WINTERVILLE — A former eyesore that once was home to Winterville’s rescue squad is now the sparkling office and showroom of a home-remodeling and contracting business that renovated the building to showcase its range and expertise.
E&S Homes Construction opened its doors at 2579 Chapman St. on Friday with a ribbon-cutting and celebration hosted by the Winterville Chamber of Commerce.
Brandon Smith started the business in 2018 with his father-in-law, former Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks. They offer licensed contracting, remodeling services, roof repairs, painting and more. Smith also is a Realtor.
The business began with just a truck and a trailer, Smith said. He and wife Sara quit their full-time jobs to make it a success.
“One day I was driving around thinking about my future and saw this building,” Smith said about the old squad. His dad had been a captain with the organization and often brought him to wait for calls. He hatched an idea that renovating it could be a way for E&S to grow.
“Brandon had the vision to buy this building,” Elks said. “I didn’t have the same vision he had. I just shook my head.”
But Smith convinced Elks. They bought it and begin renovations.
“They came in and transformed this thing. We came together. We ran into a lot of obstacles,” Elks said.
Winterville EMS vacated the building in 2004 and it sat vacant many years. It was boarded up and in disrepair when the E&S crew got to work. It now features all the services E&S Homes provides and serves as the ultimate showroom.
“We tried to do a little piece of everything we offer,” Smith said. “From the signs, flooring paint, you can see the quality of attention to detail it takes to make a good quality product.”
The Winterville location is ideal, he said. It is a growing community with a demand for their services.
Smith said the business offers customers a one-stop-shop for remodeling needs, and his experience in real estate in addition to construction adds an extra dimension to their service.
“Our motto is reset the standard. We want to reset the standard for how remodels and repairs and relationships and communications,” he said.
The business specializes in due-diligence repairs. “When houses are bought and sold, inspectors come out and analyze the property together. Buyers and sellers negotiate what repairs are going to be done and that’s where we step in,” Smith said.
“We’re trying to start a new trend on how you remodel your house. We really just blossomed a new opportunity for business,” Elks said.
Smith and Elks want the business to serve the community and neighbors and build something bigger than revenue. “We want to build something our kids can come and take the next step with,” Smith said.
The building shows Smith’s dedication, his mom, Sandy, said.
“I remember what it looked like when they were actively having meetings and EMS was here,” she said. “It’s amazing. They kept adding lean-tos on the back when the squad was expanding. All those things were deteriorating, so they tore those down. The inside was not office-friendly like this. They just gutted the whole thing out and created a vision. It’s amazing.”
“It’s absolutely wonderful,” Smith’s father, Mike, said. “This is a great use of something that was in disrepair and would have probably went that way. It’s wonderful he has taken it and put it to great use.”
Chamber members and town leaders welcomed the business.
“We’re so glad to have you here. New construction and repairs are booming right now. Our area needs that. We’re glad for you to be here,” said Chamber President Alton Wadford.
Mayor Pro-tem Ricky Hines added, “They did an excellent job in reinventing it. It still has a firehouse theme, but it looks totally different.”
Their opening was a testament to resiliency, said to state Sen. Don Davis.
“When we think about where we are right now, with all challenges over last year, there was a lot of uncertainty. When we look at E&S Homes and what took place here, this represents resiliency to build a strong economy. Thank you for your investment in this community,” Davis said.
The business is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Call 714-8672