UBuildIt front office gets new home in Oklahoma City
Bob Braudrick is like that guy on TV in the 1980s who liked his electric razor so much he bought the company.
Victor Kiam bought Remington Products, he says, after the best shave he ever had. Braudrick bought UBuildIt after another close shave.
UBuildIt, a homebuilding consultant franchisor, helps people manage construction of their own homes and save money by acting as their own general contractor. The company, based in suburban Seattle, stumbled hard as the housing crash and recession unfolded, starting a decade ago, and demand for its services declined.
Braudrick, who owned UBuildIt's biggest, most successful franchise, in Edmond, bought the company to save his own skin, and moved it to Oklahoma.
The company and its local franchise grew until, after expanding eight times in Edmond, something had to give. A new, 14,000-square-foot corporate headquarters is nearly finished at 5120 Gaillardia Corporate Place, just off Kilpatrick Turnpike and Memorial Road in far northwest Oklahoma City, built by Braudrick's Timber Ridge Custom Homes.
Braudrick opened his UBuildIt franchise in 2007, to him a fortuitous crossroads of time for housing in the country and in Oklahoma City.
UBuildIt started the year with 113 franchises, its peak. In October, the national housing bubble burst. Here, over the next few years, the market slumped but largely held. Oklahoma City builders slowed to a hard slog, a few failed, and foreclosures shot up, but not as high as elsewhere.
"By 2008, we were blessed to be the No. 1 franchise in the nation, and have continued to be every year since then," Braudrick said.
- Related to this story
- Video: UBuildIt has new OKC headquarters
By 2011, with home prices nationally collapsing — to a historic low the next year — UBuildIt founder Chuck Warrender in Seattle and franchisee Braudrick in Edmond were looking at widely different prospects.
"He and I met over a period of months negotiating an agreement, and I was able to purchase corporate," Braudrick said. "Over a period of a couple of years, we moved it down from Seattle to Oklahoma City and have continued to rebuild and expand and grow. We are now up to about 90 franchises."
In addition to Timber Ridge Custom Homes, a general contractor, giving Braudrick a position in standard homebuilding, the UBuildIt franchise consultancy has expanded to include URemodelIt and UDesignIt.
He said the new office building at Gaillardia was designed to meet the needs of all, the upstairs dedicated to corporate and working with franchises, downstairs devoted to his own UBuildIt franchise, Timber Ridge and his other businesses. A Realtor, mortgage company and title company lease space.
UBuildIt has nice new digs. Ask Braudrick who built it.
"We did," he'll say.