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Sinai Construction Saves the Day in Southern California
Specialty Foundation Contractors Rebuild Foundations after Devastating Earthquakes

Sinai Construction, Inc.
Los Angeles, California

Gary Sinai, owner and founder of Sinai Construction, is a third generation contractor who joined the construction industry in 1984. From inspections to full foundation replacement, Sinai Construction completes 100+ projects every year, managing their construction business with ConstructionSuite Network. Whether repairing old foundations, removing and replacing bad foundations, constructing new retaining walls, or leveling houses that have become out of level, Sinai Construction has become an industry expert at everything related to foundation repair.

"In 1995, right after the '94 earthquake that hit LA, I started Sinai Construction and we went into foundation problems and residential structural issues. It has been our niche ever since," said Gary, "We've built ourselves to be the biggest company that deals with those kind of problems in the area. Most contractors shy away from it because you really have to know what you are doing." In a city like Los Angeles, where earthquakes and unstable soil plagues foundations every year, Sinai Construction has become the premier company in the area to repair foundations.

Sinai Construction uses the ConstructionSuite Network version, which enables multiple users to work simultaneously on estimating, scheduling and construction calendars, document and contact management, and integration with CAD programs and QuickBooks. Sinai has not only saved time by switching to ConstructionSuite Network, but they've also reduced the margin of error by eliminating multiple data input. "The QuickBooks Integration saves our Office Manager so much time. They can push the data over to QuickBooks instead of hand writing or manually inputting data," said Gary.

He explains, "I have an estimator that does inspections on the foundations, and since the estimating portion is so straightforward and so simple, he was able to catch on with it quick," said Gary, "It's actually saved me at least 8 hours a week, because now, he creates the estimate, does his estimating, pushes it into QuickBooks, and creates his own proposal. This process is just an incredible time-saver."

With the multi-user capabilities, Gary can exercise his role as owner and supervisor "the Network version makes things easier for me to see what my employees are doing or not doing," said Gary, "I have a centralized dashboard that gives me an immediate and easy place to take a look at competed inspections, proposals, contact information, etc." The ease of the multi-user version is that Gary can see all of this information as the supervisor, but all of his employees are able to have simultaneous access to continue working in ConstructionSuite.

With ConstructionSuite Network, Sinai Construction also purchased the TotalCare Service & Support Package. TotalCare includes Unlimited Priority Phone Support, Personalized Training with one of UDA's Senior Product Specialists, Updates and Upgrades, including a free upgrade to the newest version of ConstructionSuite after a one-year commitment, and other Exclusive Features including Quarterly RS Means CostBooks updates, and the ConstructionOnline SuiteLink.

"What is amazing to me," said Gary "is the incredible customer support that UDA has. I've tried different software, but UDA really is one of, if not the best as far as customer service. Everyone we speak with is intelligent. If they don't know something, they get someone who does. That experience has been absolutely incredible."

Complicated Process - High-Quality Results

Sinai is still repairing damage from the 1994 North Ridge Earthquake, currently working on a project that is a full residential foundation repair that will take us about nine to ten months. "We actually lifted the entire house off of the foundation, removed all of the damaged foundation, and then excavated under the existing house and built a basement - all while the clients were living in the house." What's so unique about Sinai is that they don't just repair the foundations; they actually created their own system to repair foundations, using hydraulics to lift the house and put it back in its place.

Sinai is also working on a large project in Malibu that consists of three houses sitting on top of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), whose backyards are already sliding to the PCH and houses are being threatened of eventually sliding onto the PCH. Gary explains, "We had to drill very deep shafts into the earth, until we reach bedrock, and put in a lot steel and cement, reinforcing the whole hillside so houses could be saved."

In Malibu, where home values are incredibly high, saving multiple homes from disaster is a very important job that has to be entrusted to professionals. "This situation was a really complicated type of hillside stabilization," said Gary, "it required a lot of coordination and heavy equipment in tight, confined areas." Sinai was able to step in and repair the situation and is proud to add that to their history of successful jobs.

In this industry, construction professionals have many things they love about their work. In Gary's case, "my favorite part is seeing the problems that other contractors have either misdiagnosed, shied away from, or just weren't sure how to deal with, and coming in and solving those problems," he said. Gary also enjoys teaching potential homeowners that the foundation repair process isn't as terrifying as it seems.

He explains, "Once the general inspector has realized there is a foundation problem, we are the experts who inspect the foundation for potential homeowners. If we see a problem, we will inform the buyer and help them realize the cost of the repair and help them understand that the process is not, like people immediately think, so horrible and difficult."

Sinai's Chief Estimator, Chris Bahr, enjoys another part of his work - the problem solving. "Most clients come to us and say 'something is wrong with our foundation, what is it?'. We come out and do a completely thorough investigation, a very comprehensive review, so we can offer an accurate and complete proposal how to fix it," says Chris, "We take pride in proposing only what needs to be fixed and we don't propose the quick fixes that won't last." This mentality is a contributing factor that helped Sinai became the industry expert in Southern California.

ConstructionSuite - Saving Time, Saving Money

Sinai Construction has noticed some significant changes since switching to ConstructionSuite. Gary began searching for better software after dealing with the redundancy of input and the lack of flexibility within QuickBooks proposals. Previously using a combination of Microsoft Word, Excel, Obidien, and QuickBooks, Gary was looking for two important features - better proposals and integrated job costing.

"The proposals out of QuickBooks had limited flexibility and it was incredibly difficult to edit proposals, which resulted in a very poor quality document," said Gary. The difference since the switch has been monumental. ConstructionSuite does exactly what Gary wants out of proposals, he explains, "I like that it is completely integrated with Microsoft word, making it very easy to edit it in any form and fashion. It's very flexible which results in a high end, detailed proposal."

He explains, "Our proposals are looking so much better, so much more professional, because we have so much more flexibility than we've ever had." The ability to integrate with QuickBooks, export schedules to Microsoft Project, and the ease of use in the job costing has combined to save Sinai so much time, saving Gary at least 10 hours a week.

"The other thing I needed out of new software was job costing," said Gary, "I wanted to find a program that would tie all of those things together so I can have my base estimate work with QuickBooks and get my reports from that. I did a lot of research and UDA's ConstructionSuite seemed to fit the bill nicely."

ConstructionSuite Network has provided Sinai with a comprehensive program that helps them run their business every day, and it fits just right. "If we have a nicely robust, not hugely complicated program that's user-friendly, that's all we need," said Gary. Sinai Construction will continue to be a 'trusted name built on a solid foundation' in the Los Angeles area, and with ConstructionSuite, they'll be able to be more efficient, professional, and timely, every step of the way.

Quick Facts about Sinai Construction, Inc.

Location: Los Angeles, California
Website: www.sinaiconstruction.net
Industry: Specialty Foundation Contractor
Employees: 20+
Projects per year: 100+
Years in the business: 16

For additional questions regarding the 2010 UDA Innovation Awards, contact arauch@uda1.com

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