Creative Toys – Toys for Tots Collection
Creative Design Construction Remodeling
Glen Lumia — Jobs well done, for everyone.
Story by Paul Clark
Photography by Peter Rymwid
For Glen Lumia, designing and building is all about family, future and doing right by everyone, everywhere he can. It’s an ethic, commitment and deliberate way of doing business that has, in no small measure, made life and living better for people in all reaches of northern Bergen and Rockland counties. It has also earned him a still-rising level of success, several awards for excellence and a well-deserved reputation for improving the image of his industry. But for him, the greatest reward comes from something more important: Helping those who need it most.
His company — Creative Design Construction and Remodeling in Northvale— has come a long way since he first opened his doors 23 years ago. “I started out as a builder,” he says, and did OK. But there came a point where I realized than I needed to learn about business. So I did everything I could to learn more.” He took every applicable class and earned an impressive list of business, remodeling and energy-smart builder certifications from industry associations, institutes and agencies.
And as his business grew, he began adding different divisions to make the remodeling process less stressful and more responsive to clients. It began with a kitchen division, and a design department that included an architect. In time, more divisions were added and solid, strategic alliances with product manufacturers were made. Today, his all-encompassing vision of “Design and Build” have given Creative Design the flexibility and control to conceive, manage and complete projects start to finish.
“We literally put it all under one roof,” he says, “and made the process pretty seamless.” To the relief and delight of clients, it means that everything from a kitchen or deck to an entire home can be designed, built and backed — inside and out — by a single company. “Just as important,” he adds, “it also means that we’re able to closely watch the budget, the schedule, work one-on-one with clients, and keep ourselves available and accountable at each and every phase.”
But what has — and still does — set Creative Design apart and above is its collective talent for working not only within current tastes and trends, but also to anticipate, plan, design and build for future lifestyles and realities. “A lot of people don’t think ahead,” he says. “So right from the start, we ask questions like, Is your job or the size of your family going to change; Is the structure within the family going to change; Are your parents going to live with you; Are your children coming back?’ Multigenerational living,” he says, “is happening more and more. It’s not unusual to have three generations living in the same house.”
Lumia says that the trend today is definitely “smarter, smaller and more efficient.” Compared to the bigger-is-better McMansion-type projects that once doubled the size — and carbon footprint — of many homes, “people are thinking more realistically about the future,” he says. “They’re asking more questions about green materials and energy efficiency. One of the more common questions he gets, he adds with a laugh, is “how can we take advantage of our wireless connections?
People want to spend on things they feel will get real value out of what they already have,” he says. “We’re doing more finished basements, wine cellars, home theatres, attics and making one big room into two rooms.”
Yet despite all his success, happy clients, and award-winning showroom and projects, Lumia knows that there are still a lot of needy people out there, especially nowadays. And he and his staff, which today totals 23, are ready, willing and able to help. Since last fall they’ve been working in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity, contributing their time and expertise to building Zoe’s Place in Garfield, NJ. When completed, this nonprofit home will provide a safe environment and services for pregnant teenagers, and teen mothers and their babies. “These are young girls,” he says, “who have no job, no home or supportive families. I have three young daughters and it really hit home with me. It has given all of us a tremendous feeling of satisfaction to help, and we’re posting our progress on our Facebook page.”
Lumia is also helping an Orangeburg family with a child who will, because of progressing condition, be bound to a wheelchair in the future. “It has been extremely rewarding to design and configure a home layout that will make the house totally wheelchair accessible,” he says. “What we’re doing will not only make his life easier, but his entire family’s, too, for a long time come.” At the same time, he believes in the value of education and conducts a popular series of seminars for homeowners on various aspects of home remodeling. A $20 admission fee is donated to the Wounded Warriors Fund.
He also makes regular presentations on green living to elementary school students, stays actively involved in his professional associations and has hosted a lively homeowner-oriented radio show on WRCR.
For Lumia, it all comes down to a job well done for everyone whose homes he improves, and the lives and families he both touches and makes better. “I love what I do, and it’s always rewarding to do something good, to give back everywhere you can,” he says. “It’s not really about why I do it. I don’t understand why more people don’t do it too.” creativedesignconstruction.com.