Case Studies

Winesburg Builders

Ohio firm raises the bar in general contracting practices and standards

In the past 14 years, Winesburg Builders has developed into a premier hotel, apartment and senior housing builder. With extensive experience, the staff at Winesburg provides unique expertise in the design, construction, operation and ownership of the facilities it builds. Headquartered in Millersburg, Ohio, Winesburg is a design-build firm that provides its clients with the most cost-effective, quality construction possible. The company also maintains the ability to assist its clients in finding both construction and permanent project financing.

Founded in 2002 by brothers Robert and Reuben Schlabach, Winesburg was established initially as a framing company. As the company grew, the Schlabachs began adding services such as trim and carpentry work. In 2009 the company completed its first general contracting project. “It was a project that they were also going to own,” says Brad Grose, president of Winesburg. “My background was in the larger general contracting industry so they brought me on as a partner and we’ve been doing general contractor work ever since.”

Winesburg stands out in a competitive industry by providing its own in-house field staff. By having the ability to perform trades such as concrete, electrical and plumbing when it chooses to, Winesburg is able to maintain quality control and scheduling. It also assists in accurate bidding on each project. “Depending on the job, we will sub some of the trades out but at least we know if there is an issue then we have our own in-house guys to rely on,” shares Grose. “If something happens we are able to make the proper adjustments.”

Investing in ownership projects

As a company that looks to invest in its own general contracting projects, Winesburg has established a chain of hotels called The Wallhouse Hotel. The endeavor began in 2013 with the completion of a 63-room, modern-style hotel in Walnut Creek, Ohio. The property was designed in-house with an innovative energy-smart system, including insulated concrete form (ICF) walls, ENERGY STAR doors and windows as well as an exclusive heating and cooling system to ensure low levels of operating energy costs.

As a high-end boutique hotel, Winesburg is establishing The Wallhouse Hotel as a chain of which it will seek to sell units as franchises. “We recently just built our first Wallhouse for a client and are getting ready to sell two more,” says Grose. “We’re working toward making The Wallhouse a national chain.”

Winesburg also has a strong presence in the independent and assisted-living market. “We’ve been working on some of the larger projects being completed in that industry,” says Grose. “Many of them have been in the 80,000 to 90,000 square feet range. In July 2015, Winesburg completed a project called Danbury Woods of Alliance, which is an assisted living project located in Alliance, Ohio. The facility features 25 independent and assisted living suites as well as 20 private memory-care suites.

A project that Brad has found to be significantly rewarding took place at an independent assisted living faciWinesburg Builderslity in Columbus, Ohio. “There was a lot of uniqueness to it,” says Brad. “It involved some road work and lane widening, which is not typically what we get involved in. We’ve done three projects for that client and that was the largest one so far.”

More than a contracting company

In measuring success within the company, Grose says that a key performance indicator for Winesburg is the fact that a majority of the work that the company completes is negotiated rather than bid-awarded. “On the jobs that we are competitively bidding, we are only doing so because we were specifically asked to do so,” he explains.

With the exponential growth that Winesburg has experienced, the company has provided many opportunities for people including both employees and strategic partners. This is an aspect of the business that Grose thoroughly enjoys. “We are a very family-oriented company,” he says. “We operate drastically different from the typical corporate structure and work environment.”

While the company has become a major player in the Midwest general contracting industry, Winesburg shows no sign of slowing down. With the development of The Wallhouse Hotel, a strong backlog of work and a solid base of repeat clients, Winesburg is looking to nearly double its annual revenue in the next couple of years. “We have a lot of exciting things happening right now,” says Grose. “We’re looking forward to growing our office and field staff as well as our facilities and everything that comes along with it.”

By providing high-quality craftsmanship that meets or exceed each project’s schedule, Winesburg Builders raises the bar as a general contracting company by maintaining its focus on being a relationship-based firm and providing the highest level of quality and value to its clients.

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Spring 2018



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