On May 24, Estes Builders handed over the keys to its 500th custom home. Perched on the side of the Olympic Mountains outside of Port Angeles, Wash., the 2,650-square-foot Northwest Contemporary offers panoramic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, British Columbia, and Mount Baker from nearly every room. Other highlights include a sweeping two-story fireplace in the great room, large professional-style kitchen, first-floor master suite with custom walk-in shower, and second-story office tower with windows on three sides.
The completion of Estes Builders’ 500th home falls in the middle of the company’s 30th year in business. Kevin Estes, a third-generation builder, founded the company in 1989, with humble origins in his parents’ laundry room in Sequim, Wash. Today, the thriving custom builder employs 15 full-time staff members and completes 25 homes a year throughout Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap counties west of Puget Sound.
Much of the company’s success stems from Kevin Estes’ belief in Total Quality Management, a practice that led to the builder’s signature four-phase design/build process that helps ensure clients get the home they want in the budget they have and the time-frame they expect. The company’s focus on the continuous improvement cycle, which began from the first employee Estes hired, has helped eliminate virtually all change orders on projects, further improving the customer experience while preventing unexpected expenses.
“We’ve always tried to listen to customers and follow their lead and their vision for what they want to accomplish,” says Estes.
The builder’s 500th home is as much an example of those philosophies as its first, with features and details specific to the home-buyers’ preferences and needs. The couple, retiring from the Bay Area, sought to maximize the property’s views first and foremost, and as such all but two main rooms face forward; expansive windows along the length of the great room provide sight lines back through the adjacent kitchen. Guest rooms, each with their own bathroom, will accommodate visits from the couple’s children and grandchildren. Rich wood finishes can be found throughout, including in the window frames, stained interior doors, and timber beams, complemented by nickel fixtures and hardware for a modern yet Northwest theme.
For Kevin Estes, the home is simultaneously a milestone and just another testament to his approach begun three decades ago. “I’m not one to be nostalgic and look backward. But I’m learning as much today as I was on day one,” Estes says. “We’re continuing to get better every day. That part of it continues. And after 30 years, I’m as excited about coming to work as I’ve ever been.”
Read more about the completed home here.