Johnny Uldrick grew up in the small rural town of Donalds, South Carolina, but it is in the larger community of Greenwood where he has earned his reputation as one of the very best builders in this corner of the state.
His company, Uldrick Builders, LLC has built homes for many of Greenwood’s most prominent families, some of whom waited years for their names to rise to the top of his waiting list. “Everybody knows Johnny,” is a phrase heard often around this compact, prosperous small city. And everybody has positive things to say about him.
He Grew Up In The Business
Building is in his blood. Johnny Uldrick spent his childhood surrounded by positive role models. He learned his skills at the feet of his two grandfathers, who were both carpenters and farmers, and from his father, builder Bobby Uldrick. “I tagged along with my father from the time I was big enough to climb into the truck,” says Uldrick. “He and a carpenter who worked with him, Buck Mundy, taught me to build a house from the ground up, performing all the tasks myself. They taught me site work, masonry, concrete work, framing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, ceramic tile, painting, finish carpentry, cabinet building — even hardwood floors.”
And, just as important as the skills they taught him, he learned the satisfaction of work, the joy of a job well done. “I always admired the enthusiasm and pride that was dedicated to their work. It was guaranteed that my father would go the extra mile to produce the home that his clients wanted,” he says. “I learned a lot from my father. He was meticulous about details and he drilled that into me.”
Uldrick worked part-time throughout high school and college. After graduating from Lander University in 1975 with a degree in business administration, he decided to go into the building business full-time.
He worked for his father for a few years, then the two became partners. They continued to work together until his father’s retirement in 1992.
Honesty and Integrity Are Key
Building on his family’s tradition of hard work and craftsmanship, the younger Uldrick has adopted his own philosophy of business: honesty, integrity, and an old-fashioned work ethic.
“If Johnny tells me something, I know it’s true,” says Thornwell Dunlap, III, president of the County Bank in Greenwood and one of Uldrick’s satisfied clients. “We set out to get the best builder, and we think we did.”
“The quality is everything we expected, and except for the changes we made, Johnny’s original budget was right on target. There were no surprises, and not every homeowner can say that.”
“Johnny has the people skills to really communicate with you,” says another homeowner. “He’s also strong on the financial side of things and he’s a good, hands-on builder. It’s rare that you get all three of the qualities you look for in a builder,” she adds.
Uldrick has also gained the respect of his peers as a longtime member of the Lakelands Home Builders Association. He has been on the board of that organization for numerous years. During this time he has served as the president multiple times and been chosen Builder of the Year multiple times.
“I’ve found that the HBA is an excellent way to network with other builders, subcontractors, and suppliers,” he says. He often attends the NAHB International Builders’ Show to update himself on new building products and methods.
Not Just Building Fine Homes
Today, the focus of Uldrick Builders, LLC is not only building/remodeling residential homes, Uldrick has gained an excellent reputation in the commercial building construction arena.
Uldrick respects the privacy of his residential clients and modestly refuses to name names and speak in specifics, but he says that many of the homes he builds are in the upscale Gatewood, Lodge Grounds, Creekside neighborhoods, in addition to Lake Greenwood Communities Stoney Point, Grand Harbor, Harborside, as well as on private acreage.
However, Uldrick’s commercial clients range from Hospice Care of the Piedmont, Upper Savannah Council of Governments, Wesley Commons, Greenwood County, Self Regional Healthcare, SPF, City of Abbeville, and Church of the Resurrection Episcopal just to name a few.
“If Johnny tells me something, I know it’s true,” says one satisfied client. “There were no surprises.”
It is through the custom residential homes and commercial design-build projects that Uldrick has earned a reputation for attention to detail and customer service.
“I really enjoy these projects because I work so closely with the customers,” he says. “On a big home like that you can work with someone for 18 months, and you get to know each other pretty well in that time. I’ve built homes for some people who have become some of the best friends that I have.”
“Johnny is particularly good about spelling out your options and letting you decide,” explains another happy client. “When you need advice, though, he’s ready to help you out.” When Uldrick says, “Now, if I was spending my money, I’d do it this way,” his client says, “You learn to listen and pay attention, because he’s always right.”
Strength in Versatility
In addition to fine custom homes, other recent projects for Uldrick Builders have been as varied as smaller retirement homes and duplexes, professional office buildings, churches, mini-warehouses and pre-engineered metal buildings. Johnny has even, on occasion, been talked into building birdhouses, furniture, duck boxes and doghouses.
One of his largest undertakings was a 24-unit duplex project for Wesley Commons, a United Methodist Church-affiliated retirement community in Greenwood. He has also built cottages and single-family homes ranging from 1,800 to 3,000 square feet in Wesley Commons.
“I feel like our homeowners are getting remarkable quality for the price per square foot they are paying,” says Nick Nicholson of Wesley Commons. “I have nothing but praise for Johnny. He builds the highest quality home I’ve ever seen, and he has the best subcontractors. You have to be the best, or you don’t stay with Johnny.”
The future for Uldrick Builders appears as busy and prosperous as the present. The company has custom home projects lined up for the next two to four years, along with multiple commercial projects in sight.
Luckily, Johnny Uldrick can say, “I enjoy every aspect of being a building contractor, from meeting new clients and doing estimates to actually performing the work and keeping up with the business side and the paperwork. It’s all different and it has different stresses, but I consider myself to be blessed with the best of everything.”
“I have the best family, employees, subcontractors, suppliers and customers that anyone could ask for.”
SC General Construction Manager License Number: 899
SC General Contractor License Number: 11638
SC Mechanical Contractor – Electrical License Number: M114188