In the 1980’s, Harwick Homes began taking on projects as a small custom homebuilder with one employee. The company built a small number of residences in Imperial Golf Estates, a 700-acre gated enclave of luxury homes in a coveted North Naples location just minutes from the beach.
According to President Shane Klepko, within the past 10 years Harwick has evolved into building and remodeling homes, as well as providing estate management services in the area’s largest, most notable master-planned communities including Bonita Bay, Grey Oaks, Mediterra and Estuary at Grey Oaks.
Today, now 15 employees strong, Harwick Homes has built nearly 200 custom homes, completed hundreds of renovation projects throughout southwest Florida and added estate management to its service offerings. The company regularly receives national, regional and local accolades, and its remodeling division was recently ranked #44 among North America’s top 100 full-service firms by Remodeling magazine.
As he ponders several factors behind the company’s success, Klepko recalls a favorite quote from Charles Darwin, “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Since joining Harwick Homes in 2007, Klepko has experienced many changes and trends in residential construction and renovation. For example, during its early years, the company built more homes with Mediterranean and Tuscan influences and architectural styles. Today, the majority of its projects are built in a transitional style with Old Florida or West Indies influences.
“As our clients’ personal styles have evolved over the years, their residential choices have naturally followed; however, we still see a wide range of individual preferences,” said Klepko. “Though the most popular current residential style is transitional in nature, we just completed a French-style home and also a heavily Tuscan-inspired home.”
According to Klepko, today’s clients also are requesting more modern styles incorporating cables, extensive use of glass and unique color palettes.
“The emphasis on outdoor living areas continues to increase dramatically,” said Klepko. “There is a huge, enhanced focus on pools, spas, fire pits and fire features, as well as outdoor kitchens and conversation areas. People are using and enjoying these spaces more, especially for entertaining, so naturally they want them to be as luxurious as possible.”
Harwick Homes’ 35 years of wisdom predates many hurricane codes, Klepko said. “After Hurricane Andrew hit in the early 90’s, the building industry as a whole experienced a plethora of new building code requirements, especially with regard to construction methods and materials. We have evolved along with these.”
In addition to its continued evolution, Klepko attributes Harwick Homes’ continued success to its consistent commitment to service and quality.
Comparing the homebuilding and remodeling industry to survival of the fittest, Klepko says companies who are able to change and adapt are the ones who ultimately enjoy long-term success. Harwick Homes’ ability to repeatedly perform and provide a high level of service and quality across several disciplines has allowed it to continue to succeed and grow.
“Dynamite comes in small packages,” he said. “We aren’t the largest builder around, nor are we the smallest. We have perfect amount of horsepower. We’re small enough that we provide personalized service, but we’re big enough to complete large, complicated projects. We’ve stayed very consistent with who we are and what we do. “
One area of the company that remains unchanged is its commitment to its employees. In keeping with its motto, “the difference is in the details,” Harwick Homes’ consistency has also helped it to become a company that encourages employee’s professional development, provides opportunities for growth and frequently promotes from within. For example, a former receptionist now serves as a senior project manager. Turnover at Harwick Homes is low; in fact, four of its employees have served with the company for more than 20 years.
Yet another factor contributing to Harwick’s success is its commitment to repeat clients. Though some homebuilding and remodeling companies shy away from previous client calls, Klepko says Harwick welcomes these opportunities.
“It’s a very tight circle,” he said. “We get calls from previous clients every day.” As a result, repeat and referral clients make up more than 90 percent of the company’s business.
And business is good. Harwick’s current roster includes more than 20 projects underway throughout southwest Florida, ranging from new home construction to large-scale remodeling projects and more. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as generally disruptive as it has been, has only fueled an already heightened demand for coastal real estate.
The company has continued to proactively pivot its communications and daily activities, with its teams utilizing digital communications such as video conferencing to help keep everyone informed, manage priorities and stay on track.
What’s also evident is the pandemic has had absolute no affect Harwick’s ability to create award-winning luxury homes and renovations.
In June, Remodeling magazine ranked Harwick Homes #44 in its 2020 list of the top 100 full-service remodeling firms in North America, up from #48 in 2019. The list shines a light on firms earning more than $100,000—a self-defining minimum entrance level—and celebrates those who earn in the top third of the industry. Within the last year, Harwick Homes completed 52 full-service remodeling projects.
In September, the Florida Home Builders Association recognized the company’s recent Mediterra project with prestigious Silver Aurora awards for Best Custom Home 6,000-8,000 Square Feet and Best Interior Detailing of a Custom Home priced over $2,000,000. The project also received Aurora Awards for interior design including a Grand Aurora award for Best Bath Design of a Custom/Spec/One-of-a-Kind Home and two Silver Aurora awards for Best Interior Design of a Custom Home priced over $2,000,000 and Best Kitchen Design of a Custom/Spec/One-of-a-Kind Home.
In October, Harwick Homes received five 2020 Sand Dollar Awards during the Collier Building Industry Association’s annual Sand Dollar Awards ceremony. The company earned two awards for its recent Mediterra project: Product Design of the Year for a Single Family Home $5,000,001+ ($9,000,001-$11,000,000) and Best Outdoor Living Area for a home in the $5,000,001+ category ($9,000,001-$11,000,000). In partnership with Collins DuPont Design Group, the project also received Sand Dollar Awards for Interior Design of the Year, Best Kitchen Design and Best Master Suite.
Harwick Homes’ dramatic transformation of a second Mediterra private residence – from Tuscan to transitional, maximizing the home’s golf course views with an outdoor living extension, second-floor addition and sun deck – received a Sand Dollar Award for Best Whole House Remodel over $1,000,001.
The company’s transitional lakefront estate in Bonita Bay received a prestigious Sand Dollar Award for Product Design of the Year for a Single Family Home $2,000,001-$2,500,000.
Klepko says Harwick Homes will continue to grow over the next 15 to 20 years by providing additional construction services through partnerships with vendors who have also diversified.
“Our team is passionate about the hard work we do every day to help make our clients’ dreams come true while staying competitive in an ever-changing industry,” he said. “Over the next 20-30 years, we will continue to grow and diversify, providing additional construction services through partnerships with like-minded vendors.”
About Harwick Homes
Harwick Homes has been creating and remodeling homes of distinction in Southwest Florida for 35 years, building new luxury homes priced from $1 million to more than $10 million in many of the region’s most exclusive neighborhoods and communities. The company also builds private residences on individual home sites along the Gulf of Mexico and offers full-service interior and exterior renovations, additions and estate management services. Harwick Homes is located at 3368 Woods Edge Circle, Unit 101 in Bonita Springs, Florida. For more information, call (239) 498-0801 or email info@HarwickHomes.com.