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October 2008


Side Story:
Custom Work From a 'Pizza Man'

Masonry Magazine -- the voice of the Masonry Industry

Would you ever think to accept home building guidance from a pizza man? Michael Pizzolongo Sr., "The Pizza Man," is not only making his mark on the contracting industry, but also a billion-dollar home customization niche, with his stucco and concrete work. Pizzolongo has been designing and creating masterpieces for homeowners for more than 30 years, from custom wine cellars to repair and restoration projects.

Almost half of U.S. homes contain some form of customization. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 25 percent of homeowners purchase or build their homes with custom features already included, such as extra fireplaces, hardwood flooring or outdoor kitchens. Another 20 percent of homeowners add custom features after their purchase.

With Pizzolongo's work, fireplaces, custom barbeques and other traditionally brick accents are made simpler for the remodeler or new builder. Those projects normally require a concrete footing and anchoring to support the weight of the structure. Placing a footing would mean destroying the underlying materials, whether it be grass outside or hardwood floors inside. Pizzolongo discovered a way to bypass these requirements. To make the new structure a fraction of the weight, he uses Sakrete brand stucco and paints the installation with cement colors to create a true look of brick and mortar.

Masonry Magazine -- the voice of the Masonry Industry

He can also put decorative touches on already established walls. Wine cellars can have a new flair with Mediterranean-style exposed brick walls, rather than dull, gray cement blocks. The cellars are popular, and with Pizzolongo's approach, these basement makeovers are effortless and can be completed in a shorter amount of time. Pizzolongo says he prides himself on the detailed artistry it takes to successfully create imitation brick and stone, and he considers himself just as much an artist as a contractor.

Pizzolongo has been creating innovative plastering, restoration, repair and custom artisan stucco projects for more than 30 years. Now, he is passing his knowledge and talent to his son, Michael Pizzolongo Jr. The two are making a name for themselves with their talent and workmanship.



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