Dallas Best & Worst Contractors of 2013

2013 Best & Worst Contractors

The Angie's List Newsroom reveals the Best & Worst Contractors of 2013.

 

Dallas Best Contractors

December 27, 2013 by Gretchen Becker


All Metroplex Plumbing | Lewisville

From drain cleaning to water heater installation, All Metroplex meets plumbing needs. (Photo courtesy of Carlos Moreno)
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Green products or work practices
  • Licensed or licensing not required

Carrollton member Sandra Ehret turned to All Metroplex Plumbing owner Carlos Moreno when she needed extensive plumbing work, which included unclogging some drains, repairing a sewer line, and replacing a toilet and failed water heater sensors. “They made recommendations that weren’t necessarily the most profitable for them,” she says. “They truly seemed to care most about helping us solve the problem.”

The company offers a range of plumbing services, from drain cleaning to installing eco-friendly water heaters, says Moreno, who holds a Texas master plumber license. “The customer is always right, and I try to take care of them and take care of their properties,” he says. Moreno started his company more than three years ago after working 15 years in the plumbing industry. He donates plumbing services to his church when needs arise.

Member Carol Poinier of Lewisville says Moreno replaced her water heater before taking time off for the birth of his second child, prompting her to write one of 18 Page of Happiness nominations he received in the last year. Moreno’s work so impressed Poinier that she also hired him to replace a faucet that broke off in her hand. “I’d definitely call him again,” she says.

Southern Pride Openings | Garland

Custom doors and window installations can improve energy efficiency. (Photo courtesy of Southern Pride Openings)
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Green products or work practices
  • Licensed or licensing not required

Tom Herold started installing high-end custom doors and windows in 1998 and launched his own company in 2009. “We try to do the little things for the customers, and we’re able to talk to them,” says Herold whose wife, Kelli, sets up appointments and whose father, Larry, performs estimates. The two-time Best Contractor offers customers in-home consultations to discuss projects, present options and hear concerns.

Member Jim Christensen talked to several large companies that were unable to install a new door and frame for his 1940s-era White Rock home on Dallas’ Eastside. “I had trouble finding a company to do the door because it was an odd size,” says Christensen, who found Herold and Southern Pride on Angie’s List.“This is an old school craftsman who takes pride in his work.”

Creating custom solutions with guarantees for his customers remains Herold’s top priority, including keeping up on product information like recalls, installing products with transferable lifetime warranties, and taking the time to color match window frames. The windows he installs cost $167 to $425, tilt out and can have different color frames to match a homeowner’s decor. “We can match their bedspread to the frame of their windows,” says Herold, who donates to Friends of Scouting and pulls the Cub Scout float in the annual Rockwall Christmas parade.

Kelli Herold says door and window installation, which doesn’t require a license, usually improves a home’s energy efficiency, adding that one customer cut bills in half after replacing every window.

Member Brandon Hemard says the sliding glass door that Herold replaced cuts down on the noise and heat that comes into the master bedroom of his home near Richardson. “In the future, we may look at replacing our front doors, and they would be our contractor of choice,” says Hemard, one of 15 members to submit a Page of Happiness nomination on the company in the last year.

Wright Brothers Air Conditioning & Heating | Fort Worth

Wright Brothers technicians perform HVAC maintenance, repairs and installation. (Photo courtesy of Larry Wright )
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Green products or work practices
  • Licensed or licensing not required

Now with 25 years of experience in the industry, Larry Wright started his family business in 1999 with the aim of making his customers’ lives more comfortable. “We’re being honest and telling them what we can do for them,” says Wright, who holds a Texas air conditioning/refrigeration contractor license and donates to cancer walks and church missions. He offers HVAC systems with high energy efficiency ratings.

Wright impressed Arlington member Natalie Dorsey by arriving at her house two hours after she called about her faulty A/C unit. “I’d definitely hire them again,” she says.

Member Patricia Meier submitted one of the 13 Page of Happiness nominations the Wright Brothers received in the last year after they replaced the HVAC system in her Arlington home. “[Wright paid] attention to detail and not just replacing the system but making sure the system was installed to operate efficiently,” she says.

Peace Love and Paws Petsitting | Hurst

Dog sitting, walking and administering medicine keep pets happy while owners are unavailable. (Photo courtesy of Denise Primm)
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • Praised for pet friendliness
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Licensed or licensing not required

Bedford member Katrina Odell says her dogs remembered Peace Love and Paws owner Denise Primm the second time she hired Primm for petsitting. “The telling part is that the animals trust her,” says Odell, who gave Primm one of 11 Page of Happiness nominations in the last year. “She’ll text me when she’s there and let me know they’re okay.”

After a childhood of bringing home stray animals, it’s only natural that Primm made a career of caring for pets. “This is what I love, and this is what I get to do every day,” says Primm, who started her company in 2011. Her work doesn’t require a license, and Primm says she donates to the Humane Society.

More Best Contractors

Here are some more Best Contractors who made this year’s cut based on their awesome track record for local service. Read their reviews on angieslist.com to learn why members think they’re so special.

2013 Best & Worst Contractors

The Angie's List Newsroom reveals the Best & Worst Contractors of 2013. Did your contractor make the list? Select a market to the best and worst in your area.


Dallas Worst Contractors

December 27, 2013 by Gretchen Becker

Proud American Moving/Direct Van Lines | Dallas

Members complain Direct Van Lines delivered broken goods. (Photo courtesy of Leland Lash)
  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile
  • Illegally unlicensed

Proud American Moving, a company that provides interstate moves and also does business as Direct Van Lines, lost its license for failing to provide and maintain required records, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records. The FMCSA revoked the company’s license in 2013, the fourth time since 2011, records show. Also in 2013, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles issued a $6,500 penalty against the F-rated Dallas-based firm for failing to provide and maintain required records, including proof of insurance, registration, contracts, claims and invoices. The DMV records show 11 consumer complaints, all for noncompliance with consumer protection requirements.

Member Christine Kaiser of Bloomington, Ill., says setting up service with Direct Van Lines to move her daughter from Illinois to Tucson, Ariz., went great, but the $3,600 job quickly went downhill after that. Kaiser says her daughter’s belongings arrived late and broken. “They said they didn’t know where to deliver it,” she says. “Her stuff was sitting in a warehouse. They just dumped it.” Kaiser joined Angie’s List after the incident and in 2013 filed an F review, one of six F’s and a D submitted for Proud American dating back to June 2012. “For a whole month, I felt like I was being held captive,” Kaiser says, adding the company claimed they didn’t have a delivery address. “They hold your stuff hostage. You just get a bad vibe during the whole thing.”

Other members from across the country complain of delayed arrivals, missing possessions, poor communication and failure to provide receipts or respond to complaints, according to reviews.

The Texas attorney general’s office received 20 complaints about the movers in 2011 and 2012, with customers alleging their goods weren’t delivered, prices increased unexpectedly, workers held items hostage and the company wouldn’t return calls or emails, according to agency documents. Attempts to reach Proud American for comment weren’t successful.

North Star Mechanical | Garland

  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Landed in the Penalty Box
  • Notice added to provider's profile

When Dallas member John Toia’s A/C started leaking, he says the North Star Mechanical technician sent by his warranty company cut open the unit and left insulation hanging out instead of unscrewing the cover. Toia says he paid a $60 service charge to American Home Warranty, but instead of making repairs, the North Star tech gave prices for a new unit. “This guy basically came out to sell me a new air conditioner, no matter what,” Toia says. He says he contacted the warranty company and North Star for guidance. “They were difficult to reach and didn’t provide much help,” he says. “By the time I had another company look at it, the total cost was around $500. The actual fix was under $10. Honestly, both the warranty company and North Star shouldn’t be doing business with the public.”

Toia and other Angie’s List members filed six F reviews and one D on D-rated North Star in 2013. Members complain their home warranty companies assigned North Star to make repairs, and technicians performed shoddy work, damaged their homes and tried to get them to buy unnecessary services or new A/C units. A 2009 review from member Shery Overbeck of Dallas says North Star never issued a promised refund, resulting in a Penalty Box case after the company didn’t participate in the Angie’s List complaint resolution process.

Mansfield member Deborah Coppola says she waited several days in the Texas heat without A/C when North Star failed to show up for appointments, and then the warranty company told her the company didn’t service her area. “After I started looking them up online, I thought maybe we were better off that they didn’t come,” she says.

Company owner Lanny Lasater also ran another business at the same Garland address called Authorized Service Center, which has a website listing the same valid air conditioning/refrigeration contractor license number as North Star. Dallas-area residents filed 12 complaints on the firm with the Texas attorney general. ASC, named as one of three defendants in a civil suit involving a dryer fire that killed a Farmers Branch woman, agreed to a confidential settlement in the case in 2013. Lasater didn’t return calls or emails seeking comment. Both companies continue to solicit business.

Ron Loven Construction | Mesquite

Loven started demolition in a whole house remodel but Pitts says he left work unfinished. (Photo courtesy of Jimmy Pitts)
  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Landed in the Penalty Box
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile

Member Jimmy Pitts says he paid Ron Loven $13,000 down on a house remodel and the handyman left all the work except painting unfinished. Redbeacon, a website owned by Home Depot where Pitts says he found Loven, issued a $1,000 refund when he complained. Three complaints prompted Redbeacon to remove Loven from its site, says spokeswoman Deanna Decker. Pitts says the 2013 project left his Mesquite home in shambles: “It’s been the worst experience of my life.” He says he joined Angie’s List to find a reputable contractor to finish the job.

Three members, including Pitts, submitted F reviews on the F-rated handyman in 2013, including a Penalty Box case resulting from Loven’s failure to participate in the Angie’s List complaint resolution process. A 2013 complaint to the AG accuses Loven of using abusive language toward a customer. Loven refused to address grievances when reached by phone.

“I’m busy,” he says. “I don’t have time to talk to people about complaints.”

Joe Guest Masonry | Fort Worth

Members like Turner say Joe Guest left messes after receiving payment for jobs. (Photo courtesy of Robin Turner)
  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Allegedly took the money and ran

Burleson member Robin Turner says she and her husband, Andy, had to pay another company $200 to remove a pile of bricks that Joe Guest failed to pick up from their driveway after completing a $1,500 upgrade job. “He assured us that he would have his crew remove it,” says Robin, who joined the List to post an F review, one of five on the F-rated company.

Member reviews cite shoddy work, unfinished projects and failure to show up for jobs at all. The IRS placed a federal tax lien for more than $21,700 on the firm for unpaid income taxes in 2010 that remains pending, according to the Tarrant County clerk.

Member Sheryl Dunn and her mother Irene Dunn of Fort Worth say they paid Guest $5,500 in 2010 for flagstone and a patio that are now cracked and falling out. “Part of the patio has sunk into the ground,” Sheryl says. “I can’t even begin to tell you how stressful this entire ordeal has been.”

Penalty Box Hall of Shame

The Penalty Box is our way of alerting other members about a provider who has failed to meet a member's expectations. See Dallas Penalty Box Hall of Shame.

2013 Best & Worst Contractors

The Angie's List Newsroom reveals the Best & Worst Contractors of 2013. Did your contractor make the list? Select a market to the best and worst in your area.


More Like This

Add comment

Anonymous reviews are Internet graffiti.  Angie's List has real reviews from real people.

What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 2 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!