Most contractors hire subcontractors to complete their projects and are in effect middlemen and project managers.  But instead, Ashley Homes LLC completes nearly 90 percent of its projects using its own in-house crew. This allows the company to save its customers both time and money.

“We’ve changed with the times,” owner John Hommel says, noting that in the past, the company completed many stick-built homes. “[But] over the last five years, we’ve seen a huge increase in modular construction [projects].”

For 30 years, S&A Homes Inc. has focused on providing its customers with the best value possible in products, materials and service, Vice President of Sales Chris Schoonmaker says. Based in State College, Pa., the privately held homebuilder focuses on the states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

President and CEO Bob Poole started the company in 1980 with his then brother-in-law, Don Haubert, when they purchased one of three offices of a local homebuilder in Mifflintown, Pa., that were in the process of closing their doors. “They purchased one office and expanded from there,” Schoonmaker says.

One could understandably think that the Great Recession wasn’t the best time to start up a homebuilding company. But founder and President Greg Lingo of Cornell Homes says his company has proven over the last five years that opportunity can be found even in difficult times.

The past 20 years have not been easy on the construction industry. The home construction segment, in particular, has had a bumpy ride these past two decades. From housing booms to bursting bubbles, the segment has gone up and down, rattling even the most solid companies along the way.

However, for Dan Ryan Builders, the past two decades have been profitable. According to Dan Ryan, president, the operation has seen increases in settled homes every year for the past 17 years. As the company celebrates its 20th anniversary, Ryan credits his company’s success to a unique operational strategy that has withstood the stress of today’s market.

With its family ownership, The Warmington Group enjoys many advantages over other homebuilders, President and CEO Jim Warmington Jr. says. Along with having the ability to make decisions quickly, “The family’s reputation has also allowed us to get access to many sellers and opportunities,” he says.

Kohala Creative Construction LLC strives to be a one-stop shop for its clients, CEO Michael Bonahan says. “We’re able to provide finished products from concept to completion,” he states. Based in Kamuela, Hawaii, the general contractor specializes in residential development and construction, as well as small commercial projects. “Ninety percent of our business [occurs] on the Big Island,” Bonahan says.

Victor International is a marriage between art and science. At least that is how Chairman David V. Johnson views the construction company he founded more than 30 years ago in Michigan.

Investing in a home is often seen as a cornerstone of the American dream. In Texas, Gehan Homes has for decades been building and selling stylish new homes that are competitively priced and fit the individual needs of the company’s buyers.

“We have about 50 model homes around the state and use conventional and sophisticated means to bring traffic into those sites,” CEO Tim Gehan says. “People find us, and we do a good portion of our business through realtors. In Texas, a lot of homebuyer decisions are driven by the quality of school district, and we evaluate that to be sure our properties are in desirable communities.”

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