|About Northstar Painting & Remodeling
|I am Mike Pentel, originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. My dad was a sign painter so I started
messing around with paints and brushes (literally) since I was very young. I remember helping
him paint the house and learning the basics. He also owned some fix-up property and I often
went with him to do maintenance and repairs. My first construction job was to demolish an
entire garage on one of his properties. I got paid $50 and thought I was making good money.
The financial learning curve begins!
I always loved working with my hands, building things, as well as taking things apart to see how
they worked. When I was in Boy Scouts, I learned many basics of home repairs such as
carpentry, wiring and plumbing and was fascinated by it all. So of course I took every shop
class in junior high and high school: wood shop, metal shop, print shop, and most importantly
mechanical drawing and drafting. This taught me to think in 3 dimensions and how to transform
a concept on 2-dimensional paper into a 3-dimensional reality.
When I got old enough, my dad started letting me paint his properties unsupervised. Once I
figured out what masking tape and dropcloths were for, I started getting good at it! Soon, other
people knew I did painting and began hiring me. "You mean I can actually name my own price?"
Well I can get used to this self-employed thing! So I bought some painting equipment, ran
some ads in the paper (remember newspapers?) and started painting houses to pay my way
through college at the University of Minnesota. I now officially had my very own painting
business. I called it Northstar Painting because Minnesota is "The North Star State." It was
Soon afterward I got hired onto various paint crews and construction companies doing
piecework on new homes and remodels. I learned other skills from master craftsmen such as
staining and lacquer, drywall and finishing, texturing, and trim carpentry. I even learned how to
do body work and paint cars, and converted my mom's garage into a nicely outfitted paint booth
and painted many cars for a few years.
In 1978 I moved to Denver and immediately set up shop here doing residential painting. That
year my company was chosen as one of three hired to prep and paint the exteriors of a large
development of nice brand new homes. It was called Montbello. I painted many of those homes
when they were first built. I also got hired to do all the stainwork and interior painting for other
As I worked on these homes, I of course worked side by side with contractors in all the other
trades: framers, drywall-hangers, trim carpenters, plumbers, electricians, tile-setters,
wallpaper-hangers, flooring guys, roofers and all the rest. Often I would have them teach me
the basics and finer points of all these trades. I even apprenticed with many of them so I could
learn to do all these things and be able to offer my customers a wider set of skills.
In 1980 I felt I was ready to do my first large-scale project using my newly acquired skill set
and tool addiction, so rather than try them out for the first time on someone's actual home, I
bought my first fixer-upper, for $60,000. Yes, those were the days! I did two of them that year,
complete remodels and I had a blast. It was very satisfying to look at a brand new kitchen and
a brand new tile bathroom and say "I did that!" Over the next several years I eventually got the
process down to a science and almost every one of my fix-and-flips broke the record for
highest sale in each of the neighborhoods because of the design and finish I would do.
So from that time on I became officially known as "Northstar Painting and Remodeling." Since
then I have done hundreds of painting and remodeling jobs, countless kitchens and bathrooms,
many basement finishes, commercial painting and wallpapering for offices, dormitories and
hotels, entire 25-building townhome complexes, a painting contract for a national clothing chain
where I painted 34 stores in 10 states, and a couple dozen complete fix-and-flips. I also
specialized in Victorian restorations, one of which was selected to be one of 9 vintage homes
on the Capitol Hill Victorian home Christmas tour.
In the 90s I met a great contractor who did a lot of my subcontracting work. He then moved to
Mesquite, Nevada where the Real Estate market was booming at the time. I bought a vacant
lot at auction, and he and I designed and built my first brand new spec home. It was another
venture into new territory and we again broke the record for highest sale in that subdivision. I
bought two more lots and a large 8-acre parcel that we subdivided on which to build 6 new
luxury estates. Again, another venture into uncharted waters for me and a big learning process,
but still fun and more skills added to my resume.
In 2000 I realized that my body could not keep doing what it had been doing for all those years,
so I obtained my Real Estate license, thinking that I would become a white collar professional.
But since I had a wealth of tools and loved working with my hands, I could never turn down a
great bargain or a fun remodel job. I made fix-and-flips my specialty since I had so much
knowledge and experience with it, and even printed my own pamphlet and conducted seminars
to assist others with them. When the market crashed and slowed down, I went back to more of
the blue collar remodeling work, which is where I am today, yet am still an active Realtor. Just
recently I not only did a remodel for a client wishing to sell his home, but handled the listing,
sold it during the open house on the first weekend on the market, for $10,000 more than asking
price with 3 backup offers!
About 5 years ago I met Larry Newland, who also did all aspects of remodeling, and we have
been working together ever since. We have built a tremendous crew of contractors and
subcontractors in every trade and are ready to take on any project you may have!
Over 500 pictures of many of my projects over the years can be seen by clicking the various
links on the menu bar.
|Residential & Commercial * General Contracting * Subcontracting * Design & Consulting * Insured
|EPA Certified Lead-Safe
Cert # R-I-18814-15-0259
|3808 S. Eagle St. Aurora, CO
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of our work