Best of Marin 2017: Home Improvement

Marin County boasts some of the most beautiful homes in the Bay Area—and the world. Have you admired the places tucked into the Sausalito hills as you’re cruising in on the ferry? Have you stopped to smell the flowers surrounding the homes in lush Mill Valley? Yes—the homeowners deserve a pat on the back, but they may have gotten a little help from Marin’s stellar garden centers, architects, home organizers and landscape designers. Thanks to the winners on the pages that follow, a high bar has been set for North Bay living.—M.O.

Key to Safety

Let’s face it: You can’t live in the North Bay and talk about locks and locksmiths without breaking into song. Yes, the Sammy Hagar song, the one with the three-lock-box. Sammy was talking chastity but we’re talking home security and Transbay Security, Best Locksmith, is the standard-bearer in Marin County, in business since 1964 and offering the full range of 21st  century security needs: They’ll consult, install and repair a home system; they’ll sell you locks and they’ll rekey any that are in need of such things. They also offer automotive security packages along with the a full line of keys, safes, and fail-safe door-lock systems. The company features top-line products from the likes of Medeco, Schlage, Emtek and Hollon Safe which means good products matched with top-notch service. That’s unbeatable security.—Tom Gogola

2018 Fourth St., San Rafael; 415.456.3860.

Total Tune-up

In business since 2006, Tamalpais Plumbing will repair your pipe problem with a minimum of fuss and surprises. The owner-operated company doesn’t use subcontractors and all costs are determined by the job itself. There’s after-hours service for when the septic system goes nuclear in the middle of the night. Tamalpais is a full-service affair; they’ll tune up your toilet or install a gas or electric water heater. Service is the buzzword here and you can expect top-notch attention and professionalism from Marin’s Best Plumber—they are reasonable and ready to rock your clog with a smile and a bill that won’t have you reaching for the lead pipe.—T.G.

Tamalpaisplumbing.com.

‘Tree’ting You Right

After a hard-blowing winter it’s time to call Treemasters to clear branches and fell that Monterey cypress that’s about to crush the roof. These guys will eliminate diseased trees and won’t leave with a huge overhanging bill that you can’t pay. Reasonable and hard-working, the Treemasters logo is ‘Honesty, Integrity and Craftsmanship.’ No wonder they are Marin’s Best Tree Services.—T.G.

3175 Kerner Blvd., Ste. A, San Rafael; 415.455.9933.

Garden of Eden

Marin’s Best Nursery/Garden Center, Sloat Garden Center is named after the street of the business’s original location in San Francisco, out by the San Francisco Zoo. Have you been there? It’s cold and foggy and yet the nursery is an eden of healthy green plants. The same thing goes for the five, far sunnier locations in Marin County. Walk into any of the stores and behold the array of plants, and you can’t help but get inspired to garden. The stores have a great line-up of pottery, too. Sloat has been independently owned since 1958 and has embraced chemical-free gardening long before it was popular. The store has partnered with Our Water Our World, an organization that helps educate the public regarding toxic runoff into our streams, bays and oceans, since 1997.—Stett Holbrook

700 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Kentfield; 415.454.0262; 2000 Novato Blvd., Novato; 415.897.2169; 1580 Lincoln Ave., San Rafael; 415.453.3977; 657 E. Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley; 415.388.0102; 401 Miller Ave., Mill Valley; 415.388.0365; various other locations.

Next Fix

Oh no! The freezer isn’t working and everything is starting to melt all over the floor! It’s 100 degrees out and the air conditioning suddenly quit! Yikes! There’s a bad gas smell coming from the stove—maybe it’s leaking! Appliance repair is one of those things that you don’t think about until you REALLY need it. And then you have to find a reputable, reliable place to call IMMEDIATELY. A Diamond Certified business would be really nice, and luckily, voters chose one this year for Best Appliance RepairMartin & Harris Appliances. Family-owned and operated, Martin & Harris has been servicing Marin County for more than 50 years. And because they sell a huge variety of appliances, including washers and dryers, gas and electric stoves, microwaves, outdoor grills, trash compactors and much more—from brand-name manufacturers like Amana, Bosch, Hotpoint, GE, KitchenAid, Maytag and Whirlpool—they really know how to fix them. Known for their friendly service and competitive prices, they also place a high value on giving back to the community, and lend support to schools and charities in Marin County. So whether you need to fix that leaking dishwasher, or just buy a new one, Martin & Harris is a one-stop shop for any and all of your appliance needs.—Lily O’Brien

2158 Fourth St., San Rafael; 415.454.2021.

Personal Touch

Decades before home improvement customers started wandering lost among the canyon-like aisles of Home Depot, trying in vain to find someone, anyone, in an orange vest to help them find a simple goddamned shelf bracket to fix the piece-of-junk shelf they purchased amid the same mammoth cavern of hardware and lumber, Jackson’s Hardware in San Rafael has been serving customers since 1964, long before there was such a thing as a big-box store. The reason for the longevity and great service of the Best Home Improvement Store is simple: It’s employee-owned. There’s a real difference between being served by someone waiting for their $15-an-hour shift to end and an employee/owner with an interest in making you happy so that you come back. Most of Jackson’s staff has more than 10 years of experience, and no interest in selling you anything other than what you need.—S.H.  

435 Du Bois St., San Rafael; 415.454.3740.

The full list of Best of Marin 2017 Home Improvement winners:

Best Appliance Repair
Martin & Harris Appliances
2158 Fourth St., San Rafael.
415.454.2021.

Best Architect
Crome Architecture
905 Fourth St., San Rafael.
415.453.0700.

Best Carpet Cleaning
Atlas Window & Carpet Cleaning
118 Auburn St., San Rafael.
415.256.8321.

Best Carpeting/Flooring
Rafael Floors
822 Francisco Blvd. W., San Rafael.
415.456.3656.

Best Cleaning Service
Molly Maid
3095 Kerner Blvd. Ste. K, San Rafael.
415.454.3600.

Best Computer Repair Service
Mac Repair
7075 Redwood Blvd., Novato.
415.892.0888.

Best Contractor—Residential
DNL Builders
707.495.2950.

Best Deck & Fencing
Clough Construction
4220 Redwood Hwy., San Rafael.
415.444.5554.

Best Electrician
Hazelton Electric
Hazeltonelectric.com.

Best Hauling
Think Pink & Green
4 Brooke Drive, Novato.
415.320.4987.

Best Home Furnishings
Sunrise Home
831 B St., San Rafael.
415.456.3939.

Best Home Improvement Store
Jackson’s Hardware
435 Du Bois St., San Rafael.
415.454.3740.

Best Home Organizer
Changing Places
4340 Redwood Hwy., Ste. F-100, San Rafael.
415.461.6257.

Best Kitchen/Bath Remodeler
Kitchens and More
4178 Redwood Hwy., San Rafael.
415.479.1000.

Best Landscape Design Company
Rayner Landscaping
19 Digital Drive, Ste. U, Novato.
415.279.9661.

Best Locksmith
Transbay Security Service
2018 Fourth St., San Rafael.
415.456.3860.

Best Moving & Storage
Johnson & Daly Moving & Storage
110 Belvedere St., San Rafael.
415.491.4444.

Best Nursery/Garden Center
Sloat Garden Center
700 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Kentfield.
415.454.0262.
2000 Novato Blvd., Novato.
415.897.2169.
1580 Lincoln Ave., San Rafael.
415.453.3977.
657 E. Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley.
415.388.0102.
401 Miller Ave., Mill Valley.
415.388.0365.

Best Paint Supplier
Tamalpais Color Service
5784 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera.
415.924.7321.

Best Painting Contractor
Greenline Painting
40 Ross Ave. #2, San Anselmo.
415.823.4837.

Best Plumber
Tamalpais Plumbing
Tamalpaisplumbing.com.

Best Real Estate Brokerage
Bradley Real Estate
851 Irwin St., San Rafael.
415.459.1010.

Best Roofer
McLeran Roofing
Mcleranroofing.com.

Best Self Storage
Bellam Self Storage & Boxes
24 Bellam Blvd., San Rafael.
415.454.1983.

Best Solar Supplier
SolarCraft
8 Digital Drive, Ste. 101, Novato.
415.382.7717.

Best Tree Service
Treemasters
3175 Kerner Blvd., Ste. A, San Rafael.
415.455.9933.

Best Window Cleaners
Smart Window Cleaning
22 Commercial Blvd., Ste. B, Novato.
415.382.0999.