Concept Homes keeps its finger on the pulse of trends in the housing industry.
By Alan Dorich
When Concept Homes builds a house, it makes sure that it is on the same page as its subcontractors and designers. This requires an environment of open communication and transparency. Without it, “The house just won’t flow,” Project Director Adam Koch says.
Based in Apple Valley, Minn., Concept Homes specializes in building modern, contemporary homes and is a sister company of Paramount Investment Group LLC, which initially focused on renovating residential investment projects. “Concept Homes started in 2015, as an idea of expanding into the new construction field,” Koch explains.
Today, the company is one of the top three spec homebuilders in Minnesota, both in terms of volume and sales. “We feel that we fill the small gap that was there in the new construction market for high-end spec homes,” he says, adding that Concept Homes strives to stay abreast of market trends.
“We have to look at competition and see what sells and what doesn’t sell,” Koch continues, noting that the company listens to local realtors in the regions where it builds. “If there’s a realtor that’s been doing a lot of business in that area, they know the market trends better than most.”
Concept Homes also keeps track of trends through web sites, such as houzz.com, as well as by working closely with designers. “We really depend heavily on the designers, because they are constantly revising and looking at new trends,” he says.
“They’re the ones that are picking up the books and the magazines,” Koch continues. “It’s up to us to take those ideas, make judgment and implement them cost effectively. They’re definitely the capstone as far as the design aspect, making sure we get the house in the right direction.”
Concept Homes’ recent projects include 4316 Ewing, a home in Minneapolis that brings Koch a lot of pride. “It is in a very exclusive neighborhood,” he says, noting that the home is very unique since there are only a few modern homes in the area.
“That one stands out because of the challenging lot and some of the features we put in there,” he says, adding that these include 10-foot-high ceilings on the first floor, as well as oversized front doors and large light fixtures.
“When you walk in, it gives a very gigantic first impression,” he continues, adding that its exterior features include a mixture of stucco, hard siding, industrial aluminum and cedar.
He also highlights homes that the company built on Kellogg Avenue in Edina, Minn. While the square footage of the units that Concept Homes built were similar to the other residences on the street, “We did use two different designers in what we thought were the best fit for those areas,” he says. “Everything was custom from the light fixtures to the cabinets.”
Concept Homes has encountered many homebuyers who are looking for modern homes. While they want a residence with a traditional aesthetic, “They also want something [with a] modern touch to it,” Koch says. “There’s a good majority that can appreciate that clean and modern look in certain features of the house.”
The sustainable construction trend also has not passed the company by. On every home, there is a “certain standard we meet, especially for energy codes and rebates,” he says. “A homeowner can appreciate when we give them the blower door test.
“They go in and makes sure that everything’s energy efficient,” he says, noting that homebuyers will look at lighting, or how it retains hot or cold air. “That translates to a lot of savings and a more energy efficient home.”
Opportunity for Expansion
Koch joined Concept Homes in 2016 after a diverse career. “I did start in hotel management and moved to residential,” he recalls, noting that he completed renovations and sold properties.
Koch is proud of how Concept Homes is grown. He notes that the company has taken “a very huge leap” since its early days and has had the pleasure of visiting satisfied homeowners after the projects are closed.
He sees a strong future for the company, which may venture into new services. “I’d like to explore the possibility of working directly with homeowners from the beginning and doing custom building and pre-solds,” he says.
“We have yet to do that,” Koch says. “I think that would be another place where there is opportunity for expansion and growth.”
Do’s and Don’ts
Concept Homes strives to keep its project sites safe. When the company trains its employees, it makes sure to let them know of “certain ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’,” Koch says, adding that the company makes sure there is proper signage and fencing on its projects.
When working with subcontractors, “We have a contract with everyone understanding they’re going to work in a safe manner,” he says, noting that the company also takes caution by having its subs plan when they will come to the site.
“We always require that they set up appointments,” he says. “It would be very dangerous to pop up at certain times in construction. The last thing we would want is for someone to get hurt on site from a bad fall or stepping on a nail.”
Top photo credit: Spacecrafting