BY Victoria Plasse
In 1985, when the country was facing rough times, John Jennings found himself at a crossroads in California. He had heard of a ski area, far better than the rest, where the slopes were uncrowded. With very little in hand, he hitchhiked to Jackson Hole, WY.
Like so many who seek out the Jackson Hole lifestyle, Jennings found himself working not just one, but many different jobs. Moonlighting as a tradesman and determined to make it in a mountain town, he found himself working through the days and into the nights.
In 1992, Jennings founded Peak Builders as a boutique company. Originally it was named TEC, for “Totally Excellent Construction,” laughs Jennings, as he describes the early days of carving out a clientele based on quality. Despite his totally excellent sense of humor, Jennings could not be more serious about his work. “Quality,” according to Jennings, “is derived from self-discipline.” Vandy Walker (Peak Builders’ office manager), describes John as “the inspiration that creates the momentum.”
“Most people count the days until the workmen are out of their house. Not us. John and his crew are of such quality that I truly count on many of them as friends.”
–Betsy G., Client
“Most of our projects are a result of references, but it is our track record of excellence that wins over our discriminating clients,” explains Luke Bruner (Peak Builders’ general manager). And it’s easy to understand why; Peak works with local architects who are at the top of their games, including Carney Logan Burke, Dynia Architects, Design Associates, and Ward & Blake. “We are fortunate to work on beautiful properties, building unique homes that our clients will pass on to their children,” adds Jennings.
While many general contractors sub out the majority of their trade work, Peak Builders is one of the few firms that handles most of their trades in-house to allow the full expression of architect and client vision and ensure the highest quality throughout the process. Bruner is very proud of the team’s attention to detail and quality: “Peak will never compromise on quality. That is the essence of the Peak Builders’ ethic.”
It doesn’t take long to realize that Jennings and the Peak team are absolute perfectionists, which may be the impetus behind housing all the services a client would need under one roof, an ideal fit for an out-of-town client. “Many of our clients are from out of town and are not present, for the most part, during construction, so the process must be based on trust,” explains Gus Suclla (Peak Builders’ project manager). His ethos is simple for the client building their dream house. As he puts it, “We deliver the dream. Clients come to town, buy their property, and they want their dream home. We make it happen.”
“We’re not in the business of building homes based on the speculation of selling for profit, we are building homes that stand the test of time.”
–Roger Raudman, Project Foreman, Peak Builders, Inc.
Roger Raudman (Peak Builders’ project foreman) confirms, “We’re not in the business of building homes based on the speculation of selling for profit, we are building homes that stand the test of time.”
The core leadership team of Jennings, Bruner, Suclla, and Raudman is supported by master craftsmen Bill Welch, affectionately known as “The Verifier” for his ability to see any discrepancies in architectural drawings, and Wayne Williams, who spearheads all millwork and the perfect execution of complex architectural details. Bruner describes Peak as “an incredible assortment of talented craftsmen who work together to support the extended team of subcontractors and fill all niches in custom home building.”
“We encourage any potential client, regardless of their design preference, to tour John’s early log home projects. Every joint is as tight as the day it was carved.Our craft is not only enduring, it is evolving. Twenty-seven years of experience allows us to precisely execute modern design.”
–Luke Bruner, General Manager, Peak Builders, Inc.
“We find innovative ways to make these homes last. When 20 years pass, then you can properly judge the house,” says Jennings. A tour of any Peak home will confirm their commitment to enduring craftsmanship. “We encourage any potential client, regardless of their design preference, to tour John’s early log home projects. Every joint is as tight as the day it was carved,” says Bruner. “Our craft is not only enduring, it is evolving. Twenty-seven years of experience allows us to precisely execute modern design.”
“Peak Builders is in an elite group of contractors,” explains Suclla. What makes this happen is the human side of this company that is the force that brings these projects to fruition. “Custom homes provide fresh challenges daily for all members of the Peak team, and we all appreciate the opportunity to practice our craft,” adds Bruner. Jennings waxes poetic, saying, “We exist to vacate the mundane and create something exceptional with uncompromising quality.”
There is no question that the details elevate Peak Builders to the pinnacle of home construction. They are crafting homes that melt into the landscape and into their clients’ hearts for years to come.