Hillan Homes is a company owned and operated by Patrick Raye Jr that specializes in boutique building. It primarily focuses on the markets in Southeast Michigan. Since its foundation in the late 80s, it has completed thousands of homes. Surprisingly, all of the houses built are easily distinguishable. Unlike most other companies in the market, Hillan Homes offers complete customizability where the buyers handpick everything from the floor plans to the building materials. Thus, there are no predetermined blueprints that dictate what each home will look like. This approach allows the company to deliver beautiful and unique structures that will seldom appear elsewhere.
What made you decide to pursue the unique-homes market?
The fact that there are too many companies basing all of their projects on an ancient book of rules. Meaning, there are certain styles of construction that nearly everyone follows nowadays. Although there is nothing wrong with that approach, we believe in uniqueness. Due to this, our practice is based on creative and customer-driven solutions. We even allow them to select all of the materials!
Has the client-centered approach helped you grow over the years?
Absolutely. Home building is often described as a field where the builders should simply be allowed to do whatever they need to. Of course, that theory is true to a certain extent. In our practice, however, we want to get the clients involved and enable them to understand everything that we are doing.
So, for instance, if we believe that certain materials would be more useful, we will elaborate and come to an agreement. One thing we will never do is simply start a project and finish it with minimum interaction with the buyer. Doing so facilitates discrepancies between their desires and our deliverables.
Why do you prefer working on unique homes as opposed to mainstream projects?
Because it helps work on something that most of us may have never worked on before. Consider, for instance, how companies that build entire neighborhoods operate. First, they develop a plan that showcases the positioning of the homes. Then, they order the necessary materials to build each house. Note how all of the materials will be the same. After that, they spend the remaining length of the project building the same home over and over. In our opinion, doing so can lead to high burnout rates. Not to mention how the customer gets left out of the entire endeavor.
We focus on creating homes that are entirely different from what the mainstream market offers. Luckily, we do not even have to supply much of the creativity. This is because we let the customer bring their own ideas into the picture. After establishing a game plan, we work together to determine the best materials, resources, and schedule.
Are the homes that you build energy-efficient? If so, what are some benefits?
The vast majority of the ones that we created are. For those unfamiliar, these homes include everything from controlled ventilation to energy-efficient appliances. Although we always communicate with the client, our offering usually revolves around energy-efficient houses. This is because we want to provide structures that will be long-term solutions for our customers. Meaning, our goal is to build homes that will offer longevity and high-level sustainability.
Is there a common approach that you rely on when interacting with potential clients?
Well, yes and no. We do not have a clearly outlined building pattern that we can showcase to the client. This is because all of our projects are different and greatly depend on what the buyers want. We do, however, offer similar assurances and guarantees about uniqueness. After all, all clients that interact with us are interested in being involved with the construction. Thus, one of our main selling points is our approach to building.
Are there any projects that you remember as incredibly difficult or unorthodox?
Not necessarily. No project is challenging to fulfill once you have the proper resources and manpower. With the right combination of those two, your abilities become nearly limitless. Thus, I am proud to say that we have yet to find a project that we are unable to deliver.