For one Crystal Lake company, mixing business and family has been a recipe for success.

Rhett Wilborn is president of Innovative Home Concepts, Inc., a full-service exterior remodeling contractor. His business know-how came from his father, who started a gutter business in 1974.

“When I was little I would go to work with my dad. He was actually one of the first contractors in McHenry County to have a seamless aluminum gutter machine,” Wilborn says. “He built up his business primarily working for builders and general contractors.”

Wilborn worked for him during holiday and summer breaks in high school and college as a laborer, and after college, as an installer and later a crew leader and salesperson.

When his father sold the company in 2000 to a large Fortune 200 company, Wilborn joined the staff.

“But after three years I got fed up of the corporate cutthroat environment and left there,” he says. “I figured at that time I was out of construction for good but I went back into the industry and took a job working for a gutter guard company. I learned about selling home improvements to homeowners as opposed to builders.”

He was given a brochure from his father for a gutter guard product called Gutter Shutter. Initially, Wilborn wasn’t sold. But after a visit to the corporate office in Cincinnati and learning more about the operation, Wilborn changed his tune and with the help of his father, launched Gutter Shutter of Chicago in 2005.

“The company grew quickly from its start and we expanded to keep up with the demand,” Wilborn says. “Because of the many requests from customers and the opportunity for the growth it presented, we soon added roofing and insurance restoration work. We then added siding and finally windows.”

The addition in services prompted the name change to Innovative Home Concepts, Inc. The business has continued to flourish, spurring the January opening of a second location in Romeoville.

The secret to Innovative’s success?

“Our company mission statement is, ‘Make Happy Customers and Lifelong Clients.’ We do this by always looking for better products to offer, better ways to deliver these products, and by always looking for ways to improve our customer service and communication,” Wilborn says.

Today, Innovative is ranked in the top 500 contractors in the nation by Qualified Remodeler Magazine and has garnered several local awards. The company has also been named a 2019 Best of the Fox winner, which Wilborn calls “one of the biggest honors we have achieved.”

“Best of the Fox is voted on by real people who care about your business and feel you do a great job for your customers and for the community as a whole,” Wilborn says. “It really is a huge honor and we are extremely appreciative that we have received this award so many times.”

Innovative’s staff also includes Wilborn’s significant other, Courtney Wander, general manager of the corporate office in Crystal Lake; his brother, Toby, one of Innovative’s top salespeople; and his oldest son, Skyler, who works in marketing and heads up the drone technology division.

“I still consult with my father about decisions pertaining to the business,” Wilborn says.

He hopes to continue to serve the area for years to come.

“We realize we are not going to win every project. We just want to be in the conversation whenever a homeowner or commercial property owner has a need for a new roof, siding, gutters, or windows,” Wilborn says. “If you are going to get three quotes, make sure one of those is from Innovative Home Concepts.”

Innovative Home Concepts, Inc.

4410 IL-Route 176, Crystal Lake

815-356-9020 |

Monday through Friday - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m