Corbo Associates Inc.
Corbo Associates is committed to tailoring its customers’ homes to their every need and desire.
By Bianca Herron
After building their first dream home, Ralph and Natalie Corbo were inspired to turn their love for architecture into a passion for building high-quality homes for others. In 1977, the former educators launched Corbo Associates Inc.
Today, the Roxbury, Conn.-based company has built more than 600 houses in alignment with its mission to create homes that enhance their overall natural surroundings and community.
Keys To Success
The company specializes in two- or three-bedroom semi-custom condos and homes that range in size from 1,100 to 1,400 square feet.The company specializes in two- or three-bedroom semi-custom condos and homes that range in size from 1,100 to 1,400 square feet.
President Ralph Corbo attributes the company’s success to its personalized approach. “Initially it was me and my wife, who unfortunately passed five years ago,” he says. “My son, Colin, joined the business in 2004, and he is in constant communication with our customers.”
He notes that the company’s personal touch “makes a difference” with its customers compared to buying something on Amazon or from a “big-box builder.” “For example, if you need to ask any questions about their service or product, there is no one to ask,” Corbo notes. “However, we are always there for our customers. This is why we are able to personalize our client’s process. It becomes more than a house, but a home.”
Corbo Associates is also financially stable, Corbo says, and works with only the best subcontractors. “Our subcontractors are larger companies compared to us,” he says. “We do not use cheap subcontractors, only qualified subs that have service departments, which further guarantees our expert customer service.”
Whether customers come to Corbo Associates with ideas or an image from a magazine, Corbo works closely with them to create a “schematic design.” “No matter what it is, we will work with them and the elements that they bring to design their dream home,” Corbo explains. “We take it a step further and walk them through the process, helping them to evaluate the decisions they are making, the financial impact behind those decisions, as well as the design and resale implications.”
Corbo Associates is not only a homebuilder, but also a land developer, he adds, noting that his son was a graphic designer and brings those skills and creativity into the home buying process. “Rather than the isolated exercise of hiring an architect or builder, we bridge those gaps by working with our architects and clients to be their eyes and ears, Corbo says. “For example, we recently completed a few homes in a lakeside development in Connecticut. The landowner we worked with has a builder from Florida who wants to build a summer home here in Connecticut. We’re now working with Mark and his family to design and build his home. We speak with him a couple times per week. We also consult with his architect to ensure he isn’t building a Florida house in Connecticut because he’d never sell it. It must also meet current Connecticut codes and work within this home owner’s budget.”
Building With Purpose
The Corbo Group firmly believes that builders have a responsibility to construct homes that enhance the total community. Corbo notes that since he and the company’s associates live in the same community as their clients, Corbo Associates understands their needs. “We’re neighbors with the people that we build for,” he says. “In many respects, we as homeowners have the same issues in our lives in terms of how we want our homes and neighborhoods to look as well. We’re virtually the same as our customers.”
This is why Corbo Associates works to be responsible every time it begins to develop land for any of its customers. In addition, the company also cares about sustainability. “Our energy structure techniques are absolutely at the top of the food chain,” Corbo says proudly. “We utilize a third-party energy rater that assists us in the design of the house to minimize our clients’ energy consumption, and to promote a cleaner environment.
“They also come in during the construction of the home to certify that we have met all of the criteria that we proposed to do,” he continues. “Once the home is completed, the energy rater comes in and tests it, and gives us an independent energy rating. This guarantees we have done exactly what we said we would.”
Corbo says that he is most proud of having the privilege to work with his son every day. “He is the most incredible project manager, officer manager and thinker that I could have ever hoped for,” he says. He adds that he is also proud to have won multiple Hobi awards, including “best Litchfield County spec home” in 2017. “We have won 11 awards, including two in 2017,” he says.
As Corbo Associates looks ahead, it aims to expand out of its local presence into a regional one. “The state of Connecticut has a bit of an outflow of population due to high taxes,” Corbo explains. “Even though the quality of life is wonderful here, it’s a very expensive place to live here. We are looking at building and land opportunities in Massachusetts where there is a stronger market.
“We have the financial security and a company management system that will allow us to spread our wings there, as well as other places within a three- to five-hour drive, and leave our imprint,” he concludes.