PortSide Builders Inc.
- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Joe Atwood
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
PortSide Builders Inc. (PortSide) was founded in 1974 on the belief that customer service should last as long as the home itself. PortSide is a full-service custom builder with a solid reputation based on a customer-focused approach that blends innovation and attention to detail to yield stunning end results that continually exceed customer expectations. The PortSide team’s goal is to ensure that each customer’s home-building or remodeling experience is not only stress-free, but also enjoyable. The team achieves this by lending its expertise to every stage of the building or remodeling project and coordinating with construction crews to deliver a zero-defect product.
“Every construction project comes with a standard warranty,” asserts Paul Shefchik, president of PortSide. “We continue to take care of our customers long after they move in.” Word-of-mouth referrals allow the company’s percentage of repeat customers to range from 60 to 75 percent.
PortSide specializes in custom residential and commercial construction from the tip of Door County throughout the entire Fox Valley. Sturgeon-based PortSide also maintains a branch office located in Neenah, Wis., making it one of northeastern Wisconsin’s premier custom builders. Both locations also house a complete home-design center, where PortSide professionals help clients pin down every detail from an array of product displays, showcasing home products.
From the minute a client decides to build or remodel with PortSide, the team is standing by to lend a hand. The company’s expertise comes into play early on with a design consultation where PortSide’s custom design professionals and construction experts walk the client through the design phase. Pinpointing each client’s needs, establishing financial parameters to work within as well as building a solid relationship are PortSide’s main objectives.
The company maintains a home plan library with over 700 original home plans – ranging from an economical 864 square feet to a grand 7,774 square feet – ensuring clients have a wealth of options to peruse.
Even if the library can’t produce a perfect match, the PortSide team can design a home from the ground up, using elements from various plans as a starting point. The PortSide team will also visit the site of the new home to ensure the design makes the most of the site’s natural charms, whether the parcel is virgin land or already developed.
A Less-stress Approach
At no point does PortSide want the customer to feel overwhelmed, so the team pushes to ensure that the client is not just comfortable with the plans, but excited. “Our greatest satisfaction comes from homeowners who say that working with us was so enjoyable; they can’t wait to do it again,” admits Shefchik. PortSide’s success is due in part to the team’s respect for both the client and the home.
According to Shefchik’s estimates, approximately 90 to 95 percent of PortSide’s business is residential. That figure includes the remodeling and construction of new homes from single-family to multiunit condominium homes. “These are vacation homes that people utilize at their convenience throughout the year,” Shefchik explains.
Due to the company’s range of services, PortSide was able to sustain the 2008 financial crisis. After the housing market slowed, the company had more requests for remodeling and home additions. PortSide’s transition has gone so smoothly in part because of the team’s philosophy of goodwill and accountability.
PortSide’s staff has hovered around 50 professionals in recent years, giving the company enough manpower to take on a sizable portion of the work. “We still do a lot of the labor – from framing, siding to the interior finish – and we tend to work with the same subcontractors for any of the specialty trades,” adds Shefchik “Keeping a consistent pool of subcontractors ensures the client receives a competitive price, while still giving PortSide the ability to work with the best-suited subcontractor to deliver the desired finished product.”
A Showcase of Skill
PortSide showcases many open houses and also participates in several homebuilder associations’ showcase of homes throughout the year. This allows potential clients to walk through the company’s finished product and see the high-quality and attention to detail in every PortSide built home. “We have been told by people touring the parade homes that they look for our homes because they know they will see a quality built home,” says Shefchik.
Residential construction and remodeling may represent the bulk of PortSide’s work in recent years, but the company has also had the opportunity to give back to the community on a few commercial construction projects. PortSide served as the general contractor for the construction of a new town hall in Sevastopol, Wis., in time of its sesquicentennial celebration party in July that same year. Other endeavors include the construction of facilities for HELP of Door County Inc., a nonprofit fighting domestic abuse, and the construction of a 17,000-square foot addition and 12,600-square foot renovation to the Sun Shine House in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., a nonprofit organization that serves those with special needs and disabilities.
PortSide is also a Focus on Energy homebuilder, and was proud to feature a Focus on Energy home in the Door County Home Builders Inc. Showcase of Homes in 2011. This PortSide home was designed and constructed with all selections made to incorporate green building practices and products. The finished product’s ratings far exceeded, and impressed, the team at Focus on Energy. The amount of knowledge gained by the PortSide team has proven useful especially as more homeowners become conscientious of the benefits of an energy-efficient home.
Additionally, PortSide is employee-owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, as the shared ownership equates to a shared sense of responsibility for the client’s satisfaction. “We are proud to be employee-owned,” says Shefchik. “Knowing that having a PortSide owner on every jobsite is a benefit our customers will enjoy for years to come.” The team’s extensive expertise and drive represents just two of the many ways the PortSide Builders Inc. team goes above and beyond to make clients happy.
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