We appreciate that some people like to know more about the companies they deal with. Here is our story. You may also want to visit “Our People” to learn more about those that make Houseworks Daylighting Solutions so special.
HOUSEWORKS was founded in 2001 by Buff Hoffberg and was originally known as Houseworks, Inc. Through 2005, Houseworks specialized only in tubular skylights and solar attic fans.
After installing tubular skylights for hundreds of customers, Mr. Hoffberg realized that not every home was an ideal candidate for this one type of skylight and that his customer base wanted a greater selection with more options. There were many homes that could be better served with a traditional glass skylight, or venting skylights, or electrically controlled units with blinds and built-in rain sensors. Other homes would still need tubular skylights, especially in smaller rooms. Late in 2005, Houseworks became
Houseworks Daylighting Solutions and began a relationship with VELUX, America’s largest skylight manufacturer. Houseworks Daylighting Solutions soon became one of the first and very few companies in the country to specialize in skylights.
As a Certified VELUX Dealer, Houseworks could now offer all varieties of traditional skylights, Sun Tunnels (tubular skylights), as well as SunRise™ Solar Attic Fans.
In 2007, Jeff Brooks, a long-time friend and fellow Boy Scout Leader, invested in the firm and the two became partners. That same year the firm incorporated as an LLC. Installation volume began to grow rapidly and more installation teams were hired, trained, and certified by VELUX. The partnership greatly benefited from the combined and varied talents brought to the firm by both men. Houseworks now sells and installs more VELUX skylights, and solar fans than any firm in Illinois and Iowa.
In 2008 as Houseworks Daylighting Solutions, LLC continued to grow and provide exceptional service, VELUX awarded the firm its highest designation – Certified Five-Star Skylight Specialist. Each VELUX Five-Star Dealer must meet the highest levels of quality installation, craftsmanship, competency, and ethical business practices. In the entire country there are only a handful of dealers that have been awarded this distinction.
In the summer of 2008 Houseworks moved to a much larger showroom and warehouse facility in Glenview, west of The Glen. With the added storage space, Houseworks could carry much more inventory to more efficiently serve its residential and commercial customers.
The new showroom features several installed skylights and displays of VELUX products allowing homeowners, architects, roofers and builders to see the complete product line and be able to match the correct product with their customer’s needs.
In the spring of 2009 Houseworks opened a commercial skylight desk to service roofers and contractors searching for a knowledgeable outlet from which to purchase skylights. About the same time VELUX expanded its Commercial Skylight Division and rolled out a very aggressive pricing structure. VELUX custom acrylic bubbles are priced easily 20% below what was previously the market norm. Suddenly Houseworks became a top choice for roofers and contractors to order the special skylights they need on their jobs. Houseworks carries a large inventory for these customers who often find they are “one short” or need a last minute flashing for a skylight.
In 2011 Houseworks was offered the opportunity to set up operations in Des Moines to service central Iowa. There were no certified skylight dealers or installers in the state and Houseworks was pleased to be asked to provide services to central Iowa. A new office was opened in Clive, a suburb of Des Moines. Lee Collins is the manager. Houseworks is the only VELUX Five-Star Certified dealer and installer in the entire state of IOWA.
By 2014 Houseworks Daylighting Solutions, LLC had become a very experienced dealer selling and installing a record number of skylights. Our installation crews had grown too, both in numbers and experience. Several of our installers (all Five-Star Certified and VELUX trained) passed the 750 unit installation threshold.
In April of 2016 Houseworks was dealt a crushing blow when its founder, Buff Hoffberg, died of cancer. Fortunately the firm had some time to prepare and, while much was lost, Houseworks carried on with Jeff Brooks (Buff's business partner of over ten years) and Leann Ledgerwood (the firm's very first employee) taking the helm.
Also in 2016, Russ Merson, who headed up our commercial desk, left the firm to join VELUX America. Filling his shoes proved to be a monumental task as Russ was truly an expert in this field. Rob Brooks, with Russ's tutelage, has stepped into the role and is exceeding expectations. Houseworks has become the leading source for the sale and installation of the new VMS structural skylight system. As of this writing no other US based skylight dealer has sold and installed more VMS jobs that has Houseworks.