HP Construction
30 yrs. experience

N. "Huck" Bahrman has been working with his hands, and building things, for as long as he can remember. 

As a youth, he was very involved in building and flying balsa wood model aircraft, both competitively and recreationally.  Some were built from kits, and some were built from plans.  So at an early age, he learned to bring three dimensional products to life from blueprints and drawings.  He learned the value of "measuring twice, cut once", and the structural importance of careful craftsmanship.  These were life lessons that would influence him for all of his adult life.

Formally trained in graphic art and technical illustration at Ventura College, he developed qualities of visualization and graphic expression that would later prove invaluable.  He developed the patience and attention to detail that is demanded of an artist.

His construction career began in the late 1970's as a framer with union companies W.C. Roderick, Lewis McCleod Construction, Jeff Crocker Construction, and Max Montoya (M&M Construction), in the Ventura/Oxnard area. Some of the non-union companies Neal later worked for were Shorb & Sons Construction, Conejo Fence & Wire, and A.C. Ramirez Floor Coverings of Santa Barbara, California.  

Union Training was provided by the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee local 2463 at the Camarillo, California office. Additional education consisted of 19 units GE studies at Los Angeles Valley College, 75 units Technical Illustration & Graphic Design at Ventura College (three years on the dean's honor list), "Uniform Building Code" class at Ventura College, "Supervising Front Line Employees" UCSB extension class, "Team Building and Managing Change", UCSB extension class, Wood B2 "Furniture and Cabinetmaking", Bakersfield College (Steve Hageman), Wood B5 "Intermediate Cabinet Making", Bakersfield College (Steve Hageman).

He had the opportunity to go from framing to construction management when he took a position (in October 1985) as a supervisor for the firm of J.F. DaPra, Inc.
of Ventura California.  As the field superintendent he oversaw all their construction, remodeling, and renovation projects. Because the company specialized in the repair and rebuilding of damaged structures, he gained wide experience in commercial and residential re-construction.

At Bob Thurman Construction, of Ojai, California, he learned the custom home and upper end remodel trade from concrete forms to finish carpentry.  Bob Thurman was that rare individual who could truly be called a Master Builder - capable of designing a complex home, drawing the blueprints, and building it from the ground up.  Here he worked on very upscale projects, like the custom home built for movie producer and director Harold Schneider, and extensive remodel projects, like the Ojai ranch house remodel for Michael Jackson’s (then) manager Frank Dileo. He designed, drew the plans for, and carried out smaller projects, like Dr. John Thacher's dining room expansion in his Ojai home, and he was in charge of a full-house remodel for horticulture professor Jerry Sortomme on the Ventura coast. 

One of the most challenging projects from this time period was the
Summit at Warner Center project in Woodland Hills, a large project that ran for months. The job required the dismantling, photographing for litigation records, and then rebuilding, of numerous occupied apartment units, while minimizing disruption to the tenants. He was asked to return to J.F. DaPra, Inc., specifically for this project. Working initially with Mike Daniels of J.F. DaPra, Inc., he eventually took over and managed the entire project, working with attorneys, engineers, tenants, and all applicable tradesmen, in a potentially volatile situation.

In December of 1989, HP Construction was born - although at that time, the company name on the contractor's license was Castle Builders. The fledgling contracting company was developed over the next several years, between stints working for and with other contractors.

Leaving the Ventura area in 1990 for Kern County, he found work as crew foreman for Star Construction, owned by Tony Franz of Bakersfield, eventually becoming a full partner in the business. Here, he worked on production and custom framing of residential structures for builders like Donovan Judkins, U.S. Homes, J.L.Dandy Homes, and others. This afforded him the opportunity for hands-on experience in the esoteric craft of roof-cutting, building complex roof structures hand-framed with dimensional lumber, a skill now largely supplanted by the more common truss-roof method of roof framing. It was also here that he had the privilege of meeting and working with Darren Ryker, (currently of Ryker Design) a talented Bakersfield draftsman/designer, artist, and builder.

Another interesting project was the custom home framed for Eric Hubble of Bakersfield, which included a complex curved staircase. Beginning in April of 1991, a stint as superintendent for the "Orleans" 32-home tract by Metco Development Corporation, for developer Ken Mettler, allowed him to gain experience in production tract oversight. Eventually moving to commercial projects, he took over field management as superintendent for Executive Custom Services, under owner E.A. “Pete” Lowry, where he worked for several years, until 1995.

Here he worked on numerous commercial remodels, including "T.I." restaurant build-outs for Los Hermanos, Don Perico’s (then Los Pericos), and a large addition for Hodel’s Restaurant. A major remodel completed in November of 1994 for Freymiller Trucking involved the protection of a huge computer mainframe, as exensive construction work was carried out throughout the large complex.  And ironically, they left town and moved to Oklahoma shortly after our work was completed, and the building is now home to Juarez Trucking.

Other commercial projects involved a Tenant Improvement project for Physical Therapist Sara Takii, which included the installation of an indoor controlled-current therapy pool, the offices of Real Estate mogul Dean Gay, the law offices of Clifford and Brown (then Clifford Jenkins and Brown), and numerous medical office and hospital projects at San Joaquin Hospital, under the oversight of Bob Easterday. It was here that he also met and remodeled the offices of Dr. Armi Walker and Dr. Cary Shakespeare, and Dr. Walker later (in 1995) hired Castle Builders to complete a large remodel/room addition, on her residence.

All of this commercial construction experience proved helpful, when, working for contractor Don Kinzel, he built (from the ground up) Loma Linda Mexican Restaurant of east Bakersfield, for owner Jose Marcial. And also for Don Kinzel Construction, he built a new medical office building for Dr. Bansal in Delano, California. And in 1998 when Randy Sultan, franchise owner of Aaron’s Sales and Lease opened a new furniture store in Lancaster, Calif., he supervised the T.I. remodel for Don Kinzel Construction.

He has also worked for numerous discerning Bakersfield professionals. And when, in December of 2006, Montecito Villa Townhomes LLC had serious problems early on in their project that threatened to derail their 26-unit renovation project in East Bakersfield, they turned to him and his talented crew to organize the project, correct the deficiencies, and get the whole project back on track.

He has written for Fine Homebuilding Magazine  (issue #57, pg. 71) and the Journal of Light Construction (March '08 issue). His construction tips have been published by Fine Homebuilding in their magazine, on their website, and in their By Pro's For Pro's book Building Tips and Techniques.

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