Varian Construction’s owner and staff are easy for its renovation and remodeling customers to find.
By Jim Harris
Bill Varian is front and center during every remodeling project performed by his company, Varian Construction. “We are a small company that is very hands-on. I am the person doing the initial sales call and estimating, as well as contracts, production and overseeing some of the construction,” he says. “On occasion, I’ll even put a pouch on and perform work myself.”
The Naples, Fla.-based general contractor specializes in condo, kitchen and home-remodeling projects. The company also has experience in interior office renovations and tenant build-outs. Roughly 65 percent of the company’s projects are for residential customers, with the balance being in the commercial sector.
All of the company’s projects are performed to high standards. “My motto is that I hate doing things twice; I get picky when it comes to my work,” Varian says. “The quality of our finished projects is a reflection on what my staff and our subcontractors have done, so we stay on top of everything.”
Subcontractors perform roughly 65 percent of the work on the company’s projects. “We have a nice mix of companies that I rely on that we’ve been working with a long time, and we have good relationships with all of them,” he adds.
Varian and his staff keep in close contact with clients through every step of their projects. “One of the biggest changes in our industry over the last 28 years is the knowledge base of our clients,” Varian says, noting the rise of the Internet. “Our clients used to say ‘I think we want this, can you sketch it out?’ Now they’re pulling an iPad out and showing us posts from Pinterest of what they want.”
Common requests for renovation projects include bathrooms with new cabinets, fixtures and tile; kitchens with granite or quartz countertops and new appliances; and porcelain tile throughout the home.
The company sets realistic expectations for each of its projects. “We try to be as honest as possible and explain our market to them,” Varian says. “We explain why we can or can’t do certain things, and don’t make promises we can’t fulfill.”
Varian Construction uses the Co-Construct construction management software platform to keep clients apprised of the progress of their renovations. The software includes subcontractor and client portals where progress photos can be uploaded and shared. The program also sends subcontractors and clients automatic notifications regarding its projects. “We are very happy with [Co-Construct], and our customers are ecstatic with it,” Varian says.
Pride in Longevity
Bill Varian and his father, Liam, founded the company in 1989 after both men moved to Naples from the Boston area. The family had lived near Boston since 1957, when Varian’s father, a brick mason, moved there from Ireland. “When we started the company, we thought we would be small and basically be handymen, but early on someone asked us if we could redo a room,” Varian says, noting that larger projects soon followed.
Varian maintains a number of connections within the community he has worked in for nearly three decades. His affiliations include serving on the Collier County Development Service Advisory Committee (DSAC) as a member since 2004 and chairman since 2007. He is also a Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) and Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) through the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB).
His community activities include volunteering for the local branch of Catholic Charities and the Collier Building Industry Association (CBIA). One of Varian’s volunteer highlights is dressing as Santa Claus to distribute toys to needy children collected during the CBIA’s annual toy drive.
Varian has also won a number of industry awards for his work. “I’m really proud to have lasted 28 years in this industry,” he says.