Family-Owned Remodeler Celebrates 40 Years in the NRV
In 1979, Montgomery County native Tim Lawrence was 19-years-old and returning home to Blacksburg to figure out how to support himself. He began pursuing home repair work for family and friends, and wondered if he could turn this into a career. At the time, his dad told him, “Do what you say you’re going to do. Be honest. Do good work, and you’ll always have plenty to do.”
Forty years later, Lawrence is still following his father’s advice as he grew his small home maintenance business into Blue Ridge Home Improvement, (BRHI) the New River Valley’s leading team of custom design and remodeling professionals.
“In a day when it’s here today and gone tomorrow, it’s rare for a small business to last this long,” Lawrence said. “Everything we build – whether it’s a custom home project to our relationships with our clients – is all about longevity. If you want something to last, it has to be built on a strong foundation.”
According to Lawrence, this is evidenced by the fact that 70% of the company’s new projects originate from repeat business or referrals from past customers. For example, Dr. Alonzo Jones, a local veterinarian who owns and operates Blacksburg Animal Clinic, was one of Lawrence’s earliest customers with a home exterior repair project. Over the past forty years, Blue Ridge Home Improvement has completed multiple projects for Dr. Jones, including a renovation/expansion of the clinic in 2009.
Lawrence credits those long-term relationships to BRHI’s core team of field and office professionals who have performed their jobs for ten, twenty or more years. “In an industry where employees typically move from job-to-job every few years, the dedication and bond our team has built is rare,” he said. “They demonstrate a commitment to the work and our customers.”
Now celebrating his company’s 40th anniversary, Lawrence is passing his father’s words of advice to his sons, Logan and Landon, who grew up in the family construction business working during summers off from school. This spring, Logan will graduate from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Building Construction and Real Estate and will be joining the business full-time as an Estimator/Project Manager.
“We built something special, and we’d like to keep it alive for the next generation so BRHI can meet the needs of our past and future customers,” Lawrence said.