Ohio Builder Celebrates a Century of Construction

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The Haverstick family has been a fixture in their local home building community since 1919, when Joseph N. Haverstick established himself in Dayton, Ohio, to pursue his boyhood dream of becoming a builder. Born on a farm in nearby Greene County, he cut his teeth on construction initially as the family property repairman, where he would not only work on projects but also occasionally create his own tools to help finish the job. [caption id="attachment_16086" align="alignright" width="300"] The Haversticks were the first Dayton builders in the moderate to low-cost housing field, according to a 1948 Dayton Daily News story.[/caption] "They did not have all the tools they have today, or prefab, so it was a real hands-on type of experience," said Kim Haverstick, his grandson and current owner of Haverstick Builders Dayton Inc., of the company’s early home building projects. Haverstick’s sons, Joseph B. and Robert J. Haverstick, joined the company in the 1930s. In 1937, they purchased real estate in the Dayton area that they would develop over a period of time into 77 homes, emphasizing simplicity and affordability. These two-bedroom homes averaged around 700 square feet, with a price tag of $3,200 to $3,800 each (at a time when less than $10,000 was considered low cost). "There was a living room and a dining room and a kitchen on first floor, and two bedrooms upstairs," Kim noted. "It’s about the same as a nice-sized little apartment, but it was a house." The Haversticks continued to expand their business, including commercial construction alongside residential and remodeling work. The industry was also growing, and Joseph B. Haverstick was a player in helping to form not only the Home Builders Association of Dayton (originally the Home Builders Association of Montgomery County) but what would become NAHB. As the first president of the HBA of Dayton in 1942, and again in 1945, Joe oversaw the HBA's efforts to allocate building materials for local builders during World War II, when restrictions were placed on the amount of lumber that could be purchased. Joe's work in the Federation continued as president of the Ohio HBA and chairman (then president) of NAHB in 1956. "He really, for the first 15 years of the association, was heavily involved in it and spoke at a lot of events and promoted NAHB," observed Kim, who missed most of kindergarten the year his dad was president as he traveled the country with his parents. "It’s always been something he was very proud of." Joe was recognized for his efforts to create a unified building industry through induction into the National Hall of Fame in 1978. "I felt in time we would become a strong group to represent the home building industry," Joe stated in a previous interview with NAHB, noting the Federation’s evident potential early on and how he had watched it grow over the decades. [caption id="attachment_16087" align="alignright" width="300"] Kim has shifted the focus of the business toward remodeling projects, such as this room addition from the 2000s.[/caption] By 1971, Kim and his brother Ned had also joined the family business, alongside their father, uncle and cousin Brian. Federation leadership would carry on with the next generation as well: Both Ned and Kim served as president of the HBA of Dayton in 1978 and 2010, respectively. (Robert Haverstick also served as president of the HBA of Dayton in 1950.) Since 1987, Kim has been operating the business as its president. After decades of commercial and residential construction experience, Kim and his wife, Joanie, have switched the focus of the family’s business solely to remodeling. However, Kim continues to address many of the same issues his father did, including housing affordability and labor shortages. "During my time as member of the board for the HBA of Dayton and Ohio HBA, I really got to learn how important it is to stay on top of legislation that’s going on in in our industry," Kim shared. "I believe that building codes and local government intervention are having a significant effect on affordable housing. However, the severe lack of qualified workers is now affecting the cost and time it takes to complete a project." "I think my father would agree if he could put his two cents in," he added. Kim continues to remain active in his state and local HBA to help in these efforts, and sees positive signs, such as builders increasing their labor prices, on the horizon. As the industry continues to innovate its business and building practices, there will no doubt be many more exciting milestones to come.

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