Upland Development builds enduring, long-lasting homes with timeless style and design. By Ann Zimmerman
Ryan Taylor, the president of Upland Development believes in quality. As he reflects on his company and career, he discusses the ideal he sets for his company, “Honestly, I build homes today with a vision that a century from now, the home I built will still be standing strong, and a family will find it a joyful place to live. I love to imagine someone in the future commenting on why it is still standing and saying something to the effect that it is an Upland home, and that’s how they built.”
Memorable Experience for Clients
Upland Development has individually crafted custom luxury homes in the Wasatch Front, Park City, and the Wasatch Back in styles ranging from ultra-contemporary to mountain rustic. “Right now, we are seeing many more transitionary designs,” says Jesica Taylor, the other half of the energetic couple who own Upland Development and share in the firm’s management. “I am usually in the office keeping track of numbers and marketing, and Ryan is happiest out on the job,” notes Jesica.
Established in 2004 and a young company, Upland Development has already had several clients build a repeat home. Why should so many opt to build again with Upland? “We set out with the intention that each client should have a memorable experience,” answers Ryan. “I believe a general contractor has three primary responsibilities: meet the schedule; stay within the budget; and serve as an advocate for the homeowner in a way that each client has a memorable experience. We also commit to unparalleled quality.”
Asked about the budget, Ryan explains, “Our policy is to prepare a proposal to include all the features and custom selections the homeowner wants upfront. We are not the builder that comes in low on the proposal just to get the job. Realizing there are always changes in construction, we prefer these changes to be positive changes and not add-ons that were left off the proposal merely just to get the job. We have had the experience of bidding on a project, and the client selected a lower bid. The client came back to us saying the other contractor surpassed our bid in actual fees and add-ons, but they didn’t match our quality.”
Jesica adds, “Client advocacy means that Ryan is alway
s looking over the shoulders of the subs and watching the job with the best interests of the client in mind.” Ryan nods in agreement, “I am the clients’ eyes and ears during construction. If I am not on the job site doing this, who is?” He adds, “I like to get involved in the project as early as possible in meetings between the clients, architects, and designers. That way I can truly understand what the client wants, and I can make some suggestions that can improve quality, lower costs, or both.” He sums up, “Construction is more about people. People want to enjoy what they have worked for, and it’s my responsibility to ensure their dreams and expectations are realized.”
Standing the Test of Time
Building a home that stands the test of time is not often in the forefront of a discussion of luxury homes, but it is a goal of Upland Development. Ryan’s and Jesica’s focus on timelessness is not so much in terms of the style of the home, but rather a consideration given to how the family will live in the home over time, and how the home will adapt to the family’s changing lifestyle as it matures and changes. It also includes finishes and building materials that won’t freeze the home in time. “A timeless home is built to last, and it performs mechanically and structurally. Ultimately, the greenest home is the one that lasts longest,” Ryan comments and continues. “We avoid trendy materials that date the home, and instead choose natural and enduring materials. We build homes for how people use them and anticipate that a high-end home will serve as a hub for extended family and friends. For this reason, I always pay extra attention to kitchens and gathering spaces, and I construct the outdoor entertainment areas and landscaping myself.”
Standing the test of time can also mean accommodating for changing needs for accessibility and limited mobility. These are other considerations for enjoying a home over time, and Ryan and Jesica have personal experience for accommodating these needs. Upland Development builds accessibility into homes so naturally that it goes unnoticed until needed. “This is an active, outdoor-sports area, and it is common for people to be injured for a time or to have friends or family who have limited mobility,” says Jesica.
Properties for Luxury Living
Ryan and Jesica Taylor will assist clients in locating an appropriate property, and they will visit the property with clients to review the lot’s appropriateness for the home the clients wish to build. As close-in areas have become built out, some of Upland Development’s projects have been on infill lots. “These lots deserve special consideration so the homes enhance rather than detract from the neighborhood,” explains Ryan. “We preserve mature trees, create rooflines compatible with the surroundings, and avoid things like a two-story wall right on the property line.” Jessica contributes her knowledge as a licensed realtor, and since Upland also landscapes properties with full outdoor amenities, the firm can assess the potential of a lot for outdoor living.
There are many reasons to speak with Upland Development about building a new home: homes dedicated to luxurious living, focused attention to the clients’ experience building, quality intended for timeless enjoyment, and closely managed schedule and budget. Generations to come will recognize it as an Upland home.