Austin's best and worst contractors of 2008
by Brooke Reynolds
In addition to our nationwide list, here are the Austin contractors who have earned the distinction of being the best or worst in the Austin area.
Floor Coverings International
Tom Manion, co-owner of Floor Coverings International, advises customers not to bother with visiting flooring shops — let his mobile van bring the flooring options to you. “We’re unique because we don’t have a storefront, but we do have a ‘mobile store at your door,’” Manion says.
Like other Angie’s List members, Allison Gregorczyk of Austin gives the company “A” ratings and says FCI brought over a full line of carpet choices for a free in-home consultation. “They had a passion for helping me select the carpeting that was the best choice for me,” Gregorczyk says. “We talked about my lifestyle and looked at the house layout, and then they partnered my needs with my design style to find the perfect fit. I’m extremely pleased.”
Wright Way Painting
Danny Wright, owner of Wright Way Painting, was originally a guitarist in a band in Virginia, but a friend and fellow painter encouraged Wright to learn his trade. Thirty years later, Wright lives in Austin and enjoys running his own business, which he dubs a boutique paint company.
“I give customers value for their dollar,” Wright says. “I have a hands-on approach, and I do one job at a time.”
Echoing comments from other Angie’s List members, Austin member Tammie Valentini says she appreciates their work ethic. “I really like that the owner is responsible for the work and is here with his team doing the work,” Valentini says. “I totally trusted them in my home.”
Tim’s Tree Service
Homemade “Don’t use Tim’s Tree Service” signs have sprouted up in an Austin neighborhood, one of several efforts to warn people about a company that homeowners say does bad work. Tim’s Tree Service has a total overall grade of “F” on the List with 12 reports and landed in the Penalty Box in January.
Customers say they paid up front, but owner Tim Pruett often failed to complete the work properly — or at all. “I repeatedly left Tim messages, but he’d never show,” says Austin member Karen Pennell. “I had to clear the tree refuse from my yard and driveway myself.” Pruett told Angie’s List Magazine that if customers are unhappy, they should call him, and he’ll make it right. Customers have logged 14 complaints about the company with the Better Business Bureau, earning it an unsatisfactory rating.
Affiliates LLC General Contractors and First Home Co.
Subcontractors have placed about $1 million in liens on customers’ homes because Pete Stucky, owner of Affiliates LLC General Contractors and First Home Co., failed to pay bills, according to Patrick Fortner, the Texas Residential Construction Commission spokesman. “People have been devastated in the wake of Stucky’s destruction,” says Bill Gravell, president of the Sonterra Homeowners’ Association, where many of the homes are located.
Jarrell homeowner Charles Ford says his house has 10 defects he blames on Affiliates. Fortner says customers have filed 18 complaints with him. Affiliates filed for bankruptcy in October and Stucky’s attorney, Bruce Burleson, says First Home will too. Regarding the liens, Burleson says, “Sonterra Development LLC and Sonterra Municipal Utility District failed to pay Affiliates for work it had done.”