WHAT WE DO
Our focus at Clearstone Builders is to build a high-quality home while providing a satisfying experience for the homeowner. Our attention to detail and refusal to cut corners ensure that every home is built to the highest standards. Our flexible homebuilding process allows the homeowner to customize their home to their unique taste.
Without sacrificing quality, we make staying within budget a top priority. We believe that full transparency in building costs ensures that every dollar spent adds value to the home. Rather than charging for upgrades, every actual building cost is fully disclosed to the homeowner. In addition, we never charge extra fees for changes at any point during the homebuilding process.
Our notable strengths of organization and efficient, fluid scheduling, enable us to reduce homeowner frustrations and make the homebuilding process as painless as possible. At Clearstone Builders each homeowner communicates directly with the builder making sure that any concerns are communicated and resolved quickly and effectively. Every homeowner has our promise that we will follow one simple rule: “We Do What We Say”.
MEET THE BUILDER: SPENCER OPENSHAW
I love what I do. At a young age, I loved the thrill and sense of accomplishment that I got when I stood back to look at a home that I had a hand in building. I’m a second-generation homebuilder. My mother was a general contractor and I learned a lot from her. I started building homes full-time after graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor's degree in Construction Management and a Minor in Business Management in 2006. After receiving my degree I worked for other local builders (7 years as superintendent for Hamlet Homes and Wright Homes and 8 years as Senior Project Manager for Jackson and Leroy) before starting Clearstone Builders. Throughout my career, I have built over 100 homes ranging from $200,000 townhomes to multi-million-dollar estates.
I still love the thrill of seeing a beautiful home that I’ve helped create. I take personal pride in knowing that each home that I build is built to my high standards. My highest priority is a satisfied homeowner and I am successful in exceeding their expectations. I try to be different than other builders by listening to the homeowner to find out what they want in their home rather than telling them what they want or what they should want.
I am blessed with a beautiful wife and five amazing children. I have built every home that my family has lived in. In my spare time, I enjoy playing and watching sports. I love to spend time with my young children and be involved in their many activities. Some of my favorite moments are simply being together in the outdoors as a family.
I would highly recommend working with Clearstone Builders for a number of reasons:
- Spencer’s fee was very reasonable for any builder, but especially so for the level of attention we and our house received.
- He put a lot of effort into making sure we got what we wanted even when it made his job more difficult. Here are some examples:
-he was happy to help us use a totally custom plan, which is more work because the builder hasn't ever built it before.
-he volunteered to make our house Energy Star certified, and since builders get a kickback of $500 to certify homes, he gave us that extra $500 to help offset the cost of making it eligible. Which is cool because it really is extra work that he didn't get extra money for, and we get a more efficient house from it.
-he worked with us to do unusual things, like put in a wood burning fireplace with a chimney. We used cedar shingles on the exterior. These take more effort and time for the builder because they don't normally do them. Other builders we talked to really pushed back on these things and basically made it sound like we couldn't do it.
-he was totally supportive when we would change our minds after it was too late. Like when we framed out the chimney, and then we changed our mind. Then after it was changed, we changed our mind again. We had way too many of these, and he didn't push back on us.
- He is very cost conscious. I was always surprised at the effort he'd go through to get us a better deal.
-If we ever had someone we wanted him to get a bid from, he was happy to do it to see if they were cheaper.
-He was really organized to get the house built faster, which saves on interest on the construction loan. If we hadn't slowed him down with indecision it would have been done in 3 months!
-He knew of small ways that added up to save, like avoiding architectural fees, and where to look to get really inexpensive flooring, etc.
- Very honest. After the house was finished, he sent us the final bill where he volunteered to not charge us for mistakes he made that we would never have known about. Like, "didn't order enough material and had to pay extra shipping to get more". Stuff like that where I'm sure normally builders would pass on the cost.
- He is thorough. He was on site often, making sure things were done right. We had a number of comments from contractors and neighbors saying that they've never seen a builder at the house that often. Plus he actually got a degree in building from BYU and really knows how to do it well.
- He's likable. You end up working with the builder a ton, so it helps a lot if you like working with him.
I had the sense that other builders had their way of building a house, and wouldn't go out of their way to do anything different for us, or to save us money. We talked to a friend who is a builder and when he quoted to build a house for us, he was more than $35k over what Spencer quoted for the same house! That's not so much a knock on the builder—other builders we talked to were in the same range of expenses. It just shows how Spencer can save money.
— Jared and Brooke R.
The top 5 reasons we would recommend Spencer to anyone building a home are that he is honest, reliable, very organized, knowledgeable and budget conscious & transparent. (Plus, he’s just a really easy person to work with!)
We were first time homebuilders with some random ideas and no experience of how to put it all together. The first meeting put us at ease when Spencer asked questions about what we liked, what was important to us, and was genuinely interested in understanding what we had in mind. We appreciated that he came with us to meetings with the architect to make sure we were all on the same page.
While we were free to choose any supplier we wanted, he provided a list with many options of companies he had worked with and trusted (including addresses, phone numbers and contact people.) We didn’t want to be limited to options at a design center but also didn’t want to spend a year visiting every supplier around. We were very happy with every reference Spencer gave us.
Spencer also provided a spreadsheet with decision deadline dates to help us work through the many decisions to make in an order that would not overwhelm us and kept our home building on schedule. This also ensured that there would be time to order materials, if what we wanted wasn’t in stock.
Each time we needed to make a decision, Spencer had a price point to shoot for that would keep us on budget. However, he was experienced enough to know there would be times we would want to choose something that would put us over budget on a certain material. His overall budget allowed for some balancing between going over on some things and under on others. We really felt confident making choices on materials.
We prefer his fee being a percentage of the final cost, rather than mark-ups on materials as other general contractors do. His budgeting and fees were completely transparent, which eliminated the surprise increase in costs we’ve heard other home owners complain about.
About the time the framers started on the house, we met with Spencer weekly to walk through the house. This was so helpful! He was always available to talk with or meet with, but meeting in person every week helped us feel more confident; we were able to get questions answered, double-check progress and work out details. I had specific ideas for the kitchen pantry and closets. Spencer met with me multiple times to measure (and re-measure) and suggest, draw and talk out options to make sure it was what I had in mind.
Spencer was very easy to work with! No matter what change, request or repeated question, he was always available, patient and sincerely wanted us to understand and feel comfortable with the process and end result. He understood this was our “forever house” and we felt he cared as much as we did about getting it right.
We appreciated his attention to details (even the small details that make things “just right”.) He double-checked things with us and kept us informed of timelines. Even after the house was finished, he has stayed on top of arrangements to get things adjusted or touched-up as needed. He is amazing at following-up on concerns and details!
No house gets built without some issues to work through; Spencer made it really painless for us. We had confidence in him and his experience and it all worked out beautifully!
— Rick & Trelesa A.