Chuck Ott: An Early Inspiration
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
DANVILLE — Many people don’t discover their professional callings until after reaching adulthood, but for Chuck Ott, inspiration struck early. “By the age of 10, I knew what I wanted to do with my life: build houses,” he affirms. Chuck credits this early inspiration in part to a construction project that took place near his childhood home. “There was a house being built right behind mine, and I remember running around the construction site, smelling the sawdust and watching it all come together. I was amazed at the whole process, and that’s pretty much where it all started for me.”
Chuck got his first taste of hands-on construction work as a teenager when he helped his father build a garage on their family’s property. After college, he worked stints in various spheres of the industry, gradually working his way up through the ranks until he became superintendent for a major Bay Area housing developer. Eventually, Chuck started his own firm that handled custom homes and remodels before partnering with industry colleague Robert Clifford to found Building Pros in 2010.
Today, Chuck says his favorite part of his job is taking a project from conception to completion. “I love taking a client’s idea and bringing it to fruition. When everything is said and done, it’s very rewarding to watch how excited they get when they see the finished product.”
A longtime resident of Livermore (where he lives with his wife, Lisa), Chuck expresses his appreciation for the many perks of Bay Area life. “There’s a lot at our disposal, from cutting-edge technology in Silicon Valley to the diverse, scenic landscape. There’s no shortage of personal and professional opportunities.”
Outside of work, Chuck fills his time with a mixture of personal hobbies and family activities. “I’m a car fanatic, so when I’m not building a house, I’m usually building a car,” he says. “Right now, I’m working on a ’65 Mustang Fastback.” When he’s not under the hood of a vintage vehicle, Chuck can often be found hanging out with his family (including his and Lisa’s three grown children) or soaking up the sun at a local beach.
In his life and career, Chuck espouses the importance of aligning your word with your deeds. “Growing up, I was taught that a man is only as good as his word, and that’s something I’ve tried to live by ever since,” he explains. “I just try to live a life of integrity, honesty and respect.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Chuck says he’d devote more time to his passion for automotive work. “My ultimate goal is to have a shop at my house where I can tinker with my cars. Especially after retirement, I think you need a reason to get out of bed each day—something to occupy your time and give you a sense of accomplishment. You can’t just sit around watching CNN all day…that could make you go nuts!”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first car?
A: A 1967 Mustang.
Q: What’s your dream car?
A: A ’66 Shelby Cobra 427.
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The past—I’d go back 30 years and buy stock in Apple and Microsoft.
Q: Music or talk radio?
Q: How do you like your eggs?
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A: Over medium.