The Windmillers have made a name for themselves through Aspen Homes LLC and Windmiller Design Build.
IT TAKES MANY different skills and services to build a home. Oftentimes, homebuyers are forced to find companies that can handle each aspect of the design and building process before they can even put pencil to paper for the home of their dreams.
When customers choose Aspen Homes LLC and Windmiller Design Build of Bettendorf, Iowa, as their homebuilder, however, they find everything they need under one roof. That is the only way Aspen Homes owner Ryan Windmiller knows how to conduct business, a family trait passed on from his father Craig.
“Most builders can only do one part of what we do well, but not the whole package,” Windmiller says. “We give
customers the whole package from design to the product and dealing with the warranty.
“Some builders can do decent designs, but we’re at the top end of that compared to other builders in our area,”
Windmiller adds. “We have the quality subs to make it happen and to deliver a long-term, quality house. We do a lot with service work and holding customers’ hands with our building process. Doing the full gamut is what sets us apart.”
Windmiller grew up working in his father’s business, Windmiller Design and Development Co., which delivered high-end custom homes for 30 years. In 2000, Windmiller launched Aspen Homes to offer low- to mid-range homes. Craig and Ryan Windmiller combined operations in 2011 so Craig can ease into retirement. Today, Craig remains active in development and consulting while Ryan runs dayto- day operations.
“My dad as well as myself have based our business on a couple things – very customer-service oriented, and doing what we say we’ll do when we say we’ll do it,” Windmiller says. “We’re not operating out of the back of a truck. We want to be that professional person for our clients, and for our area, we’re known for high quality, unique designs.”
The industry certainly has taken notice of the quality designs the Windmiller family can deliver. Since 2006, Aspen Homes and Windmiller Design have earned a combined 23 awards from Parade of Homes. Also, Craig Windmiller earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the
Quad Cities Builders and Remodelers Association in 2007, and Ryan Windmiller was named builder of the year.
Life on the Ridge
Copper Ridge is Windmiller Design Build’s flagship development. Located in Bettendorf, Copper Ridge is built around a 3-acre lake featuring walking paths, native prairie grass and a gazebo on the lake – a great setting for young families and empty-nesters alike, according to Windmiller.
“Our area is a lake development, so there is more of a resort feel to it,” Windmiller adds.
The development has just 20 of the original 60 lots left for the single family homes aspect of the project. Price points range between $400,000 to $1 million, and for an additional annual fee, residents can have professional snow removal and lawn maintenance.
“Copper Ridge is known for its unique exteriors, all of which coincide well with each other,” Windmiller says. “This gives
it a very non-cookie-cutter feel for a neighborhood.”
Along with planning his own developments, Windmiller is heavily involved with developing Bettendorf. He sits on the board of directors for the Premier Bettendorf Strategic Plan, which is a yearlong project to help the city of Bettendorf reinvigorate its downtown area.
SIMPLE GROWTH STRATEGY
In 2010, Ryan Windmiller partnered with a friend from college to design and build homebuilding software that could help Aspen Homes better manage its processes and streamline communication with customers and trade partners. Windmiller served as the idea and money man, and Clay Miller built what is known today as SimpleBuild.
The software proved so successful for Aspen Homes that Windmiller and Miller spun off a new company to sell it on the open market. Based in Chicago, Simple Build Group LLC has grown Aspen Homes’ annual revenues by $5 million, Windmiller says.
“That’s been tremendous in allowing us to grow the company quite a bit and not get carried away with more employees,” he says. “It was designed as a management tool, and now it is also huge sales tool for me. I was able to go from an $11 million-a-year company to a $16 million-a-year company and added only one employee to do it.”