REED BROTHERS takes care in taking its clients’ homes from the page to reality.
By Alan Dorich
REED BROTHERS design & build is a homebuilder that specializes in transparency with its clients. For example, the company will let homebuyers know early on how much a project will cost in total, co-owner Ron Reed says.
Many other homebuilders, he explains, tend to operate on a cost-plus basis, not worrying about or even knowing the project’s final cost. But REED BROTHERS, he explains, invests a lot of time on the front end so it can include what clients want and help them achieve the end result. Knowing the true costs before breaking ground makes a pleasant building experience.
The two brothers, Ron Reed and Todd W. Reed, co-founded the business in 2011. Both men grew up in the homebuilding business. Because their father was a builder, the two spent their summers in their youth working for him on job sites.
In 1996, Todd Reed moved to Georgia from California with his wife. His brother followed, and the two worked alongside each other in the custom home industry. When the brothers neared their 40s, they reevaluated the level of business they wanted to handle.
Prior to the housing crash, the two had experienced burn out working for a company that had 20 houses under construction at one time. The brothers started REED BROTHERS with the goal of scaling down the quantity of projects but expanding quality and creativity.
Today, the two usually build five or six custom home projects at one time and divide up the work, giving each client the necessary attention. While Todd Reed designs and budgets the projects, Ron Reed handles the construction side, bringing its projects from paper to a reality. Many of Todd Reed’s award-winning and best-selling home designs have been featured in national magazines over the last decade.
But the two brothers collaborate and give each other input, Reed asserts. He explains that his brother will send him designs to evaluate, allowing them to discuss and explore the real world feasibility.
Occasionally, clients have come to REED BROTHERS with plans that they developed with a previous architect, but Reed prefers to start fresh, since they are often too costly and often have design errors. He adds that the company often rejects these designs for being incredibly inefficient or not fitting on the proposed lot.
Some architects, he explains, do not design with the client’s cost in mind. They also have no liability and responsibility to build the project, Reed adds. The company can guarantee that Todd Reed’s plans, which he has designed for each individual client, will absolutely work in the field.
REED BROTHERS primarily builds in Georgia’s Lake Lanier area, which has a diverse topography. For example, Todd Reed says, a house could have a 30-foot fall in elevation from the front to the back of a home, requiring him to be very creative in his work.
The company also handles a broad scope of projects that can range from a $1 million-plus home on a lake to $400,000 house on a client’s acreage. Its recent projects, Ron Reed adds, have required it to build homes along very narrow property lines.
But these projects, he asserts, are rewarding, since REED BROTHERS has the opportunity to take a project that many other builders would not be able to complete. Reed also personally enjoys taking people from a concept and putting them in their dream home.
The homes also vary in their architectural styles. As the company builds one home that follows a traditional format, it may have another that is much more modern, Todd Reed says.
REED BROTHERS’ clients are currently asking for homes that combine both craftsman and cottage styles, which works well with lake property. These houses, he notes, incorporate shiplap interior wood for the walls and rustic beams for vaulted great rooms.
In terms of fits and finishes, white cabinets have come back, Reed says, noting that these have replaced the use of stained wood in kitchens. Sliding barn doors are also a frequent request.
REED BROTHERS stays close to its clients throughout their projects. Communication, Ron Reed asserts, is key to the work of a custom homebuilder.
Not only does Todd Reed spend much of his time doing architectural planning and budgeting with clients, but the company will take them to the sites of other projects that REED BROTHERS is building. This helps establish a set of likes and dislikes for their final blueprints, he explains.
This also helps ensure the clients know what they are getting. Ron Reed also conducts walkthroughs with them as the project is being built. While they work with Todd Reed directly on the front end, they deal with Ron Reed on the back end.
Both brothers also keep their cell phones close in case a customer calls with concerns. “We get to know our clients very well and stay friends when the job is over,” Todd Reed says.
The company also has a positive attitude towards client changes. Todd Reed never hands over a set of plans that he deems finished, Ron Reed says, noting that this has made his brother a much better designer in the field.
Todd Reed is proud of REED BROTHERS and how it has pleased its clients, who often go online and give the company five-star reviews for its work and the homebuilding process.
Its clients often refer REED BROTHERS to friends and family, which Reed believes is the company’s greatest accomplishment. Additionally, past customers are willing to act as references.
Not only are these clients willing share their experiences through telephone calls and emails, but some also are willing to give tours of their homes. A percentage of clients also call upon REED BROTHERS to build their second home.
This is an extreme source of pride for the company, Ron Reed says. Many times, the company has found that after building a home for a client, it is called upon to build them another home years later.
The Game Plan
REED BROTHERS plans to continue to stay focused on its custom home design/build niche, Todd Reed says. But the company also will continue looking for ways that it can do its work better.
No matter how many times you do something, he explains, there is always a more efficient way to do it. That will be the continued game plan, Reed says, since it has worked in the past.
The company also has no plans to grow, since both owners are content with its current size. Ron Reed adds that he and his brother want to take on the number of projects annually that they can complete with the same level of client satisfaction they have experienced.