Kopper Creek Building LLC constructs modular and system-built homes, but is not confined to a warehouse to build nor does the company provide a certain number of models to choose from. Rather, the company prides itself on getting involved with homebuyers to determine how the home should be built to fit their lifestyle and once determined, builds on-site.

KC and Cayttie Heister founded Kopper Creek in 2003 and operated from Montrose, Colo., until 2010 when the pair opened its new headquarters in Minot, N.D. “We mix the system-built homes with traditional, on-site construction and that’s where we found our niche,” KC Heister says. Constructing system-built homes has always been in Heister’s life. In 1982, he started working in a system-built home environment in Denver where he worked on several different phases of building single and multifamily structures. 

JDS Development Group broke the record for the sale of the most expensive condominium in Manhattan last fall when its Walker Tower penthouse sold for just under its asking price of $55 million.

The New York, N.Y.- based company is a real estate development company formed by Michael Stern for the purchase and development of luxury residential real estate. Over the last several years, JDS Development Group has developed and constructed more than 4 million square feet of property in New York and Miami. “JDS is a fully integrated development and construction company,” Managing Partner Michael Stern says. “What sets us apart is the fact that we self-perform all of our work without the use of a third party construction manager and maintain a team of in-house design and construction personnel to streamline the entire process.”

At this point in their homebuilding careers, the Grabens have seen it all – every style and every size of home clients want. And yet, the husband-and-wife duo of Nathan and Heidi Graben are able to deliver custom-built homes that each has its own unique feel. 

“We’ve been in this business since 1983,” says Nathan Graben. “So we’ve built every type of home. We’ve built homes using different types of foundations and different types of construction. We are not rigid on doing any types of homes.”

Graben Construction Inc. officially launched in 1983, but Nathan Graben has been in the building business since he was a young boy, following after the footsteps of his great grandfather. Heidi Graben, with her knack for custom and luxury interiors and exterior details, complements her husband’s architectural and construction training. 

Building high-quality homes is front and center in Far West Industries’ operations. “We are not about having the lower building price per square foot,” says Scott Lissoy, president and co-owner of the Santa Ana, Calif.-based company. “Our homes are built in a way that is cognizant of our costs while focusing on quality materials and construction.”

The company foregoes many of the marketing-related bells and whistles of home selling such as large, well-appointed sales trailers or ornately-detailed sales offices, concentrating instead on acquiring and installing top-of-the-line finishes and materials in the model and production homes. “We’re more interested in spending money on permanent features in the homes than building temporary facilities on a construction site that you eventually remove,” he adds. “We won’t spend $40,000 on finished carpentry for a sales office that we know will just be ripped out in the end. That $40,000 is better spent on the level of the standard features of a Far West home.”

Aiming its luxury apartment developments at upwardly  mobile young professionals, Duke Inc. knows what a market will bear in terms of expenses, such as land costs. The company builds primarily in Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.

“The last thing we can afford to do is go into a market that is overbuilt and overpriced,” Vice President Rob Stone says. “I see Dallas as both. There’s so much production going on.”

Stone uses his experience with a project in Dallas as an example. “I was able to offer $30 a square foot for an apartment site, and somebody came in and paid almost $50 a square foot for the dirt,” he recalls. “So do the math. That’s pretty aggressive, and the dirt is still sitting there. They haven’t done anything on it. I don’t know if they realized they paid too much. I’m just glad they were able to justify their number. I couldn’t do it. Timing is critical. If I had paid that much money and I wasn’t building on it soon after I bought it, I’d be looking for another line of work.”

Some homebuilders focus on the number of units they build each year, but not CarrHomes. Instead, Vice President Tom Avery says, the Fairfax, Va.-based homebuilder is more focused on quality. “When people hear our name, it’s associated with quality,” he says. “They all know if they walk into a Carr home, it’s going to be a well-built home.”

Edward R. Carr founded the company in 1925. Today, under the leadership of Principal Tom Jordan, CarrHomes has a high customer satisfaction rate. “More than 98 percent of the people who have built a home with us would recommend CarrHomes to a friend,” Avery says.

A premier custom homebuilder that has focused on high-end residential construction since 1977, Cahill Homes is currently building new homes inside the gates of Golden Oak at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  

“At Cahill Homes, we strive every day to be better than the day before,” founder and President Steve Cahill says. “We absolutely love building homes and we want everyone that we come in contact with to see that.”

Cahill Homes has built homes in exclusive neighborhoods in Central Florida for nearly 40 years. The Cahill Homes team’s focus on creative designs, unmatched building quality and the highest level of customer satisfaction has earned the company numerous accolades and awards such as the Master Custom Builder Council’s Builder of the Year.

Located in the Flathead Valley of Montana near Glacier National Park, Big Mountain Builders LLC has prospered even during the recession. It builds custom homes ranging in construction cost from $300,000 to $1.5 million, not including land.

The style of the homes sometimes depends on where the homeowner is coming from – literally. Clients who are new to Montana want a Montana-style home that resembles a cabin, with heavy use of wood and perhaps even logs.

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