Any time he walks through the residential streets of Bethesda, Sandy Spring Builders principal and CEO Phil Leibovitz is likely to pass eight or nine houses his firm built—including the ones surrounding his own home. This is the way he and his partners, Richard Mandell and Mimi Kress, like it. “We build for friends,” Leibovitz says. “Participating in the community is important to us.”
Mandell founded Sandy Spring Builders in 1982. Leibovitz and Kress were already partners in another custom building firm in 1997 when they teamed up with him on a joint venture. It went so well that they decided to keep the team together. Today, the firm painstakingly produces high-end, quality homes using top-of-the-line materials and finishes. “We’re a one-stop shop,” says Leibovitz. “We’re full-service.”
The company is split into four divisions: Custom, Classic, Savvy and Renovation. The Custom division builds unique homes to the client’s specifications, while the Classic division utilizes the wide assortment of house plans Sandy Spring Builders has developed over the years.
The Savvy division is a recent addition to the mix: It’s a series of five energy-efficient homes that are somewhat smaller than the firm’s usual custom home size (3,700 to 5,000 square feet versus 5,000 to 6,000 square feet including the finished basement). These homes take less time to build because floor plans, elevations, finishes and other options have been pre-selected; they also assure more certainty of price.
In addition to building the custom homes that are their bread and butter, Sandy Spring Builders’ Renovation division takes on full-house renovations as well as kitchen remodeling and other smaller jobs. The firm has a renovation architect on staff but regularly works with several architectural firms for custom jobs—Studio Z Design Concepts, GTM Architects and Glenn Chen Fong, AIA, for example—in a design/build style. After years of working together, they have forged strong relationships. “We’ve grown with these architects,” says Leibovitz. “It’s a team effort.”
Sandy Spring Builders also sells lots for development. Leibovitz and his team help clients find, analyze and purchase the right lot, then work with them “from lot selection to move-in day” to achieve the best possible results. According to Leibovitz and Mimi Kress—Sandy Spring Builders’ COO—the company’s winning philosophy is “to be a full-service builder who can provide for your needs, cares about each project and loves what we do.” Leibovitz adds, “We stand behind what we do. We don’t cut corners and we do it with quality.”
FACTS & STATS
The firm, with a staff of 42, works mainly in DC and Maryland with occasional projects in Northern Virginia. They build six to eight custom homes per year.
Specialties : Sandy Spring Builders is a custom builder with a separate division that handles renovations and additions.
Inquiries : Sandy Spring Builders, 4705 West Virginia Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814; 301-913-5995; sandyspringbuilders.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org