Photography by Clay Hayner

The Model Contractor

Chad Rohde is no stranger to the fashion runway.

Not every contractor can boast having mad runway skills. But Chad Rohde has no problem combining commercial print work as a model with building commercial and residential spaces with his dad and fellow contractor, Travis. 

The father-son duo began working together about 12 years ago—although Chad says he’s been around the business his whole life. His dad has been building homes and creating custom cabinetry and millwork in Dallas for almost 37 years. When Travis decided to start his own company, Chad didn’t hesitate to join the team, and Rohde Construction and Millwork was born. 

“At the time, I was modeling with Kim Dawson,” Chad says. “My schedule allowed me to do both.” While Chad still models, the thriving business makes leaving for a gig a little less convenient. In addition to doing all manner of new construction and remodel projects, the Rohdes also design and make furniture. “We do everything from traditional to super contemporary to rustic,” Chad says. “We’ve even done two restaurants—in Miami and Tennessee—and a bakery in Fort Worth.” And although they say they share a similar aesthetic, Dad lives in a redone 1957 ranch while Chad is on the lookout for the perfect Craftsman. 

‘I love the creative aspect of my job. I can visualize the finished product before we even start something.’

Chad Rohde
However, both agree that the relationships and creativity the work affords are unmatched. “Being trusted to build something is amazing. Most of our stuff is very personal for us. We’re smaller, so we get to know the clients very well. There are no in-and-out kinds of jobs for us,” Chad says. Agrees Travis: “The best part of my job is when a client trusts me. I love when they tell me to go for it.” 

Photography by Terri Glanger Raven

Travis says he has but one pet peeve. “People are unrealistic about time frames because of all the television shows. To build something of quality still takes time. We do move quickly on stuff, but I tell people that I’m not going to hurry something along only to build something bad,” he says.