With three decades working in Chicagoland, McNaughton Development is known for quality.
WHEN PAUL MCNAUGHTON SR. started McNaughton Development in 1983, he aimed to exceed standards with every detail.
The lasting result, his son says, is a company known for luxury and quality ? even through tough economies.
“Any builder can go build a home, but Paul Sr. really took it upon himself to make sure that every detail that went into his homes met his standards for quality, which are above and beyond the rest of the industry,” Paul McNaughton Jr. says.
The high-end residential builder has entitled and/or developed more than 3,000 acres in 25 communities throughout Chicago’s suburbs and has constructed and sold about 500 single- family homes in McNaughton-developed subdivisions, plus hundreds of others through other subdivisions and sites. McNaughton homes have won more than 50 Golden Key Awards for Excellence in Design from the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chicago.
Aside from those accomplishments, McNaughton also has developed and constructed landmark office buildings and upscale townhouse developments.
Achieving the founder's ideals means attention to each step of the custom home-building process and expecting anyone outside party to adhere to the same process.
“We only use subcontractors that have established their own reputation in the market for quality,” he says. “That is one of the biggest ways we ensure quality. We have subcontractors we have been working with for more than 15 years. That would be No. 1. Second is oversight. We have a project manager and superintendent on every job. We work hand-in-hand together to make sure that every part of the process ? from the foundation going into the ground to the carpentry framing to the mechanicals ? is in sync and that subcontractors are on the same page.”
Building regulations have changed ? and working closely with municipalities has become increasing important over the years ? as well as styles. One of the more challenging shifts is the level of budget-consciousness of even high-end home buyers, McNaughton says.
“Buyers today are looking not so much for bigger custom homes, but they are looking for a product that is in a smaller package that is still functional and efficient to suit their living needs,” he says. “Price point has a lot to do with that as well. Our buyers today are very budget-conscious, compared to when the economy was doing very well.”
To create a home that is functional, budget friendly and still stunning, McNaughton says the company looks to the features that make the most impact and focuses there.
“Just like when you are developing a subdivision and you have to value engineer, you have to value engineer the architecture as well, without skipping on the important details that make you as a builder unique,” he says. “The buyers appreciate that.”
By knowing the market well, McNaughton Development also has learned to find lots that will offer the best value to the homeowner in the end.
“We are very conscious about purchasing our land for what we feel is the right price in the market,” McNaughton says. “It does take a while to enter a new market to understand all the different perceptions that are out there in terms of schools and locations. We are in a couple of the western markets right now where we feel comfortable. We have a good handle on what values are and where we would like to be in our land values to build a competitively priced product.”
No matter which section of the Chicago suburbs or what budget the company is working with, McNaughton says the goal is to create a house that is eye-catching.
“We want every home to be unique in some way,” he says. “Our exterior architecture is what I would call our thumbprint.
“Paul is always looking to push the envelope in terms of architectural aesthetics,” McNaughton adds.
Keeping the end user in mind ? and involved ? makes the process fulfilling for all parties.
“The people who come in and want to build a home with us come to us because they have seen our product, they like our product and they have heard about our reputation,” McNaughton says. “We also want to make the homebuilding process enjoyable.”
Each dream home starts with a discussion of sizes, locations and wish lists. Aside from curb appeal, McNaughton homes also are known for unique floor plans.