Local Businesses

For Better or For Worse

The assessments on this page are based entirely on my personal experience with these businesses. Your experiences may be different; these are mine.

Reviews and background material will be posted as it is developed. In the meantime, the identities of the "better" and "worse" business are listed so that the search engines will start picking them up. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about any of these businesses.

The previous title of this page could have led to confusion with the Better Business Bureau®. My thanks to the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. for pointing out the possible confusion. See the BBB web site for information about and the services of the Better Business Bureau®.

For Better

  • C. A. Hancock Asphalt Company
  • My Plumber
  • Catastrophe Restoration Services, Inc.
  • USAA
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Riggs Bank
  • Merrifield Garden Center

For Worse

  • Carpet & Blinds Center Inc
  • Sun Design Remodeling Specialists, Inc
  • Bray & Scarff
  • Kitchenworks
  • Flood
  • Belfor Inrecon

The Good Guys

C. A. Hancock Asphalt Company

9600 Greenview Lane
Manassas, VA 20109
703 335 5080

Andy Hancock and his crew were competitively selected by three of my neighbors and me to repave and extend our driveways and parking areas. Andy made an excellent impression on the two neighbors who initially met with him when he came out to estimate the job, which included completely tearing out and replacing two driveways, extending the parking areas on both; top-coating a third driveway; and extending the parking area of a fourth.

Andy kept us advised of the schedule for getting to us, which shifted one day about a week ahead due to weather.

During the paving, Andy (who was on-site for the entire job) and the crew demonstrated exceptional consideration. Every person was thoughtful and careful, avoiding damage to adjacent plantings and buildings, taking extra effort to make the edges of the paving attractive, and generally treating every portion of the work as if they were paving their own home. We are all delighted.

C. A. Hancock is highly recommended.

My Plumber

Catastrophe Restoration Services, Inc.

P.O. Box 223656
Chantilly, VA 20153-3656
703 378 9888

Catastrophe Restoration was one of three firms recommended by my insurance company to replace siding damaged during the Washington, D.C. area hail storm in April 1999. They provided an estimate consistent with the insurance company scope of work and showed up when and as promised. The workers were extremely careful about plantings and left no debris behind. Of particular note is that no nails were left scattered about the lawn, gardens, walks, and driveways as I have noted with other companies. I relocated my clothes dryer vent and the siding installers placed a cap over the old opening before covering it, and accommodated my new vent outlet beautifully.

The workers moved quickly as they did good work. The three sides of my house that are sided, two sides of the garage, and the rear conservatory were completed in less than two days.

Catastrophe Restoration Services, Inc. is highly recommended.


Navy Federal Credit Union

Riggs Bank

Merrifield Garden Center

The Bad Guys

Carpet and Blinds Center Inc

14516 Lee Rd
Chantilly, VA 20151
703 378 7400

Carpet & Blinds was selected as a flooring subcontractor by Belfor Inrecon to repair damage associated with putting out an attic fire. Our experience was disappointing to say the least. We signed a contract with Carpet & Blinds that include upgrades (replacing the carpet on stairs and upstairs hall damaged by smoke and water with hardwood) and repairing existing hardwood in our living and dining rooms damaged by water. Carpet & Blinds contracted to match the existing finish. After replacing the wood in the damaged areas and installing the new hardwood, but before finishing the floor, Carpet & Blinds representative "Alex" stated that (despite the contract terms) they could not match the existing finish without refinishing all the floors in the dining room, living room, and foyer at a substantial additional cost (thousands of dollars). We directed them to comply with the existing contract terms; the finish match is marginal.

The workmanship also leaves a great deal to be desired. The exposed side of the stairs show butt ends to the shoe molding used as a trim piece (area in blue in the first photo; click on the picture for a larger version). The shoe covers a fairly large gap between the face of the riser and the tread above. Also note (dilineated in green) the large area of exposed raw wood between the new stair and the pre-existing trim. The response from "Alex" of Carpet & Blinds to our complaint was that his staff "are not carpenters." Carpet & Blinds did deliver several feet of additional finished shoe so I could properly finish the shoe molding with back cuts. The work took me about three hours, most of which time was spent removing the shoe without breaking any of it so I could miter the end and replace it. Had the work been done properly to begin with it might have added 20 minutes to the job. Incidentally, the installers do know how to do mitered back cuts since the treads are properly returned that way (see just above the area in green in the photo).

In addition to the large gap below each tread, there is another large gap where the stair meets the wall before turning for the second flight of stairs up to our upstairs hallway. The second photo (which may also be enlarged by clicking on it) shows this gap. We have yet to come to any resolution on any of these gaps.

The installers left a line of polyurethane on the painted woodwork next to each stair tread that may be seen in the third photo. This will require sanding and repainting. The workmanship is disappointing. This lack of care was also demonstrated by the large pile of sawdust (a foot high and three feet in diameter) left in a garden bed next to our front door, and the use of another garden bed to clean the finishing chemicals from the installers brushes and pads.

Finally, the fourth photo (click to enlarge) shows a significant scar on one of the risers. Now one must realize that wood is a natural product and their are discontinuities, but this is a large scar that is directly at eye level when entering the front door of our home. This lack of care is very disappointing.

Carpet & Blinds is not recommended.

Sun Design Remodeling Specialists, Inc

5799-K Burke Centre Parkway
Burke, VA 22015
703 425 5588

Bray & Scarff



Belfor Inrecon

Valid HTML 4.0!

Valid CSS!