City Social Magazine

MAR-APR 2018

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Page 55 of 59

56 R E A D U S o N L I N E A T W W W . C I T Y S o C I A L . C o M During times of adversity, Baton Rouge's Tom Ashley Jr., co-owner of Expand Inc., is ready and able to help those he considers a friend or neighbor. Although he wishes he were able to help all those in need, especially in light of the ongoing recovery following the August 2016 floods, he doesn't let regret slow him down; he and his brother Randy continuously work with clients affected by flooding via informational sessions and collaborations on how to not only repair, but improve the homes of clients. "A professional remodeler is more than just good at bricks and mortar, they are trouble shooters and problem solvers," says Tom. Their renovations include altering floor plans, removing walls to create larger, more-open rooms, upgrading fixtures in bathrooms, kitchens and other rooms, installing windows and creating new spaces entirely to suit each client's particular needs and wants. Along with their efforts following the 2016 floods, Expand Inc. has also gone the extra mile for clients with family members living with disabilities and other conditions which call for special areas within a home. One such family requested that Tom construct a sensory room for their son, an autistic 8-year-old boy; in response, members of Expand Inc., Tom included, constructed a space where the boy could experience safe play and relax when desired. Features in the room include a variety of textures and forms of lighting utilized in order to provide the boy with sensory stimuli, as well as several kid- friendly items, i.e. a tunnel to crawl through, which lend to the fun and lively atmosphere of the room. It is this commitment to excellence and compassion for clients which has made Expand Inc. one of the premier Greater Baton Rouge construction/remodeling companies and which led to Tom being named "National Remodeler of the Year" by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This prestigious title was given to Tom NAHB Remodeler of the Year out of 140,000+ members in the NAHB in recognition of his business management skills, NAHB involvement and the consistency of his contributions to the remodeling industry; this achievement subsequently led to his being chosen as the subject of the cover story in Qualified Remodeler's December 2017 issue. "To be named NAHB Remodeler of the Year is such an honor," Tom says. He is humbled to have been chosen for the award as "it comes with both a responsibility and an opportunity—the opportunity to shine a light on all those special people who've participated in this journey, especially my family, the Expand team, those from CRBA and CRBA remodelers, LHBA, and the responsibility of representing professional remodelers across the U.S. and letting the public know that there are some truly great remodelers out there." Yet, this isn't the only honor he's received. Among Tom's other awards are the NAHB CAPS Specialist of the Year (2016); CRBA Baton Rouge's Builder of the Year Award (2016); NAHB Remodelers Chairman's Award (2015); and CRBA Remodeler of the Year Award (2007). Expand Inc. has likewise garnered much-deserved recognition for the services they extend to the Greater Baton Rouge community; specifically, the company was honored with the Homes for Life Award at the national level for the sensory room that Tom and others constructed. Led by Tom and Randy, Expand Inc. continues to better the homes and lives of those in the Greater Baton Rouge Community. Key among their efforts is entreating anyone contemplating a major home renovation to "do their due diligence, use such resources as Google and other points of reference to research who's coming into your home beforehand, and expect to pay a bit extra to get it right the first time." Last, but not least, he laments how most people spend more time researching a car before buying it than they do when hiring someone to work on and in their home. As both a remodeling- and advocacy-oriented business, its owners and employees shine a light on the city and its inhabitants when it comes to the do's and do not's of renovation and remodeling. Through their efforts, members of the community are afforded quality service and the knowledge that good people and good businesses are not a thing of the past, nor are they alone in their day-to-day struggles or following disasters. "To share what you've learned over time with others is a great feeling!" Tom enthuses. Photo by David Humphries Photo provided by Expand Inc. Photo provided by Qualified Remodeler By Alexis Marie Egan

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