Pulte's Big Framing and Foundation Fling

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Pulte Homes announced it has entered a 'strategic business relationship' with Pratte Development Co., one of the nation’s largest wood framing and concrete foundation companies and a dominant player in those contracting businesses in Arizona and Nevada...

January 01, 2004

Pulte Homes, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based builder atop Professional Builder’s GIANT 400, announced it has entered a “strategic business relationship” with Pratte Development Co., one of the nation’s largest wood framing and concrete foundation companies and a dominant player in those contracting businesses in Arizona and Nevada.

The “50/50 joint venture,” to be called Pratte Building Systems, will provide materials and labor for concrete foundations, concrete flat work, framing and trim for all Pulte houses built in Arizona and Nevada. Pulte appears to be taking a major step toward bringing its trades in-house on upward of 9,000 houses a year, a revolutionary concept that flies in the face of the standard industry practice of subcontracting nearly all construction labor.

At the very least, the joint venture takes the concept of partnering with trades to a new level, and in the West, where turnkey trades dominate, the implications are huge on the materials side as well.

“This venture advances Pulte’s stated goals of improving its operating and financial performance through the implementation of advanced supply chain strategies,” says Pulte president and CEO Richard J. Dugas Jr.

Ron Pratte will serve as CEO of the new venture. Pulte tapped Alan Laing, former vice president of customer satisfaction and construction support, to lead the integration effort. Initially, the joint venture will focus on concrete foundations and associated flat work, framing, exterior sheathing, roof trusses, doors and trim. In Phoenix, the venture also will provide materials and installation services for underground plumbing.

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