Meet the hard working people that make Acheson Builders the most trusted name in home renovation and remodeling in the Ann Arbor area.
Jim Acheson, President
Jim Acheson, the founder and owner of Acheson Builders, is highly regarded for his craftsmanship and his eye for design. While you may sometimes see him wearing a “cowboy” hat, he’s really the son of a jeweler (read: extremely meticulous), a well educated, highly disciplined, very gifted designer and builder with a passion for excellence in everything he does. He cares about the fine details, – such as how the placement of windows will light an area, versus how they will function for exterior design or viewing. On many occasions he has consulted with homeowners to help solve construction problems other builders have unknowingly created.
Marilyn Acheson, Vice President
With multiple roles, Marilyn has been a major player in the company since co-founding it in 1977. She has done everything from bookkeeping to customer relationship, IT, and HR management, plus marketing, insurance, accounting, and general business management. Marilyn has a B.A. in Art from Eastern Michigan University, and does renderings for projects when needed. She also produced and oversees the design of the company logo, its website, and its marketing materials. Currently she serves as CFO, and assists Jim Acheson in project management as well.
Ben, Lead Carpenter
Ben started with Acheson Builders as a 17 year old kid. He was strong and fit, but didn’t know much about construction. He started out working with Jim Acheson as a helper, when Jim was still doing carpentry in the field. Jim taught him, year by year, and Ben was a good student – quiet, but retaining things well. He has worked for Acheson Builders for over 25 years, and now is a skilled leader for job production, and an exceptional cabinet maker, as well. His favorite free time activity is fishing.
Amber, Interior Designer
We are thrilled to be working with a talented young designer, Amber. She has recently joined our design team, and we find her to be careful, thoughtful, and thorough in her approach to each project. She is available for our clients to help with their selections. Clients can choose to use more or less of her time, depending on their budget and their needs, but we do include some design time with each project, to help get you started.
It’s a big job to pull together all the elements needed – function, style, color, space, products, cost, and fit – into the many facets of your home: flooring, fixtures, wall colors, siding, trim, and so much more. Amber is skilled at assisting in all these areas
In her own words:
I’m passionate about combining form and function to create a breathtaking space that feels at once classic and personal to the client. When you work with me, you know you’re getting the best guidance toward the home you’ve always wanted — and a vision to ensure you get there. I love [having] the opportunity to work hands-on with my clients. Over the course of the project, we’ll get to know each other on a deeper level and work together toward an end result that will ‘wow’! I design thoughtful, timeless interiors that grow with my clients’ needs. My spaces are functional and beautiful, modern and full of warmth, sustainable and elegant. My favorite part of design is working to seamlessly integrate personal details that elevate a house to a home.
Amber started her career in finance before making a switch to interior design, allowing her to combine the best of both worlds — numbers (your budget) and a creative touch — to help you plan or transform a home so that it feels uniquely YOU. She grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in picturesque Grand Haven and currently lives and works in Ann Arbor.
Dustin, Estimator & Project Manager
Dustin found us – we didn’t find him, and are we blessed! He walked into our office, having researched our company and wanting to work for a professional builder of high integrity such as ours! His resume cover letter stated: “Acheson’s mission and strategies, emphasizing attention to detail, people-first orientation, and fierce commitment to professionalism, align with my own passions.” How could we NOT hire someone with such a vision?
Dustin is a young man with a BA in English from Hillsdale College, who has a desire for a career in building. Having started doing fine woodworking and furniture making at a young age, he kept it up all through college, doing general construction, rough and finish work, and then working with Habitat for Humanity building homes for needy people. Dustin is smart, likable, self-assured, and is soaking up knowledge and growing his skills as he works with us; a fine, up-and-coming talent, a hard-working man with an outstanding character and great potential.
Dustin started out with us as a Carpenter, but during the Covid shut down, when almost everyone else was laid off, we needed a multi-talented person to do some of the office work (like estimating and preparing for future jobs), as well as to manage some of the permissible field work (urgent matters in people’s homes). Dustin was able to come into the office and quickly take on just about anything we threw at him! He (and we) realized that not only was he very good at this part of the business, but he really liked assisting in management. We have been amazed at his capabilities, and he is taking on more and more responsibility within the company as he learns and grows.
Dustin is married and lives here in Ann Arbor. If you see him wearing cowboy boots, it is because he is a Texan at heart, and follows in the “boot-steps” of his large Texan family! (But his wife says he is staying here in Michigan – which we are very glad of!)
Ryan, Project Manager
Having worked in the insurance industry for some 7 years before joining our team, Ryan knows about customer service, and has collaborated with top agency partners to improve customer service processes. He has also done sales and marketing for renowned organizations, like the Detroit Lions. But his passion is truly in building! He holds an individual builders License, and has done side projects in construction for many years. With his wife, a realtor, they have purchased, renovated and successfully flipped several houses. Ryan has also remodeled a number of kitchens and baths, as well as designing, building and installing custom cabinetry and other interior finishes (stairways, fireplace surrounds, etc.) for numerous living spaces. In the process of doing all these things, he learned about managing schedules, timely purchase of materials, overseeing subcontractor work, and maintaining a high degree of customer satisfaction.
Our processes for project management at Acheson Builders can be quite complex and daunting, but Ryan is a quick learner and is happily taking up the call to manage more and more complicated projects for our clients. We are thankful for his knowledge, attention to detail, and quick ability to solve problems as they arise. Ryan is respected as a leader by our other team members, and has a good rapport with our clients. Welcome to the team, Ryan!
Jon, Lead Carpenter
Besides being an extremely skilled Carpenter, you won’t find a nicer guy than Jon. He is courteous, thoughtful, and generous, and our clients love him. (He even brought us fresh peaches from Georgia! And zucchini from his garden!) As a leader of one of our carpentry crews in the field, he is a forward thinker, planning ahead and taking initiative so that things can proceed smoothly. Jon has an understanding of how to work as a team, to respect each other, motivate each other, and encourage efficiency and professionalism. He’s good at delegating, as well as problem solving. He has a lot of drive to ensure that our projects go well, and that our clients are pleased with the process as well as the top-notch results.
Raised in the country, Jon knows that value of hard work – he is conscientious and productive. We are so grateful that he joined the Acheson team
Jon is a family man, and enjoys fishing and hunting in his spare time – even ice fishing in the winter! Now you know he is tough!
Alex, Lead Carpenter
With a ready smile and a good heart, Alex is ready to work! He has his own Builder’s License and is very experienced and skilled in the many aspects of home construction, remodeling, and general carpentry. He is a great leader and teacher, with an eye for detail that is commendable. He is fairly new to our company, but previous homeowners that he worked (whom we interviewed during the hiring process) raved about his skills as well as his ability to communicate regularly with the homeowner, discuss details and recommend options for problem solving where needed.
You can tell that Alex loves what he does, and takes great pride in his craft. He works well with other trades as well. We look forward to his participation with our teams to represent the Acheson ethic and quality very successfully!
As a new (2021) carpenter on our team, Robin comes to us with a lot of experience elsewhere, being a licensed builder who previously ran his own window, door and porch restoration/replacement business for some 15 years. Prior to that he completed a two-year Preservation Carpentry Program in Boston Massachusetts, which focused on traditional building techniques, including preservation, restoration, and conservation of historic buildings. Robin holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, but his passion is carpentry, and he is happy to focus on that rather than the endless administrative and sales drudgery of running his own company.
With his ready smile and friendly personality, combined with integrity and honesty, Robin easily builds trust with our clients. He works carefully and diligently, whether on his own or with a crew. We are happy that he decided to join our team!
Carson, Carpenter Apprentice
Carson is a young man, very eager to learn the trade of carpentry. He has come to the right place to work with great carpenters and team members who can mentor him as he grows his skills. Carson has had some years of painting experience, and can do an excellent job with that role when needed on our projects, but his goal is to move beyond this, and become a skilled carpenter. He has built up a set of his own tools and has had some experience working for other remodeling companies as an apprentice, doing demo, siding, flooring, drywall, trim, framing, and more.
Carson is thoughtful and communicates well; he has impressed the homeowners that he has worked for! He works hard, has a good attitude, is a problem solver, and thinks about what he’s doing before charging ahead. We are happy to have him as part of our team.
Jeff, Driver and Skilled Laborer
Jeff has a great attitude, and he works diligently without complaining even on the menial tasks he is often given. He watches carefully to make sure the materials that he picks up to take to jobs are exactly as specified. He is also happy to join the crew in the field and help with general work that needs to be done – especially cleaning up and making sure things are in proper order. He willingly stays late whenever needed to complete a task – rather than leave it only partially accomplished. Jeff is married to Bonnie, and they have one son and some grandchildren!