All posts by admin

A decade ago RKA was born out of a simple love for fine homes.

We married a careful study of the modern building sciences with a deep respect for premium craftsmanship. And home by home, client by client we built an operation that reliably delivers for the high end custom building market in Memphis.

We are excited to announce that RKA is bringing its resources and reputation to lake life across the Mid-South. The right collaborators and tradesmen. The reliable project management, quality control, and communication that have established our business as a leader in fine, custom home building in the city – we plan to make that product available on the beloved lakefronts where our clients make some of their richest family memories.

Long weekends at the lake are part of the fabric of life here in the Mid-South. For a while now, satisfied clients have been asking us how to build what they want in markets we haven’t reached yet. So we are taking the RKA model to where they want to be. We have been assembling the teams who can deliver – to our standards – the outcomes you’ve come to expect from us. 

The last decade has been about understanding what kind of business we needed to become in order to do what we do better than anybody else does it. We’ve spent these years building you fine homes. But we’ve also been building a business model. We knew how to do the first thing, and we had to innovate the other as we went along. It turns out that building great homes is actually a byproduct of the one thing we build better, outstanding teams. What distinguishes RKA is this team approach – how we pair the right Project Manager in the office with the Superintendent in the field who can best work together with the client. That’s how we deliver the consistent product and consistent experience y’all have come to expect.

We are constantly asking ourselves what does it feel like to be in business with us, how are we taking care of this relationship? Our focus has always been on the work we do for our customers – not just the results, but the process of building something together. Commissioning a high end custom home is not like buying another luxury item. You don’t ‘add to cart’ on RKA’s website! It is a long road, with ups and downs and plenty of delayed gratification. It’s high stakes with permanent consequences. 

As it should be when the product is your home. These are the walls that frame childhoods, the scenery in your favorite photos, the soundstage for the family movie that will play in memory for the rest of your life. And the only way to deliver on a goal like that is with the greatest team you can find. At RKA we know that this means not just the best team but the right team for your job. 

Which brings us out to the Lake. With all the available ways you can disappoint someone over the course of a job in our industry, there’s nothing that feels better than repeat business. We are so excited to deliver on the RKA promise in the locations that hold such a special place in our clients’ lives. 

See you on the lake…

Alex Wellford

Alex picture

Current Role: Project Manager

Alex has been in the construction business as long as he can remember and RKA was lucky to bring him on board in 2013. He brings a wealth of construction experience to RKA. Find out more about Alex here.


What is your background? How did you get into home building and why?

I was born and raised in Memphis, where I attended MUS and then went to Rhodes College. I have always been surrounded by construction, with parents that renovated our home multiple times.  I enjoyed watching the process and learning about the details. I started working for Chris Clark when he owned his own construction company (he is now an RKA partner) during the summer in high school and college, first as a laborer, then as a carpenter and later a finish carpenter for custom work.  I also worked on the very first Starry Nights exhibit with Chris. It was particularly memorable dismantling the exhibit with a group of Shelby County inmates. I worked on numerous fun and intricate Children’s Museum exhibits (Bolting the climbing structure to the ceiling, the Games exhibit, Your House My House, The Dentist’s Office). Between working for Chris and starting my own construction company, I worked at EgglestonWorks Loudspeaker Co. as project manager, overseeing the production of high end speakers.  I ran my own construction company for about 10 years doing custom work. One of my favorite projects that my company did was the Hunt and Polo Wine room.

What is the best part of your job?

I am a very detail oriented person. I enjoy paying attention to the details and making sure everything is done correctly. The best part of my job is seeing a completed project and a happy client at the end of the job. Be it a big or small job, this is the best part.

Hardest?

The most challenging aspect of this business is scheduling. The process for custom work is specialized, and one issue with the schedule can impact the whole process.  Keeping subcontractors on schedule, and things running smoothly is what I spend a considerable amount of my day doing.

Favorite house style? Build new or renovate old?

I am a bit of an Anglophile.  I love English style homes, American Colonial, as well as French. It’s a hard choice, but for me, I love to renovate an old house, making it personal for the family.

Dream job if you weren’t building house?

World Traveler. Something outdoors . . . a photographer or a ski instructor/bum, an explorer.

Best way to spend a Saturday?

Doing something outdoors, preferably water/snow skiing, playing tennis, going to band practice, relaxing at the lake, and spending time with family and friends.

Family? Hobbies?

My wife, Shea, and I have been married for 24 years. We have seven Godchildren, a wonderful niece and nephew, and two Jack Russels, Millie, who will turn 16 this year, and Baxter, who is 12. Shea and I love to travel. I sing, play bass, and I’m learning the drums. I play tennis and water and snow ski whenever I can. I started beekeeping with a friend from MUS about 4 years ago. We keep three hives. And I love to go see live music.

If you could only listen to 5 bands/artists for the rest of your life, who would they be?

The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix, Miles Davis, and The Who. That’s not 5, but I tried.

Welcome back to the RKA Construction blog!

It’s been a while since the last post and RKA has been busy!  I’m thrilled to be taking over the blog and will be sharing some of these great projects along the way.  First, I want to take a minute to tell you about how I got here.  I met Ryan and the guys at RKA when I was a client.  My husband and I hired them to renovate our home in the summer of 2014. We did a major renovation to a very special, very old house and we trusted RKA to oversee the project from start to finish. We were so happy with not just the final product, but the complete process as well. In fact, it was such a good experience that I have joined their team.

My first order of business (before I show you some of these gorgeous homes), is to introduce you to the wonderful group of talented people that make up RKA Construction.  It’s a team over here at RKA and these guys are the real deal.  One of the things that really sets our company apart is the skill, knowledge and experience of this group.  Ryan runs the business side of things and spends much of his time in the office.  He oversees all projects and is in constant contact with clients, subcontractors, and vendors. His organization and attention to detail keep things operating smoothly.  Beyond Ryan, we have 3 project managers; partner, Chris Clark, Alex Wellford, and James Poe.  They run the field and are on their job sites EVERY DAY overseeing construction.  In addition, our 3 in-house carpenters and 3 laborers are essential to timely progression of our projects.   I really believe this team sets RKA apart from its competitors.  They provide excellent customer service to their clients and are able to deliver a really superior finished product.

Be sure to check back with us next week for an extra special post featuring one of our newly finished homes.  You will love this transformation!

Maggie

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Spring Board Meetings for the National Association of Home Builders in Washington DC. It was great to see the scale of the NAHB and the many things they do for the home building industry. Carrie and I had the chance to do a little sightseeing while there, so of course I drug her to the National Building Museum. Who knew this even existed! It was an impressive place with some great exhibits relating to housing and construction. One section in particular really caught my eye and reminded me why I enjoy residential work so much. It was simply a collection of quotes on a collage of home photos. Some ring true and others are a bit comical, but I wanted to share them here…

“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”
-Phyllis Diller

“Mid pleasure and palaces Though we may roam Be it ever so humble, There’s no place like home.”
-John Howard Payne

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
-Robert Frost

“A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for his life: he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, for the rest of his days.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Since a housewrecker differs significantly from a homewrecker, the inference is clear that house and home mean different things.”
-Paul Fussell

“No man who owns his own house and lot can be a communist… he has too much to do.”
-William Levitt

“Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.”
-Julia Morgan

“All architecture is shelter. All great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the person in that space.”
-Philip Johnson

“Where Thou art – that- is Home-”
-Emily Dickinson

“The home is the center and circumference, the start and the finish, of most of our lives.”
-Charlotte Perkins Gilman

This month’s issue of At Home Memphis and Mid South features the home of architect, David Anderson. We had the pleasure of working with David as his builder and are proud to share the feature here on our blog. David is a very talented architect who worked under well known local architect, Doug Enoch, before starting his own firm this year. Below is a link to the story as well as a link to David’s website. The magazine should be on the stands this week.

Congrats David!

http://athomemms.com/index/design/contemporary-country-living/

http://www.davidandersonarchitect.com/

Until next time…

-Ryan

First off, welcome to the redesigned blog! We should be able to provide more information and updates with this format. We hope you like it.

With that said, what better way to start our new blog than to share about our new office location. Over the past two years we have worked behind the scenes to bring top notch home building and renovations to Memphis and the surrounding areas. Some days this meant we would be completely mobile, while other days (and nights) we would be stuck in our home offices. As our business has grown, we felt a centralized location was the best step for RKA. With that goal in mind, we didn’t want the standard issue dingy contractor office or the typical space tucked in some large office building. So after an extensive search, we settled on great location between The Half Shell and Gus’s on Mendenhall. It’s a very accessible space in a fantastic location. Not only will this space improve our efficiency and capabilities, but it will also be a perfect place to interface with current and future clients. I think you would all agree that this is not your average contractor’s office!

Come visit us at 714 S. Mendenhall!

IMG_2007

IMG_2005

IMG_2003

Congrats to Chris on some well deserved recognition in this week’s MBJ!
MBJ - CC - Resize

I know I haven’t updated the blog in forever, but I wanted to share an article that will be published in tomorrow’s Daily News about RKA Construction!!

http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2013/jun/19/sticking-to-niche/

Ryan and I have had a very busy year so far and I’m excited to share more about the projects he has going. More to come soon…

Wow! Ryan has worked so hard and has finished this restoration in record time! The house is now officially on the market and Ryan is listing it himself since he has joined Crye-Leike.

We are really pleased with how the outside turned out. Picking out exterior colors is something we spend a lot of time on, so it is always satisfying when it turns out the way you imagined!

The kitchen is amazing! Everytime I see this kitchen I get a little kitchen envy! Everything from the custom cabinets and stainless appliances, tothe carrera marble counters makes this a dream kitchen!

I am in love with the vanity in the bathroom!! It is the perfect shade of green, which compliments the black granite countertop.

Although it was completely gutted, we hope the bathroom feels like it could be original to the house.


We are really pleased with how well the hardwood floors turned out, as you can see in the picture. This is the master bedroom which has two nice windows and two nice closets.

The Living Room turned out great. It is amazing how the new windows have really changed the feel of the entire house.We also installed recessed lighting and new moulding.

The dining room is a great space. We opened it up to the kitchen and took down the half wall that divided it from the living room. This really helped the flow of the living spaces.

The study is a major bonus to this house. It really provides an additional living space for the house.


This deck is such a great feature that helps extend the living space to the outdoors.


This is a great house and I know that whoever buys it will be extremely pleased. Lots of memories can be made in a great home like this!!