By Shane Richard Bell
Staff writer/Coeur d’Alene Press
Integrity is the mortar between the stones of Edwards Smith Construction’s foundation, a company that has dedicated itself to the service of others for more than 20 years. Jim Edwards started building homes in North Idaho in 1983 and formed Edwards Construction in 1994; Andy Smith joined the company in 1997 and the two formed a partnership in 2008 as Edwards Smith Construction LLC.
The main goal for Andy Smith and Jim Edwards, principals of Edwards Smith Construction, is to first understand what clients value before presenting the options available to them. That understanding comes from talking to clients about their vision, tastes, values and budget.
Edwards and Smith pride themselves and their business on funneling the knowledge of a client’s needs into the very substance that results in pride of ownership, whether that is a remodel, a commercial project, or a high-end luxury home on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
“We align a client’s goals with their values,” said Smith. “And clients have a lot of goals – a home where they can feel safe with their family and know the roof is not going to leak, a home that is going to perform in North Idaho’s climate, a home that is going to hold its value and look good. We are building homes that will stand the test of time. The attention given to the core structure, mechanical systems and water management should always be filtered through this philosophy.”
“And to us, every project is an art form, balanced by the harmonious communication between builder, designer and client,” said Smith.
Before any blueprint of a home is rendered or a foundation is poured, Edwards Smith Construction has a proven process through which a client clearly defines the conditions on which a project is built.
“There are thousands of options. Our job is to understand what makes you tick, what makes you excited, whether that’s a countertop, a style, a color palate or textures. That is the service we provide,” said Smith.
It begins with a conversation.
Edwards and Smith offer a process where a vision and plan are forged, and includes a signature tour of completed projects. “We want people to see for themselves the kind of quality, detailed craftsmanship and precision with which every project is executed,” said Edwards.
“Clients need to see and feel the difference in a home built with attention to detail to understand why our approach is better than the standard in the industry,” adds Smith.
“We serve our clients,” said Smith. “If you do everything right from the beginning, you put your clients first and put yourself and profits second, everyone will succeed. Through referrals your business will grow, and you’ll be rewarded.”
“Our promise is a passion for perfection,” seconds Edwards.
Unfortunately many builders make decisions through the filter of money, says Smith. “For us, decisions are filtered through what is best for the client first, what is best for the structure second, and third, what is best for the company. That is the bottom line.”
To ensure that process comes to fruition, Edwards Smith Construction implements a technique called “enhanced value engineering,” which they define as a combination of technical expertise, plus experience, which will develop the best economy for a particular function. “We don’t just build the project ‘per plan’ as most do,” said Edwards. “Our team is on a continual search to find the best value in the process of achieving our client’s highest goals and maintaining the integrity of the design.”
Clients shape Edwards Smith Construction’s reputation.
“Prospective clients are encouraged to call us any time for client recommendations,” said Smith. “We can readily provide those for you.”
Client Cheryl Shields is grateful for the people of Edwards Smith Construction who made her dream home on Sanders Beach a reality. “The craftsmanship of your team is unequivocal and the finest we have ever seen anywhere. We are so proud of our home and honored to have had you build it for us,” said Shields. “In our opinion, they are the finest builders around.”
Smith is quick to add that it’s a team effort. “It’s a huge team. We can’t do it all by ourselves, and the day we think we can is the day we need to get out of the business. It’s absolutely a team approach. Our job is to coordinate caring people with high-level skills to put together a piece of functional art reflective of the client’s goals.”
Smith says he can spot immediately if a home was built with care and craftsmanship or not.
“You can feel it. There is an absolute difference in the feeling of the home,” said Smith. “Our homes feel the way they do because the goals of the team – client, designer, builder and tradesmen – are aligned with the client’s values. We experience the journey with you every step of the way, from the first meeting to the moment we hand you the keys to your dream home.”