We sit down with one of Birmingham’s top remodelers Clint Lovette, of Lovette Construction, to discuss projects, passion and purpose.
What do you enjoy most about remodeling?
I love the creativity and problem solving. When I first meet with a client, I can see and feel their frustration with the space they want to renovate. That frustration drives me to deliver a space that will solve their problems and create a space they walk into everyday and smile. In remodeling, you have to think creatively on a daily basis to address design, construction and client challenges that arise during a project. I thrive on those challenges.
How did you get started in remodeling?
I actually entered this business very differently than most people. I spent 8 years in a corporate environment after I graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in business management. I remodeled a couple of my own homes during this period and realized I loved creating new spaces and the challenges that remodeling presented. I got my degree knowing I would eventually start a business. I just had to find the niche that satisfied my passion and I found that in remodeling.
There have been many challenging jobs over the last 12 years but the one that stands out the most is a job we took over after our client’s contractor had been fired halfway through framing on an addition. The contractor didn’t pull a permit and had started an addition that was seven feet outside the rear setback without getting a variance from the city. When I spoke to the head building inspector and asked him what we could do to remedy the situation, he said “tear it down and start over.” After working with the city, a talented architect, and an engineering firm, we were able to modify the structure to conform to the setback and deliver a stunning addition for our client.
Planning, planning and more planning! You should spend just as much time planning for your remodel as the time it takes to build it. I talk to so many people that complain about their previous remodeling experience. Whether it’s being over budget, making changes during the project, or taking twice as long as the contractor said it was going to take…all of these these things can be attributed to poor planning. By the time your project gets to the construction phase, it should be on cruise control for you.
Where do you get your inspiration and passion?
I get it from many places. First and foremost, I get it from my employees when I walk in my office every morning. We are a boutique remodeling company and there are only 6 of us. This means that we are all very involved in our projects and I am inspired everyday by the energy and passion my people give towards their dedication to our clients. My passion comes from creating an experience for our clients that they just can’t stop talking about. To see someone go from complaining about their space to the look of absolute joy is a high that never gets old. Remodeling is a very personal experience because you are dealing with the most important thing a family has…their home. It’s a huge responsibility and it drives me to deliver excellence for every client we have.
I believe that giving back to the industry I’m involved in is important for my employees, our clients and my colleagues. If we can raise the bar for our industry with education, advocacy and holding our members to a higher standard, then we can create a customer experience and deliver a product that people will enjoy for years to come. I do it because I believe in fighting for what makes this country different than any other country in the world…the ability to own and create a home that exemplifies the life you desire.