This is your ultimate resource for home renovations, real estate investments, DIY projects, and more. As the President of Char-Ron Contracting Inc., I am passionate about helping homeowners like you create beautiful, functional living spaces and achieve your renovation dreams.

In each of our expertly crafted blog articles, Hammer and Nail delves into a variety of topics, from practical how-to guides and contractor selection tips to smart real estate investments. Our goal is to provide comprehensive, down-to-earth insights and guidance from an experienced contractor's perspective while also fostering personal growth and empowerment.

As we embark on this journey, we'll share stories, anecdotes, and valuable lessons learned from years in the industry, inspiring you to take on new challenges and achieve your goals.

Hammer and Nail is more than just an expert blog for homeowners; it's a platform for learning, sharing, and motivating each other to become the best versions of ourselves. With over 50 engaging blog articles that blend practical tips, personal stories, and motivational messages, our blog serves as both an outstanding source of information and a hub for growth and inspiration.

Together, we'll empower you with the knowledge and confidence to create your dream home and transform your life. Welcome to Hammer and Nail: Building & Renovation Tales with Charlie LaRue.

  • Home Renovation Planning: Learn how to budget and choose the right materials and contractors for a successful project.

  • Real Estate Investment: Navigate the lucrative yet risky world of real estate with expert guidance.

  • Contractor Selection: Find reliable and experienced contractors to ensure a satisfactory renovation experience.

  • DIY Tips and Tricks: Master the art of DIY while recognizing when professional help is needed.

  • Step-by-Step Guides: Follow clear, concise instructions for tackling specific home improvement tasks.

  • Empowerment and Motivation: Be inspired by personal stories and insights from Charlie LaRue and other industry experts.

flag blowing in wind at Char-Ron construction site. Char-ron sign in the foreground.

Monday Motivation - From Firefighter to Founder: Embrace the Call to Rebuild

July 09, 20237 min read

“In the face of devastation, amidst the debris left by Hurricane Sandy, a path emerged, one that was both new and strangely familiar. As I helped my community recover, I realized my real passion wasn't just to fight fires, but to rebuild from the ashes."

- Charlie LaRue - Entrepreneur, Investor


👊Hi there, it's Charlie LaRue. You may know me as a local contractor in Highlands, NJ, but my story begins in a different uniform - a firefighter's gear. My journey from fighting fires to building dreams is a testament to the power of resilience and determination. As I swapped my fireman's helmet for a hard hat, I found a whole new way to serve my beloved community of Highlands, NJ, in a role I never anticipated.

Co-founding Char-Ron Contracting with my firefighting partner, Ron, was an exciting new chapter in my life. We started as a small local outfit and grew to become one of the most trusted names among the builders in Highlands, NJ. But, you may ask, how did this shift from public service to entrepreneurship happen?

Well, it was the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that reshaped my path. The storm had wreaked havoc in our beautiful town of Highlands, NJ, leaving many of our neighbors in dire need of repair and rebuilding. It was then that I felt a deep calling to restore and rebuild, to step up and serve my community in a new, essential way.

Today, as a local contractor in Highlands, NJ, I've seen Char-Ron Contracting grow from humble beginnings to a well-respected construction firm. Our commitment to our community, our dedication to delivering high-quality work, and our relentless pursuit of excellence have earned us this reputation.

But my journey is more than just a tale of career transition or local business growth. It's about discovering passion, having the courage to leap into the unknown, and the grit to stay the course when the going gets tough. As we delve deeper into my story, the lessons I've learned, and the impact we've had on Highlands, NJ, I hope you'll find inspiration and motivation.

With that said, this Monday, get ready to be inspired and dare to take that next step on your journey!

The Turning Point - Hurricane Sandy

It all started in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. As a firefighter, I had faced many challenging situations, but nothing could prepare me for the devastating sight of my beloved Highlands, NJ, shattered by the storm. Amidst the chaos, I saw something beyond the wreckage - a vision of restored homes and healed communities. This profound realization drove me to step into the role of hurricane damage repair in Highlands, NJ. It was a significant shift, but it was a mission that resonated deep within me.

The Journey of Char-Ron Contracting

Setting up Char-Ron Contracting was a step into the unknown. But driven by a desire to restore our community, Ron and I rolled up our sleeves, ready for the challenges that lay ahead. As we plunged into home renovation in Highlands, NJ, we learned the ins and outs of running a construction business - from paperwork and permits to dealing with suppliers and managing a team.

We quickly made a name for ourselves, not just as contractors doing home repair in Highlands, NJ, but as community members committed to helping our town rise from the ashes. Our goal wasn't just to rebuild houses; we wanted to restore homes, rekindle hope, and renew our community's spirit.

Charlie and Bill standing in front of a sign that has all of Char-Ron's information on it

The Impact on Highlands Community

Fast forward to today, and you'll see the tangible impact Char-Ron Contracting has made on the Highlands landscape. We have brought countless homes back to life, given new form to old structures, and even engaged in new home construction in Highlands, NJ. Each project we undertake is more than just a job to us; it's a testament to our dedication and a reflection of our commitment to our community.

From storm-battered houses to dilapidated structures, we have transformed them into dream homes for our clients. And in doing so, we’ve not only changed the physical landscape of Highlands, NJ, but also the lives of its residents.

Monday Motivation - My Lessons and Motivations

As I look back on my journey from firefighting to founding Char-Ron Contracting, I can't help but reflect on the lessons learned along the way. The biggest one? You have to follow your heart, even if it leads you down an unexpected path. Sometimes, it's the road less traveled that leads you to your destination.

This Monday, I want to share this nugget of wisdom with you all. No matter where you are in your journey, know that it's never too late to change course, follow your passion, or dare to dream. So, here's to taking that leap of faith, embracing the challenges, and diving headfirst into the pursuit of your dreams. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so let's get stepping!

Stay motivated, and never stop believing in the power of you!


In all of this, my love for Highlands, NJ, has only grown stronger. From my time as a firefighter to my current role as a local builder, every experience has reinforced my commitment to this town and its people. In fact, as a trusted local builder in Highlands, NJ, I see it as my duty to give back to the community that has given me so much.

Through Char-Ron Contracting, we’ve managed to bring about positive change and real impact in our community, and we aim to continue doing so. With every brick laid, every wall painted, and every house we help turn into a home, we strive to uphold our reputation as a reliable, quality-driven construction company right here in Highlands.

Get In Touch

But remember, this isn't just my story—it could be yours too. Maybe there's a dream you've been afraid to chase, or a leap of faith you've been hesitating to take. Let this serve as your motivation. Use my journey as proof that, with a little courage, hard work, and dedication, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

And if your dreams involve home renovation in Highlands, NJ, or any construction project for that matter, know that Char-Ron Contracting is here to help. Whether it's new home construction in Highlands, NJ, or hurricane damage repair, we've got you covered. Let us be part of your journey.

Thanks for taking the time to share in my story. Here's to new beginnings, brave journeys, and the pursuit of dreams. Let's make this week count, folks!

Keep dreaming, keep striving, and as always, keep believing in the power of you!

Remember: in Highlands, NJ, when it comes to turning houses into homes, there's one name you can trust - Char-Ron Contracting. Contact us today and let's build something amazing together!

#MondayMotivation #CharlieLaRue #FromFirefighterToFounder #DreamBig #TakeTheLeap #HighlandsNJContractors

Monday Motivation Checklist - Five Key Takeaways from Charlie LaRue's Journey

  • Identify your turning point: Recognize that moment in your life that urges you to make a change. It could be an event, a realization, or a strong desire to pursue something more fulfilling. Charlie's turning point was the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

  • Embrace your passion: Find what truly drives you and let it guide your path. Charlie found his passion in rebuilding and restoring, not just in rescuing.

  • Take the leap of faith: Change often requires a leap of faith. It's about stepping out of your comfort zone and daring to venture into the unknown. Charlie took his leap by starting Char-Ron Contracting Inc.

  • Stay committed through obstacles: Every journey has its challenges, but it's the determination to keep going that makes the difference. Charlie faced obstacles every day, but with every restored home and every satisfied customer, he found his journey worthwhile.

  • Start your journey today: If you're waiting for the perfect moment to start, remember that the perfect moment is now. Embrace the challenges and take that step towards your dreams. Remember, it's the journey that shapes you, not just the destination. Start your journey today, just like Charlie did.

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Charlie LaRue

Charlie LaRue is not only the president and founder of Char-Ron Contracting Inc., but also a dedicated firefighter committed to serving his community. He established Char-Ron Contracting Inc. alongside a group of fellow firefighters who shared his vision of rebuilding their hometown after it was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. With a combination of their construction expertise and passion for helping others, Charlie and his team of firefighter-builders have been instrumental in the recovery and growth of their community. Under Charlie's leadership, Char-Ron Contracting Inc. has been involved in numerous reconstruction and development projects, breathing new life into the area and providing a sense of hope for its residents. To date, Char-Ron Contracting Inc. has proudly served over 1500 satisfied customers, completing projects that have not only restored homes and businesses but also strengthened the community's resilience. In addition to his work with Char-Ron Contracting Inc., Charlie continues to serve as an active firefighter, always ready to protect and assist his fellow citizens.

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My Three Pillars To Success


Quality Craftsmanship

I strongly believes in delivering high-quality workmanship in every project, big or small. I emphasizes the importance of attention to detail, using superior materials, and employing skilled tradespeople to ensure the finished product exceeds clients' expectations. This dedication to quality is a cornerstone of my business and personal philosophy.


Transparent Communication

I understands that clear and open communication is vital for a successful renovation or construction project. I advocate for maintaining an honest dialogue with clients, listening to their needs and concerns, and offering guidance throughout the entire process. By fostering a collaborative relationship, clients can feel more involved and confident in their project's progress.


Personal empowerment

I am a firm believer in the power of personal growth and self-improvement. I encourage clients and readers to take charge of their projects, educate themselves, and build their confidence in making decisions. By sharing knowledge, experiences, and motivational stories, I aim to inspire others to overcome challenges and achieve their goals both within and beyond the realm of home improvement.

Office: 188 Bay Ave.Highlands NJ 07732

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