Case Studies

Spinell Homes Inc.

The American Dream for Every Price Point

Spinell Homes Inc. (SHI) has been building homes for Alaskans seeking the American dream since 1987. “We build high-quality single-family homes for first time buyers and also buyers looking to move up in the market,” explains Chuck Spinelli, president and founder of SHI. “Currently we have homes in 20 different locations and I’m proud to say we have been doing this for 23 years.”

Based out of Anchorage, the Spinelli family knows what it takes to build a solid home for its market, and SHI is sure to continue in its success because of its firm family-owned and -operated roots. Chuck’s wife, Jackie Spinelli, is an integral part of management, and two of the couple’s three children have been working within the business since 2000.

“My son and daughter are now working at the company, which makes nine generations of Spinell family members working in the construction industry,” beams Spinelli.

The addition of Andre Spinelli, design and development manager, and Lauren Spinelli, who heads up marketing and sales efforts, has opened up opportunities. For example, Andre is a Certified Green Builder Professional and explores new energy-efficient materials and techniques for SHI, and Lauren meets with every homebuyer and handles all traffic until closing to assure they have a comprehensive service experience.

Building for Every Budget

SHI has built nearly 3,000 homes throughout south-central Alaska. The company has developed 96 models ranging from 1,200-square foot, three-bedroom ranch-style homes to a sprawling 3,400-square foot, four-bedroom and four-bathroom under its premier series. SHI has developed subdivisions in Anchorage, Palmer, Eagle River, Girdwood and Wasilla. The company offers something for every family’s personality and price range. In an effort to provide the greatest value and personalization to its homes, the company offers a large variety of design options and services totaling 1,170 upgrade options, enabling buyers to match their dreams with their bottom line.

SHI recognizes the importance of keeping costs down and maintaining a commitment to a high standard of quality, therefore it works exclusively with a select group of pre-qualified subcontractors. “We are very aware of the cost of owning a home and we know what it takes to build one better,” asserts Spinelli. “This is why we make a point of always managing our subcontractors very well. Even though we sub out the actual building, we handle all of the supervision and warranty work, so we have to make sure the quality is up to our standards.”

SHI’s eye for the details has resulted in the company receiving numerous awards for building excellence from both the Anchorage and Mat-Su Home Builders Associations. But SHI’s proudest acknowledgments are the company’s “Award for Excellence” given by the Better Business Bureau, and that it was voted “Best Home Builder in Alaska” by the readers of the Anchorage Daily News. SHI’s concentration on customer satisfaction begins with the sale, and follows with a series of customer service calls leading to a one-year warranty service appointment. Additionally, the company offers a 10-year Structural Warranty, and it was the first builder in the state to offer what has become standard in the industry.

Building for the Future

Helping the Alaskan community has always been important to SHI, and it goes far beyond offering top-notch homes. Company employees are active members, volunteers and financial supporters of many community groups, as well as participants in trade associations. Spinelli recognizes there are many ways to help improve the current market, as well as company operations.

The Alaskan market, like most residential construction markets, hasn’t yet recovered all of its steam, and SHI has had to fiscally restructure itself to stay afloat. “We had hoped that November 2010 would bring a real push in the housing market the way it usually does, but instead it was the first month in 23 years we went without selling a single house,” says Spinelli. “It seemed to pick up for a short period after that, but now we’re back in dullsville.

“Just after the banking crisis we were asked to scale down our operations from building 40 to 50 spec homes at a time to just five, but the real problem was that we already had 25 under construction,” he continues. “It was a real mess and we had to completely restructure the financing picture and self finance some of it which has absolutely been the biggest challenge for us.”

Spinelli hopes to bring the business to further generations, and has made some proactive moves to do so. For instance, SHI does pursue some commercial new construction and remodeling projects involving office, warehouse or specialty structures. Ultimately, however, Spinelli wants the government to recognize that owning a home is an integral part of the American dream, and push for positive change to take place within the construction industry’s economic forecast. In the meantime, he makes sure to keep everything in perspective as he remains hopeful.

“I think we’ll be treading water waiting for the economy to improve, and as soon as it does I’m looking forward to passing the torch to my kids and fading off into the sunset. My son is the president of the Anchorage Home Builder’s Association, who awarded him Home Builder of the Year, while my daughter is about to give birth to a child, and that’s better than any award you can come up with,” beams Spinell.

Having survived more than one recession while reinforcing a strong family tradition of building top-quality homes for young families, Spinell Homes Inc. will continue to develop stronger communities.

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Spring 2018

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