Follow the Leader
South Shore Construction’s Myles La Garde Strives for Communication and Timely Follow Through
Alan Amato has a pretty good idea why South Shore Construction LLC continues to grow and have success on Florida’s west coast.
As contractors, Amato says, they don’t just listen to a client’s needs, they respond and move quickly. It all starts with owner Myles La Garde.
“South Shore Construction built our Banquet Masters’ new 27,000-square-foot banquet facility,” says Amato, chef and owner of Banquet Masters, a catering service in Clearwater, Florida. “Myles La Garde was a pleasure to work with. He was completely different from my previous experiences with contractors. When I called, he called back. When he said he was going to be there, he was. If he had to cancel an appointment, he called and rescheduled. When we called about a problem, issue or change, he called back.”
South Shore Construction completed construction of the facility four years ago, but Amato says that even when he calls today, it’s still La Garde answering the phone.
“The quality of South Shore Construction was exceptional,” Amato says. “They brought our job in under budget and on schedule. Myles is truly professional.”
La Garde’s attention to detail isn’t by chance. He started in the construction industry doing framing in 1985, spending four years building custom homes before joining a finishing contractor who dealt with finished staircases and interior trim. From there, he joined a remodeling company, and two months after his 24th birthday, he obtained his certified general contractor license. In 2006, he opened South Shore Construction, and the company has been successfully servicing the West Coast of Florida ever since. It specializes in residential and commercial remodeling as well as new construction services. South Shore Construction provides clients with everything from design to turnkey projects and building everything in between.
With every project and every step along the way in each construction process, La Garde remains as involved as the day he started. He believes in keeping the majority of projects in-house and minimizing the use of subcontractors.
Appreciating Clients is Key
There is a saying at South Shore Construction that sums up the company’s values well: “From a rough frame, to a fine finish.”
Based in Apollo Beach, the company’s portfolio is rich with flavor and justifies the lofty claim. The Tampa Bay ABC affiliate WFTS- TV hired South Shore Construction to build its new set, and it is currently working on a project in Palm Harbor, tearing down three homes on three lots and building seven new townhomes.
“I am very excited about the Palm Harbor project,” La Garde says. “With one lot being in the historic district, it has been challenging—from the initial design to the actual construction—to stay in compliance with the historical requirements.”
That kind of attention to detail is what you get with South Shore Construction. “One of the things that makes my company special is that we will take the time needed with potential customers to help them realize what it will take to achieve their visions and projects, and help them make the best decision that will help them bring their project from conception to completion,” he says.
Professionalism at Any Size
South Shore Construction has the experiences and resources to work on any size project, ranging from a remodel to a teardown and full rebuild. In either case, La Garde’s goal is to offer the same responsive service.
“We will always give our customers that personal attention and dedication,” he says. “I am constantly looking for ways to be more efficient, which will help with production expenses that I can carry back to my customers. I make it a point to always be available to my customers seven days a week. I encourage communication and enjoy when a customer asks to be informed on the projects. Sometimes, it takes more time and scheduling to make things like that happen, but to me it’s all a part of the day-to-day operations here at South Shore Construction.”
Amato can attest. When South Shore Construction was working on the Banquet Masters facility, a valued customer wanted to hold a function at the new facility three months prior to the estimated completion time. South Shore Construction accommodated, Amato says, completing the work 30 days after his request.
Another quick adjustment came when the kitchen was being installed. The architect specified a non-cement grease trap for the facility, but it failed and collapsed under hydrostatic pressure. “The City of Largo Environmental Services required the replacement with cement grease traps,” Amato says. “Myles was again there to facilitate the replacement on schedule, allowing us to avoid the daily penalty fines we would have incurred for failure to meet the replacement deadline.”
Caring for Veterans
La Garde also believes in helping out the community he’s helping to build. He is a certified U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs contractor/builder, which allows him to meet with potential customers through the federal program that provides grants for disabled veterans.
After one job, where his crew remodeled a master bathroom and made it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the disabled veteran and wife were so grateful that they put together personalized photo albums for each employee as a way of saying thanks.
“Projects like that give you such a sense of accomplishment and make me feel like we can actually make a difference,” La Garde says. “It is because of people like that, who have sacrificed so much in life, that companies like mine can have the freedom to pursue our dreams.”