Home construction up in Richfield


Nov. 12, 2015

Workers tend to the roof of a home near supplies for the foundation to another home as construction continues in the Timber Stone subdivision Tuesday afternoon in Richfield.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Home sales are on the rise since the end of the recent national recession, but home construction has also been on the rise over the past two years, especially in Richfield.

A local builder and a village official say the area is recovering from the recession.

“It’s been an exceptionally good year as far as building new homes,” Richfield Administrator Jim Healy said. “The number of building permits have been up substantially over the past two years.”

According to the Greater Milwaukee Home Association, home sales increased about 6.5 percent in September. Richfield has seen an upswing in building homes after the recession ended.

“This year the village has had 42 new home starts and with this mild November, it’s probably realistic that we may get an additional house or two before the year closes out,” Healy said. “In 2013 when we had 44 new homes, I believe we were in the top 10 for the ‘greater Milwaukee area’ and in the top 25 in Wisconsin for new construction home starts.”

Lumber is brought to the site of a home construction in the Timber Stone subdivision Tuesday afternoon in Richfield.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Tim Stortz, owner of Stortz Custom Homes in Richfield, said the number of homes being built dipped in 2010 and 2011, but improved after that.

“We could see the recovering starting last year and we got a lot busier,” said Stortz. “In talking with other contractors I know that all over Washington County builders have been much busier this year.”

Stortz’s employees are building four homes in the Timber Stone subdivision in Richfield. He said when the subdivision opened it had 100 lots for homes. He said over the last couple of years sales of those lots picked up considerably.

“There’s been a good increase in building activity,” Stortz said. “New starts are taking off. Other contractors are staying busy, too. It’s great to see building is making a good comeback from just a few years ago.”

Healy said the village has also seen an increase in the number of other types of permits issued over the previous four years. Many of the permits are for home construction, but many are for industrial or commercial construction or remodeling.

Healy said communities are “competing for more rooftops.”

“A think there are a lot of factors involved, but I think one important one is the great schools we have in the village,” Healy said. “That’s a factor that’s very important to families when they are considering where to build a new home.”

Reach reporter Joe VanDeLaarschot at jvan@conleynet.com.