"There are moments when your basic handyman is a valuable commodity, but while I dare not disrespect the trade, one must accept that such times are largely relegated to menial tasks that lack artistic fortitude or creative qualification.
Then there are times when you require the type of master builder who can reach down into your very soul and pull out the hidden foundation of your being; the kind of person who sees the answer in architecture before you even ask the question. That is Mr. Smollen.
He is from the old school. He is from the hardscrabble eastern shores where carpenters have hands so thick they can pound in nails with their thumbs and snap 2x4s in their teeth. Yet within his powerful visage their lies the quiet sensibilities of a poet, and these seemingly polar opposites coalesce to create the best damn contractor you will ever have the honor of letting in your home.
Reasonable, honest, expeditious, and jovial, you might even find yourself breaking things on purpose just to bring Craig back. Hire him. It will be the best decision you made today."
Los Angeles, CA
"Craig Smollen and his team are topflight. We recently constructed a new modern home in Atherton, CA (designed by Curt Cline, Modernhouse Architects). We wanted to create a large, 10 ft vanity in our master bath and a large headboard/storage unit in our master bedroom. We were referred to Craig Smollen by our architect and we are glad he did. Craig is a delightful sort, good listener and talented craftsman. Craig listed to our desires, made thoughtful suggestions and worked hard to create a couple of very special pieces (which he now features on the Houzz.com site!). Craig and his team were very focused on the details, book matching grain, finishes, etc. We visited Craig in his Berkeley workshop on a Saturday....he and his team were cranking away on several fabulous projects. True, committed craftsmen...and good people as well. Nice combo.
During our homebuilding experience, we experienced our share of good-and not so good- subcontractors. Craig was among the very best and we would refer him to you without reservation.
Again, topflight. Just take a look at the photos!"
Al & Karen Pace
"Craig Smollen has been contracting our jobs for a few years now, always with a keen eye for the details that are important to me and my clients.
But I have recently had the fortune of having him build a job for me personally, and I couldn't be more pleased."
San Francosco, CA / Honolulu, HI
"Craig Smollen is a top notch contractor! His attention to detail, design and construction are outstanding! His honesty, creativity and pleasant disposition were a plus during the projects he worked on at my house. He always stayed within our scheduled time frames and I had complete trust in his judgement. He's very knowledgeable on all levels, always answered my questions and his professionalism made our projects .go smoothly! A++ is my recommendation!"
"I highly recommend Craig Smollen for any new or renovation projects. He designed and completely renovated my two flat home in San Francisco from top to bottom beautifully, and professionally. He was always gracious, had wonderful ideas and possibilities for me to consider. He always kept things on or under budget and on schedule. He is truly a pleasure to work with, and I will be using him again soon."
San Francisco, CA
"I can highly recommend Craig as a contractor. We have worked on two projects for Craig and both were well thought out and organized. He made it very efficient to bid on the job and was very communicative with both us and the client. It was refreshing to have this level of organization and I look forward to our next project together."