Joseph A. Tsedaka always dreamt of building and remodeling houses. Ten years ago after leaving his job as a lawyer, he got his chance. Tsedaka immigrated to the Dallas area from Israel, set on starting fresh. His initial plan was to open a business with his brother-in-law Berry Kaufman. But Kaufman had other plans.
"Before I came to the States, I asked him if he wanted to join me in the business," Tsedaka says. "I knew I wanted to do something in construction. Berry said no. He had just started a new job and said it wasn't a good time."
Luckily, Kaufman changed his mind.
"Two days after I came to the U.S., he knocked on my hotel room door," Tsedaka adds. "He said, 'Let's do it. I quit my job. I'm ready.'"
The two started Joseph & Berry in Plano, a Dallas suburb. “We grew quickly from doing very small projects to doing $1-to-$2-million whole-home renovations,” Tsedaka says of their first design-build firm.
But as time went on, Tsedaka and Kaufman realized that they didn’t want to be just another remodeling company in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Enter NOMI, a new business venture named after Tsedaka's beloved grandmother that focuses exclusively on luxury bathroom renovations. NOMI operates with the speed and efficiency expected of a home improvement company, nearly unheard of in design-build.
Focusing on luxury bathrooms
So why bathrooms? An obvious answer is how fun bathroom remodels can be with their high-tech product options and exciting design potential. But it’s not just about the steam showers, Bluetooth speakers, or aromatherapy add-ons (Tsedaka notes that integrated essential-oil diffusers, in particular, are gaining popularity). The business owner realized that of all the rooms of his whole-home renovations, bathrooms seemed to resonate the most with his clients.
At first, Tsedaka didn’t understand why that room specifically impacted homeowners. But then he started to do research and found that good design can actually help people become better people.
“We started to see that when we added all kinds of features in the bathrooms,” Tsedaka says. “Our clients said that they became more relaxed, which helped them become better people to their friends, their family, their kids.”
As most people use their bathrooms at least twice a day, the room is a prime remodeling opportunity to boost a homeowner’s mood and inspire them to start a new routine, whether it’s an energizing morning shower or a relaxing nightly soak.
An added benefit? The switch gave NOMI a built-in solution to ease supply chain issues caused by the pandemic. “A bathroom doesn’t really need a special-order package of lumber like a custom home or multi-room renovation does,” Tsedaka says. “You can just go to Home Depot to get enough lumber for a bathroom.”
A new design system for niche remodels
Even without projects in the rest of the home, luxury bathroom remodels can still take a fair amount of time, which didn’t sit right with Tsedaka. A man who loves speed and efficiency, he spent a year and a half developing a system that can shorten the design, estimate, and construction phases by more than half. He says that his model, which he updates frequently, can predict nearly any change a homeowner wants to make, whether it’s a soffit demo, linear drain addition, or adding spa-like features.
Thanks to the system and his singular focus on bathrooms, NOMI can create a scope of work within 10 minutes. “If a normal general contractor needs to do a luxury bathroom remodel, he could spend five to six months on the day-to-day projects,” Tsedaka says. “We are ready for construction within two weeks of the first meeting.”
So far, the system has paid off: In under two years, NOMI has completed 100 bathrooms.
A future business model for luxury design?
With their streamlined estimating, design, and production system, NOMI aims to change the industry mindset that homeowners want a long, drawn-out design process that takes weeks of showroom visits and design meetings. Instead, he wants to bring homeowners to the end product as quickly as possible while maintaining luxury standards and expectations.
“We’re dealing with a lot of busy people, and I don’t want to waste their time,” Tsedaka says. “People would rather be with their families than in a showroom.”
Tsedaka hopes this is the start of a new industry trend. In the way lawyers and doctors have specialized, remodeling companies can set themselves apart and avoid the Jack of all trades, master of none trap. “Customers deserve the best and deserve to work with very knowledgeable people, whether your passion is bathrooms, kitchens, or anything else,” Tsedaka says.
The positive homeowner response to NOMI’s streamlined business model has allowed Tsedaka to expand from its four offices in the DFW metroplex.
“The idea is that we would like to be in every major city in Texas, and maybe after that, all over the country,” Tsedaka says. For now, the first stop in NOMI’s future is a new Austin location, scheduled to open next year.