Building for future generations

April 1, 2015
 
 
Jay Yoder is the “Son” in Yoder and Sons Construction LLC, based in Greenwood. He and his father, Gerald, and his brother, created the current company structure in 2002. Even though his brother has since moved to Indiana, the name remains “and Sons” because Jay has three sons, whom he hopes will join the business when they are old enough. 
The company has its roots in Ohio where Jay’s Amish great-grandfather, Martin, was a contractor. Martin moved to Greenwood in the 1930s and continued building homes, passing the trade down to his son, Albert, who passed it on to his son, Gerald.
Jay graduated from college with degrees in finance and accounting, and then worked for several years as a CPA. He had always known his passion was construction, so he returned home after a few years to work with his father and they restructured their business as an LLC.
“We are general contractors,” Jay said. “We build new homes, and do large remodel projects... We also do some light commercial construction.”
As the general contractor, Yoder and Sons Construction LLC is responsible for the overall job. The Yoders see to it that their own high standards are met even on work done by subcontractors. A number of these standards exceed the minimum requirements set by the county building code.
For example, Jay said, “a lot of people do not realize that rebar is not required in basement walls, but we use it. I shim all of my girders under the house with steel shims, where most use cedar shims. What sets us apart is how we do things. We consistently exceed numerous minimum standards for structural requirements, weatherproofing, energy efficiency and material quality.”
He continued, “A home is usually the largest investment someone will make in their lifetime. We want to make it right.”
When Jay builds a home, he wants to make a difference to the people who hire him. “Some people just look at price,” he said. “The people I work for understand they get what they pay for. That’s the market I serve. They want a quality job and understand that high quality and the cheapest price do not go hand in hand.
“I am fortunate to have a lot of valuable principles instilled in me — it goes back a number of generations,” Jay said. “Integrity is important to me. My dad always told me you can’t put a price on integrity. Some people trade their integrity for money, but once it’s gone, you can’t get it back.”
Jay hires subcontractors known for the quality of their work. “Many are Amish or Mennonite,” he said. “We are very thankful for the incredible team of talented subcontractors who work for us.” They do masonry foundation, stone, brick work, poured concrete, patio pavers, framing, siding flooring, trim and cabinets. One of his trim contractors did work for former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former Vice President Dick Chaney. His tile installers were featured on the travel channel on a major remodel project in Ocean City, Md. 
“Their craftsmanship and commitment to quality is what continues to make our finished product outstanding,” Jay said.
All of the new homes he builds feature Yoder Signature Cabinets.
“We are the exclusive distributors of Yoder Signature Cabinets,” Jay explained. “We use four Amish cabinet makers in the Dover area, and we have standardized the building of our cabinets to precise standards. If someone walks into one of our homes, the cabinets all have the same features, no matter which cabinet maker built them. Each set of cabinets is handmade, one home at a time.”
Constructed of solid wood, all the cabinets feature cherry dove-tailed drawer boxes, hydraulic closers and hydraulic hinges. Each drawer box bears the engraved Yoder Signature Cabinets logo.
All homes are stick framed by Amish carpenters. All heating and cooling systems are designed by a mechanical engineer. The list of processes that sets Yoder and Sons apart from others goes on and on. (See for yourself at www.yoderandsonsconstruction.com/our-process.)
Yoder and Sons Construction LLC looks forward to moving from Greenwood and opening its new sales office on Route 1 in Rehoboth later this year.
Jay handles all sales. “That has served me well,” he said. “A lot of people go to conferences and learn how to sell. My approach is to sit down with people and have a conversation and educate them about the building process and the types of materials that are available. Many people don’t realize that in Delaware anyone can get a contractor’s license in five minutes for $75. (Would-be homeowners) have to be careful and do their homework.”
Barry and Bernadette Milliman, formerly of Elmwood Park, N.J., were looking for someone to build a house for them in Milford. They had almost given up when they met Jay. “You were the only one who did everything we asked to be done on our first visit,” Barry wrote. “The others just wanted to sell us a house. By the end of the day, my wife and I looked at each other and said, ‘He’s the one who is going to build our house!’ We really had a great sense of comfort when we met you and your father that day. All I can say is thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for building us a quality-built home that we don’t have to worry about in our later years. You are more than welcome to show our house anytime to anyone who wants to see quality at its finest. Again, thank you and your crew and God bless all of you!”
A builder can’t ask for a testimonial stronger than that.
If you’d like to talk to Jay about building your new home, call Yoder and Sons Construction LLC at 302-349-0444, or visit the website, yoderandsonsconstruction.com.
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