Heslin Construction sets the standard for excellence in custom home construction in the Lake Tahoe region.
THE LAKE TAHOE residential housing market is one of the most scenic, luxurious and competitive on the West Coast, and for Heslin Construction, being able to always portray a calm demeanor and create a pleasurable buying experience has led to their position as one of the region’s top homebuilders since being established in 2003.
The firm prides itself on superior craftsmanship, efficient management, professional integrity and exceptional value to achieve client satisfaction.
“We make the process of buying a home as seamless, efficient and transparent as possible,” says Matt Heslin, founder and president of Heslin Construction, which was recognized with the 2014 Builder of the Year award from the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe. “We remain completely transparent with our clients by providing accurate cost projections and detailed construction protocols. This sets the stage for a more relaxing experience, and I always let our clients know we are here to have fun.”
Striving for Perfection
Perfection is the goal for every project, and for the last decade, Heslin Construction has steadily gained market share and clientele while adapting to a steep learning curve in the highly competitive market. The firm focuses on unique features and details of each custom home, and Heslin’s vast experience in several trades helps his employees and subcontractors pay close attention to detail.
“We started doing one build every year and I am a framer by trade,” Heslin says. “I have also worked in foundations, roofing and other trades, so I can see where the shortcomings are and what is being done really well.
“Being able to identify quality work goes both ways,” Heslin adds. “When a job is done really well I want to pat that person on the back and not take it for granted.”
Heslin Construction averages six to eight new starts every year, with an average home cost of $3.5 million.
“Our company is the perfect size,” Heslin says. “We are big enough to provide you with experts in every aspect of the home’s development and small enough for our clients to know everyone’s first name.”
Heslin takes a top-down leadership style when implementing his corporate culture, and it is visible with the project managers and superintendents that he hires to oversee work sites.
As Heslin Construction has experienced dramatic growth in the last five years, the addition of these key personnel has been Heslin’s most important hires. Each project manager and superintendent supervises two to three projects on-site at a time.
“They are the face of our company so I want to hire those people who are likeminded like me and display the same hard, determined work ethic,” says Heslin. “I still like being involved in each project because we consider all of our employees and clients part of our family.”
Part of Heslin Construction’s corporate culture is making sure that clients take proper ownership in the decision-making process during the building of their home. This allows for projects to remain on schedule while maintaining the highest level of transparency.
The results of this corporate culture are nearly a dozen finished custom homes at the exclusive Martis Camp. Martis Camp was the only major luxury residence in the Lake Tahoe region to withstand the economic pressures of The Great Recession.
“Martis Camp was a totally different world, and we were fortunate enough to establish a good reputation early on,” Heslin says. “We made sure we were easy to get along with and the work we received snowballed from there. The rest of the greater Tahoe community opened up after that.”
Heslin Construction is completing its 14th residence at Martis Camp, and the residences range in style from ‘ultra rustic’ to rustic barn wood to more traditional homes.
The style often includes reclaimed wood posts and beams, which is popular in the northeast or “Vermont” farmhouse style of home. They also build more contemporary style of homes that feature 16-by-10-foot sliding glass doors that lift off the ground of the floor and slide into the pocket interior of the wall.
“The first house we built at Martis Camp was six years ago when the community was first started,” Heslin says. “With every passing year the home designs become more complex and competitive.
“It is our job to take the design and make those ideas come to fruition, it is an extremely innovative community because we have to be to maintain the elite status,” Heslin adds.
There are 655 distinctly built homes currently at Martis Camp, highlighted by a 60,000-square-foot lodge and a family “barn” that adds to the community feel. The family barn features a movie theater with a 50-foot screen, bowling alleys, a gymnasium and a pool.
With 75 to 100 home starts a year, Martis Camp has truly become a destination residence for residents of California, Nevada and even Oregon and Arizona.
“Martis Camp is like something I have never seen, in my opinion we are building the best homes in the country” Heslin says. “There isn’t anywhere else in the country that can match our landscape.
“It will truly be a sad day when the community is full and work starts to slow down, we are pushing the envelope with innovative design and construction, and it has been very exciting to be a part of,” Heslin adds.
Paying close attention to detail while being on the forefront of innovation is what will allow Heslin Construction to continue to grow at the furious pace that they have experienced over the past five years. This includes continued expansion into other luxury golf and resort communities.
No matter how fast Heslin Construction grows, the company still will be led by the cool and calm demeanor of its president and founder.
“I have never come onto a job site screaming and yelling, my nature is to be relaxed and to communicate, and my subcontractors respond well to that style,” Heslin says. “I worked for a contractor like that for a week when I was young, and I determined that I never learned to be that guy.”
Heslin has definitely created a persona as opposite as possible from his former boss. He enjoys being the type of boss his employees are comfortable approaching with on-site issues that need to be resolved without being blamed. He credits his ability to learn lessons from successes and mistakes while staying true to the Golden Rule.
“I treat people like the way I want to be treated,” Heslin says. “I have learned a lot in the last 10 years and that is how we will maintain our family culture with our employees and clients.”