Gordon James Construction, Inc.

Joe McPherson & John Quinlivan

A true customer advocate in custom building

Gordon James Construction is as much about building relationships as it is about designing, building and remodeling homes. The company’s numerous testimonials from satisfied clients sparkle with words like “trust,” “focus,” stability,” flexibility,” “thorough,” ethical,” “terrific team,” and “on schedule and on budget.” A great reputation certainly stems from clients who enjoy the process and love the resultant home.

The best testimonials to client satisfaction are referral and repeat business. A father who said Gordon James was their favorite builder went on to award them the job of building their new home after he saw them build a home for his daughter and son in law.

John Quinlivan, founder of Gordon James Construction, has charted a clear path to success in the high-end custom build/remodel market, mostly in the western suburbs. The son of a contractor, he started in the home building business after 18 years in telecommunications. The company, launched with just two people, slowly added one staff person at a time, as select sub- contractor and architect resources were nurtured.

“Clients say that we are accountable,” said Quinlivan, “We are truly the customer’s advocate. Every project has to be put together the right way, and educating our customers helps them make good choices. First of all, they have wish lists but may not have an idea of what their initial budget will cover. A desirable property can itself have a major price tag. This is where our team can be creative in helping people achieve their plan and stay within a reasonable budget. We’ve been praised for stretching budgets this way, because we give people options.”

Quinlivan says his team practices three main tenets of a home building business: Organization, Detail and Structure. “We are organized so that everyone from project managers to clients are involved in the building process from start to finish. Clients can check on the progress 24 hours a day through our online system. And every home is unique. Our clients, who tend to be dual-professional couples, appreciate the fact that when they understand the process they also have control of their budget. Our job is to make sure that the whole project is done right.”

Gordon James homes are certainly testimonials in themselves. “Our success is really attributed to the people who make it happen: the team we work with, from the architects to the carpenters,” said Quinlivan. “You have to be able to deliver on promises. We have enjoyed stability as a company because what we do is reflected in our work.”

Gordon James’ customized design/build interprets exciting new trends and clients’ ideas. Ideas like a very cool sports court with school logos, TVs and golf simulator. Upscale screen porches with radiant heat for three-season comfort and bi-fold doors. An oversized, luxurious steam shower. A cook’s kitchen with intricate details like special spoon and knife racks and built –in hidden towel dispenser. And spaces that build memories, like a child’s secret room. Gordon James takes dreams seriously, and helps to bring them to life.


Photography by Meghan Doll