Carl Van Son
Born the oldest of four boys, I often led my brothers in new business endeavors. As my creativity expanded, so did my passion to step into carpentry.
With woodworking inspiration from my father, who was a cabinetmaker from The Netherlands, I have spent the last 41 years focusing on the finer aspects of custom home building.
In 1981 my wife and I moved from Santa Barbara to Chicago Park where I continued my desires in woodworking and became part of a small community. Together we raised 3 daughters involving ourselves in many community projects, our local church, school functions and personally for myself 14 years with the Chicago Park Fire Dept.
Working 8 years for two of Nevada County’s premium builders, I put a plan together to launch Van Son Construction Inc. in 1989 using many qualities learned from these builders. Our company has grown exponentially over the years as we provide a personalized service directly to our customers, many of whom have become friends.
I have been a member of Nevada County Contractors Association since 1989 and in 1995, I became an active board member and then went on to serve as the NCCA President from 2008-2011. Being involved in this organization has expanded my understanding of the community in which I live and has afforded me many opportunities to give back.
In 2012, I launched The Last Nail, a division of Van Son Construction, specializing in custom woodworking. After building custom homes for three decades, I saw a need for the "in-house" partnership between cabinetry, furniture, millwork and the custom homebuilder.
Besides building custom homes I enjoy many outdoor activities, traveling with my wife, spending time with my 3 daughters, their spouses and my 6 grandchildren.
As I continue on this journey of life I have learned so much from the people around me…my friends, my family and my community. I know I will continue to personally grow and look forward to what the future holds.
Raised on a farm in rural Chicago Park, as a third generation local I learned at an early age what hard work and doing things the right way and with integrity meant to my elders. This instilled a work ethic that I still hold true to this day and which I try to extend to all that I work with.
Born in Auburn, CA, I have lived in Nevada County my entire life (except for a brief time away to experience life). I went to local schools and played three sports in high school and lettered in all three for my time there.
Since I grew up with a strong work ethic, I have always wanted to work outside building things. After high school I went to work in a cabinet shop for five years and gained invaluable experience during that time. However, I wanted to be outside, so I started working with a custom home builder as an apprentice carpenter. I discovered this was what I wanted to do, as I could see my accomplishments at the end of the day and knew I was building a home for someone to live in and make their own. After more than 35 years in the trade, this still holds true for me. I truly enjoy working with homeowners and subcontractors to make the vison of their home come true. I am a licensed general contractor as well.
During this time, my wife and I have owned several businesses, most recently a bed and breakfast in Nevada City, which we just retired from after seven years. Both my wife and I are active in the community--she is currently on the City Council and past president of the Chamber of Commerce, and I have been on the Chamber Board of Directors and have volunteered at their numerous events.
I have been married for 30 years and have one daughter who graduated from Chico State with her masters degree and is married to a wonderful husband who works for a local architect.
Product Development Manager & Operations Manager
The Last Nail
Early in my life it became evident that I enjoyed working with my hands while working with my dad around the house. One of my most significant accomplishments was constructing a 5 ½ foot tall sawhorse before the age of 10. The height of the sawhorse was impractical but well built.
Following my pursuit of a baseball career after graduating high school, I attended Chico State. Coming to the understanding that life is bigger than sports, I looked for employment that would include working with my hands. After finding a construction company that modeled high standards in all areas, I began working as a laborer. This company was Van Son Construction. Quickly I was recognized for being highly detail-oriented, focused towards the finer and finishing elements of a custom home project.
In addition to filling a variety of roles for Van Son Construction from 2003-2014, I also acquired a General Contractor license in 2010.
After receiving significant training as a cabinet maker, there was an opportunity in 2013 to oversee all day-to-day operations for The Last Nail.
I enjoy the partnership with clients to see their desires achieved, and bring order and clarity to the client and team members for the execution of the project. The Last Nail has grown significantly under my guidance.
I have been married to my wife Michelle since 2004, and have three children.
Whether I'm creating a beautiful personalized piece for someone’s home or cheering on my kids at their activities, I do everything with great purpose and intentionality, knowing that it all has meaning.