Business Spotlight: Picture Perfect Homes
Contractor Specializes in Home Repair
Story by John Thomas
For most people having a successful business in one area would be enough. But Steve Rawlings of Picture Perfect Homes finds it a necessity to be in two. He divides his time between Chautauqua and Ellicottville. He does this because Ellicottville’s and the Chautauqua Institution’s seasons run countercyclical to each other. Mr. Rawlings finds himself busy in Chautauqua in the winter and Ellicottville in summer. “After the spring Chautauqua says, ‘All you construction guys have to be out of here.’” In winter “Ellicottville starts to fill up. No one wants their house torn apart.” Basing his business in Otto, makes traveling between the two communities easier.
Much of his work in Chautauqua centers around work on the turn of the century (the 20th) architecture for which the institution is known. He grew up in the area and started doing minor repairs around the village. Although there were plenty of large general contractors to build full houses, Mr. Rawlings realized there was plenty of repair work. He found simple things, like fixing a leaky porch. Over time his skills developed and he started on more ambitious projects. Once he replaced the front deck of one of the Institution’s iconic homes. No one made the antique spindles for the railings on the deck any more. But he was able to find an Amish woodworker who was able to recreate the design of the spindles, and the deck was restored to its original splendor.
In Ellicottville, his projects tend to be a bit beefier. “We just did metal clad and gutters for The Woods, which is 130 units. We put in all new gutters, downspouts and ice melting head tape on all the roofs. It was about an eight-month project. And now we’re digging the gutter drains”. For instance, he recently built a custom entryway for a home on Holiday Valley Road. “We went and found some red oak beams in somebody’s barn. We built an archway and made it look rustic and old.” Or there are more commonplace repairs. “We’ve done insurance jobs where somebody’s pipe burst on the third floor of their condo, and all the drywall had to be gutted out and replaced with new drywall.”
In general, if you had to describe his work you’d be best off saying general home improvement. But in reality, Mr. Rawlings takes it a step further. He sums it up best himself; “We make your home picture perfect.” Reach Picture Perfect homes at: 216-224-3767.