Niles remodeling brothers follow in father’s footsteps
Tony LaPelusa with son Brian at LaPelusa Home Improvement in Niles. | Jerry Daliege~For Sun-Times Media
NAME: LaPelusa Home Improvement
SPECIALTY: House-remodeling contracting
LOCATION: 6622 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles
HOURS: Showroom open 8:30 a.m. to noon, Mon.-Fri.; Saturday by appointment.
CONTACT: (847) 647-9900; www.lapelusa.com
Updated: August 13, 2012 1:47AM
At age 16, when Tony LaPelusa drove his dad around on the job for six weeks after the elder LaPelusa broke his leg, he realized he wanted to join the business.
“He learned the insides of the business,” said Tony LaPelusa Sr., who started the home-remodeling business in 1964.
Ever since those weeks of helping his dad, Tony Jr. has been working at LaPelusa Home Improvement, Inc., which specializes in various home-remodeling projects.
Today the business, at 6622 N. Milwaukee Ave., is run by Tony Sr.’s two sons, Tony Jr. and Brian.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Tony Sr. said of working with his two sons. “I get to see my sons every single day.”
And the feeling is definitely not one-sided.
“It’s been fantastic,” Brian said of working with his dad and learning the “ins and outs” of the business from his dad. “We looked forward to seeing him every day.”
Brian said that not only did the sons learn the nuts and bolts of the business from their dad, but they also learned the importance of good customer-service skills.
“They are good at what they do,” Tony Sr. said of his sons.“They are both excellent contractors.
He said his sons are great at project management, working with subcontractors and running the business, overall.
“I’m immensely proud of them,” he said.
The LaPelusa business performs a wide variety of remodeling projects, including kitchens and baths, room additions, fireplaces, cement work, designing and planning, iron railing, seamless gutters, storm windows and doors, carpentry, awnings and canopies, interior remodeling, roofing, porch enclosures and handicap bathrooms.
“You get to be a specialist in a lot of different things,” Tony Sr. said.
As a full-service remodeling contractor, LaPelusa aims to design and build projects to fit a customer’s individual style, as well as budget.
The company offers “exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail,” and customer service is one of its top priorities, the LaPelusas said.
Tony Sr. said they emphasize the importance of honesty and integrity, and believes customers should completely trust the contractors they are working with.
If the business weren’t already a pure enough family affair, Brian’s son, who attends the University of Illinois, joins his family during the summer working at LaPelusa.
LaPelusa received the 2003 Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics. They were first in their category out of 2,000 entries for the Torch Award and won the Hardie Award, of which they proved to be best out of 200 in their category, nationwide.
“Niles has been great for us,” said Tony Sr., noting that their location on Milwaukee Avenue has given them great exposure.
Tony Sr. said he’s always told his sons: “Whatever you do, if you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life. You’ll just enjoy it.”
And that adage appears to be proving true.
“You never hear them say ‘I can’t wait till Friday,’ ” Tony Sr said.