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Carpentry & Woodworking
Please note: this page contains reviews and opinions sent in by Berkeley Parents Network subscribers. Your own experience may be different. Please always check references first!
We would like to have a custom kitchen island built using reclaimed wood from a 1900s parlor organ. Recommendations for a carpenter who is up for the challenge would be much appreciated! Melanie
I can highly recommend Mark Feinberg (Mobile: 510-282-7472 firstname.lastname@example.org) as a handyman/carpenter. He recently rebuilt a cupboard for us in our garage. It was a miserable job. He had to work in a very tight space that required much measuring and realigning. Mark diligently tackled the project, giving us a space that we now are very happy with at a reasonable rate. lmac
We have an old house that needs alot of things updated. Can anyone recommend a handyman who also is a skilled carpenter. We have had handymen work on our house but were not capable of matching the quality. Anon
As an artist, I have a vision and drawings of a relatively simple facelift on my garage/studio. So far, the contractors that I've met with have been competent but don't share my aesthetics. One went so far as to suggest that I scrap my plans and just put in two steel screen doors! aaarrrggg! So I'm still looking for someone with a sense of style and ''green-ness''. Of course, it's all on a budget too. Any ideas? Thanks much. holly
I had a leak into my kitchen from my second floor bath tub. I need someone who can make a small wood access panel for the kitchen ceiling. It is a small job but needs someone who can problem solve and make this ready to be painted, along with the rest of the ceiling. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Many thanks! Barbara
Looking for a builder or carpenter to frame and rebuild roof for a garage. Someone with a lot of framing experience.
We are seeking a professional to build wall-to-wall shelving at close to ceiling height (above windows/doors) in two or three rooms of our Crafstman (ish) home in Berkeley - simple in design, 8 to 12 inches deep. Do you have a recommendation for someone who could do this?
Handyman? Carpenter? Cabinet Maker? Contractor? Someone who would do an excellent job at a reasonable cost, and wouldn't consider this job ''too small''. Have you done, or considered, something similar? Who did you use (or, if you did it yourself, any advice?) Thanks very much. Needing high shelves built
Can someone recommend a contractor to design and install a handrail for our outdoor front-entryway stairs. We need to add a railing per our insurance company. Also, we are looking for a DETAIL-ORIENTED, professional handyman/carpenter. We have tried two already for different jobs and have been disappointed by their lack of attention to detail and design-sense. Help! We can't handle anymore so-so or shoddy workmanship. We are looking for someone who takes pride in their work and strives for perfection, and a complete and polished job.
Re: Carpenter for Waldorf style playloft
I highly recommend Craig Britton for carpentry. I've used Craig over and over again the last three years for a lot of different projects, small and large. Craig can do any kind of carpentry work from the most basic repairs to designing custom built-ins. He is an artist himself and very creative. No job is too wierd or complex for him to tackle. He also does plumbing and electric if the job requires. Craig can be reached at 415-531- 6355 or email@example.com. For more info on the reference, call me- 510-339-8337. Valerie
We are looking for a carpenter to help with deck repair. Ideas?
My home is a cute little 1920's cottage with only two closets, both marginal. I would like a floor to ceiling closet built in one of my bedrooms. I'd like something that looks like it was there from the get-go. Anyone know any carpenters who specialize in that sort of thing? L
We have a interior wood staircase that needs replacing. We would like to find someone who could design and build a custom staircase. The steps themselves are fine, but the handrails, balusters, etc are loose and we want to replace them with wood in a design that suits the craftsman style of our home. Any suggestions/ advice on who could do this type of project? Sarah
Hello--I've begun a remodel and wanted to find a skilled carpenter and/or handperson to use for the smaller parts of the project. In the Claremont area of Berkeley. Thank you! Sara
Looking for a great finish carpenter for cabinet crown, which our carpenter friend would rather not do, and to build a range hood frame. Does anyone have a recent experience with someone in the area? leela
I found Ron Masters through BPN, after reading many rave reviews over the years. Since then, Ron has helped us on a couple of jobs -- building a beautiful craftsman fence and framing out a basement remodel. Not only does he do great work, but his rates are very reasonable, and he's an EXTREMELY good guy. And very fair - if something goes wrong, he accepts responsibility in a very gracious way and fixes the problem. His assistant, Dan, is also great. You can reach Ron at 415.377.8400 or mastersr6[at]yahoo.com (phone is the best). Jamie R
I would like to recommend a wonderful carpenter who has recently done excellent work for me. He has thirty years' experience and is the former owner of a residential homebuiding business in New England. He relocated to the west coast two years ago and is building up a clientelle. He is a hard working, honest carpenter and can do homebuilding and repair jobs of any sort. He rebuilt the trellis on my back porch, replaced my basement door, repaired my deck, and was willing to tackle any job I proposed. He did say that he doesn't do major electrical work or plumbing. He charges $55 an hour and cleans up every day after finishing. His name is Charlie Bishop. cell: 207-266-3477 or email: cbbishop[at]hotmail.com Sandra
I would like to recommend Josh Tomlinson of Dialogue
Design-Build. Josh was able to take over after we separated from
a contractor on a remodeling job. He did a bunch of internal
finishes (including plumbing as well as finish carpentry) for us,
as well as built a beautiful deck. He's a true artisan who cares
deeply about his work. (he's also a fine art photographer to
boot). He's honest, earnest, and a real pleasure to work with.
Since finishing his work for us he's also gotten his contractors
license and is also doing general contracting. We've recommended
him to friends who are uniformly pleased with his work. I would
not hesitate to use him again. He can be reached at 510-325-1917
We are painting the exterior of our house and we need to replace some siding boards. Can you recommend anyone? Casey
Her'e an excerpt from his Craigslist Ad: With over 30 years of experience in the construction trades, and in residential and commercial maintenance, I am a person of integrity and am very detail oriented and reliable. I do excellent work in Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical, and Landscaping. A restorative Carpenter, I also specialize in building decks, arbors, and fences, with a focus on aesthetics and function for outdoor living spaces. I have references from satisfied customers and photos of my work. Please make inquiries by email, burnin4u at gmail.com My name is Alan
Josh Tomlinson, with Dialogue Design/Build (510-325-1917) is great for small-to-medium sized projects where you want someone to be thoughful and to apply good design sensibility. He helped us figure out what we needed, and he was great about listening and adjusting the plan as new things popped up. It seems like a lot of the people we've tried to work with have been hard to communicate with, fail to return phone calls, and pretty much just do their own thing. Josh has a lot of integrity-he's responsible, he's easy to talk to, and he cares about his work. I think Josh is especially well suited for projects where you don't want to pay an arm and a leg but you want something custom-designed with style and built with care. p.s. He does both indoor and outdoor projects Wendy
I would like to recommend Ron Masters (415.377.8400) for exterior carpentry. He built a new deck for us in El Cerrito. He and his assistant did an excellent job. He has a great eye for detail and aesthetics and made helpful suggestions regarding materials, design and cost. I got his name from positive recommendations on the BPN and echo all the great things that others have said about his work. I look forward to working with him on future projects. Suil
I am recommending Michael Clancy for finish carpentry. He did an excellent and thoughtful job revamping our master BR closets including some very difficult circular and angular carpentry. He sourced materials efficiently, worked fast and efficiently, and stayed on budget. His other work includes cabinets to decks and gates, as shown on his website www.sfcarpenter.com. 415-242-1317 Satisfied Berkeley customer
We very highly recommend Frank Ciccarelli (759-8536) for any exterior/interior structural renovations and general carpentry. He has done multiple projects for us and we're always very happy. He is meticulous, very "hands-on", and will work with you on designs/solutions. He worked closely with us on a custom fence design that many strangers have stopped us to compliment. He also closely supervises everyone involved in a project (doesn't just delegate the implementation and come back at the end, as we've seen some contractors do.) Andrew
I highly recommend Ron Masters for any carpentry or home remodels. He and his assistant remodeled our attic space into a family room and bedroom, including sheet rock, insulation, dry wall, painting, windows etc. He did the project in record time including putting in 3 skylights and custom lighting. He is an artist and craftsman with a fine eye for detail. I know he has also remodeled kitchens ,bathrooms and built custom decks. His prices are very reasonable and most importantly he is reliable and focuses on your job only. Call Ron directly and he can give you references depending on the type of job you need help with. He can be reached at 415-377-8400 or e-mail mastersr6[at]yahoo.com Melinda
I can sincerely recommend Mike Wilson, 510-559-3461, for everything including fine woodwork, design, room additions, and structural repairs and upgrades. He’s done all these kinds of projects for us over the last nine years. We’ve used him whenever he was available. He installed a new bathroom for us, doing everything from framing and sheetrocking the walls to laying the tile and building a special medicine cabinet. He’s built fine, oak stain-grade stairs, beautiful fences and gates and put in all the shear panels and retrofit anchor bolts recommended by the engineer. He’s extremely careful about details in woodwork. Mike’s great at figuring things out that leave the other trades people scratching their heads; he’s good at explaining different options and offering recommendations when we have choices to make. For example, he gave us a budget-conscious kitchen re-design that we really liked. He’s able to draw ideas on his computer so that they’re easy to understand. When something needs to be fixed that isn’t on his palette, like a broken garage door mechanism, he has a list of specialty contractors to recommend that has been invaluable to us. He finishes his work completely; he leaves the place clean at the end of every day. He’s reliable and calm and his prices checked out to be pretty low. Amy
This is a follow-up to a prior recommendation for Dixie Briggs. We needed a closet built in an alcove and hired Dixie and another carpenter, Diane Pfile. The job was (of course) much more complex than we expected, and they had to do a lot of problem solving. It was frustrating for them and more expensive than we planned for, and yet I cannot recommend them more highly. The closet matches the other closets in the room, and their work is just excellent. We will definitely hire them again for similar projects. Dixie's Cell # is 510-604-3765, and her email is dlb_ablaze[at]yahoo.com. m
We recently used Ted Posselt to pull down a wall b/w the living room and dining area.He was professional gave us a good design plan and clean up was great.I heard about him from this web site.He was on time and in budget. HE can be reached at 510 658 8026.Higly recommend him:) Good luck!!! Rama
We are interested in having our current built-ins (melamine) removed and replaced(with wood). Does anyone have a recommendation? We live in the Lamorinda area. jkb
If you're looking for a super capable independent carpenter I cannot recommend a woman named Dixie Briggs highly enough. I worked with her for years in the trades and now that I have left the trades she is the person we hire. Her work is amazing. Dixie has over 13 years experience available with everything from small to large jobs. Her background includes remodels, kitchens, framing, interior/exterior trim, restoration, decks, fences... Residential and commercial. You name it, pretty much.
She's really sweet, efficient, organized, has an unbelievable attention to detail, and amazing abilities executing just about anything having to do with wood (and other construction materials for that matter).
Dixie's Cell # is 510-604-3765 Her email is dlb_ablaze[at]yahoo.com
I don't post my email but I can speak with you in more detail as a reference if you're interested. Just ask Dixie for my number. Bill
I've contacted most of the carpenters posted on this site, to no avail. Most never call back; the few that do make me feel as though *they're* considering hiring *me.* I have a particular pressing need now, but also have ongoing projects that require a skilled, honest, pleasant carpenter who can make repairs and, at times, find creative solutions and execute them with care and maybe even a little flair. Recommendations of carpenters you've actually worked with will be much appreciated. Meredith
Just purchasing a "fixer-upper" home, having over 20 years of neglect, it was in major need of not just painting but of complete overhaul. We came across a referral on this board. Bob Antonelli (painter extraordinare). Not only did he transform our home into a palace. But he has over 20 years of construction experience. His extensive knowledge helped us save money in a few areas. He was able to remodel the kithen and bathroom with overall carpentry skills and granite installation. Also build a staircase. If you are looking for "Outstanding & Reliable" home service, I will recommend Bob at 415.724.4301 cell. Susan
I would like to recommend Ron Masters for carpentry work. He has a keen eye for design and detail, is very professional, and is able to assemble the project in his shop and only return to install the finished product. He installed a custom banquette in our kitchen, and did a great job for a fair price. He can be contacted at mastersr6[at]yahoo.com or 415-377-8400. Jonathan S
I would like to recommended two excellent professionals. One is a carpenter named Kifle Zereat. The other is a painter name Kezete Kifle. They did several small jobs in my house. They did a marvelous job, they were professional, they were on time and they were on budget. Kifle Zereat's phone number is (510) 387-9041 Kezete's phone number is (510) 472-0577 Abiud
Hi - Can anyone recommend someone to remove and then hang a recycled front door, and install a bolt lock, at a reasonable rate? Thanks! TH
We are looking for someone who can do some carpentry work in both our kids' bedrooms. We need to take out some existing bookcases and design an area where our son could have a desk and some bookcases. In another room, we need to build into a closet to make more room for a twin bed. This room is very small. Anyway, we would ideally like someone with a wonderful sense of design and space. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks. Jill
I would like to recommend Ron Masters for carpentry and remodeling. We recently bought a 1920 house in Berkeley that needed considerable work before we could move in. Because we are planning on reconfiguring the rooms in the house and fully remodeling the bathroom and kitchen in the next year or so, we needed someone to do a low budget temporary fix on the very deteriorated bathroom and kitchen. Ron was initially recommended by our realtor. We later realized he has also received excellent recommendations on the Berkeley Parents Network. Ron understood exactly what we wanted and came up with a design that was inexpensive but looks very good and is extremely functional. He and his skilled helper Dan were able to work within the restraints of our budget and still do a professional job and produce a very presentable kitchen and bathroom at a reasonable price in a reasonable amount of time. Ron is also an artist and has an excellent eye for detail. We are very pleased with his work and would recommend him highly. William
Re: ''Who Builds Cabinets?''
Armo Forster 510/531-5584
Armo built a big bookcase with cabinet doors on the bottom portion for us earlier this year. He does all kinds of custom woodworking, , from high-end cabinetry to simple shelves to stair railings to... you name it. He's been building his own home in the Oakland hills for the past ten years, so you can check out what he's done there with his floors, kitchen cabinets, doors, etc. if you want some idea of what he's capable of. I think he does great work! darcy
Re: decks & fences
I highly recommend Matthew Whalley (925) 366-6199 for deck, gate and fence work. He built a sturdy and beautiful picket fence, a backyard fence, awning, and a 6 Ft gate. His estimate was the lowest and reasonable. My deck architect was highly impressed with the quality of his work. He was efficient, punctual, great to work with, and cleaned up. Contrary to a previously posted messsage, he happily painted the picket fence and the awning, stained the back fence and did a superb job. His workmanship, rate and attitude are out of this world. I recommend him highly. zamad
This is an unsolicited post to recommend a woodworker who just built a handsome custom bookcase/cabinet for us. His name is Armand Forster, and he can be reached at 510/531-5584. Armo does all kinds of woodworking, from high-end cabinetry to simple shelves to stair railings to... you name it. He's been building his own home in the Oakland hills for the past ten years, so you can check out what he's done there with his floors, kitchen cabinets, doors, etc. if you want some idea of what he's capable of. I think he does great work! darcy
Re: Remodel of small bathroom
Stanley Jackson recently remodeled both our kitchen and bathroom. He is reliable & reasonably priced, and we were very pleased with his work. We had the same situation, where we needed a small bathroom done quickly, and he did a great job. Stanley can be reached at 562-6681 Heather
Re: Remodel of small bathroom
Based on recommendations from this website,we used Jim Zwaal 510-652-8258 and were extremely happy with his work. He was able to do the majority of the major work on our one and only bathroom while we were on a one-week vacation; hence, we were never without a toilet. He was very in tune with our need to have the bathroom functional, so he did what he could to get the bathtub/shower functional soon after we returned from our trip. Additionally, he helped us design the remodel with attention to keeping the ''craftsman'' feel of our house. We are thrilled with a result that was well within our modest budget. He was able to do all aspects of the project, from plumbing, to tiling, to sheetrocking... so you don't have to worry about multiple people being in your house. And he is, most importantly, trustworthy. He even kept an eye on our cats. Christy
I highly recommend Ron Masters for any tiling/carpentry/remodeling work. Ron is professional, reliable and very talented in both a design and implementation capacity.
He recently assisted me in remodeling my loft. He installed tiles in the bathroom, put in hardwood floors throughout, painted, installed a custom low-voltage lighting system, ceiling fans and acted as an advisor for the overall remodel.
He knows what materials will work while trying to stay within my budget. He charges a reasonable hourly rate and takes pride in his work.
Feel free to call me if you have any questions. Ron Masters can be reached at 415-377-8400. Rich
I highly recommend Ravi and Pami Kalsi for general carpentry. They can also do
plumbing, sheetrock, and concrete work, etc. I have worked with them on an
remodeling job on a very old, fine house for many months and know them well. They
honest, intelligent and very careful with everything they do. They show up on time,
not have any obvious vices such as smoking, drinking, or swearing. Their prices are
reasonable. They are also very nice people. Kalsi Custom Home Creations 798-6218
kalsipami AT aol.com
I want to recommend Aaron Brock 551-5417 for general carpentry, including sheetrock, rough, and finish work. He is a careful and honest man who is easy to work with. He shows up on time, and works steadily and quietly. He is about as unobtrusive as one can be. I hardly know he is there, which is important to me as I work at home. If you plan to have work done inside your home while you are living there, he is a wonderful choice. His rates are reasonable. You may e-mail me for further comments. -Jenny
From: Fran (3/98)
Our carpenter, John Staley, 527-6963, is very good at all sorts of house jobs, including wiring, plumbing, and earthquake retrofitting. He is also very good at planning the projects. We have hired him many times over the years, both for groups of small projects that take a couple of days, and for projects that take a month or more, full time. We've recommended him to several friends for various types of projects and they've all been very pleased with his work. Given his knowlege and experience, his price is reasonable.
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