Atlanta Best & Worst Contractors of 2013

Atlanta Best & Worst Contractors of 2013

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

 

Atlanta Best Contractors

December 27, 2013 by Oseye Boyd


Flood X | Lawrenceville

When Renwick opened Flood-X, he says his company was one of the few focused on repairing water damage. (Photo courtesy of Jason Renwick)
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Green products or work practices
  • Licensed or licensing not required

Stone Mountain member Belinda Jackson awoke one weekend morning to a flood after she accidentally left water running in her kitchen sink overnight. Jackson called several companies, but most couldn’t come until Monday. “They quickly arrived on the scene the same day,” she says of Flood-X.

That response is typical, says owner Jason Renwick, whose water remediation company isn’t required to be licensed. “Basically, I work seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” he says. Flood-X uses dry ice and baking soda instead of harsh chemicals to remove mold and odors.

As coincidence would have it, Renwick decided to transform his business from carpet cleaning to repairing water damage in 2005 — during the same week that Hurricane Katrina hit. With family and a home in New Orleans, Renwick quickly gained experience working there. “When people have a flood or a mold problem in their house, they didn’t plan it,” Renwick says. “We have to go overboard to keep that tension off the customer.”

Atlanta member Christopher Tang hired Flood-X to remove mold under wallpaper. “I called a few other people and they just never called me back,” Tang says. “Every time I called ... someone actually picked up the phone.”

Duraclean Carpet and Fabric Specialist | Smyrna

In addition to carpet and furniture, DuraClean also cleans Oriental and wool rugs. (Photo courtesy of Alfredo Tovi)
  • 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

A disappointing carpet cleaning experience set Alfredo Tovi on a path to opening his own business. The company he and wife, Beth, hired didn’t come on time or clean the carpet well, overcharged them and the technician wasn’t wearing a uniform or driving a vehicle clearly marked with the company’s name. When Tovi’s then employer planned to relocate, he and Beth decided to open a Duraclean franchise based on their research. He vowed to turn his bad experience into a guide for what not to do for future customers.

“I knew there was a market for people [who] were looking for quality cleaning,” Tovi says. “My goal was to fill that niche. We set out certain goals. One of them was to respect people’s time.”

Tovi supervises every job to ensure quality. Duraclean doesn’t require a license, but the company is certified through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The cleaning products are environmentally safe — an important factor because Beth suffers from chemical allergies. New clients receive a gift basket that includes coffee from Land of A Thousand Hills, which supports free trade practices and farmers in Rwanda. “We will introduce them to this coffee,” Tovi says. “That’s something that we felt pretty strong about.” Tovi also donates his services to the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children.

When Atlanta member Katie Tolleson accidently smudged red paint on a chair that an upholstery business let her keep overnight, she called two companies on the List. Duraclean came the next morning and removed most of the paint. “It was not cheap,” Tolleson says of the borrowed chair. “I was really freaking out.”

Marietta member Linda Seyl hired Duraclean to clean the carpets in the home her son and daughter-in-law purchased in a short sale. “The stairs were pitiful,” Seyl says. “There were stains. It was dirty and musty and [had] bugs. They did a fantastic job. The carpets looked almost brand-new.”

Peachtree Junk Removal | Atlanta

Peachtree Junk Removal's business continues to grow as people become aware of trash hauler services. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Tabb)
  • 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

While previously working for a waste removal company, owner Ryan Tabb saw a need for disposing large items such as furniture. “People were saying, ‘Who takes away these bigger items?’” he says.

Tabb adheres to the same principles he learned at his first job out of college. “I learned to do what you say you’re going to do,” he says. “We’re honest and fair.”

Marietta members Claudia and George Komer hired the haulers to take away old carpet and items stored in the basement and attic. They even swept the floors. “We could’ve rented a dumpster and loaded this stuff ourselves, but for the same price we had two people who came and moved all the stuff for us,” George says.

Peachtree, which received 17 Page of Happiness nominations in the last year and isn’t required to be licensed, recycles approximately 70 percent of what it collects and gives many of the items to the Assistance League of Atlanta and Goodwill. The company also sponsored a $500 college scholarship through the Alpharetta YMCA.

Pro Flooring 323 | Lawrenceville

Del Aguila began installing other types of flooring at the request of his customers. (Photo courtesy of Cesar Del Aguila)
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Licensed or licensing not required

When Cesar Del Aguila became a Christian 11 years ago, he says he believed God wanted him to open his own business. The 323 in the company’s name refers to the Bible verse Colossians 3:23. “I show my love for Jesus Christ through my job,” says Del Aguila, a six-time Super Service Award winner who volunteers through his church.

Member Deborah Seale hired Pro Flooring, which doesn’t require a license, to replace carpet and vinyl flooring in her mother-in-law’s Atlanta home. Seale says Del Aguila returned for free to install a higher quality vinyl flooring after she realized the product she purchased on her own was inferior. “He could’ve easily charged labor,” she says. “It was our mistake.”

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.


Atlanta Worst Contractors

December 27, 2013 by Oseye Boyd

Stamped Concrete Pros | Kennesaw

Lawrenceville member Benson says contractor Jerry Dorch didn't properly level or drain her patio, causing water to pool after it rains. (Photo courtesy of Larissa Benson)
  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Landed in the Penalty Box
  • Notice added to provider's profile

Locust Grove member June Cochran and Buford resident Charles McWilliams both filed lawsuits in 2013 in Gwinnett County against Stamped Concrete Pros after they say owner Jerry Dorch botched jobs at their homes, court records show. Both cases remained pending at press time, awaiting the outcome of Dorch’s 2013 bankruptcy filing in the same county, according to documents filed in federal bankruptcy court.

“The man was a disgrace, just a disgrace,” says Cochran, whose F review resulted in a Penalty Box case in 2013 when Dorch failed to respond to her complaint. She says her ordeal with Stamped Concrete Pros, which has a D rating on the List with two reviews, began after she paid Dorch $2,965 to fill cracks in her patio and front porch and add a stamped concrete overlay. Cochran says Dorch overcharged for materials, left holes unfilled and lumps in the concrete, and didn’t properly apply sealant, so the concrete crumbled. Cochran, who joined Angie’s List after the experience, seeks $6,850 in damages in the lawsuit, court records show. McWilliams, who seeks $3,100 in his lawsuit, says he hired Dorch to power wash, fill cement holes, paint and add sealant. According to McWilliams, Dorch left unfilled holes, incorrectly painted the floor and didn’t apply sealant. “It’s flaking up almost all over, and everything he’s done is wrong,” he says.

Lawrenceville member Larissa Benson changed her original Page of Happiness nomination to a D review in 2013 after discovering the covered patio that Dorch built for her floods with 2 to 3 inches of water every time it rains. Benson says she paid Dorch $20,000 to complete the pool patio, covered patio, two walkways, driveway and a parking pad. She says Dorch didn’t level the concrete, which caused the flooding, and his attempt to fix the problem failed. Benson says she tried for a year to have him repair it, but he won’t return. “I’m really disappointed that I offered to pay probably more than the overhang cost, and he still couldn’t be bothered,” Benson says. “I think he takes on jobs bigger than he knows how to do.”

Dorch didn’t return multiple messages seeking comment.

Land Renovations | Cumming

  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile
  • Illegally unlicensed

Two Angie’s List members obtained civil judgments in 2013 against Christopher Wilson, owner of F-rated Land Renovations. At press time, he’d paid one judgment as the result of a wage garnishment order, while the other remained outstanding, court records show.

In October, a Forsyth County judge granted a $91,857.72 default judgment to Alpharetta member Anthony Okinedo after Wilson failed to show for the court hearing, according to court documents. Wilson had not paid the judgment as of press time. In his complaint, Okinedo says he paid Wilson more than $170,000 for landscape and hardscape work, but Wilson either didn’t finish the job or performed shoddy work, such as leaving an excessive gap in a retaining wall, stains in the pool and installing faulty pool equipment. In his F review of the work, Okinedo says the crew busted his irrigation system and failed to fix it.

Cumming member Craig Monnin also obtained a default judgment against Wilson in 2013 after he says he paid the landscaper $10,000 for materials and labor to add a golf cart path, correct an erosion and irrigation issue, install an outdoor fireplace and lay sod. Monnin says he became concerned after Wilson cashed his $2,500 deposit check immediately after receiving it and Wilson didn’t arrive on the first day of work. “He did about 75 percent of the work and then went AWOL or wouldn’t return calls, wouldn’t come out to finish the job or anything,” says Monnin, who also wrote one of Land Renovations’ three F reviews.

Monnin says he hand delivered letters and notes requesting Wilson finish the work, to no avail, but he recouped the full amount that he paid after a Forsyth County judge granted a wage garnishment order against Wilson in 2013. Monnin says he joined Angie’s List afterward. “I checked a couple of references and everything,” Monnin says, but he still had a bad experience. “That’s why I joined Angie’s List — to let people know.”

According to Georgia Board of Landscape Architects records, Wilson doesn’t hold the required landscape licenses to do the work he offers. The contractor didn’t return multiple messages left seeking comment.

Comfortable Transportation Lines and Limousine Service | Kennesaw

Rasheed Fayall (Photo courtesy of Cobb County Sheriff)
  • Faces/faced criminal charges
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile
  • Illegally unlicensed

Cobb County sheriff’s deputies arrested Comfortable Transportation owner Rasheed Fayall in 2013 on outstanding warrants for four misdemeanor counts of driving without vehicle insurance and one count of failing to display his motor carrier number in advertisements, according to the sheriff’s office. At press time, the case remained pending in Cobb County.

Comfortable Transportation doesn’t hold the required limousine carrier license, according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety database, which also lists six complaints about the business in 2013.

Atlanta resident Kelly McNamee, one of several consumers who complained, says she bought a coupon voucher for a limousine wine tour through Comfortable Transportation, but Fayall never showed to take her on the tour, never sent her a contract and he submitted erroneous charges to her credit card. “The scariest part to me is he had all my credit card information,” McNamee says. “It was a massive scam.”

Johnny Cummings Automotive | Atlanta

Johnny Alonzo Cummings (Photo courtesy of Cobb County Sheriff)
  • Faces/faced criminal charges
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile

At press time, court documents in Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties indicated Atlanta auto broker Johnny Alonzo Cummings was wanted on warrants for felony theft charges after six clients say they paid for vehicles that he never delivered.

Atlanta resident Michelle Coverson says she gave Cummings a $12,000 down payment for a Cadillac Escalade, but says he never delivered it. She says she asked for a refund, but his check bounced. “He just went all the way rogue,” says Coverson, one of four Fulton County clients pursuing criminal charges against the auto broker. Cummings didn’t return messages for comment.

According to Georgia Secretary of State records, Johnny Cummings Automotive was dissolved in 2008, but Cummings filed to form a new company, 1st Choice Automobiles of ATL in 2012. Secretary of State records also show he formed Norrab Enterprises in 2013.

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 Atlanta 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.


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Pro Flooring 323 installs carpet, hardwood and tile, but also does flooring restoration and repairs. (Photo courtesy of Cesar Del Aguila)
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