In the News

Posted on June 04, 2024

This article was originally published by Jodi Schwan of SiouxFalls.Business.

As a leader in electrical construction, Barney Pottebaum lives and breathes the building industry in his career.

So when it came time for him and his wife, Chris, to build what he calls their last home, Pottebaum had the experience and the expertise to know what he was looking for in a home builder.

He found it in 1J Homes, which is part of Journey Group.

“My company does a lot of work with Journey Group in Sioux Falls, and when I found out they were able to build homes, they connected me with 1J Homes and after meeting people locally for the first time I was really impressed with the way they conduct business,” Pottebaum said.

The Pottebaums now are in the process of moving into their Dakota Dunes home, after beginning to work with IJ Homes early last fall.

“They’ve just been excellent to work with,” he said. “I wish other houses we’ve done in the past had gone as smooth as this.”

The 1J Homes approach

Home owners who work with 1J Homes will enjoy a unique experience, said Jamison Mutschelknaus, president of 1J Homes.

“We know building a home can be stressful and our goal is to make it fun and enjoyable,” he said. “We bring openness, honesty, and transparency to everything we do, and the word is starting to get out.”

1J Homes has found its niche in the Sioux Falls and Sioux City markets delivering high-end custom homes and renovations.

“That allows us to really give the one-on-one experience we want to owners and work with tradespeople who ensure no one is sacrificing quality,” Mutschelknaus said. “So far this year we have seven or eight homes in Sioux Falls scheduled, ranging from $700,000 remodels to a nearly $5 million custom home, so it’s been an extremely favorable response from the market.”

Because of the connection to parent company Journey Group, 1J Homes brings a similar comprehensive approach to residential construction that Journey Group brings to the commercial side. That includes a dedicated estimating team, interior design expertise, project management, and full-time site managers.

“We spend so much time with clients, getting to know them and understand their vision,” Mutschelknaus said. “When they’re done, I want them shouting from the rooftops that it was an amazing experience.”

Many owners initially bring ideas and photos “and our goal is to figure out how to make it happen and get it drafted and modeled,” Mutschelknaus said.

“We have the ability to show everything in 3D and clients can log in from anywhere to go virtually room by room and see what they think. Not a lot of people can look at a flat drawing and understand how a room is going to look, so this provides an enhanced view and helps eliminate surprises.”

The process involves multiple meetings with the estimating and design team “to get to a point where they love the design, and then we spend another two to three hours looking at more specific selections and digging into the details for exactly what they want to put in the home,” Mutschelknaus said.

For the Pottebaums, the 1J Homes team began by evaluating the family’s residential lot to make sure it would accommodate a basement and then began working through designs.

“They brought back a plan that made perfect sense with our lot and we absolutely loved it,” Pottebaum said. “It didn’t take long to finalize the design because of how well they listened to what we were looking for in the pre-construction meeting.”

The family’s five-bedroom ranch features an open floor plan. Like all 1J clients, the Pottebaums received a new, approximately 40-page spec book for their home that is sent with designs to solicit bids.

“We want to be fixed price, open and upfront, so the pricing itself is nine or 10 pages and goes line by line,” Mutschelknaus said. “Everything is itemized, there are no hidden fees and people know what they’re paying up front. There’s no way you’ll arrive at closing and find the home is more expensive than you thought, which we’ve heard can happen in home building.”

In addition to ongoing communication with the project team, home owners can log into 1J’s digital platform and ask questions, see pricing and know where the project is standing at all times.

“It’s one more way to enhance communication and eliminate stress,” Mutschelknaus said.

Building experience

Once construction is ready to begin, the pre-construction team matches the home owners with a project manager “who we think will work best with them, and then we have a project handoff meeting to go from the office to the field site,” Mutschelknaus said.

“We’ll have a field site manager and a project manager there to hand it off so everyone is comfortable with the team that will be working through the build.”

1J Homes is “great for staffing,” he continued. “We have full teams in both Sioux Falls and Sioux City. That’s an advantage to having two locations because we can manage staffing based on where we’re busy between both markets.”

As a home owner, Pottebaum’s experience with his project team has been “such a positive one,” he said. “They just make your life so much easier and have been very responsive. I’m 64 and didn’t think I’d be building another house, but they took care of all the details. My wife was able to work directly with their designer, and I needed someone I could count on if I needed to text or email and get an answer right away and they were back to me in less than 24 hours.”

They also met at the house regularly to go over progress “and it just kept things moving,” Pottebaum said. “That was a really nice part of the process that I’ve never seen done by a builder in my experience. And whenever we made changes they were very good with following up with the paperwork and did an excellent job managing that.”

Welcome home

As the Pottebaums move into their home, it “absolutely” is fulfilling the original vision, he said.

“We’re just thrilled with it,” Pottebaum said. “The finishes look just beautiful. The quality of work is excellent, from the building to the trim and all the details.”

Because 1J Homes takes such care up front and throughout the process, wrapping up a home build is a rewarding experience on many levels.

“And because we give broad allowances as owners are making selections for finishes, it’s become common to finish homes under budget,” Mutschelknaus said. “Our last two ended an average of $20,000 under budget, so it’s great to return money to the owners in addition to delivering everything they wanted in their home.”

For 1J Homes’ team, “there’s a true desire to help owners achieve their dream home,” Mutschelknaus said. “We know they’re going to use the space to create memories the rest of their lives, and you see our team’s passion from the first meeting through estimating, selecting materials, and construction.”

It’s apparent, and leads to a personal connection, Pottebaum said.

“It really felt like working with family,” he said. “I feel like they care about me as though I’m a family member, and that’s a rare quality in today’s world.”

Common questions

As 1J Homes has become more known in the Sioux Falls market, owners have several common questions:

Does 1J Homes have residential lots available?

Home owners who already own a lot can always reach out to 1J Homes to explore building opportunities, and those who still need lots can as well. 1J Homes owns lots in Sioux Falls, Harrisburg, Tea, and North Sioux City.

“We have lots across the area and can help clients align with a lot,” Mutschelknaus said. “If they have a lot, we can make sure we design to that lot. And if they just know a general area where they want to be, we can start making calls to align the vision and try and find a lot.”

What is 1J Homes’ capacity for taking on new projects?

For 2024, 1J Homes is off to a fast start but will have availability later this summer and into fall. There already are some projects scheduled for 2025, but there is capacity to take on more.

What if a house isn’t a fit for 1J Homes?

Any home owner is welcome to reach out and explore if 1J Homes is the best option for building or renovating. But because 1J Homes limits its work to homes of a certain size or scope, “we can meet to see what they’re looking for and then if it’s not a fit for us, we have others in the building industry we can recommend,” Mutschelknaus said.

To learn more about working with 1J Homes, click here.

To view the original article, please click here.

Back To Top