Though it has not reached the buying frenzy seen in other states, Ohio’s housing market is pounding along. It grew by 6.4 percent in 2017 and is expected to climb another 3 percent this year. With such a rosy picture, builders in the Buckeye State who endured the down-and-out years have a sense of crossing the threshold from hardship to prosperity. They are now positioned for solid growth, with some eyeing the high volume market.
That sector has gotten a bad name, but it did not disqualify a star performer from making this list. We believe that hitting new markets is okay, as long as quality does not suffer. On the other hand, the criteria we could not overlook were years in business, credentials, recognition, business integrity, and value. Extra points went to innovators, because improving systems should be a goal for all professionals. In the end, we trimmed that list down even further to the masters who created homes of enduring quality.
15) Homes by Josh Doyle
Website | 419.705.1091 | 10075 Waterville Street, Whitehouse, OH 43571
Homes by Josh Doyle has been building quality homes in northwest Ohio for close to a decade, and it has grown to become one of the area’s most awarded residential contractors. Doyle, who worked on construction sites with his father and was designing homes as a teen, has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Ohio State University. He spent a few years in corporate America and was part of Owens Corning’s prestigious Leadership Program before opening this Toledo-based firm in 2008. After his first year, Builder Magazine praised Doyle’s use of the latest building technology. Homes by Josh Doyle has since expanded into southeast Michigan.
Accredited by the BBB and certified by the National Association of Home Builders (NHBA), Doyle’s firm has collected numerous awards, including Builder of the Year in 2017 by the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Toledo. He’s also received two People’s Choice Awards from Parade of Homes. Often featured in the local press, Homes by Josh Doyle was praised by the Toledo Blade for a building process that makes smart use of 3D design. Doyle builds Craftsman-style and traditional homes in about 20 communities, including Monclova, Montpelier, Perrysburg, Archbold, and Bowling Green.
14) Probuilt Homes
Website | 440.255.6535 | 9124 Tyler Boulevard, Mentor, OH 44060
Probuilt Homes is an established builder in greater Cleveland and has become one of the area’s fastest-growing companies. It was founded in 2002 by Ohio native George Davis, with the goal of simplifying the homebuilding process. At the time, Davis was just 31, but he had over a decade of construction experience and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Case Western Reserve University. The focus for this builder has been on single family housing construction in Mentor, Maple Hill, Melrose Farms, Eastlake, and Quail Hollow. Probuilt Homes is also distinguished for its expertise at building waterfront homes that withstand the harsh weather conditions of Lake Erie.
Davis has become known for his affiliation with the HBA of Greater Cleveland, where he served on the executive committee. He was named Builder of the Year by HBAGC in 2011. Probuilt Homes has received 13 Cleveland Choice Awards for design and customer service. Largely for his company’s expansion and 37 percent sales growth during the economic downturn, Davis was named to Professional Builder Magazine’s 40 Under 40.
13) Weaver Custom Homes
Website | 330.264.5444 | 124-A E. Liberty Street, Wooster, OH 44691
Weaver Custom Homes is family owned for 5 decades. The roots of these highly productive Ohio custom home builders go back to the 1950s when it was founded by Ben Weaver, a local mason in Wooster and Massillon. Until about 1960, Weaver kept his focus on masonry but dabbled in residential construction, building several homes each year. The homes were so well-received in Wooster market that Weaver made a game-changing decision. He sold the family farm and invested in a full-scale custom home building firm. From the start, Weaver distinguished himself by offering top quality products and honorable transactions. It doesn’t surprise the locals that Weaver Custom Homes maintains an A+ rating with the BBB.
Today, Merle Stutzman is president and partner. Stutzman, who has been with Weaver Custom Homes for almost 30 years, has introduced more technology to the firm’s building process and expanded into the central Ohio market. While expanding the business and using the latest technology not losing focus on the core values that Weaver Custom Homes was founded on, top quality products, honesty & Integrity are the driving forces still today. He is past president and current board member of the HBA of Wayne and Holmes Counties, a board member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and is a member of Ohio Home Builders Association (OHBA). The firm serves the areas of Northeastern & Central Ohio markets.
12) John Hueber Homes
Website | 513.683.3080 | 526 B Wards Corner Road, Loveland, OH 45140
For more than three decades, these Loveland custom home builders have focused on building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) homes that push the limits of what current building systems achieve. It gained statewide recognition for building the first four LEED homes in Ohio. John Hueber Homes was started in 1986 by University of Dayton graduate John Hueber, whose family ran successful realty and remodeling businesses in Loveland. Hueber learned the construction trade from his father, and from his nine years with a large Cincinnati builder. Andy Hueber, John’s son, is the company’s vice president and LEED specialist. A graduate of Ohio University, he specializes in new homes and remodel projects. Another son, Marc, serves as project manager, LEED specialist, and renovation expert.
Preferring to use inhouse artisans, the Huebers employ interior designers like Susan Gates, who has won design awards in her own right and has a degree from the University of Cincinnati School for Interior Design. Hueber’s energy-efficient designs, which fetch price tags well over $1M, appear throughout The Village of Indian Hill, Cincinnati, Blue Ash, Miilford, and Montgomery.
11) Daniel DeVol Custom Builder
Website | 937.848.8035 | PO Box 262, Bellbrook, OH 45305
Daniel DeVol Custom Builder was established over 20 years ago by a Dayton native with a passion for woodworking. DeVol started this business at age 19, after spending two years learning the woodworking trade at Appalachian Forest Products. At first, he specialized in custom finish cabinets, and he sub-contracted woodworking services to homebuilders in Dayton, OH. After a decade of honing his skill, he established this custom home builder in Ohio in 1994. The focus has never been on volume. DeVol estimates that, to date, he’s completed more than 100 custom homes in Dayton, Springboro, Bell Brook, and Anaheim. Prices range between $500k and $4M.
DeVol has gained local recognition for his credentials and contributions to the homebuilding industry and his thought leadership. He is a Registered Builder Member of the HBA of Dayton and served as president in 2015. He is a regular speaker at the National Home Builders Convention. List of awards by this firm include a 2014 Best in American Living Award (BALA), six People’s Choice Awards and Builder of the Year from the HBA of Dayton, and Best of Ohio Homes from the Ohio HBA in 2016.
10) Compass Homes
Website | 614.885.8300 | 3763 Attucks Drive, Powell, OH 43065
Founder and President Mark Braunsdorf credits a drive of becoming Central Ohio’s preferred custom home builder for making his firm outperform veteran builders in under two decades. Fine craftsmanship, a diverse portfolio, and a customer-focused sales approach have also contributed to the success of Compass Homes. The company, which was founded by Braunsdorf in 2000, enjoys an A+ rating with the BBB. It builds affordable homes priced around $300k and luxury estates with price tags over $2M in Columbus, Dublin, Powell, and Upper Arlington.
Along with his firm’s steady growth, Braunsdorf is well known with the locals for his problem-solving approach to the housing industry. In fact, in 2007 he was honored with a Pacesetter Award for spearheading a lot exchange program that helps builders and prospective owners in Columbus find available land. Braunsdorf
is a member of the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Central Ohio’s Next Generation Builders Committee and is past vice chair of the NAHB Master Builder Council. In addition to winning over 50 industry accolades, Prestige Homes was featured on HGTV My Lottery Dream Home for building the Upper Arlington luxury home for a couple who hit the state’s jackpot.
9) Otero Signature
Website | 440.543.3333 | 8559 East Washington, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023
The focus for this Bainbridge firm has been to build distinctive custom homes with cutting-edge amenities through Northeast Ohio. It was started in 2004 when current owners Ted and Kelly Otero wanted out of their mundane jobs in corporate America. Ted received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. Kelly, a Michigan native, received her bachelor’s in economics from the University of Michigan. Both have MBAs.
It took the husband-and-wife team under 10 years to gain statewide recognition for building high-end, energy-efficient homes and to achieve growth during an economic recession. These BBB-accredited home builders have been featured in Properties Magazine and Home Trends Magazine for being able to deliver on any unique request made by their upscale clientele, such as an indoor basketball court or golf simulator. Luxury builds by the Oteros are found in Bainbridge, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland, Hunting Valley, and Mayfield Heights. Ted, who was named one of Professional Builder Magazine’s 40 Under 40, is also president of the HBA of Greater Cleveland.
8) Sareth Builders
Website | 216.855.8635 | 30628 Detroit Road, Westlake, OH 44145
This boutique firm specializes in building high-performing homes throughout Cleveland’s western suburbs. It was founded in 2007 by New York native Stephan Kamrass, who retired from a lucrative career in finance. Kamrass’s intentions were to build the kind of energy-efficient, sustainable and green homes that he first encountered while serving for the US Army in Germany. The homes he builds are fortified with prefabricated components known as structured insulated panels (SIPS), which provide superior insulation.
Kamrass has earned impressive credentials as a Passive House Certified Builder (PHCB) and an NAHB Graduate Master Builder (GMB). He is also affiliated with NAHB 50+, HBAGC (Home Builders Association of Greater Cleveland), the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA), and Passive House Alliance US (PHAUS).
For his innovative building system, Kamrass has attracted wide critical acclaim, with write-ups in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Morning Journal. His 9,965-square-foot, million-dollar estate on the west side was featured on Cleveland.com for achieving the highest possible Energy Star rating. Industry awards include three 2014 HBA Cleveland Choice Awards for Best Custom Home, Best Exterior Architecture, and Best Green Built Home.
7) Prestige Homes
Website | 330.341.8772 | 17 W. Streetsboro Street, Hudson, OH 44236
In business more than four decades, this Hudson-based luxury builder has achieved a high-profile reputation for building homes of distinctive quality and elaborate architecture. It focuses on signature home designs throughout northeast Ohio and greater Cleveland.
A hallmark design by Prestige Homes features 8,500 square feet of living space with European-inspired exteriors. Interior layouts are airy, with oversized windows in great rooms to maximize natural light. Two- and three-story foyers are embellished with dark-stained knotty-alder arches and rustic wood trim. The 12-foot ceilings are supported by solid knotty-alder beams, and bathrooms are spa-like. Many homes feature a first-floor guest suite that includes a separate owner’s suite. Run for at least 20 years by current Vice President Jon Russell, Prestige Homes has maintained an A+ rating with the BBB. It has also achieved prestigious industry accolades, such as numerous Akron Envision Awards for Best Single Family Custom Home, Best Exterior Architectural Design and Cleveland Choice Awards for Product Design and Home of the Year.
6) Perrino Builders & Remodeling
Website | 440.389.3092 | 6163 Mayfield Road, Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
This family owned and operated custom home builder in Ohio has spent three decades positioning itself as a design-build market leader. It was founded by Ohio native Pat Perrino, who grew up in Collinwood and was known in high school as an expert mechanical draftsman. Perrino established this firm with the intention of offering what he calls a “complete one-stop service” to greater Cleveland.
Known for impressive industry credentials, Perrino is a Certified Green Professional (CGP) who participates in NAHB 20, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and the HBA of Greater Cleveland. His firm is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Perrino prides himself on his firm’s diverse portfolio of high-end homes that range between 2,000 and 20,000 square feet.
Perrino Builders & Remodeling serves about 20 communities, including Cleveland Heights, Hunting Valley, Mayfield Height, Willoughby Hills, and Kirtland Hills. The upscale home designs by Perrino are often acknowledged in Builder Architect, Fine Lifestyle, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland Magazine, and HomeTrend. A lengthy list of accolades features multiple awards from the HBA of Greater Cleveland for Exterior Architectural Design, Custom Builder of the Year, and Custom Home of the Year.
5) Schumacher Homes
Website | 888.883.5008 | 2715 Wise Ave NW, Canton, OH 44708-1641
High volume and exponential growth have been the focus of this nationally recognized home builder over the past 26 years. Schumacher Homes was founded as a family business in 1992 by current CEO Paul Schumacher. Today, it is one of the country’s largest custom home builders and has put up more than 17,500 homes.
Starting out, Schumacher made a living repairing and remodeling older homes, which he found more challenging than building from scratch. He was a graduate of Cornell University and the University of South Carolina and compensated for his lack of construction experience by teaming up with experts. With the intention of showing people that new home construction didn’t have to bust their budget, he built affordably priced homes. The result was a skyrocketing enterprise that expanded Schumacher Homes into 32 new markets and 13 states.
The affordable but high-quality homes have garnered substantial industry praise. In 2013, the Schumachers were honored with a Gold National Design Award at the International Builders Show. Other accolades include the National Housing Quality Award and National Gold Winning Home of the Year.
4) Bob Webb Homes
Website | 614.532.4388 | 7662 N Central Drive, Lewis Center, OH 43035
This legendary custom home contractor in central Ohio has enjoyed more than five decades of success and has built more than 2,000 luxury homes. Founder and CEO Bob Webb opened the company in 1960. He still runs it today, with help from his daughter, President Becky W. Rogers, and about 30 employees. Bob Webb Homes shows a diverse portfolio of builds throughout Columbus, Delaware, Dublin, Lewis Center, and Powell. Home prices range between $500k and $4M. The company’s staff includes an American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) certified designer.
These home builders have received 15 Consumers Choice Awards for Best Custom Home Builder. In 2016, it was recognized by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESN) for achieving a score of 50 on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index. Attesting to the company’s industry prestige are the local newspapers that often seek comments by Webb and its company leaders on building issues. Most recently, Columbus Monthly magazine hailed Webb for setting trends like the “messy kitchen.” Bob Webb has also been honored by BIA as Builder of the Year and inducted into its Hall of Fame.
3) Romanelli & Hughes
Website | 614.891.2042 | 148 W. Schrock Road, Westerville, OH 43081
Two sets of fathers and sons run these central Ohio custom home contractors. The company was founded in 1970 by Vince Romanelli and Davis Hughes. Since opening, it has maintained solid business volume and expanded organically. By 1989, Romanelli & Hughes was building a corporate office for expansion. In 1992, sons Tony Romanelli and Brad Hughes joined the family business. In 2004, Romanelli & Hughes began to do its own architectural designs. Today, it has an inhouse team of home consultants and designers.
With solid growth and quality builds, the firm has made a respectable name for itself among builders in Ohio and is regarded as a market leader in the state. In 2013, the residential contractor built a new home for Parade of Homes that garnered more awards than any other by the BIA of Ohio. In 2017, Vince Romanelli was inducted into the BIA Hall of Fame. Romanelli & Hughes continues to build in 14 Ohio communities in Columbus, Powell, Grandview Heights, Upper Arlington, and Union. Every home has an Energy Star rating at 55 or higher. This firm has an A+ rating with the BBB.
2) Rhoads Estate Homes
Website | 440.519.3508 | 63 Compark Drive, Centerville, OH 45459
This nationally recognized custom home builders Ohio firm has enjoyed four decades of success for a diverse clientele. It started as a small, local contractor in 1976 by brothers Bob and Steve Rhoads. By 1978, it had become known as a luxury builder under a new name: Rhoads Quality Construction. In 2016, Bob Rhoads retired and a widely known residential contractor, John Albrecht, replaced him. Albrecht was a 32-year veteran and owner of Centreville-based Albrecht Wood Interiors, which specialized in wood trim and custom cabinets. After changing the name to Rhoads Estate Homes, Albrecht expanded the firm’s services to include custom cabinetry, woodworking, and remodeling.
Distinguishing Rhoades Estate Homes in Ohio’s luxury market are its elegant estates in Bellbrook, Franklin, Spring Valley, Springboro, and West Carrollton City. Some are priced as high as $15M. Albrecht’s team is currently building estates on two-acre lots in Washington Township’s Saddle Creek community. Albrecht has been recognized as Builder of the Year by the HBA and has received five Custom Home of the Year Awards.
1) Kingdom Home Builders
Website | 440.519.3508 | 32333 Aurora Road, Solon, OH 44139
For over 25 years, Kingdom Home Builders has erected chateau-like mansions in affluent areas that have won national recognition for architectural design. It was started by Jeff Halpern, a Beachwood native, in 1989. With his degree in regional planning, Halpern declined job offers from leading builders. Instead, he used a $10,000 loan from his Grandfather to build and sell his first home. Over the next year, he sold 11 more. By 2002, Halpern’s team was building about 60 homes a year in seven suburban towns. The company branched out into land development and spent the next few years building luxury homes on the east side of Cleveland.
Today, Halpern runs Kingdom Home Builders with his wife Stacie, a designer, and several employees. They build throughout Northeastern Ohio. Among its numerous industry honors, this construction company has won HBA Builder of the Year, the NAHB BALA for Product Design and Best Custom Home in America, and seven Cleveland Home-A-Rama Awards.