No longer “the kid who cuts grass,” Vinnie Lavorgna has grown his pressure washing business in Canonsburg so much in the last three years, he’s had to pass off his landscaping business to his brother, Kevin Lavorgna.
Vinnie started Premier Power Cleaning LLC in 2017, the year he graduated from Canon-McMillan High School. But his aspirations started the year before, with his landscaping business.
At 16 years old, Vinnie borrowed his dad’s old pickup truck to haul mulch and lawn care equipment from job to job.
“No job was too big or small,” he said. “We would knock on doors and pass out fliers.”
After graduation, he started at Robert Morris University, but dropped out the same year because he already knew what type of career he wanted.
“I never liked the idea of being held down to a job,” he said. “I felt like I was getting cheated with the hourly rate.”
He saw a market opportunity with power washing, so he started another small business.
“I was always thinking, there’s really no other power washing businesses in the area that do what we do,” he said.
It took off that first year, so much that he recruited his brother Kevin, 23, to help him with jobs. They had about 300 houses that first year.
“We were working nights and weekends,” Kevin said.
They use a low pressure, or soft washing, to remove the mold off house siding and roofs and dirt or grime off decks and concrete or brick pathways. The lower pressure is a safe way to clean those surfaces without damaging them, Vinnie said.
“Word spread like wildfire,” Vinnie said. “Everyone started noticing our work from the street.”
But with all that additional work, Vinnie had to pass on the now licensed and insured Lavorgna Landscape & Lawn Care to Kevin, who graduated from Canon-McMillan in 2014.
Kevin attended Pittsburgh Technical College for mechanical drafting, as he had wanted to design car parts. After graduating from the program, he landed a Pittsburgh job doing civil drafting–“tracing roadways all day.” He found that boring and went into HVAC work, the whole time helping out his brother with the power washing and landscaping companies.
“I kept telling him to quit his job,” Vinnie said.
Kevin finally listened to him, and now he owns the landscaping business, though they help each other out with different jobs. Together, they do anything from landscaping and power washing to home-renovation projects and retaining walls. They’ve also built up a solid reputation with property managers along the Route 19 corridor.
Earlier this year they moved into their own place, too, instead of running two businesses out of their dad’s garage. They rent a garage space behind The Bar Association on North Jefferson Avenue in Canonsburg, which they rent from the owner Harold Close.
“Harold was advertising, and it turns out, he’s a real estate mentor,” Vinnie said. “This added more space and gave us a home base.”
Vinnie said they’ve doubled their work since moving into the garage, and they expect that growth to continue.
“We’re seen as a professional business now, not just the kids who cut grass,” Vinnie said.