NAHB Remodeler of the Month: Joseph Smith

by Kacey Larsen

Joseph Smith, CGR, CAPS, CGP

Owings Home Services

Eldersburg, Md.

Title: Partner

Year Founded: 1983

Type of company: Full service remodeling with Kitchen and Bath Design Studio


Who started your company?  Michael Owings

When and how did you choose this career? I was in commercial construction for my first 12 years out of high school as I got married early and had children.  Then, I moved into residential doing side jobs and then started a small remodeling company.

How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved? It is constantly changing.  Consumers are much more educated and demanding.   They have a high expectation of what they should receive for the price they are paying.  Companies have become more business focused than in the past.  There is a less available and qualified workforce. 

What does being part of NAHB mean to you? I have long felt a sense of responsibility to be involved as sort of a payback to the overall community of remodelers, but it has become more than that. I have developed friendships and partnerships that will most likely last a lifetime. It has benefited me in many ways, from actual projects to just learning more about what it takes to be a professional and a leader.

What have you done to grow your business during the current economy?  We looked into insurance work and single-line remodeling, but decided if we wanted to improve our situation we needed to do something different. So we joined a kitchen and bath buying group and installed a kitchen and bath design studio. We added both interior designers and kitchen designers.  Our marketing increased, and we recently added a salesperson. We only hire quality people and supplement that with great vendors and trades.

What is the most unusual project your company has completed? Probably a custom arched bridge over a stream for the owner to ride his ATV to visit his son’s property on the other side.

As you were growing up, what did you want to be?  Stunt man.

What is your favorite item in your office? Putter.

Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments? We survived the downturn, and are more efficient and successful than before.  I am involved with Rebuilding Together and will be a house captain this year with my staff volunteering as well. I have three wonderful, smart and beautiful daughters, a beautiful wife and 7 grandchildren. I have much more to accomplish but that’s a good start.

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