Southlake Builders Ltd.

Southlake1Communication and understanding are two factors that make Southlake Builders an integral part of client’s project teams.

By Staci Davidson, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

Southlake Builders Ltd. got started as the result of strong relationships, and that is what the company aims to achieve with its clients on every project. Chris Amundson has been in the construction industry his entire adult life, starting as a carpenter helper in high school and growing to become a full-book carpenter with experience in areas such as concrete forms, metal framing and light-gauge welding.

Larry Matlin’s background is in television production and advertising in Manhattan. Matlin enjoyed being outdoors and working with wood and metal, but didn’t see that fully come to fruition until Amundson was hired to build a house for Matlin’s parents. “Over the course of construction, I visited the site many times and he and I just hit it off,” Matlin says about Amundson.

“We had a lot of the same interests, both in work and in our personal lives. I had been looking to start my own business and wanted very much to take my love of building and turn that into a career. We realized that our diverse backgrounds gave us a unique take on the building industry, and it also allowed us to each focus on different aspects of what it takes to run a successful construction company. It has proven to be very beneficial to both us and our clients.”

Working together, the two principals of Southlake Builders build and renovate single-family homes and commercial spaces in New York’s Westchester and Putnam counties, and Fairfield, Conn. The company is dedicated to ensuring customer satisfaction by always listening and understanding exactly what clients want and expect.SouthlakeBOX

Listening and ongoing communication have been key to Southlake Builders’ success. “We communicate and make sure we truly understand the overall intent, and keep the client informed during the entire process,” Amundson says. “I like to describe a project as like carrying a table with a full water glass on it, and the builder, design professionals and clients all need to pick up the table at the beginning and carry it to the end of the project. In turn, all need to have even strengths and responsibilities to keep the water from spilling.”

A big part of a project’s success lies in Southlake’s ability to develop relationships. “We try to make all of the relationships more than just builder-client,” Matlin says. “Instead of just talking about the project, we talk about them. What do they do when they aren’t working? Do they have any hobbies? What do they like to do with their kids? It helps to develop much more of a comfort level between them and us. Getting to know them is worth its weight in gold.”

Relationship Builders

Southlake’s relationships are important, because Amundson and Matlin have found that define quality not only in workmanship, but also in trust. Building a home may be a project for Southlake, but the company understands it’s a major investment and undertaking for its clients, so it aims to show them it is as invested in the outcome as they are.

“We make sure to be more than just a hired gun,” Matlin says. “At any time, both during construction and after, we want our clients to feel comfortable calling us with any questions or concerns. Even five or six years after the project has been completed, we are still available to our clients and will make time to answer their questions or help them with something that may need to be fixed, or even routine maintenance. That is how we hope they view success: the construction went as planned, but they also gained a long-term partner to help them with all of their home needs.”

Amundson adds that this long-term view guides Southlake’s work. “We let clients know, once you’re a client, you’re a client of ours forever,” he says. “We have been contacted by a child of a client we’ve worked for, and they became a client because their parents had such as great experience with us. It’s nice to have that connection with a client, that they are comfortable enough to recommend you long after you’ve finished working on their projects.”

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