Master Builder, A&E's Sell this House Extreme

Charlie Frattini knows construction. In fact,  he will tell you he knows construction better than all of reality-TV’s "pretty boy" Hosts and project managers combined, and he’s willing to challenge anyone who disagrees.  He’s all in your face, tough as nails, and, as TV viewers know, he wears his heart on his sleeve.  Charlie’s the one who puts "extreme" in Sell This House Extreme.

With close to 30 years in the construction business, he can do anything – and do it himself. His brawn is considerable – aee Charlie tear down walls! – but so are his brains.

A native of the tough Canarsie section of Brooklyn, New York.  Due to his low-esteem and lack of self confidence in his Youth, Charlie was frequently bullied and was even beat up on the subway going home from school. Yet, these experiences helped transform him and he vowed it would never happen, again.

Despite his parents’ skepticism, that he would get into Brooklyn Technical High School, to study engineering. He graduated from Brooklyn Tech and was enrolled in the prestigious Polytechnic Institute in his home borough when, overnight in 1979, 52 U.S. citizens were taken hostage at the American Embassy in Iran. Charlie immediately enrolled in the Marine Corps at Parris Island, South Carolina, where he says the training "cemented" the changes that were evolving in his personality – learning to protect himself, and to control fear.

His father, also a Marine, had given him some advice – "Shut your mouth, do what you’re told, and never complain if you get hit." Charlie graduated first in his class at boot camp, and was "one of the few who took it and came back for more."

Trained as a jungle expert in Panama and the Philippines, he served in Cuba, Panama, Philippines, Okinawa, mainland Japan, and various bases throughout the United States. Meritorious rank promotions saw him move from Infantryman to Intelligence Specialist to STANO Platoon Sergeant, and Drug and Alcohol Officer, receiving the prestigious title of Honor Man in Boot Camp and earning the meritorious ranks of PFC and Sgt.
Upon returning to New York after his tour with the Marines, Charlie tried resuming college and doing freelance construction work, but he elected to drop out again, thereby "learning more," he says, "than I ever could have by going to school." He started doing underground and road work, displaying a resourcefulness that amazed his superiors.

After 10 years, he had reached the pinnacle in heavy/highway construction when he elected to move into the building trade, essentially starting over.

Charlie’s drive, intelligence – and loud Brooklyn mouth (partly due to hearing loss brought on by Marine training as well as construction work) – moved him along quickly. Though he had to learn a new set of guidelines, nomenclature and procedures, he watched, listened, studied his college texts, asked questions, and, above all, followed his Dad’s Marine Corps advice – eventually becoming a Project Executive on major building projects in New York City, including the Sky View Parc Project, a 3.3 million square foot project budgeted at $1.1 billion. Charlie had to inspire, upbraid and control hundreds of workers, facing down guidelines with talented, hand-picked supervisors and team leaders.

Charlie takes special pride in his role as Director of Capital Projects for $450 million in capital projects at the renowned New York Botanical Gardens, one of the most prestigious horticultural institutions in the world. The quintessential project there was the 1997 restoration of the Enid Haupt Conservatory, bringing the beautiful Victorian greenhouse, originally built in 1902, into modern times, earning him acclaim for integrating a sophisticated climate-control system into an antique structure (one eighth of an inch of glass separating a desert climate from the outside environment).

When a friend of Charlie’s learned that Discovery Channel was searching for a character for its Construction Intervention series, a video made on-site at the Sky View Parc project sealed the deal. Though the series was eventually cancelled, Charlie caught the reality TV bug and was eventually signed by A&E for Sell This House Extreme.

Recently, one Construction Developer, accused him of going from "mud to makeup," which Charlie takes in stride. Once again, he is reinventing himself, this time for a large audience that has much to learn from his experience. A bit shocked to have "no power or supervisory responsibility, which is totally against my personality and work ethic," he knows he has much to learn about TV and the Charlie Frattini character that viewers have come to know, fear, and love.

For Charlie Frattini, who lived through the horrors of 9/11 in New York (and was cited for his contributions but is not comfortable talking about them), there is a joy in being Mr. Extreme – one who can bellow, show off, clown around, laugh, tear down walls, and "help fellow Americans sell their homes and move on to the next phase in their lives."

With the never ending support of his wife, of 30 years, Charlie claims "I am working once more to reinvent myself," TV viewers and fans might unanimously agree that he’s already done it once again.
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