Castle Building & Remodeling, one of Remodeling magazine’s Big 50 of 2011, hosts a team of professional designers and builders who overhaul interiors with historically inspired concepts. Two design-selection studios display the custom craftsmanship, showcasing a 1940s–style kitchen with cherry cabinets and a 1910s–style bathroom with hex tile flooring and a sink full of Teddy Roosevelt's mustache trimmings.
The remodelers create a mockup of each project using 3-D CAD software, noting any desired changes before installation. They realize projects with the help of artisanal manufacturers such as Clay Squared, whose artists craft custom ceramic tiles using time-honored methods.
When Layl McDill's daughters were little, she would carry small bricks of polymer clay in her purse for them to play with. Over the years, the pastime evolved into a serious profession for her. Forming ropes of the colorful, malleable material into millefiore canes, McDill honed her skills, creating patterns, pictures from the carefully sliced clay logs. With the help and support of her husband and fellow artist, Josh Blanc, Layl founded Clay Squared to Infinity in 1996, where today she not only creates and displays her own artwork, but also leads classes for clay-curious artists of all ages.
Chris Beutz founded Green Horizons in 1988 to combine professional landscaping techniques with a growing knowledge of natural ecological cycles that restore spring vibrancy to yards shocked by winter months. In spring and fall, Beutz and his team clear away seasonal debris, lower the ears of lawns, and trim any remaining patches of scruff. Summer services, such as weekly shrubbery trimming and lemonade sprinkling, keep lawns looking good enough for a garden party. Services save homeowners valuable weekend time to attend their children's sporting events or the NBA Spelling Bee.
Like sword makers in a samurai movie, Eversharp?s skilled artisans toil over blades to ensure that each one is flawlessly straight and sharp. Their shop, hailed as one of the nation's largest Wusthof retailers, houses specialized knives and knife sets suited for any need, be it cutting a turkey, slicing bread, or carving a jack-o?-lantern into the spitting image of Alex Trebek. In addition to supplying cutlery, the staffers sharpen blades on a rolling grindstone and host knife-skills classes that prepare students to tackle any cooking emergency with gusto.
Despite the name, Mr. Handyman is not just one man composed entirely of hands. The man made of hands is accompanied by a crack team of service professionals and tradejacks who can conquer every facet of even the most long-winded and dyspeptic to-do list. Their services cover everything from bathroom-tile repair and furniture assembly to door installation and decorative molding. Whatever household task needs skillful doing, Mr. Handyman will tackle it with the speed and dexterity of a disembodied Addams Family pet. There may be some additional material costs depending on your job—visit Mr. Handyman's FAQ section for more information.