Items tagged with 'contractors'

A good contractor for installing a fence?

wood stockade style fenceErica emails:

I'm writing to ask for any recommendations for fencing companies. I know there are a number of options in the Albany area but I'd like to get a recommendation from someone who's had good experience with a company. The AOA community has been great with other topics so I thought I'd give this a shot too. Thanks!

As Erica mentions, there do seem to be at least of handful of companies out there that install fencing. So if you have suggestions, great.

To extend Erica's a question a little bit... We're also curious if there are companies that specialize in various types of fencing, whether it's wood or metal. Or if there are companies that tend do a lot of work on styles of fencing that go beyond the typical stockade style or chain link.

So, got a suggestion for Erica? Please share! And as with any question like this, a sentence or two about why you're recommending a company can be a big help.

Stained glass window repair in a home?

Canfield Casino stained glass windowSusan emails:

I am looking for someone who repairs stained glass windows and don't know where to begin. I got name of one vendor, but they mainly work on large windows, such as those in churches.
We have a 1930 home with small stained glass windows. They are starting to come apart. It looks like a previous owner attempted some home repair on them. I don't know if the windows are salvageable, especially withe the bad repair job, but I really want to try to repair them rather than replace them with cheesy contemporary windows.
Do your readers have any recommendations?

There are a bunch of older homes around this area with small stained glass windows. In the city of Albany, at least, you can often find the windows on either side of the fireplace. So, there's gotta be someone who can repair these sorts of windows.

Got a suggestion for Susan? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're recommending a person or service can a be a big help.

A service for cleaning hard-to-reach exterior windows?

Maiden Lane building windows next buildingS. emails:

I'm trying to have my windows cleaned (outside), but they are difficult to reach, neither my friends or myself are comfortable climbing up there.
I searched on AOA, but it doesn't seem this question was ever asked (?). If you think this would be of interest to somebody else, and if it's not too specific for AOA, I'd love to hear from people.

S. is right -- we haven't had this question before. And we're a little surprised it hasn't come up before. Given all the old homes in this area (with old windows), there are probably quite a few people for whom cleaning the outside of their upper-floor windows isn't an easy thing.

So, got a suggestion for S. -- either a company or an idea of how to solve the problem? Please share! And as with any question likes this, a sentence or two about why you're recommending a company can be very helpful.

Design help for renovating a small kitchen?

kitchen tools in metal holder

D. emails:

We are wondering if you can help us with recommendations from your readers about kitchen designers locally. We have an old brownstone with a very oddly configured kitchen, and want to do some upgrades. We need help maximizing the space and achieving the look we want. Would your readers have any insight on a kitchen designer creative enough to do this?
We're not looking for the typical overbuilt Chef's Kitchen, but rather a modern take on a smaller space.

We had a similar question a few years back. But we're interested in the small space/odd space part of D.'s question. There are so many older homes in this area with kitchens that are, by modern standards, small or cramped or just lacking certain amenities that people often look for now. So we'd love to hear how people adapt and update these spaces.

Got a suggestion for D.? Either a designer to recommend or resource to check out or even an experience to share? Do tell, please! And a sentence or two about why you're recommending a place or designer can be a big help.

Suggestions for a tile installer (including one who might not mind an assistant)?

tile backsplashJessica emails:

I'm looking for a tile contractor to do a small kitchen (16x16') and bathroom in Troy. I have the tile picked out, but need an installer. Looking for someone who is responsive, has some availability this month, and reasonably priced. I'd also be interested in working with someone that would let me participate in the work and learn for myself how to do it.

We had a similar tile question a few years back. But Jessica's interest in finding someone who'd let her work alongside and learn is a a different angle. And it makes us wonder if maybe the right candidate won't be a traditional contractor.

Got a suggestion for Jessica? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're recommending a person or business can be a big help.

Design help for organizing a house?

cluttered closetMelissa emails:

We've lived in our house 10 years, and are in need of some help. We are a family now, with all the 'stuff' that comes with that, and just cannot figure out how to make a more grown up house that uses space well and files away all the paperwork of elementary school. Are there local decorators/organizers folks can recommend? Is that a real thing?!

We're always amazed by how people who have eye for design can rearrange a space to make it work better or just feel better.

Got a suggestion for Melissa? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're recommending a person or service or idea is always helpful.

Restoration or re-glazing for an antique tub?

bathroom tub drain

Courtney emails:

We have a bathroom renovation coming up and I found an antique clawfoot tub to use in the bathroom. It needs a little TLC - can anyone recommend someone who specializes in re-glazing and restoration? Bonus points if they have experience with antiques!

The first idea that came to mind when we say Courtney's question was that a call to Historic Albany parts warehouse might be a good place to start -- they might have some suggestions.

But if you have a specific service or contractor to suggest, even better. Got someone in mind? Please share!

A good contractor for smaller around-the-house jobs?

wall with hole in itM emails:

We have a few "honey-do" items around our house that need more than a amateur touch, but not a full blown "Bob Villa" contractor with a camera crew. Items such as grout work/repair, installing a grounded outlet, painting trim and a bilco door, some repairing of concrete work... I need someone I can trust, who is reasonable, but not a fly by night operative. Suggestions?

We get the impression it's hard to find someone to do these sorts of in-between level jobs -- maybe a little more complicated than a Saturday DYI project, but not big enough for a big contracting company.

So, got a suggestion for M? Please share! And a sentence or two about why're suggestion a person or company can be very helpful.

Contractor for building stoop replacement?

S emails:

I'm looking to have my stoop replaced, and I was wondering if I could summon the AOA crowd to find a good contractor.

There are a bunch of neighborhoods in the Capital Region where the buildings have stoops. And while it's a feature that no doubt lasts decades (or should), at some point things do crumble. So presumably there are contractors with expertise in rebuilding them.

Also: We wonder if there are contractors that specialize in building/replacing stoops in historic districts?

Got a suggestion for S? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're recommending a contractor can be very helpful.

photo: Casey Normile

Contractor for new driveway and grading to fix water runoff problem?

foundation brickAnonymous writes:

A few times a summer we get water in our garage, and then our house, during heavy rains. After watching what happens (it's kind of hard to explain) we're now pretty sure we need a new driveway with new grading and maybe some additional drainage work. Maybe also an actual drain. Maybe some foundation work. We don't know for sure. Previous homeowners took some steps to address the problem and it seemed to help a bit, but we want to fix the problem for good.
We don't know exactly what sort of contractor we need. So we're hoping people might have suggestions. Both for type of contractor, and also for specific companies. Thank you.

As always with these sorts of questions, a sentence or two about why you're recommending a contractor can be a big help.

Got a suggestion for Anon? Please share!

Good contractor for roof repair?

roof line of a house with chimneyAnonymous says:

It looks like there's a leak in our home's roof, probably around where the vent for the plumbing sticks out of the roof. I have a feeling it's not a big or complicated repair, but I'm also not so confident about climbing out on the roof myself to fix it. So I was hoping people might have suggestions for good contractors for roof repair.

We looked through past questions and we've had one about slate roofers, and one about fixing the flat rubber roof on a historic home. But -- somewhat to our surprise -- it doesn't look like we've ever had a question about finding a roofing contractor for a "regular" shingle roof.

So, got a suggestion for Anonymous? Please share! And, as always, bonus points for sentence or two about why you're suggesting that company.

Contractor for a tub replacement?

shower water knobM emails:

I'm looking for a contractor and/or plumber who can remove a bathtub and replace it with a walk-in shower, grab bars and other safety features for a senior citizen.

Sometimes the first step is just figuring out what sort of contractor you're looking for. So, in this case, we're curious if this a job that can be handled solely by a plumber, or if it's a job that would require someone more along the lines of a general construction/remodeling contractor.

Got a suggestion for M? Please share! And bonus points for a sentence or two about why you're recommending that person or company.

Contractor for building a patio?

patio paversFrom Anonymous:

We're hoping to build a paver patio in our backyard, nothing too complicated or big, though it'll probably require leveling and raising a part of the yard a foot or two. So maybe it will also involve a short wall or something.
We've had some bad luck so far getting contractors to call us back or show up for appointments for an estimate. I realize this is a busy time right now, but still. If you're not going to be able make an appointment, just call to say so.
So, we were hoping people at AOA might have suggestions for good contractors for this sort of work.

As always with these sorts of questions, if you have a company or contractor to suggest, we'll be awarding non-redeemable bonus points for a sentence or two explaining why you're recommending that company.

Got a suggestion for Anonymous? Please share!

A good heating/cooling company?

generic ductworkDan emails:

My wife and I recently purchased a home in Rensselaer County, and need to address the home's heating/cooling ductwork. The system needs to be inspected/sealed (I will do the insulating myself). Can anyone suggest a good-quality business for this type of work?

We had a sort-of-related question last year, but it looks like we haven't had general question about good home heating/cooling contractors in a while.

So, got a suggestion for Dan? Please share!

A good mason?

jessicarw brick wall demolitionJessica R W emails:

Doing an interior gutting of our new property, my husband and I found that our wood-frame house is actually a wooden exterior with an interior lining of brick! Our demo guy said he had never seen a house like this. I am looking for a mason to replace any missing bricks and repoint as needed.

"I've never seen something like this" isn't always the best news from a contractor.

The photo on the right is one that Jessica sent along of one of the bedrooms during demo.

Got a suggestion for Jessica? Please share!

Advice for fixing old lath-and-plaster walls?

Thumbnail image for wall with hole in itMatt emails:

Does anyone have suggestions for a contractor that can repair lathe and plaster walls? I have part of one wall that has sustained water damage from leaky chimney flashing and another wall where some of the final smooth coat has cracked apart. I've done some research and know that some contractors suggest tearing it out to the studs and replacing it with drywall (which would also give an opportunity to put in some insulation on the outer walls).
I like the plaster walls because they're thicker and more substantial than drywall, and provide good sound dampening between rooms. The idea of just ripping them out seems counterproductive (and quite frankly, a waste) to me. However, I realize repairing them is probably a lost skill and not many people do that anymore.
Any suggestions for contractors or input otherwise would be greatly appreciated.

This area has a lot of old houses, so we're guessing there are contractors who do this sort of work. But, as with most things that aren't common, it might end up costing a lot.

So, got advice or a suggestion for Matt? Please share!

Help with a demolition project?

 wall with hole in itJessica emails:

I'm looking for a local demolition crew to take down old walls and some ceilings down to the studs in a turn-of-the-century house. Some walls are lathe and plaster, some are covered in paneling or dry wall.

If you have someone/a company to suggestion, great. But if you don't, maybe you have some ideas about how Jessica could go about finding someone to help with this project. (As with so many things, there has to be a better way than Craigslist.)

So, got a suggestion? Please share!

A good company/person for drywall work?

wall with hole in itSean emails:

I live in Albany and have an upcoming renovation project and would love nothing more than to pay someone else to do the drywall work. In the past, my wife and I enjoyed learning + doing it the first time, grumbled our way through it the second time... and are now loathing the prospect of having to do it a third time. Would any of your readers happen to know a person or company they could recommend that might be able to spare us from this misery and gladly take our money??? Please please please!

Sometimes the lesson of a DIY project is that you shouldn't do it yourself. And there's nothing wrong with that.

So, got a suggestion or advice for Sean and his wife? Please share!

A contractor for mold remediation?

Thumbnail image for wall with hole in itJessica emails:

We just bought a 2nd property to flip for apartments, and the basement ceiling beams are covered with multiple types of mold. We were initially going to do the clean up ourselves, but my allergies can't handle it (even when using a respirator). This is something I want to bring in a professional for. Can the AOA readers recommend any good mold remediation companies? We want someone reliable and affordable.

We wonder if there's any sort of certification or licensing for companies that do this. You know, can anyone call themselves a "mold remediator?" (Here's the state Department of Health's page on mold -- it has some basic background info.)

Got a suggestion or advice for Jessica? Please share!

Contractor for matching historical building style?

troy washington park autumn ivyOmar emails:

I'm buying a victorian-style house in Troy soon and would like to have a garage built. I would like it to match the style of the neighborhood so I'm envisioning a cinder block garage, possibly with a brick facade. Can anyone recommend a good mason or whoever does this kind of work?

We had a similar questions earlier this year, but it was focused on indoor carpentry work. As we said then, there are so much old houses in this area, there have got to be companies that can building something to fit with the style.

Got a suggestion for Omar? Please share!

Help with kitchen renovation design?

kitchen tools in holderM. messages:

We are thinking about doing a kitchen renovation. Got the contractor, got a "look" picked out, but kind of clueless about the actual design process. Has anyone had a good experience with a designer, either through one of those kitchen renovation one stop shops, or an independent person?

We're always a little amazed by how talented designers can look at a situation and see solutions/angles/ideas non-designers might miss. And, sure, hiring one will probably be more expensive. But when you think about how much a kitchen gets used -- and how frustrating a design flaw can be over the years -- it can be worth the extra money.

So, got a suggestion for M.? Please share!

Experience with home radon mitigation?

foundation brickCarl asks via Twitter:

Hey @alloveralbany, know you just did an ask, but can you ask about [experience] with radon mitigators? #askingforafriend #justincase

Quick background: Radon is a radioactive gas that's released from rock and soil, and in some cases, it can get trapped by a house, especially the basement. Sometimes the levels are high enough that it's a health threat (radon exposure can cause lung cancer). Here's an EPA page with radon info.

There are test kits for radon, and you can get one for under $10 from New York State. In cases where radon might be collecting at dangerous levels in a house, modifications can be made to mitigate the problem. Here's a state Department of Health checklist for questions to ask contractors.

So, all that said, anyone have a suggestion or experience to share with Carl? Please share!

A landscape designer for a backyard makeover?

generic landscaped yard areaChuckD emails:

It's time we did something about the backyard. But we're not interested in some HGTV thing with all parts sourced from a Big Box DIY store. We're looking for a creative designer/contractor who will design and build a natural backyard space to include replacement of a ratty deck, a rattier wood fence, inclusion of an existing inground pool, two existing happy doggies, and most importantly, an awareness and interest in those gray areas between indoors and out and work it into our passive solar house. Can anyone recommend someone who will think outside The Box and help us realize our ideas? Cuz we're clueless.

Even on a small project there can be a big difference between what the typical person can scratch out on the back of an envelope and what a professional designer can put together. And a landscape designer might be able to lend some helpful expertise on the sort of plants and other features that will make the new backyard easier to maintain over the long run.

So, got a suggestion for Chuck? Please share!

A good contractor for installing gutters?

gutter downspoutTerence asked via Twitter:

Any chance you could post a question to your blog for recs on local residential seamless gutter installers?

Gutters are one of those things that might seem like kind of a boring thing for your house. And, you know, they're not exactly a "wow" kind of home improvement. But they can make a difference in keeping water out of your basement or away from your foundation.

So... got a suggestion for Terence? Please share!

A company for installing house insulation?

spray foam insulation installationAnon emails:

I'm looking for a competent, reasonably-priced spray foam insulation contractor for my home. I need to have old cellulose insulation removed from parts of my basement, and spray foam installed throughout the basement. Thank you

Based on what we've seen on, um, HGTV and a little bit of what we've read, spray foam insulation is said to do the job very well, better than other types of insulation. It also looks like it's a whole process, with installers wearing ventilated suits and whatnot.

Got a suggestion for Anon? Please share!

photo: Flickr user dunktanktechnician (cc)

A good contractor for tile?

tile backsplashLaura emails:

I am planning on selecting and installing a custom backsplash in my kitchen this spring. Can the readers suggest a company or a contractor we should consider working with?

It's been a while since we've had a kitchen/bathroom contractor question.

So, got a company to suggest? Please share. Non-redeemable bonus points for a quick sentence about why you're suggesting that company.

(And we're guessing someone might suggest Laura try doing it herself -- which is great, but please include where/how Laura might get some help in learning how to do so.)

A good house exterior painter?

peeling house paintChuck emails:

We wonder if you could ask your readers for recommendations on a good house painter for the exterior of brownstone-type row houses. Someone who can also do minor repairs on the wooden cornices. Summer painting season will be here before long and we'd like to line up the job now.

Getting the jump on this sort of stuff now is a good idea because sometimes the schedules of contractors fill up fast during the spring and summer.

So... got a suggestion for Chuck and his house? Please share!

Contractor for a historic home?

staircase from sideJune asks via Twitter:

Hi guys at @alloveralbany. Looking to repair inside stairs in downtown Albany brick row house. Built c. 1890s. Any suggestions?
Contractors pls. Definitely more than I can do. Would prefer to repair rather than replace depending on cost. Tks!

We've had handyman and contractor questions before, but it's been a few years. And we're curious if maybe there's someone with specific experience doing repairs/renovations in older homes. Example: Maybe someone who would be better at restoring something that's true the house's original design, if that's what June is after.

There a bunch of century-old (or older) homes in this area, so we're guessing there are people with this sort of experience.

Got a suggestion? Please share!

A company to remove asbestos?

house mechanicals pipes ductEmily emails with follow-up -- and a question (emphasis added):

A few weeks ago, someone asked for recommendations for a reputable home inspector who specialized in old homes (they specified farmhouses). As luck would have it, a few weeks later my husband and I found ourselves needing a reputable home inspector with experience looking at old homes.
Your readers' recommendations were unbelievably spot-on. The inspector we chose (Peter Shaming of Excelsior Home Inspections if I may be specific) was incredibly thorough, knowledgable and professional. He found things that had been missed on a previous inspection and even managed to impress the two engineer team of my husband and father-in-law which is not an easy task.
Well, with all that- one of the things he found was a small amount of old asbestos wrap around some ductwork in the basement. We would like to get it professionally removed and are looking for recommendations. Your readers gave us awesome guidance the first time, does anyone have any reputable and licensed asbestos abatement contractors they would recommend?

First off, it's great to hear those earlier answers were helpful. +1 to everyone who offered a suggestion.

Now, onto Emily's question: Have a suggestion for a good company to handle this asbestos issue? Or maybe your house also had a similar asbestos situation and you found away to address it without removal? Please share.

Contractor to fix a wet basement?

house foundation brickAnonymous emails:

I'm looking for competent, reliable contractors to fix a moisture problem in our basement. I'm aware of two companies in our area: Adirondack Basement Solutions and Kinetic Basement Solutions.
Can you post a request on the web for readers to share their experiences with these companies, as well as any recommendations for others to contact?

There seem to be a lot of companies that advertise services to address this problem, but we get the sense that wet basements can be tricky. And sometimes fixing the problem goes beyond the basement itself -- to things like gutters.

So, got a suggestion for Anonymous? Please share.

Good place to shop for appliances?

kitchen stove dialsAnnie asks via Facebook:

I was wondering if you guys (or your readers) could recommend the best place to find deals on kitchen appliances as well as any good contractors in the area. My fiance and I just bought our first house so we'd love a good point in the right direction!

We've had a handful of contractor questions in the past. But we don't think we've ever had a question about where to buy appliances.

A lot of people might default to one of the big box stores -- but the Capital Region also has a handful of local appliance stores. So, there's some choice.

Have a suggestion for Annie about where to shop -- or even just suggestions about what to look for? Please share!

Companies for foundation repair?

foundation brickJason emails:

Yesterday's friendly almost-tornado helped loosen a hole in my home's foundation, which is now leaking. I wonder if you or the AOA community have any recommendations for people/companies that can do foundation repair work. Since it's work on the foundation, I'm more interested in the repairs being done correctly, rather than cheaply.

Whenever contractor-type questions come up here, Bennett often gets mentioned. But there are plenty of options out there, and we're curious if there are companies that specialize in fixing this sort of problem. (Basements/foundations seem like they could be hard problems to fix.)

So, got a suggestion for Jason? Please share.

Getting a basement egress/exit installed?

basement window installation flickr m.giffordZach emails:

We are looking to make the most of our house and would like to fully use the finished basement. In order to do so, we need to add an egress. Has anyone had this done recently, and if so, any recommendations on who to use?

Basically, an egress is a way to get out the basement in case of a fire. It's often a code requirement, especially if there's a bedroom.

So, have you done something like this? Is this a general contractor job, or does Zach need to find someone who specializes in doors/windows/basements? Please share.

photo: Flickr user m.gifford (cc)

A good painter?

generic used paintbrushAmy emails:

We built a house and need a lot of painting done and you were the first place I went to for painter recommendations. You had a post about general contractors, but nothing about painters. Could you post a request for good interior painters?

Know of a good paint to suggest to Amy? Please share! And please explain a little bit about why that person is good -- attention to detail, fair price, whatever.

A good general contractor?

hammer headValerie asks via Twitter:

I have a few projects I need help with. Removal/replacement of deck, shoring up a porch, basement windows, kitchen counters. Also maybe wood window restoration and an indoor painter who can deal with removing lots and lots of nightmarish wallpaper.
If anyone is or knows a good general contractor please share. PLEASE.

This is a question that comes up all the time. And it's definitely worth asking around for referrals and talking with people about their experiences. A lot of contractors do a good job, but there are definitely some out there to avoid.

So, anyone have suggestions for Valerie? Please share!

A good handyman or contractor for stuff around the house?

hammer headGretchen emails:

My husband and I are getting ready to move and need some small handyperson type jobs done around the house like fixing a small hole in the detached garage roof, putting some trim on our laminate floors (a DIY project which got waylaid), and small painting projects.

Know of a good handyperson or contractor who might be able to help Gretchen and her husband? Please share!

A good electrician?

power outletMichael asks via Twitter:

Does anyone have any reco's for a residential electrician in Albany?

Got a suggestion for Michael? Please share!

Earlier on AOA:
+ Ask AOA: A good plumber?
+ Ask AOA: Contractors for an energy audit?
+ Ask AOA: Furnace cleaning and tune-ups?

Contractors for an energy audit?

energy audit door fanMartin emails:

I'm going to schedule a home energy audit in the near future. I contacted NYSERDA and I was approved an audit award. Now I'm looking over the list of NYSRDA approved contractors. The Capital Region's list is long, and I don't want someone who's only goal is to pressure me into buying services and products I don't really need.
Does anyone out there have recommendation this area' listing?

Got a suggestion for Martin? Please share!

Earlier on AOA:
+ Ask AOA: Furnace cleaning and tune-ups?
+ Keep up with the Joneses? Pfft. Beat 'em.

photo: Flickr user ActiveSteve

Contractors to fix a broken or warped walkway?

sunken sidewalk

Watch your step.

Mark asks via Twitter:

I've got a sidewalk that looks like this in two places. It's my front walk, not a city sidewalk. Any suggestions on who to call to repair it?

That looks like it could be a trip-and-fall waiting to happen -- especially as things get icy.

Got a suggestion for Mark? Please share.

Contractors for roof snow removal?

snow hanging from roofJames asks a timely question via the Twitter:

You guys have been very helpful with plumbers, electricians and mechanics. Ideas on good contractors for roof snow removal?

Got a suggestion for James? Please share!

Earlier on AOA:
+ A good plumber?
+ Capital Region Recommended Mechanics

Who can install central air?

Egg on sidewalk.jpgOK, we're on stay-cation, but we have hearts. So when S. sent us this sweltering distress call, we had to put it out there in hopes that someone in the crowd can help him:

He asks:

I've no AC at my place and I'm really cooking right now. I have ducts and pipes all over the house to install central air conditioning, but I'm looking for a contractor to put the system itself, e.g. a condenser and compressor to run cold air all around the house. Was wondering if AOA reader had somebody to recommend

Anybody have any thoughts?

Photo: flickr user Lori Greig

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