January Remodeler of the Month
Leo Lantz, CGR
Leo Lantz Construction Inc., Glen Allen, Va., Leolantz.com
Year Founded: 2006
Number of Employees: 3, and a host of qualified subcontractors
Who started your company?
When and how did you choose this career?
As a child, my father had various investment properties. He had three indentured sons he taught to take care of them. What we didn’t know, we hired someone to do. We watched what they did, and we did it ourselves the next time.
What did you do before becoming a remodeler?
As an eighth grader, my brother and I had 72 yards in the city that we mowed. That grew into a landscaping business, which led to everyone asking us to fix things around their houses as well. I worked my way through high school and college and received a Computer Science Degree with Honors from the University of Richmond. I worked for 1 1/2 years programming and couldn’t take it anymore. However, my computer science degree has served me well in this information age.
As you were growing up, what did you want to be?
Growing up, I aspired to become an astronaut or Navy pilot. However, at age 10 an illness excluded me from that pursuit.
How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved?
Performing the work is actually the easy part. Building customer relationships and educating our clients about the reality of remodeling has become tremendously time consuming with the advent of HGTV and DIY.
What is the most unusual project your company has completed?
We just recently filmed an episode of Fix It & Finish It with Antonio Sobato Jr. We completely renovated a 14- by 20-ft. family room in 6 hours and 55 minutes. To date that is the record completion time for the show. It turned out fabulous! We were able to bring an early Christmas to a deserving family of five.
What is your favorite item in your office?
My grandfather’s old filing cabinet from his auto repair shop.
What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
Be honest. When you get older, you will have a hard enough time remembering the truth, much less any lie you may have told.
What does being part of NAHB mean to you?
Being a member of the NAHB and the local HBAR chapter is an extension of my family. I feel truly blessed to be able to communicate and associate myself with most qualified people in our industry.
What have you done to grow your business during the current economy?
I have opened a kitchen and bath showroom and have brought on the Wellborn Cabinet product line. I have used social media outlets such as Facebook to market our services. I promote our services on Angie’s List, where we have been a Super Service Award winner consistently, and on Houzz.com, where we have consistently been a Best of Houzz Award Winner for Service.
What motivates you every day?
The desire to provide for my family and to produce the highest quality home improvement projects for our clients.
Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments?
I am a Certified Graduate Remodeler CGR of NAHB as well as a Universal Design Certified Professional UDCP of NARI. I am also the first full time remodeler elected to serve as the 2015 President of the Home Building Association of Richmond.