The high number of total votes in this category shows that homes and home maintenance are a very significant part of life for our readers.

Real Deals Home Decor

Home owners are looking for value and quality to create a beautiful home. Open just two days a week, Real Deals in Battle Ground is popular for the touches that make a house into a real home.

According to our voters, anyway:

“They have wonderful decor for your home and you can't beat their prices! You need to check them out!”

“Great new store taking Battle Ground by storm! Just what we've been waiting for! I love the furniture, decor, and the displays are inspiring!”

“Beautiful and practical home decor design that can make any house a home that shows a touch of love. Great prices, great variety, always new items to find.”

WINNER: Real Deals Home Decor, 1519 S. Parkway Ave., Battle Ground, WA., 98604, (503) 869-4050.

RUNNERS UP:Comfort Interiors Design, Distinctively Home, PS and Company.

Fazzolari Custom Homes

Many homeowners are turning to remodeling rather than moving into a different home, and Clark County residents are fortunate to have many quality remodelers available. It takes skill, foresight and creativity to remodel an existing space into something practical and beautiful. For the third straight year, the top vote getter is Fazzolari Custom Homes and Renovations.

Reader comments:

“Reliable, reasonable and on time.”

“They are simply the best! Couldn't ask for better follow through...and ideas! This company is by far the ultimate in remodeling!”

“Honest, Understands the customer needs. Offers many great suggestions.”

“John is a pleasure to work with. Very knowledgeable and always putting forth the extra effort to get the job done.”

“He is very honest, a hard worker & friendly.”

John Fazzolari gains the respect of our readers as a contractor as well. His firm stays up to date on building technologies, new materials and trends, but incorporates the new with an eye toward quality and craftsmanship, so the designs are beautiful, functional – and affordable.

Reader comments:

“Reliable and reasonable. First rate and customer service oriented.”

“Details, details, details. Customer Service. Innovative. Looks for ways to save costs. Simply an awesome company.”


WINNER: Fazzolari Custom Homes & Remodeling, PO Box 65580, Vancouver, WA 98665, (360) 571-7027.

RUNNERS UP:Designers NW, Sam Vilhauer, Goldwal, Spacemaster


WINNER: Fazzolari Custom Homes & Renovations

RUNNERS UP: Goldwal, Designers NW, Handyman Sam, Sam Vilhauer

Rose Smith

Rose Smith of Sundin Realty gets the nod as the local favorite real estate consultant for the second time in as many years. She’s a Washington native who grew up here, volunteers her time here, and from reader comments, really cares about her clients and finding the right home to meet her client’s wishes and needs. Here’s what her clients are saying about her.

According to the voters,

“Rose Smith has always treated her clients with respect and the care that is needed in this downturned market.”

“Rose is very helpful even if it is no profit to her or her company. She is the best realtor I have ever met, and she is kind & knowledgeable. I won't deal with anyone else ever.”

“She takes time to get to know who you are, and what you are looking for in a home, and has the "gift" to match you to the right home for your family.”

“Rose has an abundance of heart/love, and I'd never want anyone else to deal with a purchase or sale of a home again. She's just amazing. Gotta meet her :)”

“She was so real, comfortable to deal with.”

WINNER: Rose Smith of Sundin Realty, (360) 574-4616

RUNNERS UP:Sam Mikel of Scott Mikel & Assoc., Taylor Vilhauer of Coldwell Banker, Sundin Realty

Shorty's Garden & Home

Gardeners want knowledge, quality and variety when they shop for garden products, and Shorty’s -- winner for the third-straight year -- delivers. The readers shared their love of this locally owned and operated garden center that boasts two locations.

This is what our voters had to say:

“Knowledgeable, friendly, helpful staff; great selection of plants and garden supplies, free educational classes. I love this place!”

“Extremely friendly and helpful, keep plants in excellent condition.”

“Knowledgeable staff! A little spendy, but you get what you pay for. I enjoy walking around on sunny days there -- a secret little hobby I enjoy!”

“They have almost everything you'd ever want for your garden, and their help are extremely knowledgeable.”

“Beautiful, the Nordstrom of garden centers. Great customer service and selection”

“Fantastic assortment of plants and flowers. Knowledgeable and friendly staff. Good atmosphere and arrangement of plants and flowers. Love the rewards!”

“Free classes, good prices, willingness to help get your yard in shape.”

WINNER: Shorty's Garden & Home, 1006 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, 360-892-7880, and 705 NE 199th St., Ridgefield, WA, 360-887-3936.

RUNNERS UP:Yard n Garden, Tsugawa’s

Columbia Credit Union

Columbia Credit Union -- for the fourth straight year -- takes top honors for financial institutions in the area. Their local focus, financial training for clients, excellent friendly customer service, and good product mix were mentioned repeatedly.

“Columbia Credit Union is my favorite financial Institution! They make me feel welcome every time, especially when I visit the Ridgefield branch!”

“We've been members for almost 20 years and couldn't be happier. Who needs a big, impersonal bank when you can have CCU?”

“No fees, great service, locally operated.”

“Best service and convenience in Clark County.’

“Friendly neighborhood institution.”

“Decent interest paid on accounts and free Notary Public for credit union members. Numerous offices throughout Clark County. Excellent service throughout.”

“They always have a smile on their faces when I come in, and always put a smile on my face when I leave.”

“Great one-stop financial institution plus added experienced business banking team.”

“They just get it! CCU realizes the importance of having members and not just account numbers. The employees care about their members and what is going on in their lives. They also focus on member needs and not just selling to sell.’

“They are invested in the community!”

“They clearly believe their motto of "Making Life Better!" The service they provide goes way beyond the normal lip service most places give to the importance of service.”

“Never long lines to see a teller and have the easiest on-line banking that I've ever used.”

WINNER: Columbia Credit Union, various locations

RUNNERS UP:Riverview Community Bank, IQ Credit Union

Home Depot

When shopping for do-it-yourself home products, selection and sales people willing to help and share knowledge are appreciated. Home Depot wins the nod here.

Reader comments:

“Easier to locate what I'm looking for. Prices are competitive. Quality merchandise, knowledgeable staff.”

“The sales people always help me with my projects, and go above and beyond to do so.”

“They are always willing to help and want to work with you.”

“Best selection.”

WINNER: Home Depot, 8601 NE Andresen Rd, Vancouver, WA 98665, (360) 253-3993; 330 SE 192nd Ave, Vancouver, WA, 98683, (360) 254-6289.

RUNNERS UP:Lowe’s, Parkrose Hardware, Comfort Interiors Design