Best Raleigh Contractors of 2010
CS Tree Services Inc. | Apex, N.C.
Larry Heyl of Raleigh says CS Tree Services towers above other companies because they are friendly, knowledgeable, professional, punctual and offer good value. "These should be common characteristics of most companies, yet unfortunately, are increasingly hard to find," Heyl says.
He hired CS Tree Services to remove two dead trees and grind stumps, but was impressed when they cut additional branches for free. "These didn't cost them much time or effort, yet they were a nice touch."
Co-owners Steven Kurtz and Chris Baley started CS, named a Raleigh Best Contractor in 2009, about eight years ago. The company, which isn't required to be licensed, has five employees, all of whom are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, Kurtz says.
"Being a certified arborist means we have a broad general knowledge of anything and everything that has to do with woody plants or trees, everything from biology to pest management."
The company volunteers its services to local churches, and its commitment to the environment extends to using biofuels in its equipment and giving away woodchips and logs, instead of trashing the deadwood.
Colors on Parade | Raleigh, N.C.
Former Raleigh resident Rich Kaspar says the quote he received from Colors on Parade to fix his damaged car ended up being half the price of several other body shops. Owner Lloyd Lind also did an impeccable job, he says.
"I joined Angie's List just to write a recommendation about him," says Kaspar, who recently moved to Nashville, Tenn. "He did such a good job."
Lind says he started working on cars as a hobby more than 20 years ago. His professional autobody work began, he says, after he received substandard work on his own vehicles and decided he could do better.
"I take the same approach I did as a hobbyist: I focus on the little stuff," says Lind, who isn't required to be licensed. "Most shops look at big stuff, so it looks good but it's not perfect."
That attention to detail has garnered Lind some major jobs, such as helping a customer in England restore two 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertibles - vehicles that sell for $1 million or more.
The company emphasizes green containment practices and using chemicals safe to the environment.
Carolina In Home Flooring Sales | Raleigh, N.C.
When Durham [N.C.] resident David Mann needed to remove and replace flooring in his living room, kitchen and three bathrooms, he says he skipped the large retailers and hired Carolina In Home Flooring owner Mike Nelson.
"We really had a great experence," Mann says. "It was kind of refreshing to find a business owner who was more interested in making sure we had a good product and were happy than running off to cash the check."
Nelson, whose work doesn't require a trade license, says he offers low-pressure sales, preferring to leave a quote with a customer to give them time to decide.
The company offers competitive prices, he says, because it doesn't have much overhead: two employees and no showroom because Nelson brings the materials to the customers. The company also uses carpeting and padding made from recycled materials.
"The biggest thing is giving great customer service - being punctual, selling a good product and doing a nice job for them," says Nelson, who has been in the flooring business since 1989.