2007 was a good year for Josh Edgell and Mark Maltry. That year the lifelong friends realized a longtime dream to start up their own home construction and remodeling company.
After graduating from the Construction/Remodeling/Repair programs at Auburn Career Center and Riverside High School in 2000, Maltry and Edgell worked for contractors in Lake and Geauga counties. Seven years of experience gave them enough confidence to venture out on their own.
That’s when they formed JEMM Construction.
2008 was not a very good year for the housing industry. That year nearly a decade of subprime mortgage lending led to the collapse of the housing market and the economy.
According to Edgell, he and Maltry knew they had to continue with the new venture. “It’s a passion with us,” Edgell said. “It’s something we wanted to do. There was no other choice.”
Ten years later, JEMM Construction was chosen to build the Lake County YMCA Dream House.
When Edgell and Maltry met in third grade, there was no way to predict the future these two are currently experiencing. JEMM Construction is now a highly-regarded construction and remodeling company in Lake and Geauga counties. They have built approximately 50 houses because they offer some unique design options that others do not.
Project Coordinator for the Lake County YMCA Dream House Kirk Stonebrook noted JEMM stood out as a very hungry, fast growing company trying to find their niche. “They brought some creative ideas like ceiling treatments they wanted to try,” Stonebrook said.
He also felt that Maltry and Edgell appreciate and support the Y’s mission. “They seem to understand the philanthropic part is just as important.”
Edgell agrees about the community aspect. “It’s full circle for us, giving back to the community. It really feels good as well as doing something we love,” he said.
Stonebrook recognized JEMM’s growth as another factor in the decision. “I’m really impressed with some of the new people leading to their growth,” he said.
Maltry agrees with the importance of the team he and his partner have assembled. “We are very proud of our team,” Maltry said. “They really are the biggest part of this project.”
Edgell likes the idea of taking on the construction of the 25th Anniversary edition of the Dream House, which has become a much anticipated annual local event. “Because we are known more for a customized built house, YMCA wanted to have something a little different (for this milestone year)”, he said.
He said there are some unique design elements in parts of the house. “The dining room ceiling will be a customization that many haven’t seen. The fireplace itself will be against something unlike other dream houses. The master shower will feature a curveless entry with solid slabs of Cambria quartz.”
This year’s Dream House sits just off Heisley Road in Mentor, north of State Route 2.
Edgell and Maltry also enjoy going back to Auburn Career Center to talk with the Construction Program students about the trade and the skills necessary for the profession. They want students to understand the importance of construction and other trades and see how successful a person can become following that path.
Since it’s “all about the kids,” Edgell wants to help sell as many tickets as possible this year.
“We want to sell so many tickets. It’s the 25th year,” he said. “We’d really love to see this thing benefit the Y and the kids.”
The house is expected to be completed June 1, for designers to move in the furnishings. It will then be open to the public with the drawings in August.