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Picture Framing reviews in Torrance

Real People ~ Real Reviews ~ Real Results

  • Fred and Ali met with us at the house and we discussed the project. We did not have a clear plan as to what we wanted to do but both father and son had some great advice and suggestions. By the end of our first meeting, we had a pretty clear plan and knew we could trust Deco with our project. The work began promptly, Fred or Ali were constantly visiting the job site, following up with our many requests and changes, and making sure we were kept up to date. As the work progressed we were more and more excited about our new home. The owners are knowlagable, the workers are courteous and skilled. Over all the experience was great and we would deffinetly use and recommend Deco.
    - Steven R.
  • The project manager assigned to our project (also our initial contact with the company and the person with whom we signed the contract) was very friendly, but ultimately a better salesman than a project manager. The project commenced on 09/06/17. We were told that the project would most likely require “3-4 weeks” of work, but the contract allowed for contingencies and provided a completion date of 10/27/17. With all fairness to the company, there were some delays at the onset of the project associated with engineering (an outside firm) and city inspection schedules. However, these were fully and completely resolved by mid-late November, and the project was not completed until 01/04/18. The demolition phase of the project was completed on schedule and without any major complications (although we were frustrated that the prepping and draping of the house was not completed to the level promised in the initial sales visit). We were told that all areas involved with construction would be sealed floor-to-ceiling with zippered plastic and that crews would clean up after themselves daily. In reality, the floor surfaces were covered and some plastic draping was used (although much of our existing cabinetry and the remainder of our house was left uncovered and we are still working to rid the corners of our storage cabinets of plaster dust). The crews did clean up after their major tools and anything sharp or hazardous on a daily basis, but there was dirt, sawdust, and plaster fragments in our home for months and construction debris in our driveway for 1-2 weeks at a time. The construction phase of the project started to highlight a pattern of miscommunication between the project manager, the homeowners, and the crew. The project manager, although easy to get in touch with (he always responded to text messaging or phone calls), rarely made any initial contact to update us on concerns or issues. One of the more significant examples of this was the ceiling beam placement. The original plans indicated that the beam would be flush with the ceiling. The project manager placed the beam, secured it, and only informed us when we expressed concern about the installation that the beam would actually be 1-2 inches lower than the rest of the ceiling (we were not at all pleased with this, but faced with the cost of reordering the beam, we chose to leave it in place because it was structurally sound and not worth thousands of dollars to replace). The recessed lighting was installed early in the project and looked very nice (ultimately one of the features of the project we were very pleased with), but we noticed instantly that two of the rooms that would have dimmer switches (not yet installed) never turned fully “off” with the standard switches. We expressed concern about this on 09/14/17 and were told that this issue would resolve itself when the new switches were placed. The dimmer switches were ultimately placed in late December (after the interior painting was completed) and the issue remained. The issue was ultimately repaired to our satisfaction, but because the project manager did not acknowledge or address our concerns in September, it became the project delay that cancelled our family Christmas celebration due to 3 additional days of electrical, paint, and plaster work. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the delays at the end of the project was the impact of miscommunication. Because of concerns about damage to our home and existing furniture and appliances during construction, we firmly requested additional oversight by the project manager and asked for him to provide a daily update of work that would be performed the following day. We hoped that this would help avoid the need for “re-work” to correct problems (the structural work was finalized at this point, but we were concerned about finishing details and had already seen delays with having to “fix” paint and tile work that had already been “completed”). The response to this request was to largely avoid communicating with us until we reached out with problems or concerns. These delays were compounded by changes in staffing throughout the project. The construction foreman and many of the crew were replaced midway through the project, and the replacement foreman tended to refer to problems as sequelae of the prior foreman and crew. This behavior struck us as particularly unprofessional, because all of the crews worked for the same contracting firm. Though most of the concerns were fully addressed prior to project completion, the most significant of these was avoided. We noticed after placement of the baseboards that there appeared to be a discrepancy in width between the existing walls and the newly-plastered walls. The walls were all flush when “uncovered” and structurally sound, but the plaster and drywall work appeared to have been lacking. This was not readily apparent until paint and baseboards were applied, and the problem was left uncorrected. The pricing on the original project was very competitive and the company did provide credit for a change-in-scope (one of the doorways was not enlarged as originally planned and the contractor gave us credit for the beam), but because of the lack of attention to details it will be necessary for us to hire additional painters to complete finishing touches. We repeatedly requested further touch-ups on paint and plaster work in many areas. Though the project manager did address most of these (often by sending only one person at a time), many were written off as being “the best we can do.” Among these were the plaster work pictured near the doorframe, the sloppy paint work near the ceilings, and the grout work along floor tiles chipped during construction. This was greatly disappointing to us because a significant portion of the initial sales pitch by the project manager was spent describing how the strong point of this company was “unrelenting attention to the finest of details.” Ultimately, we are providing a letter grade of “C” because we feel that while the structural work was completed to our satisfaction (as was the installation of lights), the paint/plaster/tile work was lacking and the functional loss of our home for months of delays was not worth the savings quoted in the original contract. We struggled with communication issues with the company (we had difficulty getting specific updates from the project manager despite his vague [albeit timely] response to our inquiries and two requests to the owner for calls back went unanswered). We also spent hours of every day in December reviewing and documenting construction work and associated concerns such that we felt we had been assigned a sort of “project manager” role ourselves. The best example of this is the request by the project manager that we put post-it notes next to all areas in the house that needed touch-up work. We were happy to comply with this request, but it is unfortunate that the project manager was not able to identify areas in serious need of further touch-ups without enlisting us (the homeowners). We are pleased to have a fully permitted remodel complete, but given the significant delays and tremendous personal investment in time to ensure that the most basic of finishing touches was complete, we would not hire this contractor again.
    - Crystal T.
  • we met Horizon Construction & Remodeling representative after meeting 2 others contractors and we must say we liked them a lot. he was very knowledgable and personable. he listen to us and made good suggestions and was always available for us. We honestly couldn't do this project without him It took longer than we planned because it was around holidays season but it was worth it - the end product is beautiful we get a lot of compliments from family and friends we appreciate the hard work - all workers were very dedicated and talented we will spread the good word about Horizon!
    - Mason T.
  • From demolition to final sign off from the city of Torrance the process stayed on schedule. But with a remodel new challenges do arise and we worked through them as fast as possible with out too much impact to the overall schedule. Cost estimates were generated quickly and added work schedule to meet the overall completion date. The working crew started on time and worked a full day. They cleaned up everyday. Polite, friendly, professional, respectful and trustworthy. Good nature, easy to talk and communicate to.
    - D N F.
  • All remodeling work from demolition to final inspection was excellent. Workers were on time worked diligently, respectful to the owners and cleaned up the area everyday. Work was very accurate and all custom work turned out better than our expectations.
    - D N F.
  • Professional, honest and doesn't take shortcuts. They came out on a major renovation remodel in our home and presented what their company had to offer. Between our initial meeting and the before and after photos we looked over we will have to admit the photos don't do true justice for their work. Absolutely brilliant craftsmanship and talk about attention to detail! We purchased our home and needed to find the right contractor to complete the renovation work that we wanted and to do the work in the move in time that we expected. They not only performed above brilliant but finished the work in under the 5 months agreed. 4 months! This is a great company and come with our highest recommendation and praise. Once again, honest, hard working, dependable and brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
    - Lynette H.
  • This is a long review. Please read the whole article to put the ratings in context. To start, we have all plans and permits ready and paid for. We were ready to execute when we sought out contractors for bidding. First contact: Rep did not show up due to miscommunication. Sion personally apologized and arranged to come out himself. He requested electronic copies of the approved plans. When we sat down at our residence, he had printed out his own full size prints from the pdf files we sentand was prepared to discuss the details of the drawings. He is a civil engineer and it reflected in his depth of knowledge beyond what I would expect a GC to know. I had to call the architect to get some clarifications and this is after I have sat down with 3 other contractors already. He submitted a written bid at the sit down and after we had time to review his proposal, he answered my questions within 24 hours. He wasn't the most detailed, but it was sufficient for us to understand and compare with other bids. His initial bid was very competitive and we know where the cost increases will be based upon the quality of finish we are looking at. Reviewing his license, he has a Class B (general contractor) AND a Class A (engineering contractor)!!! His license dates back to 1981 for the B license and 1996 for his A license. Go to cslb.ca.gov license # 407061 to verify yourself. He also looks to be up to date on insurance with no complaints to CSLB. Through the initial discussions, Sion offered up a few suggestions on improving the aesthetics and functionality. We will take those under advisement, but requested the bid against the drawings as-is so we can compare contractors fairly. Upon review of all offerors, we selected Real Construction. 1) They have excellent references in the south bay/culver city area. 2) Sion has a Class A and B license. 3) They were lower priced for the same scope of work (typically a danger sign, but I'll address this more later). It took two iterations to agree to the scope, payment schedule, terms, and final price. Terms included us remaining at the residence during construction. It was a fair and straightforward exercise. No games, no fuss. Since starting, communication has been excellent. They are available via email, text, and phone and are very responsive. Sion explains each step and the following steps so you are well informed. He is patient and willing to work with our desires and needs. The subs he uses have, for the most part, been professional and very knowledgeable. Sion and his subseven have some, I'll call them passionate, discussions... which I find is a good thing. It means everyone cares to do the job right and not blindly do what they are told. Experts in their fields, they include us in the discussions to ensure what they are going to do will meet or exceed our expectations. As a project engineer myself, I totally enjoy this and appreciate the attention to detail. When we started to put down foundation, floor joists, and frames, I walked around with both large and small levels verifying that everything is down, plumb, and level. I found one vertical beam that was 1/4" off over an 8 foot run, which was acceptable and the most out of alignment I could find. Everything else was dead level or plumb. He ordered all his hardware from a lumber yard in Woodland Hills. We wrote checks directly to them and deducted it from our running balance with Sion. Sion also provided the lien waivers. Our first change order occurred when we pulled back a wall and found no foundation under it. It was permitted by the city, so we had all assumed it had a proper foundation. To remedy, Sion charged $11k to tear down necessary walls, dig, and pour a proper raised foundation, re-build the walls, plumbing, electrical, etc. that would not have had to be touched before. Note this area is to support the new second floor, so while the price may seem high, a lot of work went into it. All the rough framing was done well. We had a few issues from the drawings that the architect had put together. For example, the walls were drawn as 8' high, but were actually 8' 4" high. Sion had to return all the 8' sheer wall (with restocking fee) and purchase 12' sheer wall and trim 20" off each one. He wasn't happy, but he did the work without a change order. This also forced a change to the stairs since we were now one step short of the height. It also changed the roof line. Sion discussed several options with us and he found ways to make the whole thing work. I was really impressed. Rough Plumbing and Electrical were done well. We opted to do a change order to increase the water main diameter and put in a recirculating hot water system. We also had to increase the size of the gas lines to accomodate several new appliances. The total change was about $8k for all the work, plus recirculating hardware. I am very happy with the quality of work so far, so I thought it was a fair price. I'm sure I could have gotten it cheaper, but probably not with the same level of integrity and attention to detail that I have seen. Insulation installers were fast and used good quality materials. Dry wall contractors took a few days since there was a lot to put up, plus we have 14' vaulted ceilings in almost every new room. Sion used Milgard for the windows and french doors. Roofers did their job well. The tile work was done by his workers. Good quality overall. My wife saw a 'waterfall' design at Floor and Decor and decided she wanted that pattern of river rocks running up the shower and on the shower floor. Used metal bullnose material. Everything was installed the way she wanted. Sion's shower glass installer came out, and installed what we agreed upon. He tried to upsell us on some things, but he was ok when we politely declined. Sion gave us an allowance for the master bath and we were able to stay within it and ended up with something we like. The flooring was a bit of a different story. He gave us an allowance, but his flooring contractor was going to charge us an absurd amount of money. Sion was OK with us contracting the flooring ourselves. It was a lot of work and time for us, but we did save a lot of money on that aspect. His workers generally work hard, but some of them do have a bit of an attitude. Just deal directly with Sion and let him handle them. For the stucco, Sion only bid stucco color for the addition. It took us a bit of discussion to understand why he wanted a change order to fog the entire house. Fogging is the last step in stucco with the coloring. After a bit of research, we saw what he was telling us was correct and the price was reasonable. Unfortunately, he limited us to the basic colors, but we found one that my wife liked. Should you use Sion, make sure you are very explicit in the painting instructions. He will assume a single color. Sion was present almost 90% of the days throughout the project. He was there before 7am (mostly because he wanted to beat traffic down). Now we are in the final throws of the project. Sion completed the bulk of his contract in 18 weeks, right about when he thought he would be done. So, he held his promised schedule in spite of a few issues along the way. Overall summary: For the rough work, Sion is on top of the game. The detailed work required some arm wrestling and discussion. Communication is generally very good. Though Sion can get stuck on an idea and you have to be patient to let him get it all out before he hears you. After I figured that out, it was easy to deal with him. He is responsive to phone calls, emails, and texts. He can get a little emotional if you don't do exactly what he thought you would do, but hey, he's human and not a machine. I'm ok with that. Integrity: Sion didn't do anything to make me question his integrity. He worked hard and he kept his word. There were a few times when we remembered things differently, but I believe that those are honest differences and not an attempt to mislead or increase the price. The one real complaint I have is that he was on contract to keep the grounds clean each day since we are living through the construction. We called him on it the first week when the workers were leaving meal boxes and drink cans on the ground. He promised it wouldn't happen again. Unfortunately, that didn't hold. Rather than risking making the workers upset and potentially decreasing quality, we acted as the clean up crew ourselves. An annoyance, but if you are OCD, you're going to have to deal with it. On the flip side, Sion swears he will never take on another project where folks are living through it. To his credit, he did take longer to keep the dust level to a manageable and livable level for us. He probably could have gone a lot faster if we had vacated completely. I highly recommend his Electrical and Plumbing contractors. Definitely two standout groups. Quality is A for rough work, B for finish work. Price is an B, though that requires you to be very explicit in your contract negotiations and putting a payment schedule together. You must understand your scope of work and what you really want. As with any contractor, late changes will cost you. His price was fair. For an A, that would require me getting a great deal. He is a fair and good deal. Punctuality is an A. He kept his schedule and kept me informed if there were any potential issues. Professionalism is really a B+. Some of his crew were not the most professional. Also Sion is a nice guy that wants to do a good job, but sometimes if you disagree with him, he can get a little upset or a little passive aggressive. Don't let it bother you. He eventually comes around and gets over it and then you proceed forward. You will most likely meet his wife, Nara, as well. She is his office manager and a pleasure to work with.
    - Mark H.
  • PROPOSAL & QUOTING
    Lou Philippe is the owner and the business face of Stone Age that operates predominantly in South Bay in recent years.  Lou's attention to detail in the initial scoping and proposal won him the job over 4 other quotes.  While his price placed mid to high in the range, we felt his proposal was well itemized with helpful estimate for materials.  Lou was also diligent in his paperwork.  When it came to selecting the materials, Lou had a designer who had strong opinions and tended to pitch only high-end products through her own channel.  Because of the conflict of interest, we opted to do our own product selection and procurement.
    STARTING THE PROJECT
    Unfortunately the project was delayed by 2 - 3 weeks right off the gate due to their other deployed projects and unresolved procurement issues.  It was disappointing as we had counted on Lou to be the project manager to keep us on track as well.  We learned to be more hands on with the project from this point on.
    THE CREW & QUALITY OF EXECUTION
    Under Lou?s leadership, the quality of work was excellent.  The actual crew was led by Daniel Vazquez and his brother Miguel.  They were both very courteous and professional - simply the best we've seen.  They showed up on time and worked diligently everyday.  We lived in the house during the entire 10 weeks.  Daniel made sure all the dust barriers were up properly and they cleaned up the workspace and after themselves everyday.  As the onsite lead, he also checked in regularly on how we wanted things done and was in practice our main interaction on the day-to-day basis.  We were impressed as the crew poured over how the shower and floor tiles would be placed down to every sight line and every single piece.    On this particular job, the assembly of the IKEA cabinets was our responsibility.  Daniel was able to adapt the units perfectly into the somewhat irregular space that we had.  It demonstrated a high level of experience and skills in execution.  We couldn?t be happier with the result.  Daniel and Miguel absolutely went above and beyond our expectation in this project.
    COMMUNICATION
    Lou was on site once every few days and was good about addressing issues when onsite.  He was however not always super responsive in returning emails or calls.  Many quote requests for additional items went unanswered.  
    SCHEDULE
    The project went another 2 weeks beyond the original date (excluding the 2-wk late start).  
    COST  As mentioned, Stone Age?s price was in the upper half of the range.  The project cost cited did not include the appliances, cabinets and closets.  Lou?s attention to detail translated into change orders and increased cost.  To be fair, there were a few items that he absorbed as a courtesy as well.  In all, for the quality we felt we made a good decision.  To better manage cost, we contracted out separate jobs including acoustic ceiling removal and recessed light install for the entire house, as well as the final painting of the whole house.
    ANGIE?S LIST DISCOUNT, NOT
    We presented Angie?s List coupon in the beginning of the project but was told it was a mistake and would not be honored. Even at review time, coupons are still listed under Stone Age.   It was unfortunate and disappointing on the part of both Angie?s List and of the contractor.  

    - Steven Y.
  • We received a quote for services and scheduled work for a Saturday. Tony and crew arrived on time and finished earlier than expected. They were detail orientated, fast and efficient. Tony and crew took the time to explain what they were doing during the process so that we felt involved and informed of the job process. We are very happy with the results and can't wait to get our floor guy out! We have recommended TME Construction to friends and plan to use them again in the future.


    - Ambur B.
  • I contacted Montano Building regarding my project in August, 2011.  Joel Montano came out to review the project details and take measurements for the quote.  He was very attentive to our requests and pointed out various items for consideration. We received a detailed quote within the week and selected him (among the four estimates we received) to begin work the week after Labor Day.  We selected Joel based on price and our comfort level with him.  On price, he was on par with one other quote we received (ie the two lowest of the four) but my wife and I related to him better than the other contractor.  The initial phases to our project went generally okay.  There were some miscommunications (ie notification of which days he was going to send workers, timing of completion, cost of change orders) and quality control issues that we had (bathroom grout color was not uniform, drywall was not level, fireplace tile installation was sloppy), but Joel and I were able to work them out.  The last phase of our project (expansion of the house)  didn't begin until the first week of December due to permitting delays.  At the time of the start of this phase, Joel thought he could have it materially complete by Christmas (ie 3 weeks) and completely done in 4 weeks.  Due to the holiday season, having it materially complete by Christmas was important to my family.  Unfortunately, for one reason or another, the expansion area was not usable for Christmas and the overall project was not completed until the last week of January (ie total of 8-9 weeks). 
    Generally speaking, Joel will do his best to correct quality issues of the work being performed.  The biggest critique I have of Montano Building was quality control monitoring, schedule coordination/staying on schedule and communication of cost additions.  I believe some of the delays we encountered could have been avoided had better oversight of the work been implemented.  Redoing work due to quality issues took up far too much time, unnecessarily increased the cost for both Joel and me and contributed to the delay in schedule.  However, I am a  bottom line kind of person and despite the schedule delays, the final work product was of acceptable quality.  All-in-all, I believe Montano Building is a good contractor to use.  The road to get to the final work product may not be smooth, however Joel will do his best to complete work to the customer's satisfaction and at the end of the day, this is what's most important (IMO).
    - Kenji O.
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