Rohm Construction: specializing in custom homes and remodels |

Rohm Construction: specializing in custom homes and remodels

“If you build a good home, you’ll never be out of work,” Mike Rohm told me. He received his contractor’s license in 1983 and started with a trickle of projects. By the 1990’s Rohm was running a crew of ten to twelve men, but in recent years the company has been focusing on fewer projects. “I’ve learned that it’s best not to overlap people. We currently run only one to two projects at a time and concentrate on quality all the way.”

Rohm Construction specializes in custom homes and remodels. Construction costs have changed so much in the past year. Workers’ compensation insurance, for example, has gone up almost 100%, and many housing materials cost almost 30% more. “Gas prices affect this industry very quickly,” Mike commented. Mike’s advice to people considering a remodel or building project, “Start thinking six months out before you want to start a project as it will take at least three months to go through the drafting and design phase and a minimum three more for getting through the county planning department paperwork.” He feels it is crucial for homeowners to start with a budget from the very beginning, at least a ball park square footage price, so that design ideas can be analyzed in terms of what’s realistic.

Over the years Mike has seen many remodeling trends come and go. Whole generations of people were covering wood floors with carpets. Today, carpets are coming out of those same houses in favor of refinished wood floors. Brick is not particularly a popular material currently as it was in the past. Stucco, stone, and the artificial stone are more common. Corian and granite kitchen counters, though quite pricey, surpass the use of tile that was almost universal in kitchens of the 70’s and 80’s.

It’s still easier to get a remodel permit than to build a new home though remodeling can cost almost one third more than new construction. Remodels, though, are much more cost effective than trying to demolish an old home, haul the materials away and start over.

Mike is quite proud of several remodel projects he has completed over the years including several Victorians in Nevada City. Many of these old houses were built in the 1880’s and had to be jacked up, leveled, and a foundation put under them. Most Victorians require pretty much a total face lift from the foundation to the wiring, plumbing, and wallboards. He recently finished a remodel where they created what’s called “a great room” that is a room where everything ties through the kitchen creating one large living/entertaining space.

Mike began his training very young with his father, a master carpenter. After moving to Nevada County, he trained under several contractors before he got his license. “In the early days we built a house from the ground up”even our own kitchen cabinets.” Looking forward to at least a partial retirement, Mike hopes that one of his own sons, Robert (16) or Christopher (14) will have an interest in building.

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