The Complete History of Kopke Remodeling & Design

By: Kayla Kopke

My father, David Kopke grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and home service specialists. My great-grandfather Michael Kopke started his own Furnace Repair company, and my grandfather Robert Kopke owned and operated Kopke Heating & Cooling on Grosse Ile. Instead of handing the Heating & Cooling business to one of his 4 sons, Robert decided to sell it and encourage his sons to go to college to pursue more “suit and tie” type jobs.

So Dave went to college at Central Michigan University to study Business. He left college not only with a wealth of knowledge, but also a wife named Laura. Dave immediately applied to many companies, and took an opportunity as apparel manager at Kmart in Bowling Green, KY. After a few years at Kmart, Dave quit to accept a similar position with Eddie Bauer in Novi, MI. They then purchased their first home, in Livonia, and had their first child, me.

One year later, my parents bought their second home in Sterling Heights. We resided there for the next 21 years, soon welcoming my sister Danielle. Their move to the Eastside was prompted by a new job opportunity, one with more earning potential to offset the costs of raising a family. A few months earlier, Dave had turned to the newspaper and saw an advertisement for a sales position at a large home improvement company in St. Clair Shores, MI.

On the day of the interview, he was met with inclement weather and showed up wet, young, eager, and naive. When the interviewer asked Dave how much money he would like to make, he answered with a conservative “$27,000”. The ad had said “Great opportunity for a 35 year old to make $35,000”, and Dave was only 27 years old. “My dad always told me if I made my age, I’d be doing well. My goal is to make $50,000 by the time I’m 50 years old”, said Dave to the interviewer. This sentiment was met with a “get out of here”, and consequently Dave left. As instructed in business school, Dave went home and wrote the company a “thank you for the opportunity” letter and sent it off in the mail. They were so impressed by the letter that they asked him to come back for another interview. “Would you send thank you letters to every potential client while you are working here? Then you’re hired.”

For the next 5 years, Dave worked long hours and became a top salesperson. He found out he had a knack for home improvement sales; he had a lot of industry knowledge and his customers loved him. In 1992, though, the company abruptly went out of business, leaving dozens of projects unfinished. Dave took it on himself to make sure these existing projects were all followed through to completion by hiring subcontractors and scheduling them himself. As fate would have it, in January of 1993, Kopke Home Enhancement, Inc. was born.

Our first office was located on Jefferson Ave. in St. Clair Shores, but from 1996 to 2013 we called Harper Ave. at 12 Mile Rd. our home. During these 20 years, we experienced year-after-year growth, mainly due to past customers and referrals.

“David Kopke really cares about his image and his reputation. He works very hard at trying to please his customers and I, for one, feel very comfortable going directly to him with any questions.” -Margie D., St. Clair Shores, MI

We moved to Sterling Heights in 2013, as we finally outgrew our previous office/showroom and sought to expand our radius of travel. In 2014, Alan Seeley joined the Kopke Team, soon becoming Vice President. When Dave retired in 2019, Alan was the obvious choice for his successor.

Alan first started in remodeling as a teen, helping his Uncle Mike with his construction business, where he was able to learn the foundations of the craft. He later took various jobs as a tradesman in construction and as a sales representative for various companies in the Metro Detroit area. During this time, he witnessed a lot of deceit towards customers and fellow workers, including cutting corners and mismanagement. The main things that these companies had in common were lots of short-cuts and a “caulk fixes everything” mentality. He learned more of “what not to do” than he learned what was right to do.

He immersed himself into each company he worked for by personally meeting with customers, figuring many estimates, managing some of the projects, and even answering phone calls. Learning from these companies’ mistakes, he felt compelled to teach his approach toward customer satisfaction and employee gratification to others.

Alan opened a consulting company in 2010, where he brought training to contractors and their employees. Many organizations he consulted with wished to hire him full-time, but Alan’s passion for helping and developing kept him from accepting any offers. Until, that is, he found out from his wife that they were about to have their second child. She expressed to Alan that she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom for both of their daughters. There was opportunity everywhere for Alan to obtain a full time position, but two things brought him to Kopke. First, he found that this company’s owner, Dave Kopke, was 100% dedicated to customer satisfaction and had the willingness to grow. Fate led to the second reason why Alan chose Kopke: his youngest daughter was born on the same day as Dave.

We have been very happy working with Kopke. Alan and his team really go the extra mile to make things easy to understand and they were not bothered by changes we asked for. Great job Kopke team!” -Cheyenne H., Warren, MI

As for me (Kayla), I have worked here every summer since I could type (I remember the days of rolodex cards and typewriters!), and after graduating from the College for Creative Studies with a degree in Photography in 2011, I was hired on full-time as Marketing Manager. In 2016, our long time bookkeeper retired, so I transitioned to that position, where I stayed until March 2020 when I was put on bedrest due to my high-risk twin pregnancy. When my boys were born, it was the very beginning of COVID. Alan’s sister Jennifer took over the books, and I stayed home for almost 3 years raising the twins. In January 2023 I came back part time in marketing, and as of September 2023 I am full time marketing as well as Alan’s assistant.

Through all these years and the changes we have made, we have never forgotten the reasons for our success: thank you cards, high quality workmanship, complete customer satisfaction and referrals.

Kayla Kopke