PB December 2005

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Features

Imagine setting out to deliberately design one of the nation's largest home building companies with a primary goal to never please your customers. You might think you would be some kind of industry pioneer with this strategy. But it has already been done — and by more than one builder. If you spend some time studying the nationwide results of the J.

Pam Sessions has picked up, moved and renovated her own living space more times than she can count, but she has never moved very far. That's because all of her moves were on the same lot, which is why tracing her home's history is rather complex. The home's family tree Sessions, co-president and co-founder of Hedgewood Properties in Cumming, Ga.

David Hale, founder of Hale Development, Inc. in Boise, Idaho, lives in a home that is fun, yet functional – at once contemporary and earthy, yet daring and avant-garde. "My house is modern in design, but has warmth so that it doesn't feel like a concrete box," he explains. According to Hale, the colors and finishes he chose along with the furnishings warm up the house consid...

The Green Company is known for homes that target empty nesters — properties that feature privacy, lush landscaping and spectacular views, of a golf course, water or woods. But vice president Dan Green is not yet at that stage in life. Prior to purchasing an 1876 Victorian farmhouse in 1999, Green and his wife had squeezed themselves and their three children into a two-bedroom...

"Kid-centric" might be the best way to describe the home of Ed Mattox, owner and president of Kipling Homes in Shorewood, Ill. Having a house that his kids would enjoy and want to return to when grown was key to every decision that went into building his Minooka, Ill., home. "My number one objective was to fulfill my family's needs," states Mattox.

One glance at the home of Darryl Nyznyk conjures up images of clambakes on the North Atlantic shore. You can practically smell the New England clam chowder simmering on the stove. The thing is this Cape Cod-style home isn't on Cape Cod. Built in 2003, the Nyznyk residence isn't even in the Northeast or anywhere near the Atlantic Ocean.

What do the words "Florida retreat" mean to you? To builder Bobby Gross, co-owner of Tampa-based Wind Star Homes, they mean a Mediterranean home boasting beautiful indoor and outdoor living opportunities. Situated on a waterfront lot within an exclusive, gated golf course community in Tampa, the exterior of Casa Linda commands attention and exhibits a fastidious attention to archit...

Architect Don Evans spends most of his time in Orlando, Fl. overseeing his architectural firm, The Evans Group. So when he wants to escape, he heads to the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina. For years, he had a vacation retreat there, which he ultimately sold. It took him years to find another, special piece of property.

When I got into this business, there was an assumption that visitors knew very little about the community when they walked into the sales office. Yet today, almost 50 percent of new home customers first learn about us on the Web site before they walk into the sales office. Is it important to find out if customers have been to your Web site? Do you deal with customers who have already visited yo...

Remember when chess champion Gary Kasparov went up against Deep Blue, the supercomputer? Kasparov won the first time. But the second time, Deep Blue's programming included almost every possible combination of moves. As a result, a shaken Kasparov conceded defeat. Simonini Builders, Inc. (SBI) has done to custom building what Deep Blue did to chess.

Just as a good builder would never think of inspecting homes from the cab of his truck, a good hiring manager should avoid curb-qualifying candidates. This occurs more often than we care to admit and in a variety of manifestations. As a hiring manager, it is important to assess your hiring criteria. Do you tend to feel more positive about candidates who: All of these qualities might be desirabl...

The Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) recommends that you start with the following techniques to improve a home's quality, durability, energy efficiency, environmental performance and affordability. PATH selected these techniques because they can dramatically boost a builder's ability to achieve these goals.

Change. It's the only constant in life. In technology, the only constant is rapid, frustrating, expensive, maddening change. And if a builder really wants to make life difficult, he should change his integrated technology system. Adding a new system or updating an existing system can seem more like guess work than management.

In this article, we will discuss organization business structures and selecting a lender. Business Structures After determining the goals of the project and the approximate amount of financing needed, you must decide on the legal structure of your business. You should make your decision based on the impact of the legal structure on your liability, initial cost, government control, impact on inc...

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. While this adage may be true, when it comes to home building, first impressions count, but so do second, third and even fourth impressions. Many new homes have been sold based on a positive first impression between prospective buyers and the sales staff.

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