Smith Builders uses successful working relationships to create beautiful spaces and continue growing.
PRESIDENT TREY SMITH and his company Smith Builders have become a longtime fixture in the Austin, Texas, market for new home and remodel projects for nearly two decades. This level of expertise has allowed the firm to build a stellar reputation and portfolio of satisfied clients across the Lone Star State.
“I started my career in Houston working on major projects with big builders,” Smith says. “I moved to Austin in 1999. For nearly two decades, I’ve been building fine homes in the Austin and Lake Travis [Texas] areas.”
After working for a prestigious builder for eight-and-a-half years, he started Smith builders in 2007. Smith Builders’ reputation is built on the quality of its product, project management process, building materials and customer service. Attention to detail is especially important with all the projects, which include custom homes, high-end remodeling and specialty commercial.
“We enjoy our position in the market as a small, exclusive custom homebuilder and remodeler,” says Smith, whose brother serves as project manager at the firm. “We also do remodels and additions, and take great pride in all of our work.”
The percentage of Smith Builders’ business is split evenly between building new homes and remodeling jobs. The majority of their business comes in the central-west area of Austin.
“I do enjoy taking an older house and turning it into something,” Smith says. “We have grown a bit, but we want to stay small. We have built a reputation of taking care of the customer and we want it to stay that way.”
Smith Builders manages client expectations during the project process by discussing the entire scope of tasks with all project stakeholders, and updating all parties on a weekly basis.
“We love being in the Austin market. The economy has stayed strong, so more people are remodeling for the long term.”
Smith enjoys long-term relationships with all of his subcontractors and trades. The subcontractors may change depending on if it is a remodeling project or a new build, and on project location, but the same stability exists for the best customer experience. Smith Builders has worked as long as 14 years with selected subcontractors.
“We use the same painters, electricians and plumbers for all of our projects,” Smith says. “They know what I am going to expect and that I demand the highest quality of work.
“You get what you pay for, so often I have to explain to my client that it is worth the wait for certain subcontractors because the quality of their work,” he adds. “They are never disappointed with the wait.”
Smith Builders’ quality of work was on full display with a 5,400-square-foot house in Austin the company remodeled. The house was built in the 1950s, and Smith Builders had to keep the original limestone in the home while placing all new windows and doors.
“These big remodel projects are a lot like new home builds with all the new features and designs that are built into the final product,” Smith says. “It was the first time we have worked with this architect and we made a good team. Every customer is different and there were challenges on this project, but we all worked together to meet the client needs.”
The biggest challenge of the large renovation projects like the Austin remodel is maintaining the scope a project within the original budget. Smith Builders often includes an extra margin into certain remodel projects to account for unexpected changes from the owner throughout the process.
“I do not mind changes in a project, we just make the client recognize what those changes add to their timeline and budget,” Smith says. “We do not want to give the client any surprises and we want to get the job done right.”
To get the Austin home remodel job done right, Smith Builders had to deal with all new plumbing, poor soil conditions and a lot of foundation work. The company had to open walls and increase the size of the kitchen and master bedroom, while adding an exercise room. Smith Builders removed moldings to modernize the design and built an upstairs deck area where the family can congregate. Inside, new cabinets and trim were further modernized the residence.
“The owners have a lot of style and they knew what they wanted,” Smith says. “It is a simple but elegant design.”