Tim O'Brien Homes has newsmakers across Southeast Wisconsin talking about affordable green building
Tim O'Brien Homes thrives through listening - GMtoday.com
By Kirsten Klahn - Posted January 18, 2013.
WAUKESHA - Space is more than just a place for Tim O'Brien.
It's that attention to detail that separates Tim O'Brien Homes from competitors, said Tim O'Brien, president of the Waukesha-based home building company.
"We are not a dollar-per-square-foot commodity builder," he said. "Our customers are value-driven. We make sure our plans have space in the right place."
Little things, such as making every home as green and energy-efficient as possible, ensure customers are satisfied with their homes for years to come, said Craig North, director of construction.
"We care about what we're selling, and why we're selling it," said Jason Janssen, the director of sales.
The home building company brings in a third-party survey-taker to make sure its customers are satisfied. The last survey found that 96 percent of homeowners would refer Tim O'Brien Homes to someone else.
"We are the only builder in this market that uses a third-party surveyor," O'Brien said. "They got a 65 percent return rating, which is phenomenal for surveys."
Thinking outside the box is nothing new for the company, O'Brien said. In fact, it's how the company was started.
Tim O'Brien Homes named a 2012 Top 10 Business of the Year
Tim O'Brien Homes is honored to be named one of the Top 10 Businesses of the Year by the Small Biz Times and the Waukesha County Business Alliance.
Tim O'Brien Homes interview for 2012 Top 10 Business of the Year
In five years, Tim O'Brien Homes has overcome the challenges of a housing crash, won over homeowners leery of "going green" and has become one of the largest homebuilders in metropolitan Milwaukee.
It's proof that a little confidence can go a long way, said the firm's owner Tim O'Brien.
The Waukesha-based custom green homebuilding firm specializes in single-family homes in five areas of green building: water conservation, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, resource efficiency and site design.
O'Brien launched the company in 2007, one month after he lost his job at a national housing firm. The civil engineer said he identified a niche in the market and decided to go all in.
"I was scared," said O'Brien, adding that at one point he considered putting up his home to fund the venture. "But, I was convinced it was the right thing to do. I really believed it was the future."
Along with his two partners, O'Brien networked his way into business. After breaking ground on their first home, O'Brien continued building successful relationships with contractors, and learned everything he could about green homebuilding.
Nothing convinced him that "going green," was a fad, but he says it continued to be difficult to convince homeowners of the same outlook.
Educating homeowners would take time, but the firm had other benefits. It was small, agile, and without the heavy burden of land or overhead. More importantly, it was affordable. Homeowners began to catch on.
"It was easier with Gen X and Gen Y," O'Brien said. "We feel (green homebuilding) is going to be mainstream. We still have to keep it affordable, and (buyers) have to see the benefits. We have to show the value."
Since 2007, O'Brien Homes has built more than 300 homes all over southeastern Wisconsin. The firm is on track to building about 115 homes in 2012.
O'Brien said the firm strives to be the best, not the biggest. The company's biggest competitive advantage lies in the company's culture and people, he said.
"I love the homebuilding industry," O'Brien said. "There is so much satisfaction in getting someone into a new home."
Red ribbon cutting at 'green' home.
Endreses close next week on the state's first Emerald-certified home. WAUKESHA – Not every couple celebrates the purchase of their first home with a reception that includes the mayor, county executive, developers and media, but Eric and Julianne Endres aren't just buying any home. Next week the Endreses will close on the first home in the state to receive the nation's highest certification in environmentally friendly construction – an Emerald level from the National Green Building Certification program of the National Association of Home Builders. "We didn't want a cookiecutter home, and we loved the character of this one," said Julianne Endres, who met her husband while they were students at Carroll University. >>Click to read the full Waukesha Freeman article
Waukesha new home built by Tim O'Brien Homes receives first Emerald Certification in the state of Wisconsin – the highest national rating for a residential green building.
Waukesha, WI (April 18, 2012) – Tim O'Brien Homes, a certified Green Built™ and Wisconsin Focus on Energy® home builder, recently received "Emerald Certification" from the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) on a new home it built in the City of Waukesha neighborhood of Dunbar Oaks. Tim O'Brien Homes is the first builder in Wisconsin to earn the highest level of third-party residential green certification available by exceeding green practices in six categories: site development, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and homeowner education. The ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™ is the foremost green rating system for residential construction in the United States and the first and only such residential green rating system to gain the approval of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). >>Click for full press release
Real-world experience right at home - Oconomowoc Focus
Oconomowoc High School partnered this year for the first time with Tim O'Brien Homes to build a three-bedroom, two-bath 1678-square-foot ranch-style house ... - Posted January 25, 2012. >>Click for Living Lake Country article
Tim O'Brien Homes to expand to Madison, create 200 jobs. In the next two years, Tim O'Brien Homes of Waukesha plans to expand into the Madison-area market and create 200 jobs. The builder bought five housing lots in the Coyle Highlands subdivision in Cottage Grove and has started construction on two spec houses, said president Tim O'Brien. The company is negotiating to buy more lots in the area. The prediction to create 200 new hires and construction jobs is based on the expectation of building 50 to 100 houses in the Madison market in the next two years, he said. - Posted January 18, 2012. >>Click for Business Journal Article
Home builders have faced struggles as housing construction has taken a dive in recent years. Some Milwaukee-area home builders are holding steady and working toward a more profitable 2012. Tim O'Brien Homes is ranked on the Top of list for Single-Family home builders in 2012. - Posted January 16, 2012. >>Click for Business Journal Article
Waukesha Home Builder Tim O'Brien Awarded 2011 Metropolitan Builders Association (MBA) Builder of the Year. Since 1953, MBA's Builder of the Year award has been bestowed upon those who serve the industry and community while exhibiting strong ethical standards and personal character. Members of the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee (MBA), the largest homebuilders association in Wisconsin, have voted Waukesha homebuilder Tim O'Brien their 2011 Builder of the Year. >>Click for Business JS Online Article
Construction almost done on green home at old YWCA site. The Caroline is an energy efficient home being built by Tim O'Brien Homes in the new Dunbar Oaks subdivision at 320 N.West Ave. on the site of the former YWCA. - Posted: November 8, 2011 >>Click for Waukesha Freeman Article
Lead builder Tim O'Brien along with city and county leaders broke ground on what will be called "Dunbar Oaks Revitalization Neighborhood" with a focus on sustainability. - Posted: June 27, 2011 >>Click for video - >>Click for Business Journal Article - >>Click for Waukesha Freeman Article- >>Click for Press Release
Value, convenience hallmarks of Mukwonago subdivision
By Andy Turner - Posted: March 11, 2011
Builder Tim O'Brien has spent plenty of time in Mukwonago's Minor's Homestead over the years and has found plenty to like.
O'Brien said he has been involved in building about 20 homes in the subdivision both through his Waukesha-based Tim O'Brien Homes and with another builder. He's constructing three houses in the development currently. >>Full Story Online
Tim O'Brien on WISN News talking about Homebuyers Returning To Market - Posted: Feb. 23, 2011 >>Click for video
Tim O'Brien Homes on building permit increase from JS Online
Tim O'Brien comments, "Those people who have been sitting on the fence waiting to see what's going to happen seem to feel - and we in the industry are seeing it as well - that we've pretty much hit bottom and we're starting to see a little uptick in values on homes and prices" Tim O'Brien continues, "You get a chance to create something that is yours, unique to you, rather than try to find something that fits you." >>Click for more details.
Tim O'Brien Homes listed 4th in Top 25 Builders in The Business Journal >>Click here for 2010 listing.
BizTimes interview with Tim O'Brien Homes
With 25 years of residential and commercial building experience, veteran Tim O'Brien founded Tim O'Brien Homes in June 2007 and led the green-building initiative in Wisconsin.
Waukesha based-Tim O'Brien Homes is a semi-custom single family homebuilder with Green Built and Wisconsin Energy Star certification. O'Brien formed the company in partnership with Matt Neumann,former congressman and a current Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor. >>Click here for full story
Tim O'Brien Homes sponsors Gary's Gallop in 2010
A tribute to the late Wisconsin Lutheran College president, Dr. Gary Greenfield, the annual 5k run and 2-mile walk benefits the Warrior Club, the college's athletics booster organization. An event for the entire family, Gary's Gallop also features a fun run for kids. >>Click for more details.
Tim O'Brien Homes on WISN News talking about new home construction improvement in South Eastern Wisconsin >>Click for video
Tim O'Brien Homes listed 12th in Top 25 Builders in The Business Journal >>Click here for 2009 listing.
Tim O'Brien Homes featured in Badger Builder Magazine >>Click for more details.
Tim O'Brien Homes Featured on WISN for the Wisconsin Trend Home >>Click for video
>> The Tim O'Brien Road Show travels all over Wisconsin offering education and information about green building trends, renewable energy, eco-friendly construction practices and the real estate industry. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a presentation for your organization.
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