- Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in the area? Tell us about your family.
I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska and spent my early years exploring in the Alaskan wilderness of the Brooks Range 300 miles north west of Fairbanks where my parents homesteaded property and hand-built a log cabin. Our family moved to the Bay Area of California when I was in early elementary school to be closer to extended family. I graduated from Miramonte High School in Orinda, CA and moved to Durango to attend Fort Lewis College where I met my future wife and business partner, Miranda. We were married in 2009 and have two little girls: Maya, 7 and Oliva, 3. We are grateful to be raising our family in such an active, vibrant community.
- Tell us about the events that led up to where you are now (i.e. education, career path).
I grew up working in the family business during the summers, but it wasn’t until after college that I decided this would be my career path. I moved from the Bay Area to Durango to study Geology at Fort Lewis College, and fell in love with Southwest Colorado. My parents moved the business here from California in 2006, looking to get back to the mountains and fill a need for a custom builder focused on true quality and high performance building. I dedicated myself to learning every aspect of the business and focused my education on building science and utilizing 100% energy efficient building methods. My dad Greg and I are 2 of a few builders in the area to have earned the Master Certified Green Professional designation from the National Association of Home Builders. I continue to expand my education by attending building seminars, trade conventions, and associating myself with colleagues who are at the forefront of the industry of building science.
- What is your business and how/why did you start your business?
Mantell-Hecathorn Builders is a design-build firm specializing in personal attention to detail in building high performance custom homes. The business was started by my parents Greg and Tara in 1975 in Fairbanks, Alaska. They saw a need for a better quality product in the harsh Alaska climate, so they began building super insulated homes. After 13 years in Alaska, they moved to the Bay Area of California where the business thrived doing mostly high-end custom renovations for over 18 years, I joined the company during the latter part of these years and continued to help build the business in the last 13 years in Durango.
- What is unique about your business (what sets you apart from the rest)?
Mantell-Hecathorn Builders remains the only custom builder in SW Colorado that is 100% committed to building every residence to the rigorous standards of the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH) program. This aligns with our mission to certify healthier homes for every client. We believe in the importance of personal oversight of every job and therefore limit the number of projects we take on each year. With a focus on creating qualified energy efficient homes, we establish positive relationships with each and every client and develop lifelong friendships. We have researched and interviewed countless subcontractors and suppliers in the area to ensure that we are working with the best of the best in quality and value for our Clients. Mantell-Hecathorn Builders has been in business for over 44 years. Our team is solid and dedicated to making sure the design-build process is as seamless as possible, leaving every Client happy in an exceptionally well-built, healthy home. We put our Clients first and lead with integrity in every aspect of our business.
- Given your business expertise and the nature of what you do, what advice (whether general or specific) can you offer to the residents?
My piece of advice to anyone looking to build, would be to check the references of the Builders you are interviewing. It is important to work with a builder who has the knowledge, expertise, good business practices and the best interests of the client at heart in order to have a smooth, timely and efficient build. Past Clients and professional colleagues have valuable first-hand insight on what it is like to work with that Builder throughout all phases of project. Building a home is one of the largest investments most people will make in their lifetime. Ask for proof and don’t settle for anything less!
- What else we should know about you, your family, or your business?
We feel a strong commitment to the community, and the importance of integrity in both personal and business relationships. Durango is amazing to have countless volunteers and community organizations that support so many important causes. As a business we are proud to support local organizations including 4Core, the Boys and Girls Club of Durango, Riverview Elementary, The Juniper School, San Juan Citizen’s Alliance and the Green Business Roundtable and youth sports teams.