About Us

There are many routes to becoming a legend in the home building business. Some stem from the art of craftsmanship passed from generation to generation. Or perhaps a "knack" for building is discovered as early as the first swing of a hammer. Or it could be as simple as hard work and determination to do exactly what you say you are going to do. Combine these factors with ingenuity and an inherent passion for excellence, and you have the story of Don Julian Builders.

Don Julian is one of those remarkable individuals who for the past 25 years has set a new standard for design, quality and outstanding customer service in the home building industry. His unique architectural designs and innovative, award-winning floor plans have become a Julian trademark in metropolitan Kansas City. Through the firm's in-house design center, Don draws upon resources of an architectural staff, interior designer, and a fully equipped decorating studio. As a result, each home constructed by Don Julian Builders is the product of creativity, ingenuity and precise planning. As further evidence of Julian's talent to meet the market demands of changing lifestyles, he is credited with the successful development of several upscale communities.

As a tribute to his success, for two consecutive years, Professional Builder magazine listed Don Julian Builders as one of the top 400 builders in the United States. Builder Magazine placed him as one of the top five builders in the top 50 single housing markets in the nation. In addition, Don Julian has won more than 60 industry awards for value, design and craftsmanship.

Born and raised about 50 miles north of New York City, Don set out to pursue his education in the Midwest at Western Michigan University, where he graduated with a degree in industrial engineering in 1967. He went to work for ITT as a project engineer and was soon promoted to director of engineering, which required a move to Kansas City. During his search for a home in the metro area, Don quickly realized that a custom built home was what he wanted for his family. As a result, in 1973, Don, using his engineering background, constructed his first home in Kansas City.

As Don's interest in construction grew, he decided to make it a full-time business, and within a year left ITT in his pursuit to start a custom home building company known as Don Julian Builders. At the time, Julian had few customers and very little room for error. With strong competition in the marketplace, Don had to do everything in his power to ensure quality craftsmanship and customer satisfaction. His strict attention to detail paid off. Satisfied customers provided meteoric growth during the early years of construction.

The engineering approach Don incorporated in his first custom homes also jumpstarted his success and initiated certain trends in the marketplace. Julian's innovative nature reveals itself in such elements as virtual "walls of glass," which he introduced even before the "light and bright" open floor plans that have become a Kansas City standard. Julian has also been credited as the first area developer to require textured hardwood siding to replace "batt and board" siding as a standard exterior material. Since that time, the entire local market has made this transition, essentially eliminating "batt and board" from the metropolitan area.

Over the years, Don has developed lasting relationships with clients. This is evident in the fact that Don Julian Builders is now building homes for a second generation. Don cites one example as follows: "A loan officer for a local lender recommended we build a home for her son and his family, based on the positive experience she had with us when we built her home many years ago. As a loan officer, she knows a variety of builders, so I think that's a pretty good compliment!"

Don has built homes for many clients with professional knowledge of the home building industry, including several prominent real estate attorneys, engineers and the head building inspector in one major city. Other clients include Kansas City Chiefs players, other local celebrities and several prominent physicians.

In the late 1980s, Don began to focus more on the development side of the business. His innovative designs provided market leadership, which ultimately resulted in his purchase of a prestigious Northland subdivision called Riss Lake. With the ultimate goal of creating a "community" feeling, Don built many amenities into the new neighborhood. Residents enjoy walking trails, swimming pools, tennis courts, sand volleyball, lighted basketball courts, play areas for the children and picnic areas for the adults. The recent addition of a 25-meter, competition-type swimming pool with cabana enhances this sense of communitiy.

As a result of Don's vision, Riss Lake is now a prestigious 600-acre waterfront community with homes from $200,000 to over $1 million, and is comprised of the communities of Riss Lake, Riss Lake Manor, The Estates of Riss Lake, and the new gated community known as The West Shore Estates. Add to the list of successful Julian developments Lakewood Oaks, a 150-acre golf course community in Jackson County, and Lakewood Shores, which features upper bracket homes starting at $300,000. In addition to these prominent subdivisions, a major new project is now underway.

Don has been selected as the developer for Tiffany Greens in the Northland, along with partner Larry Modrcin. Founded by John Q. Hammons, Tiffany Greens offers a 36-hole Robert Trent Jones II - designed golf course with a 34-acre lake. The community is located East of I-29 near the Kansas City International Airport. Over 1,000 homes are planned on approximately 1,200 acres. home outlining the course will start at $300,000. With its proven Robert Trent Jones II design, Tiffany Greens--slated for PGA tournament play--is destined to be the most prestigious golf course in Kansas City. As a key element to these very successful developments. Don Julian Builders is a natural component and prominent force. While the company emphasizes the importance of quality control, it doubles as a commitment to customer satisfaction in the role of both developer and builder. Long after residents settle into their new homes, Julian is highly visible and accessible as the developer. Excellent customer service and the ability to "do exactly what you say you will do" are imperative. A full-time customer service department with a talented support staff upholds the company philosophy and always goes the extra mile--another key element to legendary success.

While Julian spends many hours at the company's impressive 6,000-square-foot office building and design center in Lenexa, he also has many outside interests he enjoys with his family. Although boating has been a long-time interest, aviation has become a current passion with the recent addition of a private pilot's license. Don and his wife, Linda, recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.