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What started as a small operation in 2003, Castleman Carpentry in Berryville, Va., is now a mid-sized company offering custom residential cabinetry and general contracting services. Featuring seven employees (six full-time and one part-time), it’s still family-run by owners Richard (Rich) and Jodie Bonnett, who pride themselves on doing everything in-house, from design through installation. The turnkey aspect has drawn a wealth of clients in recent years.

“The last five years have been huge. We probably hovered around $1 to $1.2 million (gross) before 2020. This year we will probably be around $3 million,” says Rich Bonnett.

“A big selling feature for us is the one-stop shop. You can talk to me and if I promise you something, you’re going to get it. You don’t have to tell the next guy down the road the same thing. The buck stops here. There are no fingers to point anywhere else.”

Rich and Jodie Bonnett

Rich and Jodie Bonnett

Adding to their success is serving an essentially economy proof region saturated with government employees, tech specialists and retirees. These individuals relish visits to their shop, a 6,000-sq.-ft. red gambrel barn, and the fact that their products withstand the test of time.

How it started

Rich began working in general contracting as a teenager on Long Island (N.Y.) where he grew up, doing small home improvements and building decks, until his older brother took him under his wing.

“My older brother is a commercial contractor on Long Island and I worked for him for a number of years, and he helped me. I wasn’t a college guy. It wasn’t for me, but he made me go at night for architectural engineering and construction management,” he says.

Rich Bonnett (right) reviews a set of plans with Mike Riccio.

Rich Bonnett (right) reviews a set of plans with Mike Riccio.

He moved to Virginia in 1995 after getting married. Jodie, a graduate of the University of Michigan, had moved there to be with her parents who were in the military and stationed at the Pentagon. She worked in system engineering while Rich worked for another commercial contractor. They started a family, then started a business in 2003.

Rich began with small jobs working out of his pickup truck. Jodie was a part-time finisher before joining the effort full time. The company name was picked as a matter of convenience as they reside on Castleman Road, where their shop is also located.

Ramping up

As jobs increased, the couple started outsourcing cabinets and components from commercial suppliers. That only lasted for so long.

Danny Braithwaite at the sanding station.

Danny Braithwaite at the sanding station.

“We were always disappointed when we looked at the lead times and the costs, damaged pieces that were delivered we couldn’t work with. Rich always had good carpentry skills and started thinking about just building from scratch,” says Jodie.

Increasing production also meant upgrading the existing barn they were working out of.

“We wanted a traditional looking gambrel barn, so we built this 26’ x 32’ building with two stories. We found we didn’t have enough room, we were literally doing the woodwork during the day, then putting plastic up in the shop, cleaning up and spraying at night, and doing it all over again. That’s all we had for space, so we expanded the building with a finishing room,” says Rich.

Traditional cabinetry in Jack Pine Green with brass fixtures and quartzite countertops.

Traditional cabinetry in Jack Pine Green with brass fixtures and quartzite countertops.

As the years went by, and more equipment was purchased, the Bonnetts continued expanding the shop through last year when they added a room solely for their Shop Sabre IS408 CNC machine, purchased at the AWFS Fair in 2017.

The building accommodates and array of projects in the company’s two service categories. The general contracting end, with its team of subcontractors of various trades, mainly does whole home renovations but occasionally builds a custom home. The cabinetry end mostly engages in whole home remodeling projects including kitchens, bars, entertainment centers, office buildouts, custom doors, millwork, wainscoting and more.

A concentrated service area

Castleman serves homeowners within a 40-mile radius and keeps all jobs within Virginia. Much work is done in the rapidly expanding Winchester area, as well as the retirement community of Lake Frederick in Frederick County, and in nearby equestrian areas. Most jobs are via word of mouth, although the company does dabble in social media to keep their name out there.

A master bath with plenty of storage.

A master bath with plenty of storage.

“We’re very fortunate there’s a 55-plus community with $800,000 and up homes. We do a tremendous amount of work there – home theaters, office suites, entertainment centers, and even display cases for some who are retired with a lifelong supply of memorabilia,” says Rich.

“What’s neat about that community is we’re never their first rodeo. Many of them have lived in multiple homes and done some renovating before so they come to us because they don’t just want the usual experience. They want to make sure they get a 100 percent custom job. They want the quality and the uniqueness,” Jodie adds.

Recently, the Bonnetts stopped traveling east of the Washington D.C. suburbs because of the unrelenting traffic. Fortunately, their clients had the same idea.

“We see so many folks leaving the suburbs or leaving the city to come here, and these folks have sold homes in those communities that they probably had a ton of equity in and they’re able to come here and buy something. So, just in this area, we’re very blessed,” says Jodie.

Customers prefer traditional face-frame cabinetry, which suits the shop.

“We have an older clientele, and we like that client because they understand and know what they want and are willing to pay for it. We do have younger clients that don’t have the means, so they have to make concessions to what they want,” says Jodie. “They can’t afford a whole house package and focus on one space then another a year later.”

Slammed with work

The Bonnetts say lead time is something they want to address as the operation’s cabinetry volume is catching up with that of the general contracting.

“Right now, the backlog is the big problem. We have people waiting four to six months for an estimate, but we can’t get a project done for another six to eight months after that, so people are waiting a whole year,” says Jodie.

They are seeking more help and hope that their expanded, automated shop and procedures will be attractive to job seekers and keep them on track to focus more on the cabinetry sector.

“I don’t think I could only do strictly cabinetry,” says Rich. “We’re hoping to more work with custom builders, and we’re excited about that. But we’re hoping to flip the percentages and do more cabinetry and less general contracting. We’re hoping to shrink the GC business and that’s one of the reasons we invested in the shop so much.”

What’s in the shop

EZ Door Machine
Shop Sabre CNC
Maksiwa Titanium edge bander
Wurth pocket hole machine
RT Industries paint booth
Stanza Machinery Alpha brush sander
Timesavers 37” single head wide belt sander
Cantek dovetail machine
Kaeser Air Tower compressor/air dryer
Kreg face frame table
Hoffmann key dovetailer
Conquest hinge borer/inserter
Grizzly 19” band saw
Shop Fox 12” table saw
Grizzly 3-hp spindle shaper
Laguna 5-hp cyclone dust collector
Oneida 5-hp cyclone dust collector
Grizzly 3-hp edge sander
SawStop Fence System
Mozaik for shop drawings and CNC integration

For more, visit

This article was originally published in the October 2022 issue.

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