Evergreene Homes offers almost unlimited customization so owners end up with the perfect fit.
BORN FROM A DESIRE to move away from the corporate environment of big firms in favor of a more creative and collaborative way of building homes, Evergreene Homes enjoys building residences and neighborhoods in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, by taking the best elements of the corporate experience – processes and planning – and melding those with a focus on the homeowners and home designs.
With a long list of team members who have years of industry experience, Evergreene started with two people, Rob Cappellini and Joe Ricketts, who left executive posts at national homebuilders to start fresh at a time when others were dropping out.
“There were changes taking place in the housing market,” Cappellini says. “The housing recession was starting. Joe Ricketts and I did not want to remain in an environment largely driven by corporate objectives, mostly financial. We felt this would be a good opportunity to start a new building company.”
It turned out to be the right move, he says.
“Land values corrected very rapidly and we were able to start our company with no legacy issues,” Cappellini says. “There were new, adjusted land values and new product, and we were able to bring on good people because other builders were forced to let so many talented people go. We could grow to meet the opportunities that we found, build a reputation and build our brand. We believed that if we maintained a strong commitment to great product and a great experience for our homeowners, word would spread and we would find more business. That’s proven to work.”
The company has doubled in size every year since its founding in 2007, establishing a strong reputation and displaying capabilities, especially in urban in-fill homes and beachside communities.
“We love the team we’ve assembled; we’re proud of the reputation we’ve earned,” Cappellini says. “We try to build a better product than most builders. We want to do it right.”
Finding the Right Buyers
Though Evergreene typically works in more densely populated areas, the company is willing to take on any project where the company can match a buyer to a home that reflects his or her – or the family’s – lifestyle.
“We have a very diverse group of people on the team, diverse talents, whether it’s a contemporary in Tysons Corner or a beach house or a cottage or an estate home,” Cappellini says. “That’s really what drives us. We want to put the right home in the right location for each and every homeowner.”
Customization levels vary, primarily, by client budget. The company starts with an appealing core offering.
“People can come to our design center and spend a day or two with one of our interior designers and personalize their home – the color, textures and finishes that really speak to them,” Cappellini says. “That’s ready for every
Then there are those who may have spotted something in a magazine or website that excites them. Evergreene can make that happen, too, with in-house architectural and purchasing teams.
In seven years, the company has designed close to 150 different homes in a variety of styles.
“They serve as a fantastic starting point for the majority of our buyers,” Cappellini says. “However, if somebody comes in with a fresh set of ideas and wants to start on a blank sheet of paper, we are happy to do that.”
On a Larger Scale
The company also is applying its “just right” approach to neighborhoods.
Sometimes, it’s a lot in an established neighborhood. Other times, there are opportunities for larger parcels where Evergreene can build a street or more.
“At that point, we look at how it’s going to transition from existing neighborhoods to these new spaces,” he says. “We try to be sensitive to that. Many builders and projects are designed to put as much as possible on the property.
“Technically, it works, but I don’t think it builds a great community,” Cappellini says. “It needs to fit its natural environment. It has to serve the people who desire to live there.”
The largest project the company has taken on to date is a planned development known as Preston Lake, which is
located in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Preston Lake is a planned community that will encompass 450 to 500 homes when it’s complete in 10 to 12 years.
The picturesque Shenandoah Valley location offers beautiful mountain views for all the residents to enjoy from their porches, decks and patios.
Evergreene Homes has a large variety of home types planned for this location that meet the needs of a diverse and growing local community – from villas and small townhomes to luxury townhomes up to cottages or single-family homes and estate homes.
“Preston Lake really has something for everybody – every style and every price point,” he says.
Large planned communities of this caliber are new to this market, and though a project of that scope is not part of the company’s strategic view, Evergreene is excited about the challenge and opportunity it creates for the company.
“The things that probably excite us most are in-fill locations in northern Virginia – Arlington, Vienna or Herndon – or our beach locations in Delaware,” he says. “They provide unique opportunities for us to do some special projects and get creative with the home designs.”
Those are single-family homes in a variety of sizes as well as townhomes with upscale finishes and rooftop
spaces. Evergreene has been very busy on the Eastern shore in Delaware and Maryland beach towns where homes are within walking distance of the water.
“These are coastal places where people like to invest and create family memories with a second home,” he says. “Picture that lifestyle, and then we create a design around it.
“That’s a lot of fun for us,” Cappellini adds.
Whether it’s an individual home-owner or a group of people from the Evergreene team who live the lifestyle, the team looks at how people live and what kinds of spaces meet that need.
A notable example that appears in many of the company’s designs is creating porch or outdoor spaces that connect directly to a living area or owner’s suite.
“Then you’re extending the home beyond its walls,” he says. “Big things people are looking for these days in the marketplace are these extended living areas, chef kitchens, luxury owner’s bath or suite, and curb appeal that speaks to guests and the owners by adding interesting details ? then picking quality materials and finishes that are durable and energy efficient.”
The company has been able to consistently achieve Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index scores significantly better than those of a standard code built or Energy Star homes.
“That’s an area where we really pride ourselves and try to outperform,” Cappellini says. “We’re always trying to invest in specs for the house that will drive our HERS scores lower and lower. Homeowners see the value. They see the savings month after month once they move in.”
That’s been a goal from the company’s genesis. So has creating a team atmosphere where individual employees and leaders have a reason to take pride.
“We have created a culture as a company for our employees to thrive,” he says. “We all left corporate environments to create a better place to work.
“People want to work here,” Cappellini adds. “It’s a collaborative environment where viewpoints are encouraged and welcomed and we are constantly challenging each other to perform better.”