Q. Tell us about Wieland Builders. Why did you want to become a custom home builder?
A. We’re a third-generation custom home builder. Both of my grandfathers were builders prior to my mom and dad starting Jack H. Wieland Builders in 1966. My Brother, Mike, and I started Wieland Builders, LLC, in 2015. We grew up in the building industry.We learned how to build quality homes from our father and grandfather. Since then, we have instilled our four core values in our work as home builders —dependability, honesty, quality, and family.
Q. Tell us about your process. Do your clients typically have a plan in mind, or do you sit down and help them craft what they’re looking for?
A. We craft and create what our clients are looking for. Most clients view the homes we build on our website or have walked through our homes in Homearama for inspiration. Buying a home is one of our clients’ biggest investments and there is a lot to consider, and that can be overwhelming at times. We make the process less overwhelming by having them in our design center and asking a lot of initial questions while working with our designer and architects. Are they interested in a ranch home, a first-floor master home, or a two story? What’s their style? Craftsman, neo-traditional, traditional, modern? Some clients like one style on the outside, another style on the inside. We dig deep down to get their information, and then we put a proposal together with many details, sizes, and pricing all in an effort to meet our customer’s needs.
I always tell people, “We have nothing to sell you. We are here to work for you. We don’t have model homes, or subdivisions. We are a custom builder, and I am going to sit down with you and find out what you want in your dream home.
Customers always have my cell phone and email. We take them through the process every step of the way. I believe communication is really important. We have such a great team that prior to, throughout, and after your build we are in full communication with you.
Communication is key; it’s not just the device you’re using, it’s about how comfortable you feel with each other. When you’re looking for a builder, find someone you feel on the same level with. If my customers don’t feel comfortable calling me or vice versa, or talking through things and discussing what’s happening with the project, it will not be a good relationship.
Q. Do you have a dedicated selection center?
A. We had a selection center in our old office; it did the job, but it wasn’t very big. So, when we built our new office last year, we built a modern, very large selection center along with being able to tour our office. Every room [in our office] has a certain ceiling and floor type, like pre-real hardwood floors and beams in our foyer, and a layer of white oak hardwood around the perimeter of our conference room and a coffered ceiling, so that people can see the things we’re talking about. When we walk into those rooms, it looks and feels like a home rather than an office.
When we meet with people, we meet in the selection center, not the conference room. We take them for a tour. It allows me to spend more time with them; it’s the perfect opportunity to build that important builder-customer relationship.
Our selection center is quite big and holds as many of our selections as possible. Most of the time, customers have to go to the appliance and light fixture stores, or sometimes to a flooring company, if they want to see other varieties. They can do whatever they want. The selection center is convenient for our customers and for our designer.
Q. How many custom homes do you build a year?
A. Our goal is to build nine or 10 houses, depending on the market. Sometimes it’s 10 or 12 houses.
Q. What’s a misconception some people have about designing and building a custom home?
A. That everything is included, like a blank check book. You always have to have a budget. It’s a conversation you have to have. You can’t add 500 square feet and not have it cost you extra. The uniqueness of each design is tailored to the client’s needs while working within a budget.
Q. Do you have specific areas where you prefer to build?
A. We build on our clients’ land in all of southwest Ohio, from Indiana to east of Milford and the Batavia area, and as far north of Dayton.
Q. Giving back to the community seems to be a Wieland Builders cornerstone. Tell us more about that.
A. I think it’s important to help other people. It’s not always about giving money but lending a hand or offering advice.
We are huge proponents of vocational education. Our involvement with Butler Tech has been so helpful to them and to us. We want them to want to join our industry. Its an exciting business. I have a big heart for Butler Tech.
We’ve also been involved in the Warren County and Butler County fairs, buying kids’ 4-H projects. We’re farmers, and we know how important it is to keep kids involved n 4-H.
Q. What is your favorite part of the building process?
A.One of the coolest parts is the day we sit down with the homeowners and share the Initial floorplans from our architects to our customers. We always save the front elevation for the last page. You can see people’s faces — they’re relieved, excited, crying, laughing – I feel the same way. I think, “Man, that is so cool!” My other favorite part is landscaping day. The mulch and grass have a certain scent to it … the sprinklers are going … it gives you a sense of completion. It feels good.