June Suermann’s Rockledge abode is a classic, timeless treasure
story by Shawn Green photography by Rob Downey
Building relationships that last as long as his custom homes is what Joe DiPrima has been doing for over 50 years.
DiPrima has been building custom homes and commercial properties on the Space Coast since 1961. In that time, he and his team at DiPrima Custom Homes have earned a laundry list of awards that are a source of pride, but nothing compared to the accolades he has received from his clients. “It’s significant and a source of satisfaction,” he says.
In fact, for his business’s 50th anniversary, DiPrima had the opportunity to knock on the door of the first home he built in Indian Harbor Beach. While he assumed the home had changed hands over the years, he still hoped to speak to the current homeowners, and learn a bit about the changes it had undergone over the years. To his surprise, though, the woman who answered the door was the original owner, and she recognized DiPrima immediately.
“I told her, God bless you, Mary, and you’ve been here all these years,” says DiPrima.
To that end, DiPrima says that he often runs into people for whom he has built homes — sometimes even decades ago. They will approach him to talk about their home, and just to catch up.
BUILDING HOMES & BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
During the building process, DiPrima gets to know his clients on a personal level, oftentimes spending a lot of time with each one. He says his key to success has been working to ensure he and his clients share a common vision. Over the years, the builder has done more than an exceptional job of pleasing his clients. As a result, his reputation through word-of-mouth has been his best form of advertisement.
June Suermann of Rockledge is a prime example.
In 2010, when Suermann and her husband decided to move from Kansas City, Missouri to retire here on the Space Coast, they knew they wanted a new home built to their specifications and they knew they wanted DiPrima to build it.
“He is all about quality. He is very straightforward,” says Suermann.
Suermann has a long history with DiPrima, as he previously built her parents’ Satellite Beach retirement home back in 1973. Additionally, Suermann and her children had temporarily lived in a DiPrima patio home during the 1980s while her husband, who has since passed away, was stationed in Korea.
Even though Suermann’s late husband’s long military career had required the family to live in many homes over the years, this would be the first that the couple built from the ground up. “We heard (building) was a very daunting process,” says Suermann. “But (the team at DiPrima) is so experienced. They know just how to go about guiding you. … They made it easy to stay within our limits.”
The 3,000 square-foot four-bedroom three-bathroom home is everything the Suermanns wanted and more. They chose an award-winning DiPrima model design, the Villa Verona. The home was expanded to provide a separate bonus area which can be utilized as a private suite or recreational room. The couple was able to work with the
builder and tweak a few things to meet their personal specifications.
Roseann DiPrima, Joe DiPrima’s daughter, worked with the Suermanns as a design consultant both during the building process and then later helping with the “finishing touches.”
June Suermann was looking for a classic, sophisticated interior for her new home. “During the design process, she selected products for her home with classic details, like marble countertops, wood floors and hand-crafted tile,” explains Roseann DiPrima.
“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication,” she continues. “We layered her home with timeless upholstery pieces, European-style case goods by Lillian August and beautiful accessories. A favorite piece is the demilune console with an antique silver finish in her formal dining room. Simply stunning.”
Roseann DiPrima joined her father’s company after graduating from Florida State University in the mid-1980s with a merchandising degree. She enjoyed working with her father well enough and became, at that time, one of only a few female-certified builders in the county.
She and her father have both earned the title of “Builder of the Year” in Brevard County by the Home Builders & Contractors Association of Brevard (HBCA).
Roseann DiPrima says she enjoys all aspects of working with their clients. “In design, harmony is what we constantly strive for. The collaboration with clients throughout the creative process is very rewarding,” she says.
She is also proud of the good name her father has cultivated over the years. “The fact that the company has been in business for more than 50 years and my father maintains an untarnished reputation makes me very proud,” she says.
In addition to their collaboration in business, during the past several decades, both members of the family have volunteered their time and resources to philanthropic endeavors throughout the community. The Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Habitat for Humanity and HBCA are among the many recipients who have benefited from their generosity. “It is imperative that as a local family owned and operated business, we continue to support and give back to our community,” says Joe DiPrima.
As for June Suermann, “I’m looking forward to staying put,” she says.
Since its inception over 50 years ago, the DiPrima Custom Homes’ team has been dedicated to the highest degree of integrity, competence and quality. Their goal is to provide the most value for their clients’ investments. Homes built by DiPrima Custom Homes exemplify the perfect blend of Florida’s indoor and outdoor style in the construction of each residential masterpiece.
The staff at DiPrima Custom Homes believes their experience gives every customer assurance that they will complete each home with the highest level of design, service and quality materials. These uncompromising standards are applied to each project regardless of the home size or price. For more information, call (321) 777-2500 or visit DiPrima.com.
DO YOUR homeWORK
Joe DiPrima, president and owner of DiPrima Custom Homes, offers some sound advice for anyone fearing the process of building their home from the ground up.
Do not just get references from your builder, he says. Check on the builder by knocking on doors of the homes they’ve built.
“You’re never going to get a better evaluation than talking to a former client,” he says. “Anybody who has had a good building experience is happy to tell you about it. They’re likely to tell you about a bad experience, too. (Any builder) not willing to give you a list of references must be ashamed of what they’ve done.”
Joe DiPrima also warns against the unresponsive contractor. He says you should be able to get in touch with your builder and his or her team without difficulty.