Keystone Custom Builders Inc.
Where did you grow up?
As a child, I grew up in Leoti, a small town in Western Kansas with a population of about 1,500 people. I will save face by stating that I was at least born in Leadville, CO and I was 8 years old when my family moved to Grand Junction…I’ve been here ever since. So, by far the majority of my life has been spent in Colorado and specifically in the Grand Valley.
How did you get started in the building industry?
It all started from a phone book. I was 16 and I had just graduated from high school. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and I was not interested in starting my job search after four years of college. So, I opened up the phone book and started calling every builder in Grand Junction asking/begging them to bring me in as an apprentice. It wasn’t until the S’s that I found a listening ear. A local commercial and residential builder took me under their wing, gave me a job as a carpenter labor, which began a four year apprenticeship while I attended school at night.
How did you become the President of Keystone Custom Builders?
I hired onto Keystone in 2004 as a lead Estimator and Project Manager. One day Kent Evans, the founder of Keystone, took me to lunch and asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” That question launched the discussion of Keystone’s Future with me taking the lead. This year, Keystone celebrates its 40th year of being in business. I am privileged to be partnered with Kent Evans and to have been a part of Keystone’s success for the past decade. As the current President and Co-owner of Keystone, I look forward to continuing Kent’s legacy, and I am determined to maintain a hands on approach and attention to detail that all of Keystone’s projects are known for.
How has the industry changed since you got started?
The biggest thing that I have seen change on the residential front, is how the economic weather has drastically changed homeowner’s priorities and mind set. With the economic downturn, homeowners are more interested in making sound longevity and energy efficient decisions, over flashier details that don’t create a return on resale or utility costs.
What should consumers look for in a new home?
First and foremost, comfort. Houses are about the people that live in them, and homes should add to the comfort of their lives. Second, consumers should look for functionality. I’m not just talking about the location of the laundry room or bathrooms. I’m talking about how quiet and efficient the home operates, how long it takes to get warm water at a sink, how clean the air is in the home. The house needs to WORK and work well. Third, they should look for features that complement their style and taste. Working with a builder like Keystone, which is all about the customizations, makes it easy for customers to insert their design preferences, and make the home a reflection of who they truly are.
Is there a particular style of home that you consider your specialty or prefer to build?
My personal design style favors ‘Modern Industrial Loft;’ using raw materials, open spaces, lots of natural light, and balancing the cold rigid elements of steel and concrete with well-placed wood working details. I disagree with the notion that the only way to define a space is to box it in with walls.
What kind of questions should consumers ask a builder before they sign a contract?
Consumers should ask, “What systems do you have in place in order to control costs, quality, and the project schedule?” Then, they need to request physical proof of these implemented systems.
What do you enjoy when you’re not working?
One of my biggest passions is music. I play the drums, so I am always listening to, or playing music. I would much rather have the stereo on, than the TV any day. I currently play in a Band called: “The Annual Anthems”. Nothing too serious, just a group of friends that enjoy playing music for anyone that loves live music.
I am the youngest of five kids (three sisters & one brother). My wife Shana and I have been married for the past 10 years. And although we have no children of our own, we enjoy the challenges and rewards of being a Full-time Aunt and Uncle.
What do you enjoy about living in western Colorado?
That’s a tough answer to keep brief. I love the climate, the outdoor culture, the people, and the proximity to almost endless outdoor pursuits and hobbies. I don’t consider myself a hunter/fisherman but I am an outdoor person. I love hiking, camping, rafting, swimming, and mountain biking. Where else can you live in a progressive city, and be 20 to 30 minutes away from four completely different geographies?
What do you see as up-and-coming trends in the building industry?
Smaller/smarter homes. Homes that cut down on the overall footprint by having multi-purpose rooms, and less wasted space by means of well-designed storage and built-ins.
How is a brand-new home safer or more comfortable than a 20 or 30-year old home?
A new home is more comfortable in at least four cardinal ways:
• Efficient walls and windows: the levels of wall, floor and attic insulation properly installed designed to block drafts, and high-performance windows;
• Efficient air ductwork: so rooms get enough air to have consistent, comfortable temperatures throughout the house;
• Efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment: helping you save money while staying comfortable;
• Efficient lighting and appliances: including ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers, refrigerators, light bulbs, and clothes washers/dryers.
These features not only save money, they provide a house that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. By providing comfortable homes efficiently, homeowners are operating their homes using less power, and less resources; a green choice that continues to give back after the construction has been completed.
Looking for a builder? Call the HBA of Northwestern Colorado at (970) 245-0253 or visit http://www.hbanwco.com