By Susan E. Campbell
David DePaulo is confident that his latest renovation
will not only boost the value of the area around
Saratoga Hospital. It will also headquarter and
showcase his firm, Bella Home Builders, Inc., which he has managed from home since its beginnings.
Bella Homes has residences and property for
sale in five subdivisions throughout the Capital District,
including Oak Ride in Saratoga and Angelina Estates in Malta. The newest is Prescott Woods in
While DePaulo focuses on residential construction and smaller commercial projects, he enjoys renovating older structures like 228 Church St., Saratoga Springs.
“Old is new and I can’t get enough of it,” DePaulo said. DePaulo did all the design work himself and the only permit he needed was for the roof. Exterior paint colors and signs have been approved by the city.
“Officials are ecstatic because they know 228 Church St. is going to be beautiful,” DePaulo said. But DePaulo is “bringing it up a notch. Bella Homes has an image to reflect and I want our clients to see the quality of the work we do.”
Much of the 1800s home opposite the hospital was renovated decades ago and windows replaced and the building “looked tired,” DePaulo said. He is refreshing all the interior and exterior features to make the structure look “more Victorian” than it has in years.
One way DePaulo is respecting the home’s history is by using reclaimed materials such as brick from Cohoes Mills and three-inch to nine-inch beams he has collected from various sites. Another way is by installing custom period-style windows and removing the window trim and returning the wood to its natural beauty.
“The trim probably had 20 coats of paint on it, but that’s what we are doing,” said DePaulo. “It’s seven inches wide and fluted. That’s gold.”
The exterior windows are “enormous” and De- Paulo said his firm “did not skimp by replacing them with smaller ones” and risking the design integrity of the building.
The interior space is laid out to house Bella Homes offices as well as an Allstate Insurance agency that DePaulo owns.
DePaulo’s first job after college was in insurance, an industry with a 98 percent failure rate for newcomers. DePaulo not only made it, he opened two offices.
But he has always loved construction. His grandfather was a builder, his great uncles were in different trades, and his father is a craftsman. “It’s in the blood,” he said.
In his 30s, DePaulo started buying property and renting apartments. Today he builds about six houses a year, limiting himself so that clients get the quality and attention he believes they deserve.
By relocating his Allstate agency to 228 Church St., DePaulo will have both businesses under one historic roof with 4,000 square feet and room to expand. Plus, the rent he had been paying just for Allstate exceeds the cost to buy and pay the taxes on the new building, he said.
Clients will be able to walk throughout the open floor plan and see different flooring features in each room – cherry, hickory and oak – to get a sense of what their own new home or renovation could look like. The offices also feature hand-hewn beams and interior stained glass windows.
“We make our own flooring,” DePaulo said. “We use only real materials like granite, not imitation faÃ§ade stone. These features distinguish Bella Homes from other builders.”
The original stone foundation has been fixed and new landscaping will be done in the spring. “This house is finally reaching its potential,” DePaulo said. “Our clients will feel comfortable and relaxed, like they are at home.” DePaulo hopes to occupy in March this year.
Bella Home Builders, Inc. is an award-winning construction company that won eight out of the ten categories in the Luxury Division in the 2012 Showcase of Homes. The company has won 27 awards over the past three annual Showcases. For more information, visit www.bellahomebuildersinc.com