If you’re in the market for a brand-new home, a custom home, or a major remodel one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the builder. Choose well, and you’ll have a true partner on your side, bringing to life that dream home that you can enjoy for many years to come. Settling for one that’s not exactly the right fit can lead to regrets not just during the build, but long into the future.
Communication, trust, and experience are all essential, as well as the actual house. The builder should make every step throughout the purchasing and building process as easy and as worry-free as possible. Buyers should continue to be treated like a customer that’s valued long after they move into their new home.
Westharbor Homes in Port Ludlow, a picturesque waterfront village on the Olympic Peninsula just north of the Hood Canal floating bridge, understands just how critical all of this is for every homebuyer.
An increasing number of retirees have made the decision to call Port Ludlow home, downsizing to decrease costs and maintenance of ownership, while also enjoying a neighborhood with more active, like-minded people. Westharbor helps to make it happen, building high-quality homes for those who want intentionally-designed properties that provide all that and more, including aging in place and limited maintenance. Residents enjoy being surrounded by spectacular scenery as well as convenient access to a wide range of recreational pursuits like boating, hiking, biking and golfing, in homes designed to take advantage of the area’s most beautiful sights and tranquil sounds.
Westharbor has been recognized for its quality and exceptional service through multiple awards and countless customer testimonials. Of course, having been in business for more than a quarter of a century now is also a testament to its success.
Dig Deep and You’ll Discover Why Westharbor Has So Many Satisfied Customers
It’s crucial for prospective homebuyers to dig deep when it comes to choosing the best builder, asking lots of questions to ensure the best fit possible. Questions should not only be asked of the homebuilder but customers as well. You may want to drive by the community you’re considering and see if you can chat with a few homeowners, getting a random sample of opinions. The more people you talk with, the more accurate an impression of the builder you’re likely to get. Westharbor encourages this, with a long list of satisfied customers, something that’s easy to uncover.
Just a sampling includes happy Westharbor customers Joanne and Greg Giles. Joanne writes:
“In August of 2017, my husband and I decided it was time to sell our home and upgrade to our ‘forever’ home. Our goals – get out of the two-story house we had been living in for 38 years and gain 500 square feet of living space. Living in Port Townsend, I went to visit my favorite broker. After discussing the options in Port Townsend, where we lived at that time, we immediately realized that staying in Port Townsend was not a viable option for us. We decided to venture out to Port Ludlow to see what was going on. We visited the Spec home at Olympic Terrace II and immediately fell in love with the area. After selecting the piece of property that we wanted, we were put into contact with West Harbor Homes. I already knew that they built incredible homes – their reputation was second to none.
“We met with Cliff O’Brien, the Director of Construction and Olav Pederson, the Construction Superintendent – very professional people with warm personalities. Olav began showing me the Spec homes, the rooms, the floors, the cabinets, etc. He was so patient with me as I kept having him drive me from home to home, so I could pick out tiling, paint, flooring etc., and a home plan. Finally, it all came together after waiting for permits, which seemed like forever, and we started building a home!!!
“Shortly after construction began, Olav was moved to another project and Kevin McSherry came on board. As soon as I met him, I knew this project was going to be special. Kevin is so caring and professional and has a wonderful personality. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for the perfect construction superintendent. He kept in close contact with my husband and I, keeping us up to date on the building progress and other details. He was pristine in detail and made sure every aspect of this project was perfect. He cared about our needs, along with the rest of the West Harbor Homes family.
“Finally! In August in 2018, we became homeowners to the most beautiful home I have ever seen or lived in- – my ‘forever’ home. West Harbor Homes quickly took care of any lingering details we had.
“In summary, I believe that West Harbor Homes not only builds a beautiful product but also genuinely care about their customers. I would highly recommend West Harbor Homes to any prospective buyer who wants to know that their home will be built correctly and perfectly to their needs and wants and to anyone who will be proud to show off their house.”
This is the kind of testimonial you’ll hear again and again, with similar words echoed from many others, like Bob Grindeland:
“We are delighted with our new West Harbor home in the Ludlow Cove Cottages development. We love the neighborhood and our home turned out beautifully. Working with our construction manager, Olav, could not have been easier – he was attentive and helpful at every stage. Based on our experience, we can highly recommend West Harbor Homes.”
Construction manager Cliff O’Brien notes that one of the most important factors in the company’s success is its staff. “Building a new home is such a huge investment, not only from a monetary aspect but also in the emotional capital that will be spent during the build,” he says. The Westharbor team understands how to navigate the building process and how to minimize the ups and downs of the home buyer.
Transparency is also key, necessary for establishing mutual trust and understanding prior to building, which is why Westharbor believes in 100% transparency in all aspects, understanding that your home may be the largest investment you’ll make. Being direct about expectations from the start serves both the builder and the customer well.
From Start to Finish
Choosing Westharbor homes means you’ll have one contact to see you through from start to finish. The construction superintendent is the person who oversees the construction of your house and ensures its quality – the one on whom the reputation of every builder ultimate rests. Some may refer to this position as the “builder’s quarterback,” which is no easy task. At Westharbor, those people are Kevin McSherry and Olav Pederson. They help keep buyers informed throughout the building process, from the pouring of concrete to cabinet installation and the painting schedule, as well as to resolve any issues that might arise after move-in.
Construction superintendents are also there to ensure that the work of each trade is done to the highest level of quality and that it’s 100 percent complete, not just the 96 that so many tradesmen are included to deliver. Westharbor has specific, dedicated crews to help make this happen. Ask and they’ll tell you all about their relationships with contractors and the different people who will be helping to build your home.
Jeff and Tia Pappas sum up the typical experience well, despite their long-distance purchase.
“My wife and I would like to take a minute to say thank you for all of your help and professionalism in the construction of our new home In Ludlow Cove. We were very apprehensive about starting this project. Being 2000 miles away and not having the opportunity to be there during the process but because of your regular communication, updates, photos Great suggestions, and patience, it has turned out be the best construction Project we have ever experienced.
“A grateful and sincere thanks!”
The house, of course, is the other important piece of the puzzle.
Westharbor Homes are more than just “turnkey,” or move-in ready, meaning a home that’s complete when you move in. You’ll be able to literally turn the key once the building process is complete and start living in your new home. The problem is, some builders have a different definition of what this really means, which is why it’s essential to ask any builder you’re considering directly about what’s included and what isn’t included in the price. Some may not include appliances or even your front porch – and, few include landscaping. Needless to say, moving into your new place only to find out that there is no front porch to welcome you in isn’t exactly a good way to get things started off on the right foot.
But at Westharbor, when they say everything is included, they mean it. All you have to do is choose your furniture, pack your bags and pick your date to move in knowing that everything has been taken care of.
Attention to Detail
It’s all that attention to detail that counts. Westharbor is involved with ongoing education through the National Association of Homebuilders and attends the International Builders Show every year to ensure that the latest techniques and materials are utilized in the construction of its homes. Only the highest quality finishes and high-end paints are used. Cheap paints are diluted with extenders and fillers and also contain larger particles of binders and pigment which results in a less consistent coat. Westharbor uses the best paints which go on smoother, require fewer retouches later and make for a more luxurious look. Even the standard homes include many items that typically upgrade, such as lacquered millwork, LED lighting, stainless steel Appliances, and quartz countertops.
Environmentally-friendly is a word that’s often heard, and shown, through Westharbor Homes. In the Ludlow Cove Cottages, for example, you’ll find eco-friendly cabinetry, specialty millwork and advanced framing techniques used to reduce the amount of lumber used while increasing energy efficiency. They also come standard with energy-efficient, Energy Star appliances, and high-performance fixtures. LED light, Energy Star ductless heat pumps, pervious paver driveways, and flatwork as well as dual pane low-E vinyl windows, all help to contribute to the homes’ environmentally-friendly features.
Aging in Place
The universal designs accommodate aging in place too – Westharbor is a Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) builder. It’s those subtle design choices that can have an especially profound impact on how long residents can comfortably live in their own homes, without compromising aesthetics. That means features like open floor plans, main floor master suites, and wider doorways. Homes also provide more space between cabinets and kitchen islands allowing for easier movement in the kitchen, along with taller optional washer and dryer units that decrease the need for bending. All home entrances can be equipped with optional ramps for accessibility as needed too.
Buyers want to work with someone who trusts their own craftsmanship while being comforted in knowing that if something does go wrong with their new home, there’s a way to repair the damage. Westharbor Homes provides a 1-Year Workmanship, 2-Year System (electric, Plumbing & HVAC) and 10-Year Structural Defect Warranty with every home.
As mentioned, Westharbor Homes has been honored with multiple awards over the years as another testament to its high-quality homes:
- 2015 Gold Nugget Award for Best Single Family Detached Home under 2000 square feet
- 2016 Professional Builder Silver Award Single Family Detached Home under 2000 square feet
- 2017 National Association of Home Builders Platinum Award Single Family Detached Home under 2000 square feet
- 2017 National Association of Home Builders Best in Region Single Family Detached Home
Building Cost Trends
The cost per square foot is significantly impacted by the grade of exterior materials, level of interior finishing and construction quality. That includes plumbing fixtures and finishes, flooring, cabinetry, countertops, appliances, heating and cooling systems, lighting, molding and trim, siding, roofing, the efficiency of doors and windows, and more. Quality finishes can add anywhere from $30 to $80 or more per square foot to the overall construction cost.