All posts by RKA

Our clients bought a house and knew they would want to renovate before moving in, so they called on RKA to help them out. After completing demolition on the master bath and kitchen, they realized the need for just a little more room. With nowhere to go outward and the house already three stories, the decision was made to go down instead.

The kitchen floor and a section of the back wall of the house were removed allowing us to drive a mini excavator into the house and dig down 12’ below the kitchen to add a basement. The basement will then extend outside of the house almost all the way to the pool.

Access to the basement will come from a covered stairwell on the exterior as well as a floor hatch with spiral staircase leading down from the bar. This fully finished basement will be complete with full bath, dry sauna, sitting area, exercise equipment, and wine storage. A fully reinforced concrete ceiling will allow it to double as a very comfortable storm shelter.

Check back for an update when it’s complete!

Meet our Senior Project Manager, Larry Dawson

 

What is your background?
I’m from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where I lived until my wife, Karen, and I moved to Memphis 3 years ago. I’m a lifelong LSU fan. Geaux Tigers! Even though I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, most of my family is in Charleston, SC where my mom is from. I love all things outdoors – playing tennis, volleyball, kayaking, skiing, or grilling on our back porch.


How did you get into home building and why?
My professional experiences through the years have given me a unique and well-rounded knowledge base that just laid the perfect foundation for a career in home building. I spent many years in sales and management before I decided I needed a career change which led me to work for a construction company in Baton Rouge that focused mainly on pergolas and decks. After moving to Memphis, I was thrilled to find a home at RKA Construction. Personally, I know how important it is to my family to be happy and comfortable in our home, so I really love helping our clients find that in their homes too.


What is the best part of the job? Hardest?
I’ll start with the hardest part of my job, scheduling. Managing project schedules with recent material shortages and subcontractor issues has been difficult throughout the last year, but I take pride in exceeding expectations and meeting deadlines. The BEST part of my job is when I see our client’s dreams come true in their new home. The past year has really reinforced for all of us how important our homes are to our well-being, and when I get to work with someone to improve their space, or build their dream home, it brings me a lot of happiness.


Dream job if you weren’t in residential construction?
This is a tough one, but I would probably open and operate an outdoor sand volleyball complex. Moving from an area with many sand volleyball complexes to choose from, we discovered that Memphis does not have any similar complexes to play at.


Best way to spend a Saturday?
I love spending time at home with my family, so I’d say watching football and hanging out with Karen and our Weimaraner, Cali, while grilling cheeseburgers or cooking a pot of gumbo.


If you could only watch 5 movies for the rest of your life, what would they be?                                                                                                             It’s hard to name just five, but these would be at the top… Shawshank Redemption, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars IV, Stepbrothers

The Scout Guide | Memphis & Oxford

If you aren’t familiar with them yet, you’ll soon see The Scout Guide as a regional guide to all things Memphis! Not only are they the go-to place to find events and local companies, all of their resources are of the utmost quality…because of this, we are always honored when RKA Construction is featured as a local resource! As we are jumping into Spring, The Scout Guide has prepared a wonderful resource for homeowners on how to spruce up their space! We are amongst some terrific, quality vendors, many of whom RKA has worked with and find it our privilege to serve the people of Memphis and the surrounding areas. 

Click here to view The Scout Guide’s spruce up guide for Spring, and contact us to learn more about partnering with us on a new project. If you are unfamiliar with RKA, we’d love for you to take a look at our projects here on our website! 

 

RKA Construction / 901 465 3400 / info@rka.build

RKA Construction is proud to unveil a behind the scenes look at this East Memphis, Mid-Century renovation! Scroll through the printed publication below, or click here for the digital home feature. This edition will be in stores all through March, so check out your local bookstore to see it in person!

RKA Construction is honored to be featured in The Scout Guide’s Fresh Year, Fresh You guide to 2021! Check out the “home” section of the guide (in the link above) for more information, and visit the rest of our website to view our recently completed projects!

We would love to meet with you and discuss your 2021 home goals! Give our office a call at 901-465-3400.

RKA Construction is proud to display some of our prized projects in this years Scout Guide!

This years layout features collaborations with designers Lindsey Black, Selena McAdams, Liz Porter, Sarah Spinosa, and Cindy McCord.

Photography featured is by Selavie Photography and Stefanie Rawlinson Photography.

RKA is honored to have a custom home project featured on Dwell.com! Please click here to see the article and to learn more about this custom built home! 

 

 

Greg Green, General Superintendent

What is your background? 

I started as a Framing Carpenter at the age of 17 and continued into remodeling. From there, I became a Superintendent with a General Contractor performing high-end custom remodeling and renovating older homes as well as building new construction homes in the Memphis area.

How did you get into home building and why?

I entered into construction after helping friends and family with small projects over the years. I enjoyed working with my hands and having a tangible end result that pleased those I was helping or working for. I quickly developed an aptitude and love for crafting. I dove head first into learning and discovering new techniques and products and how best to apply them and haven’t looked back.

What is the best part of the job? Hardest?

I love seeing and hearing our clients, architects and designers wowed by the end result. Knowing that through the process, even with the ups or downs, our clients and team are thrilled with our end product makes it worth it. The biggest challenge is making sure all of the minutia are communicated and executed accurately. The hardest part of the job can be letting go of preciseness and exactness even if its within acceptable limits. 

Dream job if you weren’t in residential construction?

I would probably have a very large home workshop building odds and ends, specifically cabinets and furniture pieces.

Best way to spend a Saturday?

Spending time with the family watching a movie, playing Disc Golf, camping, hiking or even doing as little as possible for a while. Sometimes shutting down is the best recharge.

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

In Flames, Gojira, Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity and Queensryche

Read through this Memphis Magazine feature to learn about this remodel. Our clients home required a complete remodel after a Memphis storm left a neighboring tree on her roof. She took advantage of the remodel to rework the exterior and entry of her Midtown home.

Click here to read the article!

Meet RKA’s team of Superintendents and Project Managers. Hear their take on our process and dedication to building your home! 

RKA Construction is honored to be featured in Memphis Magazines “Faces of Memphis” this year! Our superintendents and project managers are featured here in the RKA offices on Tillman St. in East Memphis.

Chris Clark, Superintendent

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

Born and raised in South Louisiana. I started in building by framing houses in the mid 70’s and started as a general contractor in Memphis in 1988 after moving my family here in 1987. I got hooked on the satisfaction that comes from creating complex wooden structures using my hands, back, a few tools, imagination and hard work.

What is the best part of job?

Working with some of the remaining craftsmen in the business to solve problems and execute good design.

Dream job if you weren’t in residential construction?

Woodworker, painter, sculptor 

Best way to spend a Saturday?

Cooking gumbo with my wife, kids and grandkids while watching LSU football.

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

Guy Clark, John Prine, Dwight Yoakam, Van Morrison and Leftover Salmon

Welcome to 3198 Chapel Woods Cove!

This custom built home, designed by architect Brad Shapiro is complete and ready for its new family. Click here to see the full listing and contact Carrie Anderson for showings! 

This RKA Construction built home picked up a lot of attention when designer Lindsey Black posted her completed kitchen on Houzz.com. Beautiful Kitchens & Baths seized the opportunity and booked a trip to Memphis to document this cheerful and unique green kitchen!

Take a look below at the article and interview with this wonderful Memphis interior designer! Featured in the kitchen is a chef’s gas range, built-in coffee and espresso maker, wet bar, and glass display for the designers family heirlooms. RKA enjoyed this process of building out a dream kitchen that works with both family life and entertaining a crowd!

James Poe, Superintendent

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

I was born and raised in Arkansas and still live there today. I wanted to work for a commercial construction company right after high school, I ended up loving it so much I never looked for a different career path.

What is the best part of your job?

It is a good working environment where people get along with each other.

Dream job if you weren’t managing residential construction?

To be honest, I have never thought of doing anything else.

Best way to spend a Saturday?

Hunting or fishing. Plain and simple.

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

I mainly listen to 80s music but I am always open to listening to different types of music!

One of our renovation projects was featured in Memphis Magazine!  Working to update this home to fit our client’s specific needs was a pleasure!

Read Article Here

 

We trace the progression of moldings through time.

Written by: John R. Tschirch

https://www.period-homes.com/

Mar 19, 2018

Detail. Door moldings and brackets from William Halfpenny’s “Practical Architecture” (1724).

Moldings frame the spaces in which we live. Ceiling cornices, window frames, door lintels, wainscot, and baseboards have all traditionally relied on the elegant shapes and ornamental details of moldings to be made richer in scale with a more vibrant visual effect. They have done so since humans first created buildings for shelter and then turned them into a form of high art.

The ancient Greeks perfected the use of moldings in the adornment of their temples. High atop the Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon (438 BC) sits in all of its majesty as one of the finest examples of classical architecture in western civilization. Its soaring columns are topped by an entablature precisely marked by a series of moldings. These beautifully delineated devices draw the eye upwards to the triangular pediment of the roof that encased fine sculptures. While columns and statuary were the stars of the show, the simple moldings can aptly be called the humble servants. They have the critical task of framing the main features of the building. The two types of molding developed by the Greeks, and still in use today, are the cyma recta, with an outward S shaped curve, and the cyma reversa, with an inward S curve. These were used primarily under the main gables of a temple roofline while rounded moldings, such as the astragal, appeared on the flat surfaces. While not intended to detract from other aspects of the building, moldings did receive their fair share of decoration. A system of ornament appropriate to the shape of each molding provided a methodical way to embellish buildings. For example, tooth-like details called “dentils” were used on flat surfaces. Oval shaped of “egg and dart” motifs were suitable to rounded ovolo moldings while the horizontal emphasis of bead and reel decoration sat comfortably on thin, narrow moldings. Armed with these techniques, the Greeks perfected their version of an ideal architecture.

Classical Greek molding and ornament in cast and glazed terra cotta. Bead and real appear on the lower part of the arch, egg and dart on the upper part of the arch. Bead and reel adorn the moldings of the cornice (top of photo). Rosecliff (1902). Newport, RI.

John Tschirch

The ancient Romans inherited Greek moldings but they used them in more innovative ways. On the Altar of Peace (13 BC), commissioned by Augustus Caesar, the moldings are layered along the top of the structure in an exaggerated manner to create visual drama. Even with the fall of Rome, the use of moldings would survive and thrive through the ages. Medieval builders accentuated the sweeping vaults of their Gothic cathedrals with rounded “ribs” that focused attention upwards to the ceiling and heaven itself.

Greco-Roman moldings were revived during the Italian Renaissance of the 1400s and subjected to intense scrutiny as pattern books were illustrated to provide exact measurements of these features. Understanding that classical design was based on harmonious proportions, Renaissance architects began with the use of moldings as basic units of proportion. This practice continued through the centuries as the foundation of traditional building.

Italianate House, Salem, Ma. circa 1870. The invention of the saw revolutionized the production of architectural details in the mid 19th century. The exuberantly shaped moldings along the window lintel and roofline in this photograph illustrate the elaborate ornament created by new industrial technologies.

John Tschirch

Although originating in temples, the classical molding influenced domestic interiors as well. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the creation of bolection molding by English craftsman revolutionized the look of rooms at home and in the colonies. These raised moldings, based on the classical S shaped cyma reversa and recta types, were used to frame large rectangular wooden panels. Richly carved moldings also enhanced the door frames, window lintels, fireplace mantels and staircases. In addition to wood, the primary material used in British and American houses, the French perfected the use of cast plaster moldings to enhance exquisitely carved woodwork, known as “boiseries.” An entire industry arose with studios specializing in interior paneling and its ornamentation. The renowned woodworker Andre-Jacob Roubo published The Art of Joinery (1769) featuring elegantly rendered moldings with mathematical formulae for their precise construction.

 

The refinement of 18th-century moldings gave way to an exaggerated exuberance in the Victorian Age. Cove moldings with deeply curved insets, or comprised of floral sprays and acanthus vines, usually in cast plaster, lent opulence to rooms now focused on the cluttered look of layered decor and complex patterns. With new industrial processes at their fingertips, designers could create many types of moldings with great speed and at relatively low cost. This led to a tendency for excess which eventually prompted early 20th-century Modernists to reject the richness of Victorian interiors. Moldings were considered unnecessary in the new shining white boxes of modernity. The molding, however, did not fade away. Traditional design still relies on these time tested features of architecture now produced in wood, plaster and a variety of synthetic materials. As long as humans create shelter, the molding will remain at their service.

We are honored to be featured in Memphis Magazine again! Working on this addition to a Traditional Style East Memphis home was a pleasure!

Read the article here

Hunter Cooper, Project Manager

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

I grew up around residential construction and created a passion for homes early on as a kid. I’ve spent the last 3 or so years on the supply side; building doors, doing lumber takeoffs, and inside sales while in school. Before that I spent summers working with framing crews getting hand on experience as well as a little concrete work.

What is the best part of your job? Hardest?

I really enjoy seeing the transformations of a house, starting out as an empty lot and eventually turning into a finished project. The hardest part is trying to schedule around bad weather conditions.

Favorite house style? Build new or renovate old?

French Colonial and Building new

Dream job if you weren’t managing home remodels?

If I was not working in the building business I would probably want to be a high school football coach.

Best way to spend a Saturday?

Playing golf with a group of friends or watching college football.

Family? Hobbies?

My parents live in town and my older brother serves in the Marine Corp. My hobbies include playing golf, duck hunting, and fly fishing.

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

Pearl Jam, Audioslave, Kings of Leon, J Roddy Waltson and the Businessmen, and Led Zeppelin

Hans Bauer, Project Manager

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

I grew up around construction. My step father was a builder, and my uncle is an architect, so I have always been around building and design. After graduating from the University of Tennessee I tried a couple other things, but nothing really stuck. A few years ago, I was living in Atlanta and working in freight logistics when I was contacted about an opportunity to move home to Memphis and take a job in construction project management. I scheduled the interview and the rest is history.

What is the best part of your job? Hardest?

My favorite part of my job is finding solutions to the little issues that arise on a day to day basis. There are usually plenty of bumps in the road in this business, but its all worth it when you finish with a project that you can be proud of.  The hardest part is making sure that every aspect of a project is tracked and documented. Our custom jobs can involve hundreds of little details, but it is those details that sets our work apart, so it is incredibly important to stay organized.

Favorite house style? Build new or renovate old?

Having grown up in old houses in midtown, I would have to say that I prefer working on renovations of old houses, but I really just enjoy any project where I get to work with good people on interesting designs.

Dream job if you weren’t managing home remodels?

I would have to say that the ultimate dream job would be starting shooting guard for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Best way to spend a Saturday?

My ideal Saturday involves being outside by a body of water with good company, delicious food, and cold beverages.

Family? Hobbies?

I just recently got engaged so I think planning for the wedding and honeymoon will be the only hobby I will have time for over the next year or so. My fiancé and I live in Cooper Young with our two dogs, Grover and Penny. When I do have a little free time, I enjoy playing disc golf or riding my bike around midtown and downtown.

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

Foo Fighters, Yeasayer, Zac Brown, Family and Friends, and The Beatles

As lovers of our hometown, Memphis, TN, we are especially proud to be recognized in one of the city’s most-read publications, Memphis Magazine. In this month’s edition, the “Great Memphis Homes” feature is our renovation for the Spinosa family. This 1940’s home, while beautiful, needed some updating and additions to fit the owner’s needs and wants. We were able to team up with Sarah Spinosa and David Anderson to create the perfect home for this family.

Check out the article here, starting on page 126:

https://issuu.com/contemporarymedia/docs/memphis_mar17

I know it has been a few months since we have posted… But boy have we been busy! We are grateful to be a part of so many great builds in our city, and the link to the home renovation below is no different. This mid-century modern home originally designed by Alfred Lew Aydelott, a well-respected artist and architect in his time, has been updated to achieve this couple’s dream home. The restoration of this architecturally significant house was transformed into a modern “vacation-like” home with an open-concept design created by David Anderson. Together, our team was able to successfully reinvent the space of this beautiful home, while keeping its original architectural homage. We are grateful to not only have been a part of this project, but also would like to thank “At Home” magazine for acknowledging the great work of art it came to be. Check out the full article below for more of the story along with beautiful photos of the finished home!

 

http://athomemms.com/index/issues/may-2016/