After 46 years of building hundreds of homes for the Roseburg community, building churches abroad and spending countless hours supporting local sports, John Miguelena and Lynn Shelby have decided to close the doors to Shelby & Miguelina Construction Company.
Miguelena and Shelby have built a business around a philosophy of loyalty to not only their customers but themselves. When building a home each detail had to be perfect; there was no cutting corners when it came to the product they offered. If a customer was unsatisfied, either Shelby or Miguelena — sometimes both — would be present to see that customer happy.
Patty O’Neil was one of those customers. In 1996, she wanted to remodel her home to the point of almost rebuilding the entire home.
“They managed to build the entire home, with five children in our home. We lived in it the entire time, they accommodated us amazingly,” said O’Neil. “He [Shelby] had a vision for the house that we didn’t always think of which made the house more spacious. He [Shelby] could kind of tell what we were thinking but they had a talent in being able to visualize the potential of a house.”
O’Neil said they were amazing people and amazing to work with. With her home, she knows she has a lifetime warranty. Roseburg was lucky to have them, according to O’Neil.
“We wanted people to be happy with what we did and a lot of the times we went back and fixed things that we probably didn’t have to but I told John that we should give our customers a lifetime warranty. If a gasket went bad on a faucet, you go out and fix the faucet,” said Shelby. “Thats the best advertisement, that is worth more than ‘I’m sorry.’ It’s worth more than an ad in the newspaper.”
If the framing was wrong in a home, the pair would be present to address it. If there was a problem with the windows, it would be fixed. Miguelena said the pair wanted to walk away from any given job knowing they built an incredible home for someone, no matter the cost to their bottom line. Many times, the two were the last to get paid and sometimes were never paid at all.
Sarah Miguelena said it was hard in the early years when they had three little mouths to feed. “But, you know, somehow it worked. We never went without,” she said.
Their efforts earned them the Umpqua Valley Homebuilder of the Year Award twice. According to Shelby’s wife, they have never advertised as the reputation has always driven their business.
Shelby also served as an officer for the Oregon State Homebuilders while Miguelena was on the Roseburg Mission Board.
Miguelena used his construction knowledge abroad in nearly 27 mission trips to Mexico and Guatemala, where he has built or maintained churches since approximately 1981. Through their church, they both traveled to Palmer, Alaska to build a church from the ground up.
According to Miguelena and Shelby, their success has come from many places. However, a few things remained a constant: their faith, loyalty and the love they have for Roseburg and its residents.
That passion extended beyond construction as their business supported American Legion Baseball and Roseburg High School’s wrestling team.
According to Miguelena, their personalities could not be more different. Rather, they are polar opposites when it comes to their personalities. However, their commitment to the business was the common ground in which they used to help drive their success.
The two met in the 70s. Shelby was a school teacher who renovated homes as a second job. During the renovation of a home, Shelby was pouring a concrete slab when it began to rain.
“Lynn was trying to get that done and there was another local home builder that was helping him and when it started to rain that guy said no, we are not doing this and took off,” said Miguelena.
Instead of losing money on the job, Shelby called Miguelena who owned a small construction company at the time. Together, they built a canopy over the concrete and finished the job that night. The pair have been business partners ever since.
“We had to have a good relationship or else the business wouldn’t have lasted 46 years but we have had our moments,” said Miguelena, “Clearly, God put Lynn and I together and he kept us together all these years. Our faith was the common denominator.”
Each have been married over 50 years. They made their roots in Roseburg and raised their families here. Miguelena raised two boys and two girls with his wife Sarah while Shelby raised three boys with his wife Brenda. Shelby is retiring at the age of 73; Miguelena retires at 84.
June 30 will be the last day for Shelby and Miguelena Co.
“Memories, lots of good memories. Mostly good ones, though I can’t think of too many bad ones,” said Shelby. “A lot of stressful times but, you know, the best memories outweigh the bad ones.”
Sorry to see them go - they were the best!
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