Lovette Construction uses transparency and accountability to build trust.
WORKING AMONG THE MAJESTIC – but aging – housing stock in Birmingham, Alabama, Lovette Construction knows the transformative power of a remodel done well. That means attention to detail and a painless process for the homeowner.
And while the downturn in the industry meant people were staying in homes that wouldn’t sell and remodeling to suit, an uptick in the market means people are buying again – and still see the value in tailoring a home to match the family. Both are good news for the 10-year-old boutique remodeler.
“I love helping people create their dream – working with a client to turn a vision into reality,” President Clint Lovette says. “Developing a design concept with a client, that’s the driving force behind my company.”
On top of creativity, the team at Lovette Construction focuses on making the process understandable and enjoyable for clients.
“We’ve developed a reputation for paying attention to details,” Lovette says. “We’re very focused on scheduling. We want to have all our i’s dotted and t’s crossed before we start Day 1 of demo.”
That preplanning pays off for both parties. “We tell our customers on the first day of construction that the project should really be on cruise control for them,” Lovette says. “It is remodeling, and things are going to pop up, but we’re not going to call you Tuesday night and say, ‘Remember, we’re painting tomorrow so I need your paint colors.’”
Clients can use an online portal – where the Lovette team builds each project’s entire schedule – to see what’s happening on their home at any time. That holds Lovette accountable and offers clients peace of mind and practicality. Scheduling, documents, budgets and décor decisions all are togetherand easily accessible.
“People talk about providing customer service, but if you really want to fulfill that, you need to have your projects consistently run both on time and on budget,” Lovette says. “In order to do that, you have to be detailed on the front end.”
A Different Mindset
Part of holding clients’ hands as they walk through the process of reimagining a home is being there when hurdles – those that inevitably come up when updating someone else’s handiwork – arise.
“Remodelers are wired differently than builders,” Lovette says. “We love to troubleshoot. That’s pretty much what you do on a daily basis in the remodeling world. You have this grand plan and design and you go in and open a wall and then find you have to take another approach. You still get the homeowners where they want to go, but just take a different route.”
By keeping a manageable project roster, Lovette Construction can give each client personal attention.
“We are a smaller firm, so we don’t try to do 20 or 25 projects at a time,” Lovette says. “We want to be able to give our clients the attention they deserve.”
Lovette found a start in the business flipping houses, after 10 years in the corporate sector. With a business degree from University of Alabama, he knew he wanted to run a company. At 30, he launched Lovette Construction.
After two years, he accepted requests from homeowners to renovate properties – ones that they could enjoy – instead of buying, beautifying and selling Lovette properties. This year, Lovette Construction’s office has moved to a new location, an old home remodeled into office space. There, clients can enjoy and envision – with a kitchen showroom and a conference room.
The bulk of the company’s business – highend kitchens and baths – highlight how people live. Lovette Construction’s average master bath remodel is usually in the $45,000-to-$50,000 range. Kitchens range from $90,000 to $100,000 –when it’s just the kitchen, not reworking a main floor.
“Kitchens are definitely the social hub of the home,” Lovette says. “The open concept floor plan plays into that.”
The master bath is an area where many homeowners can let loose.
“To me, bathrooms have become showcase pieces, like jewelry,” Lovette says. “Master baths are that one place in the home where you can think outside the box.”
Another area clients are hoping to enjoy more often is outdoor living space.
“Now, when we do an addition, or even a kitchen with a porch off the back, homeowners want to include the outdoor space in their designs,” Lovette says. “ We now do a lot of kitchen remodels where the kitchen not only flows into the living space of the house – but also into the outdoor living space.”
The company also delivers additions, which can be a $280,000 or $380,000 investment. The company’s quality work may eventually open new doors for Lovette Construction, though Lovette says he’s happy focusing on where the company excels.