Dayton area's best and worst contractors of 2008

Dayton area's best and worst contractors of 2008

by Valerie Christopher

In addition to our nationwide list, here are the contractors who have earned the distinction of being the Best or Worst in the Dayton area.

The Best

Jeff Bonham Electric Inc.

When Angie’s List member Marian Rodgers of Beavercreek had an electrical problem, she put her faith in Jeff Bonham Electric Inc., a company that’s been solving problems for 50 years. “We checked the List, they were highly rated and were able to come out very quickly,” Rodgers says. After Bonham replaced and rewired Rodgers’ broken light switch, he advised her why some work was not needed. He also added (without cost) an estimate on installation of an emergency generator.

Easing customers’ fears is something owner Jeff Bonham says he’s been doing ever since he took over his father’s business in 1984. Working with his brother, Jim, who is the vice president, and his brother-in-law, Bryan Furlow, an employee, Jeff Bonham Electric services more than 500 customers in the Dayton area. Some of Bonham’s best Angie’s List reviews have come from customers impressed with his timeliness and punctuality. For member Kathy Simpson of Dayton, Bonham’s installation of outdoor lights and timers went a long way. “Everyone was professional and courteous from the beginning to the end,” Simpson says. “They arrived exactly on time and left everything clean. I can’t say enough good things about this company.” His company also gives back by providing free lighting for Dayton’s business expos and scoreboards for high school sporting events.

The Worst

Scape’s Landscaping & Lawn Care

Besides facing a civil lawsuit on six counts of fraud, Steve Wise, owner of Scape’s Landscaping, has an unsatisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau based on four unanswered complaints in the last year and two complaints with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Homeowners like Angie’s List member Mary Sanger say they are fed up with Wise’s business practices and will not rest until justice is served. “They rendered my house unsalable,” Sanger says who submitted an “F” report on Scape’s Landscaping, which then landed in the Penalty Box for failing to respond. Sanger says a project to complete the hardscape of her backyard, which would have included a paver patio, planter beds and a pondless waterfall, is now a court issue. Sanger says Wise abandoned the project and his tools after he made the area for the paver patio so high there was no room for steps off her deck.

“I got a lawyer because he wouldn’t finish the job,” Sanger says. The project began in late October 2007 and has forced her to live with piles of dirt and stone. “It’s been over a year and he won’t talk to me,” she says.

Sanger’s backyard woes were featured last spring in a TV news feature on how to avoid a home improvement headache. But despite the airtime and a phone call from Angie’s List Magazine, Wise says he doesn’t want to return. “She kicked us off the project,” he says. “We needed to have the electric run on her property before me and my crew could go any further.”

Sanger says she paid Wise $4,716 up front and he failed to tell her she needed an electrician until after he laid the gravel and stone. “All I want is for him to come out and finish the job, but now he has a lawsuit on his hands.” His court date hasn’t been determined.

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