Phoenix area's best and worst contractors of 2008

Phoenix area's best and worst contractors of 2008

by Liz Vernon

In addition to our nationwide list, here are the Phoenix contractors who have earned the distinction of being the best or worst in the Phoenix area.

The Best

The Hook Up

Before the Geek Squad, there was Alan Brown.

The owner of The Hook Up sets up and troubleshoots audio and video equipment.

David Burks of Chandler hired Brown to install a flat-screen television, rewire a VCR/DVD player and program a new universal remote. “Over the phone, he was able to get my satellite TV going,” Burks says. “He’s prompt and dependable, and his prices are the best in town.”

Brown, whose company received a dozen “A” reports in the past year, says enjoying the job is important. “If you don’t like what you do, it’ll show in your end product. In corporate America, I sat behind a desk and hated life. Now, I play with toys all day.”

Noble Refrigeration

After a bad service experience when her air conditioner stopped working, Michelle Berg of Phoenix called Noble Refrigeration. “John [Noble Jr.] looked at the vents and gave me new pieces for a broken vent and air filter,” Berg says. “He said our older unit should last a few more years.” Owner Pat Noble says customer service is a top priority. “We’re there to do a job, and we make sure they’re happy with our work,” he says. Berg, one of many happy customers, appreciates it. “In Phoenix, air conditioning is a necessity,” she says. “It’s great to know we can call them.”

The Worst

Solymar Homes/H & M Construction

George Thoeming of Gold Canyon wanted to add a room to his house, so he made an appointment with Gary Miller of Solymar Homes.

“He had a brochure, and it looked very professional,” says Thoeming, who made a $13,000 down payment on the $30,000 project. Miller returned twice to take measurements, and then Thoeming says he never saw him again. Miller and Anthony Hinrichs, another Solymar employee, allegedly cashed Thoeming’s check and deposited it into an account for H & M Construction, a new company they were starting, according to the Maricopa County attorney’s office.

A Maricopa County grand jury indicted the two men on 17 fraud charges in September. As of press time, the cases hadn’t yet gone to trial. The charges are criminal, but both companies and individuals also are facing multiple civil lawsuits. Calls to Hinrichs’ and Miller’s attorneys seeking comment weren’t returned.

According to the Better Business Bureau, Solymar has an unsatisfactory rating. The Arizona Registrar of Contractors says the company has received more than 40 complaints and lost its license in 2007, the same year the company went bankrupt and closed.

Kentec Builders LLC

Kent Vernon Brady of Kentec Builders LLC was indicted in September on three counts of fraud in Maricopa County. Brady allegedly took more than $138,000 from area homeowners and didn’t complete their remodeling projects.

As of press time, the case hadn’t gone to trial. The fraud charges are criminal, but several civil suits also have been filed against Brady and Kentec. Brady’s attorney didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Kentec Builders has an unsatisfactory BBB rating, and according to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, more than 20 complaints. Its license was revoked in January 2007.

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Christopher James Eastwood 
Photo courtesy of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors
Christopher James Eastwood Photo courtesy of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors

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Leave a Comment - 4


Dallin Brady

Subject: Reason why Angie's list doesn't work

My dad Kent Brady is the best craftsman I have even seen. I have worked for a bunch of construction companies in the phoenix valley and 99.9% product complete crap. They cut corners, use the wrong materials for the job and produce an end product that looks "ok" but is completely wrong. The homeowner who started all those lies on my father has done so to 4 other contractors but my dad was a growing business and didn't have the money to back his defense. Every penny that was so called "taken" had been perchinsed in materials or pairs to employees. She followed his company trucks to other jobs that were going smooth and told the homeowner he wouldn't give them their money back. Well the 1/3 that was paid was for materials and labor as stated in the contract. What that woman did to my family is discussting and karma will finds it's way back to her. You type Kent Brady and this Angie's list artical comes up. It was all a lie and it's still affecting him today.

Diana Lamirand
Diana Lamirand

Subject: Diana Lamirand, Managing Editor, Online Content for Angie's List

Thanks for your comment, Dallin Brady. In 2010, a Maricopa Superior Court jury found Kent Vernon Brady not guilty of the three fraud charges. Over the course of 2007 and 2008, Kentec Builders and Brady were ordered to pay nearly $500,000 in judgments in nine civil court cases in Maricopa County, court records show. Kentec and Brady's Arizona Registrar of Contractors license remains revoked.

Angie's List staff


Thanks for your comment, Layna!
At the time this article was published in January 2008, all information was accurate. Our reporting team will look into Kent Brady's case further. Thanks for letting us know!

Layna Taylor


You might want to know that Kent Brady was acquitted on all the charges you note in your report on his business. You can verify this on the Maricopa County Superior Court website.

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