Best San Jose Contractors of 2010
Mulhall Construction/ Mulhall Associates | San Francisco
Angie's List member Mark Etheredge says hiring owner Adrian Mulhall to build a new deck may have saved him from a potential disaster. "Adrian noticed there were no middle stringer supports in the architect's plans - which he added for extra stability," Etheredge says. "His attention to detail impressed me."
Mulhall, who's licensed by the California Contractors State License Board, says communication is key to his success. "It's the best way to make sure everyone is happy and all elements are covered," he says.
Taking care of the community and the environment are also priorities. Mulhall is developing a nonprofit organization to help build sustainable orphanages in Brazil, while keeping things "green" on the homefront by recycling and using renewable resources when possible.
Member Bob Cherny says before Mulhall, he'd grown accustomed to being disappointed by contractors.
"Adrian was contrary to every prior experience," Cherny says. "He was alert to things I didn't even see. He is absolutely the best contractor I've ever worked with."
Excalibur Water Heaters | San Francisco
"Customer service is my No. 1 priority," says Baron Sherrill, owner of Excalibur Water Heaters. "I want to deliver a certain level of quality to my customers."
Angie's List member Sandy Lillie says Sherrill's attentiveness sets him apart. "He's very patient and really took time answering questions based on my needs, not his needs," she says. "The feeling I got was one of total confidence and responsiveness."
Member Kathy Failor says Sherrill's knowledge appealed to her as well. "I have an old house and the space for the water heater is very small," she says. "He took one look at the space and told me exactly what I needed. No muss, no fuss."
Sherrill, who's licensed by the California Contractors State License Board, uses Energy Star rated products whenever possible and enjoys helping homeowners when they're in dire straits. "Hot water is one of those things you don't think about until you don't have it," he says. "When I can get to someone's house quickly and get their hot water running again, just to see how relieved they are is very rewarding."
Valen'z Paintings & Trim | Concord, Calif.
Angie's List member Kyle Thompson couldn't believe his good fortune. After closing on a new house, he had 36 hours to get the interior painted before movers arrived with the furniture. "I called Valen'z at noon, they stopped by the house at 2 p.m. for an estimate and came back at 5 p.m. to start work," he says. "They worked through the night and came back early the next morning to finish. The quality's very good."
Company owner David Valenzuela says honesty and accountability are important to the family business. "I don't like leaving a job until the customers are happy," he says.
Valenzuela, who also specializes in custom woodwork, often uses environmentally friendly paint on the job and is licensed by the California Contractors State License Board.
Member Lynn Guidry says it was the "little things" that made Valen'z memorable. "They were careful to remove things from the walls rather than paint around them; fixed the hinges on the door; caulked places I wouldn't have thought needed fixing; and tied down the wiring that was in the room - all at no extra charge," she says.