Q How did you get started in the remodeling business and what led you to Strobel Design Build?
A My father was a general contractor, so I grew up in the business. Through my teens and twenties, I worked as a carpenter while in school. That experience provided me with a very useful foundation of technical skills and a comprehensive understanding of what goes into building a home.
I met Don Strobel, founder of Strobel Design Build, through Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay (RTTB), we both volunteered our time and knowledge to help revive houses in local neighborhoods for disadvantaged families. We developed a strong friendship based on shared values. This friendship became a very successful professional relationship where I had the opportunity to work under Don for many years as his vice president.
Q Tell me a little about the history of Strobel Design Build.
A Don started Strobel Design Build in 1984. It began as a small three-person operation and grew steadily over time as word spread that Don and his team executed their projects to the highest standards; receiving regional and national awards for projects.
Don and I believe that community involvement and volunteering anchors a successful local company. Don worked for decades with non-profits and I followed in his footsteps first as a volunteer and now as a sitting board member for multiple organizations, including the current chairman of the board for Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County.
Q What do you think sets Strobel Design Build apart from other remodeling companies?
A We have employees going on 20 years with the company and many hold multiple certifications in their fields. I am a firm believer that company culture is reflected in the work we do and the experience we provide.
There is also something to be said about our process of starting with an idea from our client and turning it into a finished product, all under one roof. This Design-Build process is not new to the industry, but very few contractors have the experience and capacity to clearly define and execute it. Our process allows flexibility to work with the best architects and designers in the area, while managing the entire project completely.
Q How does a homeowner determine who to hire?
A First and foremost, a homeowner should consider a company’s history of carrying out successful projects. Most contractors can show a handful of such projects, but having many years-worth and third-party awards for such projects will give a higher confidence for the success of your project.
You should also consider the scope of your project and if the company you hire has the required expertise. Historic home remodeling and floodplain FEMA-compliant remodeling takes a very experienced contractor to anticipate unforeseen issues and navigate government compliance. If you don’t want unexpected costs and delays, be sure to hire a firm that has a track record of such work.
Q Can you recommend any resources or advice for someone considering remodeling?
A Some of the best resources are your friends and family who may have worked with a firm before. While that is not always an option, look for third-party reviews on the contractor from sites like GuildQuality that survey past clients.
I also highly recommend using a firm that goes beyond the base qualification of holding a government issued contractor license. Organizations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, Tampa Bay Chapter (NARITB.org) hold their members to a higher peer-reviewed standard for business integrity and offer additional credentials for those who exhibit continuing education and expertise in specific fields.
Article by Christina Kleiner/Photos by Nikhil Johns
Article originally appeared in Housetrends Tampa Bay – March/April 2020