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Meet Bradley Cruickshank of Cruickshank Remodeling in Midtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bradley Cruickshank.

Bradley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
From the time I was a young boy, I loved my grandparents’ house because it was different. High ceilings, pocket doors, many fireplaces, big porch, carriage house, and especially the fact it had both front and back stairs. I had no concept of “Victorian” nor could I pick up on the clues of the evolution of the house from modest to grand Victorian.

Growing up in suburban Cleveland, Ohio there was plenty of undeveloped lands for me to roam. My boyhood friends and I spent lots of time outside in every season. Much of our time was spent building “forts”. We built them on the ground, underground, in trees, out of snow, and in an immense raft, we built in the neighbor’s pond.

Also while growing up, my family enjoyed travel. And rather than “flop on the beach” vacations we always were active touring. Many times our trips involved house museums. Stan Hywet Hall, Vizcaya, Monticello, and San Simeon were a few of the famous homes we visited.

So when, as an early teen, people began asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up, “An architect” seemed the logical answer. So Brown University double majoring in art and engineering, followed by a Master of Architecture degree at Yale seemed an appropriate progression.

Following graduation, I began working at Heery & Heery, Architects and Engineers here in Atlanta. At the same time, I bought and was living in a bungalow in Inman Park; a historic neighborhood experiencing dramatic rebirth through the sweat equity of its residents. Every Friday I’d leave the office and go by the local lumber yard. I’d load up the roof rack of my Volvo with 2×4’s or plywood, or flooring, and spend the weekend tearing apart and rebuilding my own 900 SF home.

After several years I was fortunate to acquire and move to a much larger and more architecturally significant home in the neighborhood, which I renovated as well. Another move and home renovation ultimately taught me that I was happier tearing apart and rebuilding old houses that I was wearing Brooks Brothers suits in an office all day.

So I hired 2 carpenters and put out calls to friends and neighbors that were for hire. My first projects were for my barber, for a neighbor, and for the cousin of a friend. Repeat business and referrals have kept me in business since.

Has it been a smooth road?
The 2007 – 2009 recession was especially difficult. I’d built up a large team and paring it down was painful. my diversification into commercial handyman work pulled us through and allowed me to keep key people.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Cruickshank Remodeling – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My corporate identity is “Cruickshank, Inc.” and we work under two DBA’s, “Reliant Commercial Construction” and Cruickshank Remodeling. Reliant is a regional self-performing handyman contractor serving discriminating retailers (companies with multiple facilities/locations) who are concerned about maintaining their brand identities.

“Cruickshank Remodeling” does primarily residential single family remodeling through both design/build and on projects designed by other designers.

While Cruickshank Remodeling has won nearly every remodeling award, I am most proud of two things that both operating divisions have achieved:
1) We have been blessed by many, many clients who keep asking us back for project over project, and
2) I have created a workplace which people enjoy, and one which accommodates professional growth. this has resulted in many long-term employees.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I moved to Atlanta in 1977 because I sensed that in my lifetime the city would see a dramatic transformation through growth, and I thought that foretold great opportunity for me. I have not been disappointed.

I like two things the least:
1) The traffic. We used to have a nice little town. I’ve dealt with it by living and working in town. I have a 7-minute commute on surface streets.
2) Atlanta has a history of tearing down a lot of its best historic structures in order to build new buildings.

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