McGrath Contracting Review - Honest Construction in Los Angeles

I was in need of earthquake retrofitting for my home in Los Angeles. I did extensive research and interviewed several licensed contractors for the needed work. Luckily a very savvy realtor friend of mine referred me to Paul McGrath, a contractor she had had positive experiences with. I called McGrath Contracting and set up an appointment with Paul McGrath. At the agreed on time, Paul and one of his foreman showed up at my property to look over the job. Paul had had extensive experience with this type of work and immediately understood the scope of work needed to comply with my LA City approved plans. I let Paul take the plans and within two days, he emailed me his bid for the needed work. I was pleased both with the price that Paul of McGrath Contracting gave me and the competence and professionalism he displayed.

I have since hired McGRATH CONTRACTING, INC and will update this article with photos and reports on the progress of the very extensive work that needs to be completed. 

News and Review from Paul McGrath Constructions Site

Day One

At 7:30 in the morning, I met at my construction site with Paul McGrath (Owner), Barry Smith, (Supervisor), Manuel Arriaga, (Foreman) and Gustavo Orozco, (Logistics), the purpose of the meeting was for the contractor, his crew and I to go over the construction plans, meet the tenants and plan the upcoming work.

During our productive meeting several inconsistencies were observed on the approved set of plans that triggered a phone call to my engineer which opened up lines of communications between my contractor and my engineer.

The inconsistencies were easily resolved and plans were made to start the actual work the next day with the work days to be conducted from 8:00am to 4:30PM.

Day Two

The full crew showed up as promised at 8:00AM and when I arrived at approximately 11:00AM I was very impressed with what I saw.

Gustavo Orozco had set up his desk



The crew had started work on the inside of the home as requested.

All areas where workman could walk were protected



The wall where the sheer wall was to be replaced had already been removed. And that entire room and the path leading to that room were carefully and professionally covered with plastic and paper to protect the floors as well as all the furniture and my tenant’s possessions were covered with protective plastic. 

Job site was continuously swept and vacuumed



While I was visiting the site I noted there was continuous sweeping and vacuuming to assure a clean worksite. I have not seen this level of protective action and attention to cleanliness since I was a general contractor many years ago.

My happy tenant



Both my tenants and I were thrilled to see such professionalism.

Manuel wanted to make sure the wires would be OK



I had a conference with Manuel, (McGrath’s Construction Foreman), who wanted to go over how to best handle the various phone and internet wires prior to his demolishing the wall to which they were attached.

All measurements were checked and double checked



This was an additional example to the advance planning exhibited by McGrath Construction staying a step ahead of any potential problems and communicating with me to avoid problems.

Day Three and Four 

The construction requires the removal of the stucco from all the corners of the home floor to ceiling and addition of plywood shearwall



I just came back from the construction site and am beyond pleased with what I saw!

The crew worked all worked in harmony like a colony of ants

Approximately eight focused caring workers all knowing what their tasks were scurrying about, it reminded me of an ant colony.

The supervisors going over the plans to make sure all will go smoothly



The supervisors took me through the work that had been done as they were planning the next phases of the job. Barry Smith, (Supervisor), is driving to the City of Commerce today to go over questions he has with my engineer.  Manuel Arriaga (Foreman) Gustavo Orozco, (Logistics) and Rafael are staying to make sure the demolition goes smoothly.

A bucket brigade made short work of removal of the stucco



The other five or six gentlemen are sweeping, vacuuming and hauling the immense amounts of broken stucco off the property to their awaiting trucks.

Many truckloads of debris came and went



For so much work that creates such a tremendous amount of waste and debris the level of cleanliness and organization and lack of negative impact to my tenants is truly amazing. McGrath Contracting Rocks!

To prevent disruption to my tenants a pota potty was placed on site away from all the tenants



Day Five

The backbreaking work of placing footings under the home begins

Planning the scaffolding

The scaffolding construction begins

Professional woodworking begins



The cement footing installation start

Footings set

Professional close quarter work

The foundation work required lots of cement



A termite problem was uncovered

The removal of the stucco exposed extensive termite damage. Paul McGrath called in a termite company for a evaluation of the problem. I will let you know the resutls in another review on our termite person. 

No easy access required moving the heavy cement bags the old fashioned way

Luckily the neighbors were cooperative and let us use their roof which the McGrath team protected





I had many retrofit contractors come out to bid on this complicated job and all of them, without exception, were fine following the obvious plans the engineer had drawn up which called for extensive demolition to the upstairs bathroom in order to install the shear wall. When Paul McGrath saw how much damage would be caused to the bathroom and the extreme inconvenience that my tenants would need to undergo, he immediately said, let’s do this part on the outside. After checking with the engineer, that brilliant idea was a go! Paul worked everything out with my neighbors to be able to access their property and work from their roof. Not only did it save tremendous disruption to my tenants but saved me money!

Stay tuned for my continued updates on Paul McGrath Constructions Site

McGrath’s Construction Contact Information

To see more go to the McGRATH CONTRACTING, INC  website

Lic. # 747004

7702 Balboa Blvd., Unit #3Van Nuys, CA 91406

Hillside Repairs

Foundation Repairs

Site Drainage Systems

Office: (800) 600-1633 / (818) 989-7979

Fax: (818) 989-5353 

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