Northeast Ohio Best & Worst Contractors of 2013

Northeast Ohio Best & Worst Contractors of 2013

The Angie's List Newsroom reveals the Best & Worst Contractors of 2013.

Northeast Ohio Best Contractors

December 27, 2013 by Kaley Belakovich



Joe’s Lock & Key | Cleveland

Fradette, who started his business in 1993, got into the industry when he answered an ad for a locksmith apprentice. (Photo courtesy of Joe Fradette)
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • Praised for pet friendliness
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Green products or work practices
  • Licensed or licensing not required

Strongsville member Lena Bullis says her doors blew open even when locked before Joe’s Lock & Key owner Joe Fradette put her mind at ease by aligning the deadbolts on her door. “Awesome is very descriptive of him because he’s exactly what you’d want every service provider to be,” says Bullis, adding that Joe’s earned a repeat customer.

Fradette, who’s been named a Best Contractor five years in a row, earned 17 Page of Happiness nominations in the last year. Joe’s has received a Super Service Award every year since 2005.

When South Euclid member Amanda Davis locked herself out of her new house, Fradette’s prompt service impressed her. “He was in the middle of another job, but he was there within an hour, which is incredible for a locksmith as highly rated as he is,” she says.

Members praised Fradette for his interaction with their pets. He recycles the metal from locks and started a food drive for the Cleveland Foodbank.

Fradette, whose trade doesn’t require licensing, says his favorite part of the job is helping customers. “I like solving their problems,” he says. “I like when people are happy that they called me.”


Frasure Painting | Brunswick

When not working, Frasure says he enjoys camping and fishing. (Photo courtesy of Scott Frasure)
  • Charity work or cummunity awards
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Green products or work practices
  • Licensed or licensing not required

Scott Frasure started painting while still in high school, then graduated to become a painting contractor for the U.S. government, working on airport expansions. When the funding for expansions dried up after Sept. 11, Frasure started his own company in 2002.

Frasure, who advertised in local coupon books and went door to door handing out fliers for his business when he first launched it, says his favorite part of the job is meeting new clients. “Every job is different,” says Frasure, whose company received 12 Page of Happiness nominations in the last year. “I like having an opportunity to make their house more appealing. It may be a 20-year-old home, but new paint may change their attitude about it.”

Strongsville member Pam Kelly appreciated that Frasure Painting was respectful of her home when they painted a two-story stairwell and a hallway in July. “Scott and his assistant took special care to protect my floors during the job and left my home spotless. You couldn’t ask for a better experience,” says Kelly, who adds that she’s recommended Frasure Painting to family and friends. “The stairwell and hallway look as good as the day they did the job. I definitely feel that they are deserving of all the accolades they receive.”

Each year, Frasure says he and his wife buy Christmas presents and clothes for her special education students. Frasure Painting uses low-VOC paint, which emits fewer harmful chemicals. He offers interior and exterior painting and pressure washing, which don’t require licensing.

Frasure credits his success to following the golden rule. “When I enter a customer’s house, I understand the etiquette and what it means to own a home because I am a homeowner,” he says. “We treat people how we like to be treated.”

Valley City member Timothy Tress hired Frasure because he needed some painting work done on his recently purchased home. “This is probably my ninth house, so I’ve had a lot of experience,” Tress says. “He was very good.”


High Point Cabinets | Apple Creek

David Mast started building cabinets as a side job and officially started his company in 2008. (Photo courtesy of Gerald Klingerman)
  • Praised for pet friendliness
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Praised for child friendliness
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Licensed or licensing not required

High Point Cabinets owner David Mast got into cabinetry as a hobby while looking for something to fill his time on rainy days while employed as a logger. His hobby grew into a side job and finally a full-time career when he started his business in 2008. He says he most enjoys meeting customers. “They come in as strangers and leave as friends,” he says.

Tim O’Connor praised Mast’s outstanding customer service after the North Olmsted member hired him to make maple kitchen cabinets. “He treats the customer like the customer is king,” O’Connor says. Cleveland member Sandra Korfhage praised Mast and the High Point crew for being friendly with her dog and grandchildren when they installed new oak kitchen cabinets.

Mast isn’t required to be licensed, but uses licensed home improvement subcontractors for installations. In the last year, he’s earned 12 Page of Happiness nominations.


Western Reserve Home Inspection | Cleveland

Outside of work, Wright enjoys playing saxophone in a jazz band. (Photo courtesy of James Wright)
  • 2013 Super Service Award eligible
  • Nominated for Pages of Happiness
  • Licensed or licensing not required

James Wright worked in structural engineering for about 20 years before changing his focus to homes and starting his company in 2000. Wright says he emphasizes integrity with clients. “One [key to success] is being honest with them about what we find during inspections and being very thorough about what we do,” says Wright, who holds a professional engineering license and earned Super Service Awards 10 years in a row.

Member Brigid Connor of Shaker Heights appreciated Wright’s quick communication. “I had questions after receiving the report and he answered everything promptly,” she says. Parma member Kim Bolden hired Wright to inspect a home she considered purchasing. “He said I’d have the report the next day, but I got it later that night,” she says.

More Best Contractors

Here are some more Best Contractors who made this year’s cut based on their awesome track record for local service. Read their reviews on angieslist.com to learn why members think they’re so special.

2013 Best & Worst Contractors

The Angie's List Newsroom reveals the Best & Worst Contractors of 2013. Did your contractor make the list? Select a market to the best and worst in your area.

Northeast Ohio Worst Contractors

December 27, 2013 by Adam Wire

All American Restoration | Avon Lake

Mark Walker (Photo courtesy of Lorain County Jail)
  • Faces/faced criminal charges
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile

A jury trial was set for late February for All American owner Mark Walker, who a grand jury indicted on two counts of felony theft and two counts of felony insurance fraud last August, Lorain County Common Pleas court records show. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in August, court records say.

The Ohio attorney general’s office fielded six complaints against All American in 2013, according to AG records, and Angie’s List members also left a pair of negative reviews on the company last year.

Member Lisa Nose says she paid All American a $5,500 deposit to repair roof damage from the remnants of Superstorm Sandy that swept through Ohio in October 2012. The Avon resident says the company continually delayed the job and didn’t return calls. “We waited for the weather to clear [in the spring], and the owner said they’d begin the work in early June,” says Nose, adding that she joined Angie’s List as a result of the experience with the company, which has a B rating but is excluded from category and keyword searches due to the felony charges against Walker. “It became obvious when a local police officer contacted me, asking questions about the guy, that I wasn’t going to get my roof.” Nose says she eventually paid another contractor $9,500 to fix her roof, and insurance covered all except a $2,000 deductible, though she was unable to recover the money she paid All American.

Oak Harbor member Christine Atwater says she withheld the remaining $7,250 on her $14,500 roofing job with All American until the company finally finished it in February. She says All American said they would start work in late September 2012, but continually delayed the project and asked for full payment before the job was finished. “I was afraid they’d bail on me,” says Atwater, who also joined Angie’s List after her experience.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation won three cases totaling $17,000 against the company in 2005 and 2006, Lorain County court records show. Bureau spokeswoman Melissa Vince says all three cases were related to liens placed because of unpaid workers’ compensation premiums. Walker didn’t respond to phone or email messages seeking comment, and his attorney, Joseph Grunda, declined comment.

Superman Services | Ravenna

  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Landed in the Penalty Box
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile
  • Illegally unlicensed

In 2013, Angie’s List members filed five F reviews and one D on Superman Services, alleging that the remodeling firm performed shoddy, slow and incomplete work, treated them rudely and failed to provide refunds for unsatisfactory work, the reviews say.

Angie’s List member Vernon Sherrill of Hudson says he paid Superman owner Ray White Jr. $525 to install basement kitchen cabinets, but fired him when the job still wasn’t finished two months after the scheduled completion date. “He would tell me he was going to come out, and either something would come up and he couldn’t make it or he’d have to leave in the middle of a job with an emergency,” says Sherrill, who joined Angie’s List after his experience. Superman has an F rating with eight reviews, including one from Aurora member Kathy Funk, who says White failed to return a $125 deposit she gave him after she cancelled a job.

Hudson member Chuck Castro filed an F review on Superman, saying White refused to refund his money even after failing to unclog his drain. Superman remained in the Penalty Box for failing to participate in the Angie’s List complaint resolution process on Castro’s case.

In an interview with Angie’s List Magazine, White says he made several visits to Castro’s home and spent his own money to complete the work, but he gave little credence to other complaints. “The ones I can make happy, I do,” he says. “You get some people who get pissed off and you couldn’t make them happy if you gave them everything for free.” White added that he’ll always prioritize emergency work, which could delay another client’s project, as in Sherrill’s case. “Any time I take on any job, I explain that to [clients],” he says, declining to respond to further questions.

White doesn’t hold the required licenses to do plumbing, electrical and contracting work in various munipalities in Stark, Summit and Cuyahoga counties, according to public records. He also lost an $84,000 judgment to Jody Blaney of Northfield in 2009, according to Portage County court records. Blaney believed she was investing in a 49 percent ownership stake in a company he was starting called Vicious Cycles and enititled to half its profits and other perks, the documents say.

Now or Never Travel | Westlake

  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Allegedly took the money and ran
  • Notice added to provider's profile

At press time, the Ohio AG awaited a decision on a request for a default judgment against travel club owner Rick Kenney that seeks $25,000 for each violation of the state’s Consumer Sales Practices Act, according to court documents. The AG filed suit in June, saying 45 consumers lost a total of $157,000 after paying the company from $1,500 to $4,000 to join the club and receive rebates and discounts when booking travel, plus annual fees. Now or Never didn’t provide rebates or honor customers’ requests to cancel contracts, Cuyahoga County court records show.

Cambridge resident Varhonda Burlingame says Now or Never failed to pay $500 in rebates she says they owe her after she bought a $1,500 membership. “After all that, they had the nerve to send me a notice saying my annual bill was past due,” she says. The Better Business Bureau says the firm didn’t respond to 70 of 77 complaints against it. Kenney and his attorney didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Allwood Structures | Greentown

  • Accused of shoddy work
  • Faces/faced civil lawsuits or penalties
  • Landed in the Penalty Box
  • Notice added to provider's profile

The AG seeks restitution for 11 consumers in a lawsuit filed against Allwood Structures and owner Timothy Swallen, alleging more than $140,000 in losses, according to Stark County court records. The 2013 suit says Allwood represented itself as a general contractor, but then required consumers to obtain job permits; kept deposits even when work wasn’t performed; and delivered shoddy work, court records show.

The F-rated company remains in the Penalty Box for failing to participate in the Angie’s List complaint resolution process after Ostrander member Dave Heizer filed a review saying the $22,000 pole barn built by the firm, which also operates as Durabilt Pole Buildings, wasn’t up to code and had to be redone. “I wouldn’t recommend them to anybody,” Heizer says.

In an interview with Angie’s List Magazine, Swallen declined to address Heizer’s complaint, but says it’s common in his industry for customers to obtain permits, and says building inspectors often approve his company’s blueprints, then find code violations when visiting job sites. “We work in so many different areas, you can’t keep up with absolutely everything,” he says.

Penalty Box Hall of Shame

The Penalty Box is our way of alerting other members about a provider who has failed to meet a member's expectations. See Northeast Ohio Penalty Box Hall of Shame.

2013 Best & Worst Contractors

The Angie's List Newsroom reveals the Best & Worst Contractors of 2013. Did your contractor make the list? Select a market to the best and worst in your area.


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