Some people don’t believe it’s right to throw away something that has value. For Ralph and Helene Belisle, that applies to houses, as well — and that’s why they started a home renovation company in their city, Vancouver.

In many ways, Vancouver is an exciting collision of contemporary and charming. One looks up at a downtown skyline filled with modern, Asian-influenced high-rises and down at cobblestone streets lined with brick buildings dating back to the Wild West.

But the Belisles were seeing too much of the old torn down to make way for the new. “I would fix almost anything before throwing it away,” says Ralph, a carpenter by trade. “Not only is it more ethical, I find it a lot more fun and interesting, as well.”

With its location on Massachusetts’ South Coast, the Bay Club offers the luxury and beauty of the state’s best-known coastal communities without the traffic and exorbitant housing costs. The residential and country club community in Mattapoisett, Mass., is within an hour’s drive of Boston, half-hour of Providence and close to beaches and recreational opportunities as a result of its proximity to Buzzards Bay, giving it a convenient location while also offering a getaway amid one of the nation’s most densely populated regions.

“Statistically, more than 40 percent of the population of the United States resides in the Northeast,” Bay Club Director of Sales Dave Andrews says. “What’s unique about this community is it is on the western shore of Buzzard’s Bay, a deep warm-water harbor. We have great boating, swimming and fishing opportunities and are connected to the Interstate highway system, making us easy to get to.

Southerland Communities doesn’t believe in buying and reselling just any open land for its own sake. The Spring Branch, Texas-based company takes a discriminating eye toward all of its potential acquisitions and looks for properties that possess special qualities.

Natural features, topography and locations in quiet, country settings that aren’t too far away from city settings all play an important role in the company’s decision-making process. “We spend a lot of time looking for the right piece of land, and we’ve turned many properties down before finding the right one,” CEO and founder Charlie Patterson says.

Most of the residential developer’s recent acquisitions are along creeks or rivers or in prime locations in Texas’ “Hill Country,” the region surrounding San Antonio and Austin. “We’re focusing a lot on that area right now,” Patterson says. “It’s such a great, beautiful area that many people in the state eventually look to retire and move out to. We stay pretty busy with projects out here.” 

When Ed Sadler started Sadler Building Corp. in 1987, he was the entire operation. Today, Sadler Building Corp. is recognized as one of the leading custom homebuilders in Virginia, known for building high-quality custom homes and diversifying into other areas of the homebuilding market. Having built the company up from a one-man operation into the regional powerhouse it is today means Sadler knows what it takes to stand out in the marketplace. “We really have to work hard to differentiate ourselves,” he says. 

Fortunately, Sadler Building Corp. has the experience and knowledge necessary to meet the needs of homebuyers in and around the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. Sadler began gaining that knowledge in the late 1970s, when he entered the real estate market after years as a high school teacher and coach. Sadler concentrated on selling new construction through the early 1980s, when the market took a downturn. It was during that time that Sadler was approached by a savings and loan he had worked with to finish development of a subdivision it had acquired from a developer who couldn’t finish the project. Sadler jumped at the chance to finish building the rest of the subdivision, and Sadler Building Corp. was born.

Walter Radd understands what’s on the line for his customers and he cares about their dream. He knows many of his clients have saved their hard-earned money to be able to make this dream happen. When clients come to Radd Builders, they are entrusting Radd and his team with one of the biggest investments of their lives and Radd takes that responsibility to heart.

“They find us and we design their house and build it,” Radd says. “We build custom homes all over Hillsborough County not just in one development or area. They save up a long time for something like this, so we want to give them a quality home.”

Radd literally grew up in the construction industry working in the family concrete business. Radd realized early on that working in the hot Florida sun was not what he wanted to do long-term. So working with his dad he built his first house while still in high school. Eventually he got his license and then started Radd Builders about 25 years ago. Now Radd and his loyal support staff consistently build 20 to 30 homes each year.

Building is in Chris Hilsman’s blood. His father and grandfather built every structure on the family’s dairy farm with their own hands, and when Hilsman’s father finally decided to get out of the dairy business in the early 1980s, homebuilding was a natural progression. Hilsman worked for his father’s company on and off for many years before he ended up in the commercial construction business, but that changed once he visited a friend in Colorado and was offered the opportunity to build custom homes. Hilsman says he fell in love with the challenge and creativity of building custom homes, and that inspired him to found Pilot Builders in 1997. 

Today, Hilsman has grown Pilot Builders into one of the most successful independent custom homebuilders in Georgia. Along with its custom homebuilding services, the company provides renovations, interior design and design/build services. Hilsman says the company’s reputation for solid, high-quality construction is known throughout the industry, and the integrity with which it works is a major component of its success. 

Old Orchard Homes builds about 35 to 50 homes per year in the prosperous mid-Toronto neighborhood. 

The company was founded 10 years ago. At that time, Old Orchard Homes was building projects on spec and then selling them. Now, the company has a custom single-family homebuilding business and a development division. “We changed our business model to include building for hire,” Principal Tony Siesto says.

The development division transforms raw land into infill developments such as townhouses and midrises. Some projects are bigger than others. One current project will include 200 units. 

Old Orchard Homes’ 335 College St. project, for example, is a four-story building in the heart of the vibrant urban Kensington Market steps from the University of Toronto campus. A total of 25 units will range from 300 to 750 square feet. There will be retail space, as well.

When looking for their ideal home, prospective homeowners look for different amenities and a layout that will best fit into their lifestyles. Metropolitan Homes  Inc. has been specializing in building low-maintenance, “life-expressing homes” on Colorado’s Front Range for the past 20 years. 

“We spend a lot of time studying how, where and why people live the way they do,” President Greg Krause says. “We design our homes for individual’s ever-evolving lifestyle.” Its “life-expressing homes” slogan emphasizes Metropolitan Homes’ goal of building homes as distinctive as the people who live there. 

 The Englewood, Colo.-based company specializes in building a diverse range of products, including lofts, flats, townhomes, golf villas and single-family homes. The properties are low-maintenance living environments that mostly appeal to empty nesters, Krause says. “When we choose a location to build, we come with clearly defined goals, quality planning and design, and an uncompromising commitment to the promise of life-expressing homes,” the company states. 

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