Building Relationships

Winesburg Builders

WinesburgBuilders

Winesburg Builders is a full service design build contractor, able to help clients with any project, from land acquisition to the opening and managing of properties. Located in Ohio, Winesburg Builders has a commitment to client satisfaction that is second to none.
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Winesburg Builders was established in 2002 and started off as a single crew framing contractor, and worked their way up to be a large multi crew framing and finish carpentry company. “We wanted to get bigger,” says Brad Grose, Owner and President of Construction, Winesburg Builders. “So, we took our experience and started growing into a full service general contractor.”

Today, with approximately 20 employees, Winesburg Builders’ two largest markets are hotels and senior housing. “We also do apartments, condos and other things as well,” says Grose. “And we provide general contracting and construction management services so that we’re able to help our clients with anything, from acquisition, design, all the way through to project openings.”

What sets Winesburg Builders apart from the competition is its combined breadth of experience. “The owners came from the field and have lots of field experience, from the time we were mid-teens to when we started our own construction process,” says Grose. “The original owners worked for their father, while I worked for a large residential home builder,” he says.

“We also own projects of our own,” adds Grose. “We’ve gone through financing, land acquisition, development and so forth ourselves, so we have a unique ability to help our clients do the same.”

Winesburg Builders is proud of its reputation. This is a relationship-based company that gets a lot of business via word-of-mouth. Because of this, the company does not do any significant marketing. “Almost everything we do is negotiated work, through our relationships and contacts. Most of our work is based on recommendations,” says Grose. “We have great relationships with hotel brands who strongly recommend us when their new franchisees are looking for builders. We have long-standing relationships and experience, from the field all the way through to the development process,” he says.

“We have grown very organically,” he adds. “We’ve gone after it, but we’ve also let it come to us, so it’s somewhat of a controlled growth. We don’t use any of the job reports or any public documents to find work; our work is mostly negotiated. We don’t competitively bid unless we are specifically asked to do so by a client or architect and it’s the right fit.”

Winesburg Builders has built strong relationships with companies that are growing and through those relationships, the company has gained recommendations and new projects. “These projects have consistently gotten larger in dollar amounts and sizes,” says Grose.

The company is particular when it comes to its selection of employees. “We have little to no turnover,” says Grose. “We make sure new employees fit in with our company culture and have the type of personality and expertise that we’re looking for. We want to make sure we find the right people, and sometimes that’s not an easy process.”

He shares that, “Truth is, in the industry as a whole, it’s getting more and more difficult to find qualified trade workers. I think there are so many opportunities to do things outside of trades that the actual manpower is getting more difficult to find. Many subcontractors are unable to grow the way they would like because they can’t find the workforce.” It’s an industry-wide issue, yet Winesburg Builders has managed to retain its employees.

“We have specific people hired for specifically focused types of projects, so there are very highly qualified people working on each individual project. Whether it’s a hotel or senior housing, there are people that are very focused and experienced in those particular areas.”

In each of the last six years, Winesburg Builders has doubled in revenue. “It’s been a very consistent growth,” says Grose. “We’ve been on the list of Inc. 5000 Magazine’s fastest growing private companies in the country for the last three years and we’ve increased our number on that list each of the last three years,” he says.

The company has also been the recipient of a number of industry awards. “Getting recognized for some of our dealings is positive for us,” explains Grose. “We’ve grown to be a significant player in our market, so we’ve gained the experience and the trust of the industry in regards to the types and size of projects that we can handle.”

Winesburg Builders prides itself on doing what it says it’s going to do. “We have good people with strong integrity. We treat people well; we treat our internal employees, subcontractors and suppliers well, and we treat our clients well, too,” says Grose. “We take care of all those different people in different fashions but the biggest thing is we do what we say we’re going to do. We always do what we say we’re going to do and we treat people with respect and integrity.”

And Winesburg Builders takes special care of its employees. “We’ve taken employees on trips; we have summer parties for the whole family where we bring gifts for the kids, and have bounce houses; we have winter parties for employees and spouses only, where we make sure that each spouse gets a gift and is taken care of,” explains Grose. “When you employ someone, you’re employing their whole family at the same time. Our guys work hard, some of them away from home. So, we’re employing their wives and their kids, all at the same time, and maintaining their household and lifestyle.”

In addition to a family atmosphere, Winesburg Builders believes in education and provides training in several different categories. But in energy efficiency, the company is ahead of the curve. “We’re one of the largest installers of Insulated Concrete Flooring (ICF) forms in our area, as well as in building ICF buildings, which are incredibly energy efficient over normal wood construction,” explains Grose. “We still do podium wood construction – that’s our initial background – but we’ve really gotten into ICF walls, envelopes and mechanical systems.”

The team also promotes a local, custom-made energy efficient window to its clients. And we’ve been able to create very good building envelopes and mechanical systems, cost-effectively. That has always been the problem; everybody says they want to do energy efficiency but it’s been very expensive for someone to actually do. So, we’ve been able to make some of this more cost-effective.

“We also own some of our own properties,” continues Grose. “So we can give a background into proving that the product is energy efficient. We can actually share data, rather than just verbally telling somebody what we have experienced.”

To be sure, Winesburg Builders puts a lot of energy into energy efficiency. “There certainly is a science to energy efficiency,” says Grose. “It’s about tying all the different systems together, and helping through the design process of that, along with engineers, architects, suppliers and even some contractors, to determine how that system needs to go together in order to maintain its energy efficiency and integrity, while being cost-effective for our clients. And I think that the science behind what we do, as far as the construction piece, is being educated in that area.”

A real player in its local industry, Winesburg Builders plans to continue growing. “With the people we have, the expertise that we’ve gained, our client base and the recommendations that we’ve been able to get, we have the potential to double in size from where we are now,” says Grose. “Even during the downturn, we treated people well and we didn’t take a hit to our personnel like some other people did. We’ve been able to maintain our workforce and our setup.”

Truly, Winesburg Builders is relationship-based. “Good relationships have gotten us to where we are today,” says Grose. “Our clients have recognized that we are willing to grow with their companies, meaning we’re willing to travel with them; we’re willing to help them in their design and in their growth patterns; and we take pride and invest in them. We trust in them, just as they trust in us, our capabilities, and our experience in the particular categories that we are in.”

As Winesburg Builders continues to focus on relationships, it continues to grow in value, in experience, in the science of energy efficiency, and in any other direction the future may take it.

Building the Next Generation

As thousands of experienced workers retire across North America every day, it is small wonder many industries are concerned about the future. It has been a decade since the oldest members of the baby boom generation started leaving their jobs, removing from the workplace decades of experience and skills that are tough to replace. The situation is so dire that, when younger workers are not available or knowledgeable enough to take over, retired staffers are often called back to work on a part-time basis.

November 14, 2019, 9:39 AM EST