Hycraft Homes – Capturing the essence of ‘barn style’

February 2, 2021
Hycraft Homes

Hycraft Homes

Capturing the essence of ‘barn style’

 

Business View Magazine interviews Jordan McDonald, President of Hycraft Homes, for our focus on Excellence in the Texas Home Building Industry

Hycraft Homes a distinguished family company, owned and operated by two brothers, is located in beautiful Montgomery, Texas. With more than 25 years of homebuilding and business experience, Hycraft’s goal is to build quality homes, while offering superior service, innovation and style. Working anywhere within a 50-mile radius of Montgomery, they offer a vast range of services, including custom building, production homebuilding, multifamily housing, modular building, commercial interior build outs, and small commercial projects up to $10 million in value.

With a degree in construction management, company President Jordan McDonald has been building homes since 1995. Originally coming to Texas as an employee of an out-of-state house builder, Jordan helped them achieve the largest financial turnaround in the company’s 40-year history. He relates, “A lot of that was just implementing systems and putting processes in place. Then, for two to three years, I battled with the red tape of a larger corporation, trying to get our floor plans to be Texas friendly. I was fighting against an out-of-state corporate office that didn’t understand why we weren’t selling more and doing more in Texas. I was trying to communicate to them but couldn’t get them to make those necessary changes.”

Hycraft Homes rear

Jordan eventually left, waiting out a non-compete agreement before diving into the growing Montgomery building market with his brother Hyrum, who has a financial background and manages the money side of the two-person operation. As Jordan explains, “Hyrum came to me in the fourth quarter of 2018, he had a lot of different investments and portfolios and he was running some different ideas by me. I said, why are you looking to invest in real estate, why don’t you invest in a construction company that will build your own real estate portfolio? After losing a lot of money in that quarter in the stock market, he started to entertain the idea. That is where Hycraft Homes comes about. The HY is part of his name, and I kind of baited him into the company with naming it partly after him.”

As one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, property in Montgomery County is in high demand. The biggest challenge is finding available land that is platted and ready for new home construction. Montgomery, itself, has one of the most desirable school districts in the area and over the years it has stayed a relatively small rural community with the household median income now in the top 1 percent of the U.S. “It’s a great community,” Jordan attests, “but there are some challenges with land right now. A lot of people, especially during COVID, are wanting to move to more rural areas and have a little more space. They are struggling to find properties in the Montgomery school district where they can build. So that’s one thing we’re constantly looking at on the development side, what we can do to bring more lots to the table for people to build on.”

With only one employee, a recently hired site manager, Hycraft Homes relies heavily on subcontractors. The McDonalds have been fortunate to establish a skilled and reliable trade base to work in partnership with, by creating a fair and respectful working relationship. According to Jordan, “We’ve tried to set ourselves apart from other builders, paying trades in a timely manner and building a partnership and relationship rather than a dictatorship.” Throughout the pandemic, the company has been able to maintain this workforce and stay on schedule.

Although the firm has fortunately not experienced any issues with contractors or supply due to COVID, 2020 did bring a dramatic increase in lumber costs. “It’s been our biggest challenge this year,” says Jordan, “with homes that were already under contract. And as construction loans close, we’ve taken a pretty sizable hit on our margins, just to keep the deal moving forward. In our case, most of our contracts were firm fixed price contracts, where we’re kind of stuck with that cost increase.” He adds, “Our objective, always is to just to provide a very positive custom build experience. We are very much people over profit.”

Instead of traditional marketing, Hycraft Homes is confident that word-of-mouth referrals and spec homes will entice new clients. They also use social media to promote current trends and new offerings, such as the Barndominium. This new style, which offers a change from the popular farmhouse style, is described on Hycraft’s Facebook page as “Gorgeous homes with a strong influence of barn styling. Differing from the Farmhouse style trend, Barndominium designs feature a gambrel roof and an open concept floor plan.” HGTV devotees will be relieved to know that the farmhouse style is still a popular choice. As Jordan explains, “We really are fans of the modern farmhouse style, and that is what most of our emphasis is placed on. A lot of that has become so popular due to Chip and Joanna Gaines, who are only about two hours from us. There is very much a brick and stone, earth tone, traditional Texas style amongst the local builders here. We wanted to be different from that because we liked the look, but it was very much what everybody else was doing. We fell in love with the Joanna Gaines “Magnolia” style.”

Hycraft specializes in custom built homes, working with a few preferred designers and architects, depending on the style their client is looking for. The company website features a variety of floorplans from the design firm, House Plan Zone, who are based in Mississippi. “We really like their floor plans for our area, and the style of homes that we felt were up and coming. That alone, I feel has helped in setting a different name and tone for our business and it sets us aside from other builders,” says Jordan. Although many clients select from these popular floorplans, Hycraft will make any modifications necessary to customize their quality homes to suit the tastes and needs of individual homeowners.

Another way that Hycraft Homes sets themselves apart in the local industry is by encouraging spray foam insulation in all their builds. Installing this product improves indoor air quality, equalizes heating and cooling, and reduces the carbon footprint. Homeowners are provided with a cost comparison, showing the additional upgrade cost compared with significant savings on energy bills. “We have decided to make it our standard and it is a pretty easy sell,” Jordan reports. Hycraft Homes works with Texas Insulation, a local company under the umbrella of Energy One America, to install this spray foam product. The company website states, “Spray Foam is so much more than insulation, it’s a game changer.”

With their strong value system and drive to succeed, Hycraft Homes, and the brothers who run it, could be called unique in the building industry. Jordan McDonald describes, “We are both very driven; being motivated to achieve from early in life. We come from a family of five boys, five Eagle Scouts. We don’t swear, we don’t drink, or smoke, we’re kind of different I guess, but we do enjoy what we do.” With plans to keep slowly expanding into new markets, the Hyland Homes brand intends to always create a positive experience for their clients. Jordan shares, “We have the best customers in the world. That is because of the way we value them and the relationships that we build, which will hopefully last a lifetime.” It is the loyalty of customers like Kent and Janet Lane, the first family to build with Hycraft, who still keep in touch today, along with the many satisfied clients who have followed, that show the integrity and authenticity the company brings to each job.

Hycraft Homes kitchen

Hycraft Homes a distinguished family company, owned and operated by two brothers, is located in beautiful Montgomery, Texas. With more than 25 years of homebuilding and business experience, Hycraft’s goal is to build quality homes, while offering superior service, innovation and style. Working anywhere within a 50-mile radius of Montgomery, they offer a vast range of services, including custom building, production homebuilding, multifamily housing, modular building, commercial interior build outs, and small commercial projects up to $10 million in value.

With a degree in construction management, company President Jordan McDonald has been building homes since 1995. Originally coming to Texas as an employee of an out-of-state house builder, Jordan helped them achieve the largest financial turnaround in the company’s 40-year history. He relates, “A lot of that was just implementing systems and putting processes in place. Then, for two to three years, I battled with the red tape of a larger corporation, trying to get our floor plans to be Texas friendly. I was fighting against an out-of-state corporate office that didn’t understand why we weren’t selling more and doing more in Texas. I was trying to communicate to them but couldn’t get them to make those necessary changes.”

Jordan eventually left, waiting out a non-compete agreement before diving into the growing Montgomery building market with his brother Hyrum, who has a financial background and manages the money side of the two-person operation. As Jordan explains, “Hyrum came to me in the fourth quarter of 2018, he had a lot of different investments and portfolios and he was running some different ideas by me. I said, why are you looking to invest in real estate, why don’t you invest in a construction company that will build your own real estate portfolio? After losing a lot of money in that quarter in the stock market, he started to entertain the idea. That is where Hycraft Homes comes about. The HY is part of his name, and I kind of baited him into the company with naming it partly after him.”

As one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, property in Montgomery County is in high demand. The biggest challenge is finding available land that is platted and ready for new home construction. Montgomery, itself, has one of the most desirable school districts in the area and over the years it has stayed a relatively small rural community with the household median income now in the top 1 percent of the U.S. “It’s a great community,” Jordan attests, “but there are some challenges with land right now. A lot of people, especially during COVID, are wanting to move to more rural areas and have a little more space. They are struggling to find properties in the Montgomery school district where they can build. So that’s one thing we’re constantly looking at on the development side, what we can do to bring more lots to the table for people to build on.”

With only one employee, a recently hired site manager, Hycraft Homes relies heavily on subcontractors. The McDonalds have been fortunate to establish a skilled and reliable trade base to work in partnership with, by creating a fair and respectful working relationship. According to Jordan, “We’ve tried to set ourselves apart from other builders, paying trades in a timely manner and building a partnership and relationship rather than a dictatorship.” Throughout the pandemic, the company has been able to maintain this workforce and stay on schedule.

Although the firm has fortunately not experienced any issues with contractors or supply due to COVID, 2020 did bring a dramatic increase in lumber costs. “It’s been our biggest challenge this year,” says Jordan, “with homes that were already under contract. And as construction loans close, we’ve taken a pretty sizable hit on our margins, just to keep the deal moving forward. In our case, most of our contracts were firm fixed price contracts, where we’re kind of stuck with that cost increase.” He adds, “Our objective, always is to just to provide a very positive custom build experience. We are very much people over profit.”

Instead of traditional marketing, Hycraft Homes is confident that word-of-mouth referrals and spec homes will entice new clients. They also use social media to promote current trends and new offerings, such as the Barndominium. This new style, which offers a change from the popular farmhouse style, is described on Hycraft’s Facebook page as “Gorgeous homes with a strong influence of barn styling. Differing from the Farmhouse style trend, Barndominium designs feature a gambrel roof and an open concept floor plan.” HGTV devotees will be relieved to know that the farmhouse style is still a popular choice. As Jordan explains, “We really are fans of the modern farmhouse style, and that is what most of our emphasis is placed on. A lot of that has become so popular due to Chip and Joanna Gaines, who are only about two hours from us. There is very much a brick and stone, earth tone, traditional Texas style amongst the local builders here. We wanted to be different from that because we liked the look, but it was very much what everybody else was doing. We fell in love with the Joanna Gaines “Magnolia” style.”

Hycraft specializes in custom built homes, working with a few preferred designers and architects, depending on the style their client is looking for. The company website features a variety of floorplans from the design firm, House Plan Zone, who are based in Mississippi. “We really like their floor plans for our area, and the style of homes that we felt were up and coming. That alone, I feel has helped in setting a different name and tone for our business and it sets us aside from other builders,” says Jordan. Although many clients select from these popular floorplans, Hycraft will make any modifications necessary to customize their quality homes to suit the tastes and needs of individual homeowners.

Another way that Hycraft Homes sets themselves apart in the local industry is by encouraging spray foam insulation in all their builds. Installing this product improves indoor air quality, equalizes heating and cooling, and reduces the carbon footprint. Homeowners are provided with a cost comparison, showing the additional upgrade cost compared with significant savings on energy bills. “We have decided to make it our standard and it is a pretty easy sell,” Jordan reports. Hycraft Homes works with Texas Insulation, a local company under the umbrella of Energy One America, to install this spray foam product. The company website states, “Spray Foam is so much more than insulation, it’s a game changer.”

With their strong value system and drive to succeed, Hycraft Homes, and the brothers who run it, could be called unique in the building industry. Jordan McDonald describes, “We are both very driven; being motivated to achieve from early in life. We come from a family of five boys, five Eagle Scouts. We don’t swear, we don’t drink, or smoke, we’re kind of different I guess, but we do enjoy what we do.” With plans to keep slowly expanding into new markets, the Hyland Homes brand intends to always create a positive experience for their clients. Jordan shares, “We have the best customers in the world. That is because of the way we value them and the relationships that we build, which will hopefully last a lifetime.” It is the loyalty of customers like Kent and Janet Lane, the first family to build with Hycraft, who still keep in touch today, along with the many satisfied clients who have followed, that show the integrity and authenticity the company brings to each job.

AT A GLANCE

Hycraft Homes

What: Custom residential and commercial builders

Where: Montgomery, Texas

Website: www.hycrafthomes.com

PREFERRED VENDORS

Tri-Supply Home Products – www.trisupplyhome.com

DIG DIGITAL?

February 2021 Issue cover of Business View Magazine

February 2021 Issue

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