The best way to learn is often by watching and doing. Such was the case for Bryan Cook, whose stepdad was a custom home builder in Bloomington for 25-plus years. Cook learned the trade by working with his stepdad every summer all through high school.
“I got the bug,” says Cook. “I liked working with my hands.”
When he moved to Bargersville in 2003, he did commercial construction for a company in Carmel, and worked on a wide variety of projects in downtown Indianapolis. He liked the unique and various scopes of projects because he was never bored.
“Working construction, you’re never in the same place for long,” he says. “Things are always changing. I’m a go-go-go type of guy who doesn’t often sit still.” Next, Cook moved into the building-materials world where he dealt with drywall, insulation and acoustical ceilings.
“For seven years I was on the operations side of things, as far as orders, sales, scheduling and inventory,” says Cook. Following that, he worked for a commercial coatings company for nearly a decade.
“The painting industry was my longest tenure,” he says. “I’ve managed projects for Cracker Barrel, Kohl’s, Walmart, Sam’s Club and numerous multi-family complexes. All of this experience made me a skilled project manager.”
Cook started his own construction company, 21Co Construction Services, in December 2021, offering services that range from minor upgrades, such as new flooring or cabinet painting, to large-scale projects such as complete remodeling or insurance-claim restorations. He and his team can tackle small, one-day jobs as well as complete overhauls.
Thanks to his wide range of experience, Cook has made many connections. One day, a friend of the family reached out with the need for a contractor who could gut and remodel their 1,800-square-foot farmhouse. Cook was hired because of his expertise in remodeling, painting, basements, and roofing. He changed the look of the house by moving walls, installing support beams, all-new custom cabinets, granite, and quartz.
“I started this company off of one referral, and most of the work I’ve done since starting the company has been referral based,” says Cook. “There’s a rapport and a trust that I’ve built with my clients.”
Cook’s quality workmanship and reliability are highly appreciated by his clients. Community managers frequently tell him that they don’t want to bother getting other bids because they know and trust his work. Since he has been working with some subcontractors since 2010, Cook has been able to maintain consistent quality.
“I’ve been working with some of the same crews since 2010, but am always looking to bring on additional experienced contractors,” he says.
A lot of homeowners are opting to remodel right now since interest rates are higher. Cook suspects that trend will continue with people staying put, working with what they have, and expanding and updating.
“They don’t want to recreate the wheel, but fine-tune it,” says Cook. “It’s always fun when your client has an idea about something they want, but doesn’t quite know how to make it come to fruition.”
21Co Construction Services tagline, “Making Your Dream A Reality,” is a reflection of his passion for bringing clients’ ideas to life. He encourages his clients to share ideas, whether it’s a board on Pinterest or pictures from magazines, so he can replicate what they like (e.g. trendy vs. traditional; edgy vs. elegant). He then presents three different sample styles and gathers their feedback. He also asks questions to determine what’s going to help them in the future as far as cleanability, durability and longevity. For instance, do the clients have kids or pets? Do they entertain frequently? Those answers help him provide the best design choice.
“I love taking tidbits of things clients tell me, and then asking certain questions that will allow me to bring selections or ideas to them to complete that bridge,” says Cook. “I like when they give me a start with an end goal in mind, but don’t know how to get there.”
That’s where Cook comes in and works his magic. For instance, he once did a basement for clients who gave no further direction than, “We want industrial chic.” Cook installed spiral duct work, painted the exposed ceilings black, and polished the concrete floors. It turned out beautifully.
Cook knows from personal experience how exhausting and stressful the selection process is when building or remodeling a house, as you have to consider everything from paint colors to towel bars to light fixtures.
“I try to alleviate that stress by narrowing down the selections,” says Cook.
For example, if a client says they like white, Cook already has three colors in mind (e.g. bright white, warm white or cool white.
Cook’s top priority is providing quality workmanship and excellent customer service to his clients. The best part of a remodel for him is the big reveal.
I love showing the homeowners the final product and wowing them,” he says. “That’s what I’m here for.”
Cook, his wife, Kristin, and their three children, Eli, 17, Jonah, 14, and Harper, 9, have been residents of the Center Grove community for 18 years and are very much involved in the community and the Center Grove School system.
For more information about 21co Construction Services, visit 21co.works, or find them on Instagram or Facebook. You may also contact Cook at 317-448-6031 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.