Franklin Report Los Angeles
Franklin Report Report Card for Universal Craftsman Incorporated in Los Angeles
Universal Craftsman Incorporated
15155 Califa Street
Van Nuys, CA 91411
(818) 779-7966
Main Contact: John Agrios, Steve Sarris
FR Rated
Categories
Millwork & Cabinetry

Services & Specialties
Extraordinary cabinetry and millwork

FRANKLIN REPORT RATINGS
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5
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FR Review:
Clients say Universal's decades of experience are evident in an extraordinary level of custom millwork for high quality designers and architects. Universal really does cover a universe of options, from traditional to contemporary, residential to corporate, domestic to exotic veneers. Its work spans built-ins, libraries, custom bars, screening rooms and furniture—but does not include kitchen cabinets. The firm takes projects from shops to punch, including finish and installation. Jobs run from $25,000 to $500,000 and are overseen in Universal's 12,000 square foot shop. The firm's international team of craftsmen hail from Greece, China, Hungry, Germany and Latin America. Each has a staggering fifteen to thirty years of experience. Clients say the remarkable staff bring unique, Old-World knowledge to the process.

Renowned architect I.M. Pei's firm, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, signed Universal to craft "high-tech and beautifully crafted" custom boardroom furniture pieces for an LA client. On occasion, the firm has been commissioned to create pieces for East Coast clients. In 2005, one of the principals was passing through New York City and decided to drop in at the Four Seasons Hotel. He was pleasantly surprised to find that the pieces he'd created fourteen years earlier were still being used in the hotel's lobby, bar and restaurant.

The four partners at Universal are actually two teams of brothers: John and Paul Agrios and John and Steve Sarris. Each man learned his trade in Europe. The partners are very selective about the projects the firm assumes, out of concern both for quality and for not overextending its talents. John Agrios shepherds the design phase, playing intermediary with the designer/architect, while the other partners split field installation and shop supervision duties. One of the four will have his eye on a project at all times, say our sources. Reflecting the quality of its "fabulous product," the firm's prices come in at the top of the top tier.

Representative Client Comments:
"Extraordinary. Very much of the past generation." "Takes more responsibility and care than anyone else I've met in this field." "Hard to get in touch with, but worth the wait."

 
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