While this might be the typical morning farewell for the average working couple, it is often not the case for husband and wife builder teams.
In the construction industry, it’s not unusual to find firms—home builders, subcontractors, and/or suppliers—that are family-owned and operated, or more specifically husband and wife owned and operated. And these types of companies require a little different skill set to navigate a business environment in which they don’t really leave all of their work “at the office.”
Kansas City-based HBC Construction—with Chris and Roy Ragland at the helm—is one such builder.
Founded more than 10 years ago and specializing in building impressive, yet affordable spec and custom homes with extra touches across the northland in Clay and Platte Counties, the company came about in a very unique way.
“After 20 years working in corporate project management, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at building new homes,” Chris recalls. “At the time, I was feeding off my passion to create beautiful unique homes that I would like to live in, but I really wanted them to be affordable with upscale features. I figured that if it didn’t work, then Roy and I could sell the homes as rental properties.”
But it did work from the start, and Chris’ passion quickly morphed into sought after custom home build jobs, called Homes by Chris.
Roy, on the other hand, had already been in the home industry for about 10 years, working as a residential real estate agent in the Clay and Platte County areas. When he saw how successful Chris’s homes were becoming, and how much love and joy his wife derived from the enterprise, they decided to combine their respective skills and talents and expand the business.
“Our homes have a woman’s touch,” explains Roy, “but are built with great attention to garage size, grading, foundation and roofing materials. We build the complete package, seen and unseen.”
The Couple that Builds Together…
Between the two of them, Chris and Roy offer a wide breadth of services. Roy’s responsibilities cover “the foundation to the roof,” he says, while Chris specializes in everything in between, including décor, appliance selections, final finishes and warranties.
Some clients naturally gravitate toward Chris and others to Roy, but it is not always along gender lines. According to Chris, “It is all of our personalities clicking together. The buyer and the builder have a relationship for a couple of years, from planning the home, to building, to covering the warranties. It has to be a good working relationship.”
Like all couples, they approach their work similarly in some ways, and differently in others. Nevertheless, the partnership has earned the company 27 awards in the last seven years in a wide variety of categories.
What sets them apart from other custom home builders in the area, they say, is their attention to detail, personalized service, creative “out of the box” thinking, high standards, a comprehensive warranty and making the building process easy for the customer.
“Hundreds of decisions must be made in custom homebuilding, and every home is unique,” Roy says. To that Chris adds, “We are always on hand to guide the homeowner, but to also let them put their own personal touches to the home.”
In addition to her role as Co-Owner and Operator of HBC Construction, Chris is also Vice President of theHome Builders Association of Greater Kansas City. Roy is a realtor with Platinum Realty and co-chairs the Sales and Marketing Committee at the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City.