FIVE STAR FRIDAY – Client Testimony

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FIVE STAR FRIDAY

We had a client recently type out a review only to realize that Google wouldn’t allow them to put the whole thing on there. They shortened it for Google but asked that we share the whole thing wherever we could. We know this is long but it brought tears to our eyes when we read it. We really appreciate everyone we work with and kind words like these mean more to us than we could ever say!

“I Don’t Want To Write This Review … Seriously

Having read the title, it would be understandable if your mind jumped to the assumption that I am preparing to present a plethora of faults with the company, the crew, the work … whatever. But nothing could be further from my thoughts. The reason for my not wanting to write this review is because reviews mark the end of something and I find it hard to meet this particular end; the people involved here, the ones leaving because their work is finished, are people I’ve come to so admire and care about.

I’m 63 years old. I’ve hired contractors throughout my life for big jobs, small jobs and all of those in between. Too often I’ve been profoundly amazed at the level of incompetence displayed by self-proclaimed professionals; their work so shoddy that one simply had to accept the entirety of their training must have come from watching YouTube videos or that some had perhaps once made a wooden letter holder for their mother and, having completed that arduous task, then decided they were skilled enough to build houses. After experiencing so many contractor related disappointments through the years, I finally came to often expect the worst as the new normal.

At 62, I bought my retirement home and soon decided it needed some updates that were far beyond my own ability to complete. I began with a clear vision of what I wanted and began seeking out a company, a partner, that could bring my ideas to life. I called or visited companies large and not-so-large and even approached recommended individuals. Most all of these I asked said they couldn’t do what I wanted and those few that said they could really didn’t have the quality materials, proper experience or share vision that I was looking for. In that I would be spending my retirement money on one-time projects, I could no longer afford to have contractors that were only going to provide me with “good-enough” or less. In driving around through southern Illinois and Missouri, I’d seen some beautiful places with completed projects similar to what I wanted but couldn’t bring myself to go up and ask any of the home owners who it was had done the work for them. My bad.

Then I began searching the internet with key terms like outdoor fireplace, stone staircase, outdoor kitchen, etc.; began searching images of such projects that closely matched what I had imagined. Clicking on an image would sometimes provide a link to the company that had built the project. And that’s how it was I came to find an image, clicked on it and discovered a link to Envisioning Green. I thought it an odd name but, hey, the image was all that and so I was willing to reach out this one more time.

Lindsey Bigham answered the phone when I rang Envisioning Green. I was in a mood and immediately launched into a rather loud and semi-accusatory rant the second she finished saying hello. ”Look”, I nearly shouted at her, “I have some projects in mind and I’ve been looking everywhere for someone to put it all together and I know exactly what I want but no one out there seems willing or able to do it and I found you by searching images on the internet but I’ve never heard of you and I just need some decent people who can be on the same page with me and …” Lindsey, taking advantage of my having to take a breath before going on with the rant, broke in. “OK, OK, calm down. It’ll be fine …” She then went on to describe the company, the services, the personnel and then added that they were hosting a get-together for past, present and possibly future customers at their Caseyville facility later that evening; something they do several times a year; and that I was welcome to join them.

My first thought was an unenthusiastic, “Yeah, sure” as I’d been to more than a few landscaping facilities and could clearly picture arriving guests being herded into a small showroom; the walls lined with samples of pavers and retaining wall stones where we would find a plate of cookies and paper cups half filled with punch sitting next to stacks of brochures laid out for us to peruse and learn all about the wonders of driveways and decking.

But Lindsey had been kind and Caseyville was only a few miles down the road so I set my sour expectations aside and decided to attend.

Upon parking and exiting the car, I was blown away; could immediately see this was not your typical landscaping facility as full scale examples of their work were everywhere; an outdoor fireplace, one story pizza oven, outdoor kitchen and bar, various stone pathways and boulders, firepits, even a putting green; all of it functional and now being used to entertain their arriving guests outdoors.

Fast forward to a year later. All six of my major projects are completed and the end results are so much better than I had ever envisioned they could be. Any bumps encountered along the way came strictly from my end; my occasionally asking to change a project in part or all together; to delete something here or add something there and never once did anyone respond with a “No, Mike” or “We can’t do that, Mike”.
From project design to coordination to implementation, the personnel at Envisioning Green come together more as a family than as workers simply given orders to complete. I could relate to you several times when I was absolutely floored at their persistence, at their attention to detail, and I could easily see at every step along the way they were actually doing the quality of work for my projects the very same as if they had been doing the work at their own homes. I can honestly say that I have never had a better group of people on my side or been more pleased with the outcome of projects proposed and then completed. Each person at Envisioning Green embodies the truer meaning of the word Professional; not only bringing skill and competence to the table but serving up pride in their work as well.

I will note that my various projects were substantial and, altogether, took almost a year to complete. The crew worked in all kinds of weather; through stifling heat in the summer and on through much of the freezing, wet mess we had this last winter. I never asked they hurry but rather mentioned many times I would rather they take their time, do it once, do it right.

Keep in mind the old adage that reads “You get what you pay for”. Almost any project I can think of that you would ask Envisioning Green to build for you is likely to be a one-time thing and will likely outlive you; could easily be something that several generations might get to enjoy. I promise you won’t get that by trying to save a few dollars and submitting your dream to the lowest bidder. Just saying.

So, am sorry for the long review but it simply couldn’t have been a short one. While I feel personally fortunate to have found these guys, in truth, it is they who are fortunate to get to work with each other on a daily basis. Forced to leave their families each morning and head out to work, they are yet blessed to then be able to spend the day with their second family; one that cares about them just as much.

~Mike Lawrence

Please feel free to call me if you would like to discuss my projects and/or have me personally verify this review. My number: 217-836-2573”

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