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Perfect niche to fill

South Shore Remodeling owner Lou Davis likes the variety of work he gets to do during the day. His motto of "No Job Too Small" means that he can visit a couple of customers per day, which he said "keeps the boredom level down." (Jason Adkins/DL Newspapers)

Lou Davis didn't want to sit idly when he retired from Dynamic Homes last year after seven years with the company. Prior to that, Davis spent 30 years in the Air Force and Army working a variety of jobs.

So it's no surprise that Davis started South Shore Remodeling in January.

"I've done this type of remodeling for about 10 years or so, as a sideline," Davis said. "We (Davis and his wife) decided this was the right time to try something.

"I've always wanted to own my own business and never got around to doing it."

Even in this economy, remodeling work is picking up. More and more homeowners are looking to improve on what they have instead of buying a new home, where a mortgage might be tough to get.

That trend helped prompt Davis to set out on his own.

"The market's bad and new homes aren't being built like they were," Davis said. "People are trying to economize a little bit, and fix up the old house."

With South Shore Remodeling's motto being "No Job Too Small," Davis said he'll fix almost anything.

He said he often sees requests to replace windows and doors, as well as fixing squeaky floors, which can be a nightmare in old homes.

"They can't find anyone to do it," Davis said of why customers call him. "The big contractors, if they do have a house to build, don't have the time to do the small jobs."

He said his aim is to provide a helping hand since he some might not have the expertise or the tools to tackle home repairs.

Davis said that his company fills a niche in the lakes area, he keeps prices reasonable and he buys his supplies locally. Not picking favorites, he said he buys his supplies from several different stores in Detroit Lakes.

"When I say 'No job too small,' that doesn't mean I won't take on a bigger job either," Davis said.

If Davis needs an extra pair of hands or two, he said he has help available.

The small jobs, like putting up mailboxes and window screens, are nice, though, because Davis likes the variety.

"It keeps the boredom level down," Davis said.

Plus, he enjoys traveling to different sites throughout the day and being able to think about how to go about a custom job.

There's also a personal satisfaction that Davis said he has about being his own boss. He can't complain about his other employers, he said, but it's different being out on your own.

Davis' range is from Perham on the east, north to Mahnomen and west to Hawley, and he'd like to keep it that way since he wants to keep his costs down, which allows him to keep prices lower.

"I don't want to compete with anyone in Fargo," he said.

South Shore Remodeling can be reached at 849-2429.