photography by CARRIE ALLEN
From building and remodeling homes in his home city of New Orleans to his family’s major move to the Lake Norman area in 2009, looking ahead with passion and enthusiasm has always been second nature for Darren Schmolke.
“Being able to play on Lake Norman while also making a living right here on the lake is something really special,” says Darren, owner and general contractor at Schmolke Construction.
After falling in love with the beauty and serenity of lake life, Darren has built Schmolke Construction from the ground up, and his thriving company has become the very best resource for lake dwellers who have one thing in common: Lake houses require docks!
For Darren, that means designing, building and installing new docks for homes during any season of the year. He is also the master and local go-to contact for dock repair, installation and repair of boat and PWC lifts, float replacement and any and all lift repairs.
While you’re getting to know why Schmolke Construction is the best in the business, be sure to visit them at the Mid-Atlantic Boat Show at the Charlotte Convention Center this coming February 8th through February 11th. When you stop by for information, you’ll have the exciting opportunity to register for the amazing grand prize of a FREE floating dock with a 20-foot slip! Visit ncboatshows.com for more details, and check the show program for their exact booth location.
You’ll also be able to chat with Darren about his impressive aluminum barge – which he had custom built in south Louisiana – and a 30-foot trailer, he recently added to his professional line-up of tools. He is ready to transport his business from lake to lake, delivering the impeccable service every client deserves – and continuing to build lifelong partnerships with those in the Lake Norman community.
NEVER ONE SIZE FITS ALL
If you’re at the point of designing an all-new dock from scratch, you’ll immediately sense Darren’s ability to comprehend your dream vision. Being a sincere listener to clients’ ideas seems to set the Schmolke team apart in the Lake Norman area. After all, no two clients – and no two docks – are the same!
“I listen to new and repeat clients intently and really want to get a sense of how they envision using their dock,” says Darren. “Next, we’ll have our opportunity to submit a preliminary drawing and design. We also have a good amount of flexibility which clients appreciate. Our docks can be small-scale, a spacious two-story version or somewhere in between – and we also work with floating and fixed docks of all shapes and sizes.”
At an initial, complimentary consultation with Darren, you’ll discuss specific boat dockage requirements, what your family’s recreational needs are now – and in the future – and topography and any environmental issues.
The timeframe to complete a standard 1,000-square-foot dock is typically two to six weeks, and offering such a variety of dock-related services keeps Schmolke Construction busy year-round which has created a dream scenario for Darren. Passionate and super creative when it comes to engineering and design, he describes himself as a problem-solver, which is a definite bonus for clients.
“Even though every new project has its unique challenges, I am committed to staying on task and on budget,” he adds. Those are also words clients love to hear!
With more than 20 years of experience, Darren’s team also offers the most efficient and accurate pile driving barge on Lake Norman.
“We provide pile driving services and the overall construction of fixed and floating docks of all types,” he explains. “What might take some installers a full day to do, we can accomplish in only a few hours. Clients love that we are able to save them time and money.”
With a constantly growing clientele made up largely of returning customers and referrals from friends and neighbors, Schmolke Construction boasts a repertoire of a wide variety of projects, including construction of the 20,000-square-foot indoor riding arena at Lakeside Farms and Stables, the Hildebrand Library, luxury town homes in Charlotte and many custom homes both on and off Lake Norman.
If you’re also located in Charlotte, Concord, Cornelius, Davidson, Denver, Huntersville, Mooresville, Statesville or Troutman, or have a home on Lake Wylie, High Rock Lake or Mountain Island Lake, Schmolke Construction should be your first phone call for the most comprehensive packages which include dock design, permit acquisition and follow up service for that most important piece of your lakeside home.
When it’s finally time for a brand-new dock for your lake home – or if a few repairs for your current much-loved dock are in your family’s future, reach Darren and Schmolke Construction at 504.388.1994 or 704.450.5223. Learn more about their services at schmolkeconstruction.com or by following them on Instagram @schmolkeconstruction where you’ll be inspired by images of all their latest lakeside dock projects!
Enter to win a FREE DOCK when you visit Schmolke Construction at the Mid-Atlantic Boat Show at the Charlotte Convention Center, February 8-11, 2024. Check show program for their exact booth location!