Let's face it. Not all of us are handy enough to be able to fix every malfunction our household may experience or bring every passion project we envision for our homes to life. Fortunately, we do not have to try, not when this year's Best of Jackson: Household 2020 pop-up ballot lists a number of local resources that can help you maintain your home, whatever your needs.
Best Heating & AC Service; Best Plumber/Plumbing Service: Environment Masters
(168 E. Porter St., 601-353-4681, environmentmasters.com)
Environment Masters strives to provide hassle-free plumbing and air-conditioning, and in the view of the nearly 12,000 five-star reviewers featured on the business' website, they certainly deliver.
Advertising over a dozen individual plumbing services, Environment Masters is a one-stop shop to help meet the plumbing needs of those in the metro area—providing everything from video pipe inspections for pinpointing the sources of pesky plumbing problems to emergency plumbing for issues too urgent to wait for an appointment.
Since the company founded in 1957, Environment Masters has since expanded, employing over 100 skilled workers and operating a fleet of 65 vehicles.
"We don't really operate like a business; we operate like a family. That's inspired growth and helped us retain employees," Manager Ben Nalty, who is part of the company's third generation of family ownership, said.
The company's services extend beyond household problems, providing assistance to local businesses as well. Environment Masters even offers estimates for larger jobs, working to provide commercial customers with competitive prices for amenities such as water heaters and water filtration systems.
As Mississippi residents themselves, the technicians understand the importance of a functional heating and cooling system in the extreme Mississippi weather, the website says.
To keep these necessary systems running efficiently, the company has sought out environmentally friendly ways of keeping indoor temperatures at optimal levels, such as "SunSource," a solar HVAC system noted to reduce electric costs by up to 50%. Environment Masters also aids in combating air-loss by offering services to properly seal and repair the duct systems. —Taylor McKay Hathorn
Best Plumber/Plumbing Service Finalists: Dent Air Conditioning and Plumbing (250 Highpoint Drive, Ridgeland, 601-366-5338, dentairconditioning.com) / Short's Plumbing and Heating (5740 Highway 80 W., 601-922-5335) / Weiand Plumbing (Clinton, 601-540-5972, weiandplumbingms.com) / Wright Plumbing (Madison, Ridgeland, north Jackson, 601-898-3223; Rankin County, 601-591-1553; Clinton, south Jackson, 601-925-1707; wrightplumbinginc.com)
Best Heating and AC Service Finalists: AirMax Heating & Cooling (3010 Lakeland Cove, Suite L, Flowood, 601-939-0015, airmax.ms) / Dent Air Conditioning and Plumbing (250 Highpoint Drive, Ridgeland, 601-366-5338, dentairconditioning.com) / Modern Air (5243 Greenway Drive Extension, 601-202-5968, mymodernair.com)
Best Contractor; Best Roofers/Roofing Company: Watkins Construction and Roofing
(1072 High St., 601-202-8363, watkinsconstructioninc.com)
When Watkins Construction and Roofing completes a job, the Fortune 500 company Owens Corning gives the work its seal of approval—which comes with a 50-year warranty.
The 50-year commitment begins with the company's seven-step process, which encompasses everything from an initial free estimate to a final inspection by a project manager once the job is complete.
"During the seven-step process, I make sure everyone facilitates their portion (of the process)," owner and operator Michael Dier said. "Throughout the years, I've done just about everything, but now that I'm in a leadership position, I monitor quality and invest in people, working with their leadership qualities."
Watkins offers roof repair and replacement services, along with cosmetic improvement options, such as skylights, gutters and siding.
For customers who take advantage of Watkins' full array of services, a live operator is available for online assistance 24/7, along with on-site supervision during construction activity.
Given that many Jacksonians live in apartment-style housing and therefore do not make such home-improvement choices themselves, the company has long since learned to work closely with landlords and building managers to provide commercial roofing services and to keep existing roofs safe by repairing damage, checking vents and inspecting for molds and mildews.
The company also provides an elaborate blog for its clients, which walks customers through home-renovation decisions such as shingle selections and the ideal timing of roof replacements. Watkins even offers a checklist to help customers identify a suitable contractor for their home-improvement projects. —Taylor McKay Hathorn
Best Contractor Finalists: 4 Sons Construction / Christian Cowan Builder (1070 Lakeland Village Circle, Suite A, Brandon, 601-942-3224, christiancowanbuilder.com) / Complete Exteriors (4725 Highway 80 E., Pearl, 601-203-4537)
Best Roofers/Roofing Company Finalists: Complete Exteriors (4725 Highway 80 E., Pearl, 601-203-4537) / Renova Roofing and Construction (141 Township Ave., Suite 305, Ridgeland, 601-908-3328, msrenova.com) / Strength Roofing and Siding (601-373-7254, strengthroofingandsiding.com)
Best Gardening Center: Lakeland Yard & Garden Center
(4210 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-939-7304, lakelandyardandgarden.com)
This year, Lakeland Yard & Garden Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary of providing plant selections to Flowood and the surrounding areas.
The business does not merely sell plants and expect gardeners to do the rest. They educate their staff through Nurserymen certification programs, thus better enabling them to communicate with customers about growth cycles for plants and the best ways to care for them.
"We put new employees with older, more experienced employees in a one-on-one situation to help them get started. We also encourage them to take nursery certification exams and to take Master Gardener classes," manager Toby Rogers said.
The 17-acre nursery is interested in the holistic development of its patrons' lawns and gardens, offering a wide variety of outdoor living products, such as hummingbird feeders, adirondack chairs and rope hammocks.
The company provides customers with insights on how to best pair these furnishings and outdoor hardware with natural life, providing a "Home and Garden Showplace" template on its website for customers to design their landscaping around available shade, plant maintenance and watering systems.
Although the pandemic has prevented such services in recent months, Lakeland Yard & Garden Center hosted events for aspiring and avid gardeners alike to come together and learn more about the world around them and how they can apply that knowledge to their own backyards. —Taylor McKay Hathorn
Finalists: Callaway's Yard & Garden (259 Calhoun Station Parkway, Madison, 601-859-5444, callawaysyardandgarden.com) / Freshway Produce (6900 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-956-3727) / Hutto's Home and Garden Center (1320 Ellis Ave., 601-973-2277) / Madison Garden Center (811 Madison Ave., Madison, 601-856-5554) / Martinson's Garden Works (650 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-856-3078, martinsonsms.com)
Best Local House Cleaner/Service: Marvelous Maids of Mississippi
(406 N. Bierdeman Road, Pearl, 601-631-4330)
Marvelous Maids sports an advertising line that few could argue against: "You know what would make house-cleaning more fun? A maid."
The Pearl-based company provides just that, offering home-cleaning services from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. for locals, Monday through Saturday.
Although the business will clean any residence, it specializes in preparing homes for moves, deep-cleaning homes before they are shown to potential buyers. Once the tidy house attracts a new owner, the Marvelous Maids will box household items for the move.
The company's Facebook page features before-and-after photos of their handiwork, like an oven with caked-on grime that was transformed back into a spotless appliance after a single session with one of the five cleaning professionals.
Making such radical changes in home appearances is nothing new for the owner of Marvelous Maids, Jamela Alexander-Rogers.
"I started this business at 19 years old. I was working two 9-to-5 jobs, and I wanted to do something for myself," she said.
Alexander-Rogers took a short break from her work with Marvelous Maids at the age of 21 to study public health in college, which she noted has benefited the company during the current pandemic.
"COVID was nothing new for my maids. We had already been implementing safety measures into our cleaning, so nothing had to change for us," she said. —Taylor McKay Hathorn
Finalists: Advanced Steam Extraction (3165 Virginia St., Pearl, 601-664-2001, asenow.com) / Cheryl's Cleaning Service (601-300-4292) / Foster Cleaning and Moving Service (1200 Shadow Wood Drive, Brandon, 601-291-7936, fosterscleaningandmoving.com)
Best Local Pest Control: Havard Pest Control
(100 Business Central Parkway, Suite G, Pearl, 601-936-0309, havardpest.com)
Havard Pest Control's Ridgeland headquarters is one of 12 offices serving Mississippi, Alabama and southern Louisiana. The company's multiple branches and 100 employees enable them to provide 24-hour service service for both residential and commercial customers with pest problems.
Havard Pest Control's wields multiple methods of ridding clients of these unwanted pests, large and small. To circumvent infestations entirely, the company offers preventative measures, advertising "shield treatments" for both pests and termites.
If pests are already present, Havard points to its two-step bedbug solution and its bait and liquid ministrations for termite infestations. For bigger pests, Havard has a number of humane removal options, such as live traps, glue boards and exclusion services.
Once a home or business has been rid of unwanted infestations, Havard implements regular follow-up appointments with a certified staff member who prioritizes the continued removal and prevention of pests.
For clients unsure of what kind of infestation they are experiencing, Havard provides a "Pest Library" on its website, complete with pictures and descriptions of various common household pests and suggestions for self-treatment in addition to company solutions. —Taylor McKay Hathorn
Finalists: Capitol Pest Control (939 Baytree Drive, Flowood, 601-919-9191, capitolpestcontrol.com) / Magnolia Exterminating Company (868 Foley St., 601-371-3388, magnoliapest.com) / Patches Pest Plus (125 Summit Ridge Drive, Brandon, 601-724-2701, patchespestplus.com) / Stutts Pest Control (601-919-2858, stuttspestcontrol.com)
Best Local Pool Service: Kemp's Pool Service
(507 Springridge Road, Suite B, Clinton, 601-421-3232)
Kemp's Pool Service can locate the leak in your pool—and then fix it. The Clinton-based company specializes in detecting and repairing problems with swimming pool liners and equipment.
The company also empowers its clients to better care for their own pools, offering "Pool School" to teach customers how to balance pool chemicals and how to care for equipment properly. For those who would rather rely on the professionals, Kemp's also offers weekly pool cleanings, chemical adjustments, and backwashes.
Kemp's, which opened in 2010, sells a variety of equipment at its Springridge Road location, including Maytronics brand robotic pool cleaners and variable speed pumps. For the less technical and more fun-seeking water lovers, Kemp's offers an array of inflatable pool floats.
The pool service also prides itself on installing up-to-date appliances and helping customers have more cost- and energy-efficient pools and spas.
"Come 2021, single-speed motors will become obsolete and will no longer be on the market," office manager Jennifer Turner said. "We use the new, multi-speed pumps that are easy to operate and last a lot longer."
Turner said the company is certainly prepared to bring its customers into the new age of pool operation, noting that they had installed 300 such pumps in the last three years. —Taylor McKay Hathorn
Finalists: Bob's Pool Service (5014 Highway 80, Pearl, 601-939-3388, bobspoolserviceinc.com) / CPS Pools and Spas (3776 Interstate 55 S. Frontage Road, 601-372-0500, cpspoolsandspas.com) / Pool Works (1576 Old Fannin Road, Suite C, Brandon, 601-398-1487, poolworksms.net)
Best Tree Service: Big John's Tree Service
(Flowood, 601-941-7773, bigjohnstreeservice.com)
Big John's Tree Service has been a staple of the Jackson community for more than three decades. The company started out as a logging and firewood operation and eventually branched out to include full-service tree care and removal.
While tree removal can often become dangerous or messy, Big John's endeavors to give its customers a different experience, providing proof of insurance to its customers and cleaning up any remaining debris once a job is completed. "We employ an awesome crew with very little turnover," operator Ken Anderson said of his employees' commitment to seeing such involved projects through to the end.
Anderson's crew works around the clock to provide services, visiting homes after storms or other emergencies to assess and control tree damage, which he believes helps the business remain competitive both locally and in other areas—as the Flowood-based company boasts membership in customer- and environment-oriented groups such as the Better Business Bureau and TCIA, the "voice of tree care." —Taylor McKay Hathorn
Finalists: Barone's Tree Pros (2494 Highway 471, Suite A, Brandon, 601-345-8090, baronestreepros.com) / Delta Tree Service (5717 Medgar Evers Blvd., 601-366-9656, deltatreems.com) / Kip's Tree Service (7025 Highway 25, Brandon, 601-829-3748) / Tri-County Tree Service (1456 Douglas Drive, 601-940-5499, tricotreeservice.com)