What are your company’s primary projects?
Our company’s primary projects are custom homes from the ground up. We also offer remodel, additions, and commercial tenant improvements as well. Our projects are valleywide throughout the Phoenix, Arizona area, from Queen Creek, Gilbert, and Mesa to Scottsdale, Peoria, and Buckeye.
Do you offer custom framing for new construction homes?
Along with building high-quality custom homes in Arizona, we also offer our in-house custom framing, which enables us to control each build more effectively. As a result, our customers are empowered with more framing and upgrades options at little or no cost to them. Additionally, our exclusive in-house designer can assist homeowners with all selections, such as colors, cabinetry styles, and more.
How frequently is the builder on site during the development process?
Our General Manager of Construction and Project Managers are on site daily. We have weekly meetings on site with the owners as well to make sure that nothing is being lost in translation and that every aspect of the home is being constructed to the owners’ requests and satisfaction. Desert Star Owners Joe Duncan and Dennis Bondra are also very involved and on site as much as possible.
We strive to have an extremely open and trusting relationship with our clients. We believe this is a key to having a smooth build and maintaining a great relationship even after the build is completed. We live by our motto of doing the right thing if any problems or questions arise.
What methods do you use for effective communication with clients/homeowners?
We use all types of communication, including phone, email, personal contact, social media, and our websites.
We are also proud to use a program called Co-Construct for enhanced communication with our clients. This is a very entailed program which enables us to communicate back and forth with the client at any time, as well as show live updated schedules, financial information, photos, and more throughout the build.
In addition to our weekly meetings, during which homeowners can obtain answers to their questions, we are always a phone call away.
Do you have an in-house architect?
We have worked with several excellent architects and can refer clients to them to see which is the best fit.
Are preset floor plans available?
We can always offer preset floor plans, but most of our customers design from scratch with either their own architect or one of our preferred architects.
If a client isn’t sure how to articulate their ideas or identify their tastes, how do you help them do that?
We have several meetings and discussions with them and our design team to help them express what ideas they want to see come to life.
What are some special features of your homes?
We focus on a few standard practices in our homes that most companies do not do. Reinforced concrete slabs, full shear with plywood for the entire exterior of the house, and spray foam insulation are a few things structurally and internally that are standard in each and every build. We also like to add special framed ceiling treatments and custom design elements at little to no cost to our clients due to the fact that we have our in-house framing company.
What eco-friendly and energy efficient features are available for our home?
We provide the highest level of insulation (spray foam) as a standard as well as full shear every house to help ensure the most efficient insulation. We also offer a wide variety of eco-friendly and energy-efficient air conditioning systems.
Describe your relationship with craftsmen and subcontractors.
We have very loyal and great relationships with our subcontractors. We believe keeping these good relationships helps ensure that we receive the highest quality work from our subs and in a timely manner. We are not the contractor that bids out to the cheapest sub; we use the same subs on all our projects, and this also helps us continue that loyalty and high quality we expect on every home.
Do you maintain furnished and/or staffed model homes? How would someone find them/visit them?
We do not have staffed model homes. We do have multiple homes that are completed that we can walk potential clients through due to our great relationships with past clients.
Describe your process for final walkthroughs. Who conducts them? How do you address deficiencies?
Our final walkthrough process is conducted by one of the owners, our Director of Design, and our General Manager of Construction. We all walk through with the client and make a list of their concerns as well as the items that we see that need to be addressed. We then contact our subcontractors to fix anything that needs to be done. We also have an in-house superintendent who can perform many of these tasks to the client’s satisfaction to ensure that they get completed in a timely manner.
What are your warranty options?
We offer a standard 2-year warranty, but, as many of our past clients will tell you, we perform warranty items long after our standard warranty period is up. We believe in customer satisfaction, and keeping a happy customer is well worth the additional time we may spend after our warranty period is up.
In addition to Joe Duncan and Dennis Bondra, who are some other team members at Desert Star?
- Our Director of Design is Vicki Beaudoin, an NCIDQ- and ASID-certified interior designer with more than 25 years of experience.
- Our General Manager of Construction is Marcus Todd, who has over 15 years of custom home and commercial building experience.
- Our Project Managers are Heath Upchurch and Cesar Martinez. Heath has specialized in plumbing for 8 years. Cesar has more than 20 years of custom home and commercial build experience, and he has owned a large stucco company and specializes in several fields of construction.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
What sets us apart is the way we contract, the trust, and going above and beyond for our clients even at our expense. We look to have extremely happy customers and want people to have fun building their home, and that is more important to us than how much profit we can make.
What is your company’s guiding philosophy?
Do the right thing! We truly believe in this and never look to cut corners. Even if the right thing to do is harder and costs us more, we will take that path because that will give the customer the best product in the end.