Case Studies

P&D Builders Ltd.

Four Partners, One Single Highly Efficient Team

P&D Builders Ltd. (P&D), founded in 1962 by Richard E. Dillon, is fast approaching its 50th anniversary. However, the key number when discussing the continuing success of this general contracting firm is four – as in the four partners Dan Dillon, Darin Hilt, Mac Roberts and Ed Snodgrass. Their combined experience in different aspects of the business, which mostly constructs residential homes, gives the customer a true full-service experience. A partner is the primary contact on every phase of a project from start-to-finish. This hands-on, full-service approach sets P&D apart from the competition. The company not only builds physical structures, it builds personal relationships with clients based on trust, respect, communication and the mutual exchange of ideas.

The business, based out of Delaware, Ohio, has come a long way over half a century. It was recently ranked as the second largest custom builder in the Central Ohio metro area, generating approximately $18 million in revenue, and has been the recipient of several national awards. Snodgrass attributes this success to the diversity of services, quality features and comprehensive customer service that P&D provides. The company designs/builds custom homes in five central Ohio counties on lots the company owns, lots owned by its clients, or P&D can assist clients in finding the ideal building site. “We’ve really become much more full service than most other custom builders. There are a lot of services that we offer a client to take them from A to Z in the process, and we do it all in-house,” Snodgrass says.

Detail-oriented Services

Part of the company’s current success has to do with its impeccable organizational structure, Snodgrass comments. “Our detailed budgeting system has been developed over a number of years and that system allows us to develop precise cost estimates for any custom job we bid.”

With respect to plan development, Snodgrass explains that “Many builders have one or two outside designers that they subcontract their design work to. We actually have an in-house design staff that has won national design awards for their work.”

Additionally, “If our clients need other related real estate services, I’m a licensed real estate agent, so I can help people locate, evaluate and purchase the perfect home site or get their existing home sold,” says Snodgrass.

Each owner handles different aspects of the business. “In our partnership structure there are two of us, Dan and I, who work directly as a lesion between our design staff and our clients,” says Snodgrass. “Once the contracts are executed, Mac Roberts handles selections and contract administration and our fourth partner, Darin Hilt, controls production, quality control and warranty work. Our process is designed to encourage customers to be in touch with the ownership side of our business during every phase of the project. We each have our own area of responsibility and each partner is perfectly suited to our particular part of the job.”

The firm uses its expertise to handle the designing, building and moving of a family from an existing home to a new dream home throughout Central Ohio. P&D offers home site location & evaluation services, financing assistance, a list-n-build program, interior design services, in-house design services, and a price match guarantee. It does this all through a detailed, sophisticated pricing system that ensures budget control and accuracy.

“What sets us apart is that we’re unlike a lot of builders that go in and guess at a lot of numbers because they don’t have the time or energy to do more than generate an educated guess. We’ll break it up and know exactly how many square feet at what cost something will be,” says Snodgrass. “We have packages put together for our buyers – like a plumbing package and lighting package – but we also have fixed unit pricing on things like stucco, brick, siding and drywall, just to name a few. As a result, we know exactly what something will cost to build because we break it down to the smallest unit.”

Always looking to apply its extensive capabilities and tightly coordinated supply chain to a new challenge, P&D is actively working with the team from “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” television show on a project located in Columbus, Ohio. The company will be the builder of the show’s project, which will take place in early August 2011 and be broadcast to the public in December 2011. The show, which airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC, showcases what can be accomplished in a very short timeframe when a community answers the call to make a dream come true for a less fortunate neighbor. P&D is proud to use its loyal trade relationships and leadership position within its community to make such a profound difference in the lives of others.

Remodeling Central Ohio

Along with the design and erection of new construction, P&D can handle significant remodeling jobs. “We’ve done remodeling where we’ve taken homes completely down to the foundation and rebuilt them with a whole different design. We did a ranch a couple years ago like this – completely gutting a property,” Snodgrass explains. In addition P&D is capable of developing commercial space. The company did the 22,000-square foot office building in which it is currently located. “We designed the site and did everything for our own commercial building,” explains Snodgrass.

P&D’s capabilities include designing and constructing environmentally friendly properties. The company recently was awarded a 2010 American Residential Design Award for second place in the “green/sustainable design” category. The project was a 4,200-square foot home built in Powell, Ohio, that used the site features to minimize solar gain/loss. P&D also utilized framing techniques to reduce waste, used high-efficient appliances, as well as a tankless hot water heater, and blown cellulose insulation, just to name a select few items.

However, the key problem that P&D faces is that buyers have become more tentative in spending money. “The biggest challenges I face every day is that people have to be very methodical in their purchases now. What they do is they wait to sell their home, move into an apartment and then they’ll come see us,” Snodgrass says. “Our average time between initial client meeting and putting a shovel in the ground was typically four months, now it’s six, seven, maybe eight months. It’s also harder to get financing. Although in recent years the pendulum had swung to the point where you basically had to prove you don’t need the money to get a loan, it is beginning to get better.”

The desire to build is still there, according to Snodgrass. “There’s a lot of pent up demand, and I’m starting to see those people come forward. In general terms the future is going to look brighter than it has the past couple of years. I think people will be more conservative than before, but there will be opportunities.”

Snodgrass is optimistic, and with a talented team of well-orchestrated, detail-oriented partners involved in every aspect of a project, P&D Builders Ltd. is poised to expand its position as the premier choice for custom home building in central Ohio.

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Spring 2018



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