He guides homebuilding dreams to reality

The perfect home just seems enormous, from endless windows to cavernous ceilings, says Randy Long, chief operating officer of Jacksonville-based home building company JA Long Custom Builders. The company tries to be the conduit between clients' dream homes and reality.

Under Long's leadership, the company has upped its number of homes designed a year from 20 to 35, focusing on a luxury-driven client. The Times-Union chatted with Long about the company's general aesthetic and the speed bumps home builders are hitting in a slowing construction industry. Edited excerpts follow.

What is the company's design philosophy when working with clients building their dream homes?

We're really into using space. When you walk in the front door, you have an 80-foot view, tall open spaces, with the feel for Florida living. We use different angles; big, open rooms; and so much glass. A big, open kitchen of ours will face two or three other rooms.

How has the company grown since you took over as COO five years ago?

We've grown from four to 13 people, including a full-time designer; plus my dad, who does a lot of the sketching.

How have you sustained that sort of growth when the home building industry has suffered some setbacks?

We certainly have seen a slowdown, although it seems to be picking up. Before, our biggest difficulty had been nailing down subcontractors because they were so busy. Now it's just about getting more sales.

How does a customer's vision eventually make the transformation to brick and mortar?

We start from scratch with the set plans. Then I'll work with the customer to price the home and walk them through the details. We have existing relationships with all of our subcontractors - we use painters that have worked with us for 15 to 20 years. We basically work as the project managers.

, (904) 359-4404

We certainly have seen a slowdown, although it seems to be picking up. Before, our biggest difficulty had been nailing down subcontractors because they were so busy. Now it's just about getting more sales.



News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.

Loading