Prefab Review (PR)
Hi, my name is Michael Frank, and this is the Prefab Pod presented by PrefabReview, where we interview leading people and companies in the prefab and modular housing industry to learn more about them and make it easier for you to make decisions about your prefab or modular project. Today, we’re interviewing Paul Nyulassie, the president at DIGZPrefab and NYUdesigns. Welcome, Paul.
Thank you. Thank you for having me, Michael.
Great. So we’re very excited to have you today. I’m very much looking forward to learning more about your firm. But first, I was hoping to learn a bit more about you. How did you get into this business to start?
Well, I’ve been doing it for twenty five years. I practice architecture. I also work as a construction cost estimator and I work as a project manager with very large general contractors in San Francisco. To answer your question, I decided to build a stick frame house in Mill Valley in 2006. And being in the industry, I soon realized that in the residential industry, I was having a hard time controlling my costs. And through the process, all the money that I had into the project, I had very little equity. And after I built and sold the house, I realized that given the location in San Francisco, Mill Valley, Marin, that there had to be a better way to control costs. And after that experience, I went ahead and did all of my projects modular construction. So I no longer do stick frames. I’ve built several homes in Mill Valley, all modularized. In Tahoe and also in the Oakland area. And I’ve just found that when you go into a contract with a factory, you have a fixed contract and that’s a good way to control your construction costs. And in the greater metropolitan areas of L.A. and San Francisco.
That makes a lot of sense. So I’ve been to your website and I’ve seen you have both ADU designs on your website, but also it looks like you have a bunch of custom homes. Can you sort of explain the variety of the types of homes and projects you take on?
Yeah, absolutely. So, yes, a year and a half ago, I went ahead and launched my ADU designs. And we have built a total of five of them so far in the Bay Area. And we’re having a lot of fun with it. I launched my factory two years ago after working with many, many factories throughout California. And I realized that this was something that I felt on a design-build basis. It would make more sense for me to branch out, take my construction background as a project manager and marry my architecture and construction and cost estimating as one package. And that’s what we’re offering right now. I have a team that is also a general contractor that does our custom homes. We’re currently doing a 4,000 square foot, 8 module project that’s going to be going into San Rafael. It’s all custom. Many of my projects in the Bay Area and also down in L.A., the planning and design review process is the same process as any other custom stick frame project. That process can take anywhere from 6 months up to two and a half years. That’s just the nature of the beast in California. In these areas, we have to go through the neighborhood HOA or design review process. But the homes that I’m doing are all 100% custom and I have never been able to do the cookie cutter designs on hillsides. And also, I focus on my clients wishes of what they want. One of my projects in Marin has twenty one foot ceilings with floor to ceiling glass overlooking the Bay and San Francisco. I don’t have any limits with modular construction and designs and I do have a lot of fun with it.