Best Portland Contractors of 2010
Colleen Malone | Bridgetown Realty | Portland, Ore.
Portland resident Byron Clark says Realtor Colleen Malone helped he and his wife sell their house in a difficult market, and she was instrumental in securing their dream home. "There were federal loans, paperwork and complicated procedures involved - we couldn't have done it without her," Clark says, adding that Malone also let his dog out and kept his cat inside while showing the house.
Malone, a licensed independent agent affiliated with Bridgetown Realty since 2002, says her approach generates positive reviews. "I'm more interested in helping people than in the paycheck, and folks sense that and it encourages them to trust me," she says.
That personal approach appealed to member Kristen Robison of Portland, who found a home through Malone. "The more time I spent with her, the more I felt like, she does care, she's not pretending," she says. "She just doesn't have that slick sales vibe. You're relaxed and comfortable with her."
Malone, who provides financial support to Habitat for Humanity, says the best part of her job is working with people. "I've met so many neat people, and many have become friends," she says.
DC Connections | Portland
After what she considered a flawless installation of her flat-screen TV, Margaret Mary Adams of Portland says DC Connections owner Dat Nguyen still wasn't satisfied. "There was an electrical outlet on the wall. He didn't like the way it looked, so he came by to make it less obtrusive, at no cost," she says. "He's absolutely fantastic."
Nguyen, a licensed Oregon contractor, says he bases his practices on specific tenants. "Dedication, passion, loyalty and inspiration - these four factors help run an honest business," he says. "It's about earning money, not taking it."
Adams says her experience with Nguyen backs that up. "There was more work that had to be done than was in the proposal, but he didn't charge any more," she says. "I appreciated him honoring that."
Nguyen says he recycles everything from paper to solid copper, and hauls away electronics for proper disposal.
Hardwood Floor Specialist LLC | Vancouver, Wash.
J.P. Christy of Portland says she's glad she chose Sergey Alyabyev, owner of Hardwood Floor Specialist, to sand her older hardwood floors. "The floors had a lot of scars and stains, and I thought I'd have to get them replaced, but I didn't," she says. "The quality of his work was spectacular."
Alyabyev came to the U.S. from Siberia in 1990, hoping to fulfill his grandfather's desire that he become a carpenter. After working for other companies, including his brother's highly rated Ava Construction in Vancouver, he founded Hardwood Floor Specialist in 2003. "God gave me a good brain on working with floors, and I always try to do a little something extra for the customers," Alyabyev says.
In her Page of Happiness nomination - one of 10 the company received in 2010 - Christy praised Alyabyev for his helpfulness. She says she wanted to refinish the floor and install crown molding herself, and Alyabyev gave her an instructional video, some materials and advice - all at no charge. "He had suggestions, he had tips, he asked questions," she says.
Alyabyev, who's a licensed contractor in Oregon and Washington, says he also gives back to the community by doing free work for churches and other community groups and supporting Mission Broken Chains, a nonprofit that helps convicts transition to civilian life.