"Carlen and Company did an outstanding job in an extensive remodel of our 100-year-old Oakland bungalow. Throughout the entire project, the team was flexible, trustworthy and completely professional. And they were fun to be around! Nick and Rob paid particular attention to regular communication and were always responsive to our questions and suggestions. They did everything they said they would do and more. We never had to worry about anything. The entire Carlen team consistently demonstrated that they cared as much about the quality of the house as we did. They clearly wanted us to be happy with our "new" home; and we certainly are!"
— Viki and Mary Ann Maxwell | Oakland, CA | Homeowners | 2016
"We can't recommend Carlen and Company and Nick Silberman highly enough. Throughout, from initial consultations with our architect, to his bid and contact, to trouble-shooting and making adjustments to unexpected surprises, to helping us manage our worries and uncertainties, Nick was knowledgeable, patient, calming and reassuring. He absolutely knows his business, sees every problem as a puzzle to be solved, is undaunted, and clearly enjoys what he's doing. He made our project enjoyable and a learning experience.
We did a whole-house remodel, back to studs and joists. Nick saw the big picture as well as the little details, came to us with options when decisions needed to be made along the way, gave us his professional opinion and helped us make informed decisions. He also took responsibility for all his work.
We extensively interviewed several general contractors in addition to Nick. Several seemed qualified to do our project, but Nick stood out as more hands-on, more interested in us as clients and what we were trying to achieve in our remodel, and more willing to take a personal interest in the job. We were also most impressed by his modesty.
We can absolutely recommend Nick Silberman and Carlen and Company without reservation. And we would be happy to have any prospective clients contact us."
— Richard Leavitt and Jackie Levin | Walnut Creek, CA | Homeowners | 2015
"Over the years my architecture firm has developed a list of contractors who consistently produce great work at competitive prices and who always take care of their clients impeccably. The list is a 'one-strike-and-you're-out' affair, and those who stay on the list generally stay for many years. At the top of that list is Carlen and Company. C and C have proven to be largely unbeatable when quality of product and depth of customer care is weighed against the cost of the job; in short, the overall value is very difficult to beat. The company is multi-generational, and as such combines the wiliness of experience with the enthusiasm and energy of (relative) youth; in all aspects the quality of the craftsmanship is top-notch. While horror stories regarding construction are a dime a dozen, there do exist less titillating stories where everyone leaves the process pleased and happy; C and C is one of the reasons such wonderful stories exist."
— Gary Parsons | Berkeley, CA | Architect | 2014
"My wife and I could not have been happier with our choice of Carlen and Company construction for our kitchen, dining room, balcony, and bathroom remodel of our home in North Berkeley. The initial estimate was very clearly itemized by major element and made it easy to understand all aspects of the job. This itemized estimate also made it easy to either eliminate or add aspects of the remodel or simply track how the job was progressing (for example; if you tile the balcony it will cost X, if you just waterproof it would cost X-10). The Carlen team also provided a job timeline from start to finish that allowed us to know what to expect next and to plan accordingly.
Nick Silberman our project leader is a great listener and problem solver. Nick and team would meet us every Friday to review the weeks progress and to plan and prepare for the up coming week. My wife and I felt we were always in good hands and that everything possible was being done to get our desired results. They understood our “vision” and made it come to life, while staying on budget.
We added our own special challenge by choosing to live in the house through all this construction. Carlen and team made sure the house was very clean every evening, as well as building temporary “sterile areas” to keep the dust out of our living space. This was no easy task and one that thoroughly impressed us.
From the heavy foundation work, to the rough framing to the exacting detail of custom trim work, the Carlen team delivered time after time.
They stayed on budget, they stayed on the timeline, they really listened, and they clearly explained many complicated processes. And they did all this with a fun to be around attitude. We actually miss having them around. As a final testament to how pleased we are with Carlen Construction we would not consider any other construction company for any future projects."
— Marc Russell | North Berkeley, CA | Homeowner | 2013
"The performance of Carlen and Company during the 8-month remodel of my Berkeley home has been extraordinary. I’ve done 3 previous remodels and a full house construction with 4 other contractors, and – although each of them did excellent work -- I would never use anyone but Carlen in the future. They’re just head and shoulders above anyone else.
Here are 5 of the areas in which they provided exceptional value:
-Estimates and options: Projected costs were clearly explained and carefully tracked. I was provided with options outlined in terms I that could understand so that I could make good choices throughout the project.
-Outstanding Craftsmanship: As the architect lovingly fingering the framing, he commented, “it’s a crime to cover up this quality of work.” I love knowing that the underlying structure and finish details were created with skill, experience and dedication to quality. A couple of months after completion, I’m still discovering details that were carefully thought through and crafted to perfection.
-Effective planning: The job included structural reinforcement (on a steep slope), 2 ½ baths and significant restructuring of 4 bedrooms. In our weekly meetings, I was surprised by the amount of advance planning that was required. Details emerging from one stage that would impact a later stage were identified and resolved in advance.
-Professionalism at every level: I not only lived in the house throughout the 8 months but also started construction 2 weeks after having major surgery. Both the Carlen crew and the subs accommodated my need for privacy and to have the house neat and clean at the end of the day.
-Active partnership: I felt they loved my house as much as I did and were committed to creating the highest possible version of my vision.It’s an old house that had some structural surprises in the demolition stage Nick Silberman, the project manager and part owner, is unflappable. He worked with the architect, engineer and various subs to ensure that these issues were managed in a way that produced the result that I wanted at the cost I could afford.
I feel so very lucky to have selected them."