CP Complete: Luxury Built Upon A Smile

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Sitting down with Chris Hall of CP Complete is no small feat, particularly during high season in the Hamptons. As one of the most respected builders on the East End, he is quite busy this time of year. Once we did get the opportunity, we learned that both he and CP Complete partner, Paul Guillo, have been leaders on the East End for decades. And they are now beautifying the region one house and yard at a time.

Considering the kind of commitment Hall has given to both the North and South Forks in terms of building businesses, it’s surprising to learn that he’s actually a Jersey boy originally, having been raised in Union, New Jersey. It wasn’t until the summers of his college years in Vermont that he landed in the Hamptons and his first summer job was collecting trash for Suburban Sanitation in Sag Harbor and washing dishes at a restaurant in Noyac.

He was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and, in fact, he put himself through college by starting his first company, a pool service. With the funds, he also began building and renovating homes on the East End.

That was not enough, so he opened The Music Hall in Jersey, which was home to the tri-state area’s largest collection of used CDs. They had a weekly segment on WNEW-FM and played rare selections of imported music on the program. After selling it to a retail chain, he founded Peconic Online with business partner, Ray Sanchez. If you lived on or visited the East End back in the early days of the Internet, you would have seen Peconic Online in the footer of every website based in the Hamptons. They built and hosted websites for the likes of Bridgehampton National Bank, Hamptons International Film Festival, the Hampton Jitney, Southampton Hospital, and the Hampton Classic.

From there he created Path to Success where non-profits benefited from fundraising activities, which included the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. Concurrently, he also partnered with radio legend Pete Fornatale, and produced “Mixed Bag Radio” for Sirius/XM.

That’s a lot. But it was the combination of his wildly diverse entrepreneurial experiences — swimming pool construction, landscape design, technology, and music — that brought Hall to the art of building luxury properties in the Hamptons, as well as the North Fork.

James Lane was fortunate to land valuable time with Hall — who is incredibly easy to talk to with his refreshing warm smile — to learn more about CP Complete.

Courtesy CP Complete

Chris, you have been a mainstay in the Hamptons in various industries. How did you start building homes and did that experience help you get started?

The evolution to home building was quite organic. Our clients meet us based on our reputation or referrals and the projects grew in scope from interior and exterior restorations and renovations to new home construction. Having said that, many of my favorite projects remain renovations of older homes that need upgrades and some TLC.

How did you and Paul become partners?

My partner Paul Guillo and I have known each other for decades. We travelled in the same circles when it came to playing sports, coaching our sons and business relationships. It was a natural progression and quite fortuitous that we began working together. Paul is one of the good guys and it’s a privilege to be his partner. We have different strengths and complement each other’s skill sets extremely well. Among our areas of common ground is the satisfaction that we receive from a job well done.

What kind of services does CP Complete offer?

CP Complete was aptly named for our team’s wide-ranging array of talents. We provide virtually all services to current home owners or those planning to build their own home. The ability to provide such a comprehensive service is the result of working in our community for many, many years. Paul and I have gathered, not just an extremely talented group of professionals, but incredibly nice and honest tradespeople that we can call upon at a moment’s notice.

The pandemic created such turmoil across the board, but the building trade really got walloped. How did you manage 2020?

2020 was a difficult year professionally for so many people. However, as we all lived through the pandemic together; there are far more important concerns other than business. Last year gave us a chance to provide services that were far different than years past. CP Complete has several clients that needed to adapt to year round living in the Hamptons. While they were not homeless by any means, they were displaced professionally, socially, and academically. While us “locals“ experienced frustration and overcrowded stores and towns, Paul and I never lost our focus and compassion for those who had a most difficult 2020. The work that we do has many benefits, in addition to being able to work in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, Paul and I get to work with, and for, incredibly interesting clients. What I’ve learned from them about business and life certainly equals, or surpasses, what I have contributed. We’ve been happy to give back in any way we could.

Courtesy CP Complete

What are some of the ways clients are building now and features or amenities they now request that wasn’t as prevalent prior to the pandemic?

Not surprisingly, we saw an increased demand for home offices, residential gyms, finished basements, and expanded or upgraded outdoor living space. Pavilions, pool houses, spacious patios, and landscapes have become the most popular requests. Additions to existing homes, renovations to kitchens and bathrooms have also been increasingly common. It’s been fun for us to take a client’s wish list and turn it into something that is a spectacular, yet practical, end result.

What projects are you currently working on?

CP Complete has some really innovative projects in our very near future. We have worked with our clients and architects in a collaborative effort to design some incredible properties. We have just completed a home and cottage renovation on a family compound in Water Mill. This particular project was planned to be done in phases. In September, we begin phase two which is the construction of an all-season pavilion that includes state of the art audio/video, air conditioning, radiant heat on custom tile flooring, and amazing living space for family and friends.

We have partnered with nature, as the 360 degree views are breathtaking. Our team will be building a remarkable custom gunite pool and spa to compliment the pavilion. The landscape portion of this project is also quite special. To one side there are local bees in place and thriving. Looking to the west we will create will be a courtyard with a view of fruit trees and a bocce court. A half-court basketball area is under construction near rolling hills and a bucolic naturally enhanced landscape. Our client and extended family will have their own spa-like retreat to call home. Most importantly, working for this nice family, who appreciates our attention to detail and the kind approach that we bring to our craft, is tremendously rewarding. Life is too short to be around people that don’t have perspective and appreciate other’s hard work. All of our trades have commented on the positive atmosphere that surrounds this estate.

How would you define the homes you build in terms of their style?

We are very adaptable to our clients tastes and desires. The architects that work with us have many years of experience and incredible imagination. The common thread of the homes that we build and renovate is that we create a home away from home. Comfortable, practical, and luxurious are words that our clients have used to describe our work. Marrying form and function is always the goal. We are working on a home renovation in Sag Harbor. Our talented team is assisting in providing advice and guidance, once again a special synergy exists with our client that allows this distinctive project to become eye-popping.

Do you have a favorite East End village to build in?

Not an easy question. The seasonal answer is the village with the least traffic! Each village, as well as each project, has its own character and charm. One perk of Hamptons construction is that working south of the highway gives me easy access to the ocean when that whistle blows!

Courtesy CP Complete

What do you prefer, custom building, remodeling, or restoration?

My personal preference is renovation/restoration. Although knock downs are increasingly popular and new builds provide a clean canvas; there’s something special about making an older building new again. Whether it’s nostalgia or being environmentally conscious, it is more rewarding for me to preserve a special part of the Hamptons past while providing modern amenities and style.

In what ways are you evolving as a Hamptons builder?

Each year provides the opportunity to evolve. Paul and I listen to our clients. It sounds like a simple concept, but we’ve become better listeners. Our clients, contractors, architects, and other experts in their area of expertise have so much to offer. CP Complete brings everything together; the creative process, blueprints, permits, construction and the final product. Each aspect of our “job” involves listening, patience, and understanding.

Are you incorporating any trends that you’ve seen in the homes you’re currently building or remodeling? What trends are you really into?

I’m passionate about outdoor living. Bringing the comforts of inside the home to our amazing properties is quite a thrill. Pavilion, patio, pool, spa, open space, meditation areas, and landscape features that preserve the natural environment while providing privacy and beauty are all key elements.

When you’re not building, what do you do for fun?

There are so many things that our community has to offer. Kayaking with my family is a way we enjoy our beautiful area and spend time together. Like most folks on the East End, we entertain friends and relatives for many weekends throughout the summer. You happen to be asking me on a gorgeous day that I spent at the ocean with my wife, which was amazing. Life is good and, rest assured, my time away from building is well spent!

Learn more about CP Complete by visiting www.cpcomplete.com and follow Hall on Instagram at @cpcomplete.

Ty Wenzel

Co-Publisher & Contributor

Ty Wenzel, a recent breast cancer survivor, started her career as a fashion coordinator for Bloomingdale’s followed by fashion editor for Cosmopolitan Magazine. She was also a writer for countless publications, including having published a memoir (St. Martin's Press) and written features for The New York Times. She is an award-winning writer and designer who covers lifestyle, real estate, architecture and interiors for James Lane Post. She previously worked as a writer and marketing director for The Independent. She has won multiple PCLI and NYPA awards for journalism, social media and design, including best website design and best magazine for James Lane Post, which she co-founded in 2020. Wenzel is also a co-founder of the meditation app for kids, DreamyKid, and the Hamptons social media agency, TWM Hamptons Social Media.

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