Recently, Silicon Valley Latino had the opportunity to visit one of the Bay Area’s premier builders in his own custom-designed home. By spending an afternoon with the Owner of R.J. Perez Construction, we not only learned what has made him a successful builder for the past 23 years, but we also discovered his other passion, cooking. Rich is passionate yet focused and he attributes his strong work ethic to his Mexican father and his Korean mother. It is this commitment to excellence that has brought him much success and recognition in the Valley as a premier builder.
Rich discovered his talent and passion for architecture, design and construction early on. In the mid-1980s Rich started his career by becoming a carpenter’s apprentice. With the required number of years of hands-on experience under his belt, he obtained his contractor’s license and began remodeling homes in Los Altos. R.J. Perez Construction has established a brand for building beautiful high-end homes in Los Altos and throughout Santa Clara County. With his unique and comprehensive range of styles, he designs and builds his clients the luxurious, high-end home of their dreams.
Much of the company’s success can be attributed to the team’s ability to guide clients through the actual design of their prospective dream home. Rich is also well known for his signature style of working closely with architects and engineers, ensuring that the vision of the home owner is met and that the project moves forward smoothly while keeping costs under budget. “My strength as a builder is envisioning the finished product,” says Rich. This vision enables him to stay active during the preliminary stage of architectural drawings, where he is able to assess his clients’ needs as they go through the design and construction phases.
A significant feature of any Perez built home is the kitchen. “The kitchen is the focal point of every home we build. We will typically start with the kitchen and design the rest of the home around this space,” says Rich. “We like to build homes for families who entertain. We don’t want to exclude the cook by hiding him or her from the guests; we open up the kitchen so everyone can have a hand in the cooking process together. We also like to have the kitchen open to the backyard so that barbecues and outside functions are easy to enjoy,” says Rich. As a result of his high-end designs, he has established a new brand and is now designing most homes under the name “Perezidential Homes.”
Rich’s enthusiasm and passion for the kitchen comes from his childhood. “My dad, Frank Paul Perez, was a one of the early Hispanic Mess Sergeant’s; back then there were not many Latinos in the Army and my mother, Su Ku Moon, was a fabulous cook” says Rich. Rich himself worked as a cook throughout college, so he brings practical applications to every kitchen he designs. Every element is carefully examined, from the placement of the recycling bins and trash compactors to the measurement of the countertops and dishwashers.
“Flow and functionality is the key to a Perez home, but it starts in the kitchen. It’s important to make the kitchen look great and practical to work in,” commented Rich. “Ideal placement of appliances is the important to create an effective and efficient workstation.”
Other distinctive characteristics of a Perez home include a lack of barriers for lots of open space, high ceilings throughout, a lot of windows for natural lighting and the ability to flow throughout. A signature trademark of a Perez home design is the attention to the tiniest of details from the framing stage to the interior finishes.
Perez homes are also pre-wired with cable, networking and phone capabilities. They also feature an unforgettable home theater system, which can be built into more than one room, depending on the size of the home and needs of the homeowner.
One area that R.J. Perez Construction is very proud of and happy to be recognized for is the construction of “lower living” spaces. They have been very successful in digging out lots and creating additional room below – what was once called a basement is now called lower living. They dig deep to allow for nine to ten-foot ceilings and open floor plans, allowing the homeowner to have a three story home – one lower and two up above – or allowing flexibility of having a two-story home in a single-story neighborhood. The demand for lower living spaces came from people who wanted to build larger homes but couldn’t due to limited shrinking lot coverage. With the creation of lower living, the homeowner is able to work around the lot coverage restrictions while still gaining the square footage and desired living space” notes Rich.
In the last 25 years, R.J Perez Construction has assembled an “A” team of stellar employees, subcontractors and suppliers. For that reason, the ensemble has been highly efficient with their building projects. With a select team of 20 employees, they are proud of being a boutique builder. “It has always been important that we maintain our high quality standards and sustain the positive brand that we’ve developed over the years,” comments Rich. With a focused emphasis on superior service to the client and attention to detail, the final product is always a big hit amongst clients and beyond. I believe this is one of the many reasons why we’ve managed to be in demand even in economically challenging times.
The kitchen in Rich’s own home is large enough and has enough amenities to be in a restaurant. When he is not working with new home designs Rich spends his time in the kitchen cooking for friends and family. Creativity spills over to the kitchen as Rich enjoys creating new versions of traditional favorites of Mexican and Korean foods and also healthier versions of popular recipes. On Superbowl Sundays especially, you can expect to find a house full of guests enjoying a buffet of different types of meats and signature sides in the beautiful kitchen living room space.
While it is evident that Rich’s two passions are building exceptional living spaces and cooking great food, it seems that a restaurant could be next…