Best Boston Contractors of 2011
Barrett Tree Service East Inc. | Somerville, Mass.
Somerville member Emily Lalka says Barrett came to the rescue after a large tree fell across her driveway during Tropical Storm Irene, leaving power lines ripped from her condo, a crushed fence and a totaled car.
"It required some delicate work," Lalka says. "They were incredibly careful not to cause more damage during the removal. It was impeccable."
Owner Trumbull Barrett, a four-time Best Boston contractor and three-time Super Service Award winner, founded the company in 2007. He says his biggest challenge is meeting a growing demand for service.
"We've added staff to meet the increased volume and we're continuing to provide excellent service to our customers," says Barrett, whose work doesn't require a license.
Charles Murphy of Chelsea attests to that excellent service after Barrett removed trees damaged during winter storms. "Right from the start, it was easy to tell these were experts," he says.
Barrett, which received 20 Page of Happiness nominations in the last year, donates its services to the city of Boston on Arbor Day and wood chips to a local community garden. Members also praise the company, which uses organic treatments on tree pests, for being pet- and child-friendly.
Marcello's Renovations | Billerica, Mass.
Charlestown member Sandy Wang says Marcello's possesses a "can-do" attitude that goes beyond just doing a great job. During her four-month kitchen and bedroom renovation, the crew helped her move furniture, brought in mail, took out trash and mopped floors after the toilet overflowed and flooded the basement.
"I felt completely at ease giving [owner] Marcello Laurindo and his crew my house key and having them come in early to work on the house while I was still sleeping," she says.
Laurindo received 13 Page of Happiness nominations in the last year for work that ranges from complete home remodeling to decks and porches and paint and wallpaper, including one that mentioned the crew's child-friendliness. He says he works to gain his customers' trust. "Making them feel comfortable and knowing they can trust me in their homes is very important to me," he says.
Christy Anderson of Westford noticed that trait right away when Marcello and his crew painted her home's interior. "They were very friendly, very easy to approach and talk to," she says. "They're neighborly, like the old days."
Laurindo, who's properly licensed, says he learned his craft from his father, a carpenter and businessman. After immigrating to the U.S. from Brazil in 2001, he founded his now 13-man company in 2004. "I've always been an entrepreneur, and the U.S. is a great country for people who want to start a business," he says.
Laurindo emphasizes pride in his work, and Wang says it definitely shows. On the first day, Laurindo wrapped her stairway with foam and plastic wrap to protect Wang's newly stained banister.
"It showed me that he really cared and respected my house," she says. "I mentioned I wanted the grout lines a bit cleaner, and there was a guy there for a whole day just cleaning up the lines with a razor blade. Those minor things really make a difference."
Superior Kitchens and Baths | Tewksbury, Mass.
When Brandon and Jane Newhouse started Superior Kitchens and Baths in 2008, the husband and wife team chose the name for a specific reason. "We want to be superior to the competition in every way," says Jane, whose company holds the proper contractor licenses.
One staple of Superior's business practices - providing line-item estimates - made an impression on Irina Kamis of Lexington during a bathroom remodel. "It helped make it easier for me to decide about when to find something cheaper or what to cut to stay within budget," she says.
Greg Hersch of Lexington also loved the attitude Superior brought to his bathroom remodel. "They were all very energetic, upbeat and really happy to be there," he says.
The three-time Super Service Award winner received 10 Page of Happiness nominations in the last year, including members who praise them for being pet- and child-friendly.
Chris Powers Electrician | Weymouth, Mass.
Licensed electrician Chris Powers credits his success to keeping customers happy - not just now, but for the long term. "While others are out to make a buck, I'm out to win the client for life," the Super Service Award winner says. "I'm not trying to sell them work they don't need for my own gain."
Weymouth member Craig Ingram, a first-time homeowner, hired Powers to fix some faulty outlets. "It ended up being more than we thought and took him an extra day to do it," he says. "I was worried it was going to cost more. But he stuck to his original quote."
Powers, praised by members for being pet- and child-friendly, offers customers energy-efficient materials.
More Best Boston Contractors of 2011
Find these companies at angieslist.com to read more about what makes their service superlative.
Annette Dey Engineering | Arlington, Mass.
At Your Service Appliance Repair | Belmont, Mass.
Countryside Painting Co. | Somerville, Mass.
JD Masonry | Norfolk, Mass.
JP O'Brien Electric | Wilmington, Mass.
Kitchen Tune-Up | Newton, Mass.
Mercury Moving & Storage Systems | Avon, Mass.
Millennium Alarm Technologies | Leominster, Mass.
Phil's Floor Services | Quincy, Mass.
Star Locksmith | Winchester, Mass.
Strokington & Co. | Arlington, Mass.
Viola Roofing & Contracting | Hull, Mass.
Martin Rommell | Lexington, Mass.