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Today Ted speaks with Rod Cullum, the Founder and President of Cullum Homes in Scottdale, a second-generation, family-owned integrated design and construction firm specializing in luxury custom homes, architecture, interior design and renovations.

Rod kicks off the conversation by expressing his thoughts as to why he believes the construction industry is “broken”. Namely, he believes that small custom builders are lacking proper mentors that can help them scale their careers.

He says that the industry is seeing a decline in artistry, particularly among trim and finish carpenters, because certain skills are not being passed down to these younger trades.

However, regardless of what the future brings and what technologies get introduced into the industry, building a home will always be a “handcrafted experience”—even if it comes to the point where 3D printed homes become the norm.

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Rod Cullum & Ted Bainbridge

Rod goes on to reflect on how his upbringing informs the vision-mission, values, and company culture at Cullum Homes. He touches on “The Cullum Difference”, which is to say, “How we communicate with our clients and how quick we are to bring the challenges to the surface.”

Finally, Rod speaks on the most important factor in his life: family. He shares his belief that strong familial ties translate positively into every aspect of a person’s life.

He also believes that every single individual who refers to themselves as“American”—no matter how they look or what they believe in—can find success if they embrace the fact that anyone who puts their entire self into their dreams can become whatever they desire to be in the United States.

Topics Discussed

  • [02:15] Why the construction industry is in dire need of mentorship
  • [11:40] Why the level of artistry, especially among finish carpenters, is declining
  • [18:32] The return of bigger houses and a wider array of home amenities
  • [26:02] Who is Rod Cullum and what led him to establish Cullum Homes?
  • [34:31] How Cullum Homes selects their customers
  • [40:30] The foundational importance of family
  • [51:59] What gets Rod out of bed in the morning?
  • [1:00:53] Rod on how anyone can live the American Dream
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Cullum HomesScottsdale, AZ
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Cullum HomesScottsdale, AZ

Connect with Cullum Homes

Key Quotes from Episode

  • I’ve always believed that the construction industry, overall, is broken. […] There are no real, strong mentors for small custom builders.
  • The design development is the dream. The construction document is how that dream gets executed.
  • This industry is about relationships. It’s a very small town. You can’t burn bridges. It’s about making sure you commit to your trade partners and you commit to your customers. You honor that agreement and you expect the same back from them.
  • It’s not that we are exceptional; it’s the ideal of America that makes us exceptional.

Connect with the industry’s best tradespeople in your area.

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