Friday, April 16th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


Chesapeake couple enjoys providing their neighbors with high-quality custom homes

by Candance Moore

Mark Harris, owner of Tucker Homes, LLC and Tallen Concrete, LLC, with his wife, Amy.<BR> Photo by Melissa Dawn Photography

Mark Harris, owner of Tucker Homes, LLC and Tallen Concrete, LLC, with his wife, Amy.
Photo by Melissa Dawn Photography

For the past fifteen years, Mark and Amy Harris have been building custom homes for their friends and neighbors. Their family-owned business, Tucker Homes, is now recognized as one of Hampton Road's  high-quality home builders.

They meet with families on an individual basis to create unique living solutions, whether it's a sprawling two-story home with a custom floor plan, a craftsman ranch with intricate, decorative details, or an in-law suite addition that blends seamlessly with a home's original design. Need a pool house that will perfectly compliment  an existing home and a new garage that looks like it came with the house? Tucker Homes can make it happen.

The concrete division, Tallen Concrete Construction, handles foundation and footing work, as well as driveways, concrete patios, and other residential  concrete projects. Since Mark is an experienced tradesman in this field, he brings a high level of professionalism to every job. He builds sunrooms, home additions and other remodeling projects. If there's a way for him to help a client, he'll make it happen.

This level of quality has been decades in the making, all within Hampton Roads and the Currituck region of North Carolina. A strong network of suppliers and contractors, combined with intimate knowledge of city requirements, have given Tucker Homes an advantage over outside builders.

"We have seven cities in this area, and each one has its own set of codes," Mark explains. "To build an in-law suite in Virginia Beach, for example, will be slightly different from building one in Chesapeake. These little details may be a surprise to newcomers, but they don't surprise us. We've learned how to navigate the system."

And for this couple who live in the Hickory section of Chesapeake, their client base is full of familiar faces. "We're working behind the scenes with people we see at church on Sunday morning, people whose children Mark coached on baseball and football fields," Amy says. "We follow the rules, we treat people well, and we get our work done in a timely manner. That's part of the value we bring to our clients."

This value is especially important after construction is completed. Should a question arise, homeowners call Mark directly instead of dealing with a call center. Since his contractor team is made of trusted local professionals, follow-up visits are often a matter of simply driving across town.

A shared passion for artisan-quality construction is the foundation of the network that Mark has developed with other local professionals over the course of his career. He started at the bottom of residential construction fresh out of high school. As he worked his way up to being a tradesman, he learned the right way to do things, from digging footings to sourcing good materials. He chose to associate with others who also took pride in their work. When he took the leap of becoming a Class A contractor and builder in 2004, he surrounded himself with contractors whom he'd grown to admire.

"We have seven cities in this area,
and each one has its own set of codes...
These little details
may be a surprise to newcomers,
but they don't surprise us.
We've learned how
to navigate the system."

- Mark Harris

The construction business was booming in those days, alluring an influx of new upstarts. Mark and Amy quietly went about their business, building one quality custom home at a time. The collapse of 2008 did much to separate the wheat from the chaff - and the Harrises survived with a steady, conservative approach to business.

Times are better, but Amy and Mark haven't let this change their low-overhead model. They still hold business meetings around their kitchen table in the same home where they started. The business has access to financial backing when needed, but there are no corporate investors. Seated comfortably in jeans that convey a no-nonsense work ethic, they describe an amazing business success story achieved within the walls of their family's home.

One of the custom homes built by Tucker Homes in Chesapeake.

One of the custom homes built by Tucker Homes in Chesapeake.

At first, they were content to build homes in and around Hickory. As land became less available and development concerns sparked debate, Amy and Mark devoted themselves to building responsibly. They now work with environmental experts, engineers and developers to provide housing solutions within proper guidelines. Their intimate knowledge of Chesapeake's landscape uniquely positions them to handle delicate cases.

When the business branched out into Virginia Beach and surrounding areas, they applied themselves to thoroughly understanding each market. Amy became a Realtor® to better manage the sale of Mark's creations in diverse environments. Not only do the Harrises build quality construction from the ground up, but Amy can also offer guidance on real estate issues, property development, and potential resale opportunities.

"We've actually turned down a chance for a profit when we knew it would be a bad investment for the client," Mark says. "Knowing what we know about wetland regulations, market trends, all of these things, we have a good sense of what will ultimately waste money. We would rather lose a short-term deal for the sake of helping a client find long-term success."

As growth stemming from Chesapeake began to spill across the state line in recent years, Tucker Homes became certified in North Carolina. Whether a client comes with land already owned or is in need of assistance to find a location, Amy and Mark have the resources and flexibility to help. They can often be found walking a patch of woods with clients, offering insights about the best place to build. Once a property is approved, clients can peruse a portfolio of popular floor plans, develop an original concept, or bring their own vision. Materials and accents are sourced from a seemingly endless supply so that truly unique designs come together.

"We enjoy helping our neighbors have a home that's truly comfortable," Amy says with a smile. "It's why we started building custom homes in the first place, and it's why we're going strong after fourteen years."

Tucker Homes/Tallen Concrete Construction, LLC