Finding the Best General Contractor for your Project

Congratulations on your decision to have a custom home built for you.  With the right contractor, the process can and should be one that is exhilarating, creative and fun.  Unfortunately, some have had experiences that are wrought with difficulties, frustrations and leave a negative impression on the project owner. Good communication is an important factor in the outcome of your project; finding someone you can communicate well with and who you trust to communicate well with all project partners will help ensure a smooth process.

Buying land and building a home can be one of, if not the biggest, investments of your time and money, which is why investing the time into finding the right Contractor for your project is extremely important. Additionally, building your home exactly the way you want it is a very personal experience and you should partner with a contractor that you are comfortable with.  Here are some steps that we hope you will find helpful in your search for the best contractor for you.

  1. Don’t wait until you have already designed your home to start looking. Having your contractor involved in the design process is important to:
    1. Help to keep your project within budget and
    2. Inform you regarding design decisions that have construction phase implications
  2. Develop a list of contractors to interview
    1. Ask people who have gone through the process themselves
    2. Start letting friends, family and co-workers know that you are looking and ask for names of contractors
    3. Drive through the neighborhood you are building in and look for signs
  3. If needed, narrow your list to your top 3 or 4 choices
  4. When you have a list of potential builders, it’s time to start asking lots of questions
    1. Make an appointment to meet with your top 3
    2. Take along a notebook to record the information
    3. Write down your personal impressions of each – building a home is a very personal experience!
  5. Download these Builder Interview questions or prepare your own questions and bring them to the meeting. Downloadable form: http://www.visionaryhomesinc.com/selecting-a-builder/
  6. Follow up on references provided
    1. Are you happy with your home?
    2. How was the building process with this builder?
    3. If you had any problems, were they fixed promptly and properly?
    4. Would you work with this builder again?
  7. Visit homes under construction and if possible, recently completed homes

Visionary Homes would love to talk with you about your project to see if we are a good fit to build your custom home.  Regardless of where your search takes you, we hope you find a quality contractor that delivers the best possible experience for you!

Snow Load reccommendations from FEMA

With the heavy winter snow conditions continuing and with some questions about the need for snow removal, please read the FEMA guidelines for assessment and removal. In summary, please contact a professional that can properly and safely remove the snow from your roof if you feel it is time. The cautions about concentrated loads (snow drifts and ice dams) and the recommended use of plastic shovels while leaving a few inches of snow on the roof are a few examples of excellent suggestions. We recommend that no more than a foot of snow be allowed to accumulate, less if the snow if heavy or rain is expected. Light snow is more quickly and easily removed than wet snow. Remember there are roof vents and other mechanical penetrations on your roof that may be covered by snow so be careful not to damage these as that could cause a roof leak. Again, if you are concerned about the thickness/weight of snow on your roof, please contact us and we will do our best to connect you with a qualified company, though they are all very busy at the moment! Remember, safety first!

Here is a link to the guidelines from FEMA

FEMA Snow Load Safety Guidance

Wood Floors and Winter; a Guide to Maintenance

The cold air and snow during the winter months make Bend an ideal location to enjoy the many recreational opportunities that draw people to the area, however, that cold Central Oregon air seeping in can be brutal on your wood floors.  Dry winter air leeches moisture, leaving your skin as dry and cracked as a salt flat and your sinuses as parched as the Sahara in summer. That dry air can also wreak havoc on your wood floors.

In the winter, the cold air that seeps into your home from the outside has a lower humidity—meaning that it carries very little moisture.  You can crank up the heat inside your house, which adds warmth but doesn’t increase the amount of moisture in the air.  What little moisture is available is quickly sucked up into the air, not your floors. This low humidity is bad for your hardwood floors which responds to humidity variations by expanding and contracting.  Some seasonal movement is normal for hardwood floors and you may have noticed gaps appearing in your hardwood floors.  The good news is there is an easy way to prevent/fix these gaps with the use of a home humidifier.  Set the humidifiers in your home to between 40 – 60% in the winter to maintain optimal levels for your wood floors.  Your floors will look better and last longer.

If you have questions about whether or not your home built by Visionary homes has a humidifier or want more information about your home humidifier please call or email Visionary Homes: http://www.visionaryhomesinc.com/contact/  The following is a more in-depth guide from Woodfloors.org for the care and maintenance your floors during the winter months.

Winter Debris

As roads and walkways get battered with excess snow and ice, we turn to using sand or ice melting products to get rid of potential hazards. Sodium chloride (rock salt) is an abrasive to floors and finishes while calcium chloride can leave a greasy film on floors when tracked in. Grit and debris can get tracked in throughout the year, but this issue is greater in the winter months.

The best way to handle winter debris is to prevent it from ever getting into your home. One of the best ways to handle this problem is to use mats outside and inside your home. Coarse mats used outside of the home can help prevent large chunks of debris from getting on your floors. For indoor mats, make sure you have a finer, more absorbent mat to remove even more debris from shoes and boots. Make sure you clean and change mats regularly to avoid a buildup of damaging materials.

Excess Moisture

We all know that moisture on wood floors should be avoided. Left unattended, excess moisture can warp floors and cause gaps between boards. As winter brings in excess water from rain, snow and slush, we must take extra steps to avoid standing liquid on our floors.

To deal with excess moisture, make sure guests in your home leave their wet shoes in a safe area to dry. If you’re already using mats, make sure you have mats ready to handle wet shoes. If you have pets, make sure they are trained to wait to have their paws dried before they go on your floors. Extra sessions with a dry mop are a great way to reduce excess moisture and water.

Humidity Changes

As the temperature outside goes down and homes heat up, the changes in humidity can lead to gaps and separations in floor boards. The cold, dry air makes floors contract, which can leave noticeable spaces in your floors. Excessive humidity issues can lead to cupping and crowning, where the floor boards are higher at the edges than in the center (cupping) or the center is higher than the edges (crowning). In extreme situations, floors may even buckle, separating itself from the subfloor.
When dealing with humidity changes, the most important thing to remember is that floors expand and contract naturally. Having some gaps in the floor isn’t necessarily a sign of greater damage to come. Especially if you notice gaps only in the winter time, you can simply live with it and wait for the floors to get back to normal in the warmer months. If you want to be proactive during the winter season, use humidifiers and dehumidifiers to get your home at the right levels. An acceptable range for humidity would be 40-60%.

It’s possible to enjoy the winter weather and your wood floors at the same time. Even though the winter elements can potentially cause great damage, a little extra care and attentiveness are all that are needed to keep your floors looking great.

Portland Architect Builds Dream Home in Tumalo

 

Craig and Laurie Davis have been waiting for 30 years to move back to Bend and build their dream home.  And while the city of Bend has changed a lot in 30 years, their love for the area, the people, and the recreation have not.

Laurie, who was born and raised in Bend along with her sister and brother, met Craig soon after he moved to Bend after graduating from University of Oregon School of Architecture in 1983.  Craig’s first job out of architecture school was with Huston Barber Architects in Bend, OR.  Laurie was working in the fitness industry and as a hair stylist when they met.  The economy in Bend, at the time, was not able to support the large architectural firm that Craig had wanted to work at.  In 1986 they relocated to Portland and Craig began working for GBD Architects, a mid-sized firm of about 30 people.

Craig had a long and successful career with GBD, moving quickly from their first Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) position to Principal Partner in less than 10 years. Receiving that promotion was one of the most exciting and one of the scariest moments in Craig’s career.  He went form specializing in tenant improvement projects (remodeling or adding on to commercial space), to managing the construction on the Liberty Center in Portland, a 16 floor 300,000 square foot office building with a 600 car parking lot and approximately 150,000 square foot tenant improvement for Liberty Northwest Insurance Company.

Craig continued his work with large office buildings and completed 4 high-rise and 5 mid-rise buildings over the next 20 years.  Craig enjoyed working with large corporations creating work environments for their employees.  However, it was his final project with GBD Architects, Hassalo on Eighth, that was his most exciting and interesting project.  Hassalo on Eighth includes 657 housing units in 3 buildings.  In addition to receiving quadruple Platinum LEED certification, the eco-friendly neighborhood was the recipient of many other awards and recognitions, which you can read about here.   Hassalo on Eighth has many sustainable features, including the Natural Organic Recycling Machine (NORM). With NORM, every drop of water from sinks, toilets, showers and laundry is collected, cleaned and reused or disposed of without using the cities overloaded sewer system.  NORM uses innovative treatment technologies to process/clean the wastewater, which goes back into the community system to irrigate the landscape and flush toilets.  You can read about Hassalo on Eighth’s sustainable features here.

Craig is currently consulting for GBD Architects on the second-phase of Hassalo on Eighth; a 4 block super block residential project that will start with 2 (one 8 story and one 21 story) buildings and 600+ units. Future development will include mixed use in the Eastside community

Laurie’s time in Portland was also filled with interesting careers and time spent supporting the family.  After moving to Portland Laurie became a flight attendant with Horizon Air.  She worked for Horizon Air for 10 years as a flight attendant and as a trainer in their flight attendant training program.  After their first child, Mitchell, who was born in 1993, Laurie had enough seniority to fly a limited schedule that worked well for the family.  When Craig was promoted to Director and their second child, Garret, was born, Laurie chose to leave the airline industry and placed her focus on supporting the needs of their busy family.

Spend 5 minutes with Laurie and you quickly realize she is a motivated, intelligent and energetic woman!  Shortly after quitting her job with the airlines she began volunteering at her church and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).  In 2000, when both kids were in grade school, Laurie opened a women’s fitness center – Ya Ya Fitness for women.  Laurie has always enjoyed working in the fitness industry and feels passionate about helping women reach their health and fitness goals.

Both Craig and Laurie have enjoyed unwinding and un-plugging in Los Barilles, Mexico at their vacation home purchased with friends in 2000.  The home has been through some hurricanes and remodels, but continues to be a place where they relax and recharge.  They also both knew that Bend was the place they would retire and were waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.  In 2008 they began the purchase of their property in Tumalo.  Though Laurie wishes they had neighbors, they both love the feeling of being close to bend, but with the peace and quiet of Tumalo.

When the time finally arrived to begin the process of designing and building their dream retirement retreat Craig already had a design in mind. Visionary Homes helped the Davis’ find a designer that could bring that conceptual design to reality. In 2015 they began working with Rick Wright, of Wright Design Studios  to do the final design and construction documents.

Craig completed a conceptual design that places a 3 bedroom 2 and ½ bath house over a 5 car garage to gain the height necessary for mountain views.  The lot is on a hillside up against a now lined irrigation canal, so the 5 garage/shop bays on the ground floor complete the majority of the ground floor.  The living space and 2 more parking bays on top of it capture beautiful views of the cascade mountains.  As if 7 garage bays are not enough, they will install a hydraulic lift, creating even more storage!

davis-garage

Another important feature for Craig and Laurie was having a connection to the outdoors.  They have created just that with the indoor living area connected closely to the covered outdoor living area.  Both fireplaces at the interior and exterior deck will have a re-purposed shuffle board table (from GBD) as the mantle.

As evidenced by the need for 7 garage bays plus the hydraulic lift, the Davis’ enjoy all the recreation that Bend and Central Oregon have to offer including; snowmobiling, fishing, white water rafting, downhill skiing, golfing, road biking, mountain biking and hiking.  Since retiring to Bend, Craig has lost over 40 lbs, which he attributes to a goal he made at retirement to do something active every day, and with all of his interests that has been easy to accomplish!

Laurie and Craig have two adult children, both living and attending school in Portland Oregon, where they still have their family home.

davis-foundation_1  davis-foundation_2

Laurie and Craig were introduced to Visionary homes through Laurie’s brother, Carl Welander PC, who is Visionary Homes accountant.  Laurie’s brother, Carl, knew that Craig would want to work with someone with the engineering and commercial background that Rick and Visionary Homes had to offer.  The project is unique, complicated, and involves major excavation, concrete, and structural work which Rick is very experienced and comfortable with having worked on complicated commercial and public projects in excess of $20million dollars in value.  During the design process, the preliminary design was found to be over budget and Rick worked with Craig and the designer, Rick Wright, to reduce the size of the home and refine the structural systems to simplify the build (though it is still very complicated) and reduce the cost estimate by 25%, getting it into the price range they were comfortable moving forward with.

Visionary Homes is proud to partner with Laurie and Craig Davis in the design and construction of their ultimate active retirement destination.

Visionary Homes and BuilderTrend

Visionary Homes and BuilderTrend

Visionary Homes is proud to be one of a few select home builders in Central Oregon, using the BuilderTrend cloud based construction management system.  Let’s face it: having work done on your new or existing home can be a wonderfully exciting headache. All the decisions, trim choices and deadlines can make your home dream a reality drain.  Visionary Homes believes that the process can and should be enjoyable.  In addition to effective communication as a tool to make the process go smoothly, Visionary Homes is now using BuilderTrend, a comprehensive cloud-based project management software for the home building and remodeling industry. BuilderTrend is a seamless, integrated, highly transparent system that affords the homeowner an immediate and greater understanding and involvement in their home construction process.  This web and mobile-based tool combines a variety of functions into an easy-to-use interface. It has all the features of a project management (PM) software with the added customer relationship management (CRM) features, making it a transparent way to interface with customers.

BuilderTrend and the Homeowner

For the homeowner, BuilderTrend provides many useful features, keeping the homeowner in the loop on the progress. Regular face to face communication and job-site meetings are enhanced with the capabilities that BuilderTrend has to offer.  Regular updates are easy to access and automated; the homeowner can go online from anywhere and at any time, using their mobile phone or tablet to quickly view progress, communicate about selections, change orders or ask questions.  Daily photo updates allow the homeowner to see progress as it is happening, which is especially nice for out of town clients.  Viewing construction progress is as easy as opening the app and clicking on the Photo Folder, or, for a more in depth view of progress, the owner can click on the Daily Log icon.

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Daily log example

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Client Selection view.  Click on the green check box to approve.

Visionary Homes is committed to building a quality home that will stand the test of time. Should problems arise, Visionary Homes is committed to partnering with the homeowner after they move in to make sure that all warranty items are addressed quickly. This is where the Warranty section in BuilderTrend comes into play.  Submitting for warranty work is as easy as opening the app and clicking on the Warranty icon.  The subcontractor in charge of completing that warranty item receives a notification and is able to schedule through the app with the homeowner and complete the work.

“During the construction of our home we were introduced to BuilderTrend as a way to communicate with Visionary Homes and the subcontractors working on the project.  With all that was going on it was nice not to have to trust someone’s memory or losing a reminder note somewhere. Once I posted the warranty item was on the site until addressed.  Tammy and I like the convenience of BuilderTrend as a way to communicate.” – John Gobershock – Client

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Warranty submission example

BuilderTrend and the subcontractor

While BuilderTrend keeps the homeowner in the loop on progress it also allows Visionary Homes to communicate more effectively with subcontractors & suppliers regarding the building process. A fully integrated “all in one” system, for creating proposals, managing schedules and to-do lists, and making and tracking change orders. A few of the features for subcontractors include:

  • Once the work is awarded the subcontractor has access to the full schedule and receives alerts immediately if there are any changes to the schedule
  • Review any required customer selections – see example above
  • Keep track of change orders
  • Email communication tracking – no more searching your inbox for what was discussed
  • Purchase Order function reduces the possibility of delays when ordering materials and executing contracts

“BuilderTrend has made our teams’ day-to-day interactions and activities much more efficient. It facilitates my being able to have a global view of Visionary Homes’ various projects, and enables our customers to see our progress on a day-to-day basis. Hannah, the Customer Service Rep for Visionary Home, shas been really helpful with the implementation and running of the system.  BuilderTrend integrates with our various devices really easily.” – Rick Hayes, President – Visionary Homes

Visionary Homes is committed to our partners in the construction of each custom home, and, as a result, has listened to our subcontractors regarding the use of BuilderTrend.  The majority of our partners are willing to use the management system, but needed help in putting it into action. Therefore, for the month of September, Visionary Homes is hosting weekly Lunch and Learn sessions where lunch is provided and the subcontractor attends with their mobile device for personalized instruction.  So far Visionary Homes has had 8 subcontractors attend in 2 sessions.

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First Lunch and Learn for Subcontractors at the Visionary Homes office

Visionary Homes is in the process of putting together a training for our custom home clients as well.  Visionary Homes has found that clear instruction on all of the customer functions of BuilderTrend is necessary for the client to take full advantage of all it has to offer.  Visionary Homes believes in providing the utmost customer service experience for its custom home clients, and BuilderTrend, combined with frequent phone or in person communication is a powerful way to do just that.

Mindful Design

I have been told by numerous experts that updating our blog every week is a must do to optimize/improve our search engine optimization (SEO).  Now that I am no longer working for Deschutes County, I am in charge of stepping up our marketing efforts.  So here I am writing a blog that I am fairly certain no one will read, but still wanting to make it interesting….just in case…..This week I am abandoning search word criteria and target audiences to write about mindfulness, which is something that I am passionate about. One morning, as I was reading through my Flipboard account looking for topics to write about, I came across the quote below:

Mindfulness Quote

Mindful design can mean a lot of different things.  For me it is taking care of your home space where in return it will take care of you.  Mindfulness means you can engage fully in what you are doing at any moment, and when you are mindful, difficult thoughts and feelings have much less impact and influence over you. Be curious about the underlying thoughts when there is dis-appointment or frustration.  For example, perhaps you are not able to have the exact layout of the dining room, and great room as you had hoped.  You are concerned that there will not be enough room for friends and family to congregate.  Think about the values underlying this desire. Is it really about a bigger great room? Or is it about a more connected family? While being mindful, think about everyone together and whether or not having the exact configuration you had hoped for will prevent togetherness.

Mindful design starts with integrating the land with the architectural design of the home and continues through every phase of construction including tile selections, lighting, plumbing and more.  During the initial design phase it is important to consider natural occurring features of the land to create a home that will be more than just a structure to live in, but a home that nurtures the lives of its inhabitants and its natural surroundings.

I approach home design with thinking about how I want to feel when I walk into or sit in each room?   Will I be in there alone, sharing with one other person or is it a place to gather with friends and family?  How many people use this room at different times?  The answers to those questions help define the space – adding or leaving out walls, windows, built-ins and other design elements.  Do I want morning light or evening light?  How does a big expansive wall feel, should it have a design element to break it up, how do I feel when I look at these color combinations?  Am I energized, relaxed, contemplative.

For instance, we are designing a home that will be for sale in Tetherow and we are working through the design of the master bedroom.  We need to locate it in a certain part of the house to maximize the cascade mountain views it will have, while maintaining the mountain views in the great room.  We want to create enough separation from the two spaces, but maintain the view for both.  When looking at our design options I knew I did not want to see a door from the great room space.  A door felt closed and created a negative and unwelcoming feeling, not the welcoming and warm energy we wish to create.  I believe we were able to create a path from the great room to the master bedroom that maintains the feel and separation we were trying to achieve.

Design can be a fun and creative expression of who you are and what is important to you.  Be open, listen to your gut, be curious about frustrations, and above all have fun!!

6 Smart Home Features Trending in 2016

6 Smart Home Features Trending for 2016

The following article explains the most popular trends in smart home technology today.  Visionary Homes has experience with several of the smart home features listed below.  Many of the smart home features also contribute to sustainable and green building practices, which is a priority for Visionary Homes. During the process of home design and construction with Visionary Homes there is a careful review of smart home technology currently available and itemizing features the home owner wishes to incorporate into their custom home.

Below are excerpts from an article by Teresa Mears dated March 24, 2016.  The entire article can be found here.

Homeowners are moving toward some smart home products, including thermostats they can control with smartphones, automated lighting solutions, keyless entry and security and entertainment options.

When choosing smart features homeowners tend to gravitate toward products that are simple to use and less expensive, making remote control of temperature and lighting popular choices.

Hertzberg finds that consumers like products like the Nest system, which includes thermostats, security cameras, and carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. The system integrates with a number of other products and can be operated via an app. The thermostat costs $249 (some energy companies offer incentives), making it a small investment for significant convenience.

“It’s very easy to install, it’s not that expensive to put in, it’s easy to use,” Hertzberg says. For a low cost, they can also get a simple product that enables them to control the air conditioning or the lights from the bed, he says. People can get separate thermostat or wireless lighting products or integrate the system by choosing a “Works With Nest” device.

“Consumers are really looking for simplicity in the interfaces for their systems,” says John Galante, president of AE Ventures, which just organized a smart home trade show in Orlando, Florida.

“Unless you’re looking for a very limited solution … you’re best served to have a level of pro installation involved,” Galante says. “Once you get beyond a single room, it tends to get complicated.”

Houzz recently started looking at home technology room by room. The 2016 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Survey found that smart appliances weren’t being widely used, and the biggest smart feature utilized in the kitchen was color touchscreen displays. “Actually, the kitchens are not as high-tech as you would think. The appliances aren’t really talking to your smartphone,” Nino says. The Houzz survey found that only 6 percent of respondents used built-in apps with recipes and only 5 percent used wireless controls via smartphone or tablet to control a refrigerator or range oven.

As home entertainment technology improves, theater rooms are less popular. “The movie rooms are going away,” Hertzberg says. “You no longer need a dark, dark room and a projector.” Newer televisions provide a great viewing experience anywhere. “The price point has come down, and the systems have gotten so much better,” he says.

Here are six smart home features that homeowners are embracing now:

Smart thermostatsThermostats have grown beyond a mechanism that you can program to raise and lower the temperature. Today’s smart thermostats can be controlled via your computer or smart phone and will even learn habits such as when you’re usually at home and if you raise or lower the temp when you get up or at certain times of day, like when you go to bed.

Lighting controls. Being able to control all the lights in the house with one device, to operate dimmers or to turn off the lights after you are already in bed are all functions homeowners value and can add at minimal cost.

Alarm systems. Today’s home security systems include controls for thermostats and lighting and have features that allow you to arm and disarm them remotely, using a computer or a phone. Security cameras also have fallen in price and grown in popularity among homeowners.

Keyless entry systems. With these replacements for standard locks, homeowner don’t have to worry about carrying keys. They can also give instructions to others on how to get into the home when they’re not there.

Shade control. Homeowners are embracing technology that allows them to raise and lower window shades at the touch of a button, plus set the shades to raise and lower when they are not there, to save energy or make the home look inhabited. “Shade control is taking off,” Galante says.

Hidden or unobtrusive built-in speakers. Wired speaker systems are still popular, but the speakers are smaller and there may be more than two to a room, Galante says. That makes it easier for homeowners to customize sound for, say, a party.

You can expect to see more of these four smart home innovations in the future:

Smart refrigerators and other appliances. Few people are buying refrigerators that include an app to tell them when they’re out of milk. “I don’t think we’re quite there yet on the value proposition,” Galante says. But Hertzberg says he is starting to see some smart kitchen appliances in high-end homes. “Those things will go from wow factor to expected in the future,” he says. Controlling the stove and oven remotely is likely to catch on first.

Smart ventiliation systems. Look for heating and air conditioning systems that will not only adjust the temperature, but will also detect and compensate for humidity and air purity.

Smart building materialsShingles will be able to notify you of leaks, drywall will detect moisture and wood framing will report termite infestations. “That’s the stuff that’s coming seven to 10 years down the line,” Galante says.

Smart irrigation. Precipitation sensors and moisture sensors for soil exist but aren’t wildly used. A new Houzz survey of landscaping trends found that 24 percent of homeowners doing an outdoor remodeling project were installing motion-sensitive lighting, but only 8 percent of respondents were adding precipitation-sensitive irrigation systems, which shuts off the sprinkler system when it rains, and only 2 percent were adding smartphone connected plant sensors.

Progress Updates

Visionary Homes continues to be busy with projects around Central Oregon. 3483 Denali Lane, in the Awbrey Park neighborhood on Awbrey Butte, is furnished and listed with Cascade Sotheby’s. It is a contemporary 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home with a spacious open floor plan. Pictures of the home can be found here.

The project on Tyler Road in Bend OR is coming along with the lower foundation in place and waterproofed, the well finishing up, and the backfill getting ready to begin for the upper foundation construction. This will be a great project to follow.

Visionary Homes is waiting on Permits to start the next two custom home projects in Tetherow and Awbrey Butte, and anticipate breaking ground in July. The Tetherow project has a mix of modern and traditional exterior features. A rendering of the project can be found here. The Awbrey Butte Custom Home has a Prairie style exterior with low sloping rooflines. A rendering of the project can be found here.

After completing one remodel project in Terrebonne, Visionary Homes is working on another remodel project, in the Widgi Creek Neighborhood of Bend OR.

Staff Highlight

This week Visionary Homes would like to highlight our Office Manager, Katie Iggulden.  Katie came to Visionary Homes in April of this year and has already had a positive impact on the company.  Katie has helped organize many of the processes for Visionary Homes.  Most notably is the streamlined monthly construction draw process.  This process takes a lot of time each month and Katie has created work-flows for Rick and our construction project manager, Noah, that have increased the efficiency of the process allowing more time to work with clients and keep our valuable sub-contractors happy.

Katie has also worked a lot with Builder Trend, the construction management software that Visionary Homes uses. Builder Trend Allows Visionary Homes to manage all important aspects of the custom home construction process in one spot.  This includes management of sales, various jobsites, selections, schedules, change orders, warranty, documents, photos, finances, and most importantly communication.  It is a place where the builder can communicate about all these key features with the subcontractors and clients, enhancing the client’s overall custom home experience with Visionary Homes.

Katie relocated from Corvallis, OR to Bend, OR in June of 2015.  An avid fan of the outdoors, she enjoys almost every recreational activity that Central Oregon has to offer.  Whether it be snowboarding up on Mt. Bachelor, camping and swimming at the Cascade Lakes, or kayaking down the Deschutes River, she has found a place to call home forever.  She is currently also in the process of buying a home and cannot wait to become a new homeowner for the very first time.  Katie did not have plans to work in the custom home building or construction business, but was recruited by the owners, Rick and Lynnanne, for her commitment to excellence and strong organizational skills.

Katie has a passion for learning and being involved in a new industry has provided an excellent opportunity for that.  Katie enjoys working with the custom home clients and subs, helping to problem solve and provide excellent customer service.  Learning about the home building process has also been very interesting and is especially rewarding to see homes reach their completion.  “Visionary Homes had custom homes as well as homes for sale in Central Oregon and Washington at different phases when I arrived, and I have already seen so much happen to them in the two plus months I have been with the company.”