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About Us

New Prairie Construction in Urbana ChampaignWe want your experience with us to be remarkable.

Our commitment to you: We will listen to your needs, respect your home, and make sure that you love your new space.

New Prairie Construction Company was founded in 1988 by central Illinois natives Julie Vogel Birdwell and Jill Mulder. For many years they worked as team, tackling a wide range of projects, often in older or historic buildings. In 1997, New Prairie was awarded the inspiring job of remodeling the Old Town Champaign residence known as the Wilber Mansion. Suddenly they needed their first employees. Year by year the company has grown to its current size of 23.

In August 2018, after a year of transition and Jill Mulder’s retirement, New Prairie Construction became central Illinois’s first worker-owned construction company! We now have 12 owners, many of whom have been with the company for more than 10 years. The owners share profits and use a democratic process of consensus to make policy, financial, and other decisions for the company. Over time, we hope all employees who meet the eligibility requirements will choose to be owners. 

Although the company structure has changed and our beloved Chickenboss (aka Jill) has retired, New Prairie has the same skilled and caring staff and the same commitment to providing our customers with quality remodeling, construction, and solar panel installation services. We continue to contribute and invest in our community through service, charitable giving, and providing good jobs for local folks.

Our work encompasses additions of all sizes, kitchen and bathroom remodels, porches and decks, home energy efficiency, solar panel installation, and numerous specialty projects. We integrate technically advanced products with traditional materials and techniques. Continuing education keeps our crew on top of lead safety methods, best practices in remodeling, and green building innovations.

We are committed to conservation and preservation, and have won many awards for our restoration work, including the Orpheum Theatre (now the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum) in Champaign, and the McDowell House, an 1870s Victorian Italianate in eastern Illinois. We are keenly interested in sustainable and green construction methods,a passion that led us to build Urbana’s first straw bale house and studio.

Most importantly, your satisfaction come first. We respect your space and property, and strive for daily cleanup of the job site and a consistent and uninterrupted work schedule. New Prairie’s commitment to customer service, communication, and accommodation has earned us a long list of satisfied and repeat customers.

Put us to the test.

Get an estimate: Contact us or fill out our online Request an Estimate form or our Request a Solar Panel Installation estimate form.

Learn more about the company: Read about our staff, company certifications, award-winning projects, and volunteer work. Visit the Gallery and Testimonials pages to see pictures and hear what our customers have to say.

Still have questions? Visit the Remodeling and Construction Answers page for tips and helpful links.