Reader Recommendation Requests from new neighbors

We hate to lump RRRs together but the big news earlier this week has led to a backlog and these three sort of hit a theme, so we’re hoping all of you will help all three of these folks. The theme – new West Seattleites and what they need. First, Christy e-mails — from Atlanta!

My boyfriend and I just closed on a house in Morgan Junction and will be relocating at the end of the month. The 1918 house has 50% knob and tube wiring (which stopped being used in the 30s) so updating the wiring will be the first project. Do your readers have any good electricians to recommend?

Now from Mary, who’s also moving to WS:

We just bought a house in West Seattle and are so excited! We’re doing some work on the house now, planning to move in mid-January. We need our floors refinished! Any companies in West Seattle that anyone would recommend?

And from Wendy, who’s been here a while but this is still somewhat of a related query – with a tangent:

I am looking for a Westside piano tuner to give my little 1954 Chickering console a tune-up since moving to our new townhome in High Point. I’d like to get it tuned before Dec. 17th since we are having a party and I am hoping someone with talent shows up to play.

And once it is tuned up, I am looking to take lessons – my husband suggests jazz piano (I guess he thinks classical is too boring). I am self-taught in my youth but haven’t really played in a number of years. Never have had music theory, and would love to learn how to do chords and whatever that term is where you fill-in stuff to make your basic music sound impressive. My books aren’t unpacked yet but I know where they are!

Please leave responses to any and all of the above as comments on this post; check out previous Reader Recommendation Requests, and responses, in their archive here.

35 Replies to "Reader Recommendation Requests from new neighbors"

  • Rhonda Porter December 6, 2007 (4:22 pm)

    WSB could almost start a forum page for people “in search of” or RRR.

  • WSB December 6, 2007 (4:27 pm)

    Been working on that a long time — it’s a feature we talked about back during our “Pledge Day” at the end of summer — but with the host change, and some wonderful technical assistance, we are close to a breakthrough.

  • Slider December 6, 2007 (4:29 pm)

    Here’s a great piano tuner from West Seattle, I don’t know how busy she is, but she’s always done a great job for us.

    Susan Willinger-Cady
    (206) 937-1568

  • Amy December 6, 2007 (4:33 pm)

    Bowie Electric re-did our knob and tube a couple of years ago. I don’t have too much to compare them to but they seemed reasonably priced and got the job done pretty quicky.

  • Christopher Boffoli December 6, 2007 (4:41 pm)

    My house inspector (who happens to be the Electrical Inspector for Des Moines, WA) recommended Rimrock Electrical to me ( 206.730.3214. They replaced all of the boring wall switches in my new West Seattle house with modern push-button ones. They were professional and reasonable.

  • Eddie December 6, 2007 (4:49 pm)

    Silly me, I thought the subject was “recommendation requests for new neighbors” – I was going to say mine are OK, but nothing really to write home about…..Just kidding – you guys rock!

  • que December 6, 2007 (4:55 pm)

    For floors Dale Blessener at A&D Floors (206-824-7249) is fabulous and fairly priced. He has done our floors and the floors for a bunch of our friends and everyone has been happy.

    For electrical work, Eagle Electric (246-7123) is wonderful and they are a nice West Seattle based company that is family run.

  • Sharon December 6, 2007 (4:57 pm)

    Sterling Hardwoods re-finished and put in some new hardwoods in our house. They are not in West Seattle, but they did an outstanding job. We were having a lot of work done, and all the contractors who came through commented on what a great job they did. Bill Maser was our contact, and he provided excellent customer service.

    Also had our wiring re-done. Pyramid Electric did a reasonable job. The lead electrician was very kind and easy to work with.

  • Jan December 6, 2007 (5:02 pm)

    I will second Susan-Willanger Cady…she’s absolutely the best ! She is one of two piano tuners at UW…and has tuned for the likes of BB King, Lyle Lovett, and on and on. You couldn’t ask for better Tell her Jan said hi :)

    Susan Willanger-Cady RPT, Newsletter Editor
    Seattle, WA 98116

  • HulaHands December 6, 2007 (5:35 pm)

    Check out and We’ve had outstanding results with both. If I were doing an overhaul on an old house, is the way to go.

  • coffee geek December 6, 2007 (6:02 pm)

    We’ve had great luck with Angie’s List for various house improvements/repairs.

    On a somewhat related note, the dentist recommendos here in the past led me to make an appt with Dr Christine Kirschner (sp?) on Fauntleroy near the Morgan Jxn…can’t get in until January, so she must be good!

  • stan December 6, 2007 (6:30 pm)

    I’m not sure of your specifics, but there’s nothing wrong with knob & tube if it’s in good condition. You can leave it alone even if you’re adding new circuits, as long as you don’t tie any new work into the old K&T.

    (Disclaimer: I am not a building code inspector)

  • Ron December 6, 2007 (6:47 pm)

    We’ve always had good results with C&R Electric — Bobby or Dave, especially.

  • Dis December 6, 2007 (7:28 pm)

    We used Ballard Hardwoods to do all the floors in our house and they also installed new flooring in several rooms, and repaired some areas where there were gaps. The whole house looks fabulous, and you would never know that some of the rooms are new wood. They matched the color, grain and plank lengths perfectly. The cost was very reasonable. They have a primitive web site, but that’s OK – their expertise is wood flooring, not web site design. Phone (206) 784-9369

  • R December 6, 2007 (7:35 pm)

    We’ve been really happy using – it’s been worth every penny to join.

  • WestSeattleMom December 6, 2007 (7:51 pm)

    Danny McMahon is a wonderful piano teacher and jazz pianist. He’s located in West Seattle.

  • Max December 6, 2007 (9:05 pm)

    I can recommend Anita Manuel for jazz piano lessons, especially for, uh, former children who may have forgotten whatever they learned. She is in White Center. See info at

  • Jan December 6, 2007 (11:05 pm)

    Also, if you decide to use the above mentioned tuner, Susan Willanger-Cady, her husband, Dick Cady, is a wonderful teacher, and great guy..

    check out…

  • Wendy December 6, 2007 (11:12 pm)

    Thanks for the piano recommendations, folks! I will be making some calls. Wendy

  • Admiral gal December 7, 2007 (8:41 am)

    For electrical wiring, I’ve used Seattle Electric Co. (owner/manager is Steve Brandeis) in my former home, also built in 1918. They’re not the cheapest, but they are very experienced and I was happy with their work. Their specialty is electrical panels (if you have knob and tube wiring, you’re probably going to need a new electrical panel). They’ll also explain how you (as homeowner) go about getting your permits etc. so things facilitate.

  • Admiral gal December 7, 2007 (8:50 am)

    One other thing on electrical wiring: If you’re getting estimates, be aware that fluctuating commodity prices (copper) could also mean your final price will fluctuate. If you’re ready to do the work pronto, this may not be an issue, but if you get an estimate now for work in, say, spring, there could be price flux of as much as $500 more if prices go up/down. This was a surprise to me. I don’t blame the company doing the work (they have to pay the upcharge too), just mentioning it for your planning purposes since move-ins are always expensive…

  • Andrea December 7, 2007 (10:54 am)

    I too recommend Susan Willanger Cady as a piano tuner. She is one of the foremost in her field, and a born and raised West Seattlite to boot! Like Jan stated above, her husband Dick is a wonderful piano teacher of all types as well, so you can kill two birds with one stone with them!

  • beonthewestside December 7, 2007 (11:15 am)

    I feel like this blog is in full-blown sales pitch mode lately. It seems like every other post is mentioning photographers, realtors, mortgage agents, or something. When that is not the case these RRR’s turn into an advertising forum. The ads on the side seem ok (but I am sure there will be 100 smiling realtor faces there soon). I certainly don’t deny anyone their profit but I do sort of long for the days when this blog was more about events and news not so much about businesses.

  • WSB December 7, 2007 (11:26 am)

    Hi – RRRs have nothing to do with sales pitches. We are deluged with notes from people who want others’ recommendations. We generally do not participate in the responses. In other posts, if we ever mention a sponsor, we disclose it (WSB sponsor …) – there’s no “pay for post” or quid pro quo going on here. And we hope that people who respond to RRRs with pitches for their own businesses are disclosing it. It’s worth noting, you hear about our sponsors a lot because they are involved with a lot that’s going on with the community, as are many businesspeople (the more we learn about what’s going on to organize events, the more amazed we are that these folks can make time to do all that AND run a business). But we post as much as we can (very little winds up on the pixel equivalent of the cutting room floor; you should see our inbox) about everything that everyone sends us – take a look back at our flood coverage the other day, and our two different versions of events pages. We’re typing as fast as we can; and also continuously working to do a better job – so we’re glad to hear concerns, and glad to be able to respond to them. P.S. Re: the word profit … none of that going on yet. Both of us are putting fulltime hours into this, and will continue to do so; ad revenue so far totals the equivalent of a very part-time job. But everyone has to start somewhere …

  • Michell December 7, 2007 (12:59 pm)

    Just a suggestion for beonthewestside – if you are not interested in the recommendations don’t read them. Just read the comment threads your interested in… I enjoy reading the recommendations because I have only been in West Seattle for about 2 years and don’t have many local contacts.

    Thanks WSB!!

  • BB December 7, 2007 (2:00 pm)

    In spirit of full disclosure I am one of the sponsors beonthewestside refers to. I think everyone should keep in mind that these folks do the blog voluntarily. They are not making anyone read it, it seems like you are being a little rough on the authors. It is their blog, we are simply guests. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but I agree with Michell. Just read the other posts that WSB kindly puts out there for us to enjoy and discuss.

  • RS December 7, 2007 (3:06 pm)

    I agree with BB. WSB is not a media outlet that we pay for or subsidize, it’s just a super cool and very informative blog! And I love the reader recommendations! I reference the “West Seattle Dishes to Die for” post (and its 159 comments) every time I want to try out a new restaurant. If you aren’t interested in the recommendation posts, don’t read them.

    And rock on, WSB. Rock on.

  • Jan December 7, 2007 (4:29 pm)

    I’m going to agree with BB, Michell, RS. I’m a sometimes commenter on here. I’ve been in West Seattle for 33 years. Most of this is just talking about the comunity and it’s changes, growth, disappointments, etc. sort of paralleling life. Recently, though, there was an RRR about who to hire for a move. My daughter is moving back to the Westside from Magnolia in a few weeks (actually, to the apartment right next to mine-more on that later – lol), and she found a moving company that would actually help her the Saturday before Christmas because of this blog….much appreciated all around…

    Yes, we heart you, WSB <3

  • Dis December 7, 2007 (7:12 pm)

    Reader recommendations are the most valuable and practical consequences of this blog, I think (IMO). In other times, community gossip functioned to cull out the best and worst of merchants, but we no longer have such neighborhood networks. Now, we work and play outside of our home areas, our kids go to schools across town, and many of us are working long hours with little time for socializing with our neighbors. I WANT to know which are the best and proven dentists, doctors, shoe repair shops and dry cleaners! By the same token, if it’s happening, I would like to know which of these testimonials come from merchants themselves. Not many, I hope. About the ever-smiling realtors, there are very many of them and they are competing with each other for the public’s trust and goodwill. They are in the business of self-promotion and it goes with the territory.

  • Scott Moog December 7, 2007 (9:39 pm)

    Lander Electric has been great for everything we have needed done. They do the work right and are very professional.
    Good Luck and welcome to the best place in Seattle!

  • The Velvet Bulldog December 8, 2007 (8:51 pm)

    Jan – a “sometimes” commenter??? teehee!!

    Re: Electricians – I know John Merritt of Merritt Electric Corp personally and allowed him to marry one of my best friends. :-) He lives in Kent but drives all over and does excellent work, including refurbishing the knob & tube in their 1918 Kent home. Please feel free to call him at: 253.850.2436.

  • Mary T December 10, 2007 (10:42 am)

    Thanks everyone! We really appreciate the tips; this is why we are already liking West Seattle.

    A note to Stan on the knob-and-tube: the house we bought is mostly updated but does have some knob-and-tube. At least one insurance company (I can’t remember which one) outright refuses to ensure a house with ANY knob-and-tube, even though our inspector told us everything was within code. We ended up continuing the insurance with the company the previous owner had used. So that would be a reason to update the wiring!

    And while we’re on the subject of recommendations (and no I do NOT work there) we went to Authentic Home on Saturday to buy paint and Colleen is wonderful. If you’re interested in non-toxic paint, fun colors, and personal service, I highly recommend them. It’s more expensive than Home Depot of course but you can’t beat having someone immediately available to confer with you on color choices for a full hour.

  • Christy Horne January 2, 2008 (12:50 pm)

    Thanks for all the great recommendations, guys!!!

    Since I’ve already blown a couple of circuits, I’ll use them soon to replace the totally outdated wiring! — Christy

  • Patty McDonnell February 22, 2008 (5:43 pm)

    Sun Bright Electric did a great job on my house. They are listed on the Green Pages for the Northwest Ecobuilding Guild. 206-369-8282

  • Christi S August 1, 2008 (9:47 am)

    We used Eagle Electric on the recomendation posted here. Wow! What a great experience. Two very nice young men came and pulled electrical plugs and cable plugs for our tv. Clean, courteous, good work, priced well and I really liked that they gave me a full quote first. My son is 11 and followed them around with a barrage of questions and they were great with him. Even let him help a little!

    Thanks Josh and Kyle!

    I chose Eagle because they are a local, family-owned company and I support the idea of West Seattle businesses being strong and healthy.

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