No Gimmicks, No Frills

Loris Candiloro, co-owner of Projects Unlimited Inc. in Puyallup, Wash., like many of his remodeling brethren, is anything but flamboyant and pretentious. His business is characterized by a straightforward, honest approach without frills and gimmicks.

Asked about his title, the self-effacing remodeler says he’s not much into such labels. Understandably they don’t mean much to Candiloro because at any given moment in the day he could be a salesperson, an estimator, a business manager or working in the field.

Like many remodelers, construction runs in his family. His father was a general contractor, and his brother is one today. During college, Candiloro worked between terms for his father’s contracting firm. The mechanical engineering degree he earned has been useful in his remodeling work, he says. “It gave me a better understanding of structural work, and when I talk to a structural engineer, I’m not a total idiot,” he comments.

Candiloro started in the construction business as a framing and siding contractor and gradually made the transition to remodeling. As the name implies, Projects Unlimited does all sorts of remodeling — kitchens, baths, additions, decks and, now, handyman services. “We do anything,” Candiloro says with pride.

Easy to work with

Repeat business and referrals are key to the success of Projects Unlimited. “Most of our clients find us easy to work with,” Candiloro says. He notes that he always provides references from past customers to potential clients. “They [past customers] are our salespeople,” he says.

Candiloro is a member of the Master Builders Association of Pierce County Remodelors Council, an affiliation that has involved him in numerous community activities over the years. One of the most recent was a project with Rebuilding Together South Sound that involved work on a kitchen or a home occupied by a single mother who is also providing housing for her elderly mother, brother and niece.

Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together South Sound is an affiliate of Rebuilding Together a national nonprofit organization working to preserve affordable home ownership and revitalize communities. It has a network of more than 200 affiliates that provide free rehabilitation and critical repairs to the homes of low-income Americans, according to the organization’s Web site.

National Rebuilding Day is the annual signature event of Rebuilding Together. Held on the last Saturday in April, National Rebuilding Day is the day when affiliates from all parts of the country plan projects to bring attention to the plight of America’s low-income homeowners and the communities in which they live, the nonprofit says. The day is the end result of a year of planning, training, organizing and mobilizing thousands of volunteers.

Candiloro was “house captain” for the remodel and is credited with spending only $2,000 of the $5,000 budget. Most of the work was achieved with in-kind donations or at greatly reduced dealer cost, he explains.

A highlight of the event was an appearance by Marcus Trufant, cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks and a five-year veteran of Rebuilding Together project. Trufant, along with some of his teammates lent a hand by priming and painting the kitchen and several other rooms.

Festival of Trees

Another event that Candiloro regularly participates in along with other members of the MBA Remodelors Council is the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees Designer Day. Some 70 decorated trees are auctioned during the festival with more than $2 million raised in a recent year. Each tree comes with extras — such as trips, gift certificates and jewelry — to drive up the bidding.

A tour of remodeled homes, usually held in the fall, is another MBA Remodelors event in which Candiloro participates.

Fast Facts About Loris Candiloro:

  • Title: Co-owner
  • Company name: Projects Unlimited Inc.
  • Location: Puyallup, Wash.
  • Years in business: 29
  • Professional affiliation: Master Builders Association of Pierce County Remodelors Council
  • Community activities: Rebuilding Together South Sound; Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees; Tour of Remodeled Homes