OUR MISSION is to build long-term relationships with clients who expect the highest level of quality and service, and to exceed their expectations at every turn. We strive to put the highest level of care and detail into every home, knowing that it is the details that will bring our client a space that they enjoy.
Long before the inception of Mark Franko Custom Building, Mark got his start in construction as a plumber’s assistant after graduating from Benedictine College Prep here in Richmond. While earning his BS in biology from William and Mary, he continued to make money working summers on masonry, roofing, and framing crews. While in graduate school Mark developed a business with a specific focus on hand digging footings for small residential additions, where his work ethic earned him the nickname “the gopher.” After deciding to pursue his master’s degree at VCU, Mark started doing handyman work in his spare time. By the time he finished his degree he had a small crew of his own that specialized in masonry and concrete work, and Franko construction was formed in 1988. Living out the cliché of a college grad still in his parents’ basement allowed Mark to plow all his earnings back into his business while his parents kept him fed and gave him a roof over his head.
It was around this time that Mark ran into high-school school mate Louis LaFratta. The two were doing similar work and working on each others project together so they decided to partner up, forming Franko LaFratta Construction in 1990. The two often worked 60- to 80-hour weeks as their company started taking on bigger and bigger jobs. Their growth necessitated bringing in someone with carpentry experience, and cabinetmaker Rick Farinholt joined about a year later as a partner in what was then Franko, LaFratta, & Farinholt.
At the time, the company was mostly focused on construction work, but clients often called asking for FLF to come back and do small repairs around their houses. The resulting list of projects sparked the creation of a service division, FLF Services, that was quickly booked with requests from homeowners
Mark, Rick, and Louis oversaw tremendous growth throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the company was up to 85 employees by the time the housing bubble burst in 2008. An avid boater and boatbuilder, Rick had left a few years prior to manage a marina with his brothers. The financial crisis forced massive cuts to the business, but the firm was able to scrape by after harsh cuts and restructuring. After a few years as Franko LaFratta Construction, Louis would leave in 2012 to move his family to Hawaii so that they could live close to his wife’s family.
With his wealth of on-the-ground and managerial experience, Mark took over as sole proprietor of what is now Mark Franko Custom Building. The company has continued its tradition of beautiful custom builds and renovations, and FLF Services has been revitalized as the Home Maintenance Program. MFCB is honored to hold its position as a top choice for Richmond’s high-end homeowners.
Project Lead Construction
Project Lead Construction