We hired Mapplebeck to install four telephone/electric poles along our (long) driveway. In the end, the job was done well, but we ended up paying to install them twice. The first quote was to install the poles with an auger or backhoe, and when that didn't work (they hit bedrock), we had to pay for a rock drill as well. At least we know they won't fall down!
We must have gone to Hampden Zimmerman 10 times during the construction of our house - they have an incredible selection of lights in stock, and they have many times more available through catalogs. The items we ordered were delivered in a timely fashion, and all were of high quality. We're very pleased with the results.
I have used Menard's for auto glass replacement, so I thought I'd try them out for mirrors too. I was building a hallway mirror, and needed a piece of mirror. They had it ready quickly, and it was exactly the size I ordered. I'd go back if I needed another.
This year (2007) was Velvet Greene's first year in business, and they are off to a good start. I bought most of the seedlings for my vegetable garden there - they have a nice selection of traditional vegetables as well as plenty of heirloom varieties. They seedlings all did well, and we had a great garden.
Drilling a well always involves a bit of mystery - nobody knows what is under there. McKinstry did a good job of laying out the possibilities, and helping us to make informed decisions about how deep to drill, and when to hydrofrac. We ended up with a good well that produces plenty of water, and we haven't had any problems with the pump or tank.
We used Jalbert Engineering throughout the process of building our new house. They surveyed the bounds of the property to creating the plot plans, and they designed the septic design and supervised its installation. They also delineated the wetlands and assisted with the preparation of documents for the Conservation Commission. Their experience and professionalism helped throughout the project, and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again.
Pro-Tech installed the whole-house alarm system when our house was built. They coordinated with the builder and us to design an effective yet affordable system that works well for us. They don't run the monitoring themselves, so they don't try to sell you an inexpensive alarm system but overcharge on the monitoring.
We hired John Hondrogen to design and build our dream house, and we couldn't be happier with the process or the results. John only does one project at a time, so we had his full attention from start to finish. He listened to our ideas, and put them together into a design that we love. And he built the house with the same attention to detail and concern for our happiness. We ended up with an exceptional house that we will enjoy for years.
We saw J&B paving our neighbor's driveway, and hired them to pave the end of ours (it is a long driveway). They quoted the job quickly, and they did the job when they said they would. They even worked with us to make sure our cars didn't get trapped on the wrong side of the new asphalt. We liked the job so much, we hired them again to spread gravel on the rest of the driveway.
We've bought a number of products from Lamoureax over the last few years, and we've been happy with our experiences with them. Everything from bark mulch to trees to perennials - good quality and good prices. And they even have a guarantee on the bigger things - if your tree dies in the first year, you get your money back.
We hired Isaac's to move a small piano from Newton to Waltham. Isaac's were easy to deal with, they were on-time, and they moved our piano without damaging either house or the piano. The charge was exactly what they had estimated, and it was even fun to watch two huge guys muscle the piano into the house!
Standard Electric caters to electricians, but anyone can walk up to the counter and buy any electrical supplies. It can be a bit intimidating if you don't know the name of what you need, but I've had good luck getting a wide range of electric supplies for a number of projects. The prices are quite reasonable, too.
We use Osterman for our regular propane delivery - we heat with propane, so we use a lot. They come on time, and always keep us full, but I'm never sure we're getting a good price. They own the tank, so we have to pay whatever price they say, or switch tanks (which would cost more than just paying extra for the gas).
We painted the complete interior of our new house with Sherwin-Williams paint, and we were pleased with the products and the service from our local store. The staff were always helpful, and they had what we wanted, when we wanted it. In all, a great experience.
Wild Bird Crossing has a great selection of bird feeders, bird seed, wind chimes and other outdoor supplies. The staff are extremely helpful and friendly. I bought a Droll Yankee feeder and a squirrel ate the plastic - they replaced it on the spot for free!
Dick's is a thing of the past - a neighborhood hardware store. He doesn't have the selection of a Home Depot, but he has the benefits of being local and he's there to help you find a product. If you need that certain part to finish a project, Dick's is a great place to go.
Our landlord had M&M Cleaning on call when a pipe burst in our apartment, flooding our bedroom. M&M had a crew on-site within an hour (it was a weekend) and they worked tirelessly to stop the water and clean up the mess. I can't imagine the job being done any better than they did it.
We used Floor Source for all of the flooring (carpet, bamboo and ceramic tile) in our new house, and we were pleased with the selection and service. We had plenty of options to choose from, and everything was competitively priced. We also had Floor Source install the carpeting, and the installation went very well.
In an era of big-box retailers and impersonal service, it is nice to deal with a local merchant who will stand behind his products. We bought a kitchen-full of appliances from Russ Penney, and he personally helped us pick the right appliances for us. The prices were similar to the big, impersonal stores, and I know that if I ever have a problem, Russ will be there to help me.