With a focus on classic contemporary design, Modern Tampa Bay Homes prides itself on bringing innovative dreams to life
The journey for any new home-building project begins with a vision and Modern Tampa Bay Homes is an expert in making client wishes come true. Based in Florida, the business has been creating bespoke homes for the Tampa Bay area since 2011. The company’s CEO, Richard McGinniss, shares with us how his business has come to be at the top of its game in the design-build industry. “We ask our clients to provide as much inspiration as possible so we can go through these concepts and try to pin down two key moods that are aligned with their aesthetic and lifestyle. Beyond that, we try to understand the programmatical requirements of the client, very importantly, their budget,” says Richard.
“After the initial design review, we dive straight into the conceptual design phase where we marry the budget with the clients’ spatial desires. Our renowned architects and designers create three dimensional studies to help the clients visualize their future homes. In phase two, the design development phase, we work to finalize specific detail elements within the project and become more granular in the design intent. Following Design Development, we re-evaluate our budget to make sure we are still on track before we proceed to the construction phase. We bid everything out early so that when we get to the final stages, there are no surprises. We are very design-centric but respect the budget, we are always trying to meet the goals of the clients,” he explains. “As we refined the process making elements of the process unique to MTBH, the business found our niche, building timeless contemporary homes,” he added.
Modern Tampa Bay Homes began accidentally, as Richard’s career started as the executive for some of the country’s major national developers. Serving as the SVP executive, Richard oversaw some of the largest projects in the southeast including the 700 million dollar (Phase 1) North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Unfortunately, when the last recession caused his project to be placed on hold, he decided to relocate to Florida. “In doing so I asked myself, ‘What have I always been interested in?’ and the answer to that question was ‘home building’.”
Richard started in the custom home building business in his 20s and attended architectural school to pursue an educational path that would prepare him to be a better builder. “Due to my residential experience, I was hired for my first job as the project manager building the Ritz Carlton condominium and hotel in Boston. This put me on the trajectory of doing larger development projects and the business organically developed into a major player in the Tampa Bay market. So, initially the idea was just to have fun introducing contemporary homes into a marketplace that had none. We started as the only contemporary home builder and now we are the leading contemporary custom builder in the area,” he says.
The most significant component that Richard believes has contributed to the company’s success is of course his team. “We could have all of the bells and whistles that technology could offer but unless we have good people who are dedicated to the vision and enjoy building homes for our clients, then we really wouldn’t get very far. We use the most recent technology advances to guide the design process, but it is people who do the hard work, not systems. We pride ourselves in having passionate, engaged people building our homes, with a hands-on approach throughout the entire process. This is what really sets us apart,” he adds.
It is a very enjoyable experience to work with the individuals that are attracted to the kinds of homes that Modern Tampa Bay Homes creates. “In some cases, we are doing second or third homes for previous clients and we really value those relationships,” Richard discusses.
This closely-knit culture is what has enabled the business to push through the challenges of Covid-19. With shortages in labor and materials, as well as the constraints of the market, Richard remained determined to build quality homes that were uncompromised. “From the get-go, we were very proactive in handling these obstacles. For example, we started purchasing longer lead items six months in advance and holding them in warehouses. For each of our projects, we have also decided to hire a third-party engineer who walks through a strict check list of details to make sure we hand over the perfect home,” he highlights.
Another facet that the business is gleaning is sustainability, working to decrease the impact of its buildings on the natural environment. “When it comes to sensible design, first off our homes have the highest level of insulation available. We double insulate our walls, and we also use variable speed mechanical systems. We have been rated religiously by East Star, a rating system from whom we hired consultants to recommend best practices for us to follow. This helps ensure each of our homes achieve the highest ratings possible. We also install efficient tankless hot water systems, white roofs are MTBH standard, all our homes are equipped with car chargers, and the homes are solar ready, or panels installed,” he explains.
Going forward, Richard is keen to see his business improve what it already does best. “In order to provide the highest level of service to our clients, we found that getting bigger does not necessarily mean getting better. We are committed to keeping the size of our company where it is, while providing that caliber of service that we have come to be known for. I always want to be personally engaged in each project in a way that allows me to be present throughout the construction process.”
The future of Modern Tampa Bay Homes looks promising as Richard explores expanding his eccentric clientele and pushing the boundaries of the company’s capabilities. He is confident that this will be a venture in which his business will excel. “We see ourselves evolving by trying to solve the challenge of quality designed homes for everyone, which means investigating price compatible homes in urban fringe markets so that we can build a home that is not only competitive and affordable but also highly designed,” he adds.
From what we have learnt from Richard, his business has shown great potential in creative problem solving and there is no doubt that its endeavor to expand will be just as impressive. “We are always looking for ways we can challenge ourselves to come up with better designs and applying them in different markets. This way we can satisfy our passion to build fun homes, not only for the affluent, but across the socio-economic brackets,” concludes Richard.
Modern Tampa Bay Homes
Services: Contemporary home builders