Having constructed some of the landmark homes and commercial projects in the area over the last ten years, ContractOne owners Bryan Johnson and Grant Herzog attribute their success to the importance of relationships. By Kate Collins
There’s a theme of the importance of relationships in the history of ContractOne, a premiere local homebuilder. The reason why Bryan Johnson, a Nebraska native, ended up in the Vail Valley in 1995 is simple: it was because of love. Johnson is now wed to Jill, who lived in the valley at that time. The timing and the place were auspicious for the couple to begin their new life together, and a little later, for the start of ContractOne, a full-service construction company that has been continuously owned and operated by Johnson and partner Grant Herzog for nearly a decade now.
ContractOne specializes in both residential and commercial projects, with new construction, remodels and rebuilds as a part of its repertoire. Herzog and Johnson have a combined 30-year history of experience in these construction disciplines. Not only does experience play into their success, but so does a track record for delivering projects on time and on budget, an extensive network of subcontractors, and a keen working knowledge of planning, zoning and approvals’ regulations. Mostly, however, Johnson attributes ContractOne’s long-standing success and positive reputation to good communication and trust.
“It’s all about the relationship. A high level of communication and confidence with clients has been a hallmark of our success,” notes Johnson. “Owners have our personal cell numbers, and they know they can contact Grant or me anytime.” In fact, the partners are always personally involved in every project, so the line of communication begins and ends with the two principals. It’s been a formula that has worked exceptionally well, and has resulted in countless referrals for both large and small projects.
Custom high-end residences built by ContractOne dot the valley communities and neighborhoods from Vail, Beaver Creek, Arrowhead, Mountain
ContractOne’s versatility is validated by other high-profile commercial projects in the region. This list includes the Lofts on Eagle River, the Blue Plate Bistro restaurant tenant interior, the Village Hall update, the Old Eagle County Courthouse remodel, the One Arrowhead Place post-construction improvement, the Bridge Street Condominium renovation, and the restrooms and lighting shelters at Beaver Creek Golf Course. The company regularly does projects for Vail Resorts, East-West Resorts, Dundee Resort Development and other significant developers.
What is Johnson’s favorite project? “I have many. My favorite multi-unit project is The Lofts on the Eagle River,” he says. “We built the project from design to completion, and all the new owners moved in on time.” This riverside condominium development in Eagle features 42 units. “For single-family residential projects, it is a toss-up between a custom home we built in South Carolina at The Cliffs and a complete custom home remodel on Aspen Ridge in Vail, Colorado.”
ContractOne is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited, and the team has continuous training and education in sustainable building practices. With sustainability and green building practices always top-of-mind, the team can recommend green products and ideas—like dual-flush toilets and other utility saving ideas along with recycled material — that don’t necessarily increase costs substantially, but that support environmentally-friendly living. Because ContractOne embraces and maximizes technology, their computerized and nearly paperless operation makes it seamless to work with remote owners and to manage projects out of state. ContractOne maintains licenses in California, North Dakota, South Carolina, Nebraska, and of course, Colorado.
As Johnson reflects on the last ten years, the recent recession, and ContractOne’s ability to navigate it, he attributes the longevity of his company to three major core standards. “We never tried to get bigger than we should be,” he says. “We keep our overhead low, and our staff productive and happy. We continue to get new work through the word-of-mouth of highly satisfied clients. Bottom line, we love what we do, and I think it shows.”