When Joe Tucker talks about his business, he often says “we,” even though Tucker Associates is a one-person firm.
The “we” includes the subcontractors and strategic partners Tucker relies on to build things.
“We specialize in custom-built homes and do some commercial construction,” says Tucker, a general contractor since 1974. His projects range from high-end oceanfront homes to the 80,000-square foot facility he built for QA Technology in Hampton.
What Tucker builds most solidly, however, are relationships, many of which have lasted more than 20 years. “I use the same subcontractors on all my jobs,” says Tucker. “When I take on a project for someone, what I bring to the table is a team of highly skilled, professional, conscientious people.”
One of Tucker’s longest partnerships is with Nickerson-Remick; he has used and recommended their spray foam insulation since 1984.
“I’ve used them for quite a long time and have always been happy with the results,” says Tucker. “They’re very consumer oriented, the consumer being me, and they bend over backwards to accommodate me on projects.”
Tucker’s most recent project was a 6,000 square foot home on the ocean in Hampton. “We urethane-foamed all the walls and the roof system,” says Tucker. “I will not build any house on the ocean unless I can foam insulate it.”
This insistence on foam is to ensure a house has an airtight seal, which is crucial during storms, as there’s a pressure differential between the air in the house and the air outside. “It’s almost as if the inside of the house is drawing air in,” says Tucker. “If the air gets in, it brings the water with it.”
Foam fills around any holes drilled for wires or pipes and in seams that occur between framing and sheathing. The spray foam seal is so tight, Tucker says, they sometimes have to provide an air-to-air exchanger to moderate the pressure differential between inside and outside air.
“It’s an easy sell to me because we do high-end custom homes; price is rarely an issue for my clients,” Tucker says. “When I explain the benefits, it’s an easy sell to them as well.”
Foam’s top benefit, Tucker says, is the aesthetic appeal it affords the home by making temperatures easier to regulate throughout the house, which is vital for preventing condensation on the underside of the roof. “By insulating the rafters and roof system—game over,” says Tucker. “You have no issues because you don’t have any place where condensation can occur.”
Tucker also likes how foam keeps a finished basement dry, free of mold and dankness. “We stud up the perimeter wall and hold the framing about an inch away from the concrete foundation,” says Tucker. “We spray in between, which encapsulates the perimeter in a membrane of foam that does not let any moisture through.”
Spray foam, Tucker says, makes basement rooms feel like those on the first floor.
“I have a lot of respect for Jim Remick and his son. They always treat me fairly; they’re always responsive. No job goes picture-perfect, but if there’s ever been any problem on a job, there’s never any issue—they come back and fix the problem,” Tucker says.
Home insulated with foam are easier to build, Tucker says. Foam comes out of a gun in liquid form and it sets up quickly and after it hardens, it acts like an additive that helps stiffen up the structure against wind load and helps prevent joints from opening up.
Top to bottom, spray foam adds value to a house just as the right partner adds value to a business. Tucker and his clients get that type of value from Nickerson-Remick, from quality of product, to the efficiency of its installation process.
“Between their company and mine, we’ve done a good job of providing adequate lead time,” says Tucker. “But if my schedule changes, they’re very adaptable.”
So is Tucker, who, over the years, has custom-built cape, colonial, Tudor, and Victorian homes. The one constant is his commitment to Nickerson-Remick.