You’ll find many family-owned businesses in Altoona, Iowa. But few can claim to have three generations working on the same project.
For Eagle Homes, it’s just another day on the job.
“I’m very fortunate to have my family involved with every part of my business,” says Eric Vanderploeg, who founded the Altoona custom home-building business in 2016. “My dad does all the drafting and design work. My wife, Kayla, does all the book-keeping and keeps me on track. My mom is very involved, too, helping with the selection and design process.”
Even Eric and Kayla’s three children – Ella, Clayton and Gage – have made their mark on the family business.
“I named my floor plans after them… until I started running out of names. They also like to help out on the job site and help clean up.”
Eric grew up in Altoona. At an early age, he became the “right hand man” of his grandfather, Ron Stubbs, a local developer and custom home builder. Eric, much like his children today, grew up working and playing on family construction sites. Even as a toddler, he plowed his toy tractor through the muddy tracks of real bulldozers. Inspired by his grandfather’s work and supported by his family, Eric launched Eagle Homes in 2016. The business is dedicated to building custom homes in the Altoona area.
Eric chose the right place and time to launch a home-building business. Since 2010, the Altoona population has grown by more than 32%. With all the new residents moving into town, Eric has plenty of customers—who happen to also be his neighbors. He attributes much of Altoona’s recent growth to the community’s high quality-of-life and convenient location, as well as thoughtful planning by local leaders.
“Altoona seems to have a really great attitude about expansion,” Eric says. “I think they’re very strategic about it. The City is focused on maintaining quality of life, but they’re also really excited to work with new businesses and welcome them with open arms.”
Eric says that he enjoys building homes for his neighbors and fellow Altoona residents, and helping grow his hometown makes every project feel meaningful.
“Growing up in the town, it really means a lot to me, to be having a little bit of an impact on the community. I can remember the bike path before it was a bike path, riding through the dirt with my buddies. And now, seeing all the things that the City’s doing to improve… It just continues to grow, and that’s exciting for me to be involved with.
“It’s a really unique situation. I mean, I’m building houses for my neighbors.”
Altoona, Iowa, is a growing community just minutes east of Des Moines. We offer a high quality of life, a business-friendly environment, and a convenient location for businesses and residents alike. Want to learn more? Click here to learn more about living in Altoona, or take a look at our resources for businesses.