alternitrealiteez

Stephen has done extensive work for myself, and other family members
since the 1980s. He was the head carpenter in charge of the major
renovation of my home in the early 90s, and the work is as beautiful
and timeless as the day it was built.

I am a perfectionist when it comes to quality of work, and I come from
a family of designers and renovation experts who are similarly detail-
oriented. (Understatement!) I have worked with many carpenters in my
life, and I have no problem saying that Stephen's work is of the
highest level of quality possible. His attention to detail is
unparalleled, and he when he does a job he's not just thinking about
how to get it done-- but you can be sure that he's looking at your
project as if he's working on his own house.

I'll also say that when it comes to honesty and integrity, you can
trust him implicitly. So if you're paying him by the hour, or looking
for a worker who you can leave alone to work in your home while you're
at work, you'll have no worries.

Stephen is also multi-talented. He can do everything from framing to
fine carpentry and is excellent at other trades such as tiling and
finishing work of all kinds. In addition, he is creative and can help
you design your project.

It might sound like I have a vested interest in making Stephen's work
sound good. I don't. I have just had the pleasure of working with him
on many projects, over a very long period of time, so I have
conviction in what I'm saying. I'd be happy to show you my home, or
to answer any other questions you might have regarding his work

   Sincerely,

Bob D.

makeadifference@optonline.net

 


Testimonials

 

Stephen is the best carpenter you will ever hire. Enough said.

Ok, maybe not enough to convince you, so I will back that statement with my personal experiences in having Stephen add his beautiful touch to the three houses I’ve owned.

In one house, he custom-built a drawer that was strong and sturdy enough to have my Champion Juicer (which weighs at least 20 lbs) rest on, and created the outlet in the back of the drawer, so all I had to do was pull the drawer out and use the juicer right there! If I could design a kitchen from scratch, it would be to hire Stephen to create drawers that accommodate each small kitchen appliance. Imagine, never having to put an appliance on a counter again – bread machine, food processor, juicer, toaster, blender – all hidden. Beautiful concept!

In my next house, Stephen did what I call "Guerilla Shower". You would never believe what he accomplished in one week’s time, and the before and after is beyond beautiful. It was an old cast-iron tub, rusty faucets, broken and mildewed caulking, and old, painted tile walls – you get the picture. Stephen came in, proceeded to break up the tub, the tile and brought it down to the studs. Build the walls back up, put in a shower liner, and proceeded to install 12-inch organic tiles. He also installed three shelves out of granite, but they weren’t just any shelves – they were set into the wall – beautifully! He also created the shower ledge from granite, where the shower doors rested. And the grout – well, it was an epoxy grout that will never need to be sealed – very difficult stuff to work with, and he did it with an industrial pastry tube! When I went to sell my house, my realtor said that the shower he installed rivaled any designer shower she’d ever seen. My biggest regret is that I only had the opportunity to use that shower for three months before moving…my heart still breaks when I think about it…

Ok, so now I’m in my new (really very old) house. Built in the 1860s, I wanted to make sure that whatever was added was as well built as the original structure. I convinced Stephen that his touch was the only one this house deserved, and now that it’s done, it is so beautiful that people come over and stand in awe over the additions! First, he created a kitchen where none existed – built 2 concrete counters and installed cabinets, but it is the sink island that blows everyone away! The entire top and sink are made of concrete, sitting on a custom designed cabinet that has a pull-out drawer for the trash and insets for my cast iron pots and pans. He installed the faucets, soap dispenser, and best of all, installed a reverse-osmosis water filter under the cabinet with a dispenser tap as well. And his special touch – when you open the cabinet doors, a light automatically comes on so you can admire the tile mosaic wall in the back!

Did I mention the library? No? Well, I don’t know what’s better – the library or the kitchen! Floor to ceiling on three walls of the room, it is unbelievably beautiful, as well as functional. Of course, it is not a typical library – the shelves are different sizes – no, that’s not the right description – it’s hard to describe – you’ll have to look at the pictures – I can tell you that no one, anywhere, has a unique library like the one I have in my house. It is the crowning touch!!!

He also created shelving out of cedar in two of the closets, created brackets for the shelving he put up in my husbands office (and by reusing old, beautiful shelves from the Reuse Store in Buffalo, they are absolutely beautiful!).

He may be a carpenter for most people, but for me, he was also a plumber, worked on my gas line for my new stove, some electrical work – there’s nothing he can’t do! Best of all, he’s open to design ideas and loves to brainstorm. He’s intense – he’s an artist first, and a carpenter second.

Oh yeah, he also makes furniture! I’ve got one of his pieces in my bedroom that I consider one of my favorite pieces of furniture, and I’m a collector of antiques!

Please check out pictures of my kitchen and library – you’ll be convinced of his craftsmanship. Of course, if you’re anywhere in the Buffalo, NY area, you can always stop by and see for yourself – contact me at stephaniekiyak@hotmail.com if you’re up this way.

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