March-April 2011 | BACK TO BASICS




As Piney Island Builders celebrates its 20th anniversary, the company returns to the fundamentals from when they first opened for business

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins has said, “It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened to you in the past that determines who you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.”

This adage describes the philosophies of the husband-and-wife team of Duane and Paula Maddy. This year marks the 20th anniversary since their founding of what is today one of the Eastern Shore’s most respected building companies, Piney Island Builders. Yet, despite achieving all of their many successes and conquering a number of challenges along the way as well, the Maddys’ are strategically turning back the clock of their business model to 1991 – back to a time when the foundation of their company was laid one day, and one project, at a time.

“I decided that the company needed to get back to basics – back to the things we did and the way we were when we first started building homes,” Duane said. “As time passes and your company grows, it’s easy to lose sight of that, but very often it’s that philosophy of keeping things small enough for you to control and handle personally that makes the difference between success and failure.”

For Piney Island Builders, this fundamental process begins with listening attentively to the customer and really hearing what they’re looking for. As Maddy has pointed out in the past, “If you aren’t absolutely sure you can deliver the product the customer wants, exactly as they want it, you’re better off not even taking the job.”

It also means building your customers’ homes, and your company’s reputation on superior quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail.

“No matter how much or little they may be spending,” Maddy said, “my customer’s finished product is going to be exactly what they expected and wanted – no surprises, because in residential construction, a surprise is almost always bad news.”

The key to avoiding such surprises, Maddy says, is keeping the client engaged and involved throughout the entire construction process.

“My customers and I are always communicating on their project,” said Maddy. “We’re trying to make this dream come true together, and I’m going need the homeowner informed and up to the minute if that’s going happen flawlessly.”

A central aspect of their back-to-basics philosophy includes Duane being “hands-on” with every job, on every site – overseeing the construction, interacting with the contractors and subcontractors and personally ensuring the project is running smoothly and

“I’m convinced that one of the best things we’ve done over the years is cultivate quality, enduring relationships with our contractors,” the builder opined. “By us being reliable and trustworthy, we’ve gotten the area’s best contractors wanting to work with us and for us year-round. These relationships mean that our jobs are being finished on time and on budget because a group of very talented people are showing up to work everyday and getting the work done right instead of skipping out unexpectedly and trying to make a quick buck somewhere else.”

Piney Island Builders, which routinely builds homes from Easton, Md. to Accomack, Va. to Lewes, Del., specializes in a wide variety of home construction, from small home-improvement projects and single-family homes to lavish estates. In fact, there is currently one such property under construction off Riverside Drive in Salisbury that, when all is said and done, promises to be a 10,000 sq. ft. grand masterpiece.

Another exciting project Duane is involved in is taking place in Atlantic, Va. The development Eagle Sound just launched phase-three of construction, which includes 39 one-third-acre lots that start at a very attractive $39,000 each. Maddy believes Eagle Sound will be especially enticing to incoming Wallops Island employees and other new hires of the area.

“Paula and I feel like we’ve seen so much, and unfortunately watched so many builders struggle over the years,” said Maddy, a member of the National Association of Home Builders who’s been in construction since age 15. “It’s made me realize that’s not just good luck that has gotten us through the changing times and bad economies, like this one – it’s been our quality, commitment and work ethic. Paula and I have always believed that success comes from doing the right thing, and that starts with being honest with the customer. That will not change over the next 20 years.”

Piney Island Builders, 888-635-6352


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