Jim in San Ramon

I am a chronic project starter – are you? There are two types of projects in my home; repair and improvement. The improvement ones are typically “quality of life” projects – and I want those done at a standard typical of an East Coast tradesmen. For several years my wife has put the “handyman” coupons on my desk. My problem is that I have never trusted anyone to do it as good as I can.

After interviewing three people off of Craigslist – I found Syd. Syd cares as much and works as hard on projects as I do. If a project requires collaboration – he is there with suggestions and listens to input. If I leave a list – he works on it – yet leaves items that require more input until I am available. He is a self starter. Here is a partial list of projects Syd has finished at my home (you would think it was falling apart before he got here!) Laundry Room – installed granite countertop (coordinated fabrication as well). Two bedrooms – installed new bi-fold closet doors with crown molding to augment. Workout room – installed motorized shades on existing Velux skylights Yard – built an awesome potting bench, pulled cable for outside movie theater, reworked landscape and speaker wiring, fixed two gates, built stairs from decking to downslope. Exterior chimney – turned it into a functional storage closet (who needs fireplaces?) Kitchen – repaired warped hickory floor, reattached decorative molding along cabinetry kickplates. Inside & out – pulled cable and mounted security cameras Designed, crafted and installed hickory counter-top inside art niches. Installed large black tiles around the one remaining fireplace in the house to augment existing marble mantle.The list of small items he repaired or finished is endless; outlets, outlet covers, door hinges, hose reel, outside faucet, decorative stone façade.

Dependable, on time, attention to detail, open to input – yet honest about your goofy idea, self-starter, works without supervision – but not bothered when you check in; these are all qualities of Syd.

Joe in Pacific Heights

Syd provided detailed carpentry work on my condo renovation in Pacific Heights. He was a true professional and his skills were exemplary. Syd took on projects ranging from crown moulding to hardwood flooring and provided both guidance and heads-down effort to deliver a quality result. Many of the projects were challenging and required a creative approach. Syd didn’t shy away from these and always delivered. He was also very reliable. I never had to worry that he was burning up time on the clock with unproductive work. I’d recommend him on any job, especially those that require excellent carpentry skills.

Mike Ash

Syd did a great job helping us finish the inside and outside trim around our wine cellar. Very professional work. PS, I saw firsthand the work he did on the playhouse shown in the photos – VERY nice work and happy owners.

Playhouse for Nancy W

We hired Syd to build a playhouse for our daughter using my husband’s design. We wanted someone with enough experience to know what they were doing, but flexible enough to use someone else’s design. We found both in Syd. He’s ethical, takes his work seriously, very skilled, offers suggestion where appropriate, prompt and hard working. He worked both during the week and on weekends for us, and were very pleased with the outcome.

Yossi Z

My wife and I hired Syd to help us get moved in to our new house. He finished some trim work, installed hardware and assembled some things for us like new handrails, safety gates and old hardware customization. It is obvious when you speak to him that he is skilled in a wide range of trades and he was very easy to get along with and work with.

Ittai in San Francisco

I hired Syd to help finish a home remodel for my family to move into in San Francisco. He proved very valuable by helping tie up all of the loose ends, and he is committed to doing the best possible job. Although he was hired as a finish carpenter, he was perfectly willing to do whatever needed to be done.

Terry Smith in Stowe, VT

Over the past two years Syd has succesfully completed a number of building projects at my house in Stowe, Vermont. These projects included the following: Front porch, rear deck, house leveling, kitchen sink and disposal replacement, tiling around fireplace, and miscellaneous repairs. Syd is a careful and dependable craftsman. He shows up on time and works diligently, keeping his workspace clean and organized. He is honest and delivers the job for which he contracts on time, on budget, and with high quality. He takes direction well and is easy to work with. One of his key skills is the ability to complete complex projects while working alone. I recommend Syd Michelson for virtually any construction project.

Dan Stearns in Stowe, VT

Syd is a great guy to work with. First off, he’s a trustworthy, dependable, and honest guy. Secondly, he’s capable of and good at doing so many things connected to building, renovating, and repairing homes. Third is he gets a lot done with his time. Syd worked with his father until moving out to California so he benefits from multiple decades of experience. He does a job properly without waste of time or resources. He learned his trade in Stowe, Vermont where practical and functional beauty is the norm in construction. His father trained him to build things to last, with minimal waste and a beautiful finished product. I’ve greatly appreciated having Syd do work around my home, and am sad that he moved out to California. Syd is a gem and a workhorse. I highly recommend him.


I’ve hired Syd many times for various things around my home. He has proven to be not only capable of doing anything, but actually good at everything I have had him do. He can figure out problems and implement solutions, and he does very nice work. I am very glad I found him.

Suzie in the Bay Area

I am really happy to have been introduced to Syd. He is obviously talented and very knowledgable, and a nice guy who you trust immediately. He just moved here to the Bay Area and is looking to get established. He hung my drapery rods and fixed all these random things around my place in a blink. He ROCKS.