Best and worst contractors of 2007 | Minneapolis | St. Paul
In addition to our nationwide list of Best and Worst, we selected a few exemplary — and not-so- exemplary — contractors in the Twin Cities area.
Good Havens Home Inspections | Minneapolis
Twin Cities Angie's List members trust Good Havens Home Inspections, which received 12 nominations from members in 2007 and Super Service Awards in 2005 and 2006**.
"Hire this company!" Jason Pardell of Minneapolis says. "Gary [Havens, the owner] met and exceeded all my expectations. I was in the middle of a project when a concern about lead paint came up. Gary came over on his vacation day and helped educate me on the process of lead testing. He's genuinely concerned for the homeowner's best interest."
M. Joseph Johnston of Woodbury agrees. "It's obvious Gary enjoys what he does and does it well," Johnston says. "His knowledge base is second to none."
Holt Lock & Key | Minneapolis
Holt Lock & Key is the company to call for Twin Cities Angie's List members in need of a locksmith. The company received nine Page of Happiness nominations in 2007 and won a Super Service Award in 2006. "My husband's briefcase was stolen," Mindi Roemer of Minneapolis says. "His house keys and papers with our address were in it, so Tim [Holt, the owner] re-keyed five door locks. I felt very safe and comfortable having him in my home. That made a world of difference to me and my family after being victims of theft."
Holt also impressed Karen Swanberg of Minneapolis after he re-keyed three of her locks and installed a deadbolt. "Tim is a one-man shop who clearly cares a lot about his business and his customers," Swanberg says.
Tim Holt seems to impress canines and humans alike. "Tim was extremely friendly and fast, and made friends with our cocker spaniel!" Aaron Lauinger of Minneapolis says. "He was a delight to chat with, and the dogs thought he was great," Lois Taddiken of Mendota Heights adds.
New Vision Remodelers | Eden Prairie, Minn.
Many homeowners in the Twin Cities area report spending much of 2007 picking up the pieces from disastrous remodeling projects by New Vision Remodelers.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry received complaints of long delays and accepting payment for work that was never finished, prompting an investigation.
After identifying nearly 250 potential victims, The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry revoked the company's license last February and fined New Vision's principal management — Michael Biunno, Corey Nordmeyer and Nancy Adler — $50,000 each. The fine was suspended on the condition that none of them the three could have ownership interest or management control over a residential construction company for 10 years.
RMA Builders & Remodelers | Arden Hills, Minn.
RMA Builders & Remodelers' business quickly unraveled last year when it lost both its Minnesota contracting license and its Florida roofing license. The revocations followed homeowner complaints that owner Robert Aasen set up shop in Florida after Hurricane Wilma, performed shoddy work and then fled the state.
According to the Florida Department of State's Division of Corporations, Aasen owes more than $50,000 in civil judgments in Florida.
In revoking RMA's license, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry forbade Aasen from ever working as a residential building contractor or remodeler in Minnesota. "Aasen would turn these salespeople loose on the public," says Construction Codes and Licensing Division Manager Charles Durenberger. "I don't think they had near enough crews to keep up, so work wasn't getting done or wasn't up to par. It was out of control."
We required that The Best local companies be highly rated on the List and nominated for the Pages of Happiness. The Worst had to be poorly rated and in the Penalty Box or have a member alert on its Angie's List company record.
**At deadline, Angie's List had not chosen the 2007 Super Service Award winners.