The idea of a renovation or creating a room from scratch might overwhelm homeowners as thoughts of general contractors, construction and delays come to mind. It may come as a surprise to many that the process doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

Beton Builders strives to provide an enjoyable process for clients during renovations through constant collaboration. “I am going to do everything in my power to make this an enjoyable process,” says Iwona Herdzik, founder and CEO of the New York-based contracting firm. “I want this to be like they are going to the store and buying shoes, a new dress or a car. I want that feeling to be the same with construction.”

Belmonte Builders knows how important it is to help homeowners fulfill their dreams, because the company itself is the result of one man’s dream. Founder Peter Belmonte left a successful career as an executive at GE in 1977 to build custom homes in New York’s Capital Region. Today his son, Peter Belmonte Jr., continues the company’s tradition of building high-quality homes in and around Albany, N.Y., for a wide range of clients. 

Belmonte says he, too, left a successful career outside of homebuilding at his father’s behest, and calls that decision “the best move I ever made.” Formerly an executive at a company that manufactures process controls, Belmonte says he brought some strong analytical approaches to business when he joined his father’s company in 1985, and he finds homebuilding to be an extremely rewarding experience. 

The difference between a custom and a production home can be recognized easily by the public and realtor community. But for Shaddock Homes – whose president, Peter Shaddock, started as a custom homebuilder – the difference is more difficult to detect. “What we do is we give people a custom home without charging a custom home price,” Shaddock emphasizes. “Shaddock Homes is a large-scale, custom homebuilding operation.”

As a veteran of the Southern California homebuilding market for more than 25 years, Van Daele Homes founder and President Mike Van Daele has been through a few cycles similar to the current recession. Even though the downturn in the housing market has resulted in a reduction in activity, Van Daele says the company has had the strength to pull through the previous recessions and it will pull through this one, as well.

There are not many who would immediately think of creating communities near a site of oilfield exploration. But for Dean Dovolis, a principal of Annabelle Homes and principal-CEO of DJR Architecture Inc., that sort of ingenuity has given him success as he has developed communities near the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota.

As the third-largest Arizona-based homebuilder, Miramonte Homes of Tucson, Ariz., has remained committed to building distinctive, quality communities throughout southern Arizona since 1993. Co-owners Chris Kemmerly and Steve Quinlan – who share the title of CEO – bring more than 50 years of real estate experience to the building process and have been honored with multiple awards for quality and design.

Van Metre Cos. says it has coped well with the downturns in the recession. In a business that is often filled with uncertainly, it is critical for Van Metre Cos. to stay flexible so it can evolve with the shifts in the marketplace, Brian Davidson says. “We are nimble enough to adapt and change with the market,” he says. “We [will] change if we think it is a good idea and makes good business sense.”

For Meritage Homes, green building is more than an industry trend. “When we talk about green, it’s about pioneering a new standard for homes and taking energy efficiency to the next level,” says Chris Presley, president of the national homebuilder’s Colorado division.

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