Prime Lifestyle Magazine: Edwards Smith Construction

June 2016 | Magazine

With over 60 years of combined experience in residential and commercial building, Jim Edwards and Andy Smith bring an immeasurable level of assurance to clients at Edwards Smith Construction. Founded in 1994 by Jim Edwards and then partnered by Andy Smith in 2008 (joined ES in 1997), Edwards Smith Construction prides itself on its hands-on leadership approach, and they limit the number of projects they accept each year to give each client the attention and expertise they deserve. Working with the most talented and dedicated staff as well as subcontractors who share in the company’s philosophy, each project is assured to have this special stamp that represents the true Edwards Smith difference.

Q: The Pacific Northwest has quite a few builders/contractors in the area. What sets Edwards Smith apart from other companies in the area?

A: Every project we do is unique and will never be duplicated. We’ve developed a copyrighted system for managing that custom building process. Our system provides the personal attention necessary to ensure the client’s distinct needs, desires and goals are realized.

Q: What have been the most challenging projects that Edwards Smith has had thus far?

A: We are asked to perform incredible feats on many projects. Of course, every steep lakefront lot presents unique challenges, but some other examples include the following:

  • Accommodating major design and structural changes when the decision was made by the owners of a commercial project to alter the building mid-stream. They added 3,500 square feet to an upper level, which also required modifications to the 3,500 square feet below the addition.
  • Many of our homes have very technical heating systems. One home in particular, in addition to the heating system, was a challenge due to its sheer uniqueness, including a bowling alley, massive timberwork and mahogany paneling throughout.
  • Sometimes our clients have a difficult time making a decision and sticking with it. One client selected plumbing fixtures that were then purchased, received and returned six times before settling on the final product. We allow our clients the space to make the right decision for themselves.
  • Timelines can present another challenge. One client needed his home completed by June during one of the heaviest snow seasons we’ve had in North Idaho history. We had to tent the entire house to meet his completion date.

Q: Edwards Smith has been mostly residential in the past, but seems to be transitioning into commercial projects. How has this been for the company/team?

A: Since the onset, about 10 to 20 percent of our portfolio is made up of commercial projects. That hasn’t changed. Lately, however, we’ve been getting more recognition for the quality we bring to that arena.

Q: Edwards Smith was fortunate to work on the DIY Network’s blog cabin. How was the experience?

A: There were moments of stress, but, overall, it was a fun and unique opportunity. Our team was up for the challenges and performed wonderfully. We’re glad we did it.

Q: Where does Edwards Smith see itself in the next 10 years? Staying regional? Expansion? Etc.

A: Our company remains committed to serving clients in North Idaho and Eastern Washington. We will continue to focus on processes and experiences that contribute to the success of building unique, one-of-a-kind custom projects. If the marketplace recognizes our processes are different than the status quo and we need to expand because of it, we’ll grow responsibly. That means ensuring we have the right team in place so each project gets the time, attention and expertise it deserves. Assisting our clients in achieving their goals is our number one priority. That’s what we do today and that’s what we’ll be doing 10 years from now.

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