Michael Paranyo's birdie bungalows and avian mansions, handcrafted from recycled materials, have caught the attention of human eyes by being featured on HGTV and Bay Area Backroads. Rakish cuts of distinctive wood imbue the houses with a rustic feel, and roofs made of copper sheets lend a ramshackle charm to the domiciles. The town and country birdhouse ($99.95) evokes the appealing simplicity of the Great Plains, and themed pieces such as the chez noir birdfeeder and restaurant ($99.95) flaunts fashion with its dual-story design, ladder, and glass doorknob. Placate feuding families of lovebirds with two smaller birdhouses, such as the townhouse-style south Berkeley starter home ($49.95) and the Rustic A-frame outfitted with fig branches and a perch for romantic balcony scenes in which fowl lovers long for the ability to fly away like a human.
Since de-clogging its first eave in 1999, Sunshine Gutters’ crew of skilled workers have spent its days scaling ladders to roofs across the Bay Area to clean, install, and repair gutters and downspouts in need of some extra love. Dedicated to preventing residential and commercial properties from accumulating potentially foundation-compromising water damage, the staff performs meticulous services to ensure that rain troughs and conduits remain in working order. Staffers can be found cleansing gutters clogged with leaves, silt, and homesick bowling balls, while technicians install futuristic seamless gutters and stylish copper gutters. Sunshine Gutters’ crews also perform speedy-yet-fastidious repairs, from re-attaching loose gutters to replacing worn-out downspouts. Keeping in line with the quality and confidence of their work, all the company’s services are backed by a 100% guarantee of customer satisfaction.
With more than 25 years of experience, Box Brothers offers a panoply of packing supplies and accouterments along with brand-name and custom shipping services. Box Brothers stocks more than 100 different sizes of boxes, including standard 1.5-cubic-foot book- or record-carton boxes ($1.49 each, $1.29 each in a bundle of 25) and sweater-sheltering wardrobe boxes ($12.99, $11.99 each in a bundle of five). Box Brothers’ cardboard cowboys will help find the right receptacle for hand-woven wares, and they can also make or cut custom-size boxes for oddly shaped items such as spare harpoons and handcrafted kitchen sinks.
While pacing in the light of a pristine glass foyer, a team member from Sparkling Cleaning Service speaks proudly about a recently serviced home. "Mary and her husband," he explains, "they were elderly, and not in the best position to clean their windows. We removed all the dirt, the water spots, and after we finished, Mary calls me and says, 'I can see!'" That's not to say that Mary had been living with false blindness, but as she elatedly explained to an employee, she'd never seen her windows so clean.
This type of phone call is what owners Fernando Moreno and his wife, Sandra Gomez, wanted from their business from the beginning: to have strong personal relationships with clients—relationships built on thorough and fair service. The couple earned their business stripes as daycare owners, but decided to start Sparkling Cleaning Service in order to provide even more working opportunities for others––relatives included.
A family owned and operated business, one day the team of relatives sat down and sorted out the details of the company's vision. They decided to offer gutter cleaning, pressure washing, and window cleaning. They decided that they would use eco-friendly products. The family also decided that the prices should be based on square footage rather than number of windows––because it's more fair. "It's not as easy these days to trust someone to do a service. We want the customers to see that we can be trusted."
Drill bits twist, measuring tape unfurls, and saws chomp through two-by-fours in ACE Hardware, where shelves dangle with scores of tools and other home-improvement essentials. Wall pigment by Ace Paint and Benjamin Moore beams across the color spectrum as faucet parts and cabinet hardware retool aging abodes and jury-rigged time machines. Large appliances, such as Honeywell space heaters, Perfect Aire air conditioners, and Cadet thermostats, keep indoor air at a comfortable temperature. Outside, bags of seed and compost join charcoal grills to brighten backyard celebrations as rolling hand trucks heft heavy lumber purchases or prefab doghouses for socialite canines. Tools, electrical tape, and other handyman essentials round out each location's array of fixative and creative supplies.
While humans congregate in kitchens and dining rooms, rodents prefer a house's less populated areas, such as attics and crawlspaces. That's where Attic Star's cleaning crew heads to assess the damage left behind by unwelcome critters. The crew will remove any contamination, and disinfect surfaces to rid attics of bacteria and unpleasant odors. If rodents have sullied insulation or air vents, Attic Star's personnel will carefully remove the tainted pieces before replacing and rodent-proofing each part. In fact, Attic Star offers rodent-proofing for entire houses, which saves homeowners the hassle of moving into a giant mousetrap.