WHEN TALENTED PROFESSIONALS TALK, WE LISTEN.

Admit it, you have an inquiring mind,​ and you want to know about the team building your Sun Valley dream home. ​We understand the inclination. So we decided to bring you Shop Talk, conversations with the talented pros designing, building, and outfitting your homes.

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“A great landscape design makes people notice; it stirs them inside, and it makes them want to be in it.”
–Kurt Eggers, Eggers Associates

KURT EGGERS – OWNER & LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
NATHAN SCHUTTE – LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Eggers Associates

Eggers Associates is in its 18th year and for the entire time has called Ketchum, Idaho home.

They specialize in the use of large specimen trees, drought tolerant and native species of trees and shrubs, and detailed sprinkler designs to blend projects with the unique and fragile environment of the area. Drawing upon the color, textures, materials, and forms of the area- they create simple but aesthetically intriguing design solutions.

Their office is fully computerized and uses CADD software to produce clean, crisp, detailed drawings and graphics. They also have their own large format color plotter so they can control the quality of the output.

What services do you offer?

Landscape architecture is so much more than just planting design.  We also do site planning, grading and drainage plans, minor architectural elements, outdoor rooms and kitchens, custom pools and spas, lighting, and irrigation design.

What geographic area do you serve?

We mainly serve the Wood River Valley, though we have worked throughout the entire western U.S.

Do you have any special certifications or specialties?

We are both licensed landscape architects.  Eggers Associates’ specialties include use of large-specimen trees and detailed irrigation systems.

What is your professional background?

KURT: 27 years in the landscape industry of the Wood River Valley. 
NATHAN: 12 years in the Valley.

When did you know that you wanted to go into this field– what motivated you?

KURT: I was already doing landscape work in high school when I learned of the profession. I found it to have just the right combination of design in architecture, engineering, and environment. 
NATHAN: I took a landscape design class in high school.  The combination of graphic design and being outside seemed like a perfect fit.

What inspires you?

KURT: I am inspired by the ability to create outdoor spaces that not only look great but entice the client to be outside. 
NATHAN: I am inspired by how things are constructed and the development of new technologies and how they can be applied to what we do.

What project(s) are you most excited about right now?

We are excited about the ones we are working on!

Describe your process—how do you work with clients, contractors, designers, and architects?

First and foremost we have to come up with unique ideas AND be able to graphically communicate them to our clients. In addition, our process is all about the team: the client, architect, interior designer, and general contractor. Open communication and collaboration makes for the best results.

What other specialties do you have in-house?

Other specialties include drone mapping, 3D modeling, and color rendered plans.

What project(s) are you most proud of?

We are most proud of our work with Sun Valley Company collectively.  This includes the major renovations of the resort grounds as a whole as well as the new Lodge/Spa, Clubhouse, Pavilion, and Townhomes.

Do you have favorite products you prefer or are known for?

No, we are continually changing and evolving.

What is the difference between a good landscape design and a great landscape design?

A great landscape design makes people notice; it stirs them inside, and it makes them want to be in it.  It must also stand the test of time. For example, we have gotten the most comments about the work we did at Our Lady of the Snows Church because it has something for every season but is especially showy in
the spring and fall.

What word(s) do people use to describe your work?

“We haven’t had to change a thing since it was put in!” 

What is the most exciting development in your field?

The ability to use a drone to gather site  information quickly and easily.

What do you enjoy most about your line of work?

KURT: Creating landscapes that exceed clients’ expectations.  Being on site prior to any earth being disturbed and still being there when the last flower goes in. 
NATHAN: I really enjoy the artistic aspect of developing a plan and then seeing it become reality in the physical environment.
 

How did you get your start?

Eggers Associates got started like many great businesses do…in the spare room of the house!  After a few months I was able to believe this was going to work and found a studio to rent.

Do you have a favorite sport or recreational activity?

KURT: Skiing, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking…hence why I live in Sun Valley! 
NATHAN: Quads, camping…being outdoors.

What’s on the top of your list as a great getaway?

KURT: Surfing in a warm locale is at the top of my list for a great getaway…it’s so different than what we have here. 
NATHAN: Two weeks camping without a cell phone!

Favorite season? 

KURT: Actually, I love them all and I think it is the change and what each has to offer that make them all special.
 
NATHAN: Spring—I love the reset.

Favorite trip you have ever taken? 

KURT: I have two—I spent several weeks trekking in Nepal, and that was amazing.  I also spent three months in Tasmania…crazy beautiful and so off-the-beaten-path.  Makes me realize there are more spectacular places on this planet  than I could probably visit in a lifetime. 

I get week in the knees over…

KURT: CrossFit…literally…it’s exhausting! 
NATHAN:  My wife!

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“Our team focuses on attention to detail. Everyone involved in a project from beginning to end pays attention to the minor details. It is the small THINGS that often catch the eye and contribute to the quality of the completed, larger project.”

–Paul Potempa, Owner, Renovate Park City

Bill Amaya, President
Beyond Wood

After working in the construction and cabinetmaking industries for decades Bill Amaya established Beyond Wood, formerly known as Cimarron Lofting Inc., in 1998 with the goal of bringing state-of-the-art fabrication techniques to the craft of cabinetmaking. With superior customer service,advanced technology, decades of experience, and a can-do attitude, Beyond Wood has worked on some of the nicest projects in the Northwest. Their commitment is to provide the highest quality products and fair pricing, while enjoying their clients and the process.

What services do you offer?

Dream realization. We work with clients to turn their design ideas into reality. You could think of us as an architectural wood working company building stairways and cabinets, but really it is so much more than that. With decades of design and fabrication experience we offer a number of methods for clients to fully realize their project. Three- dimensional modeling to see the project before it is built, digital measuring to integrate the real world with state-
of-the-art methods of building, 3D printing and a fully equipped wood- working plant.

What geographic areas do you serve?

We currently have projects from Vail, Colorado, to Seattle, Washington.

Describe your process.

Clients, contractors, and architects bring projects to us and the design state can be anywhere from sketches on the backs of napkins to full architectural drawings. We then produce a three-dimensional model. This allows all stakeholders to see the project from any angle, up close or far away. A picture is worth a thousand words, a 3-D model is worth three thousand words. Occasionally we build mock-ups. Often designs get modified and enhanced. Budget and ease of building are in play during this step of the process. Other collaborators are brought in to the process. Getting their feedback early in the process is critical. The fun really begins when we release a project into the shop. We combine traditional woodworking techniques, hand work like carving, and traditional machine work with computer numerically controlled (CNC) robotic methods. The capabilities of our five-axis CNC router are game-changing. Cost-effective and able to produce complicated parts, it is the backbone of our operation.

What projects are you most proud of?

We have built 50 or so circular stairways, and each of those has been challenging and rewarding. Challenging to figure out and craft the crazy shapes involved. Rewarding when complete in seeing a multi-story sculpture that you can walk upon. We have a reputation for taking on technically challenging projects, from motorized, curved, sliding wall systems to cabinets with motorized drawers and stainless steel tops, to commercial clothing store displays. It is extremely satisfying to develop solutions and communicate, collaborate, and execute those solutions. I am really proud that our clients trust us to help them with these projects.

What makes the difference between a good house and a great house?

That is a little like grasping at the morning fog. We have worked on homes that inspire awe because of their grandeur, great rooms that are indeed great, with beams and rock work on a scale that stops you in your tracks. We have worked on homes that embrace a person with modest, human-sized rooms that contain well-thought-out features. We worked on a home in Sun Valley that had a view of the ski mountain from virtually every room. We have collaborated on a few homes where the architect has been divinely inspired and where the shape of the rooms, the size and placement of the windows, and the orientation of the home so are “right” as to leave us speechless. But I think the perfect home is one where you hear a little music in the background, punctuated with laughter, surrounded by the smell of food on the stove. A home that invites you in and surrounds you with the comfort of fine materials proudly crafted. A house where you are safe and loved . . . what more is there, really?

What is the most exciting new product in your field?

I have been home building from the day when electrical saws and air-powered nail guns were just beginning to replace handsaws and hand nails. And through the years I have seen the entire industry incrementally improve in nearly every aspect. But the biggest innovation in my lifetime has been the development and integration of computer-aided manufacturing.
Ever since the founding of my company we have embraced technology as a core competitive imperative. We have utilized computer numerically controlled robotic fabrication for over 15 years. It has been a revolutionary change. That technology has changed the accuracy of our products, ease of fabrication, and ability to make very complicated products. Even how we think about making a product. In the old days if you got 100,000 miles and 10 mpg from your car that was good. Now we routinely see cars with a quarter-million miles and 30 mpg. That improvement is the result of much better fabrication techniques and tolerances. Home building, cabinet making, and stair-building are all seeing comparable or better improvements, also due to better fabrication techniques. At the heart of that quantum leap forward is the advent of computer-aided manufacturing. We work every day on being the best craftsmen and craftswomen we can be. Being the best we can be means embracing this incredible new technology.

What is the biggest challenge about your work?

Finding, training, and nurturing the next generation of craftsmen. Our society does not necessarily place the lifestyle of crafting and building at its pinnacle. There are some truly amazing and talented young makers out there. The challenge is to find them and help them grow, while simultaneously offering our clients the very best in quality and value.

What is your favorite sport?

Bicycle riding. Really anything with one or two wheels—unicycle, motorcycle, bicycle. My spouse thinks I have a bike “problem,” just because I used to own 10 bikes. It is just a great sport and hobby. I ride mountain bikes, fat bikes, recumbents, and I’m working on riding a unicyle. Biking allows me to get outside, see amazing areas, and get some exercise. One of the nice things about biking is that it does not hurt. I can go out and ride for hours without being sore the next day. Mountain biking gets me out into the backcountry, to places I may not go otherwise. My fat bike has added to my winter enjoyment in a very big way. I also like to wrench on my bikes. Bicycles are so nicely made that they are a pleasure to work on. As a hobby, biking is relatively inexpensive. Once you own your bike you can ride for months with no further expense. I have a couple of bikes from 1996, one of them I ride almost daily.

What is a book that you would recommend?

I love reading. Jon Krakauer, Malcom Gladwell, Nassim Taleb, Daniel Kahneman, Michael Lewis, and Norman Maclean are a few of the authors whom I have read. Digging into a subject deeply is fascinating to me. But I also like fiction. The sci-fi book Nexus was a good read as was Wool. The Emerald Mile was also a great read. I am a fan of Neil Stephenson as well, although starting one of his books can be a real commitment. I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one book, however. Give me a good story, well-written, and I am happy.


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“someone who builds with passion makes sure everything is just right!  Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel with passion.  I painted my house without it.”

–Norm Harris, Peak Glass, Sun Valley

Norm Harris, Sun Valley Sales
Peak Glass

Peak Glass was founded by John Steele and Mike Wohlfarth, both former employees of Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors. They opened their doors in Jackson, Wyoming in 1998 and soon became one of the top 25 dealers in the country.  With sales associates in many locations, including Jackson, Idaho Falls, Driggs, and Sun Valley, they are ready to help you get the windows and doors you need. Their goal is to exceed the expectations of every client by offering outstanding customer service, custom products that meet Energy Star standards, as well as the ability to build “green.”

What services do you offer?

Peak Glass, Inc. is here to meet the individual needs of our clients. We have a team of employees who are continually expanding their knowledge to assist clients and present innovative products. Providing professional quotes and valued engineering, we are the ideal choice for window and door needs.  We sell Jeld-Wen, Marvin/Integrity,  LaCantina, Weiland Lift and Slide doors, and Andersen windows and doors.  We are the exclusive dealer for Bildau, a wood-clad window made in Germany and a dealer for Brombal windows and doors, which is a thermal-broken steel window made in Italy.  We can build interior doors to meet any specifications and can supply all interior trim and hardware. 
 

What geographic area do you serve?

The firm was established 1998 and has expanded into Idaho, Montana, and Utah.
 

Do you have any special certifications or specialties?

I received a CDT (Construction Documents Technology) certification from the Construction Specifications Institute.  The (CDT) program provides a comprehensive overview for anyone who writes, interprets, enforces, or manages construction documents. I am certified by Marvin Windows to teach classes for American Institute of Architects continuing education credits. I am very excited about the opportunity to work with my sons as a licensed contractor installing windows and doors.
 

What is your professional background?

I have been in the construction industry most of my life.  I went through the Carpenter Apprentice program with Local 131 Carpenters Union in Seattle, was a remodel contractor for 10 years (I am still active), worked for Marvin Windows and Doors for about 17 years, and have been with Peak Glass for about a year and a half.  I know a lot about windows and doors and the entire building process so I am able to anticipate issues, can help with installation, and handle just about anything that has to do with our windows and doors. 
 

When did you know that you wanted to go into construction –what motivated you?

When I was 10 years old my sister married a carpenter and I thought that he was the coolest guy ever!  I asked him questions about building and when he loaned me his Audels Carpenters and Builders Guides, I read them cover to cover and wanted to learn everything there was to know about carpentry so I could be a craftsman! 
 

What project(s) are you most excited about right now?

Our new showroom in Ketchum!  We have a little over 1,000 square feet of space where we are displaying our new Lift and Slide doors from Bildau!  We also have  Jeld-Wen, Marvin/Integrity, and Andersen full-size windows.  Our showroom is open by appointment only but we are willing to open it up for customer meetings, architectural classes, and window comparison so that our clients can make the best choice possible.   
 

Describe your process—how do you work with clients, designers, and architects?

I can work directly with all of these individuals.  We have a showroom where we can meet and talk “windows.”  I am able to speak “architect” because when I was at Marvin Windows, I created 3D models of our windows and doors for six different drafting programs: AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, Chief Architect, Softplan, and ArchiCad.  I am CDT-certified so I understand construction documents and am fluent in “blueprint reading.”  I can help from the beginning of the process of selecting windows and doors to final installation!

What makes the difference between good construction and great construction?

Passion!  You can build without passion and do a great job.  But someone who builds with passion makes sure everything is just right!  Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel with passion.  I painted my house without it.

What is the most exciting new product or development in your field?

The European windows and doors we offer—the size of the glass is incredible! I can supply a single window that is larger than 200 square feet! Not only is the size huge, but the glass is also very clear because it is “low iron” and if the glass is tempered it will not have any roller waves of any kind because the glass is floated on air and not rollers! 
 

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Helping customers create something beautiful and being able to supply windows and doors to their exact designs.  Like 14-foot-tall lift and slide doors, mitered glass corner windows, and super-sized windows!
 

If you weren’t in construction, what would you be doing?

Teaching–I love to teach. I am able to do that a little now and it’s another passion of mine.
 

Favorite season?

I would say fall.  The colors are incredible, the air is crisp and cool, and you have to bundle up to keep warm. I prefer cold weather—I lived in Minnesota for about 15 years where when it warms up to -20 in the middle of winter it’s a heat wave!
 

Favorite trip you’ve ever taken?

My family and I built a 28-foot York boat.  It’s a flat-bottom, oar-powered boat.  We rowed it about 90 miles on the Rainey River, which is a river that divides Canada and Minnesota.  The rivers in Minnesota barely flow…we were heading downstream and if we stopped rowing the wind would blow us upstream!
 

I get weak in the knees over…

My beautiful bride of almost 40 years!

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