Outside The Box Builders, Inc

Review by Marilyn Crenshaw Architect, LEED, ARCSA, Green MBA

April 12, 2018

I met Ray in 2005 when we volunteered for the Santa Cruz City Building Department’s Green Building Working Group that was formed to revise local building codes to become greener, more efficient & more sustainable.

Ray was the only General Contractor that participated in this almost 5 year process. I chaired that Green Building Working Group. (Incidentally we rallied all of the California jurisdictions to adopt a Green Building program by consensus. From 2009 thru 2010 all of the respective CA jurisdictions were in the process of adopting the standard. At end of 2010 the State of CA said really, all of you CA jurisdictions collectively & unanimously came up with this? Gee Whiz, we will adopt it as the CA Standard. In Jan 2011 the State of CA adopted it as mandatory.) From this Ray could literally be referred to as the first Green General Contractor in California.

Being “The Green Architect” I liked Ray’s familiarity with green building, his willingness to try anything and his common sense as a builder so I hired him for many projects.

He has done so many projects for me over the years, I barely know where to start.

He has repaired everything from my toilet, my dishwasher, my roof, leaky sinks, broken windows (including the broken wood frame), installed radiant heat in my stone tile mosaic concrete floor, built storage sheds, an exterior work cabinet with a utility sink, and much more. He was the hero on call for my rental from 2005 to 2017. Literally a HERO, he many times worked until 11:00 PM fixing toilets, backed-up plumbing and water heaters for my tenants, which in turn put me in the position of heroine landlord.

In my kitchen he single-handedly built the structure, the cabinets, wired & plumbed it, tiled it with granite tiles, custom stainless steel counter nosing, installed the appliances; everything. We built countless architectural details from the bamboo I harvested from my bamboo perimeter landscaping hedge (fences, trellises, awnings, roof overhangs, gates, sliding skylight shades, cabinet veneers, interior guardrails, shower curtain rods, coat hooks…)

Perhaps the over-arching quality about Ray is his sunshine personality: always kind, polite, warm, courteous, friendly, harmonious, gracious and always leaves the job site swept, clean, tidy with no signs of the messy task he just performed. Too often in the construction industry some parties are the opposite. This made him the perfect ambassador to represent me in my absence with my tenants. I had awesome tenants some for over a dozen years and I attribute this to having Ray to take care of them when immediate building repair & maintenance was needed to minimize the tenants’ inconvenience.

Ray is a very skilled builder who does a great job with whatever he touches. I couldn’t possibly give him a high enough recommendation. He is the kind of contractor anyone would be happy & grateful to have on their team.

Marilyn Crenshaw Architect, LEED, ARCSA, Green MBA

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