UbuildIt Helps Owners Save on Construction Costs

HE BUILT IT: Lonnie Holbrook, right, with UbuildIt’s John Fisher used the planning guide that UBuildIt gives to their clients. It includes budgets, building schedules and other valuable resources that help an individual manage the construction of their own custom home.


No more numbers games. What you see is what you get. The Holbrooks got exactly what they wanted and more. “It was a short fall this year,” says homeowner Lonnie Holbrook as he looks at the lake view from his new Skiatook abode. He and his family just moved into their custom four-bedroom home in Catalina Cove that Holbrook designed and built with a little help from his friends at UBuildIt.

John Fisher of UBuildIt in Tulsa helped the Holbrook’s build the home of their dreams with a considerable amount of savings.

Their recently appraised new home was valued at 35 percent higher than what went into the house, and saved him considerably more than what he would have gotten through a builder.

“There are upgrades that I wouldn’t be able to afford without it,” says Holbrook. He was able to get high efficiency windows, heating and air, solid wood doors, natural stone tile throughout and most proudly, a media room with a retractable projection screen and surround sound.

There are other little nuances and custom features that most new homes don’t have, such as a door from the master closet to the laundry room, a design that Fisher suggested.

“Through UBuildIt, you have access to 30 to 40 years of experience in the building industry. They have very good insight into building projects; and we felt their experience was priceless.
“They know what works and what does not. I had somebody on my side who I could call at anytime.”

Building a home is not a full time job, but it is a job, Fisher says. Some flexibility of schedule will make it easier to manage a construction project. Holbrook broke ground in April and moved in October, so it was about six months from start to finish. American Bank in Skiatook, which financed the house, was pleased to see that he had a well thought out plan and system of management and counsel from UBuildIt, Holbrook says.

UBuildIt has access to quality, dependable subcontractors that work well with individuals. Builders often get better pricing than individuals, but in this situation because of UBuildIt, Holbrook was treated like a builder. UBuildIt is completely upfront about the costs; the planning guide has a breakdown of the costs for services and supplies, and copies of bids.

“UBuildIt operates in full transparency and is an advocate for our clients,” says Fisher. “I like that I get to be on the client’s side.”

“It made me feel more confident because I knew what the bids were,” says Holbrook. “It was very positive experience and I felt like I got my money’s worth.”

Holbrook isn’t one to start something without some research behind it. He checked online for recommendations before starting his home project and found that UBuildIt came up consistently with positive experiences from its clients, he says.

One of the advantages of being in control of the project was ordering online. Holbrook saved a hefty percentage on plumbing fixtures and interior doors by ordering the supplies online. He used green building practices such as solar board roof decking that reflects heat back out, cellulose insulation, argon gas filled windows and high efficiency heat and air units.

Now that winter is dawning, it’s time to start planning a remodel or new custom home. UBuildIt was brought to Tulsa in 2000 as part of Hunter Construction Companies and two years ago a UBuildIt office was opened in Oklahoma City. They have clients building homes in Skiatook, Collinsville, Claremore, Glenpool, Kellyville and Sapulpa, and on acreage from 1 to 100 acres.
“Many of our clients have planned and given much thought to building their dream,” says Fisher. “They are a very independent and self-directed group.”

“The clients manage their projects,” he says. “We educate them and provide resources, counsel and guidance. It’s a great system.”

He says his favorite part of the job is “seeing the proud smiles of our clients… like Lonnie today.”

Updated 11-25-2008

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