For 15,000 Maryland homeowners a year, this firm is their choice for remodeling and repairs. “Our roots, and our roofs, are in Baltimore,” says Dan Goldsmith, vice president for marketing for Brothers, begun in 1985 by a group of tradesmen who met as congregants at the same church. Their expertise runs the gamut, from gutter work to custom home building. “We develop a trust with customers and work to be a good custodian of that trust.” says Goldsmith.
John Kantorski, a team leader with Cummings & Co. Realtors, gets many clients through referrals. The Towson University graduate, Readers’ Choice top vote-getter, says it’s all building connections. Even after sales are completed, Kantorski says, he maintains these client relationships with small monthly gifts (lottery tickets, marshmallow Peeps) and eight annual social events. One happy former client recently wrote on the zillow.com home listing website that Kantorski found him a house he wouldn’t initially have considered. “I instantly thought, ‘This is the one,’ and I have John to thank for that,” the client wrote.
The Towson-based company boasts more than 100 years of service in Maryland. Their massive showroom is stocked with every kind of lighting and lighting-related accessory imaginable. Lamps, shades, chandeliers and more indoor and outdoor lighting. The staff knows lighting and keeps up with trends in home lighting decor. You don’t make it as a business since 1919 without mastering that.
Known for her custom millwork design, Meghan Friedman brings a keen eye and sense of practicality to her projects. Friedman prides herself on a hands-on personable approach. She says she spends a significant amount of time with clients at the start of a project so she can get to know their preferences. The full-service company does everything from space planning and color consultation to furniture selection and salvaging and family heirloom repurposing. Friedman has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis, specializing in graphic design. She went to the Maryland Institute College of Art to pursue a career in interior design after renovating two homes.
Named for one of their co-founders’ gigantic beard, Bearded Builders is a family business that offers a one-stop-shop for all home construction and remodeling needs. You can catch them occasionally posting funny social media videos, but that doesn’t mean they don’t take their work seriously. “We’ve tried to create an outstanding process for clients to streamline their projects from beginning to end,” staffer Janet Price says. That process keeps everything in-house, including design, in a way that not every builder does. They even have their own line of cabinets. “Whatever we build, we’re building it to last,” Price adds.
“I’m undefeated against faucets,” says Chris Saffer, 40, co-owner of the family business in Lauraville, which has been servicing the city and Baltimore and Harford counties for nearly 75 years. “There’s an old saying, ‘The plumber protects the health of the nation,’ and we live by that.”
Customers trust Saffer’s work on everything from sump pumps to sewer lines, and they are flush with success in retrieving stuff that has gone down the commode — everything from dentures to a diamond ring.
“I met my wife while fixing her toilet,” says Saffer. “The rest is history.”