Why Ideal Builds the Highest Quality Homes
September 12, 2023
Steve Shoemaker, president of Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods, walks through completed homes and checks out job sites at least once a week. “By doing these walks, I can see what’s really happening. If we’re trying something new, I get to see it for myself,” he said. “I also take a look at our competitors. How are we to best understand the market if we don’t understand what our competitors are offering and what our customers are seeing,” he continued.
Quality has always been a top priority at Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods throughout the more than 30 years in business building new homes in Oklahoma. When someone buys a new home, they expect the highest level of quality, but not all homebuilders deliver. “Our brand is our quality,” Shoemaker says. One of the points of pride at Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods is the more than 13,000 homes built with the same standard in mind that homeowners still value.
Shoemaker says that the definition of quality depends on who you ask and that part of our job is to determine what quality truly means to different people.
- The city will tell you that quality means meeting building codes. If the house passes inspection then it is a quality home.
- A builder will tell you it’s the materials used and how the home is engineered and constructed beyond what the city requires for codes.
- Home buyers usually assume that all new homes meet code, are properly engineered and constructed, and are made of high quality materials. Therefore, buyers are often evaluating quality based on the finishes of the home – cabinets, light fixtures, paint, etc.
“The truth is, quality means all of those things and more. Ideal builds the best-performing homes through a balance of materials, people and processes. If we invest in the best windows but don’t install them properly, that’s a waste of resources. We test and follow up on issues to ensure that the next home we build is always better than the last. Better building processes mean better quality for our customers,” says Shoemaker.
Ideal is continuously making improvements to products and processes to improve the quality of every home, but sometimes things happen outside of the company’s control. “Some things are, of course, out of our control, but we still believe quality has to win out,” explained Shoemaker.
A couple years ago, Oklahoma experienced a very cold winter that killed a significant amount of brand-new sod. When it warmed up, some yards were dead or partially dead. Ideal replaced the sod in all 40–50 lawns – because it was the right thing to do. They could have explained to homeowners that careful care and watering would start new growth, but that wouldn’t be the right thing for the homeowner. “We want our customers to be happy with their homes from the word go! We didn’t spend time explaining what happened to their yard – we just fixed it. Period,” said Shoemaker.
“You also can’t build high-quality homes without incredible people. Yes, we’re in the homebuilding business, but most importantly, we’re in the people business. We want to deliver what our customers are looking for: high quality and beautiful homes. And to do that, we have to have the best people on the team who are invested in the quality of our homes,” concluded Shoemaker.