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While a familiar and respected member of the building community, Dave Anderson flies under the radar much of the time, doing his job and living up to his own tough standards. However, a recently completed luxury home north of Ketchum offers a look at what he and his firm is capable of achieving.

Dave Anderson, founder and owner of DJ Anderson Construction, moved to the Wood River Valley in 1976 to be a ski racer, and shortly after that fell in love with the place and found another and more lasting career—construction. “I started out as a laborer and the youngest guy on the job and worked my way up. Alan Johnson became my mentor, and he taught me that to be successful means to solve problems, make decisions, and do it right the first time.”

Crafted with Excellence

Anderson recently completed a mountain contemporary home designed by local architect, Jim Ruscitto and it exemplifies his abilities as a builder. With strong mountain forms framed by wood and steel the exterior is richly covered with rectangular cut stone. The entry is central to the curving driveway, suggesting a slight traditional quality that is quickly dispelled.


It is when passing through the front door and inside the entry that one is struck by the home’s contemporary elegance and timelessness. The entry area introduces both the Israeli limestone flooring that continues into the great room and the warm pale neutral colors to be found throughout the home. And there is a show-stopper in the entry that is so striking, one just stops to appreciate it like a piece of sculpture: a floating stairway with architectural glass to enhance its transparency.

The open floor plan radiates out from the entry, and the view to the great room extends through floor-to-ceiling glass to the lawn and wooded land beyond. The massive freestanding fireplace serves as the focal point. As with fine designs, the open space has a rhythm of unity and variation: the large custom chandelier in the entry repeats in a series of three in the great room and one appears again in the dining area. The white oak woodwork accented with a cursed finish that highlights the material’s intrinsic beauty also repeats in this space. The cabinetry continues this theme in a refined form through the use of rift oak in a herringbone pattern. Some of the fine detailing in the home can easily be overlooked, such as the complete wrapping of the structural beams and the mullions of the large commercial windows with an oak veneer.

When appreciating the home’s finishes and features like the infinity edge pool, one might assume that it took years to construct the home. In fact, it took DJ Anderson Construction a startling fourteen months from start to finish. When asked about the timetable, Dave attributes it to his commercial construction experience. “Essentially I am a commercial superintendent; commercial work has been a major part of my experience. I used my commercial contracting methods of scheduling that is based on allowing no failure. I start from the finish date and work backwards and set working deadlines. Of course, I have to know how long things will take and have the buy-in of the subcontractors that I rely upon. For some things I have to get out well ahead. A good example is the fireplace. I insisted we start designing and fabricating the fireplace surround before we completed the framing. This enabled us to start erecting during the rough finishes like tile flooring.



partners in success

Dave Anderson notes that the success of a general contractor is directly dependent on the quality people that work on the project, such as Sage Bookkeeping, who keeps track of job costs, billing, and payroll and maintains an open-book transparency to keep clients informed at all times. He reflects on the contributions of others. “During the last 20 years, my friend Craig Werley, owner of Specialty Woodworks, and I have raised kids and worked together to produce many projects by fabricating and installing cabinets, millwork, and interior case, base and trim. Our relationship helps to get jobs for both of our companies. Specialty Woodworks completes the finishes with a professionalism that is hard to beat, and the communication we have achieved with our clients is uncompromising. This relationship with Craig has added to my business and I am very proud of the quality projects we have produced, as in the featured home in north Ketchum. I will always make an effort to incorporate his company in projects I am involved with.

A special addition to the relationship of DJ Anderson and Specialty Woodworks is Morgan’s Fine Finishes; they add a professional touch to our work. Additionally, there are other subcontractors that improve my success with their speed and efficiency: Z. Sewell Construction for framing, Thornton Heating & Sheet Metal, Inc., Precision Plumbing, Inc., and Wood River Roofing.

As the project moved ahead, some issues naturally surfaced. At times like this, solid proven working relationships count extra. “Certainly, there were things to address, like in the master bath. The designer and I collaborated and worked things out. Finding solutions is really the fun part of this job.” In spite of the complexity of the project and the amount of fine detailing, Anderson completed the home within the narrow fourteen-month window. The family has moved in and is fully enjoying its spacious comfort, luxurious appointments, and many amenities.


This recently completed home demonstrates DJ Anderson Construction’s skills as a builder: detailing, mastery of materials, innovation, and the ability to seamlessly finish challenging elements. It is also proof that Dave Anderson with the help of his trusted colleagues is uniquely qualified to finish projects on schedule and budget.

For more information call DJ Anderson Construction LLC at 208.721.1168 or email dave@djandersonconst.com.