Petrucci Homes delivers
By Nick Moretti
From his high school power washing business days to a current project that involves an indoor basketball court built under a garage, Mike Petrucci’s only gear is forward. His company, Petrucci Homes, of Bloomfield Hills, started humbly, but persisted. Mike found new services to offer during hard times and the company continued to evolve.
Today, Petrucci Homes not only builds custom projects, but also recently opened a showroom to display its latest venture, Amish cabinetry.
“I always had a passion for redoing things,” Petrucci says. “In high school, I had a business power washing and refurbishing decks. Then, after college, I got a job in the lumber industry, which led to working in manufactured housing. That’s when I decided to become a home builder.”
Petrucci started working with a well-respected local developer and builder, going from service manager to project manager for custom homes and condominiums. Three years later, he was incorporated.
“I’ve been in business 17 years now and I started small, not a lot of money, literally passing out flyers in Bloomfield Hills,” Petrucci says. “I lived in Bloomfield Hills, so that’s where I decided to start marketing.”
The young company got a small bathroom remodel, which led to other jobs and more marketing, which led to kitchens, finished basements and additions. A few years later, the company built its first custom home. Petrucci Homes is currently working on seven high-end custom homes. As the company grew, Petrucci grew his team — but only slightly.
“I brought on a partner seven years ago, Eric Johnson, who has a degree from Michigan State University in contruction management,” Petrucci says.
When the going gets tough
Petrucci recalls steering the company through the rough times endured by the construction industry in the 2000s.
“In 2006, things started to slow down and we actually got into an insurance claim for an existing client, which is different than regular construction, because the insurance company pays rather than the homeowner,” Petrucci says. “That’s when I brought in Eric, and we started a separate division, PRG, Professional Restoration Group, which handles insurance jobs.”
The company works on projects that involve restoration of homes damaged by disasters such as fire, wind, floods and tree falls.
“That work helped us through tough times, but it also made us acquire the necessary equipment for this type of work,” Petrucci adds.
The company recently renovated and moved into a new office that will also serve as a showroom, representing an Amish cabinet line that Petrucci is very excited about.
“I met an Amish cabinet builder through clients and fell in love with his craftsmanship,” Petrucci says. “This new office will have a full working display of kitchen cabinets, a lot of cabinetry — this will be a separate division we’re running.”
Then there’s that unique indoor basketball court Petrucci Homes is currently constructing.
“This project is a house with a basketball court inside, under the garage with an 18-foot ceiling,” Petrucci says. “We’re working on this with Young & Young Architects. Don Young, the founder, specializes in timeless architecture. It’s the second project we’ve built for him.”
How things change
Although Petrucci feels he has a “high-end reputation,” the company also does projects that are quite affordable. He sees a few trends in the home construction industry that are different from the past.
“Bigger isn’t better nowadays,” he says. “Today’s homes are well thought-out with a smarter approach. It doesn’t have to be huge. Homeowners want things that work well and are well planned.”
A specific trend that Petrucci observes is the role of the kitchen.
“People like to use their kitchens almost like family rooms,” he says, citing the addition of TVs and couches to the room. “People like hanging out in the kitchen and love to entertain there,” he says, adding that they still want a cozy feel. “The high ceilings of the nineties aren’t cozy enough anymore.”
Petrucci says mudrooms are another trend. Families want bigger areas with storage features such as lockers. Older homes lack such features. Bigger and bigger showers are becoming more popular, as opposed to the bigger tubs of the past.
However, even with all the success Petrucci enjoys by great ethics and a manner that endears him to his fellow tradesmen, custom homes and Amish cabinets are all part of the journey — a journey that includes still more dreams and goals.
“I’d like to do a unique development project. That’s something on the horizon.”
One thing is certain: If and when Petrucci Homes undertakes a new project, it won’t be assembly-line construction.
“We’re very custom, apart from other builders who are spec builders,” Petrucci says. “Every one of our homes is one-of-a-kind, unique. Each house a new prototype.” NS