About us

A Little History:

In regards to your decision making process, in terms of which company to go with we would like to add a few words about INSTALL-IT-DIRECT. Several members of our Team worked for one of the largest Paver/Synthetic-Turf/Design companies in the United States for over 6+ years absorbing as much knowledge/experience as one could absorb. The next step was to start our own company. In our discovery process, we found many opportunities to make the system better, much better! We exposed the fact that all of the companies buy their material from the same manufacturers and most of them subcontract the work out to the same group of installation crews which contain all different levels of experience.

Bingo, why not go DIRECT to only the best crews in the industry with 25+ years of experience, employ them exclusively to our team, implement extremely efficient methods with every process, which will eliminate the unnecessary overhead, and in turn, pass the savings onto you. Hence, INSTALL-IT-DIRECT was born; Unmatched Quality, Service and Value, which result in our most important goal, Extremely Happy Customers, paying it forward to you each and every day!

Our Competitive Advantage:

  • Dedicated Crews: Who specialize in their individual trade and that is all they do. (i.e. We have Dedicated Paver Crews, Dedicated Synthetic Turf Crews, Dedicated Masonry Crews, Dedicated Landscape Architects, Dedicated Landscapers, Dedicated Irrigation Specialists, etc.)
  • Superior Customer Service: Backed by our 100% satisfaction rating and 100’s of 5 Star Reviews that can be viewed on Yelp, Kudzu, Insiderpages, Google, as well as our website (read a few testimonials).
  • Unmatched Experience: Over 25+ years and counting.
  • Integrity & Ethics: We operate our company 100% by the legal code of the CSLB, BBB, EDD, and the IRS. Our Team; including our installers, design consultants, and supervisors are employee’s of INSTALL-IT-DIRECT, which means that each person is covered under our Worker’s Comp and General Liability Policies. This should provide you with added assurance/confidence that you are in good hands as you would be completely covered if anything unexpected should occur during your project.
  • Efficiency & Viral Marketing: Our business methods and procedures are extremely efficient, which means we are able to eliminate the costly/unnecessary overhead and pass the savings on to you. Our #1 source of advertising is word of mouth from our Happy Customers, which is FREE and pays it forward to you!

Q: So what does this all mean?

  • A: INSTALL-IT-DIRECT’s competitive advantage is what sets us apart from any other company. Our prices reflect the most aggressive figure when offering all the features/benefits listed above and at the same time ensuring that we maintain a healthy company that is going to continue to grow and thrive so that we can pay it forward to your friends, family and neighbors!

Meet the Team

shawn higgins IID

Shawn Higgins – Sr. Design Consultant

HIS License # 93520 AA ICPI Certified Installer 

Shawn is originally from Pasadena, then moved to San Diego in 1994 to attend San Diego State University. He graduated with a degree in Business Management in 1999. Shawn’s professional career consists of 15  years in the Mortgage and Real Estate Industry and 5 years of experience in sales, operations, and management while he directed two REO rehab construction companies from 2009-2012.

Shawn is an avid sports fan, and roots for his home town Chargers, Padres, and Aztecs. Shawn likes to spend his free time on the golf course, at the beach, in the gym, camping, hiking, and spending time with his wife and two young daughters.

Mike Redfield

Mike Redfield – Sr. Design Consultant

HIS License # 98819 AA

Mike graduated from Bryant University in Rhode Island in 2004 with a major in business management. Mike’s experience in the paver industry goes back to 2007 where he was a field supervisor managing project installations. Since 2008 Mike has owned an outdoor surface cleaning and sealing company, California Clean & Seal Inc. He is excited to be working with INSTALL-IT-DIRECT as excellent customer service is their focus as is his. Mike moved to San Diego from Massachusetts in 2007 to be able to enjoy the ocean and outdoors year round!

Dustin SchmittDustin Schmitt – Sr. Design Consultant

HIS License #92818 BA

Born and raised in San Diego County. Attended Cal Poly Pomona and graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture and a minor in Irrigation Design.  Prior to Cal Poly, Dustin studied Architecture at Palomar Community college in San Marcos to later transfer into Landscape Architecture.

Dustin’s experience within the landscape industry has been focused in multiple areas from landscape maintenance, nursery experience to custom landscape designs.

As far as hobbies, Dustin is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys snowboarding, golf, off-road racing and hiking.

brittney larsen-IID

Brittney Larsen – Sr. Design Consultant

My story starts up in the cold mountains of South Lake Tahoe, where I spent my childhood days swimming on the lake, hiking through the mountains, playing in the snow and truly developing my love for everything nature. After my high school years, I made the 10 hour journey to sunny San Diego to attend San Diego State University, where I secured a degree in Environmental Sustainability, and have called this place my home ever since.

In my free time, you can find me doing hot yoga, spending time on the beach and finding as many excuses as I can just to be outside in the sun.  I have an extreme love for the natural world and want to do everything in my power to keep it lush and beautiful for my children and grandchildren.  I am an avid traveler, favoring undeveloped countries for their pristine, untouched beauty.   I want to one day help these undeveloped regions form into a beautiful, sustainable place where everyone can live comfortably and happy.

I started out my career in the start-up sector with two different companies. One was a company that was developing an energy system that uses algae to power your home’s electricity.  The other was a company that is developing an atmospheric water generator that is able to condense water out of the air using no electricity and no moving parts.  I then took the next step and got a job in the San Diego solar industry.  After developing more skills in the renewable energy industry my interests shifted back to water conservation, which has led me to INSTALL-IT-DIRECT.

Most importantly, I’m a real person, that’s had a real passion for creating a sustainable future since I was a teenager. I look forward to meeting you!

James Wilson - IID

James Wilson – Sr. Design Consultant

James was born and raised in San Diego, and installed and supervised for a landscape construction company for 5 years. James studied business management and golf operations at The Golf Academy of America. He is currently studying architecture at Mesa College. In his free time he loves to get out on the golf course, head to the beach, go to the gym or just relax at home. James looks forward to assisting you with your upcoming transformation!

Lidia Surdock - Construction Coordinator

Lidia Surdock – Construction Coordinator

I’m from Brazil. I have been in the USA since 1999. I have at degree in Physical Science, major in chemistry. My family always was involved in construction, started with my grandfather, who used to build bridges in Brazil.

I’m happily married almost 8 yrs. I have 2 amazing children,  5yr old boy and a little 2 yr old girl. They are my everything. Also, I attend church regularly, and my husband is a worship pastor.

Ronald Dombroski - Construction Manager

Ron Dombroski – Customer Service Manager

HIS License # 71251 BA

Ron is a 1986 graduate of Jacksonville University where he achieved a BS degree in Management and Social Economics. His Liberal Arts background also focused heavily on the Arts and Humanities.

Ron has held service related management positions that focused heavily on customer and employee satisfaction, speed of service and job site cleanliness. He started his career in hardscape improvement in 2003 as a Field Supervisor for System Pavers Inc.. Rons career at SP was versatile allowing him exposure and success supervising installations, project design, project sales and landscape lighting design and installation. He was Construction Manager for two years acting as a “gate keeper” for up to 20 consultants, 20 installation crews and several Field Supervisors.

Having managed multiple projects and hundreds of thousands of square feet of transformations his attention to detail and work ethic were gladly accepted at Install It Direct. Currently Ron will not only enjoy helping you design your project but he will also be with you throughout your transformation to ensure a great experience and a product that will not only add value and durability to hour home but one that you will consider “ a work of art” for years to come.

Tim Thomas – Co-Founder/President

Originally from Los Angeles, graduated from SDSU in 1988 with a business degree in marketing. I was brought up in a construction environment. My father is a long time general contractor, building pools and amazing custom homes.

I owned several businesses including a triathlon store(Tri-Sport in San Diego, La Jolla & Del Mar from 1989-1996), a bar and grill in Pacific Beach, and spent 8 yrs in the wireless telecom industry.

My hobbies include: former competitive swimmer, runner, tri-athlete, including 8 iron-mans, over 15 marathons and over 100 other running events/triathlons. I have 2 wonderful children ages 14 and 18.

Feel free to call me directly on my personal cell phone anytime: 760-579-3833

Luke Whittaker-IIDLuke Whittaker – Co-Founder/CEO

Graduated from Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo with a double major in Biomedical Engineering and Statistics. After graduating, Luke worked for GenProbe, a biotech company located in San Diego, Ca. He realized that his passion for people, innovation and his entrepreneurial spirit were not being fulfilled. He changed directions to the outdoor design and renovation industry where he worked for one of the largest Pavers/Synthetic-Turf/Design Companies in the U.S. He started in Sales/Design and worked his way up into management learning and gaining as much experience/knowledge as he could absorb. The next step was to follow his passion and create a better system.

INSTALL-IT-DIRECT was born in 2009 and has been thriving on their innovative, yet simple business model: Hire only the best crews in the industry in each trade(i.e. Pavers, Synthetic Turf, etc.), recruit them to our team, implement extremely efficient methods with every process, and in turn, pass the savings onto you!

Customer Reviews and Testimonials


INSTALL-IT-DIRECT believes that getting the Best Value for your next home improvement should not be hard work. That’s why we created our Personal 100% Iron Clad, Risk Free Guarantee To You, so that you can schedule your next installation service with confidence.


Why should I go with INSTALL-IT-DIRECT?

INSTALL-IT-DIRECT was born in 2009 and has been thriving on their innovative, yet simple business model:

Hire only the best crews in the industry in each trade(Pavers, Synthetic Turf, etc.), recruit them to our team exclusively, implement extremely efficient methods with every process, eliminating unnecessary overhead, and in turn, pass the savings onto you!

Can you give me a concrete example of what you mean by Best Price & Value?


Item Install-It-Direct Competitor
Project Same Same
Material Same Same
Installation Crew Same Same
Labor/Install Warranty Same Same
Material Guarantee Lifetime Lifetime
Price $7,000 $10,500
SAVINGS of $3,500 

When you say "Eliminate the Middleman," what do you mean?

The "middleman" refers to many factors; all of which drive the price of your project higher and higher. A few of them include: the Clever/Crafty Salesperson looking to land a BIG commission check, the unnecessary middle management, the enormous marketing budgets, and other unnecessary overhead. Install It Direct doesn't believe in sneaky sales tactics. In fact, we don't have sales people at all. We offer FREE Professional Design Consultations where we are looking to add Beauty and Value to your home. By going Direct, you are receiving volume pricing directly from the best installation crews in Southern California without any fluff or hidden costs, which other companies must include to pay for all their "middlemen."

I saw a company with an A+ BBB rating and another company with a B+ rating; I assume the better the score, the better the company. Is my assumption correct?

It depends on many factors. A higher score does not necessary correlate with the quality and service of a company. A higher score has a lot to do with the length of time a company has been in business and the number of complaints filed against the company. There is a big caveat here. When you join the BBB, they take your "stated business start date." What does this mean? This means that you can state whatever date you want as your start date. Yes, you can fabricate a start date. Make sure you cross reference a company's alleged start date with the date they obtained their Contractors License. FYI: it is illegal for any company to contract work over $500 without a valid contractor's license. So if a company states that they have been in business longer than their contractors license issue date, then they have been operating illegal and could face large fines and/or jail time. There are a lot of companies operating right now that have fluffed their numbers to make it seem like they are more established and increase their BBB rating, however, it is up to you as the consumer to do your own due diligence and find out the truth.

How do I go about getting a FREE Design Consultation & Estimate?

Go to our Get Started section and fill in the following information:

  • Step #1: Fill in your name, phone number, email, etc.
  • Step #2: Select your Installation (Pavers, Turf, etc.).
  • Step #3: Measure your project area in terms of square feet (sqft) *If applicable*.
  • Step #4: Select an installation time frame.
  • Step #5: That's it!! Now you are 1 step closer to saving lots of money on your new Installation through Install It Direct!

If a company has been in business longer, I assume this means the company has more experience and is most likely a better choice to do business with. Am I right to assume this?

It depends on many factors. First of all, please note that there are very few companies in Southern California that have been in business actively and legally for more than 9yrs. Secondly, keep in mind that approximately 10 yrs ago, 99.99% of all companies switched from in-house crews to subcontractors due to the cost. What does this mean? This means that if a company has been in business longer than 10ys, they do not have the same crews working for them as they did on day one. As a result, their experience is tied to the subcontractors, not the company. A company is only as good as the people they have on their team. Since 99.99% of companies use subcontractors to do the work, then the question should really be, how many years has the subcontractor been in business, as they are the ones that are going to be doing the installation. Install It Direct has hand selected only the most experienced crews in the industry. We back up our claims by providing our customers with a 2yr warranty.

What type of license must a contractor have to install Synthetic Turf?

According to the CSLB (Contractors State License Board), a contractor must either have their C-27 license or their C-61/D12 license to legally install turf. If a contractor has their C-61/D06 (Paver License) or C-12 license and states that they can also install synthetic turf, this is NOT true, as they are not licensed to do so! They must apply for an additional classification with the CSLB and obtain their Synthetic Products license. INSTALL-IT-DIRECT has ALL three, D06, D12 and C-27.

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