A Plumbing Business That Runs in the Family
With Father’s Day a week away, Frank Duarte is especially mindful of the role his father played in shaping his career.
And, with his son Aaron now by his side, Duarte is perpetuating the family business as he teaches the ins and outs of assisting families with their building and remodeling needs.
“Working in my dad’s plumbing business wasn’t easy,” said Frank, who started learning the plumbing trade in 1961 and was certified as a master plumber in 1968. “He was a hard worker who only went to the eighth grade because, being the oldest boy, he needed to work to help support the family. I owe everything to my dad. Now it’s my turn to train my son, Aaron, who I’m very happy to say has taken a huge step in becoming the third generation of plumbers in the Duarte family.”
As the owner of D’s Plumbing and Ohana Home Additions and Remodeling, Frank has honed his craft as an integral cog in the family business. After learning the ropes with his father at the helm, Duarte — the oldest of three boys in his family — started D’s Plumbing more than 31 years ago, and is still going strong today as a general contractor. Meanwhile, Aaron is continuing to learn from his father, something he’s done ever since tagging along with Dad as a kid.
“Ever since I was young, I worked with him. I kind of grew up with it,” says Aaron, a member of the D’s Plumbing team for the past 11 years. “Of course, he wants me to take over the business one day. I take pride in what we do. We’re a small business, and he expects a lot of me, so we do everything we can to please him and the customers.”
Customer satisfaction is the top priority at D’s Plumbing. The 73-year-old Frank recounts stories of contractors who fail to deliver, whether it be botching a job because of lack of experience or certification, or simply taking payment and not living up to the contract. Duarte and his knowledgeable staff will work with customers to improve their homes while also accommodating various budgetary constraints.
“The old saying is still true to this day, as my dad used to say, ‘You get what you pay for,’” Frank said. “As a small company, we offer personal service like no other. Our commitment to our customers is as good as gold.”
D’s Plumbing is well-versed at replacing aged materials with modern alternatives, including swapping out old, dark wood to enhance lighting and replacing galvanized piping with copper. Other techniques, including modernizing bathrooms by expanding shower areas to accommodate the disabled, or adding housings in a kitchen to free up more space by getting a microwave off the counter, are just a few in D’s arsenal.
“It’s all about the details,” Frank said. “In today’s times, you have to meet the customers’ budget, and present something to them where they won’t have to struggle down the road.”
Frank recounts a recent job during which a woman was looking to expand a shower in order to accommodate her elderly father. D’s worked with the customer and decided on a design that involved converting part of an adjacent closet into space that could then be used to extend the shower. Stability bars and an easily accessible entryway to the shower also were incorporated — and all this was done within the allotted budget.
Aaron added that customers also have requested bathroom upgrades that improve functionality without breaking the bank. For instance, homeowners have developed an affinity for “goose neck” faucets, which allow users more room at the sink to wash their hands without being constrained by standard counter-level fixtures.
“D’s Plumbing offers you high quality workmanship at affordable prices,” Frank said. “With countless hours dedicated to achieving perfection, we can offer you many different options to handle your needs. Be it a bath, kitchen or new addition, we’re always willing to assist you.”
D’s Plumbing also offers a great deal for seniors ages 60 and older. Customers with that distinction will receive 10 percent off the cost of their project — whether it’s plumbing or another construction job that the general contractor is well-versed at addressing.
“Heck, I know how it is in times like today,” Frank said. “We need everything we can get, and being a senior myself, a discount is always welcomed.”
For more information, visit www.AffordablePlumbingHawaii.com or call 230-8308 or 734-2032.
230-8308 • 734-2032 • www.AffordablePlumbingHawaii.com