Your Green Design and Build Company: An Interview with Lee Michael Homes
By Kristen Bosse of New Mexico Homes
Please describe a little bit about your company and the services you offer.
Lee Michael Homes is a custom “Green” design/build construction company, specializing in uniquely and personally designed homes and remodels. Lee Michael Homes also does a lot of addition and renovation work, focusing on energy efficient designs and retrofits to improve the overall efficiency of the home. Commercial and tenant improvement work is also part of our specialties.
How did you get into this line of work?
Lee Michael Homes is a family run business, and both my husband and I have been building for over 20 years in and around the Albuquerque area. Our background is in real estate, land development and real estate lending.
Can you describe the work with solar energy that you’ve been doing?
We try to plan our homes around prepping for future photovoltaics, and work on integrating the radiant heat systems we install with solar use to help heat the domestic water in the home also. We believe 100% in taking advantage of the solar gain we are fortunate to have in New Mexico.
What are the benefits of solar energy on a home? Is it expensive?
Solar energy has dramatically gone down in price over the last few years, and based on the incentives offered by the federal and state programs available. Depending on a family’s usage, the payback for the initial solar array system takes 5-7 years, but every day there is a savings on the electrical bills generated.
What other green initiatives have you been taking in the past few years?
We certify our homes to the highest levels of “Green” building practices, depending on the needs of our clients. All of our homes have increased insulation packages, advanced framing concepts, use of recycled materials , water tolerant fixtures and energy star lighting, including instant hot systems with timers, and programmable thermostats.
What are some key qualities homeowners should be looking for in a remodeling company before the initial hire?
Always hire licensed and insured contractors. Always check with the local Construction Industries Division and the Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no complaints. Taking the lowest priced bid is not the be-all-end-all way to make their choice in most cases. Ask for references and call on those references. Ask to look at previous work of the contractor. There are never too many questions to ask, as this is a very important investment to be making in their home and lives.
What should new homeowners or inexperienced homeowners be aware of during the remodeling process?
Remodeling can be an exciting process, but can feel very invasive as workers are coming and going from their home and their lives for a short period of time. Being prepped for this in the beginning helps a lot. We have always respected that we are in our clients home, and work hard to get done quickly so that the family can get back to their personal lives.
What sets your business apart from all the others? Is there anything you believe you do better/different?
Our approach is to fully understand the needs of our clients by carefully listening to them. Every family/client has their own personal habits, needs, wants, and budgets. We carefully try to blend all of these to best achieve their goals.
What are the most difficult kinds of projects?
When we are rehabbing a full home, all baths and kitchen at the same time, and the homeowner is challenged with where they can live in the home while work is being done. Best situation is to find a place to live for a short period of time or setup a trailer at the home site temporarily.
What’s the best way for people to get in contact with you?
We have a location at 7910 Rancho Roberto Road NW in Albuquerque, NM 87114. We can also be reached by phone at (505) 299-1500 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our website is www.leemichaelhomes.com.
Thank you to NewMexicoHomes.com for the interview.