NAHB Remodeler of the Month: Not Just a Job
authors Kyle Clapham
Who started your company? I started the company in 2014 as a general contractor.
When and how did you choose this career? I had been an owner rep in building a 186,000-square-foot church and school and then facilitated the building for 12 years. In 2013 I was needing a change, [and] I had always wanted to do residential remodeling, so I began taking classes to gain my certifications.
What does being part of NAHB Remodelers mean to you? It is wonderful to be able to be part of a national organization that I respect for all they do to make the housing industry successful at our state and local chapters.
What first drew you to become a member of your local chapter, and what keeps you involved? I went to a local networking event and met so many nice people. They invited me to a luncheon, I don’t remember [what] the topic [was]; but when they started with the pledge allegiance and a prayer, I knew I wanted to be a part of the group. Soon after, the incoming president asked if I would like to help with the annual charity project. I fell in love with being able to help facilitate giving back for the RMC. It was a privilege, not just a job. We raise our money for the charity project [through] an annual garage sale. The revenue from garage sales from 2014 to 2019 was $98,883 and $91,104 of the expenditures have gone to the charity projects. I have been on the board ever since and I am the current president. We won the 2016 CADRE award.
How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved? In 2014, it was a nice, steady pace until we had Hurricane Harvey (2017) and then it was chaos, as we all were trying to help people not be taken by storm chasers, remediate the correct way and give them back their homes as soon as possible. 2019 has been a great year.
Where and what are the greatest opportunities in the remodeling market (either locally or nationally)? The market is strong in Houston, really anywhere in Texas right now. I feel one of the largest marketing opportunities is the aging-in-place buyers. They do not want to have to leave their homes as they are getting older; they want to be safe and comfortable as they get older.
What is the biggest challenge right now for your business? And how are you combating it? Trying to find a balance between [the love of] being on the jobsite and finding time to do the office side of the business. As a sole proprietor, it is hard to manage all the different aspects.
What is your focus as a remodeler/for your business right now? Hiring a qualified bookkeeper. [It’s] essential in being able to grow my company to the next level.
Where do you go to look for solutions and ideas for your business? I am blessed to be able to go to fellow remodelers when needing advice [and to take] classes offered at the Greater Houston Builders Association to further my business knowledge.
Finding qualified labor is a challenge. Are you hiring this year, and how are you going about finding the right people for your company? Yes, finding and keeping qualified labor is a challenge. [I go about] asking fellow remodelers where to look for specific [possibilities].
What is your No. 1 source of leads, and why is it working? Word of mouth. It works great as they usually are clients that work in my areas of choice.
What is the best advice you’ve received in your career? Don’t give your time away. Charge more, you are worth it.
What motivates you every day? The ability to help clients make their vision and dreams come to fruition. The relationships made by being in someone’s house daily for months.
Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments? [It’s] always great to have a NAHB certification to set yourself apart. [I] take pride in having my CGR and CAPS [designations]. QR