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Designing to Live – September 13, 2019

Brad Whicker’s Plainfield company builds Home-A-Rama ranch

By Stephanie Dolan

Brad Whicker, owner of Whicker Construction in Plainfield, will show off his creative and building skills with a house constructed for the annual Home-A-Rama event. This year’s tour includes five homes in Zionsville. Whicker’s is the only ranch filled with luxury touches. (Photos by Rick Myers)

People have countless ways to express themselves. The world and closer to home, art big and small fills the world from poems, love songs and paintings to standing monuments, sunsets and cathedrals.

Plainfield’s Brad Whicker gets to show off his creative skills as a home builder throughout Hendricks County. His business Whicker Construction creates countless custom homes that have harnessed both the ideas of the homeowners and the inspiration of the builder.

His three decades of dedication will go on full display for others to marvel as his design and build firm builds one of five homes for the annual Home-A-Rama put on by the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis (BAGI).

“I started this company almost 30 years ago because at the time I had nothing to lose,” said Whicker, a life-long Plainfield resident. “We pride ourselves on establishing very personal relationships with our clients and maintaining that throughout the process. We love what we do and we strive to deliver a very personal experience and a very high level quality product.”

The company’s exposure will soon grow outside of his home county thanks to the Home-A-Rama.

“Our mission as an industry-represented group is to promote, educate and network on behalf of the members of the construction industry,” said Steve Lains, BAGI CEO. “We promote professionalism within industry members and builders’ standards for new home consumers.”

Whicker has been a long-standing member of the association, and he can utilize Home-A-Rama to expand his market visibility and presence, Lains said.

“Brad has historically been a Hendricks County market builder,” Lains said. “He’s wanting to continue what he does in Hendricks County and around the whole metropolitan area.”

With 10,000 people visiting the homes on the tour, Whicker Construction should see immediate impact. “It’s a great opportunity for us,” Whicker said. “I told Steve Lains of BAGI that I would be willing to participate based on destination.”

Whicker, 50, grew up in a small self-employed family and has an entrepreneurial spirit in his blood, which led to him starting his own business early in life.

In college he worked for another construction company and became a subcontractor for him. Whicker took on more work until he decided to start his own company.

“I figured out how to make a few bucks at it, and then figured out that I loved it,” he said. “There was always opportunity. We started with small remodel and repair-type work. It was a slow evolution. I learned by the school of hard knocks, watching and intentionally trying to be around the home building business. There was definitely a learning curve as it all took place.”

As the head of the company, Whicker Construction homes always have Whicker’s hand in the process.

“We’re involved in the design and in the build,” he said. “I always want to have an active hand in that process as we establish that relationship with clients.”

The public can see his work on display as one of five living spaces at the Home-A-Rama destination in Zionsville’s Pemberton neighborhood.

“We are just excited about the opportunity to come into Zionsville and show off a new community where people might not know where it is on the map,” said Kristen Krempp of BAGI. “With this show, all five builders have built unique homes. We think there’s something for everyone to see.”

Whicker refers to his home as the “ultimate ranch.” Visitors can tep into the luxurious open ranch plan to tour the two bedrooms on the main level and two rooms in the basement that could also get set up as bedrooms.

“It’s single floor with a finished basement,” he said. “It’s ideal for a 45 to 55-year-old couple, maybe with kids in college.”

Modern touches with traditional elements throughout make the home marketable to most people, Lains said.

“It’s not your grandma and grandpa’s ranch home for sure,” Lains said.

During the design process, Whicker enjoys a seat at the table with seasoned architects and designers as they put pencil to paper and create a working set of plans.

“I have a creative mind and help bring the clients’ dreams to life,” he said. “Being able to build and create something from a two-dimensional drawing to a living, finished structure is very rewarding, as is being able to communicate with the client and be able to deliver that product to them.”

Whicker Construction built the only ranch home in this year’s event.

“He is approaching the show with that idea of empty nester buyers really trying to target a single level house, and he has done it magnificently,” Krempp said. “I’ve just walked through it last week and was blown away by what he was able to do.”

If you go:


When: 1-8 p.m. Sept. 9-22, 26-29 and Oct. 3-6.

Tickets: $20 at the door. Children 12 and younger free.

Where: Parking at Zionsville United Methodist Church, 9644 Whitestown Road. Complimentary shuttle service.

Website: http://bagi/com/home-a-rama

Whicker Construction: 


Getting to know Brad Whicker

Occupation: Owner of Whicker Construction in Plainfield

Family: Wife, Renea and four children.

What do you do to unwind?

My ultimate thrill is downhill snow skiing. I like to go two or three times a year.

If you had to choose a theme song for your life, what would it be?

“Not Afraid” by Eminem

What is your favorite book?

“Making of an American Capitalist” by Warren Buffett

Who or what inspires you?

My drive used to come from my father, who’s no longer with us, and my wife and my kids to find out what I’m capable of and can accomplish.

What is your favorite movie?

“The Family Man”

Brad Whicker, owner of Whicker Construction in Plainfield, will show off his creative and building skills with a house constructed for the annual Home-A-Rama event. This year’s tour includes five homes in Zionsville. Whicker’s is the only ranch filled with luxury touches. (Photos by Rick Myers)

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