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Orren Pickell Building Group Strives to Build Homes That Retain Their Style


Orren Pickell Building Group is known for fusing traditional and contemporary styles in its homes. 

It’s not about building homes that are trendy. It’s about building homes that are timeless. So says Eric Pickell, sales and marketing manager for Orren Pickell Building Group, when asked about how the Wilmette, Ill.-based homebuilder pleases its customers. “We want someone to walk in a house 20 years after we built it and say, ‘Wow, this house still looks amazing,’” he states. “We love going for the timeless aspect.”

“Timeless” might mean building a home that blends traditional and contemporary styles — an Orren Pickell Building Group specialty throughout the greater Chicago area, where the company concentrates its business. “Certain people think of us as a traditional homebuilder, and others think of us more as a contemporary homebuilder,” says Pickell, whose father, Orren, began the business in 1971. Orren is the CEO of the company and Lisa Pickell, Orren’s daughter and Eric’s sister, is president.

While known for building both traditional and contemporary styles, Orren Pickell Building Group is also recognized for seamlessly fusing the two styles together. “We love the transitional styles of architecture — blending the two together and getting that kind of clean, crisp style of a more contemporary design along with the warmth and elements of more a traditional style of construction,” Eric Pickell says.

For example, Orren Pickell Building Group recently built a contemporary farmhouse for a customer. “[The project] really lent itself to what we love doing, which is custom homebuilding,” Pickell says.

The company embraces working with its clients to build the perfect custom homes, he adds. Aesthetics are important, of course, but establishing how clients want to live in the different parts of their homes and building to those requirements are just as vital, he says.

Improving Digital Efficiencies

Orren Pickell Building Group also offers remodeling, custom cabinetry, carpentry and home maintenance. The family business was founded on Orren’s remodeling efforts.

A key best practice over the years has been Orren Pickell Building Group’s willingness to adopt new digital technology to improve business processes and enhance customer service, Pickell says. “We actually developed our own software to manage all the things we do.”

The company’s software program consists of several software components that run on one platform. “We have scheduling, accounting and CRM (customer relationship management) software, and they all talk to each other on the platform,”  Pickell says, noting that it has made processes more consistent and efficient. “From an improvement standpoint, we’re always looking at what types of digital [capabilities] can make us better at our jobs so our projects run easier.”

It all boils down to customer service. “We don’t want to be one and done with our customers,” Pickell stresses. ‘We want to build relationships with them, and we want them to continue to be interested in what we’re doing. So, if they want to change something in their homes or they need some maintenance work done, we can be there to help them.” 


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