Scott's Historic Home Improvement Contractors List

When we our 1910 home in 2001 I started a paper list of recommended contractors with referrals from friends. Because so many people contacted me to get names from this list, I decided to post it here as a community service. It has since become a popular service for a relatively small but important community of historic homeowners. Although it visually looks the same, this list is updated regularly with several new reviews each month. - Scott

All contractors are rated on the following scale:

5 stars - absolutely fantastic and exceptional
4 stars - recommended - very good to work with
3 stars - average
2 stars - I had issues with their work, perhaps you could find someone better
1 star - I had a disastrous experience and wouldn't recommend hiring them
Lavaca Home

Please contribute to this list!

Please help me expand and update this list by contributing your comments (positive and negative) about people you've hired. Email me with your listing suggestions including name, contact information and comments. Please don't just use this list - contribute too! It's not my list, it's *our* list, and together we can make the best list possible.

Last updated: September  2023

Architects and Designers

"Morgan and Peter were a delight to work with and had some amazing ideas for packing a lot of punch into our 207 SF addition. For a total of about 400 SF reconfigured/added our 1918 home got a master bath, butler pantry, laundry room and bonus room."
Kevin Bendtsen
"He's done several small projects for us that's we've loved. Prices have been quite reasonable."
Fisher Heck 210-299-1500
"I used to work with Lewis Fisher who was just given an award for his work in historic preservation at the preservation prom."
French and Michagan 210-378-0961
"Projects include finish-out of several of the KW and Camp Street lofts and other residential renovations"
Nicholas Melde AIA 512-791-8540
"A former architect at Alamo Architects, Nick has worked on several fantastic new residential and remodeling projects in Southtown."
Darryl Ohlenbusch AIA 210-240-3325
"Experienced in single-family custom residential, multi-family, and historic preservation/adaptive reuse. Portfolio provided on request."
speegle KIM-davis architecture 210-219-0445
"43 year old firm in Monte Vista mostly focusing on historic residential architecture and historic preservation."
Candid Rogers AIA 210-224-6979
"Projects include Rincon Lavaca (Lavaca & Indinola), the metal buildings at St Mary's and the railroad tracks."
Monica Savino RA 713-231-7871
"She is very sensitive to historic house needs and proper design.  She has done several historic projects in Houston over the years as well as historically compatible infill.  She also would be a good choice for additions to historic structures.  She can do historic buildings condition reports and smaller scale commercial design.  Lives in Dignowity Hill."
Seventh Generation Design 210-973-7307
"Projects include Landa Branch Library in Monte Vista, 1922 Atlee B. Ayres English Cottage style home in Terrell Hills and the John S. Harrison Homestead. Scott Carpender served as a Commissioner and Vice Chairman on the CoSA’s Historic and Design Review Commission from 2009-15, and again from 2018-present. They are focused small firm, that is pretty selective on the number of residential projects they do a year."
Ziga Architecture Studio 210-201-3637

"Projects include homes around San Antonio and Austin, including the Paleteria house at Yanaguana Garden."


Bathtub Refinishing

Tubman Bathtub Refinishing 210-590-1443 4 stars
"They can make a claw foot bathtub look like new."
Family Refinishers - Christopher Dix 210-585-8088 4 stars
"Christopher Dix is great to work with. He has refinished several tubs, tile surrounds, sinks, and countertops for renovations I've done. The finished product is always beautiful and saves us lots of time and money not having to replace whatever he's refinishing. My favorite job so far was a mosaic tile countertop and tile surround in a 1960s bathroom--from beige tile with gold specks and dingy grout to bright glossy white finish! His prices can't be beat, and he's always great about coming back for touch-ups to make sure the finished product is perfect."


Building Science Consulting

Chip Henderson AIA, CEM 210-824-8758 5 stars
"I hired Chip to come look at my house and build strategies for future additions and for increasing energy efficiency. Chips consults with my architect and contractors on an ongoing basis for these projects. Many of the local architects utilize this building science guru for historic renovation projects" "We paid chip's firm for a home energy rating which helped us design our AC system and get general advice on the pros and cons of various energy efficiency measures. He is very progressive and knowledgeable about the latest building science."


Builders / General Contractors

David and Christopher Buchanan / Better By Design Construction David 210-685-9578  Christopher 520-599-7615 5 stars
"David is an outstanding craftsman/contractor. He is hands-on, involved in all phases of the job, including planning and design, working with you or your architect. He is trained in fine interior carpentry and also has a background in metal work, including specialty patina and other finishes. Better by Design has a long relationship with excellent subs for plumbing, painting, electrical, HVAC, masonry, concrete, specialty concrete finishes, pool, tile, and steel fabrication and erection. David worked on my historic renovation for 4 years and we are still in a happy client/contractor relationship! The bottom lines are: honesty, responsibility, depth of experience in historic as well as modern renovation, perfectionism. He cares about his work and his results show it." "David worked with us to redo our tiny powder bathroom in the bedroom we were converting to a nursery. The bathroom had not been touched since the house was built in 1920. David and his team were professional, went to great lengths to keep our home as clean as possible during the renovation, and made the bathroom into what we always wanted. His attention to detail is unparalleled from what I have seen in any contractor. Worth every penny for his services. I'm almost tempted to keep a review of his work secret because I know his skills will be popular with your projects and keep him in high demand." "This is my second time working with David and his son Christopher for our home in Monte Vista. This was a far cry from the same thoughtful and dedicated team that did work for me a year prior... To be fair, the quality of his work is great, but getting there was a painful process getting there that I do not wish to visit again." "We have been working with David Buchanan for the last six years on our Monticello Park home renovation. David’s work has surpassed our greatest expectations. He understands working on old structures and values their historical significance... David is passionate about every aspect of construction. He is a master craftsmen. He has excellent long standing relationships with subcontractors which has been an asset to our project. He is multi dimensional in that he is knowledgeable and has expertise in every area of construction, plus he has an artist eye for time periods and how to incorporate it into our project. He has helped us have exceptional standout features in a creative and budget friendly manner. David is an exceptionally talented man and we are happy to recommend him." "I have had David work on 2 different carpentry projects over the past several years, and in both cases he did a very good job. He is both committed to very high quality work and has the skills and experience to produce it. Both my projects were on a historic home in King William and necessitated custom milled wood. David made sure that the lumber was milled exactly right and helped with all facets, including investigating and advising on the correct type of wood. For me, his finished product has been excellent."

"I’ve worked with David on 3 projects in King WIlliam. In all cases, his work was of the highest workmanship, he cut no corners, his price was fair and he is a talented troubleshooter with the invariable unexpected issues that arise in old house repair and renovation. He deserves a 5-star rating." "David and I have been working on my house in San Antonio for the last 3 or 4 years. David is very professional and upfront. He has a wealth of knowledge and understands the complications of of an 'Old House'. I emphatically recommend Better By Design."
Nick Ozerov / Boulder Construction 210-771-8811 4+ stars
"Nick is extremely talented as an artistic architectural contractor. I have used Boulder Construction for 3 major renovations of my home. He has helped me to redesign and refurbish the master bath, kitchen, and carriage house in my historic house that was built in 1883. His fees are generally higher than other contractors but he is worth every dollar. He draws sketches of the work in advance to give you a visual representation of what he suggests doing; he keeps his work crew because he pays them benefits; he takes it upon himself to re-do, at no extra charge, any work that does not fit with his own standards of perfection - and he is even more of a perfectionist than I am. The workers leave the sight clean at the end of each day. He is honest and his workers are trustworthy. I have even left town for extended periods and trusted Nick and his workers to continue the work in my home in my absence. The finished product is always 5-star!"
Robert Alverado / San Antonio Builders 210-275-0962 4+ stars
"I use his advice all of the time. Robert has a degree in construction science form A&M and worked for some big firms in LA. He specializes in old houses, is sensitive to historic details and insists on hiding all new infrastructure. Robert helps plan for plumbing, HVAC, electrical, phone and cable so no wires are mounted on the outside of the house or along interior walls."
Ed Diaz Construction
512-627-9767 4 stars
"Ed has an extradinary combination of design, engineering and craftsman skills. He was invaluable guiding us through every step of our home remodel. Our project involved lots of reclaimed lumber and required a lot of out-of-the-box thinking. We worked side-by-side with Ed nearly every day tweaking our designs and finishes, talking out how each detail should be approached. Yet, when we had to leave town we know we were in great hands. The final product is exceptionally well built, energy effecient and gorgious. Ed is the consumate professional, great to have onsite and a joy to work with. We are so lucky to have this talent in San Anotnio!" (3-12) "Seems like he doesn't like working with women." (9-23)
Buffalo Contracting Services 210-685-8848
4 stars
"Extensive experience in King William dealing with historic homes and the unusual issues that occur with renovations of older homes. They have outstanding carpenters. Reliable contracting company that stands behind their work. We have used them several times for various projects and would highly recommend them. Daniel Sexton is the owner." "We have live in our 100+ year old Craftsman Bungalow since 2001. Prior to moving in, we had significant restoration done to the inside and outside of the house. Buffalo Contracting Services accomplished all of the work on time, within our budget, and the workmanship was truly remarkable. The current owner worked for the previous owner and we have continued to use their services over the years for both big and small jobs. The owner, Daniel Sexton's work philosophy and adherence to quality standards is exceptional. All of this at a price that is reasonable for the complexity of the work involved. " "Daniel was very cognizant of being in a historic neighborhood and was able to accommodate all the stipulations. He checked on the project multiple times a week and kept us up to date on everything happening.  He stayed within our budget and very close to the estimate. His workers were efficient and courteous throughout the whole project." "Daniel gave us a bid on the work and we signed a formal agreement with him. Over a period of time of a year, Daniel continued to delay our project for various reasons. From Nov to Jan - then to March and then to May. Eventually he stopped returning our calls and emails, and has completely ghosted us. We were very understanding given the labor constraints, but can't help but feel like he took advantage of our kindness and left us hanging for more lucrative work. At least do the decent thing and tell us to move on. I cannot recommend Buffalo Contracting"
Daniel Morales 210-908-0897 or 210-685-5038 4 stars
"He lives in Lavaca, does all the work himself and is very conscientious and dependable. He is the best plumber I have ever seen. Daniel is also a very good carpenter, sheetrocker, inside & outside painter, floor sander & refinishes, woodwork re-finisher & general repairman plus he knows how to pour & finish concrete; he did the driveway at my house. I have found his rates to be very reasonable."
Tim Taylor 210-382-0573 4 stars
"Tim is a general contractor who specializes in historic buildings. I hired him as a subcontractor to do the framing and siding/cornice work on our house. He's really trustworthy, knowledgable, and versatile, and has a great eye for detail. I feel like I've learned a lot from him, in addition to getting my money's worth in the quality of workmanship."
Marcus Weiser, QCS,Inc 210-771-3330, 4 stars
"We've used him and his crew for foundation work, porch restoration, exterior painting and a number of other smaller projects. He's excellent as are his crew. On time, do good work, and clean up. He'll work with you to keep within your budget to give you the best quality." "Really liked working with Marcus. Showed up on time every way and worked with our unusual needs."
Steven Kaberline 210-542-9152 4 stars
"Steve is a restoration contractor that, along with Mr. Gonzalez (now retired), worked on at least 25 homes over a 25-30 year period for Walter Mathis. His last job was the north porch on 401 King William. Steve knows wood and which ones can be put where for strength, weather resistance and warping. He can solve many unusual problems that crop up in older homes and enjoys the work. Steve is also very knowledgeable when it comes to hunting down parts for older houses."

"I agree that Steve is a master woodworker. He created replacement pieces for my antique screen door frame. I made the mistake of hiring him as a "paint contractor"...something he definitely is NOT. I would agree with Steve's 4-stars for woodwork - and I would give him [much less] for painting."

David Martinez 210-827-8643
4 stars
"We have used these guys for 3 wonderful remodel projects on an older home. They are amazingly nice, patient, hard working and honest as the day is long. I cannot say enough wonderful things about them. I would never use anyone else!"
Sunrise Restoration + Remodeling
4 stars
"Sunrise was amazing to work with on our project. The addition to our 1918 home included a second bathroom, laundry room and bonus room. The carpenters did a great job installing trim that was consistent with the trim in the original portion of the home and the tile installation work was amazing. This was a complicated project as it required electrical and water heater upgrades and relocation. Sunrise phased that work to be minimally disruptive and accommodated us and our fur babies better than I would expect any contractor to have."
Turn Key Pros, LLC (Ramon Torres) 210-278-6862
4 stars
"We hired Turn Key Pros, LLC to help the remodel of our 1920 home in Lavaca. After firing two previous contractors, Turn Key Pros really saved our project. Their biggest strength is drywall and painting, but they did a good job with the carpentry, and their electricians were great! Ramon was a great communicator. We talked constantly about goals, and if something they did was not up to our standards, they re-worked it until we were happy. His crew is polite, and they work incredibly hard. Although they don't typically arrive on-site until between 9-10 am, they usually work until 8-9 pm to finish that day's goals. The biggest thing for us was that they were able to correct mistakes that the previous contractors had made, which was a huge relief! They were great problem solvers."
Sterling Results Construction 210-307-9773
3+ stars
"General contractor, painting and welding. Installed outdoor wet-rated ceiling fan for us on a pergola, with electrical work as well. Friendly, on time arrival and completion. Left worksite as clean as when he arrived.."
Guy Chipman Construction 210-822-2447
3 stars

"Guy “Woody” Chipman is another great contractor you should have on your list. He has lots of historic experience." "He’s very knowledgeable about historic construction, and very expensive. I thought it would be worth the cost if he did a great job, but the work he did was mediocre." "The 3 rating is a fair assessment. The quality of the work performed is pretty good and he is knowledgeable about historic homes, but he does a poor job of supervising his workers (who regularly work from 10 - 2 or just don't show up at all with no notice). We were also frustrated to be constantly hit with additional costs during the project; for someone as knowledgeable as he seems to be, at least a significant number of the expenses should have been foreseeable and included in the original bid." 8-23

Rubiola Construction 210-738-2900
3 stars
"Professional, organized, large company but was interested in our smaller project. Really impressed with how straightforward, experienced and fair they are."
Design Coop na
2 stars
"We signed with them with a firm budget and firm deadline. The work went way over budget and way over time and they performed several egregious errors throughout the duration of the project — some of which I was had to later fix myself — and became combative when the errors were pointed out. Essentially, they overpromised and underdelivered in almost every aspect of the project. Ultimately they admitted to their negligence and apologized. Can't recommend."
Mesa Verde Capital na
2 stars
"Mesa Verde Capital LLC built my home in Lavaca. He was over budget without suitable explanation or documentation, was two months plus late on the contracted completion date, unresponsive to requests for documentation of costs and payment to subs, and unresponsive to legal requests for mediation for resolution of the issue."
Ralph Hinojosa - HLR Restorations 210-383-5410
2 stars
"We were referred to Ralph because of his extensive work experience with restoring historic homes in SA, but I don't know how he continues to be in business. He failed to pull a permit for an addition we were doing to the house and merely pulled a permit for a simple remodel. He allowed his plumber to hold up progress on the house by 6 weeks instead of finding someone else to keep the project moving along. His attention to detail was abysmal--walls not plumb, sloppy paint and texture, rotted wood flooring left unrepaired/replaced and just refinished over, crooked window sills, etc. I understand that things get overlooked and problems arise, but instead of problem solving or simply fixing the problem as soon as it's identified, he would fail to address it for weeks or months hoping that I wouldn't remember. I started showing up when city inspectors were scheduled so that I could talk to them directly about all the ways Ralph's crew had failed to meet codes. A renovation contracted to be complete in 4 months took 8 months because after 3 months of delays he eventually bailed on his contract and forced us to scramble to close his open permits and finish the work ourselves. "
David Lopez, DSL Construction na
1 star
"I have, literally, had to redo/repair everything he and his crew touched." "Disorganized, unreliable, poor craftsmanship, no attention to detail. Many things done poorly and had to be redone, or not done at all. Would not use again or recommend."
Alex Ovalle / Morningstar Maintenance 210-325-1365 1 star
"He does not know what he is doing, he hires people that do not know what they are doing, he leaves a mess behind and I have had to pay another contractor to fix all of his mistakes. He says he's a general contractor - I hired him to do sheetrock, tape and float, tile work, and some carpentry. I cannot point to a single thing he or his subs did with which I am happy. I strongly believe folks should be warned against using him."
BRC Remodeling na
1 stars
"BRC performed very poor work on my historic home. They said they had experience with historic homes, but this clearly was not the case. They installed metal windows instead of wood, threw away original lumber and replaced it with cheap new lumber, and even got a work stop order from the city because of their work. Besides that, the quality of work was terrible. Everyday I was having to walk through and find dozens of errors and problems."
T&T Design Build - William Townsend na 1 star
"William came highly recommended to us by a restoration professor at a local university. He boasts a degree in architecture and years of experience. We bought our house in Lavaca based on the recommendations he gave believing that he could restore the house for us. Everything horrible that could have happened did. William not only did not get our house finished in his 4 month timeline, but at the end of 4 months, nothing had been done. He continuously demanded management fees for himself and his colleague, even though he had done zero managing for his 2 subs who had not completed any of their work. He threatened us, he screamed at us, he was more unprofessional than any person should ever be. At the end of it all, we lost a lot of money to him. We'll never see that money back, and I hope with this review, he never gets another job in this town. He's a liar and a thief who took advantage of some unsuspecting first time home owners. Please spare yourself the agony."

Do you know a builder that should be included in this list? Send me their info so we can add them!
VoylerORR Builders now retired now retired
"Bill Orr is a former resident and friend of many in King William. Reliable and reasonable. His business is doing several fun projects with Lake Flato right now including new residential construction." Retired in 2023


Cabinetmakers, Furniture and Millworks

South Presa Cabinets 210-325-4877 5 stars
"Zack and his brother have amazing equipment and capabilities at their shop on South Presa They've also got a good bit of reclaimed lumber to work with and have done an impressive renovation on their property that's worth checking out, learning about energy efficiency, and getting some inspiration from."
Chuck Massey - Swings & Such 512-635-3886 4+ stars
"Chuck builds wonderful treadle swings (the prototype was built by our grandfather in 1910). He will build it and install it as a porch swing or as a garden swing with a substantial arbor/trellis support. He builds Adirondack chairs and he also does finished carpentry work such as bookshelves, cabinets, and entertainment centers. I keep telling him his prices are too low, but he won't listen to me. I have one of his porch swings on my front porch and he sets up an arbor swing in my driveway at 308 King William during King William Firepower by for a free test-ride. The treadle swing is a unique movement experience."
Leo Barrios 210-573-6744 4 stars
"Leo Barrios has done several projects (floor to ceiling bookcase) at my house on Leigh, several large pieces in a contemporary house on Devine, in addition to numerous projects throughout KW, Lavaca, the Pearl and beyond. He worked and trained under Peter Zubiate and Leo lives in Southtown."
John Hall of Hallmark Cabinetry Millwork 210-828-8779 4 stars
"John Hall is an excellent millworker, capable of any type of finish millwork needed. He also, does windows and doors. "
Carlos Sagahon (and son Carlos) 210-725-1078 4 stars
"Great counter and cabinet artisan — he’s fast and good, and his prices are very fair. He makes standard and custom countertops and cabinets, in a variety of materials, including laminate and granite. I’ve used him on two projects, one of which required a custom cabinet and problem-solving a weird cabinet and counter size that was created by the general contractor, another which was standard installation."
Z Leosz - Victory Furniture & Such 210-274-1855 4 stars
"Z is a master craftsman with architectural skills. He has done cabinets for Chris and I plus really amazing bigger jobs."
Jason Mazur 210-241-9872 4 stars
"Jason is a master craftsman who does amazing fine detail carpentry work. He took apart and rebuilt our 1960 and 1910 exterior doors whare are gorgious now. Jason has also built a variety of things for our 1910 home and we can't wait to work with him again."
McGovern Woodcraft and Design 361-537-3572 3+ stars
"They were prompt in the work, easy to communicate with about ideas for the project, and had a couple of really good suggestions that improved the finished product tremendously, and at a reasonable price."
Elena’s Custom Woodwork Rafael, 210-303-9228, 1 star
"They have built custom things for me like an entertainment center, pantry, hamper with drawers and can do much more." "Their work is the typical low cost work you'd see in the suburbs. This work isn't influenced by architecture or historic character."

"They did a very good job building new kitchen cabinets in good time and at a very reasonable price; they were meticulous, too; so I had them build some similar cabinets for each of my bathrooms, and again, they did it quickly and meticulously. Then I hired them to build a longcustom shelf with lighting inside for glass display. They quickly came back with a mock-up of the design, which I approved, but now, nearly a year later, I'm still waiting for it. They have suddenly stopped responding to me and I'm giving serious thought to suing for a refund of my (small) deposit. 2 stars might be generous"


The Ramos Brothers (Joe and John) 210-416-3699 4+ stars
"True master carpenters"
Emilo Flores - Custom Window Screens 210-259-1374
4+ stars
"I know carpenters that hire this guy to do their screens. Emilo also does screen doors. He uses Cyprus wood, primes and paints. I had him make historically appropriate storm windows (screens with glass) which have made our bedrooms really quiet and energy efficient. Emilo has a day job for a hardwood door company and has access to great wood and tools."
Tim Knoeppel 210-608-7751 4 stars
" Great carpentry work for historic remodeling. "
Mark - Mission Planing Mill 210-222-1183 4 stars
" Mark restored one historic wood screen that was severely damaged and built a matching one from measurements for a house in Dignowity Hill. The quality was exquisite and the price was very reasonable. "

Color Consulting

Jim Smith - Color Consultant 210-732-4250
4+ stars
"This guy is somewhat of a legend. He's a color guru and can do a total work-up of your entire house complete with diagrams, themes, color patches and whathaveyou. Not expensive. Someone said he looks into the soul of your house, wrestles with it and makes it come to life." "I would warn people though, that he is very much the artist. When my wife first called him she said he sounded entirely unenthusiastic about the job. He did a great job. We are glad we stuck with him and we would recommend him to anyone." "Uses a predictably boring historic home color pallet." "We thought we knew the colors we wanted but decided to reach out to Jim just to see what he came up with. SO glad we did. While Jim can seem a bit unenthusiastic at times, he came back with a color combination we would never had considered. House was painted a few days ago and we absolutely love it. Jim is great and affordable."
Doug Salde 210-467-2957 4 stars
"Doug is a painter, but more than that, he is a professional color consultant, helping chose colors, shades, tints that coordinate well with the customer's furnishings. he is an artist with over 20 years experience, specializing in faux and decorative finishing as well as concrete floors and furniture and cabinet restoration."


Homer Daniels 210-823-2320
not rated
no comments left
Chris Camacho "Macho Boys" na
1 star
They were not the cheapest of my quotes but they came recommended by a close friend of mine, as they did some work at his farm. What I didn't know is that Chris had a subcontractor(Art) to work on my project and it was not a good experience on any level. Art took 3 months to do my driveway...he started at the beginning of January '21 and finished at the end of March '21. This caused inconvenience to my household and parking for the duration of the project. Their dirt, rocks and metal rod material was left in my backyard when Art first came out and killed my grass underneath. Art repeatedly told me he couldn't come for work. He didn't show up when he said he would and when they finally came to work, they would stay only 2-3 hours some days. I would call Chris and he never came out to check on the situation. Art literally begged me not to call Chris. Fast-forward, the driveway is finished and water pools in the middle of the driveway and in the back driveway as well as near the house. All my neighbors witnessed what was going on and were surprised at how poorly it was being handled. Please be aware of them. Proceed at your own risk and note that their "contract" excuses them for all liabilities.

Prime-A-Pell 200 is considered the highest quality commercial grade concrete sealer out there. It's completely invisable (mette) and makes concrete hydrophobic. Highly recommended! Available only at All-Tex Supply 4718 Center Park Blvd, 78218, 210-967-4754



Allstone Counters 210-781-9057
4 stars
"Small granite-stone fabricator that was excellent to work with and would highly recommend."
Granite by Cesar, LLC (Cesar Huerta) 210-374-2581
4 stars
"We hired Cesar to give us new quartz countertops. He got us a great deal on some gorgeous quartz that looks just like marble! The vendor supplied him the stone we chose, and he cut it and delivered and installed it in our kitchen and 2 bathrooms. He was timely, he was polite and professional, and he did a beautiful job! He's a good communicator as well."
Cabinet & Granite Creations 210-277-7028
3 stars
"Amon does a great job designing and building. They did my entire house, including beautiful quartz countertops and custom bar / wine storage in the dining area. Local, professional and gives great attention to detail. Highly recommend them."
Texas Custom Countertops 210-632-8768
2+ stars
"Father/Son, super nice, worked with the black science lab fabricated stone bought at the Restore. Brought stone cutting equipment and custom cut by the hour. They appear to do full service as well. Really great." "I had a bad experience with Texas Custom Countertops."

Drywall / Sheetrock

Villa Drywall 210-924-1162
4 stars
"The guys are fast, professional and affordable. They are a company with several crews that are capable and professional. A whole house sheetrock job can take small crews weeks but these guys can do just about anything in a few days. The two times I've used them they've been great, listened to my concerns about scheduleing and difficult areas and came through with no issues. They offer two floating options - both of which are a good value - but the premium total float option does look super professional and is the way to go if you're super picky."
Nina Hodges 210-850-9200
4 stars
"She was very respectful, neat after every work day. Sheetrock texture finish, paint finish. Won me as a client for my other projects."
Armando (Mando) Hernandez 210-331-3496
4 stars
"Excellent work, fast and extremely clean -- takes care not to damage wood floors, etc. Mando is willing to schedule further out to assure you get your work done when you want. You may need to call him a week or so in advance to make sure everything is ready to go, but that's about it. He redid a bedroom where the drywall had been blown out because prior workmen used 1/4 drywall! Beautiful job, matched the paint perfectly. Later did a small paint job on some old doors. Once again, clean, neat and fast."
Rudy Hinajosa 210-924-1162
4 stars
"This guy doesn't sound very professional on the phone but he is badass. No sanding, no dust, no drops of mud on your floor. ArtPace uses him exclusively." "Rudy's eager to work and gets right to it. Great work at the right price. Paints too. " "Can be incredibly, unbelievably slow but the end product is really great."


Shawn Bradford, Bradford Electric (small jobs) 210-215-1731 4+ stars
"He is sensitive to old houses and honest and fair." "Shawn is a guy I'd like to hire over and over - what a great guy." "Shawn is a great resource for smaller jobs and can often make it on short notice. Easy going and a regular in Southtown."
Joe Kuykendall JML Electric (small jobs) 210-290-3806 4+ stars
"Joe worked on the complete re-wiring of our 1890s house in 2002. Since then he has worked for me and my brother-in-law on a number of smaller projects. He works by himself now, so he prefers the small jobs that larger contractors are less interested in. Great guy, super honest and professional, very efficient, has found the source of problems that other electricians couldn't find."
Richard Stein with RB Electrical 210-577-0115 4 stars
"Performed complete rewire of 1890 home that had three generations of electrical wiring. Prompt, responsive, communicative, and knowledgeable." "Consummate professional, efficient and responsive. I would use him again on rehab or new work." "I hired Mr. Stein several years age and would never hire him again. My contract with him was to rewire the whole house but ended up only doing half of it but kept demanding money throughout the job. Before I knew it I paid the whole amount and he walked off the job after only completing half of the work. He never returned any of my calls after that."
Louie Obregon 210-328-1668 4 stars
"Great work and great service. Kept us informed at all stages of work. Left work site completely clean. Certified all work was acceptable before payment. No surprises on price. Went above and beyond to make sure we were satisfied. Licensed and bonded electrician. Highly recommend for your electrical work! "
Earnest McNeal 210-887-5302 3+ stars
"Very reasonable prices and very honest. He has been very punctual, neat and dependable as well as reasonable with his bids." "he is delegating things to his son, who has a slight attitude and another helper, who is a wrecking machine, and the price is just sky high."
Pro Electric (Ed Draeger) 210-316-4516 3+ stars
"Pro Electric came in as a sub-contractor for our complete home renovation to replace a terrible electrician that we had previously fired. Pro Electric is a family business. Ed, the father, has raised his 2 grown sons in the business, and they are all well-versed. They were able to fix the poor work that the previous electrician had botched. They helped us get creative on some of our unusual electrical requests, and they worked well for us! They arrived on time, and put in full days until our entire house was re-wired. They are not cheap, but they will work with you to get the job done and make you happy."
Alamo Electric (Joe Diego)


3+ stars
"I’ve used Joe Diego and his crew for several projects including a complete house rewiring. The work was great, on-time, guaranteed and affordable. He stands behind his work!"
Volmer Electric (big jobs) 210-336-2676 3+ stars
"Professional, capable and reasonably priced. Licensed, bonded and insured. Great for large projects like whole house rewiring." "Surprisingly affordable considering the large size of my job. Didn't complain at all when I made change orders in the middle of the project." "I was a little surprised when they installed all of my dimmers upside down and wouldn't install them right side up. They also weren't careful and scratched up my brand new sheetrock in the areas around the switches. Years later when my dimmers stopped working, I was horrified to see that they had been failing because they hadn't been wired correctly. "
Gueldner Electric 210-828-1378 3+ stars
Raul Alfaro 210-386-8730 3 stars
"He is the 8th or 9th electrician I've had work on this old house, and he has been great. First, unlike most of them, he actually shows up, and he shows up when he says he will. His work is more precise than others (outlets & switches are placed vertically or horizontally, not kind-of-straight), and his charges are reasonable." Rude and unprofessional. I strongly believe he needs to be removed from this list."
Santiago Mungula, Munguia Electric (big jobs) 210-473-3273 3 stars
Albert Garcia 210-355-5667 2+ stars
"His work is fair; I'd use him for basic projects if I needed somebody really quickly. He shows up but isn't what I'd call prompt, and you need to check his work carefully before you let him get away. Anything that's not to your liking he will fix, but you need to be willing to point out flaws."
Ed Calton 210-724-2126 2- stars
"Ed works for CPS and does big and small jobs on the side. I'd had issues with him showing up."

Do you know an electrician that should be included in this list? Send me their info so it can be added!



Hugo Munoz Fencing 210-276-1667 3+ stars
"Wood and Metal Fencing. Hugo builds and repairs metal and chain fencing, in addition to wood privacy fencing. Excellent craftsmanship and completed the job quickly. Welcomed homeowner feedback to ensure the job met expectations."
Blue Sky Full Service Craftsmen 210-577-5863 3+ stars
"Eddie Collins is the owner - I've used them for several fencing and deck projects that I've enojyed and thought were well done."
Local Fabrication - Travis 210-884-8581 4 stars
"I have these guys doing some metal fence work and really like them. Great welders!""
South Texas Fence (Anthony Camacho) 210-421-2997 3+ stars
"Anthony Camacho has installed fences and gates for me at several investment properties and I'm always amazed at how quickly his guys get the work done. He uses larger than standard posts for gates, thicker than standard fence pickets, sinks posts down farther, and overall maintains great quality while getting done before I expect. I often get several competing bids and his usually comes in as one of the cheapest."
Al Franz Fence 210-492-7959 3+ stars
"I got quotes from every fencing company in town over a year period and no one came close to their prices and capabilities. Ask for the Postmaster metal fence post - it's really smart. Use cedar (as opposed to pine or poplar) for greatest longevity ."
Rocko's Art Welding and Fence Building 210-778-1931 3 stars
"Rocko the fence man (who totally rocks) made my custom fence at 224 Lavaca - he is looking for work & is so reasonable." "We have been well satisfied with his work and price." "Rocko likes to do one kind of fence and that's about it." "Wouldn't return my calls."

Flooring (not to be confused with the "Wood Floor Refinishing" section below)

Hicks Carpet 210-496-2121 4 stars
Larry Hicks came out and gave me a very good bid on floor covering at my house. They also refinish wood floors and run carpet up staircases (which takes some expertise with cutting the carpet and then binding it so it lays correctly). He installs it with nails under the runners, so it doesn't damage the floor underneath. Hicks has bamboo and cork as well as carpet and linoleum and the latest in vinyl coverings. He knows all about the proper hardware if you want to be authentic with your stair runner."



The Ramos Brothers (Joe and John) 210-532-1140, 210-416-3699 4 stars
"True master carpenters"
Tim 210-382-0573 4 stars
"On the ball framer - very quick."


Foundation and House Leveling

PHL Foundation, Pete Flores (concrete piers) 210-913-4340 5 stars
"PHL installs piers at different depths. Load bearing walls have piers that are 64" deep and others are 36" Deep. The footing is a 24" square. Footings are reinforced with 12" of concrete and re-bar – 6ea. of 3/8" horizontal pieces per hole. The 4 pieces of re-bar used for the pier are tied together to form a square. Each 10" pier is also bolted to the beam to provide an additional strengthening factor and ties all the work together. Piers are 7' apart center to center. And unlike many foundation contracotrs, they can replace and paint the skirt and porches."

"Pete is a hands-on owner and is at the job site every day working along side his crew. PHL arrives at 8am and works hard all day until 5pm. The house looks and feels sound and the skirting work is simply outstanding. Pete and his crew are true professionals – no wasted time and continuously focused on performing first rate quality work. PHL also redid my porch and it turned out really great.”

"I have used them on two separate occasions at my home in Mahncke Park. I own a 1920’s era bungalow and the work that PHL has done for us has been first rate. They have competitive pricing, always show up on time and truly care about the quality of their work. I have made personal recommendations to friends and neighbors for PHL’s work but thought it would be helpful to let more folks know how quality minded and trustworthy Pete Flores of PHL Foundation is. In addition to having great experiences with working with Pete in the field, PHL’s support staff in the office is top notch as well. Wendy Flores does a great job helping me keep in touch with Pete and ensuring that all of the paperwork of the transactions are documented quickly and thoroughly. There is no other company that I would trust my home’s foundation to." 

"We have a house that was built in 1925. Pete Flores (owner) came out, suited up and went underneath to make an assessment. It turned out the prior work was not done correctly— the piers were not deep enough for the soil conditions (lots of clay), not enough rebar, beams not tied to the piers and not enough overall support of the floor joists. Pete and his crew made it right with 54 new piers (down to 4 feet this time), proper rebar cages in the piers and tie-ins to the 6x6 beams as well as additional 6x6 shaker beams to spread the load. The new skirting was outstanding. They used Hardie Plank to mimic the look of the siding and sealed each seam to make a watertight solution. It looks like it was original to the house. The crew were very professional and courteous, taking time to answer any questions we had, and cleaned up at the end of each day. It was lots of hard, manual work by Pete and his crew, but the results were well worth it!"

"It’s hard to adequately convey how terrific Pete Flores and his crew at PHL Foundation repair are. The process, start to finish, exceeded all expectations. The very labor-intensive project of installing 26 cedar posts, then mounting new skirting (with hand-made vents) took under a month. When the crew left, every space they touched looked better than it did when they had arrived. While I am happy the foundation work is done, I miss having them around! They really livened up the place. Even my neighbors commented on what solid work they were doing. The owner of the company, Pete Flores, is a consummate professional. He is smart, intuitive, collaborative, honest, generous, and very hands-on. This was apparent from day one when Pete arrived for an assessment and provided an estimate on the repair work. He never asked to reschedule, he arrived five minutes early, was always communicative and easy to reach, and never changed the amount of the original bid, despite the scope of the work increasing."

"As one of few foundation companies who installs cedar posts, PHL has developed several value-adds: they strip the bark off the cedar and then tar the posts, extending their lifetime by another few decades. Unlike other companies who might dig down a few feet, PHL’s post holes are 4 to 5 feet deep and posts are set into concrete footings reinforced with rebar. PHL replaced the old aluminum siding with handsome hardy plank board skirting, punctuated with custom-made vents. They even designed a new access door and expertly painted the house exterior. 

On the last day, as the PHL team was finishing final paint touch ups, Pete noticed that the east side of the house looked great but could use a new layer of mulch. So, at 4:50 pm, after a very long day of carpentry, fastidious paint touch ups, and thorough clean up, he sent a group of guys to buy 10 bags of mulch which they distributed (no whining) as the sun set. This seems a small detail yet helps to illustrate their holistic view of foundation repair and their commitment to the final product.

PHL was a delight to work with. I would hire them all over again and recommend them highly."

"It’s hard to adequately convey how terrific Pete Flores and his crew at PHL Foundation repair are. The process, start to finish, exceeded all expectations. The very labor-intensive project of installing 26 cedar posts, then mounting new skirting (with hand-made vents) took under a month. When the crew left, every space they touched looked better than it did when they had arrived. While I am happy the foundation work is done, I miss having them around! They really livened up the place. Even my neighbors commented on what solid work they were doing. The owner of the company, Pete Flores, is a consummate professional. He is smart, intuitive, collaborative, honest, generous, and very hands-on. This was apparent from day one when Pete arrived for an assessment and provided an estimate on the repair work. He never asked to reschedule, he arrived five minutes early, was always communicative and easy to reach, and never changed the amount of the original bid, despite the scope of the work increasing. Pete shared pictures of past PHL projects, demonstrating his company’s extensive experience and stunning final product. Pete makes a homeowner excited about undertaking foundation repair.

Pete oversees a skilled team of craftsmen who work well together and take pride in what they do. Each person has their individual specialty: excavation, engineering, surveying, carpentry, painting. Every day, the team arrived at 8 am and worked their tails off until 5 pm, singing and joking as they stabilized the lower part of my 1940s house. PHL was very conscious about shifts inside the house as well as under it. As a result, there was no damage to walls or floors. Quite the opposite, in fact. I was able to open my kitchen door again! They even went to great lengths to clean out all the existing detritus which had been left by the previous foundation repair company. Every day without fail, PHL left an immaculate job site.

As one of few foundation companies who installs cedar posts, PHL has developed several value-adds: they strip the bark off the cedar and then tar the posts, extending their lifetime by another few decades. Unlike other companies who might dig down a few feet, PHL’s post holes are 4 to 5 feet deep and posts are set into concrete footings reinforced with rebar. PHL replaced the old aluminum siding with handsome hardy plank board skirting, punctuated with custom-made vents. They even designed a new access door and expertly painted the house exterior.

On the last day, as the PHL team was finishing final paint touch ups, Pete noticed that the east side of the house looked great but could use a new layer of mulch. So, at 4:50 pm, after a very long day of carpentry, fastidious paint touch ups, and thorough clean up, he sent a group of guys to buy 10 bags of mulch which they distributed (no whining) as the sun set. This seems a small detail yet helps to illustrate their holistic view of foundation repair and their commitment to the final product." 9-23

MitchCo. Foundation Repair 210-635-7577 4+ stars

"MitchCo. was very easy to work with. They performed the work quickly and cleanly. If they ran into any problems under the house, they just dealt with them and kept going. Highly recommend!”

"MitchCo was professional, easy to work with, answered my questions, and had a reasonable price compared to other companies I got estimates from. I especially liked that they had a licensed plumber (as part of their contract) come test and repair all breaks to the sewer line. Pipes almost inevitably break when a slab foundation is lifted, but this is the first company I've used who builds that cost into the estimate AND coordinates with a plumber to make the necessary repairs! I also appreciated that they were finished with 20+ piers in 3 days! Another 2 days for plumbing repairs and they were done in under a week--amazing! I will definitely hire MitchCo again and will continue to refer them to others." 

Pedro Perez Foundation and Concrete 210-787-8610 4 stars
"We hired Pedro and his crew to redo our foundation in our 1920 home in Lavaca. We had terrible drainage issues that made the underbelly of our house look more like Lake Michigan than a foundation. Pedro arrived at our house to assess the situation and came up with a great plan for solving the issue. He and his guys always showed up early each day, worked hard all day every day (sometimes even singing!), installed many new posts and beams, all while working in poor conditions. Once the foundation itself was complete, they lined the ground with thick professional plastic and installed base to raise the ground level under our house. They even installed a new foundation skirt starting 18 inches below ground to help keep out future water. While a major foundation project like this is not cheap, we thought Pedro was fairly priced. He was a great communicator as well! We have since hired him to do other minor concrete projects, and he and his crew are always professional, courteous, and timely! 5 stars!"
Martin GL Hunt 210-648-1530 3+ stars
"Complete foundation repair for 1890 pier and beam. High-quality work, responsive, deadline-driven. A VP for the company routinely made visits to ensure the work was being done according to plan, even on weekends. "
First Choice House Leveling (concrete piers) 210-680-1577 3+ stars
"His company was by far the most cost effective in replacing 18-20 cedar posts with concrete footings.  They were quick, efficient and 6 months later, no shifting in the foundation repair.  Some of our original wood flooring was lifted during the process which they sent out a carpenter to flatten at no additional charge.  Would definitely use them again if we needed more foundation work."
Martin Rodriguez House Leveling (cedar piers) 210-693-7912 3+ stars
"He gave us a good price, met time lines reasonably and kept a reasonably clean job site. We chose cement rather than cedar. His payment structure was fair; 1/3 payments." "He and his crew did a great job and fixed problems that were not addressed 20 years ago when I had another cedar post contractor level the house. He and his daughter are easy to work with and their prices are reasonable." Martin is one of the only contractors that still use ceder posts (which many feel is an outdated and less capable technology to use).
Rodriguez & Sons Foundation (cedar piers) 210-693-7912 3+ stars
"Antonio Martin & daughter Adella.They leveled/shimmed one house in a matter of a few days and completely replaced another pier & beam foundation with cedar posts in about a week. Their team is quick and attentive to detail, cleaning up their mess, and respecting the properties where they're working. Adella handles the scheduling and payment and is very easy to work with. Martin is on site every day making sure his guys are doing exactly what they need to. They go above and beyond if they discover additional problems and it's obvious they care about maintaining an excellent reputation. Their prices are hard to beat and I will continue to call them first when I need pier and beam foundation work done."
Cuellar Foundation Repair (steel piers) 210-734-6393 2 stars
"Leveled our house in 2 days using adjustable steel piers that can be adjusted indefinitely to maintain the level in the future. Lifetime guarantee. They will re-level the house at any time in the future for a flat rate of $75. The lifetime guarantee can be transferred to future owners for a one time fee of $100. They also do concrete piers for less but refuse to do ceder piers as they feel ceder is the wrong technology to use." "I choose not to use them because they leave the old piers (which are ideally positioned) and simply install new ones between the old." "After his work my house ended up more unlevel than when he started. He apparently had no idea or didn't care about the work he was doing. He is also very unprofessional--making lewd remarks about me with his employees as they were leaving the job."
Beach and Dawson (concrete piers) 210-416-0756 2 stars
"Reliable, easy to work with group of guys that work on one house at a time and keep their commitments." "Their engineering is solid but their pricing is a high in comparison to others on this list. Will only go to 24-30 inch pier depth." "They had more than 100% turnover during the month they worked on our house and the new guys didn't know what was going on. They were spectacularly terrible."
Gilbert Navarrette (cedar piers) na 1 star

Has done several houses on Vance street and Southtown. 1 Year warranty. Gilbert left the impression that his work was good at a good price but with time, several people that have used him have reported problems with the work:

"As he was finishing the job I asked him about the unlevel interior floors and bulges in some rooms and he responded that that was normal and expected in an old house. I have had significant movement in the 5 years since (2-5 inches both vertically and laterally) that I suspect was do to poor work on their part. Gilbert hasn't returned any of my phone calls to come look at it."

Update: "After 6 years the piers were significantly diagonal and my house was in danger of falling over. After Gilbert wouldn't return my phone calls I hired Reggie Arrambula to completely re-level the house. Reggie's work and attention to detail made me realize that Gilbert completely ripped me off. It was painful to have to pay to have my house leveled twice within a 7 year period but 'live and learn' I guess." That's what this list is for.

Bless Foundation (cedar and concrete piers) na 1 star
"Over zealous, fake, dishonest, evasive, very religious and like to brag about themselves annoyingly. They don't show up or are late and won't apologize for it. They charged Liberty Bar 70K for their job, took forever and put in that horrible, historically inappropriate orange stucco skirt that will eventually crack." "Several times they didn't show up for our appointment, and didn't call. Talked about Jesus a lot on the phone each time as if their religious stance somehow excused their absence."

Do you know an foundation contractor that should be included in this list? Send me their info so it can be added!

lavaca home lavaca home


830 Glass - Daniel 512-963-5907 4 stars
"Daniel was great to work with. He came and took measurements for glass doors and side panels for two shower enclosures. His professionalism, quality, and communication were great. He even had to spend some extra time making minor modifications to the hinges to accommodate some very out-of-plumb walls on our historic house. The finished product was beautiful and I'd definitely hire him again"
NB Glass (shower glass) 830-625-6300 4 stars
"NB Glass was easy to work with and had the best prices I could find on custom shower glass. They sent me an estimate based on my measurements along with a diagram for verification, had their guys come measure and order the glass, and then had the custom glass delivered and installed in only less than 2 weeks! I had no complaints and will definitely hire NB Glass again and will continue to refer them to friends!"


G&J Seamless Rain Gutters 512-574-8860 4 stars
"I just used G&J Seamless Rain Gutters on my house in Lavaca and they were stellar. They were the lowest bid, they didn’t balk at having to remove a satellite dish or some old wires, they were on time, finished quickly, and very professional and friendly! Would definitely recommend them."
AAAbsolute Gutters 210-842-7685 4 stars
"Absolute gutters recommended and executed a solution that was better and cheaper than what I had in mind for the back horizontal gutter and for one of the two downspouts--they installed a five foot splashguard above a window on the horizontal gutter and a brand new thirty foot downspout. Quick and clean installation with no cash down, I sent a check to the main office after the job was finished. Well done!"
ABC Supply Company 210-826-2336
This is a local supply company that supplies gutter installers with everything from traditional aluminium, to half round steeel and copper gutters. This is just a supply place, and doesn't affer installation.
Alamo Gutters 210-667-1830
recommended by ABC Supply
Weathershield Gutters 830-646-0488
Does seemless and seemless half round gutters.
Quality Gutter Systems 830-816-3322
recommended by ABC Supply
Austin Gutter King 512-276-9480 1 star

"I had the worst possible experience with Austin Gutter King. Their sales guy was great and very conviencing and I choose them for their experiece with historicially appropriate half round gutter with exposed cleats. However, it took several months to go through several departments and make an appointment with them. Even after I sent in my half up front deposit check it took over a month to get an appointment. A crew of two immature young men the crew arrived to install the gutters they admitted that they hadn't done this kind of gutter before. They struggled with the job that took two days instead of the one they expected. They were from Austin and compained about San Antonio, boasted about how much better Austin was and how they couldn't wait to get back. "You can have your San Antonio and your arts scene" they said. After they left the gutters filled up with water and leaked all over the place. The install was a complete failure - they weren't installed with a slope towards the downspouts, the flashing was backwards and the leaf guars were upsidedown. Austin Gutter King sent a supervisor out with the same two guys to fix the job. Unfortunately there are still problems with the gutters - they aren't all sloped towards the downspouts. The president of the company has reached out and offered to help. Unforatuntely his crew keeps reschdeluing on me at the last minute and can't be contacted by phone.

Although they have San Antonio based salesmen, this is an Austin based company that's finding it very hard to accomidate San Anontio based customers. To make matters worse their worked verbally insult me for the inconvience of having to drive so far, to such a "shitty town". I hope a San Antonio company starts offering residential half round gutter installs so that we have another choice!"

--- Please Contribute to this list ---

Please don't just use this list - contribute too! It's not my list, it's *our* list, and together we can make the best list possible. Please help me expand and update this list by contributing your comments (positive and negative) about people you've hired. Email me with your listing suggestions including name, contact information and comments.

HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning)

Please keep in mind that HVAC systems are usualy the #1 source of a home's energy consumption. Spending more up front on a better unit pays off in the long run. Variable systems using "inverter" technology provide much greater efficiency, noise levels, and dehumidify the air, which contributes greatly to comfort and mold prevention. Heat pump systems, instead of gas heating, are perfect for our climate in central Texas. Geothermal systems offer even greater effeciency at higher cost but have experienced questionable relability. Ask to have a "Manual J" calculation performed onsite if possible.
Entry level brands include Amana, Goodman, ComfortMaker, LG. These typicially have a 5yr parts/7yr compressor warranty.
Mid-range brands include American Standard, RUUD, Trane, Carrier, Lennox. These typicially have a 5-10 yr parts warranty.
High-end brands include Mitsubishi and Daikin. - both have a 12 year warranty through authorized 'diamond' contractors.

4 Winds HVAC 830-538-9988
4+ stars
"Small group that's great to work with and knowledgeable with various Mitsubishi systems." "Louis, with 4 Winds A/C & Heating, did a super job in correcting a botched job on our carriage house mini-split unit." "Louis enthusasticially looked at my house and walked me through seveal approaches and possible brands (including LG, Mitsubishi and Daiken) for a new HVAC system. I appreciated his time effort and open minded approach." "At the start they seemed eager to work but quickly sidelined our project because they had larger projects in the bag. We’ve been pushing for them to finish the project and it’s been 3 years!!!! The office communication and organization is abysmal which could be part of the problem. And here we are, 3 years into it waiting for a final inspection but Louis can’t stay because he has another project to go to." "4 Winds HVAC has installed two new mini split systems for me.  They are a is a family owned business with both husband and wife working in the business.  After inspection of my home, the wife got back with me on pricing and helped me with CPS credits.  Her husband Louis supervised both installs.  On both units, the work was started and completed within the day, and the workmen were nice and respectful of my home.   Louis took the time to teach me a lot about my system.  I found this helpful because knowing how it all works helps me understand what the unit is doing and how I can better take care of it – not every contractor will help you understand what you are buying.  Again, I had a great overall experience with fair pricing and great workmanship."
RB Mechanical Solutions 210-447-7993 4 stars
"Ontime, reasonable priced and great to work with. Primariliy installs Trane and American Standard branded systems. Great option for honest and quick repair or replacement work."
"Knowledgeable, progressive and open minded about a wide range of technologies. Jose gave me more options (Heat pump vs. conventional, ductless vs ducted, etc) than the other 5 vendors I had quote my job. Great guy who's very open to talking about the options and technology." "Misubishi Diamond Contractor." "Ghosted us. Never returned our calls or eemails."
Cool Planet 210-684-2665
4 stars
Cool Planet seems like the new company that's willing to work harder than the rest. Several experienced guys from TexPerts went over to Cool Planet and their prices and focus on repair work makes them a fatanstic choice. Edgar is a super knowledgable senior advisor that I like to request for my mini split systems. Really smart. Mitisubishi Diamond Contractor that supports a 12 year parts and labor warrenty.
Marco Tijerina (ductwork only) 210-218-3924
4 stars
Marco is an unusual option on this list beaues he only does ductwork. Marco has been an undependant sub-contractor doing the ductwork portion of HVAC installs for several companies, for many years. I've seen several of his installs and had him do some triocky work on my own house, so I can vouch that his ductwork is really well done. He is now working directly with homeowners at the same rates which translates into great work at an affordable price. If you just need to redo the ductwork in your home he's a clear choice. He's also installing complete HVAC systems, so if you're inclined to be your own general contraor, buy the equipement yourslf, hire an electrician seperately, etc, Marco is an excellent option to consider.
Climate Majic 210-340-8240
4 stars
It was a pleasure working with Gary Mulhollen of Climate Magic. Not only did he answer all of our many, MANY questions and make himself available for several in-person meetings to go over said questions, but he completed a thorough analysis of our home and a Manual-J calculation to determine the appropriate size unit for our needs, which happened to be one ton less than what we had. He also helped us prepare a cost-benefit analysis to give us a simple payback on different types of units, efficiency options, etc. At that point, we didn't think we could be more impressed, but when it came time to install the new unit, we were extremely happy with their work ethic. They were prompt, clean, courteous, detail-oriented; they even fixed a loose floorboard in our attic and corrected a few issues that a previous contractor failed to do on our recently-replaced duct work. Furthermore, we liked that the guy selling us the job (Gary) was also the project manager and was there on site, every step of the way. The only downside is that they are a bit pricier than other people, but I think it's more than justified. After replacing the duct work and installing a new heat pump system that had all the bells and whistles, we have been able to save 60% on our cooling and heating bills, making the project a cost-effective one with a five-year payback. (That may sound like a long payback, but we went with an variable-speed indoor unit and two-stage compressor, which should last us at least 10-15 years.) And lastly, because of all the reasons I just stated and the fact that they are super responsive and readily available for service calls, Climate Magic is now our go-to HVAC contractor. They specialize in the Trane and Lennox brands.
Redline Air Conditioning and Heating 210-319-8931 4 stars
"After receiving numerous bids to redo our entire HVAC system in our little old house, we decided to go with Redline. They were not the most expensive, nor were they the cheapest bid. They were the lower end on the expense spectrum, but their quality of service was top notch! It's a father/son team with one other young man as a helper. They always showed up on time, they were polite, and they did a great job with our HVAC. They removed the old HVAC, which was improperly installed, and installed the new system in the attic where we wouldn't see it. We were thrilled with the customer service! They work with Champion systems." "These guys were super professional on time and respectful."
Central Comfort (Jose Farias) 210-279-3641 3+ stars
Southwest Mechanical Services 830-980-4400 3+ stars
"Recommended by building scientist/architect Chip Henderson, Southwest Mechanical Services (SMS) specializes in very high energy effecient installations. Because of this approach they have migrated to, and now work exclusively with Geothermal HVAC WaterFurnace systems that cost more but are much more effecent (think 20-40 EER) than other options. If you are serious about evergy effeciency and have the budget for it, geothermal is a great way to go and SMS is the only contrator in our area that specializes in it." "After 3+ attempts to get a quote I never heard back from SMS and a quick search online of WaterFurnace reviews scared me away from this brand."
Lone Star AC & Heating (Jerome Burkholder) 210-415-3313
3+ stars
"Woks with a variety of brands (including Mitsubishi) at excellent rates. Smart, small and eager to do a great job." "Gave me several quotes from several vendors. I liked his broad knowledge." CPS certified contractor. "I left seval message but never recieved a call back"
Wilkes HVAC 210-534-9911
3 stars
"I almost hesitate to let the secret get out for fear they'll get too busy.  We've called them twice now - the first time to offer a second opinion after another local company was quoting us A LOT for repairs or replacement and then the second time during the latest cold snap.  They totally had the opportunity to upsell us and instead were honest and helpful.  They even put in some insulation without charging us." 8-23
Clean Air AC and Heating 210-370-7333 3 stars
"They work with Daikin, Mitsubishi, Trane, Lennox and a few Geothermal systems. Their quote was simiar to others for the same system but didn't include all the extras (removal of old equipment, new grills and registers, UV coil purifier, etc). Great to work with.
Aire Tech 210-824-7659
3 stars
"These guys are super nice and easy to deal with. But like a lot of contractors they oversold the capacity of our unit (5 tons for 1500 square feet) and didn't encourage steps towards energy efficiency. They installed the ductwork on the ground instead of hanging it from the floor joists which has caused nothing but problems every single year. I've had them out 3 times to repair the ductwork and each time found problems that weren't fixed after they left. They are really nice guys but they just don't understand the dynamics of working with historic homes and aren't very progressive with their implementation."

"I have a 1920s cottage that had no central AC. I had Aire-tech install a completely new system, new ductwork, vents through the hardwood shiplap, etc. I found them to be very nice, easy to work with, and affordable. Once I was ready to go with the electrical etc., they took about a week to get everything built out, including all duct work. After completion of the job, they were receptive to add an extra vent or two in some rooms. Was happy with them overall."
C&J Air Conditioning & Heating 210-340-2665 3 stars
"Great at explaining the options and helped us understand and apply for the various tax credits and rebates. On time, professional, very competent." "Didn't think their outlet placement was very smart." CPS certified contractor.
ABC Home Services 210-593-3141
2+ stars
"Texperts was an amazing group of people that all changed when they got bought out by ABC Home Services." "ABC Home Services is pretty pricey and generic."
Southern Comfort Air Conditioning and Heating (Shawn Hickman) 210-496-0947 2+ stars
"Very knowledgeable. Loves to help strategize smart and efficient systems." "Not very interested in talking about unconventional options." "I was surprised Shawn wouldn't consider installing a heat pump in my home, simply dismissing them as systems that don't work."
Air-Stream 210-533-3264
2 stars
"Large company that's fairly knowledgeable with the Mitsubishi systems. I found working with them to be difficult because I received so many different calls and emails from different people within the company. They made multiple visits to the job site to take simple measurements. Their final measurements and manual J were grossly, grossly incorrect. The right hand didn't seem to know what the left was doing over there."
Alamo Service Company 210-227-7571 not rated
ASC works with the self contained Friedrich Vert-i-pak systems that can be nice for small environments and where multi zoning is needed.

HVAC related links:

Unico makes a system of small-duct central heating and air conditioning systems. These systems can be installed unobtrusively with minimal visual impact with little or no remodeling.
M&M Metals makes custom steel ductwork.

Do you know an HVAC contractor that should be included in this list? Send me their info so it can be added!


Alpha Home Inspections - Scott Graham (210) 705-2593

5 stars

"This guy was good. He communicated well, was available with short notice, and was familiar with historic homes (he owned an 1865 home for many years). Received a comprehensive report within 1 day. I’d definitely use him again for future pre-purchase inspections." "When I asked him to look at things that typically were not on the inspection list, he was more than happy to do so. He took the time to explain what he inspected and gave me very helpful feedback and advice. He seemed genuinely interested in educating his customers, and I really appreciated the extra effort. His inspection report was very thorough and detailed, and he was happy to work with me to ensure I had the information I needed to make good decisions."
Scotts Inspections - Jay Schoot (210) 349-9228 4+ stars
"I thought this guy was really on the ball and no nonesense. He gave us a lot of good advice and suggestions without scare tactics. Was surprisingly helpful for us.

Foam insulation outperforms all other insulation products and comes from renewable resources (soy, sugar cane, castor oil etc). Learn more here

Beicker Insulation (830) 305-2929, (830) 305-1979

5 stars

Licensed spray foam insulation installers. "Probably the first using foam in San Antonio and clearly the most knowledgeable. Their are particularly advanced at retrofit work."

“Donny was punctual and knowledgeable of the job during his first visit to bid the work. He answered all my questions about potential issues, and then his crew was able to deliver on the work. I would highly recommend them to any one looking to insulate their home.”
Superior Insulation 210-340-1488 not rated
Licensed spray foam insulation installers. Recommended by
Key Insulation 210-937-1082 not rated
Licensed spray foam insulation installers. Recommended by
Texas Spray Foam 210-315-4225 not rated
Licensed Icynene spray foam Insulation installers.
Foam It 210-426-9263 not rated
Polyurethane foam Insulation installers.
South Texas Insulation 210-599-8681
not rated
Licensed Icynene spray foam Insulation installers. New construction only!

Kitchen Appliance Installation

FMO 210-648-4535 (w), 210-389-7815 (m)
4 stars
"FMO installs high end kitchen appliances and hoods. Waylen Pape is the general manager that you will talk to on the phone. Robert is their best installer that you should ask for. He is sensitive to the careful demolition and woodworking needs of historic homes. He spend two days installing a 60" hood with complicated duct routing in our home." See the related "Stainless Steal Care" section near the bottom of this page.

Landscaping and Excavation

Crain Canavan - Hacienda Landscape Company 210-296-4925
4+ stars
"Perfect for residential projects. Charges reasonable rates by the hour and by the truckload. Shows up on time and is great to deal with." "Excellent professional who works quickly, carefully and knowledgeably. Certainly not the cheapest, but I found the performance to scope of work value very high."
Mark Nauschultz 210-225-1391x29
4 stars
"Marc is the head gardener at the Alamo. He does awesome moonlight (not moonlit) gardens and is reasonable and easy to work with. A superb professional."
Lino - Tractor Work (dirt, gravel, grading, excavation, bulldozing) 512-569-3707
3+ stars
"Lino has spread gravel for two driveways and done some basic grading in preparation. He is easy to work with, punctual, and has great prices. He makes light work of labor that would take hours and hours by hand. I referred him to another contractor and he helped her do site prep for a new build when others wanted to charge an arm and a leg. "
Brandon - Green Grounds Lawn Services 210-428-9360 or 210-254-5755
3+ stars
"Fast and excellent work in terms of mowing, edging, trimming. Very economical, too."
Larry Alston, Alston's Lawn Service 210-421-7685
1+ star
"Larry claims to be the Mercedes of landscapers and is very persuasive. He refused to provide a detailed proposal but we gave him our complete trust. We questioned some of his decisions several times, he assured me that he had years of experience and to trust him. In the end, he is backtracking on his word. Saying something completely different than what he assured me verbally, in fact denying what he told me. Also, at the completion of each phase he is quick to demand payment but refuses to provide a detailed invoice. This should have been a red flag to me. I made the mistake of trusting him. After less than 1 month following completion, we have the Pinto not the Mercedes of landscaping. We are out $11000. Beware of his daily blessings, they come with a heavy price."

"Larry lives in the neighborhood and does landscaping and lawn maintenance for several business owners on S. Alamo. He does high quality work, and really takes the time to do the job thoroughly."

"Larry was hired to do tree removal, remove 4 inches of soil and existing rock for a residential site. He was to laser level, apply base, barrier, finish rock to our landscape. He gave me an estimate of 7,000. Long story short he charged thousands of dollars more than his estimate. I would have never agreed to the amount. He also ran out of materials twice which added even more to the bill. I reluctantly got a bid from him to do another small project and once again he gave me a bid I agreed to then says oh no that is just a stage one and then added on three times the bid I had agreed to. He is a master of bait and switch. I asked him to leave, he made a scene and left.

He promised weeds would not come through because we got “the mercedes of landscape services". There are weeds coming up two weeks out. When I questioned him about the continual price increaces, he said the lord was watching over him. If he blessed me once he blessed me a hundred times, so uncomfortable for me and inappropriate. He’s a slick one.

Lead Abatement

Jupe Environmental 210-734-3119 1 star
"These guys are not good. We had to repeatedly ask them to go back and scrape areas they missed. They were rude on the phone and they quadrupled their estimate to paint our house after we already paid half the bid. They did apologize for being (very) rude and did come back and scrape some of the areas they had missed, but in the end there was still flaking paint on the house, we were out lots of money and we had to hire someone else to paint the house. In general lead abatement feels like kind of a joke, just hire a good painter and save your money."


Downtown Lock and Key 210-514-1085 5 stars
"I have a 1920's mortise-type front door lock set with handle and deadbolt. The latch was not springing back (stuck in the mortise) and the deadbolt worked hard and risked breaking off the key. I had a standard "lock out" variety locksmith try to fix it, but no luck. These are very picky systems with complex mechanisms having lots of little parts. So I tried Downtown and was pleased with the results. Lisa there is the expert and she repaired it nicely, including supplying parts. The only nit I have is that they assume you know too much about reinstalling the lock set if you want to do it yourself. To get an operating lock you need to know some tricks and procedures. It would be nice if they had a paper description of how to do it. But with a little instruction it was easy. If you don't want to become a junior locksmith, they will do house calls for more. Highly recommended for this vanishing art."

"Based on a review on this list, I called and took my 1920s mortise-type front door lock-set down to Downtown Lock and Key. The lady there specializes in these older locks and was great. She cleaned up my lock, got it back in good working condition, and then even polished up some of the hardware for me. It came back to me working perfectly again and looking great. She charged me a very fair price. Right now, they are not located on google maps, but they are there on Main Street and are open normal business hours. They also work on older safes and have some old lock hardware there."

Masonry (stone, brick, etc)

Baltazar Espinosa 210-844-3302
5 stars
"Baltazar Espinosa is a soft limestone mason. Baltazar learned his craft in Mexico. He is the #1 soft limestone mason recommended by the Conservation Society and is in constant demand. His recipe for mixing mortar for soft stone is crucial to the success of the project. The best way to get his services is to collaborate with Ron Bauml, Properties Restoration Manager 224-6163." "From personal experience, he should have 10 stars. He did inside and outside of my caliche block house. He is a genius and great guy."
Phil Flanagan


4 stars
"Phil has 50+ years of experience wortking with pavers and masonry. He is respectful and doesn’t cut corners. He laid about 300 sqft of pavers and made sure grade was taken into account. He also mortar set the entire perimeter which is far more esthetic than adding concrete or metal edging. Price was great for the quality of work."



Alejandro Luna - Night Owl Fabrication 915-474-3129 5 stars
"Young talented metalsmith I met while doing some work for Lake Flato. He’s enthusiastic, open minded and eager to help. Has good design sensibilities. Great for special projects."
Jose Fernendez 210-788-1236 4 stars
"Jose is a great option is you need basic metal installed, folded or whathaveyou. He works on metal roofing at his day-job and I used him to re-purpose my old metal roof around my house as a skirt."
Mark Laven 210-736-0042 4 stars
No comments left
Citizen Build 415-994-2926 2 stars
"These guys seem really cool, and I love their work. I was excited to work with them on a project but was a bit shocked when their quote was 4x everyone else’s. They didn’t want to use the architects design and instead insisted on doing something I thought was unnecessarily time intensive. Plus they insist on getting all steel from Triple-S which was a lot pricier than that what I priced elsewhere. Darn."

"They are doing fancy projects for big clients and don't want to do projects for mere mortals like us."
Robert Diaz Da Leon 210-860-6226 5 stars
"Robert is talented artist and "special projecs  guy" that's done a whole bunch of fantastic installations all over the city, including the Pearl's "Pandalier" and "Chaindalier" chandeliers."


Felipe Flores, FF Painting 210-422-3148 4+ stars

"His crew was considerate of our stuff and our cats and worked very hard in extreme heat to finish the project earlier than planned but in time for a big party. He paints both exteriors and interiors and can make minor repairs as part of the process."

"We just had our carport and exterior doors repainted (to original colors) by Felipe Flores at F.F. Painting, (210) 422-3148. What an outstanding job. They were fair and reasonable on pricing, had a crew that was friendly and thorough. They pay attention to detail to make sure the job is done properly. They arrived and started on time, finished on time and cleaned up after themselves. They didn’t even leave a stray piece of tape anywhere. I highly recommend them for exterior work."

Hector Garcia 4+ stars
"More than a painter - Hector installed a door bell, hung doors, hung windows, sanding cabinets and staining, put hardware on windows, etc."

"Hector painted our home in the Nathan Historic District (adjacent to the Pioneer Flour Mill off so. Main) this winter. Once contacted he promptly responded with a quote, scheduled a start time and remained on the job until the work was completed. He thoroughly cleaned, scrapped sanded, calked, general prepping as well as replacing siding, repairing/replacing fascia, drip cap, and rotted eaves, rebuilding four window sills and repairing a rotted laundry shed. His price was reasonable. He finished the job in a timely manner, and was easy and professional to work with. I highly recommend." 8-23

Edgar Garcia 210-693-1545 4 stars
"He has consistently done some over-the-top, high end work in our house over the years. We are really picky and couldn't be happier with what he's done for us."
Alfredo García 210-861-4644 4 stars

"Amazing. Alfredo and his crew were so good our contractor was asking for his number. They work hard, the price is fair, and the paint looks excellent."

"Alfredo is a good painter; he's particular about his work and his prices are reasonable. He's also a nice person. He had just one helper on my job so it took him longer to paint my house than it would have taken a company with a large crew. He fit in some small jobs for other clients in between so that extended the time even more but I am very happy with his work."

"This guys work is great and the price is fantastic."

"I found Alfredo from this list. I feel very lucky I found him. Alfredo came in, was far more reasonably priced, and did a excellent job. I have 1920s waterfall siding that is hard to work on, and it had been covered for 35 years with metal siding, so was in very bad condition. He made it look beautiful again. He also stuck with me and helped me on other projects with odd angles that took tons of time. He works w/ one helper so he'll take longer than a large crew, and sometimes steps out for a day or two for smaller emergency jobs, but in all, he does the job right. And he shows up when he says he'll show up. That's rare these days. Also the nicest guy who we trusted with our key. Highly recommend for a homeowner of normal means just trying to get their house in tip-top shape."

"He gave us a great bid but the painting was put off for two months because he had so many other jobs.  The day came, he arrived, and I nicely suggested he start in the backyard due to the tortuous June sun. His very first words to me were, "Mujer, dejame trabajar." For those who speak Spanish, "mujer" is a very familiar word to use when speaking to someone else's wife. Get the picture? But, I shrugged it off, went for a shower, when I came down again he had already packed up and walked off the job. He told my husband that he quit because he did not want anyone telling him what to do."

Hugo Vargas 602-435-4974 3+ stars
"Painted our house inside and out. Was great to work with."
The Get It Done Guys 210-782-0708 3+ stars
"Josh and Chad did an awesome job of painting and doing repairs to the exterior and window screen frames on our home. Their pricing is very reasonable (on the lower end of our bids) and they are very professional. They do most of the work themselves and only had help to do some of the initial scraping/prep work and power washing. The work took about a month, but they did an excellent job and arrived on time, every day, and worked the full day. They also guarantee their work for a year."
Manuel Hernandez 210-777-1549 3+ stars
"Manuel's done a number of jobs in Monte Vista where I live. His work here was somewhat complex, given that I have nearly 40 grilled/muttoned windows that needed reglazing, a couple of windows that had to be replaced, and quite a bit of wood that had to be replaced as well. He did a fantastic job at a reasonable price."
Louie "the painter" Guerera and Augustine 210-797-8185 and 210-707-3583 2 stars

Pest Control

Apple Pest Control 210-319-4191 3+ stars
"I've used Apple Pest Control for about a year and the referral came from my neighbor who has used their services more than 5 years. They are local, reliable, reasonably priced, and have never tried to upsell me on services. What I like best is that their products are pet friendly, and living in a household with cats I don't have to worry about the treatment affecting them. I will continue to use them for my 120+ year old house in Lavaca."
Century Pest Control 210-344-8002 3+ stars
"Local pest control that helps eliminate all kinds of pests. They'll do handyman repair work as needed as part of their services. All-inclusive."
Victor Sandoval 210-618-9273 3+ stars
"I've been using Victor for about 2 years, once a quarter. He follows up with me and is very reasonably priced. I've seen hardly any bugs in my house and I have a pier and beem. He also treats my yard with some eco-friendly stuff. I have butterfly gardens and he's always worked around them so he's been able to reduce mosquitos, for example, but still allow me to have all the butterflies."
Family Pest Control 210-681-5094 3+ stars
"I use them for my personal residence quarterly treatment, but they also have the best prices for termite treatments! They've done warrantied termite treatments and carpenter ant treatments on at least 4 of my houses. They're easy to work with, punctual, professional, and can schedule quickly. I don't even call anyone else anymore."



Joe Olmos 210-913-2017 4 stars
"I searched for weeks and weeks before I finally found someone that could repair the water damaged plaster ceiling molding in my front room. I also needed the ceiling in my hallway and old sleeping porch repaired. His team showed up on the date and time discussed; they chiseled away at the old plaster and cut out the old metal lath, installed new lath, skimmed on multiple coats of plaster and the finished product looks amazing. I would highly recommend him and to anyone that needs any plaster work done."
Mr. Joe Uranga 432-386-6846 4 stars
"Joe is very skilled at all types of plaster, including basic to special effects such as Venetian. He is also an excellent tile setter. He can do carpentry and sheet rock. We've known and used him for years on our own home as well as rental properties. He recently came back to San Antonio and is getting reestablished."



Alfred and Jules Rodriguez - AJAQ Plumbing 210-872-1054 4+ stars
"This is a local, family owned and operated business. The work is fast and clean. Both Alfred and Jules are very easy to work with. Sometimes scheduling is a little iffy if they run into unforeseen conditions at other jobs. But overall, very trustworthy and high quality work." "Alfred arrived early, was super friendly, and really easy to work with. I’m happy that we’ve found our go-to plumber!"
John Castillo 210-240-0962 4 stars
"John Castillo has done quite a bit of work for us. I find him to be a perfectionist, hard worker and very reasonable."
ET’s Plumbing 210-690-4100 4 stars
"Not the cheapest but does good, thorough work. Doesn't cut corners. Will tell you he’s never had a code violation, and he’s very proud of that. He’s done all sorts of repairs and installed a tankless water heater for us. "
David Guzman (and son Ralph) 210-264-1354 4 stars
"They are very reasonable and punctual, polite and communicative. We think he's great." "Very satisfied with his work!" "Great for small repair work." "He dug up my sewer line and left open and said he would return to do the work. It has been over two months and I have had no word from him. He does not answer my calls and after paying him I'm left with an open sewer line, plastic stuffed in the drain pipe and a huge mess."
Kim Foote 210-845-5247 4 stars
"He redid my whole house with PEX, brand new natural gas lines + getting my meter (it was red tagged) back on, found and fixed a lot of problems I had (no p-traps on laundry rooms, sewer lines not venting appropriately), installing an external on-demand water heater, and installing my Aquasana whole house water filter system and point of use RO systems under my sinks. It's been over a year since the work was done and everything is operating perfectly. He also did all this work at half the cost of all the big company plumbers I got quotes from. Overall I had an excellent experience with him. "
Gerri Cross 210-772-0380 4 stars
"We've been happy with his work, and he is a total character."
Gios Plumbing please let us know his contact info 4 stars
"They did it all — changed out the old galvanized plumbing to pex throughout the entire house, installed a tankless water heater, installed a water softerner, installed a recirculating pump/line, and installed all of the finishes and fixtures throughout the house. Pricing was fair and they always showed up when they said they would."
JL Hearn 4 stars
"We've used them for almost 10 years and they've always been very professional, tidy and good problem solvers. Over the years we have had water, sewer and gas projects/repairs."
Mark Lancaster 210-534-4880 or 210-778-4507 3 stars
"Great and available on short notice." "Straightforward, easy to work with, reasonably priced, everything you hear that so many plumbers are NOT." "Not a master plumber so he can't pull a permit. Likes to do smaller jobs." "Every run he's done for us had leaks." "Work seemed sloppy and had a leak." "Didn't return my phone call."
Paul Stoffel at APC Plumbing 210-697-6353 3 stars
"Professional and organized." "Overworked, overpriced and stressed out."
Any Time Plumber - JJ 210-923-3188 3 stars
"They were great—reasonable price, punctual, fast. I would definitely use them again. " "They scratched the new marble tile, they cracked many tiles in the shower when installing the external shower fixtures. They cut some pipes to make the fixture 'fit' and now I have to reorder the parts. They kept saying they would fix it, but I finally had to just ask them to stop"
Blake Alexander 210-884-1103 3 stars
"Seasoned professional." " Didn't want to do anything unconventional like on-demand water heaters Came in at more than double my other quotes. He seemed to be fishing for a sucker and a high profit job."
Paul 210-654-3698 3 stars
"His price was much lower than other bids, but the jury may still be out. He did get it done quickly and [so and so] were pleased with work that he did on their house. He is certified."
Victor DeLaRosa 210-392-9372 2+ stars
"Victor has a day job and loves doing odd jobs on weekends and evenings. He's a younger guy that's excited about his work and really goes the extra mile." "Cuts corners and didn't return my phone calls when I had problems later."
Charles Barnes 210-842-7376 2 stars
"I've used him for years on various projects and he's always been great." "Won't return phone calls." "I hired him but he didn't show up to do the job."
George's Sewer Service 210-922-9700 2 stars
"Do not use George's Sewer Services. He was hired by my general contractor for a full house remodel and it took him MONTHS to finish the job! His guys were sloppy, cut corners, and left messes. George Medina rarely checked on his workers' progress/quality. When questioned about why certain things were done the way they were, he told me "I know this, but you don't. You wouldn't understand so you should just trust me." Even after failing city inspections and failing to correct the problems after weeks, he continued to argue that I should just "trust him." He said he shouldn't have to tell me why I needed certain things he was charging me for because I would just go and do it myself next time instead of hire him--as though explaining the work required to the customer would disincentivize them from hiring him again. His condescending attitude did that all on its own. Do yourself a favor and find someone else. "

Do you know a plumber that should be included in this list? Send me their info so it can be added!

Power Washing

Eric - SA TX Power Washing 210-560-0836 4 stars
"Eric has power washed my driveway and sidewalk, as well as that of several of my neighbors. He's punctual, quick, cleans up any mess, and his prices are great."


Roberto Cruz (metal) 210-413-2282 4+ stars
"Metal roofing done right. Custom made heavy galvalume standing seem panels with hand folded ridgelines." "Roberto's worki s first class. He makes standing seaming panels onsite and hand folded ridge seams like they used to 100+ years ago. This is the most historic way to replace your roof."
Joe Woods - Woods Roofing and Sheet Metal (metal) Sorry, Joe passed away in 2019 4 stars
"He does continual work for the Conservation Society so apparently they are pleased with his work. I received a grant from the C.S. for roof repair on my home which was built in 1906. The work was completed in one day; the work was first class. They are thorough, clean, and very honest. They replaced the flashing on my chimney, sealed the bricks on the chimney, sealed holes in the roof, replaced old nails with screws, and replaced two drain spouts that were too small for the flow of water from my gutters."
Cloud Roofing (asphalt) 366-9484 4 stars
"Cloud Roofing was a great company to work with. Theirs was the lowest bid, and they were the most professional of the three roofers I requested bids from. They tore off the old roof and replaced with radiant barrier decking, new felt & a 30 year architectural shingle. They completed the job in one day plus 2 hours the next morning and cleaned up VERY well. Did not find a single nail." Unfortunately they don't do any historically appropriate metal roofing.
Mariano Flores (asphalt and metal) 210-279-3602 4 stars
"He did asphalt on the main portion of the house and metal on my patio roof. The reason I liked him is he did everything I asked of all the roofers I got quotes from but for nearly half the price of the other roofers. He added roof vents, the thick shingle, drip edge, metal where I wanted, painted all the vents the same color etc. So I’d just say that he’s a general roofing contractor perfect for a single family home. He honestly was probably the easiest contractor that I worked with and did an excellent job." "Mariano was great. He was recommened to me by a friend. He is very busy so it took about 1.5months to wait for him but once it was my turn he got the job done quickly. He works with only 1-2 other guys so he goes a little slower but he showed up every day. He also met each of my special requests, got all the coloring right, etc. etc. For a comparison of all my projects, I think he was probably the easiest contractor to work with. The roof looks beautiful. He was also MUCH more reasonably priced than my other two quotes.""
Robert Bonilla (metal) 210-669-7577 4 stars
Does traditional folded standing seem work.
Marcus Pepper (metal) 4 stars
Does traditional folded standing seem work. "He replaced our standing seam metal roof and did an excellent job. Crews worked timely, efficiently and cleaned up. "
Jose Martinez (metal) 210-416-5021 3+ stars
He does quality metal roofing. Has been known to take longer and cost more than expected. However, he still ends up charging an overall low price.
Pat Tons Roofing (asphalt) 210-381-4304 3+ stars
"Pat and his team were on time, efficient, and thorough. The work was fully permitted. Pat does a great job of documenting and explaining the process. He even worked with my insurance to reconcile cost differences to get a fair payout for the claim. I would recommend him for any roofing project as a good contractor to do business with."

Rio Blanco Roofing & Restoration (asphalt) 210-253-9665 3+ stars
Rio Blanco Roofing & Restoration did an amazing job. Kit, the owner, was very responsive, friendly and he made sure the job was done to our satisfaction. I highly recommend them as their work was outstanding."
Stephens Roofing & Remodeling (asphalt) 210-862-2424 3+ stars
Full service roofing contractor. "This company was prompt, quick to provide a written and well written contract with their bid, and did the job in about 2 days. Very satisfied customer."
Southwest Metal Roofing Systems (metal) 210-822-6868 2+ stars
Specializes in metal roofing. "Although I liked these guys I got the impression they just crank out huge amounts of jobs and aren't interested in customizing or out-of-the-oridinary solutions. For example they really prefer using the large ridgeline caps that are easy to install but aren't historically appropriate. They won't do folded seems or gutters." "Their salesperson refused to speak to me - he would only speak to my husband. We did get an estimate, but didn't even consider them due to his rude behavior."
Iron Clad Roofing (formerly Texas Shelter) (metal) 210-316-6595 1 star
"Iron Clad is just one guy Mike who upsells the subcontractor's work at twice the price."

"Just a good word for Mike Rodriguez/Iron Clad. He put a new metal roof on our home at on Crofton and did a remarkably great job. "

"Ironclad removed our old roof, and didn't protect it for a week during which it rained and we had water damage. After they installed the new roof there were more leaks. I had to call a dozen times before Mike sent someone out to fix our leaks. We still have water coming down just outside our house leaking through the soffit and ruining the woodwork there. At this point I’m going to have to pay someone else to fix it because Mike won’t return my calls. The warranty from Ironclad roofing is basically worthless."

"Got a quote for a new roof from Ironclad, which was very reasonable. Ironclad subcontracted the job out to two other roofers (Dana Morgan and Phil Langston). On the morning of the install, the subcontractors called to say that the install would have to be delayed and that was the first warning sign. They didn't address the main issue of the leaking roof, and 4 years later, the roof still leaks. Trying to get them to repair the roof under warranty has been a pain. Go with someone more reputable. "

"Annoying privileged white guy pulls up in his Caddy dressed for golf says ready to hop up on my roof (but those loafers...). When I hire him he disappears (golf course?) and sends his subs to do the real work. He takes 50% and gives 50% to the real workers who have to buy materials. OMG I’m so embarrassed to be white - I’m totally hiring the subs next time, buying the tacos and paying them double." (5-22)


Smartworld Energy - Gustavo Mendoza 210-465-1021 4 stars
"I cannot recommend Gustavo Mendoza with Smartworld Energy highly enough. Gustavo was the only solar contractor who asked to see our power bills to determine the most economically feasible amount of solar power generation for us, and then he figured out how to make that amount work with our unusual roof shape and within the historic district rules. He also did the HDRC application, and kept us informed at every step of the permitting, construction, and inspection processes with the city and CPS. I don't think I've ever worked with a contractor on anything who was so good to work with.."
Freedom Solar Power   2 stars
"Freedom Solar Power visited our house to assess our needs. They appeared unfamiliar with the HDRC. They ultimately offered a smaller system at a higher price and did not seem interested in problem-solving or determining our needs. It seemed like our job was too small for them to be really interested."
CAM Solar   2 stars
"CAM Solar never visited our house in person, and sent a last-minute bid, based on the view of our roof from google maps, that proposed panels that would be in full view of the street. When we pointed out that we didn't want this and that it would not be approved by the HDRC in any case, the contractor suggested that we try to challenge the HDRC guidelines. When we declined this approach, he concluded that our roof would allow only two south-facing panels, and then withdrew the bid."
SolarSA   2 stars
"It seemed like our residential job was too small for them to be interested. Could get them to even bid on our job."


Structural Engineering

Stephen Urias / 13th LV Structrual Engineers 210-241-8164 3+ stars

"Stephen at 13th LVStructural is fantastic. Small, affordable, with attention to detail. Great for small and medium sized Southtown projects." (9-22)



Don Kreig 210-415-4944 5 stars
"Don has been around for a long time. Does all jobs big and small. Don does excellent tile work and is very reliable and on-time."

"He was very busy with other jobs and told me up front that it would be about 3 months before he could get to my little job, but he came over within a few days to take measurements and give me an estimate. Being willing to wait saved me a good-sized pile of cash, and he did what appears to be a perfect job. Five stars from my wife and I, enthusiastically."

"He recently finished re-doing the shower in my master bathroom. Did an excellent job and for much less than the next lowest bidder. He told me up front, when I contacted him in November, that he wouldn't be able to start for a few months, but that was fine. He started the job in February and was done within a few days. Amazing."
Juan Estrada 210-334-7019 4 stars
"Came highly recommended to us and has worked for us twice. He is always on time, careful with my home (drop cloths galore), checks to make sure the progress is what you expect as the job gets done, and completes the job professionally. And he is reasonably priced."
Rodriquez Bros 210-274-8794 3+ stars
"Jim and his brother were very professional and courteous. They installed a beveled white subway tile tub surround with a mosaic strip. They protected the bathroom floor where they were working and finished on time. The finished product was fantastic."
Mario Vasquez (210) 336-7704 3+ stars
"Quick, effectient and really good." "Macho with lots of attitude but does great work."
Noti 210-559-7476 not rated


Tree Maintenance

New Heights Tree Service 210-386-4252 4+ stars
"These guys are fantastic!" "They are reasonably priced and professional to deal with. Clay returns calls promptly, provides quick estimates, and shows up on time with the crew who work expertly and quickly. And the company was not only licensed, but insured -- two important things often cavalierly overlooked by contractors in San Antonio that go a long way toward protecting consumers from a tree falling on their house or car, or a worker getting injured in the line of duty." "They did a good job elevating the canopy and balancing the crown--the tree had not been pruned for a long time and needed a lot of work. They also threw in some light pruning for another crepe myrtle in our yard and installed a swing for us. Overall, very professional and clean job. And they were a little cheaper than the other quote we got" "New Heights did an excellent job tree trimming and removing stumps, and they charged a reasonable price -- about half of the quote received by another company on this list."
Tree Wise Men 210-737-8733
4 stars
"Jordy is a fantastic guy to work with and Certified Arborist. When pruning trees they prune for beauty and longevity and follows horticultural rules. They really know their stuff, are fantastic to brainstorm with, are super trustworthy and reasonable on their pricing. Couldn't recommend them more." "TWM's quotes are consistantly much higher than the others - $1650 to remove a single medium size, easy to access tree seems excessive and more than double what the others quoted."
John Junier, JJ Tree Service 210-520-4370 or 210-823-6192 4 stars
"John does all sorts of tree work and is very professional. Quick and very clean to remove weeds, trees, etc."
Tejada Tree Experts 3 stars
"Just used Tejada Tree Experts to have some stumps pulled out and a tree taken down. Diego and his dad Julio did a great job for a reasonable price. Would use them again."
Canopy tree service 210-441-7021 3 stars
"The company did an awesome job removing a couple of rotting trees and pruning the overgrown hackberry and pecan trees on the property. Super fair pricing and straight forward with how quickly they can get to you. "
San Antonio Tree Service 210-724-8713 3 stars
"Thought I would mention that we just hired San Antonio Tree Services to do some much needed trimming on a 100+ year old pecan tree. We purchased a property on Riverside Drive (backs to the Mission Trail and San Antonio River) with a 1920’s Irish Cabin house we’re slowly restoring. Daniel and his crew did an amazing job!"

Window Restoration

My Three Sons 210-777-5934
4+ stars
"Architectural restoration and renovation of doors and windows." "I have My Three Sons doing a window-frame repair job for me right now. Luis Elizondo is impressively knowledgeable and truly attentive to detail. His prices strike me as very reasonable. "
Slim Line Insulating Panel (SLIP)
4 stars
"Slim Line Insulating Panels are worth knowing about because they are visually minimal and increase energy efecieny dramiticially. "
Chosen Wood Window Maintenance
4 stars
"Wood window restoration experts in Portand Oregon. "
Luna Glass 210-533-5788
4 stars
"Located at 1806 St Marys across from Brac High, Luna Glass is a great, knowledgeable glass supplier. Great to work with. Other SA suppliers (including Samuels and Thad Zeigler) offer the same glass products for 40-75% more than Luna. Luna's prices and service are great!" "Although it wasn't cheap, I found their .25 inch Sungate 500 laminated Low-E product to be an excellent option for single pane glass replacement."
Absolute Solar Experts 210-782-8342
4 stars
"Unusually knowledgeable experts at creating energy efficient window solutions. Their V-Kool film product makes any existing window glass insanely energy efficient for $12 a square foot."
Alex Yount at Wood Window Werks 210-240-3188
3 stars
"Wood Window Werks is a professional window repair company specializing in the repair, functionality or replication of wood windows in older or historic homes."
Steve Quillan from Wood Window Makeover
""I highly recommend Steve Quillan from Wood Window Makeover. He’s based out of Tampa, FL, but was raised in the San Antonio area, and sometimes he still does jobs when he comes home to visit. He’s also very good about sharing information, and he’s done several workshops here in SA. To be clear, he did not work on my windows. I’ve taken classes from him over the years, so I could learn to save my original windows. The knowledge he imparts is priceless, and he is not stingy with it."
Jim Carter - Century Wood Windows retired
"Installs copper sash weather-stripping into existing windows. Rebuilds and build wood windows too." "Jim is incredibly knowledgeable about windows and can be very charming. We had him completely restore 6 double hung windows. He didn't deliver without excessive hounding. The windows remain seriously drafty - he assured us he'd fix this (months ago) and now we are just giving up on him. "
Mel Guitierrez   2 stars
"Mel promised us extensive work and barely did half of it, despite some decent references and numerous draws. He also hired a "painting" crew that wrecked part of the exterior of our house with paint remover. He would disappear for days and finally just never showed back up to finish the job. Avoid."


Window Cleaning

Clear View Window Cleaning 210-344-6257 and 210-656-6677 4+ stars
Window cleaning, gutter cleaning, pressure washing, etc. Ralph Cordero:
Superior View Window Cleaning 210-323-9696 4+ stars
Owned by Alex & his wife Amanda - they are well-organized, efficient and thorough with the completed job. At the end they did a walk through and cleaned up small streaks. Have had them work on sevearl of our homes in various places.
ABC Home Services 210-599-9500 4 stars
Complete exteriour house cleaning, including windows.

Wood Floor Refinishing

JC's Refinishing - Joe Carranza 210-639-7426 4 stars
"I used JC's Refinishing to get half of my house floors redone. They were amazing. So fast, kind and professiona . They are a family run business and been in business for over 30 years. The owner and his brother worked very fast and even have a machine/vacuum to keep wood dust to a minimum. They were able to match the color to the other floors I had gotten done by Roger Garcia prior (who I couldn't find again). They told me the timeline and even were done half a day early. "
Hammonds Wood Floors 210-341-2722 4 stars
"They did a great job refinishing our late 1890's pine floor. Working with them was a great experience and their work was excellent and fair priced. One of our other contractors destroyed a portion of our wood floor and Hammonds searched across the US to find a beam from the same time period and milled it to match the existing boards!"
Gerald Wood Floors 210-365-5744 4 stars
"Gerald's prices can't be beat and his guys get in and out quickly. He has refinished several types of historic wood floors for me and every time I'm so pleased I called him. He even makes repairs and patches entire sections of floors so that you'll have no idea which areas were replaced."
Mike Martinez Wood Floor Refinishing 210-317-9422 1 star
"I found Michael Anthony Martinez on Facebook who took a $300 down payment to do the job but never showed up.  We had already moved all the furniture and was ready for the job to start when he didn't show up at 7am and didn't answer our calls.  He finally texted at noon that he wouldn't be coming because his machine broke.  This was already he second time he had rescheduled.  At that time i told him to give me my down payment back and he said no because he had already bought the stain.  I told him to give me the stain and rest of the money back then.  We called and tried to get our money back for 3 months when we finally gave up.  Please warn others in the neighborhood. He goes by different names Michael, Mike, Anthony, and Tony.  Not sure if he has changed his phone number."
Mike Martinez Wood Floor Refinishing 210-317-9422 1 star
"I found Michael Anthony Martinez on Facebook who took a $300 down payment to do the job but never showed up.  We had already moved all the furniture and was ready for the job to start when he didn't show up at 7am and didn't answer our calls.  He finally texted at noon that he wouldn't be coming because his machine broke.  This was already he second time he had rescheduled.  At that time i told him to give me my down payment back and he said no because he had already bought the stain.  I told him to give me the stain and rest of the money back then.  We called and tried to get our money back for 3 months when we finally gave up.  Please warn others in the neighborhood. He goes by different names Michael, Mike, Anthony, and Tony.  Not sure if he has changed his phone number."
  Roger Garcia Wood Floor Services - retired? retired 5 stars
"We haven't been able to get ahold of Roger for a while. Hope he is ok." "He uses 3 coats of oil based Polyurethane applied by hand. I love this guy. Wish I could hire him again. Has been working in Southtown for a long time." "Don't judge this book by its cover - Roger is awesome." "Roger is a floor guy and should not be hired for anything else." "I want to say I agree with you totally about Roger. He did my wood floors 15 years ago, and they are still in perfect condition. He is absolutely the BEST for wood floors and reasonably priced too!!!" "Roger and his crew worked on my 1931 home and brought the wood floors back to life. I highly recommend him for wood floor refinishing!" "Complete refinishing of wooden floors in 1890 home. Beautiful work. Detail oriented. Professional. Our house had at least three layers of laminate and carpeting throughout. He found the floors and returned them to their proper glory."

Wood Furniture Refinishing

Philip Brace 210-532-2350 4 stars
Felipe Cortez 210-885-5098 4 stars

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General Advice

"Handymen are often such because they aren't particualrly good at anything but are 'good enough' at a lot of things. Consider hiring highly experienced craftspeople within a speciality instead."

"Don't hire anyone who answers their business phone with "Ugghhh" or "yeah" or comes to your front door asking for work."

"Although it might sound clean and easy, stucco skirts for wood homes are neither historically appropriate nor a good idea as the house continues to move. Stucco skirts are a pain to remove or repair once they start cracking. Horizontal treated wood slats move with the house, were the material of the day and are better use today than ever."

"I think any historic homeowner should have some premium wood glue and pipe clamps handy. In an old wood home you'll find them useful for re-gluing doors, furniture, flooring and all kinds of little things. And having some felt to put on the bottom of all furnature will protect the floors and make the furnature easier to move around."

"Never pay the whole price up front and the more you can develop a good relationship with all your contractors and service/construction people, the more they will have invested in you as a customer. With the non chain/local/smaller guys, you are not just a number in a spreadsheet, you are a customer whom the contractor depends on for their living. So, I am very much in favor of patronizing local and smaller businesses. Places like Home Depot and Lowes may offer good sounding deals, but they sub out the work to people you don't know and they don't have much interest in follow through, in my opinion."

"Have fun, don't freak out, and take one thing at a time. Do it right, don't hurry the process and you'll have a great home."


The place to get paint stripped from wood (doors, siding, etc) and to find reclaimed hardware, doors, windows, etc. This is a historic preservationists dream and a great place to get ideas for a project.
has a bit better pricing than Architectural Antiques, and I usually check out both when I'm needing old doors, windows, or other architectural materials.
A great resource for those interested in restoring their original windows.
Historicially appropriate kitchen and bath hardware . Particuarly notable for bearclaw bathtub hardware. Surprisingly affordable.
Knobs for Less
Affordable, high qulity knobs for cabinets, drwaers, etc. Affordable.
An outstanding resourace for historicially appropriate hardware of all kinds. Their selection is unparrelled. Expensive.
San Antonio's residential Green Building Program with tons of great resources.
Custom screen manufacturer just north of downtown at 1310 Laurel Street. Fantastic stainless screens, wire mesh and fencing materials used by architects. For indescructable screen doors and windows I use "stainless 12 mesh 0.023 304SS".
The Preservation Resource Group is a mail order company that caters to preservation / restoration / conservation professionals and those charged with the maintenance of historic structures and objects. Check out their non-toxic wood preservatives.
Do It Yourself Home Improvement, Repair, Remodeling
This magazine but has some really helpful info and some inspiring examples.
This magazine has detailed home restoration techniques and discussion about new materials. Aimed at the restoration professional. From there you might check out Taunten Press's other magazine sites, Fine Woodworking, Fine Gardening and others.
Fine Homebuilding's online forum, where you can learn from the veterans, share your own secrets of success, and simply chat about all aspects of home building.
Use the website to find out if a prospective contractor is licensed in San Antonio
The King William neighborhood office email is The website is and it contains lots of great information and links pertaining to our area and historic preservation. This King William Fair has it's own website at
The Lavaca Neighborhood Association website can be found at The current president of the association can be contacted at
Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency
Rainwater Harvesting

TankTown, BlueScope Water and Texas Rainwater Collection Systems all install rainwater collection systems throughout central Texas.The Rainwaterhog tank was designed to store water in small spaces - against side walls and under houses.

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!!! Please Contribute to this list !!!

Please don't just use this list - contribute too! It's not my list, it's *our* list, and together we can make the best list possible. Please contribute your comments (positive and negative) about people you've hired. Email me with your listing suggestions including name, contact information and comments.

ScottsList Methodology 

As this list is referral only, contractors are not allowed to add themselves. Every contractor starts at a 3 star rating and is moved up or down according to additional feedback. All comments, ratings and opinions are of the people who hired them are not necessarily my own. Please don't be offended if a listing is not as you wish or if quality contractors have not yet been added; I am simply posting what others have given me. This site is a labor of love created without any monitary benefit.

The challenge with homeowner based recomendation lists is that homeowners deal with things like HVAC only once every 15 years or so, inverview a small number of contractors and think they are an expert afterwards. Nearly 100% of the feedback we recive is either a glowing 5 star review or a scathing 0 star review. By pooling togther a much larger sampling of homeowners experiences, along with input from more experienced builders, we're able to use the data to generate a moderated list that we feel is more reliable and representative of the current marketplace.

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is for general guidance with the understanding that the contributors and myself are not herein engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice or services. While I have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, I am not responsible for any errors or omissions. All information in this site is provided "as is", with no guarantees. I'm just trying to help, and have striven to be as fair and accurate as possible with this information.

Last updated: September 2023

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