Visnic agrees. “They all want their own identity in their home,” he says. “It’s a joy to watch architects give clients the latitude to do that.”
Relationships and Projects
Part of being a good builder involves building good relationships. Visnic enjoys working with people, seeing the home evolve from an idea to a realized structure and continuing those relationships with his clients. “I can look back on homes that have been around for 22 years and can remember the experience of meeting for the first time to talk about building, and then the relationships that are established as a result of that,” he recalls. “It is a very relationship-oriented field. Not everyone is into dealing with people. Some people who love to build just can’t handle all the personalities, but I really like it.”
Lobien also enjoys working with varying personalities. “There’s never a dull moment,” he says. “It’s a constantly creative process and we are always adapting to one-of-a-kind situations. The creativity and wide range of people we get to bring together and work with in order to build is great.”
There is no shortage of unique situations and houses in the custom home market. Lobien and Visnic recall working on a 25,000-sq.-ft. all-concrete home, built for the aesthetics and also to combat the harsh winds across the Chesapeake Bay. Lobien also recalls suspending airplanes from ceilings. “How do you forget hanging an airplane in a house and building around that? We’ve actually done that three times,” he says.
Visnic Homes gets much of its business from referrals and repeat clients. The past several years have been difficult in the economic climate, but Visnic and Lobien have found referrals to carry them through. “Doing a good job and having a good reputation creates enough business to get by,” Visnic says. “Each home becomes an opportunity to prove ourselves and an opportunity to have that success communicated.”
In addition to referrals, Visnic Homes also has several repeat clients. “It’s memorable to be able to go back and remodel a house that we had done 10 years before,” Lobien says. “We’ve had several clients where we’ve actually built another house for them. We see their kids grow. It’s almost like being part of the family.”
“I’m a real humble sort of guy so awards are nice and all, but what we’re really working toward is the satisfaction of the clients and doing things right,” Visnic reflects. “I just want to continue to do a good job.”