Estes Builders of Sequim, Wash., has been building custom homes in western Washington since 1989. The company has amassed an impressive number of awards over the years, including a National Housing Quality Gold Award and America’s Best Builder, and just added another to its well-stocked trophy case: the 2013 Avid Custom Builder Diamond Award.
The Diamond is the highest honor a custom builder can achieve for the quality of its home-buyer experience. Avid Ratings honored Estes Builders for providing the best customer experience of all custom-home builders in the United States.
“The Avid survey is more comprehensive than most people realize,” says Rick Gross, customer service manager for Estes. “It’s not a few simple questions. It evaluates builders in 56 key areas that influence a customer’s experience—not just construction quality, but also important areas such as price, satisfaction with design, finishing on time, thorough explanation of the building process and prompt and accurate answers to questions.” Ninety-eight percent of customers said they would recommend Estes to their family and friends.
A great home-building experience starts well before construction begins, says Nell Clausen, custom-home adviser. Estes designs and plans each client’s home early on, providing a clear road map and laying the groundwork for a smooth building process. The company ensures that every design addresses three key elements: lifestyle, property, and budget.
“I believe the two main reasons our clients are so happy with their homes after they’re built are excellent communication and teamwork, not just from the Estes team but also from our valued trade partners,” Clausen says. “Communication is the key to making sure the client has every opportunity to ask questions and make sure their home design truly reflects their current and future lifestyle needs.”
Plans undergo constant review by the Estes team. “Every detail is discussed and, if appropriate, it’s designed into the home,” she says.
Founder and president Kevin Estes recognizes that being No. 1 in the country is difficult to live up to, but he emphasizes, “We don’t rest on our laurels. We were ranked second in the United States in 2004 for customer satisfaction, and we’ve consistently ranked among the top 5 percent of builders nationwide. We continue to learn and improve every day.”