Client's Testimonials

Katherine Kodama, Owner
(with husband, Mick Ward)
San Francisco, CA

"Finally, I was out of doubts. Mike was the one."

"I started the selection process with eight contractors. I explored on location almost 20 of their projects. I checked references thoroughly. Eliminating the first group was quite easy: one gentleman glanced at my plans and made an almost-instant bid (A for speed; F for attitude). Others pointed out details that they were proud of…but shouldn’t have been (Thank you for coming).

"Then it got harder and more subtle and intuitive. The remaining contenders were both in the budget ballpark. They both were technically sound. They both had substantial remodeling experience, particularly in vintage houses. I liked them both. So how to make a choice?

Well, I stopped analyzing what they’d already done yesterday and started thinking about the little things that had caught my attention during our preliminary discussions: one of them was particularly concerned about our comfort during the remodeling; one was excited about the technical challenge that our Japanese bath would offer his plumber; one answered our questions with what I considered positive body language. That "one" contractor was Mike."

"And he proved me right!"

   

Carole and Paul Warner Owners, San Francisco, CA

"Mike helped us rise out of the ashes."

"A 4-alarm fire almost destroyed our 110-year old San Francisco Italianate. But we used that same fire to build a relationship with Mike that’s lasted over 20 years.

"It was Mike who rescued us from the avalanche of fire truck chasers that descend on arson victims while they’re just staring vacantly at the ashes of their life. It was Mike who suggested a second opinion on the insurance appraisal of damages (which paid off!). It was Mike who correctly supported our choice of the right salvage company to protect our belongings, etc. And all this before we’d selected his restoration bid out of six other competitors.

"Even after the contract was signed, he was conscious of our monetary and esthetic interests. For example: he was able to add a colonnade portico to our entrance and still stay within the budget; he personally designed a more ornate ceiling crown that added elegance to the rooms; he suggested beveled glass in the living room pocket door panels to bring more light into the interior; he meticulously installed the molding himself around the restored bookcase in the parlor to insure that the returns were eye sharp.

"We weren’t the only ones that thought Mike did an outstanding job. When the project was completed, the San Francisco Real Estate magazine featured our beautifully restored house on its front cover."

   

Missy Kirchner, Owner
San Francisco, CA

"Mike is a family tradition in our home".

"All four of my children were raised in this wonderful old house built shortly after the San Francisco earthquake and fire. As they grew up, so, too, did our living requirements, a basic necessity that made me expand my role as a mother…and gave a whole new meaning to the term, ‘home maker’. I had to become the resident remodeler.

"Which is how we started a family tradition with Mike.

"It went like this…I’d get an idea maybe about converting part of the garage into a study room for the kids and I’d call Mike. He would come over, listen to my vision and tell me how ‘doable’ it was. Then we’d discuss the options on how to ‘do it’. That’s when he would be very clear with me and verbalize a realistic picture of my idea. I absolutely knew whether I wanted to proceed or not and what it would take if I did.

"This has been going on for about 16 years through about seven satisfying projects. So now at dinner when I casually mention a new idea to the kids, their traditional come back is: ‘Oh, call Mike’."

"Of course, I will."

     

Joanne Calabrese, Owner
San Francisco, CA

"My house is prettier now than when she was built over a 100 years ago."

"I had the pleasure of working with Caruso Construction for four years after Mike agreed to work on the very challenging renovation and restoration of my three-unit residential property. Mike embraced and enhanced my vision of what became a stunning example of Edwardian architecture on Russian Hill.

"The entire Caruso team, from administration to carpenters, was efficient, hardworking, friendly and professional and, most of all, genuinely interested in making this project a masterpiece. I could not be more pleased with the outcome and it gives me great pleasure when people stop me on the street to comment and thank me for the beautiful enhancement to the neighborhood.

"Should I ever plan a construction project again…my first call would be to Mike and his Caruso Construction."

     

Judy and Bob Huret, Owners
Belvedere, CA

"Mike doesn't fit the pattern of a normal contractor. That's why he's good."

"Working with Mike during the past 25 years through the remodeling of two houses and the building of a new one, gives Judy and I an excellent perspective for judging him. And we use words that you don’t usually associate with a contractor, like:
 
▪ Fair
▪ Honest
▪ Thoughtful
▪ Caring
▪ Careful
▪ Reliable
▪ Unassuming
▪ Calm
▪ Competent

"And here are a couple of specifics why we like the way Mike operates:

▪ He doesn’t blindly execute a plan – that means he is able to suggest a less costly way of doing something, or a more creative way of using the same space.

▪ He functions as a general contractor in the true sense of the word – meaning he hires employees that fit the Caruso culture, he contracts subs in a highly cost-conscious manner and deals with city red tape and regulations effectively.

"In all these years we’ve never had a disagreement; we’ve never been angry with him.

"You can see why."

 

Sub-Contractor's Testimonials  

Vince Keehan, Owner
Foxtail Hill Windows

"Would I be telling it if it weren't the truth? Not likely."

"Both of us, Mike and I, started our own companies after years of apprentice work learning our craft; me in Ireland, him in North Beach. Wood became my specialty; Mike wanted to be a General. So we’ve teamed ever since. Twenty years. Seems like only a day.

"You can tell a good man from what you hear behind his back. And in all this time, I’ve never heard a bad word from any of Mike’s foremen, project managers, carpenters, laborers, other subs …even when they’re joking around. There’s humor on the job, for sure, but respect, too. As it should be.

"My wish for Mike…may the road always rise up to greet you."

   

Chris Goodwin, President
Plumbworks

"The bottom line? Mike's a man of honor."

"I know that to be true because after working with someone for over 20 years you pretty much get to know how that person thinks; what criteria he uses to make his everyday business decisions.

"And for Mike, it’s really simple: he has invested his life in his business, so Caruso Construction has become a reflection of himself, and of his family, and of his talent. That’s why Mike gets so personally involved with each project; his integrity is such that he won’t let his clients or his subcontractors down – he stands by his work 110 percent because he considers it his personal as well as his professional responsibility.

"To paraphrase a great line, 'It's not business, Sonny. It's strictly personal'."

   

Donovan Pisan, President (R)
Eric Knowles, Vice President (L) Paisano Electric

"What's in a name? Everything!"

"Our company name says it all: Paisano means ’fellow countryman’ or ‘a friend so good, you’re part of the family’. That’s what we strive to be; that’s what Mike is to us.

"He’s a problem solver; he makes it possible for us to do our best work. He’s a role model of a great businessman. He’s a mentor; we always learn new ways to improve ‘Paisano’ when we work with ‘Caruso’.

"He’s a gentleman; we can talk anything out with the intention of finding resolution, and it’s always done calmly and considerately. He’s technically aware, so there’s substance in his approval of our electrical installation that makes us proud to put our name on it. He’s interested, as we are, in the long term, meaning no short cuts, do it right the first time; if you don’t, it’ll come back to bite you.

"And that’s not any way to treat a family member, is it?"