Despite downturn, True North Homes grows 40 percent, adds three positions

By: Deborah Johnson Wood

Nineteen months ago, in a housing economy steadily spiraling downward, True North Homes had one employee—the owner, Rich Bloem. But things have changed.

The company added an accountant last year, a project supervisor last month, and an interior designer this week. A full-time architect will come aboard shortly. Oh, and last month it moved to new digs at 2874 Port Sheldon in Hudsonville—after being burned out of its previous location.

The firm specializes in residential remodeling and in new construction of Energy Star-certified and LEED-certified residences. In the next month, the company breaks ground on a new home in Greenville, one in Hudsonville and four on the lakeshore.

“We’re not locked into any one design and that’s what’s attracting people to us,” Bloem says. “When you look at our portfolio we’ve done super contemporary, Craftsman, Tuscan and others – a variety in the interior and the exterior.”

When Bloem, a licensed builder, was a kid, he drew houses and floor plans for fun. His professional background is in building products and manufacturing.

“I trained architects and builders how to build energy efficient homes using SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels). So many of them didn’t follow the techniques that I wanted to show people that we could build a super efficient home,” Bloem says. So he started the business in July 2001.

“We are excited, and I’ll tell you what, we’re having fun,” he says with a laugh. “I am blown away because our business is growing and we’re definitely being blessed. I really believe our best days are ahead of us.”

Source: Rich Bloem, True North Homes

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