This month we caught up with David Hume of RGH Development Company located on Jefferson Avenue in Maplewood.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in the Morristown area and spent most of my summers in LBI, where I discovered my love for the ocean. I have an awesome wife who was my high school sweetheart. Together we just had a beautiful baby girl “Ollie Kai”.
Jackie and I had the amazing experience of living in Hawaii for 5 years and we decided to come back to Maplewood in 2018. I’ve always had a connection to Maplewood. My father has had a business here for over 46 years, many of my aunts and uncles grew up here in Maplewood, and my grandfather was even the Mayor at one point.
How did you become involved in your field of work?
I’ve been in the building industry my whole life. With my father owning a construction company, I’ve always naturally gravitated towards the construction and building industry. In college I studied Urban Development with a focus on sustainability. My first job out of college was for a sustainable design company, which turned into a company that specialized in retrofitting buildings to be more energy efficient. From there, I worked as an Engineer and Project Manager on both residential and very large-scale commercial projects. I’ve worked on some crazy construction projects like skyscrapers and airports from NJ to Hawaii/Guam/Saipan, which has been a lot of fun.
Now I am focused on running RGH Development Company and working on residential projects in South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn, Chatham and the surrounding areas. Common projects range from kitchens and bathrooms to full home renovations and additions.
Tell us about your most exciting project. And your biggest success.
We worked on raising multiple homes as part of a FEMA program after Hurricane Sandy. This project was a little scary at first because a lot of other companies were not having success. There were also many different parties involved in the project (townships, FEMA, homeowners etc.), which added to the complexity of the project. We chose to spend a lot more time on the strategic planning and execution of the project. When it came time to get to work, we flew through the project with great success and were invited back to do more blocks of house lifting. It was an amazing opportunity to help out our communities after such a devastating event.
What is your biggest challenge professionally?
Home renovations are a huge investment for our customers. Whether it’s a minor bathroom spruce up or a $100,000 addition – it’s a thoughtful investment of our customer’s hard-earned money. That being said, a lot of homeowners tend to gravitate towards the lowest bidder – this often means working with less experienced companies or individuals. Many times, we’re called in a few months after someone has started their project with the lowest bidder and they ask us to take over their project. My company, RGH, offers design services, aids in the tile/cabinet/fixture selection process and provides project management to streamline the whole construction process from start to finish. We have very competitive and fair pricing, but we find it difficult to convey the message of the dangers involved with low bidders to homeowners.
Please tell us about a typical day in your life.
Most days I’m visiting construction sites, meeting with customers, and working on proposals at the office. When the weather permits you’ll find me making my phone calls while walking through Memorial Park. That being said, there really is no typical day – each day is filled with new challenges, new customers – so there’s never a dull moment.
Please tell us anything else about your profession that you think our readers would find interesting.
One question I get asked a lot is “When should I bring in a General Contractor?” I think it’s always wise to start with a General Contractor and let them give you some preliminary prices or ideas. We can help you figure out your next steps.
We greatly benefit by using highly specialized personnel and sub-contractors rather than in-house personnel. Each team is an expert in their field and can work much faster, more efficiently, and more cost effectively than in-house personnel. In reality, we’ve worked with our sub-contractors so often and for so many years that we consider us all one team.
Tell us why you chose to live where you do and what you love most about living where you do.
I have a lot of family history in this town which has always drawn me to Maplewood and South Orange. I love the small town feel and all the people I meet in this area. It’s a very warm community. I also love the character and charm of the homes in the area. The location could not be more ideal – if you want to go to the city, it’s right there; if you want to go to the beach, it’s a straight shot down the shore. It’s been the ideal spot for my family.
You can reach David through many different channels:
The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Keller Williams MidTown Direct in Maplewood, NJ. We are local market experts specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills and West Orange, NJ and the surrounding towns. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. You can read our testimonials at www.azhomesnj.com/testimonials.