Best Minneapolis-St. Paul Contractors of 2009
Nagel Painting | West St. Paul, Minn.
Easy to work with, honest and fair, and detail-oriented is how Dennis Nagel, owner of Nagel Painting, is described by Angie’s List members.
“It’s a rarity to find a contractor who’s so genuine and trustworthy,” says Carrie Brondyke, who hired Nagel to paint her 1920s stucco home in St. Paul. “He’s so flexible. He never lost his patience with me as I wavered on color choices.”
Nagel, who’s not required to have a trade license in Minnesota, says he takes care to limit waste on a job site and prefers to use environmentally safe painting products whenever possible.
“A home isn’t a job site for me, it’s somebody’s personal space,” says the 2008 Super Service Award winner.
“Because each project is different, I must keep challenging my own standards to maintain a quality outcome. It’s a responsibility that I take very seriously.”
Ellen Conway of West St. Paul hired Nagel to paint her home’s trim and says the quality of work was outstanding. “His advice regarding the color scheme was spot on,” she says.
Eric Mortenson Construction | Minneapolis
Peter Russell was thrilled when Eric Mortenson came up with a solution to a support problem plaguing his Eden Prairie home’s deck.
“All the other contractors said I needed to add an 8-by-8 post right in front of my sliding glass door — how unattractive,” he says. “But Eric had a very novel approach that the others didn’t think of. He truly listens to what you want.”
Mortenson, who’s licensed by the state, says focusing exclusively on decks and porches has allowed him
to develop a detail-oriented approach to his work.
“I look at construction as an art form,” the 2008 Super Service Award winner says. “I want to exceed the expectations of my customers.”
Jack Germanson says Mortenson went above and beyond the call of duty several times while working to replace the bi-level deck on his Maple Grove home.
“There were some support beam issues and he figured out how to fix it by hand-chiseling the piece that sagged so it would match perfectly,” Germanson says. “I just don’t see that level of service from people these days.”
Woodwright Workshop | North Branch, Minn.
After Brenda Haak of Minneapolis hired Woodwright Workshop owner Ken Geisen to build custom kitchen cabinets for her arts-and-crafts style home, she says she was so blown away by the outcome she bought a bottle of champagne to toast his craftsmanship.
“I never thought in a million years that I’d receive these results,” she says. “They’re stunning.”
Haak says Geisen also took time to explain his techniques to her children. “They were in awe watching him work,” she says.
Sandra Hoyt of Minneapolis says Geisen, who’s not required to have a trade license in Minnesota, is brilliant at his craft. “It’s impeccable,” she says of her remodeled kitchen.
Geisen, who has six Pages of Happiness nominations this year, says good communication, accuracy and honesty are critical to pleasing his customers. “I never leave a job until the client is completely satisfied,” he says.
Geisen is also dedicated to the environment. He built his workshop using energy efficient straw bale construction and is in the process of obtaining certification from the EPA to work with sustainable harvested lumber.
He also donates his time to the Friends of the Sunrise River group.
— reporting by Staci Giordullo