Meet DIY Extraordinaire...Lou Manfredini

From early on, houses and the art of building captivated Lou Manfredini. As a teen, the Chicago-area native went to work at a local Ace Hardware store to learn about housing structures, the tools of the construction trade and home improvement projects. Later, during college, he decided to put what he had learned to practical use and began working as a carpenter's apprentice. In 1985, Manfredini went out on his own and launched a construction company in Chicago. He not only built and renovated people's homes; he tried to leave people with a better understanding of how their houses worked.

After more than 10 successful years in construction, Manfredini had gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on homes that he began to consider ways to more broadly share his expertise with others. He believed that a house "was more like a living entity than an inanimate collection of lumber, wiring and plumbing." By showing people how various systems and components in a house rely on each other and instilling a greater understanding of a house as a "whole," Manfredini thought everyone could have greater success in their home improvement and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.

Armed with his expertise and enthusiasm, Manfredini began his media career when WGN Radio in Chicago launched his idea for a home improvement call-in radio show. The show quickly caught on: today, The Mr. Fix-It Show is the number one Saturday morning radio program in Chicago.

Not long thereafter, Manfredini branched into television and print media. Currently, he is the official home improvement expert for NBC's Today Show and a frequent guest on numerous network television stations across the United States as well as programming for CNN, HGTV, Discovery, and the History Channel. Most recently, Manfredini is the host of his own television show, HouseSmarts, which airs on the NBC affiliate in Chicago.

Reaching millions of DIYers every month with his friendly persona and down-to-earth project advice, Manfredini also has authored these successful DIY books: Lou Manfredini's Bath Smarts (2004), Kitchen Smarts (2004), Room Smarts (2004) and House Smarts (2002); Mr. Fix-It Introduces You to Your Home (2002); and Mr. Fix-It: 101 Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Repairing Your Home (2000). These books have been featured in national magazines such as People and Newsweek, as well as major-market newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

Manfredini is a nationally recognized DIY expert, sought after both for his expertise and his energetic, entertaining style. In an extension of his ongoing effort to help people maximize the value and enjoyment of their homes, he is also Ace Hardware's "Helpful Hardware Man" and editorial media spokesperson. Along with his wife and four children, Manfredini lives in Chicago, where they also own and operate a neighborhood Ace Hardware store.

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