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Handy Firemen In the News

Crain's Cleveland Business
On Site With Rich & Louise Stachowiak
April 23, 2007

Louise Stachowiak wanted a new bathroom in her Depression-era home in Mayfield Heights. Then she thought maybe she wanted to finally fix the second floor of her house - either that or move.

Around that time, Mrs. Stachowiak happened upon a garage sale at the corner of her street and picked up a business card from Richard Storey, founder of Handy Firemen & Co. of Ohio - a free consumer referral service that matches homeowners with handy firefighters and other Northeast Ohio independent contractors.

The rest, as they say, is history. Two handy firemen - an electrician and general contractor - gutted the second floor of the home in October 2006, raised the roof and added two large bedrooms, a large bathroom, hallway and open staircase, along with a walk-in closet.

"I feel like we got a new home. It's so nice I don't even like to go to the rest of the house", she said, adding that the master bedroom is now her favorite spot in the house with four large windows to look out. "Our house went from being one of the ugliest on the street to one of the most beautiful."

Mrs. Stachowiak said she's still going through boxes of things and getting rid of kindergarten papers and toddler clothes - her children are now 33 and 34. And she's already thinking about new projects, including tackling that old bathroom on the main floor and revamping the porch.

"We were going to move," she said, adding that she wouldn't think of leaving her home now.

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