David Lorber: A Renewed Awakening
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
OAKLAND — Having worked for his father’s construction firm throughout his youth, the last thing David Lorber had planned was to further pursue the trade in adulthood—that is, until he had what could be described as a vocational epiphany. “It was a funny thing, because I’d never been particularly interested in the business,” he says. “I simply woke up one morning and realized that building houses was the coolest thing in the world. From that point on, I knew I wanted to do construction.” With his goal in mind, David began training as an apprentice carpenter before going to work for a custom home builder and spending five years doing new construction in Alaska. Eventually, David’s path came full circle when he returned home to help out at his father’s business, of which he later assumed ownership.
Today, as second-generation owner of Superior Builders & Remodelers, David says his favorite part of his job is the fulfillment he gets from “wowing” his customers. “Most people don’t understand how difficult our job really is. Every stick of lumber, every screw, every board that we install is touched by human hands, so when everything is finally in place and the customer is delighted, it gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
A resident of Oakland, David spends most of his free time taking advantage of the rich Bay Area landscape, whether hiking, fishing or cycling. “I’m an avid cyclist and enjoy riding through places like Redwood Canyon and Tilden Park,” he says. “My girlfriend, Debbie, and I actually met cycling, so that’s one of our main recreational activities.” Additionally, David takes time to keep up with his three grown children: Jerry, who lives in Denver; Jake, who lives in Sydney, Australia; and Rachael, who lives in Los Angeles.
In regard to his professional career, David espouses the importance of taking pride in his work. “I try to do as much as possible by hand and really give my all toward delivering a custom, quality product,” he says. “It’s unfortunate how many things these days are either machine-made or manufactured by people who don’t care about quality. My hope is that 50 years from now, when someone looks at a home we built, they’ll say, ‘Wow, these guys really knew what they were doing and took pride in their work.’”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, David says he’d pay a few long-deferred visits. “I would go visit friends and family whom I don’t get a chance to see very often. I have some close friends in Oregon and Idaho, not to mention my kids, who are spread all over, so I’d put together a schedule that would allow me to spend quality time with them.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Australia, to visit my son, Jake. I went there for his wedding five years ago, so I’m past due for another visit.
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The past. Much of the housing in this area was originally built about a century ago, and I think it would be neat to see Oakland when it was a little less developed.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Tinker around the house doing repairs or improvements.
Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: I loved to build model airplanes.
Q: Pancakes or waffles?
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