During his tenure as executive vice president for a top 10 home builder in Southeastern Wisconsin, Craig Rakowski, CPA, grew impatient with the home building industry. He saw that builders were making the same repairs over and over again, rather than changing their construction practices. Another concern: customers were not being provided with the specifics that he knew they would need to make an informed decision about building a new home.
Craig decided to use his financial expertise and construction knowledge to start his own company. The goal: doing things right – even if the homes cost slightly more to build and the profit margin is a little less.
“The foundation of James Craig Builders has always been to make a difference,” Craig says. “To that end, we strive to make a difference by: 1) enhancing the lives of our customers 2) setting new standards for home construction in the region and 3) educating consumers about the value of sound building practices. Many builders only put into their homes what customers think they need,” explains Craig. “The problem with this line of thinking is that human nature gets in the way. Nobody wants to spend more for construction practices they can’t see. It’s an education process, and our job is to help customers understand why we do things the way we do.
”Many industry veterans told Craig his ideas would never work. He attributes the company’s success over the last 17 years to the team at James Craig. “Everyone is here for the right reason – to make a difference,” he says. “We have the best people, all focused on building homes that are sustainable and will perform well for years to come.
With this in mind, we also build lasting friendships with our customers…in the end, that’s what really matters.”