Expert Structural Contractor Shores Up Los Angeles Area Homes
FOR DALE TERNDRUP OF LA STRUCTURAL, foundation and hillside work is a passion. “It involves everything I am interested in,” Dale told us. “Increasing a home’s value, restoring historic properties, and keeping people safe.” Over his 40-year career, Dale has learned to eliminate guesswork in the complex world of building codes and retrofitting.
Whether it’s waterproofing, retaining walls or a structural real estate inspection, Dale educates the homeowner about their property. Dale’s team sits with every client, putting pen to paper with simple sketches to show how the house was built and how the soil beneath affects its integrity. “If we are going to shore someone’s house so it looks like it’s sitting there in thin air while we replace the whole foundation underneath it, I want the customer to fully understand everything, so they can get through it with ease.”
New hires undergo a rigorous training process that can take years. “That training is a source of stability for our company,” Dale says.
Dale’s clear communication shines through in the relationships he develops with clients: “The contract with a client is like the foundation of a house. If it’s sound and stable, then everything that’s built on top goes well.”
|PHONE NUMBER||(323) 422-5807|
|ADDRESS||1112 N Cordova St, Burbank, CA 91505|
|SERVICES PROVIDED||Retaining Walls, Hillside & Landslide Repair, Foundation—Repair & Replacement, Earthquake Bolting, Seismic Retrofitting & Structural Upgrades, Drainage, Landscape Construction, Construction & Remodel, Erosion Control, Structure Remediation, Seepage, Water Damage, Structural Waterproofing, Home Repair|
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- Overall Satisfaction
- Quality of Work
- Customer Service
- Value for Price
South Pasadena - October 10, 2022
Our apartment buildings are in the historical Raymond Hill neighborhood of South Pasadena which is hilly, so we are dealing with challenging geography. In the 1950s, architects, engineers, contractors, and city planners believed cantilevered structures of two to four floors perched atop columns of a mere six-inch diameter would maintain structural integrity in earthquake prone California. The Northridge earthquake at 6.7 magnitude in January 1994 proved the cantilevered design flawed. The Ridgecrest earthquake at 7.1 magnitude on July 4, 2019, was exponentially stronger than the Northridge, which caused us great concern because our buildings are on a hill with “tuck-under” parking. After the July 2019 quake and having watched LA Structural retrofit another building on Raymond Hill in the summer of 2018, we contacted Dale Terndrup, owner of LA Structural, to evaluate our properties and provide an estimate. Dale recommended we call competitors for estimates, which we did.
We selected LA Structural to design, engineer, and construct site-specific, soft-story retrofitting to seismically reinforce our tuck-under parking. Why LA Structural over their competitors? Not due to price—though they were competitive—but because they were responsive and collaborative, explained the process thoroughly, and provided creative solutions. LA Structural added 12-inch I-beams and steel cages with poured concrete in the earth below as well as massive diaphragms sheathed in structural plywood for drag. All exposed areas were re-covered with concrete, blacktop and/or stucco and paint. The project required heavy and noisy equipment for digging trenches, craning I-beams, and nailing and sawing which were very invasive to our residents. Though the first-floor residents received the brunt of construction, LA Structural did a fantastic job working with us to maintain harmony—they even stopped work before Christmas and the New Year. Although the equipment and construction were loud, the work team was quiet and minimized unnecessary noise for the residents while keeping the job site clean of debris and sharp objects. Whenever I was onsite and asked questions, they patiently explained what they were doing and kept me abreast of their progress.
LA Structural is a well-oiled machine when it comes to this vital work. They are sensitive to the fact that they work in a home environment, lifting very heavy objects in tight spaces without damaging the premises. Every day they treated the property as if it was their home. We had no disappointments and/or surprises—the project finished on time and on budget. Everyone we communicated with at LA Structural were down to business, professional and interfaced well with the City of South Pasadena building and permit department. The quality of the work was superior—other than I-beams one can barely tell the work was done. What Dale and his team of structural engineers and contractors did was to give us back our peace of mind.
Mount Washington - August 27, 2022
LA Structural first gave me quotes on foundational drainage problems we were having. Our basement flooded, and even though we didn't end up using LA Structural, Jim actually came on his own time and brought a laser to map out our slab. He single-handedly worked out that all the other expensive companies were giving us the wrong information about the nature of our problem. He was the kind of guy I knew I'd call in the future.
So a month later, when a tree fell through our 100-year-old retaining wall, I remembered LA Structural. I thought they would give us a reasonable quote compared to the other companies and they did. Jim came back to take a look. He already had photos of our property from when he first came on his own time and was able to see what the wall looked like before the incident.
When his team came, they rebuilt the massive wall in one day. The guys cemented many of the stones back in the wall much better than they had been originally. I liked that a lot. That’s the kind of thing I'd like to think I’d do if I were in that industry. We had a young baby during all this time of the floods, the black mold, and the wall. Jim understood the fact that we were having a difficult time. He took it out of our hands, got it done, and built it better than it was before. They knew the language the insurance company and adjuster wanted to hear and worded it for us so we didn't have to pay a thing.
The team at LA Structural is made up of good working people who are very honest and who are doing their best work.
East Hollywood - July 20, 2022
My sister owns an apartment building and LA Structural retrofit the foundation for earthquake security. The quality of the work was well done, I’m happy about it. The crew was very receptive to questions and able to answer well. Dale was always there when the guys were doing the job to make sure it went according to plan. Their customer service was good. It's been two years since the work was done and if I ever have a problem or questions, I call Dale and he's responsive. After it was done, the county came and approved everything. I would recommend them to friends and family.
San Gabriel Valley - July 14, 2022
I own more than 25 buildings. Some of those buildings have under-ground parking lots propped up by stilts that are vulnerable to earthquakes. Do you know how important retrofitting is in Southern California? It’s not like buying a bunch of bananas!
I have six properties like that and I had Dale go to each property over the span of two years to renovate each one. He is very conscientious. Before we sign the contract, he looks over the property. He makes sure to write a proposal that is appropriate to each property. It’s expensive, but he was the best bidder cost wise. He was very fair and not pushy. Everything went according to the letter of agreement because he lays out the contract in detail. There’s no question of what he’s going to do. He has back-up look over the contract. When he starts the job, there’s never a day the work isn’t ongoing. He brings over the inspector from the city to ensure there’s no violations to protect the client's interest. He has the superintendent watching the crew and the city watching over the superintendent.
When the job is finished, the property is clean and you know that it’s now well protected and complies with code. And Dale’s a very nice guy. When a situation comes up, and of course things always do, he’s very fair about it and very diligent. We got along quite well. I hire a lot of contractors for my properties so I develop relationships with people. If I like them, it’s for life. I’ve had two generations of maintenance people working for me. And I like Dale. He's all about bonding it, making sure it’s done on time and doing everything according to the contract.
I hope we never have an earthquake, but you can’t stop natural forces. I feel more comfortable having the retrofitting done by the right guy. I have no qualms recommending Dale to other property owners.