ST. GEORGE – Home contracting and building is mostly looked upon as a man’s job. Many women don’t enjoy walking around a dirty construction site, stepping over two-by-fours and shouting over the sound of nail guns and power saws.
For Heather Hugie, all of that activity and “mess” is just part of the essence of creating a home. Hugie is a contractor who specializes in custom homes and home design is where the woman’s touch comes in – it is the “X” factor, the female intuition if you will, that knows the difference between building a house and creating a home.
There is a lot more to design than four rooms, a large kitchen and two baths or three. It’s more than just carpet, tile and paint. It takes an eye and know-how that can emulsify the special nooks and niches that make a home unique and able to house memories with a functional layout. A home design can facilitate living, beautiful living even, that enhances the relationships of the home’s residents. Knowing how a wall – or no wall at all – will impact the enjoyment, connectedness and privacy needs of the home’s residents is part of the “X” factor that Heather Hugie brings to the build.
She understands that both men and women need their own space. A husband’s workshop and a wife’s master suite and kitchen are equally important in her eyes. Rich family dynamics can be driven by a home’s layout and Heather Hugie understands how to interweave those equally important common areas and private areas.
“A person’s home is their sanctuary,” Heather Hugie said. “There is no reason they can’t have a home built exactly the way they want.”
Heather Hugie owns Ridgetop Custom Homes because creating homes, inside and out, came so instinctively to her that she had to go “all-in.” She had been helping her husband, Mike Hugie, in the contracting business for as long as they have been married. And, from the beginning she found that she enjoyed the business so much that she wanted her own contractor’s license.
In November 2013 the Hugies moved to St. George from northern Utah. It didn’t take long for them to settle in and carve their own niche in the homebuilding market of Southern Utah.
When Heather Hugie meets with a customer to design a house for them, she brings in two of her build specialists so everyone knows from the beginning what the customer is looking for. Everyone is on the same page from the beginning of the process.
“This way we can make sure that, that client’s words were heard,” Heather Hugie said. “Instead of it going from me to the workers, everyone gets it firsthand.”
It’s important to Heather Hugie that the client’s words are heard from beginning to end, she said.
Most of the work is done primarily by employees of Ridgetop Custom Homes, that is to say that Ridgetop has a skilled and orchestrated team so they can create with one mind rather than competing minds of independent subcontractors, as can happen in home construction projects. The only jobs that Ridgetop contracts our are plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning. All of the building, concrete work, paint, tile, carpet and landscaping are completed in-house. Heather Hugie’s team has over 30 years of home building experience among the building professionals.
She may not pick up a hammer, but Heather Hugie is on her job sites daily, armed with tape measure and talented eye to make sure everything meets the specs.
Being the only woman working in a man’s world has never been an issue for her, she said. The men she works with are very respectful of her and her leadership and she works with them as part of the team.
“Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I’m fragile.”
Helping clients pick out design elements of the build is one of Heather Hugie’s especial pleasures. She has a variety of suppliers she favors and is skilled in helping her clients prioritize within their budget constraints for the best use of their design dollars.
Picking out the paint, carpeting and tile, fixtures, appliances, even furnishings is literally like going on a shopping spree, she said, eyes sparkling with the anticipation of a woman determined to find that choice item that she will call her own.
“A custom home doesn’t have to be some million-dollar home to be custom.”
Which raises the question, what kind of house is suitable for a custom-built home? Dispelling the myth that a custom home has to be a 10,000-foot spread, Hugie said that her custom homes can be as small as a 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom first home. There’s no reason a young couple starting out can’t have a custom home, she said.
There are a wide variety of construction home loans for beginners. It is Heather Hugie’s goal to have lifetime clients, those for whom she can build a first home, and later a step-up or upgrade, all the way through to their golden years when they downsize to a retirement home.
The time it takes to design and build a home is about six-nine months depending on how many changes take place during the building phase. But there are steps to be taken before building can start.
Establishing financing is the first step in building that dream home. Some people already have a piece of property they want to build on, but others need to find land. Because Heather Hugie is also an Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker Premier Realty, she can help with these early parts of the planning process. She has her finger on the pulse of available property and working with clients from the get-go is able to help them find land that will suit the design they have in mind.
Finding that perfect location, applying for construction loans can happen simultaneously – and then, once the loan approval comes in, it’s time to sit down and start designing and in no time, six-nine months later, Heather Hugie’s clients are crossing the threshold of their own custom built home.
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A D V E R T O R I A L
Ridgetop Custom Homes
- Phone Number 435-757-5878 Email [email protected]
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Email: [email protected]
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