David Passow Custom Contracting

Milwaukee, WI

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

I always think "What if this were my house?" . I treat customers houses as if they were my own house for the time I spend working there.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I like redoing the old. I give customers a fresh palette.


Milwaukee, WI 53208

Years in business


Number of employees


Times hired on Thumbtack



11 Reviews
  • Bryan K. Aug 12, 2013
    Floor Installation or Replacement
    Verified Review
    David and his team refinished our old attic floors (that had been painted white) and they look fantastic! He was super efficient, flexible, took the time to make sure the process would be easy and safe for our family. We have a ten month old and a couple of dogs and cats so he made sure that their safety was put first down to the type of stain used.
  • Ed E. May 4, 2013
    We heard about David and his work from neighbors, so had him come in and refinish our bedroom floor. We were so pleased with it that we had him come back and refinish both our dining room and living room floors. They turned out just great! The only problem is, now the floors look so good, the walls look shabby, so we're going to have to do some painting as well. Just a minor delay; everything will look great when we're done.
  • Dennis O. Feb 9, 2013
    My wife and I wanted to refinish every floor in our 100 year old house (every room except the bathrooms). We called 4 contractors. One said they didn't do tear out work or help move furniture. Another said they wouldn't do one room at a time. Another failed to show up and said the job was too small when I called them back. David called back right away and came out to see the job the same day. He told us what he would do and could do rather than what he wouldn't do. He was realistic when he described the project, but he was willing to accommodate our needs at every step. He even broke the work up so that we could hold our annual family Christmas gathering. David, and Craig who works with him, showed up every day when they said they would. They were willing to do the tear out and they moved the heavy furniture. When problems came up their reaction was to figure out how to move things forward rather than getting stuck because of whatever the issue was. They finished a little before they said they would and they left our house looking like something out of Better Homes and Gardens. Elegant craftsmanship done at a surprisingly reasonable price. They were professional and personable with all of us, myself, my wife, our grand daughter and our dog Dillinger. They really did accommodate the dog as they completed their work. We were very impressed and very pleased with the finished project. We would recommend David Passow Custom Contracting to anyone without reservation. Dennis and Anne O. Milwaukee
  • Steve Z. Nov 14, 2012
    Floor Installation or Replacement
    Verified Review
    We got ourselves in to a bit of a quandary when we decided to begin what we thought would be a trivial tiling project in our 475 sq. ft. kitchen. After getting through about half of the 3-6 layers of existing vinyl flooring and related flooring materials installed over the past 40 years, we eventually found a half tar covered maple floor from when the house was built in 1918 buried beneath. It had at least 3 areas that were significantly damaged with missing planks and/or water damage. We knew it would take an experienced hardwood floor refinisher to restore this floor to its original beauty, yet couldn't afford to live without a kitchen for much longer. We spoke with a floor refinisher who did good work for us in the past, but he wasn't available for a while and made clear that he wouldn't be able to start the job until more demo work was complete. Therefore we did some research and found David's Thumbtack page which had before/after photos of circumstances that looked much like our own. After leaving a message with David, he promptly returned our call and scheduled an appointment to come take a look at the state of our floor. David didn't seem fazed by what appeared to us to be a significant restoration project. This was very reassuring. What impressed us right away was that we could tell David wasn't about taking shortcuts and would treat our home as if it were his own home. Using his versatile plumbing and carpentry skills, he also planned to remove an existing “island” with a sink before starting any work which though seemed daunting was the right thing to do to get the job done right. After assessing the amount of work needed, David put together a realistic timeline and cost estimate, which were very reasonable. After removing the kitchen island successfully without a hitch, David got right to work on repairing the problem areas of the floor. He did an amazing job integrating new hardwood, when necessary, with the old wood without making it too obvious to the eye. Once the repairs were complete, David worked diligently according to the agreed upon plan to refinish the floor in its entirety. He maintained continuous communication with us via phone and text which was very helpful during the length of the project. The restoration project is now complete and the floor looks beautiful. It's a true testament to David's expertise, diligence and attention to detail. Thank you for your excellent service David! Steve Z.
  • Mark V. Nov 2, 2012
    We used David to refininh hardwood floors in 3 bedrooms that had been covered with carpet. David was the one bidder who was willing to work with us and do one room at a time, which was very important to us as it allowed us to manage the furniture moving process. His price quote was very competitive, and the quality of the work was very good. He was very pleasant and easy to work with, and even helped us move the heaviest pieces. In addition, we were concerned about the sanding dust since he did not have the latest dust-free equipment, but were very pleasantly surprised by the minimal amount of dust left behind. All in all we were happy with the work and got a professional result at a fair price, and enjoyed having him working in our house.
  • Dan A. Oct 4, 2012
    The floors in my home are original hardwood from 1958, and were in pretty rough shape due to age and wear/tear. After reading multiple reviews, I decided to give David a call to request a free estimate on the damage. Being that it was a Friday evening, I did not expect to be able to reach David. David responded back to my message promptly, and to my surprise, he actually came out to speak with me at my home on that Friday night. He spent about an hour at my home and inspected all my flooring, and explained my options from least expensive to most expensive. We set an appointment for the repairs that night. I originally was going to have my floors died with a dark brown stain, but during the sanding process, I saw how beautiful the natural color of the flooring was. At this point I was unsure if I wanted the dark stain or the natural look. David took time out to lay out a sample of the natural coat on my flooring, so I could see the difference between my two options. I opted to proceed with the natural look, which was more cost effective and looked better to me. David even got the job done 1 day early, which was very helpful due to the fact that I had some last minute things to button up on before moving into the house. What really impressed me about David was the fact that I could tell that he has a passion for restoring hardwood flooring and meeting his customer's expectations. My wife and I probably asked him more questions than the average customer and he patiently listened and answered all of them. I would recommend David Passow to family and friends, and will call him if I need any future assistance with flooring. Dan A. Milw, WI
  • Henry K. Sep 19, 2012
    Verified Review
    I interviewed several refinishers for my 90+ year old hardwood floors. David Passow was informative and straight-forward in what he would do with respect to results, process and schedule. He followed through with fabulous results. Initially, I was worried about the many pet and other stains as well as warps accumulated over the century. He did not promise a perfect floor, but he conveyed confidence in removing almost all imperfections and minimizing the rest. His work on our “NEW” floor exceeded expectations! The stains were removed and other imperfections are not apparent. The before and after photos on his website were accurate – and likely you will see our photos soon. David displayed professional confidence in his craft, and he was fun and informative to work with in every stage of the process. He was eager to provide tips on care for the floor – as if it was his own. David was right on schedule from the start of the work through its completion. Prassow was extremely competitive in his pricing. I will call on David in the future for my flooring needs. You can’t go wrong in getting his low-keyed, professional advice and quote. Henry
  • Gari-Beth K. Oct 4, 2010
    David refinished my living and dining room floors for us in September and has done an amazing job. I believe he is a master at his craft. We've never had our floors refinished before and we've lived here for 20 years and he made the floors in both areas look new. There were quite a few pet stains and you'd never know that they were there! I was totally floored! No pun intended. David is professional and personable. A great guy to work with. He will tell you exactly what needs to be done to get the results that you're looking for. I shopped around with quite a few other contractors and Davids prices were very reasonable. He treats your floors like he would want them to look if it was his own home. I will definitely have David back when I need other rooms redone. If you want the best without spending an arm and leg I'd definitely recommend David.
  • Scott H. May 11, 2010
    I interviewed quite a few HW floor refinishers and found that David was committed to doing the job right the first time. When it came to do the job he did a great job and exceeded my expectations. David will be the only one that will get the call when I need my floors refinished.
  • Tim K. May 6, 2010
    I found David through Craigslist in the winter of 2008. We agreed that he would finish the floors throughout the house I was in the process of buying. Unfortunately, that house deal fell through and I was not able to use David's services at that time. In the spring of 2009, I purchased a different house and again asked David for an estimate to refinish HWFs in two of the bedrooms. Even though the first deal had suddenly fallen through, David was very kind and agreeable to do work at the new place. The work involved refinishing two medium size oak bedroom floors, one that was nearly destroyed by pet stains. The urine soaked floors were covered with carpet and left to sit by the previous owner. When I pulled up the carpet, the spots were nearly black, the wood was swollen up, and the odor was unbearable. David did an excellent job bleaching out the stains, and sealing in the odor. Today, I have to show guests up close the few remnants of the past problems. The floors look like new and impress everyone that sees them. David's work was priced very competitively, and his work was top quality. He worked quickly to finish the job and was kind and courteous throughout. Before signing a contact, he was very kind to show me past jobs he had completed. I still have David's number in my phone and when I hear people say they need floors done, I give it out with a positive recommendation. Were I to need floors done again in the future, I would call David first. -Tim
  • Niti P. May 6, 2010
    David is an excellent person to work with. He is friendly, courteous, and trustworthy. He refinished my bedrooms and installed hardwood in my dining room and hallway for a very reasonable price. Don't hesistate to contact him for your hardwood refinishing/installation needs.


What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
My pricing is by the square foot for refinishing. Repairs and anything else I would do varies in price.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I stay up the latest types of finishes and stains.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I am a third generation carpenter so really because I didn't want to work with my Dad anymore.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Residential homes. There are a lot of red oak and maple floors. Your basic refinishing project.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
My latest project was the Haswells. They have an old 1912 home that is being converted into a photo studio. They took down a wall and I had to rip a 13 inch reclaimed board and sand it down to fit the curve in the difference between the two rooms. The floors are 100 year old white pine and turned out really nice.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Check out photos of work and get references or testimonials
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
That it is not just some guy coming in to sand your floor. I take it very seriously.