A Culture of Excellence
Over the past 43 years, Sun Forest has completed projects for over 5,000 homeowners and helped them fulfill their dreams. Sun Forest offers a complete range of work including design, custom homes, and remodeling.
Sun Forest Construction started when two neighbors who were engineers began simultaneously building their own homes in Sunriver in 1977. They were in close proximity to each other’s projects. As they watched each other work on their respective homes, they realized they could help each other. Out of this partnership, the two men got together to help each other finish their homes. Before they were done, they were approached by someone down the street who was also building a new home. He wanted them to build his house next.
Over the past 43 years, Sun Forest has completed projects for over 5,000 homeowners and helped them fulfill their dreams. Sun Forest offers a complete range of work including design, custom homes, and remodeling. The firm evaluates building site challenges, understands how new building codes may impact the job and the existing structure, and helps clients choose finish products wisely. Clients can expect accurate estimates of building costs, help with architectural review committees, and a level of unparalleled service.
Sun Forest is 100% employee-owned and is proud of its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The founders have been involved in the company their entire lives. Through the ESOP, each employee has a vested interest in the company’s success. One client explains how their experience with Sun Forest’s team “was friendly, professional, and totally dedicated to building us an outstanding custom home.”
To this day, Co-founder Gary Bradshaw still sits in on board meetings and is a trustee of the ESOP plan. His continued involvement speaks to the focus on culture that has helped sustain the longevity of the 43-year-old company.
“Over time through the ESOP, employees have purchased all the shares from the founders. It’s an ongoing program that all of our employees participate in and is the foundation of our deep connection to our work.”
–Kathy Nelson. CFO
Chief Financial Officer Kathy Nelson explains the significance of being employee-owned. “The founders wanted to step back and retire and to have a transition vehicle that didn’t involve having their visions changed or ended. Over time through the ESOP, employees have purchased all the shares from the founders. It’s an ongoing program that all of our employees participate in and is the foundation of our deep connection to our work. It provides a source of longevity and consistency for Sun Forest.”
President Sam Houston adds, “It’s pretty rare in the construction industry to be employee-owned. Most companies in our industry have a different model where profits go to one person. At Sun Forest, we are one team working for our clients and ourselves, not an individual owner.”
DESIGN AND CUSTOM HOMES
The Sun Forest design team uses state-of-the-art software that allows them to bring ideas from concept to construction with a coordinated and consistent model-based approach. The 3D color renderings that they produce allow homeowners to experience the true look and feel of the home through all stages of the design.
“The client experience is at the center of our process. It’s always great to have numerous face-to-face meetings, but we also create custom builds virtually by screen-sharing. We can collaborate with our clients even if they’re in New York and our team is here,” says Nelson.
For custom builds, Sun Forest partners with its clients from lot consultation to the final inspection. One client says, “Sun Forest was very transparent about costs, timelines, and even potential hurdles. We appreciated having the designer and builder in the same firm. It helped with communication.”
“We pride ourselves on the ability to design and build a wide range of architectural styles. While some builders tend to specialize in a single style, we have built and remodeled homes for clients with a variety of tastes.”
–Sam Houston, President
Sun Forest’s custom builds emphasize the connections between indoor and outdoor environments to maximize living spaces and fully capture all that Central Oregon has to offer. “We pride ourselves on the ability to design and build a wide range of architectural styles. While some builders tend to specialize in a single style, we have built and remodeled homes for clients with a variety of tastes,” says Houston.
Sun Forest’s remodeling services completely transform a space. As Houston reflects, “Our remodeling services are a critical part of our business. We have a huge recurring client base. We have clients for whom we built homes in the 1980s who call us back now for remodels 30 years later. We attribute our longstanding relationships to our quality construction, attention to detail, and outstanding communication, which are the avenues that allow us to continue serving our clients for life. Although we don’t have a lot of warranty scenarios, our tenure is a testament to our commitment to continue taking care of our clients. It’s extra critical for us since we are building forever dream homes.”