Andy Stauffer was recently featured on The Savvy Homebuyer TV Show. View the video here!
Mike: Joining me now from Stauffer and Sons Construction is Andy Stauffer. Andy, great to have you here today.
Andy: Hey, good to meet you Mike! Welcome to Colorado.
Mike: Thank you! And Andy, I know you’re a custom home builder. Tell me a little bit more about where you’re building and what projects you’re working on?
Andy: Stauffer and Sons Construction, we’re a full service general contractor and we’re based here in Colorado Springs but we build all up and down the front range and more and more a lot in the mountain communities up the road.
Mike: Okay. And I know the name of the company is Stauffer and Sons Construction. You got me wondering: “Are you the Stauffer, or the Son?”
Andy: That’s a familiar question and one I get all the time. I’m the Stauffer, the sons… we started the company a little over 10 years [ago], we just celebrated our ten year anniversary. Started it when my boys were 5, 4, and 3 years old and so just yesterday I took my son Andy driving with his learner’s permit. So we’ve progressed a little.
Mike: Right, and I know within that time you’ve done anything from small additions to high-end custom homes as well.
Andy: Really, we do the full range of construction: everything from conventional build to more specialized timber frame and structural insulated panel, log home construction. Really whatever our customers come to us with, we’re happy to discuss with them.
Mike: Okay, well like we mentioned, you are a custom home builder. Tell me a little bit more about what that means to you and to a customer.
Andy: Custom homes to us means your gonna get exactly what you want. Where we sit down early in the process and we go through a whole battery of questions where we’re gonna find out from you: What is your lifestyle? What are your traffic patterns in your house? Are you empty-nesters with returning kids and grand-kids? Do you like to entertain a lot? Are you trying to capture a view? …things like that. So from that we are really able to customize the design of the home and all the amenities and the selections of materials throughout.
Mike: Right. And I know another added benefit to the customer is you are a Design/Build firm and that really helps you streamline the process as well.
Andy: To us, Design/Build can be a process where you work with our in-house designer that we have here at Stauffer and Sons, but also we’re very happy to work with an architect that someone comes to us (with) that they already have. The important thing is: when do you bring your builder in on the process? So the process is going to be much more tailored to three things: 1) your budget, 2) the square footage, and 3) your selections of materials. If you can bring a builder in early to really flesh those things out …that’s what we’re all about: getting in on the process early, working with the architect and the homeowner and as a team figuring out: “Hey, whats gonna make this thing fly?”
Mike: Right. Well Andy, you know, you have some great looking homes and I’m excited to take a look at some of them today. I know you are really specializing in really Colorado Mountain-theme homes and we’re gonna get a chance to take a look at one today. How did you work with the client on that home? Tell me a little bit about what you did there.
Andy: This home is in the mountains of Southern Colorado, as with many of our clients, they have a pretty good piece of property. And this particular home that we’re talking about, there was a home on the property that was existing and we remodeled that and then, as well, we built a new guest cabin and then just really paid attention to the grounds and so on and so forth. So, had a lot of fun with this project Mike.
Mike: Well Andy, you know, I think it’s great no matter what project you’re working on you really do sit down and get to know the lifestyle of your customer and you really build that home to fit their needs and personalized to fit their lifestyle.
Andy: With this particular client Mike, they’re folks from out of town, which is a really common thing for us. Most of our clients are out of town clients. They had indicated to us early on that this home was going to be vacation home, they were gonna have a lot of guests over. They wanted everything to be very comfortable and approachable, but they didn’t want (as many people) they don’t want to have a lot of maintenance and things like that. So some of the selections, from the pre-finished hardwood floors to venetian plaster on the walls, granite counter tops—in this case custom cabinets—was just really a process of sitting down and kinda extracting that out of them through a lot of discussion, a lot of listening.
Mike: Right. Well it’s a beautiful home and you know, a very important thing you mentioned is they were from Texas, and you’re building for a lot of clients out of state. Tell me a little bit more about that process.
Andy: That’s really where we shine as a builder because I think as most folks (especially as they are talking about the home they are going to retire in) they are still making money back in wherever they’re from. So we’ve developed a process that gives them a real comfort level of working with an out of state builder in a remote location. So we have a login on our website, it’s real simple, they go in, it’s very secure. They can check in and check the status of their job by looking at the contracts that we have with them, the various plans and plan documents, and especially a good one they appreciate is photographs. So they can be in India (as one of our clients is right now) and we can in real-time be in a go to meeting format and be looking at some of those pictures on the log-in and discuss: “Hey that’s really shaping up,” or “Can we tweak this?” Or so on and so forth. So its a great process, and one we’ve developed and were very excited about.
Mike: Right. Well I think it’s great that you offer that. You know I’m sure it really gives your customers a little more peace of mind, being out of state. Being able to check in on the day-to-day progress of their home.
Andy: Sure, absolutely. And so that is really the future of our company as a young company, were really looking towards (I’ve got about 25 years before I start to hand it over to my boys) and you know, that process of how we build the home, taking advantage of modern technologies. And then even a huge feature that we have in homes these days is automated features where if they’re only gonna be there for a couple months a year, and they’re not even sure when they’ll pop in and out: they can jump on the computer and they can control the climate and check the security and unlock doors and so forth. So its a lot of fun
Interview with Phil and Kathy Martin, Stauffer Homeowners:
Phil: Andy had worked for on us on a small project so when it came time to do the house (the big house) we contacted him for recommendations and whatnot. He recommended a very good architect that designed the house and we felt that we had a good group of people to work together. We interviewed subcontractors along with Andy to pick out the ones we felt comfortable with and liked. It was a very pleasant process all the way through getting everybody lined up to take on the specific projects as we went through it.
Kathy: He’s a lot of fun to work with, he’s got great ideas, he addresses problems immediately, his subs are great (we had no problems with any of the subs) it was just an overall great experience.
Phil: And he’s very in tune to, you know, our needs and wants and the people we had working on the house. So it was always pleasant to go in and just have fun with the workers. And nobody was afraid to suggest or accept an idea, which made it a lot more enjoyable.
Kathy: Well, the home came out exactly the way we wanted it with Andy’s help and the architect’s. We have some beautiful features to the house (which my favorite is probably the master bedroom and bath) we’ve got just perfect flow in the house, from the garages through into the gorgeous kitchen, and its just everything I always wanted.
Phil: I particularly enjoy the garages, or the man cave. We have a double-decker garage, three bays downstairs and three bays upstairs and downstairs I got to put in a workshop. And that flows right on into the rec room and the basement. We have a pool table, a card area, and a gorgeous bar that we got to design and set up ourselves.
Kathy: I would say that Andy is probably the only builder that I would use. And the big thing about the person that’s running your project is honesty, integrity; I have no qualms with recommending Andy and he’s the only one that we would use.
Mike: You know Andy, one thing I want to bring up is that we mentioned that you’re building a lot of Colorado Mountain-theme type homes and I know you’ve doing so much of that you actually created a separate division of the company as well.
Andy: 10 years ago well we started Stauffer and Sons construction and I think I mentioned, when my boys were about yea high. As we’ve grown the company, we really started to find that niche in timber and it’s something that we’re very passionate about. Early on in our history we did some projects where we, in the field, had our own craftsmen and our own shop right here in Colorado Springs and we still do that but we’ve also partnered up with Riverbend Timber Framing out of Michigan and its been a great relationship. We’re one of their top reps in the country and we’re a preferred builder with them. So that kinda gets us into something we’ve been wanting to talk about which is that timber frame and structural insulated panel package. And it’s something that really hits on a lot of points. It gives us that Colorado Mountain architecture but then as well introduces through the structural insulated panel a really tight home. And it’s part of a whole system where it’s going to be a timber frame home structural insulated panel. Very often we’re gonna be incorporating photovoltaics or solar thermal, even wind generation, geothermal. You name it, its part of a whole system. We’ve been part of a project which was a LEED Platinum, and I’m sure you’re familiar with LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), and that was the fifth LEED Platinum home in Colorado and we’re real excited about that.
Mike: Right well again, that’s just a great example of what you’re capable of as a builder. And you know, earlier we mentioned some of the different projects you are working on. Tell me a little bit more about some of those projects.
Andy: Most of the projects we do, like I said, will be within about an hour or two or Colorado Springs. We like to showcase a lot of the high-end, really fancy stuff. But it really is important to understand that I’d say the majority of our projects are going to be just within the 2,000-4,000 square foot range, either primary homes or vacation homes. By in large they are going to incorporate a lot of these energy efficient features.
Mike: Okay. Well Andy, you know right now we’re sitting in your showroom and your office. And I know you really incorporated a lot of the products that you put in these homes into this office as well. What are we going to find here?
Andy: As you can see we’ve done some neat design work in the stained concrete. We’ve introduced refined surfaces such as Venetian plaster but then old reclaimed Wyoming snow fence. One of my favorite things in the office is the surround around our conference room, which is just two by fours so it can be just that simple.
Mike: Right. Well, it’s definitely a great example of what you’re capable of and what you’re able to put into these homes. And I know if somebody’s interested in getting to know more about the company, they can certainly come by the office and talk to you a little bit more but how else are they going to reach you?
Mike: Okay. Well Andy, I’ve really enjoyed taking a look at your work today and getting to know a bit more about the company. I want to thank you so much for being here today.
Andy: Great. Hey, thanks so much Mike.