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Community Highlights: Meet James Lepak of James David Custom Homes

Today we’d like to introduce you to James Lepak.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I am the founder of James David Custom Homes. We build custom homes and luxury estates in Southern California and Idaho. We are known for having the highest standards for custom homebuilding excellence and satisfied customer experience.

I started my career at the very young age of ten years old. Now, this might not seem like a typical career plan or the ideal age to get started. However, starting this early helped me develop skills, hobbies, and interests at an early age. At ten years old, I knew that I loved this business and what I wanted to do for a living. Now my task was merely cleaning up the job site for a room addition, but this experience opened the door for me to see the world of construction and building for the first time.

The concept of finding ‘meaningful’ work has been trending over recent years. With more people sharing how they’ve managed to build a life that balances their personal passion and professional excellence. Luckily my neighbor was able to offer me this opportunity to find my dream job at an early age. After that first entree to the industry, I continued to find more work in construction doing side jobs for my friends, family, and others.

At the age of fifteen, my mother passed away and I needed to get more work in order to help make ends meet for the family. This further motivated me and propelled me towards the goal of opening my own company. As a driven, disciplined, hard-working, passionate person I could see how other companies were lacking and how I would do things differently at James David Custom Homes.

After a series of jobs working for different local builders, I started James David Custom Homes in 1995 and we’ve continued to grow because of our commitment to quality, trust from our customers, and working with our clients to truly build excellence together.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There are two primary areas which have been opportunities for innovation along the way. First, it is no secret that the construction industry can be very slow when it comes to change. It takes years for the industry to acknowledge and then adopt some change meanwhile the world is changing at a rapid pace. The ability to pivot quickly has enabled us to work successfully with happy clients, vendors, and designers. The three largest changes that we’ve embraced include:

Technology Advancement: In the last few decades, the internet and technology have taken over every industry, including building and construction. Nowadays, construction project management software and APPs are being used for bundling, scheduling, project management, and time management of the projects. This software also helps in keeping a database to keep the record of all the material, workforce, working hours, etc.

Environmentally Friendly & Sustainability: The construction industry has made significant efforts to decrease its carbon footprint and build with more eco-friendly materials that are more efficient and sustainable. The planning, design, construction, maintenance, or demolition of any structure is now done more environmentally responsibly.

Collaboration: These days we strongly encourage all customers to have a trifecta team working together on projects that includes: designer, architect, and builder (James David Custom Homes). When working together this team can proactively identify and resolve potential issues related to constructability, schedule, sourcing materials, and other foundational items necessary for a successful project.

Second relates to the pandemic. Since COVID started, we’ve seen an increase in material cost, decreasing labor force, along with all the other precautions of shutdowns, essential workforce, social distancing, and illness. With shipping and import delays, there has been a major increase in the cost of raw materials, especially steel, iron, and lumber. According to U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has been a 9% increase in material cost since December 2017. Furthermore, our country is also going through a major crisis of labor force due to the increasing rate of unemployment.

As an innovative entrepreneur, I’m determined to stay ahead of the problems and continue to find ways to innovate and deliver solutions for our clients.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about James David Custom Homes?
James David Custom Homes specializes in building custom homes and luxury estates in Southern California and Idaho. Not your typical general contractor, the team is made of master builders who carefully balance the development and the design of your new custom home. The highest standards are set for custom homebuilding excellence and satisfied customer experiences. James David Custom Homes’ professionalism begins with a strong commitment to providing a custom experience throughout the entire process.

I have worked in this industry for over 33 years and continue to optimize and modernize in order to serve clients above and beyond expectations. For example, a few years ago we started using the Buildertrend APP. Buildertrend is the #1 Software for home builders, contractors & remodelers. It includes project management tools, estimating software, scheduling & CRM all in one app.

James David Custom Homes’ professionalism begins with a strong commitment to providing a custom experience throughout the entire process. In addition, We understand that our clients have busy lives and cannot afford to have the construction of their projects consume their schedule. So we handle everything for them and keep them informed through the Buildertrend APP at all times on the progress of work on-site, the current cost tracking against their budget, and the overall schedule of completion.

I take pride in the company I’ve built, the legacy we’re creating, and the long-lasting homes that families can enjoy for generations.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
If you really want to bring success into your life, you should cultivate yourself just as you’d cultivate a garden for the best yield. The attributes that have made me successful are shared by many successful people, but they don’t happen by accident or luck. They originate in habits, built a day at a time.

Like the old saying goes, “the harder I work, the luckier I get.” When I was younger, I didn’t understand how to achieve success. I thought it was a matter of force, or luck, or some unforeseen circumstance that somehow, through random selection…made certain people successful and others not. As it turns out, I am here today because I learned along the way that if I cultivate these five traits then I can achieve my goals, including:

1. Drive: I am determined to work harder than most and make sure things get done. I pride myself on seeing things get completed and take charge when necessary.

2. Willpower: I have the discipline and strength to stay focused. My business, friends, and family know that I will consistently deliver without procrastination or laziness.

3. Integrity: This should not have to be said, but it’s seriously one of the most important attributes. Honesty really is the best policy

4. Passion: If you want to succeed, you should love what you do. Think of it this way, if your job is your hobby then you’re going to be more passionate about it. Since I have worked in the construction industry for over twenty-two years, I have exceptional knowledge of each trade and how a house is built from the ground up. It’s my combination of passion for this industry and knowledge that gives me an edge

5. Trust & Respect: I clearly communicate and pay attention to those around me. When good communication is present, trust and respect follow

If you want to succeed, find the traits that will make you need to cultivate and plan on living them out every day. Remember: If you live your life as most people do, you will get what most people get. If you give your best every day, then the best will give back to you!

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