Milwaukee area's best and worst contractors of 2008
by YaShekia King
In addition to our nationwide list, here are the Milwaukee contractors who have earned the distinction of being the Best or Worst in the Milwaukee area.
Qual Tech Painting LLC
When co-owner David Duce and twin brother, Danyl, were traveling from Ohio to Wisconsin around age 16, their car broke down in Indiana, so their Wisconsin uncle towed them to his home.
They spent the summer house painting for him to earn money to get back to Ohio. That painted the way to starting Qual Tech in 2001.
“People are used to not getting what they pay for,” David says. “I’m trying to change that.”
What most impressed Waukesha’s Raymond Kloss, a typical customer, is how David returned his call for power washing and painting in late 2007 — while vacationing in South Africa.
“He even scheduled around my own vacation,” Kloss says.
Action Organizing Services LLC
When Shorewood’s Sarah Wade moved in with her “pack rat” boyfriend, she came into contact with all his hobby medieval armor pieces and antique china.
So in June, owner Brenden McDaniel of Action Organizing Services LLC revamped their rooms.
“It’s like having a friend coming over to help you move,” Wade says.
That’s the aim of McDaniel, who has received praise from several Angie’s List members. “Our goal is to help people clear out the clutter in their homes and in their lives,” says McDaniel, who won the 2008 Wisconsin Better Business Bureau Business and Ethics Torch Award and donates to several charities.
Angie’s List Milwaukee member Lisa Albright says she hired Generon Construction to complete an addition to her ranch home, not realizing the move would cost her heartache.
Albright lost more than $50,000 after the company, owned by Alexander Kunitsyn, destroyed her home, she says. She and her family had to live in her parents’ basement for more than three months. They finally completed the work themselves, she says. “To lose that much money was really hard,” Albright says. “It’s probably the worst thing that’s happened to me.”
Kunitsyn — who was featured on the national list of the Worst Contractors of 2007 — faced two felonies in 2008 for theft of more than $10,000 in a business setting — a class G felony. He also was sentenced to 21 months in the Milwaukee County House of Correction in late 2007 for misdemeanor contractor theft and violation of consumer protection regulations. A court date for the felonies was set for Jan. 30.
Ken’s Tool Shed
When Mark and Michelle Randgaard of Oconomowoc decided to hire Ken’s Tool Shed to finish their basement, they didn’t think they’d have to fight in court to get their money back from owner Kenneth Hecker.
He told them they needed to pay 50 percent for materials upfront and 20 percent for labor. The Randgaards gave him about $26,000, they say.
“We wrote the check and he disappeared after that,” Michelle Randgaard says.
The Randgaards finally finished their basement in February through another contractor after Hecker pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft in their case and refunded their money. Court records in 2008 showed Hecker also was involved in a criminal case involving business theft of more than $10,000 — a class G felony.