DeVito and Company
The Hamptons feature some of the most desirable real estate in the country, and therefore the competition to build the homes and estates that occupy that real estate is some of the fiercest in the custom home industry. To survive and thrive in the Hamptons, a builder needs to be able to keep up with the latest trends and build with high degrees of integrity and quality. These are the qualities that Devito and Company owner Frank Devito says have kept the company at the forefront of the custom home market in the Hamptons for more than 30 years.
Devito started building in the area in the early 1980s with partner and longtime friend Timothy Penatello. The original company, known as D&P Construction, built hundreds of homes on the eastern end of Long Island before being sold in 1989. From there, Devito went on to establish Bay Meadow Millwork, which focused on custom millwork, cabinetry, windows and doors. Over time, Devito moved into custom building and historic restorations, and today Devito & Company has completed more than 400 successful projects in the Hamptons as well as New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., and other locations on the East Coast.
Devito says working in the Hamptons is one of the most demanding situations a homebuilder can operate in, thanks to the elite nature of the properties, the high expectations of the clientele and the intensity of the competition. Nevertheless, Devito & Company has proven time and again that it has what it takes to count itself among the top builders in the Hamptons. “It’s where the who’s who wants to be,” Devito says.
Details Are Key
The keys to success in a demanding market like the Hamptons generally are the same as they would be anywhere else, Devito says. Paying close attention to the details, providing the highest levels of quality possible and staying true to the quoted estimate are all essential, and Devito & Company strives to accomplish these no matter where it builds. “The main thing is working within the budget,” Devito says.
To make that happen, Devito & Company leaves nothing to chance. Devito says one of the company’s greatest strengths is the fact that it has the capabilities to perform a majority of the work in-house. With its in-house designers, carpenters, laborers and foremen, Devito & Company can provide a full hands-on experience for its customers, ensuring that the company has as much control over the work being done as possible. When the company does use subcontractors, Devito adds, it works extremely closely with them to make sure the work is done to the highest quality and in the most efficient manner. “Nobody’s paying for mistakes or wastes of time,” he says.
The company’s in-house capabilities also come into play when it comes to the details inside the homes. In particular, Devito & Company’s extensive experience with millwork is a major plus for a custom homebuilder working in an environment such as the Hamptons, where luxury and high quality are not only valued, but expected. The company’s in-house millwork capabilities mean Devito & Company can provide these services at a lower cost than many of its competitors, according to Devito, and customers are starting to put greater emphasis on high-end custom millwork.
“The market’s not just a bare-bones market anymore, people are looking for a lot of details,” he says.
Focused on Green
One of the most significant ways Devito & Company stands apart from its competitors is the company’s commitment to green and sustainable building. Devito says the company was one of the first in the region to embrace sustainable building concepts such as engineered lumber, sustainable forestry and selective harvesting. The company also has developed significant experience in the installation of geothermal cooling systems, as well as passive and active solar technologies.
“Exceptional quality and green building practices provide substantial benefits to our clients,” the company explains. “The homes we build for our clients today are more comfortable, are more healthy, use less energy and have a smaller carbon footprint than what was possible in the past.”
Although Devito says the cost of labor and materials continue to be a challenge for the entire construction industry, he foresees growth in Devito & Company’s future. However, that growth will be handled with care, as the company doesn’t want to overextend itself the way many of its competitors have, only to find they aren’t ready to handle the additional demands. “We’re looking for a slow, steady growth,” Devito says. “Tell it like it is. Be honest with your clients. Don’t tell them what they want to hear – tell them what they need to hear.”
Maintaining a more measured rate of growth will be important for the company moving forward, because the Hamptons aren’t experiencing the same type of building slump as the rest of the country. By continuing to build custom homes that meet the needs of this demanding clientele, Devito says, Devito & Company can expect to stick around for a long time to come. “The Hamptons are hot right now,” he says. “I do not think it – I know it. There’s still money being spent here.”