There are many homebuilders, but Evergreene Homes sets itself apart with the relationships it forms, co-founder and CEO Rob Cappellini says. “Our goal is to make everyone we come into contact with a raving fan of the company, whether it’s a subcontractor, employee or customers, by providing them with a great experience,” he says.
Based in Chantilly, Va., Evergreene Homes builds custom homes in its home state as well as in Maryland and Delaware. “We do everything from small, single-family homes, villas, cottage homes and luxury townhomes [to] small condo projects,” he says.
Prior to forming the company in 2007, “All of the co-founders had been with national homebuilders at a senior level,” Cappellini recalls. “We thought that forming our company during a downturn would provide us some competitive advantages in the short run.”
At the time, there were a lot of talented individuals available to recruit in the homebuilding world. “Many builders were reducing the size of their teams,” he recalls. “We felt we could grow quickly and seize new opportunities by having a clear mind and a fresh perspective before the market recovered.”
Today, Evergreene Homes’ busiest markets are the northern Virginia region and the eastern shores of Maryland and Delaware. “The seasonality of the beach market offsets the slower summer here,” Cappellini says.
Last year, the company closed 118 homes. “This year, we’re projecting closer to 170,” CFO Joe Ricketts says, noting that Evergreene Homes enjoys strong annual growth. “We anticipate settling in at a pace of 225 homes a year in the years ahead.”
After eight years, Evergreene Homes has earned a reputation as a small, regional builder that delivers quality work, Cappellini says. “Our customers appreciate the experience that they have with us,” he says. “Our reputation for building quality homes helps purchasers feel confident about their decision to purchase an Evergreene Home.
“We’re not striving to be the least expensive home in the community,” Cappellini acknowledges, “We won’t cut corners on materials and workmanship,” he says. “We focus on creating value through great spaces, energy efficiency and low maintenance. This approach makes our homes very appealing to buyers.”
The company also is very careful when picking locations, Cappellini says. “We seek locations in established neighborhoods that provide homeowners convenient access to great schools, shopping, employment centers and commuting routes. Today’s buyers desire these conveniences close to home so they can spend more time with their families and doing the things they love to do with their free time,” he says.
The Evergreene Homes team is very proud of its work. “We’ve had some real fun projects,” it says, noting that the company is building Vinehaven, a community of modestly sized cottage homes in the downtown Historic District of Herndon, Va.
Each home’s design incorporates rich architectural details, attractive finishes, high-quality building materials and energy-efficient features all within a short stroll of fun places to walk, bike, dine and shop.
There are numerous other great examples of unique communities throughout the region which can be found on the website at www.MyEvergreeneHome.com.
Evergreene Homes regularly copes with the typical challenges of rising land, material and labor costs. To cope, “Evergreene strives to be process driven to create efficiency and reduce cycle times through very careful planning and attention to details,” Cappellini says.
Its proprietary homebuilding software platform is capable of handling the details for thousands of homes a year seamlessly and it provides the operating team with the automated reports, budgets and schedules needed to proactively guide the business and make important strategic decisions. It also enables the team to effectively communicate important details about every home with sub-contractors and accurately document all selections information for purchasers.
“We must operate extremely efficiently to continue to thrive and do what we do successfully,” Ricketts continues. “It is a very competitive market.”
The homebuilder differentiates itself by offering green features. “Buyers appreciate energy efficiency,” it says, noting that “Evergreene Homes follows the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, because it provides a means for us to measure our results and evaluate new ways to improve the performance of our homes each year.”
Every home is tested and scored by an independent third party, which issues a certificate documenting the result for each homeowner. “We focus on choosing the materials and creating specifications for our homes that will consistently produce the results we are striving for,” it says.
Safe and On Schedule
Evergreene Homes’ experience has made it skilled at building great homes while maintaining clean and safe jobsites, Cappellini says. “We have a very talented production team that has been building homes for many years in this market,” he says.
The company has written safety programs for its team and subcontractors. “These are long-standing relationships with groups that we can trust [to perform] consistently and to be on schedule,” Ricketts says.
A longtime veteran of the construction industry, Cappellini got his start working for a family run construction firm in upstate New York.
Years later after studying at the University of Pittsburgh, and a very rewarding career with NVR, the timing was right to pursue this Evergreene dream with his co-founder Joe Ricketts who had enjoyed a very successful career with Centex Homes. Ricketts previously held numerous senior level leadership roles, including CFO for Centex Homes in the D.C. Metro market and division manager for Centex’s Northern Virginia operation after earning his degree in accounting at the University of Delaware.
They are very proud of the Evergreene Homes’ staff. “One of the most exciting things for the founders is that we’ve been able to attract some very talented people to the team,” they say.
That talent, they add, keeps the company fresh. “We want to be innovative, and strive to embrace new ideas,” they say.
“We’ve found that people love working here,” Cappellini says, noting that its associates help recruit people they know and have had prior success with filling new positions at Evergreene when needed. “Filling positions has been really easy here with the help of people who really enjoy the culture.”
Going forward, Evergreene Homes plans to continue growing, particularly in the number of homes it closes annually, Cappellini says. However, “We’re not looking to become the biggest builder,” he asserts. “We want to be a high-quality builder company that customers can recommend to their friends.”