Calvin Smith started out at age 16 unloading box cars of lumber at Carter Lumber in Medina Ohio. Here is how Calvin puts it:
“One day a customer came in to get 26 squares of shingles. He asked me “do you know who I can get to install these shingles”? I said without hesitation. “I will.” He said “how much”? I said $300.00…”you got the job!” Oh boy, I had never laid a shingle in my life. So I, honest to God, turned the bundle over and read the instructions on the wrapper. I got to the job although he did not tell me they were to be put on a 3 story building.
I toted the shingles up the ladder to the 35′ high roof. It took a week but I got the roof finished. I had $300.00 more than last week. A year later another customer asked who would build a 24 x 48 12 ft. high pole building. I said “I will”. I charged him $1000.00. It took 30 days to build. I built it all myself with very little tools and a borrowed hammer. I did get paid.
I began to think ” A person could make a living doing this”. In 1982 I built my first house, paying just $10,000.00 for 8 acres of prime land, I borrowed $40,000.00 to build it with. I took $10K to pay for the lot, $1500.00 for closing costs and had exactly $28,500.00 to build the house. I labored for the mason, did all the framing, roofing, siding, plumbing, electrical, drywall, insulation, paint, trim and concrete myself. My then father in law helped me out. We built the house in 120 days and moved into it all while working 60 hours a week at the lumber yard.
That same year I helped another guy build a 2 story house which I fell off of and broke my back. Within the next few years I slowly contracted to build a house or two for local people. In 1986 I built 9 houses, then 15, then 25, then 40, then 50 per year. The company kept growing and I had to keep feeding the monster which I had created. We grew to a good medium sized builder with 23 hourly employees and another 200 or so in sub labor and suppliers.
I joined the Home Builders Association in 1988 and immediately became very active. I served as President in 1993, served on the State Board, (OHBA), National Board (NAHB). I have chaired about every committee in the past 23 years as a member. I have earned 564 Spike Credits (member companies recruitment). CSB won BIA Builder of the Year in ’93, ’94, ’96, ’99. In 2001 I was inducted into the BIA “Hall of Fame” as a charter member.
We have built approx. 1200 new homes. CSB has never been to court in a lawsuit, never had a lien placed on a house, never served a lien to a sub trade or a supplier! We are VERY proud of that. Then in 2007 my 28 year marriage ended and I scaled way back (with the help of the economy) to just me! Just the way it was 34 years ago….just me.
I do all of my own estimating, sales & selections. If CSB builds your home you will certainly get individualized attention and we schedule mandatory meetings with the owners at the job sites and always keep them informed of the next move.
Calvin Smith Builders is very competitive in price or else we could never have built 1200 new homes. We have never had a house “Not Appraise” at a bank. That means we sold it for less than what it appraised for.
Please do not get the idea that just because we built some of those monster houses that CSB is automatically high priced…..not true! We’ve built hundreds of 1500 sq. ft. ranches and 1800 sq. ft. 2 stories. We estimate down to the penny. We don’t guess at anything so I know what our true costs are. But like you….I don’t go to work for exercise or experience anymore….I have to make a profit to live on. The same is true for the company that you work for.
We have developed many farms and subdivisions so I know what to look for in a building lot. My company has a lot of experience. I am very blunt. I will never lie to you or tell you what you want to hear. I will not tolerate a thief, a liar and I will NEVER allow an Amish on my job site!!! I am not a suit and tie kind of builder. I will no doubt have mud on me at times while in my office so don’t mistake that for ignorance please. I am not very good at spelling or the practice of perfect grammar but I do have integrity and honor!
We have many floor plans to offer or I will create one in front of your eyes. I would appreciate a chance to bid your new home” -Calvin