Q. What does your High Pointe Homes process look like? Do your clients come in with their own ideas, or do you collaborate and create from there?
A. Sometimes people come in with a binder full of information from 10 years of collecting ideas. They say, “Hey, this is what we want, and we want your team to bring it all together.” We have others say, “We think we want to build a custom home and we were told to talk to you.” In the first scenario, we go through that binder, and their ideas morph into a home we end up building together. In the second scenario, the customers have no preconceived notions as to what they want to happen, so it’s a fully collaborative process.
Q. Do customers typically purchase land first and you design the house around it?
A. Because we’re small, there is no “typical.” Half the time, people have already purchased a site on which they’d like to build. The other half of the time, people build on a site we own. There is no trend. It depends on each client.
Q. In the past, homes were our sanctuaries away from work. Now more people are working from home. Are you seeing those two worlds collide when it comes to building a home?
A. Very much so. We started building multi-generation homes a long time ago, changing the meaning of “living at home.” Now we are seeing a trend that is changing the way houses are designed to accommodate working from home, schooling from home, and the multi-generational piece. I live in a multi-generation home. My parents share the house with us. However, each of our homes is a separate house, only connected by upstairs bedrooms (My kids call that space the “up and over.”) We can be as close or as far away as we like. This unconventional model is convenient, affords privacy, and works well economically.
Q. Are there specific areas where you prefer to build?
A. Our past, current, and future building plans focus along the I-71 corridor into Northern Kentucky, but not much further south than Park Hills. Then it’s up through Montgomery, Indian Hill, Mason, Lebanon ... Springboro is at the top end geographically.
Q. You and your wife, Sarah, founded High Pointe homes 15 years ago. What drew you into the custom home building industry?
A. Being a builder — particularly a custom builder—is a business where I get to use both sides of my brain. I get to use the creative side and I get to execute plans. It’s not often you get to have that blend. I love selling a product that, when handed over, not only reflects the hard work of our team, but is a vessel of sorts for its owners to create memories. We often have tears of joy at the closing table. It’s a big deal. It’s a family’s living environment. It’s important, rewarding work.
Q. On the average, how many homes do you build each year?
A. Typically, if we build six, I wouldn’t consider that a busy year. If we build 10 to 12, that’s a very busy year. Our average is probably eight.
We make it a general rule to not start houses within a month of each other. If we have a house of more modest size on a nine-month build schedule, and a bigger house that will take a year-plus, we might start those within a few weeks of each other. But strategically, we are not about building houses one on top of another.
Q. What is your favorite part of the building process?
A. Probably matching the specifications to the customer and their design — that’s my job. We have an awesome team, and I rely on each of them to do their part. But it’s my job to listen to what our customers are saying, and write specifications that explain the DNA of the house and how it will match with our customer’s design intent. We all know that two builders can build two houses using the same blueprints, but when you walk into the finished houses, they feel completely different. I match specifications and have that important conversation with our customers: “What’s important to you and why?” It is, of course — especially these days — also about making the budget work!
Thinking about what will work best for the customer and solving the specification puzzle with that information is a part of the process that I'm passionate about.