Newsday – Monday November 22, 2004

Home Sweet Home Jobs

By A.J. Carter - Staff Writer
Every once in a while, it’s nice when the little guy wins one, and Chris Schlesinger is one of those winners.

Over the past seven years (since moving here from Colorado), Schlesinger’s one-man Huntington-based construction management business has undertaken about 20 projects, all in the luxury market, ranging from new construction to whole house remodeling, mostly on the North Shore straddling the Nassau-Suffolk border.

These are extensive projects that take an average of 18 months. “It’s a long, long process, very time consuming,” he said. “There’s a lot of risk that an owner takes in hiring a construction manager like myself to trust them, that they will serve their best interests emotionally and financially…That I am able to put that package together and end up with a good friendship at the end of the project…I think that’s the part that’s most satisfying to me.”

Although Schlesinger is proud of all of his jobs, one stood out: a $1.1 million remodeling of a Lloyd Harbor house that Schlesinger gutted. He added more than 1,000 square feet and put in custom touches such as an unusual wood roof shingle and a veneer exterior using stone from a quarry in Connecticut.

“I thought that job deserved recognition, not just recognition for myself, but for all the participants,” he said, citing 120 separate subcontractors. So Schlesinger entered the job in this year’s annual Long Island Builders Institute competition, and walked away with a Diamond Award, LIBI’s highest level of recognition. That a small contractor could win the award (based on judging of several criteria by a panel of outside judges) is relatively rare, according to LIBI executive vice president Bob Wieboldt. “It just shows that this is a quality builder doing a quality job,” Wieboldt said. “It’s a unique thing for a small builder to win an award like this.”

What will the award get for Schlesinger? “The name recognition is important and this award helps with that,” he said. “It’s just one more item that I can show other than my portfolio and my references.” And maybe he’ll gain a few more friends.

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