Special to Ocala Style
Like it or not, reputation has a habit of following you through the years. In the case of Fabian Construction, this has proved to be a very positive thing.
For a quarter of a century, the construction business that Jef Fabian launched in 1981 has developed with a solid reputation for building quality custom homes and commercial buildings. Put it this way: when almost all of a company’s business comes by word-of-mouth, you know they’re doing something right.
There are companies who describe their work as “custom,” but home buyers find themselves picking from Package A, B, or C and facing a variety of restrictions. This is not the case at Fabian Construction.
The true definition of “custom” means the home buyer has a choice in everything. Beginning with the floor plan and construction materials all the way to such details as surfaces, ceiling levels, and window styles, the home owner has the final say.
“Whether it’s our floor plan, their floor plan, or something designed from the ground up, whatever they want, we make it happen for them,” says Lynn Clark, sales manager at Fabian. “If they need more square footage in one room and less in another, we can move walls in the floor plan to accommodate this.”
“I feel like people work hard to earn their money and they ought to get what they want, not what we want,” says Jef Fabian, who owns the company along with son Eric and partner Chap Dinkins. “We’ve built houses from 800 square feet to over 10,000 square feet and they are all treated the same. We’ve stayed the course for 25 years, from small to large residential, and from small to large commercial structures.
“If we’re building you a house, your initial contact is with us, and then the project is turned over to our construction team,” he explains. “Throughout the process, if there’s ever a concern or question, you call us. Not everybody operates this way. People are often surprised that they can actually reach the builder on the phone, but that’s the way we want it and the way it’s always been with us. We’re personalized, customized, and available.”
“We build models for the sake of having some product to show,” notes Chap Dinkins. “But unless someone wants to buy that particular house as it sits, we customize every single house that we build. We do all the specifications here in-house and our network of tradesmen is so vast that the buyer has plenty of options available. We can facilitate the buyer in every aspect of the building process. Even if someone has started working with another designer but doesn’t have a builder, we can work with them.”
Fabian Construction builds in Marion, Citrus, Lake, Sumter, Levy, and Alachua Counties, both on private land and in communities. Fabian features patio or starter homes beginning at 1,100 square feet on up to spacious custom homes of 10,000 square feet or more.
The Magnolias, a new gated community off Maricamp Road across from Forest High School, features several neighborhoods in which Fabian Construction is the exclusive builder. These include Magnolia Manor, Magnolia Park, Magnolia Ridge, and Villas East in the Magnolias.
Fabian is also the exclusive builder in the brand new Marion County community of Summerset on S.E. 24th Street. Upon completion, Summerset will feature 42 homes with sites from one-third to one-half-acre.
“I consider it an honor to build a house for a family, whatever the size,” says Jef. “When residential customers come in, they meet with me personally. When someone comes in for commercial, they talk directly to Chap. We completely stand behind our product. Most builders warranty their homes for a year, and after 365 days they don’t know who you are. We go above and beyond the industry norm when it comes to standing behind what we build.”
The commercial division of Fabian Construction was a natural “by-product” of its residential construction.
“We’d build a home for someone and later when they wanted an office or commercial structure built, they’d come back to us,” says Jef. “Or they’d recommend us to someone who needed an office building. Our customers are our best source of advertising. In 2000, we branched out and created a separate commercial division. Our work is now 50/50 residential and commercial; we think it’s great to be diversified this way.”
Impressively, 100 percent of Fabian’s commercial business is by referral. Their repeat customer base is about 60 percent — a clear sign that their commitment to customer service isn’t just talk.
Fabian handles virtually every type of commercial structure, from light industrial to professional and medical office space, retail centers, hotels, and more. The All Pro Import auto dealership on State Road 200 and Manning Building Supply on N.W. 25th Avenue in Ocala are both recent Fabian projects.
“Every commercial project is different, so there really is no similarity between projects,” explains Chap. “Each one is specifically designed for the end user. For example, we might be building two dental offices but they would be totally different, depending on what the individual dentists wants. We offer suggestions, but it’s always whatever the buyer wants. We go to all our jobs routinely so we stay personally involved all the way through to completion.”
Because the commercial division uses different sub-contractors, it doesn’t interfere in any way with the residential construction part of the company. Thanks to Fabian’s strong relationships with architects and engineers, they are instrumental in the development of every commercial project, from site work to design to construction.
Fabian has been involved in a significant amount of land development over the past seven years. They also frequently build for other builders, a fact that testifies to a high level of trust and ability.
Born and raised in Ocala, Jef, Eric, and Chap have made a major commitment to their community.
Having raised three sons in Marion County — Eric, Drew, and Matt — Jef devoted 15 years to coaching Little League. That mantle has been passed to Eric and Chap who are both coaching now.
Fabian Construction works with numerous local charities, including Interfaith and often sponsors families at Christmas. A corporate chaplain is available for employees and Monday morning meetings start with a devotional. It all comes down to “walking the walk, not just talking the talk,” says Jef.
Proverbs 3:5, 6 is printed on every Fabian Construction business card. Those verses, which inspired the company’s mission statement, read simply, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”
“In all honesty, that’s the foundation of this business,” Jef says with sincerity. “I pray every night that we will be a blessing to our customers and that they will be a blessing to us. Yes, it takes dollars to pay the electric bill, but it’s not all about money.”
It’s obvious that the team behind Fabian Construction takes each project personally.
“We’ll be driving somewhere and my son will ask, ‘Daddy, are you building that?’” says Chap. “We take it seriously that we are literally building this community. These aren’t just homes and businesses to us; they are buildings that are going to impact people’s lives. What we build is going to be here a lot longer than we will. Long term, we want to be remembered for not only building quality home and businesses, but also for treating people well.”
Fabian Construction, Inc.
2631 S.E. 58th Avenue
Ocala FL 34471
352-694-6177 Sales Office
“Building Higher Standards”
Special to Ocala Style