By Laurie Sterbens
For Hometown News
A sour economy sends your industry into a nosedive. Your employer is forced to downsize and you find yourself out of a job. Some people might choose to seek work in another field or face unemployment until the economy recovered.
An option most wouldn't consider would be opening up a brand new storefront in the same troubled industry. Yet that's exactly what Paul Rechichar decided to do four years ago when he opened Platinum Building & Remodeling in Port Orange.
Mr. Rechichar's risky move paid off. The company's sales have doubled every year since opening, he said.
"Yes, we did take a chance putting a storefront up, opening up a business, but it has worked out, fortunately," he said.
Mr. Rechichar operates the business with his wife, Melissa, who handles the financial end of business and permitting. A son, Nathan, works as a site supervisor for the company.
Though in a troubled economy, the Platinum Building & Remodeling's beginning wasn't a complete gamble. Rechichar has more than 25 years of experience in building and remodeling, and had developed a rapport with customers he had worked with previously.
"I opened the company up because we were getting a lot of requests for remodeling work," he said. "It seemed to me that when the new housing slowed down, a lot of customers stayed in their homes and remodeled."
Thanks to word-of-mouth, a Spruce-Creek Fly-In remodeling project led to other major remodeling jobs that kept the company busy for two years on one street.
"It just snowballed and it kept us very busy," Mr. Rechichar said.
The company's remodeling division offers a wide range of options for upgrading an existing home, from replacing doors and windows to kitchen and bathroom remodeling and additions, such as mother-in-law/guest suites, home theater rooms and sunrooms.
Platinum Building also specializes in creating outdoor living spaces. Mr. Rechichar is an experienced pool contractor who works with customers to create custom pool and spa designs. Ideally Mr. Rechichar designs the outdoor space at the same time as the customer is designing a new home, which he said allows the company to offer a better price for the project.
"We like to control the design and function," he explained. "It gives the customers more options of what they can do. We try to conform the house and the pool, not try to add it later."
However, Mr. Rechichar takes a similar approach when installing or renovating pools for existing homes, working with customers to create a functional outdoor living space that is in harmony with the look of the home. Available upgrades include custom paver and stone decking; outdoor fireplaces and fire pits; waterfalls, fountains and rock design; accent lighting; and screening, gazebos and walkways.
Now that the housing market is beginning to turn around, Platinum is beginning to build new homes. The company recently bought 53 lots in Arbor Lakes at Venetian Bay, a development in New Smyrna Beach that features an 18-hole golf course, fitness center, restaurants, and biking and walking trails.
Response to the Arbor Lakes development has been "tremendous," Mr. Rechichar said. He hopes to have the Arbor Lakes project built out within the next three years and is looking at other sites for the future.
"We're very optimistic about what we see coming down the line," he said.
Platinum Building & Remodeling is at 4639 Clyde Morris Blvd., Suite 607, Port Orange. For information, call (386) 547-1941 or visit www.platinumbuilding-remodeling.com.