NAHB Remodeler of the Month

by Kacey Larsen

Mike Pressgrove, CGR, CAPS, CGP

President, PDQ Construction, Inc., Topeka, Kansas

Year founded: 2003

Number of Employees: 15 Full-time

Type of Company: Full-service design/build remodelers

Who started your company?  There were three of us who worked for another company: Cheryl Merrill, Rick Hudkins and I. We spent our time building up this company and decided that we could do this for ourselves. It took off from there.

When and how did you choose this career? Growing up on a farm in Kansas, my father was half farmer, half carpenter. Only he was a “real” carpenter born in 1919, brace, bit and all. Real carpentry was hard work so after graduating from school, while trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I thought I would try to see some of the world and joined the Air Force. After getting out, I discovered that modern day carpenters now have power tools that make things go much easier, and I have been a carpenter ever since.

As you were growing up, what did you want to be? A rock star. That obviously didn’t pan out as I couldn’t play an instrument and definitely couldn’t sing a lick.

How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved? For us, the profession has changed considerably. Thought processes for sustainability and energy efficiency, maintenance free materials and materials used in general have all been things we have grown along with.

What is the most unusual project your company has completed? The most unusual project would probably have to be a 4000 sq. ft. one bedroom loft apartment on the top floor of a 1903 building downtown. We did not have a clear plan and, with many unexpected twists uncovered, it almost felt like a design-as-you-go project. The story ended great as the outcome was awesome, including coverage in the local paper.

What is your favorite item in your office?  My favorite items would be the plaques and awards that showcase my personal and company growth and accomplishments throughout our progression.

What is the best advice you’ve received in your career? The best advice I have received was from my father. He used to tell me that you can learn something from everybody you meet, even if it’s what not to do. Listen, observe and learn. This has been a huge help throughout life. It has allowed me to skip a few “bad” lessons.

What does being part of NAHB mean to you? It has helped us grow. I had become the chair for the local HBA’s Remodelers council and started attending remodeler shows. I was hooked at the first show I attended. With the education I received there, our company started to become more efficient, allowing us to grow and to stand out from all of our competition.

What have you done to grow your business during the current economy? Most of our business is repeat / referral business, and we have built up great cliental throughout the years. We have also refined our customer service. Also adding a designer, to be able to offer in house design, has added dimension to the company, which makes us more efficient and able to offer something most of our competitors don’t.

What motivates you every day? Other than my kids, it would have to be my employees. Seeing them work hard just makes me want to work harder and keeps me pumped. We have a pretty awesome team.

If a movie was made about your life, who would be cast as you? John Wayne. His principles and way of life and living the lives he portrayed. “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” I have always tried to live my life this way.

Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments? THBA Remodeler Council Chair. THBA Chairman of the Board. Kansas Builders Industry Association Board and 2014 chairman. Involvement in local Habitat for Humanity. Involvement in Dream Factory Wish. Have been included in the Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500. 

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