Best Washington, D.C., Contractors of 2010
Jeffrey Jones (right) was an architect prior to beginning his career in landscaping.
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Jones
Classic Stonescaping & Gardens | Falls Church, Va.
Company owner Jeffrey Jones says the secret to his success is hands-on involvement. "I deal with the customer from the first estimate until the final check deposit and everything in between," he says. "You can head off a lot of potential issues by being on-site."
Angie's List member Douglas Gregory of Falls Church says Jones and his crew did an outstanding job when they installed a patio, stone walkways and plantings in his yard. "The work was done quickly and correctly, with no do-overs," Gregory says. "This is the manner I wish all contractors would emulate."
With eight years of experience in landscaping and hardscaping, Jones started his own business in 2010. Angie's List members quickly rewarded his efforts with a perfect grade and 15 Page of Happiness nominations — a feat unequalled in the region last year. Jones, who holds a Virginia contractor's license, reuses materials whenever possible.
He also gives back to the community by donating landscaping to local churches, schools and injured veterans. Recently, he gave two pinball machines to students with physical disabilities at Falls Church High School.
Blue Isle Granite & Tile | Manassas, Va.
Ike Iskenderoglu says his granite and tile handiwork can be seen all over the world, from the Kuwait prime minister's palace to the FBI building in Washington, D.C. He grew up in Turkey, learning the craft from his father. "He taught me a lot of things, including a few secrets he had never taught anybody," Iskenderoglu says.
The licensed Virginia contractor co-owns Blue Isle Granite & Tile along with his wife, Tamara De Nigris. "Ike is a perfectionist," De Nigris says. "He treats any client's home as if it's his own home. He's always there for both the measurement and installation. We think it's important that an owner is always on-site for these things."
This attention to detail earned Blue Isle 12 Page of Happiness nominations from Angie's List members in 2010. Lynda Crayton of Springfield, Va., praised their work on installing granite kitchen countertops. "The workmanship was remarkable," Crayton says. "Ike truly takes pride in his craft. His knowledge and skill inspire confidence in his ability to do the job right the first time."
Perfect Ins | Arlington, Va.
Omar Fikrine says basic customer service is the secret to his stereo and home theater system company's success. "We make sure everything is done right every time in the houses we've worked in," he says. "Courtesy is important. You should arrive on time, leave on time, fix the customer's problem and help them be happy."
Fikrine says he worked in communications in Morocco before emigrating to the United States in 1998. He also did cable TV installation for a few years before founding Perfect Ins in 2003. Now he installs home stereos, network systems, cabling, home automation and lights, much to Angie's List members' praise. Soraya Radwan of McLean, Va., says Fikrine did excellent work mounting a TV and threading the cables behind a wall. "He even patched the small pieces of plaster that he removed from the wall, which I didn't expect," Radwan says. "He repositioned all the stereo wires with minimal drilling. The work was beautiful."
Fikrine, whose work doesn't require a license, says he's kept up with the technology field's considerable changes since he started in the industry. "I'm always staying up to date with what's going on," he says.