It Began with a Home…

In 2013, Chad & Corinna French purchased a 6,500 sqft. foreclosed home in Alachua, Florida. It needed a lot of TLC but they saw the vision. Immediately upon moving in they started remodeling it on the inside and out. They hired a well-known local construction company that turned out to be an absolute disaster!It took the company 6 months to do just a few simple projects that ended up being incomplete and the cost was extremely high.

There had to be better options locally. A friend of the family referred the French’s to a couple of gentlemen who did handyman work on the weekends: Fred Lesperance and Brandon Imler. These guys were highly skilled at virtually everything construction related and you could tell they had a passion for their craft. It wasn’t long before Chad saw a business opportunity and pitched his idea to the duo: build a local home improvement company that provides HONEST, professional, and expert service at affordable prices. After sharing his vision, both Fred and Brandon quit their day jobs and became full-time business partners!

Fred and Brandon along with some added help later in the build did an outstanding job. See the full remodel and completed project!

The Handy Gator Chronicle

In June of 2014, Chad, Fred, and Brandon founded Handy Gator, LLC with a plan to conquer the home improvement ails of the standard American homeowner. While Fred and Brandon did the physical work, Chad worked on the business, brand and marketing. Handy Gator was part of every online home remodeling and handyman lead platform. Need two fans hung, your toilet fixed, and your front porch repaired? Handy Gator was your contact. Need a new wood fence, gutters hung, or new tile laid in your bathroom? Handy Gator was there all day, and twice on Sunday.

While the leads trickled in and the Handy Gator name spread, jobs were odd and inconsistent due to having a very limited scope of work that could legally be done. Without a contractor’s license (or an electric, plumbing, roofing license), there was only so much Handy Gator could legally do.

In the midst of doing odd jobs for homeowners, Fred ran across an opportunity to get started in “property preservation”. This is a service provided to banks on homes they’ve foreclosed on to help maintain the vacant homes and to also provide repairs to damage done by the booted homeowners. Banks are required to keep their assets safe, secured, and maintained. This was dirty work and sometimes it was downright nasty! A job may involve “winterizing” a home’s plumbing for the cold weather, mowing the lawn, removing trash and debris in and/or around the home, repairing walls, or even providing a full home inspection. In fact, Fred eventually got his Home Inspection license so they could also pick up those jobs.

Within a short period of time, Handy Gator was working with all the major property preservation agencies in the local area. When they weren’t “preserving” some foreclosed property, they were doing handyman work for local homeowners.

We Have Solutions

As the economy grew, commercial construction boomed with it. Thanks to word of mouth and networking, Handy Gator started to find itself doing more and more subcontracted commercial work in the realm of finish carpentry and general trades. Handy Gator was no longer a “handyman” business serving homeowners, it was turning more and more into a bonafide construction company with a big focus on commercial work. In 2015, they wanted to officially showcase their broadened services through a new name. Handy Gator was now in the past and Gator Solutions was born.

Starting that same year, Corinna, who already had a 4-year college degree, was hired in a supervisory position with a local contractor to finish the needed requirements to obtain her license to become a contractor. Less than a year later, she enrolled in contractor classes at a local college to fully prepare for the state exam and then in early 2017, she passed the grueling full-day exam on her first attempt. In June of 2017, Gator Solutions was officially licensed to contract in the State of Florida.

Our Story Continues…

In the summer of 2018, Gator Solutions brought on local industry veteran Rustam Burangulov to lead the bidding and estimating department and help manage the small but quickly growing construction firm.