Robert Criner is a dream builder.
For more than four decades, Criner has turned people’s visions into a reality, making their homes their oasis. He has perfected taking a remodeling idea and building it into something that exceeds expectations and elevating a house to a whole new level.
Criner is founder of Criner Remodeling, a Peninsula business he started as a young man in 1977. He had worked construction in high school and had a knack for it, thinking outside the box. The company has grown exponentially over the years and has never lost its foundation of high quality and strong craftsmanship. “I have been blessed to have a successful business that has more than I ever expected,” Criner says.
Criner Remodeling specializes in kitchens, baths and additions. Criner takes great pride in displaying photos of homes that have been transformed by the work of his company. To establish himself in the business, Criner didn’t just build. He educated himself, going to school and taking classes, many of them revolving around business. He was the first certified remodeler in the country and became active in the National Association of Home Builders, which opened immeasurable opportunities to learn, teach and earn a name for himself on the national stage. He also paid it forward, teaching licensure classes for contractors at Thomas Nelson Community College.
Over the years, business has flourished as word spread about Criner Remodeling’s workmanship. He also attributes his success to his “deep roots in the community.”
He has served on many boards, including Habitat for Humanity, Newport News Education Foundation and Peninsula Catholic Education Board.
“I try to put something back into the community,” he says. “That’s very important to me.”
Criner Remodeling, which has 14 employees and is based in Oyster Point, works solely on the Virginia Peninsula, and Criner is most careful to maintain his business model to ensure the continuity of quality workmanship.
“I have always felt I wanted to be the best, not the biggest,” he says. “When I first started the firm, in order to keep good people, we had to grow the business. We have grown at a very comfortable pace.”
With more than 40 years under his belt, Criner has stepped back from the daily operations of the business and has passed the torch to his son, Paul. At 32, Paul, vice president of sales and design, is following in his father’s footsteps and has taken over managing the firm. Seeing his son at the helm, Robert says, “is very satisfying.”
Paul, who also started working construction in high school, appears to possess the same attention to detail and love of final results as his father. He has worked his way through the company, seeing first hand all of the steps along the way that make Criner Remodeling special.
“He came up through the ranks,” Robert says with a smile.
Paul not only brings an eye for creative aspects of the remodeling process; he also possesses technical expertise and attention to detail. He created a best practices book for the company that ensures all projects are held to the same standards.
“I love the design process,” he says. “We have a “no stone unturned” policy. We try to be as creative as possible. We are always looking for new trends and techniques.”
Paul takes great pride in knowing the company’s focus on detail has resulted in so many happy customers. “It definitely feels good to know that our work is transforming their homes into what they envision,” says Paul, who recently became a father.
And Robert could not be any prouder to see his legacy live on through his son.
“I have spent a lifetime training people,” he says. “I enjoy watching him surprise himself with his successes. I set the bar very high.”
TO THE POINT:
Address: 11836 Fishing Point Dr., Ste. 100, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Paul Criner