Best Seattle Contractors of 2009
CST Electric | Puyallup, Wash.
Curtis Tillmon, owner of CST Electric, prides himself on listening to his customers, but says there are secrets to the success of his one-man operation.
"Receptiveness, promptness, candid pricing, communication, and professionalism are all key," he says.
Angie's List member Beatrice Foster of Parkland praises the electrician for his quick thinking and thorough work. Foster hired Tillmon to install an outdoor motion-activated light, but she says he went beyond the call of duty after finding a faulty wire in her attic.
"He went ahead and fixed it!" she says. "He went the extra mile to make sure the wires were up to code."
Tillmon, who's licensed by the state, says staying abreast of new electrical rules and regulations is one of the best parts of his job.
"The essentials of my job are always growing," he says. "I'm always learning something new and challenging." The Super Service Award winner has eight Pages of Happiness nominations this year.
Blue Ribbon Tree & Landscape | Auburn, Wash.
Angie's List member Michelle Bienfang says she was ecstatic to find Blue Ribbon Tree & Landscape.
The company, which is licensed with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, schooled the Bellevue resident on her woody perennials after she hired them to remove a 40-foot fir tree.
"They go the extra mile to help educate you on the trees and how to keep them at their best," Bienfang says. "They also assessed other trees with potential problems and helped determine what I needed to do. No other person I had out for an estimate did that!"
Company owner Andy Anderson, who supports local Little League teams and the Boy Scouts, says treating people right is inherent to his business. And, as a third-generation logger from Montana, his love of trees is practically a birthright.
"My philosophy is to take good care of the customer, take good care of the tree and take good care of my employees," says the Super Service Award winner.
Asbury Lockett of Renton appreciated the time and expertise the company shared while trimming a large cedar tree that was blocking the front of his house. "Their in-depth knowledge of trees and their commitment to doing the job right is superior," he says.
First Choice Home Inspection | Bothell, Wash.
Laura Morris says hiring Tyler Mittendorf, owner of First Choice Home Inspection, saved her tens of thousands of dollars. The Angie's List member had made an offer on a house before hiring Mittendorf to do a thorough inspection.
"Thanks to his detailed work I was able to make the right decision - I didn't buy it!" she says.
Mittendorf, who's licensed by the state, says he takes his time with each client. "You have to know what your customer's comfort level is," the three-time SSA winner says.
Member Michael Hayward says Mittendorf takes time to explain what he's doing, even to his 3-year-old son, Tyson. "Tyler was very kind and didn't seem bothered in the least," he says. "He went out of his way to include Tyson in the conversation."
Morris, who hired Mittendorf multiple times, says she appreciates his prioritization of repairs. "He told me I had to take care of the breaker box immediately and that was the first thing I did."
Meeting new people, problem solving and the constant variety are all aspects of the job that Mittendorf enjoys. "I like doing the investigative work," he says.
– reporting by Staci Giordullo