Meet Ron Oskey, Owner Of Harbor Home Builders in Punta Gorda
Are you looking for the absolute best value in new home construction in Charlotte County?
The Lighting Gals just had the pleasure of meeting up with Ron Oskey, owner of Harbor Home Builders, who was recently named "Builder-Of-The-Year" by Charlotte Desoto Building Industry Association. We wanted to ask Ron about his new office space in downtown Punta Gorda, about how he got started, and of course, learn more about his stunning homes.
Entering Harbor Home Builders' new office space on the corner of 41 and West Virginia Ave will immediately show you why he is Builder-Of-The-Year. You walk into a luxurious, open, coastal contemporary space that is so comforting and welcoming.
Before meeting with Ron, we had a chance encounter with Jennifer Gloer of ADG Architecture in Port Charlotte, who helped with the space.
LG: What was the scope of ADG's work on this project?
ADG: After creating the overall building concept, we worked with Harbor Home Builders' interior designer to create the internal office space plans. We provided structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering through our consultants.
LG: What was your most significant challenge, and how did you resolve it?
ADG: The site had several intricacies: flood elevation, limited site area, entrances along the main street, parking in the rear. The biggest challenge was meeting architectural expectations of the City of Punta Gorda. But, we worked with Harbor Home Builders and a Civil Engineer to determine the best solutions.
LG: How do you like working with Harbor Home Builders?
ADG: They are a great family-owned business. You can tell that they care about their relationships with their customers and sub-contractors.
After speaking with Jennifer, it was time to explore the space a little more! Each of the offices and conference rooms is unique but proceeds to display the best of what Coastal-Contemporary living can offer.
We met Ron in one conference space with a photographic-mural by David Sussman (of Punta Gorda). This beautiful wall-to-wall mural places you at sunset in the marshes of Southwest Florida—it was the perfect setting to speak with this celebrated local builder.
LG: Ron, what brought you to Punta Gorda?
Ron Oskey (RO): I was a pilot, living in the Fort Lauderdale area, I flew privately and commercially for a long time. But, I was flying too much and was never home. It wasn't the lifestyle I wanted. I needed a change.
My family was in development and construction. They encouraged me to join them in Punta Gorda. Just about every young person ends up over here, I think, because of family.
LG: What was it like getting started in Punta Gorda?
RO: We did a lot of commercial development in the area. Then when the economy went bad, I started flipping homes on my own — buying fixer-uppers, fixing them, selling them.
My dad kicked me a little bit to get into building homes, which was a natural progression. Now we've been open for almost ten years.
LG: What type of custom homes are you building right now?
RO: Most of our clients prefer our semi-custom homes. We have about twenty plans they can choose from and then make their own. Our homes start at around $200,000 for a three-bedroom and go up from there.
We have about, I think, 12 to 15 homes under construction right now and another 10-12 in the pipeline. Most of these are in the $300,000 range and spread out all over Charlotte County.
LG: Building homes takes teamwork. Do you use the same team for every project?
RO: Yes, I like to use the same team over and over again. I want my sub-contractors to be able to go to every house every day, which is why I only build in Charlotte County, and on the fringes. If the project is too far away, my sub-contractors wouldn't be able to provide the same quality of service.
It's the same with showrooms. I have a couple of pre-set lighting packages. But, The Local Lighting Shop lets my clients create a package unique to them. They'll have items in their shop that are not just your everyday things like if you walked into Home Depot. I'm a visual person. Especially when it comes to lighting. I have to see it. You can only do that if you have access to a showroom like The Local Lighting Shop.
LG: Are there specific brands or styles you prefer at The Local Lighting Shop?
RO: For a while, I was married to one style. I'd go there, point and say "Yes! Yes!." I'd always pick the same transitional thing. But The Local Lighting Shop keeps you creative. As soon as you start getting comfortable with one style, they'll show you something new.
They like to throw things at you. And sometimes it takes you a while to sit there and marinade on it. It might be "No" at the beginning, and then, later on, you love it. Other times, you'll walk in the door, and after looking at something for two seconds, you'll know, "That's the light!"
LG: What's the last thing you geeked out about?
RO: I am continually looking for ways to add experiences to our homes. Right now, I love building spaces that are trying to open up more of the back of the house with indoor outdoor rooms.
Some of the new sliding glass door and window technologies create opportunities that we didn't have in the past — it's inspiring. The Local Lighting Shop also has lighting and fans that are starting to marry indoor styles with outdoor function. These help blur the lines of, say, the living room and patio and let you create a large area where the inside and outside come together.