Until this year, if you hired Denise Patterson to build your home, you got something unusual.
You got Denise Patterson, building your home.
“I was doing it all,” Patterson said from the beautiful Deer Creek Hills home she built for her own family nearly five years ago.
Now she still does it all — the only difference is that with plans to complete 16 homes this year, Patterson has brought on a superintendent to help cover projects when she needs to be in more than one place at a time.
It's the kind of adjustment the Deer Creek-area native is pleased to make. Home construction contracts for the company she founded, Denise Patterson Custom Homes, this year are running three times where they stood in 2010.
Patterson said it has always been her style to work side by side with clients through every step of the homebuilding process, customizing designs, budgeting, scheduling the many craftspeople and subcontractors. Chances are she is on the job site every day.
“I'm not a designer, and I'm not an architect,” Patterson said. “But my clients and I have come up with some great cocktail napkin designs.”
As Patterson has done for more than a decade, in 2013 she'll bring those designs to life in those 16 homes. Although she tries to keep several spec projects on the market, “70 percent will be custom builds,” she said. Many of the homes are being built in the Ironstone addition, on NW 164 near Portland Avenue.
Patterson called her Ironstone homes “smaller floor plans” ranging from 1,500 to 1,700 square feet, priced in the $170,000-$190,000 range.
Patterson said she loves working with her “team of craftspeople” who “treat smaller homes the exact same” as her larger custom builds — homes that reach up to 6,300 square feet.
“Those designs don't lose anything,” Patterson said. “It's the same finishes, just built on a smaller scale.”
Cindy Carpenter discovered Patterson's touch in her Shadow Ridge home, which was featured in a recent Parade of Homes.
“We loved the home, and we loved Denise,” Carpenter said.
The Carpenters' home was built with hand-carved wood floors and high-end granite surfaces, but “we customized some of the fixtures” and other details, with Patterson helping them every step along the way.
“It went way beyond our contract,” Carpenter said.
For Patterson, building has gone way beyond the actual house itself — she said it has been fun and different to begin to specialize in pool and custom backyard design and construction.
Like most of what she does, that started in her own home.
With no experience, “I promised my kids,” Patterson said, “that I'd build us a pool.”
Creating a free-form pool with a beach entry accompanied by a stacked-stone spa and a nearby outdoor fireplace, Patterson was so satisfied with the result that she began sharing her newfound expertise with clients.
A woman working in a male-dominated industry, Patterson said that in her early years she was asked what she was doing on a job site. Sometimes she was even asked “if I knew what I was doing.”
Today, not a chance.
“They know me by now,” Patterson said. “It's all about the result.”
Patterson's current home is a four-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot design with an open living area and emphasis on family spaces, including an exercise room and a theater room.
“I installed the same granite countertops in my house I put in the homes I build for clients,” Patterson said.
Same goes for most woodwork, stains and finishes, “although I've started to go with warmer tones in my new projects.”
Every home she builds is “rewarding,” she said. “I take a raw piece of land, and end up with a home for someone.”