Edward Carroll Construction LLC

Robert Carroll’s marketing professor at Louisiana State University pointed out that a company can specialize in offering only two of the following three business attributes: quality, service or price. “You can’t have all three, because either you will get so popular that you can’t keep up with the service, or for the best quality, you’re going to have to make some concessions on price,” Co-owner Robert Carroll remembers. “You can’t be everywhere at once and do all things at once, my professor would say. So you have to decide what is your target – what can you bring best to your client? Service and quality is where we’re going to focus.”

Edward Carroll Construction LLC is a family owned, residential homebuilder specializing in custom homes to fit any budget, from high-end custom housing through mid-range luxury homes all the way to starter homes. The company has been serving the greater Baton Rouge area and surrounding parishes since 1992.

The company was founded by Carroll’s parents, Edward and Tracy Carroll, with whom he still works. His father heads up the company and his mother provides interior design for customers. Carroll joined the family business in 2009. In 2015, the company’s name will be changed to Carroll Construction. During the recession, the company built up its remodeling division.

“There’s no project we’re not willing to tackle,” Robert Carroll maintains. “We’re working on some larger homes right now. The ones that we have right now are some of our largest homes that we have done. Our typical client is going to be 40 to 50 years old, a business owner – somebody who has done well and is able to afford that type of product.”

Website Updates

Being a small company makes Edward Carroll Construction more entrepreneurial. “We have more opportunities to make adjustments and concessions when we have a job,” Carroll points out. “For example, when a new product comes onto the market, we don’t have to go though a purchasing agent. We don’t have to bring it to a committee. We do research and say, ‘This is a product that will work,’ and we will take that product and try to fit it into the system of the house.”

An innovative feature that Edward Carroll Construction provides for its clients and subcontractors is a secure website at which the progress of a client’s project can be viewed. “We can give our clients real-time updates on the job,” Carroll says. “Our clients typically are working during the day. They can’t be at that jobsite every day. We try to find ways that they can monitor the jobsite progress and see that their home is being built and provide documentation of that along the way. They have a daily update of the jobsite progress through photos. We can take these with our camera phones, and from the jobsite, upload an online photo album that they have their own password to. We’re putting their eyes on it and giving them peace of mind.”

The website also has a project calendar that Edward Carroll Construction uses to schedule its subcontractors. “They’re seeing the same document we refer to,” Carroll points out. If rain delays construction, the schedule is adjusted, and the rain verified with photos on the website. At the end of a project, the owner is presented with a CD-ROM that includes photos of the interiors of any walls with wiring, ducting or utilities behind them before they were closed up. 

Aging in Place

Edward Carroll Construction is developing a specialty in being a certified aging-in-place specialist. “We really believe in the next 10 to 15 years, we will see a huge increase in the demand for homes that are designed for an aging population,” Carroll declares. Already, some of the company’s baby boomer clients are requesting homes on one level that have showers without thresholds and doorways 3 feet wide to accommodate wheelchairs.

“A person should be able to be born and die in the same home without having to remodel,” Carroll asserts. “We think it’s a great feature, not for every client, but we try to provide that during our consultation process.” During that process, Carroll Construction prefers that clients not have plans already drawn up. “We don’t want that client to spend $3,000 to $5,000 designing a house with an architect that they can’t afford to build,” Carroll warns.

Also during that process, the payback for energy-efficient features vs. their cost is evaluated. “We try to find a hybridized approach to the green building process that will give them the most bang for the least input upfront,” Carroll emphasizes. He says he deals straight and one-on-one with clients so he can sleep well and enjoy running into them at the supermarket. “I didn’t get into this to make a killing, but to make a living,” he stresses.

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