Q. Tell us a little bit about Ashley Builders Group.
A. We are a second-generation builder focusing on custom homes, townhomes, and renovations in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area. The company was founded 46 years ago by John Yeager, who was later joined by Bill Kreutzjans, Sr. and eventually, Paul Bogenschutz.
Bill Kreutzjans, Jr. now oversees the company’s commercial division; Jason Yeager oversees the residential division.
I’ve been with the company for almost seven years, helping predominantly in selections and design.
Q. Tell us about your selection timeframe. Do you have everything buttoned up before the building process starts?
A. It would be nice to have everything buttoned up before the building process starts, but that would likely be overwhelming for our customers. We are on the high end of building in Northern Kentucky — our projects are very detailed, and there are a lot of selections to be made. I work with our project estimators and our superintendents. We break down the project into phases, and develop a schedule for each customer. Our normal builds are taking 8 to 12 months, depending on the complexity of the project.
The first phase, for example, is usually exterior selections — windows, brick, front entry, garage doors, gutters, shakes, shingles. We’ve put appliances into that first category because of the long lead time right now.
Q. Do you have specific areas where you prefer to build?
A. We build in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties, and across the river, depending on how many projects we have going on in Northern Kentucky. We are definitely a Greater Cincinnati builder.
Q. What is the biggest misconception customers have regarding the custom home building process?
A. I think the biggest misconception is that building a custom home is an unpleasant process. We enjoy building relationships with our customers. We’re excited about planning and developing their projects. We take a team approach, working hand-in-hand with our customers on a daily basis. Hardly a day goes by that our customers don’t hear from us regarding some aspect of their projects. We all feel it’s a fun process.
Because we’re delivering a custom project, it spans over a long period of time. But often, by the end of it, our customers become our extended family. That’s beneficial for both sides.
Q. As selection coordinator, what trends are you seeing?
A. What I’m seeing is a mix of traditional ornate with contemporary and streamline — a mix of warm and cool tones versus one or the other. Grays and cooler tones were on trend for a while, but warmer tones are being slowly introduced for a mixture.
Large master bathrooms with large master showers are desired right now. And outdoor entertainment spaces are still big. The kitchen has become the entertainment center of the home. Because so many people are now working from home, we’re seeing large double islands where parents can work and kids can do schoolwork. That goes hand-in-hand with including outdoor spaces with bonfire pits.
Also, iron doors mixed with wood doors, with large-pane glass are becoming statement pieces. A mix of textures and finishes are being used.
Harsh angular lines in architecture and furniture are softening and becoming more rounded. Herringbone patterns are coming back in backsplash designs and in wood floorings in the entryway. Furnishings are sparse for a much cleaner look. And retro is on its way back!
Q. What’s your favorite part of the building process?
A. Being a designer, I love to help people balance texture, color, and finishes. Over and above that, I love building the relationships with our customers, delivering an exceptional product to them at the end, and seeing how happy they are. It’s nice to see their dreams become a reality, and we get to play a part in that. That is very gratifying. It’s fun!
We have an exceptional team — some are veterans with 30-plus years with Ashley. It’s very important to me to be part of a company that delivers top-notch quality and service. We deliver an exceptional fit and finish to our customers, and I love being part of a company where that is priority.