Mansion was boon to local contractors

Mansion was boon to local contractors

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LAKE SAINT LOUIS • There is no public record detailing how much every contractor billed for construction of Darain Atkinson's Lake Saint Louis mansion.

That's because many of the bills — at least $18 million of them — were paid to title companies acting as middlemen. Lawyers combing through US Fidelis' business records can track construction-related money going out, but they can't account for how all of it was spent.

But by early 2009, US Fidelis was paying most contractors directly. Records of those transactions, which appear to cover mostly the finishing work on the mansion, show that the project was a boon for area contractors and companies specializing in high-end work.

US Fidelis paid at least $926,989 to Pacific-based Kirkwood Stair and Millwork, and visitors to the house can see where that money went. Wooden spiral staircases abound — including one in a vast two-story master bedroom closet — and a marble stairway cost "nearly $1 million," according to court records.

The company spent at least $941,971 on the decorative woodwork throughout the house. Much of the work went to area carpenters and cabinet makers, including Ellisville's Gegg Design & Cabinetry ($497,943); Wahle's Wood Works & Mouldings in Union ($227,445); Ste. Genevieve's Lurk Custom Cabinets ($75,606) and Mark Christian Fine Cabinetry in Maryland Heights ($73,277).

While most new houses don't require the services of an architectural blacksmith, US Fidelis paid Pacific-based Eureka Forge $364,170. The company also paid at least $499,398 to AUTCOhome, a Maryland Heights seller of high-end appliances; $471,796 to St. Louis-based Metro Lighting and an affiliated company, Metro Electric Supply; $369,580 to Sigman Indoor Climate Solutions, of Belleville; and $117,482 to Integration Controls, a home-automation company in Kirkwood.

Meanwhile, 20 local companies have filed mechanics liens against the property for unpaid work.

They include Kirkwood-based Frisch Masonry (paid $771,044, owed $238,604); Brinkmann Constructors of Chesterfield (paid $525,225, owed $300,382); Richmond Heights-based Waterhout Construction (paid $313,164, owed $136,188); and Wentzville-based Robert Snell Electric (paid $178,212, owed $53,057).

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