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June 4, 2019

Contractor breathes new life into old millworks

Photo/Don Del Rosso
Mark and Kim Jenkins five years ago started Genesis Home Improvement in the Bealeton basement. The company, which has grown to 22 employees, recently moved into the former Ritchie’s Millwork building in Remington.
Genesis Home Improvement
• What: Remodeling and home improvement contractor that also installs of roofs, siding, windows and gutters.

• Owners: Kim and Mark Jenkins

• Where: 101 E. Marshall St., Remington

• Established: 2014

• Employees: 22

• 2018 revenue: $2.9 million

• Phone: 540-439-5947

• Website: www.ghiva.com

• Facebook: Click here

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
After spending most of their adult lives working for others, the Bealeton couple struck out on their own five years ago and started a home improvement company.

The timing just seemed right, according to Kim and Mark Jenkins.

As a subcontractor, Mr. Jenkins, 50, did roofing and remodeling projects from 2005 to 2014. But, “it wasn’t a good fit,” he said. “I wanted to move on.”

In March 2014, the couple began operating Genesis Home Improvement from their basement.

As the company grew, “we got to the point where Mark and I needed an employee,” Ms. Jenkins recalled. “But we didn’t want an employee in our house, and we needed storage for materials.”

In 2016, the company moved to 2,000 square feet of rented space along Lucky Hill Road north of Remington.

By the end of last year, the company had 22 employees.

“You go from one or two employees to 22, obviously you’re sitting on top of each other,” Ms. Jenkins said with a laugh.

Passing on an opportunity to lease more space at the Lucky Hill Road site, the couple on May 3 purchased the vacant, 13,000-square-foot Ritchie Millworks & Building Materials property at James Madison and East Marshall streets in Remington.

The late Fauquier architect Claude “Toad” Ritchie designed the structure, in which craftsmen for decades produced custom trim, doors, cabinetry and other millwork.

The Ritchie family wanted $650,000 for the two-story building and approximately half-acre site. For tax purposes, the county values the property at $554,400.

But, the couple could pay only $300,000, Ms. Jenkins said.

Mr. Jenkins and Realtor Stanley Heaney Jr. met with a daughter and son of “Toad” Ritchie to discuss the couple’s plans for the structure.

While it would accommodate their home improvement business, the couple also want to host a carpentry skills program, in cooperation with the Fauquier campus of Lord Fairfax Community College near Warrenton, Mr. Jenkins explained.

Still under discussion, such a program would “help kids understand that if college isn’t your thing, you can still be a great person, make a great living and work for a good company,” Ms. Jenkins said.

Largely because of the company’s commitment to promoting the carpentry profession, the Ritchie heirs accepted the $300,000 offer, she said.

“So it all worked out.”

Besides additions, the company provides a range of room remodeling and home improvement services, including the installation of roofs, siding, windows and gutters.

“We really cover all aspects, anything from small, $250 jobs — handyman services — and up,” said Mr. Jenkins, a Prince William County native who started working for his father’s roofing business at age 12.

The average project costs $10,000, said Ms. Jenkins, who worked in banking for about a dozen years and briefly in the insurance business, before joining Genesis full-time in 2017.

“We’re kind of in the middle market. We’re not your full-design, full-custom” firm, she said. “But we’re not your small, one-guy-on-a-truck one, either.”

The company employs a design assistant who can give customers guidance and feedback, Ms. Jenkins said.

Working frequently for large insurance companies, the company also does “restoration” projects.

“If a tree falls on a home, the roof blows off, if there’s flood damage, somebody else does mitigation,” Ms. Jenkins explained. “We come back and rebuild” damaged structures.

In 2018, Genesis generated $2.9 million in revenue, up about 45 percent from the previous year, according to the couple.

“I’d like to grow 10 to 15 percent every year,” Mr. Jenkins said.

But commitment to high-quality work, customer service and a positive work environment for employees remain their top objectives, the couple agreed.

“We’re a big family,” Ms. Jenkins said.

Two of the couple’s four children work for the company — Dylan, 17, as an assistant carpenter and Kayleigh, 14, as an administrative assistant.

The company recently remodeled two bathrooms for Linda Dick — one in her home near Warrenton for about $10,000 and one for about $8,000 in a townhouse that her son occupies.

“They look beautiful,” said Ms. Dick, 70, a retired Prince William County Public Schools guidance counselor. “And, the work was meticulously done.”

Praising the company’s customer service, she said: “They were very easy to work with — very prompt, neat and clean. And, I felt safe having them there. I think that’s what’s most critical for me.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300. 
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Mark House · June 4, 2019 at 2:26 pm
We will definitely being calling you folks next year for a new siding/gutter/soffit estimate.
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