In today’s marketplace, consumers aren’t interested in buying off the rack; they would much rather stand out. They demand a product tailored to them, even when that product is a home. West Ridge Fine Homes is more than happy to oblige. For the past dozen years, the custom homebuilder has been delivering on discerning Calgarians’ desire for a luxury home that fits their lifestyle and tastes to a T.
“It’s very much a boutique firm. We are offering customers a concierge boutique experience,” says Marc Lehouillier, owner of West Ridge Fine Homes. “We love the challenge of exploring our clients’ needs and wants, no matter how different, and providing a customized service and product that aligns with our clients’ personalities and personal tastes.”
Cookie-cutter communities don’t interest Lehouillier and his team. Instead, he strives to get to know his customers to understand what they need and want in a home and then works hard to fulfil those dreams. The first step is an in-depth meeting. The West Ridge team fleshes out the homeowner’s requirements and expectations to ensure the partnership is a good fit. And it has to fit on both sides in order to move forward toward a successful design and build. West Ridge is built on relationships and seeing as the team works closely with clients for an average of 10 months, it’s critical the fit be right. Lehouillier assembles the best team to represent the client’s individual interests and vision, meshing personalities and styles to achieve the best possible outcome.
And the outcomes have been spectacular. Besides the client-driven custom builds and extensive renovations for which West Ridge is known, the luxury builder also produces show homes in some of the most-coveted areas to demonstrate the company’s strengths and capabilities.
“We use the show homes as an opportunity to meet and create relationships with new clientele. It’s a really good way to showcase our quality and standards as opposed to trying to tell people or show pictures,” says Lehouillier.
The builder always has a completed property to show prospective homeowners. With show homes in Lake Bonavista, University Heights and St. Andrews Heights likely to sell quickly, West Ridge has three more coming onto the market shortly to take their place: a gorgeous home in Wildwood on the ridge above Edworthy Park, a stunner in upper Scarboro overlooking the Bow River, and an amazing property in Silverhorn in Bearspaw as part of the Show Home Parade. Show homes, featured at www.westridgefinehomes.com, are open every weekend from 1:00-4:00 p.m. or by appointment, offering people a chance to see for themselves the high level of attention West Ridge gives to a home. The pride the team takes in a job well done is evident in every West Ridge home, and seeing the unrivalled design quality and craftsmanship in show homes attracts almost as many clients as do word-of-mouth recommendations.
The company’s reputation is impeccable and Lehouillier is determined to maintain its boutique quality to continue to enhance client satisfaction. With only eight to 10 builds per year, West Ridge delivers a high level of quality and personal service on every build. And over the years, many of the clients have become friends and the relationship endures long past when the keys are handed over and the job is complete.
“We’ve created a sales journey from when we first meet somebody right through to warranty,” he says. “We still talk to and golf with people we built houses for five, six, seven years ago. To us it’s all about creating that relationship, that trust.”
The strong relationships extend throughout the business. The family-owned and operated builder makes suppliers and trade partners family too. After all, they have worked with some of them since the firm evolved from a custom millwork and cabinet company into a luxury homebuilder in 2007. The five-person operation has a database of trade partners who share their high quality and service standards. Together they can create the incredible homes customers deserve.
West Ridge works with talented designers and architects to create dream homes. Collaborating from the start allows the builder to mitigate cost overruns and incorporate such elements as solar panels, thermal heat and other green initiatives early in the design. While these professionals are outside consultants, they have enjoyed a long and valued relationship with West Ridge.
“We work with one architect Brent Ellergodt. Even though he’s not an employee of West Ridge he’s very much a part of the team,” Lehouillier says.
The extended team even includes Mike Holmes, builder/contractor and television host. West Ridge is a “Holmes Approved Homes” partner due to its focus on producing quality work through a high standard of building practices and material. The benefit to customers is there is a third-party inspection at various stages of the building process to ensure the home exceeds expectations.
“This is an outside force to give people peace of mind and reassurance that the home is being built way above code and standard,” Lehouillier says.
West Ridge is proud to exceed expectations and to deliver everything the team promises. While the home designs are customized and flexible to suit clients, the process of checks, balances and procedures is rigid to facilitate West Ridge’s adherence to the budget, schedule and quality. West Ridge also makes the process easy and convenient for clients at all stages. The team presents clients with only those design options that fit their tastes and budget to streamline the time-consuming selection process.
“It’s about bringing people this experience, eliminating the stress and providing them with what they’re looking for within their budget,” he says.
West Ridge Fine Homes has carved out a niche in the market providing luxury custom homes by providing individual attention and high-quality standards. The industry is noticing. The builder was recently nominated for a National Homebuilders Award for Housing Excellence. The boutique family firm clearly loves what it does – and it shows in every creative design and each amazing fine home.