"I feel good about the rebuilding process [in the metro area]," says Leach, whose business is headquartered in Laplace. He recently opened a satellite office in Lakeview. "So far, our jobs are 100 percent returnees. That's what makes me so optimistic. A lot of people are bound not only to New Orleans, but also to their neighborhoods."
Ray Leach Construction currently builds houses in Metairie, Uptown, Lakeview, Kenner and the River Parishes. Leach's 350-home Laplace subdivision The Grove is now about 20 percent complete. In addition to having stability and longevity, Leach says what sets his company apart is its business acumen, the expert architects and engineers with whom it regularly works, its knowledge of changing building codes and innovations implemented since Katrina, and its specialization -- all factors that make the building process less prone to road blocks.
Though he's received thousands of calls for renovation jobs, Leach has chosen to stick with what he knows best. "Building new homes is totally different from renovations," he says. "Unlike renovations, in new construction we start with a clean slate. And that's usually easier."
Leach advises people considering any building project to use the following guidelines: (1) Get more than one bid, (2) look for a contractor with a good reputation, (3) find out if the contractor is knowledgeable about local codes and inspections and (4) make the agreement as clear and straightforward as possible.
"I try 100 percent of the time to accomplish the things I advise," Leach says. "And our clients appreciate the effort. My staff and I take great pride in our work, and it shows in the number of referrals and repeat customers we continue to enjoy."