasn’t bad considering that diving up there, spending enough time to make sure all our questions and concerns were answered, and his drive back home easily took up most of the day. He explained the difference between ice jacking and ice heaving, and when he saw evidence of muskrats he told us about ways to keep them from undermining the new shoreline. He told us about the small details that make their work more effective, how they had learned and tested them, and how they were preforming in past installations.
The Eberts’ shoreline, before and after:
“After talking with Joe for a few hours I was sold. Joe knew more about protecting shorelines then the next 10 guys put together. He went home with a bunch of pictures and site sketches and measurements, and we had a good feeling that we had finally found the right guys. We waited for the quote knowing it would be higher than the landscapers, but also knowing we would be getting a much better job. We received the price quote along with the specs for the job. It was a little higher than I had hoped, but after reading through the entire summary I don’t feel that it was out of line. They were asking for a lot of money, but they were doing a lot of work to earn those dollars. Looking back at it now, and after talking to several other people that have similar, but less effective jobs done, I am convinced that we got a very good price for what we received.
“A little background here. The shoreline we needed to have repaired is on the backside of a house that’s built into a hill. There is no access at all on the south side of the house. To get there on the north side you must drive around the garage, then between the house and the garage which are about 16 feet apart, then turn 90 degrees and go up a hill. From here we would have to clear some small trees to make a path that drops 14 feet down a steep hill, directly to the water’s edge. Between this path and the house is a two-tiered retaining wall that is 9 feet high and 5 feet across.
“After clearing the path, the guys would have to bring in enough dirt to build a space at the bottom of the hill where they could turn their equipment and drive around the retaining wall. When the Lakeshore Guys arrived there was a light but steady rain. I heard no whining or complaining, they just pulled up their hoods and asked themselves what parts of the project can we do in the rain? Heavy equipment was unloaded, and tools and supplies were carried toward the shoreline. Time lapse cameras were set up to record the entire project from two different angles, and Joe got some “before” photos using his drone. After they had built up enough area to get an end loader and backhoe to the lower yard it was time to start moving the heavy stuff. Anything that was too heavy to carry by hand, like some of the larger tools and virtually all the materials, had to be transferred one load at a time from one loader on top of the retaining wall to the other loader waiting below. They spread out heavy plywood on top and bottom to protect the retaining wall and the lawn, and it was incredible to watch the skillful maneuvering of these two machines being pushed to their maximum reach to be sure nothing was dropped or damaged. I was included in many discussions, and really felt like I was part of the process, and my opinions were important to them.
“Every step of the way Joe and Mike talked to me about what they were doing and why, without ever talking down to me, and always wanted to know if I had any questions or concerns or opinions about the ongoing project. Mud fence went up in the water and the dock had to be partially dismantled to make room to work. I had volunteered to remove some existing landscape timbers, but Joe wouldn’t hear of it. He told me he had the equipment there and he could do it in a fraction of the time it would have taken me. He saved me hours of hard work and my back is truly grateful. They asked if there was anything else they could do for me while they had the equipment on site, and I pointed out a tree that had fallen mostly into the lake. We had cut up everything that was on land or sticking up out of the water, but a large part of it was still in the lake. I asked him if they could pull it up on shore for me when they were done so I could cut it up. Before they left they had pulled it out of the water, cut it into manageable lengths and stacked it neatly out of the way. And they asked me what else they could do make sure I was happy.
“Anytime there was a choice between good, better, and best, good and better weren’t even considered as soon as the best choice was determined. The same caring approach continued throughout the project, old rip rap was removed and set aside for re-use, weeds were torn out and the land was graded to a gentle slope. Somewhere around this point we were admiring the “road” Joe had made to get his equipment in, and he told us he could add some bigger boulders along the edge and seed it to make it permanent. It was a wonderful idea. On the spot Joe and Mike figured out what the additional boulders and work would cost, and in a matter of minutes we had decided to add a beautiful design element to project. These boulders had to be brought up the hill one at a time, then allowed to roll down, where Joe would “catch” them with the backhoe and put them in place, and the end result is fantastic.
“We talked about the actual line the rock would come to, and immediately agreed that a curve would fit in much better than a straight line. Joe painted a proposed line, stepped back to look at it from a distance, made a couple adjustments, then came to talk to me to be sure I was happy with it before they started digging. We talked about possibilities of where to put a fire pit, and he had a lot of great ideas. And they asked what else they could do to make the job better. On the second day, one of the loaders broke down, which caused only a slight hiccup.
“While one Mike worked at on onsite repair, the other Mike was tracking down and running for parts, while the rest of the crew kept busy, laying, cutting and stapling the fabric, and putting in the coated wire mesh to keep the muskrats out. In short order they had the loader up and running and the real work began. When the rocks were brought to the property they had to be dumped on the driveway, in the farthest corner from the shoreline. From there they were brought one loader bucket at a time around the garage, between the buildings and up the hill. At this point they had to be dumped from one loader into the outstretched bucket of the other loader, over the retaining wall. Then they were brought to the shoreline to be distributed by hand like a jigsaw puzzle. My muscles got sore just watching this part, but the best thing was… everyone was smiling and talking and joking with each other. It was more like watching kids at summer camp than watching men at work. It was hard heavy physical labor, but it was obvious that these guys loved what they were doing. And they asked what else they could do for me.
“After the rip rap was in place, the smaller rocks for the frost break, decorative edging, and the stone interlock were brought up the hill, dumped bucket to bucket, and then carried wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow… after wheelbarrow… to their designated homes in our new shoreline, and from there were again distributed by hand to achieve a consistent smooth surface. The dock was reassembled, but came to the middle of the rocks, because our dock guys had put it in unexpectedly, when no one was home and didn’t know we would be redoing the shoreline. Both Joe and Mike asked me several times what I wanted them to do about the approach to the dock. I told them not to worry about it, it would only be like that for the rest of this summer, and I could easily build a wood ramp to the dock, then next year we would have it put out farther, so it wouldn’t be an issue. They both seemed a little uneasy about this, but I assured them it was all good, and they needn’t worry about it. It certainly wasn’t their fault the dock was put in where it was.
“It was day 4 of a projected 5-day project, and we were getting close to the end. They had worked long days, and even with the rain and equipment problem, they were a little bit ahead of schedule. Joe left it up to his crew to either stop for the day after a short (for them) 8-hour day and finish Friday or continue working until they were finished.
“They all agreed to keep going. The rocks were rinsed off several times, the lawn was raked and blown off at least twice. Heavy equipment was pulled up the hill, which was too steep to drive up. The lawn was repaired where they had driven their equipment on it. Sod, topsoil, straw and seed were put down, and straw matting was put on the hill and seeded, not because we had asked for that, but because Joe knew it was the best way to do it. In the middle of all this I found Mike by the dock, placing and refitting stones one at a time, to make a stable smooth flat walkway to the dock. Remember good, better, best? Even though it was only for part of one summer, he couldn’t leave it alone, knowing that he could do more. He spent an hour and a half out of the kindness of his heart and an eye toward perfection, because this way was best.
“And he asked me what else he could do to make it better. Almost everything was done now. We have the most beautiful and durable shoreline on the lake, probably the best on the entire chain of lakes. The yard is clean, the mud fence is gone, and the time lapse cameras are coming down. The wet rocks are shining in the fading light, and Joe is almost ready to put his drone back in the air to take the amazing “after” photos. But before he did that, Joe and Mike met with Deann and I and asked once again, is there anything we can do or change for you to make this experience better? It seemed like a ridiculous question, but they were serious. They had gone way above and beyond my expectations.
“They had removed the old landscaping timbers, not because they had to, but because they could do that for us. They pulled most of a tree out of the lake and cut down and stacked it for the same reason. They were 99% done and they asked us in all seriousness if there were any single rocks we didn’t like the size, shape, or color of, and they would replace them. There was a pile of rock left near the driveway because the project grew a little, and Joe had more than enough rock brought in so they wouldn’t run short. Joe said he would haul them out and clean up the area unless I might want them for anything. I asked him to leave them, and I would use them to make a small retaining wall on the other side of the house around the drain field that matched our new shoreline. He made me feel like I was doing him a favor leaving them there, but these were rocks that he had bought and paid for, and he did me a great favor by leaving them. And he did better than that. While I was down admiring our new shoreline, Joe had his guys move the rocks from the pile to a line along the area I was planning to build the retain wall before they put their end loaders away. That might not seem like a big deal, but instead of me carrying tons of rock the 70 to 100 feet a few at a time in a wheelbarrow, I only had to carry those rocks 3 or 4 feet to build our wall. Once again, they had saved me hours of hard work, just because they could. It was another of the “what else’s” they could do to make our project a more positive experience.
“So that’s the basics of our shoreline repair. What they did, how they did it, and a little bit of why they did it. But just as important is the atmosphere in which it was all done. I’ve already told you that their passion is obvious, their striving for perfection ever present, and the desire to make sure we loved it echoed time and time again.
“What I have the most difficult time explaining to you here is the bond that grew between us in such a short time. This never felt like they were just another contractor we had hired to do a job. This felt like a group of close friends that had stopped by to lend us a hand (except they did all the work). They cared more about helping us and making sure we were happy with every little thing than they cared about the time clock. They did many things for us that weren’t in any contract, and while doing it they became friends. We shared several meals with the guys while they were there, and it was my great pleasure to be able to take them to a late dinner before their ride home, because you have to eat, right? And honestly, I was sad to see them go. They gave us instructions for continued care and maintenance, and even after the job was done, and everyone was home, they continue to remain in contact, and add value and little extras to our project.
“If you take nothing else away from my review, please remember this. Joe and the Lakeshore Guys are wonderful people. They do the best job possible, and they do that job at a fair price. Their number one priority is your complete satisfaction. It was such a positive experience, I can’t say enough good things about the Lakeshore Guys. They are awesome. They are phenomenal. They are amazing. And compared to anyone else, they are, quite simply, the best.”
Though that review is extraordinary, it reflects what we consider “just doing our job.” If you’d like the kind of shoreline and the kind of shoreline-restoration experience you just read about and saw, contact Lakeshore Guys today.