New Ownership, Same Quality Approach
If there is such a thing as a user-friendly homebuilder, Lexar Homes fits the bill.
A presence in the Greater Spokane area since 2009, Lexar recently underwent a change at the top as longtime owners John Kolcz and Bob Oliver both retired. Ryan Swanson, who joined Lexar as a framer in the inaugural year and built Lexar’s first model home, is part of the new ownership group.
“Honestly, it’s just a continuation of the business that’s been established,” said Swanson who brings over 17 years of industry experience and now serves as managing partner over construction.
Royce Robinson, another managing partner who oversees sales and marketing, said the current version of Lexar “is investing in what Bob and John wanted to build in this area.”
The Lexar Homes culture features generous helpings of customer service starting with a guarantee that those who call will always reach a live person, Monday through Saturday, during business hours. Robinson says the same responsiveness applies throughout the building process.
“We give out our numbers,” he said. “We’re owner-operators. We’re not going anywhere. We’re about responsibility and accountability.”
Robinson says the local chapter of Lexar benefits from being tied to a corporate franchise based in Tumwater, Washington whose network stretches beyond Washington and Idaho into Oregon, Arizona and North Dakota. The local Lexar satellite includes 17 employees between offices in Spokane Valley and Coeur d’Alene. The territory includes 12 counties in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.
“Questions are going to be addressed right away,” Robinson said. “We have in-house drafters and engineers who are going to provide real-time answers.”
Swanson said the “foundation to finish” approach puts the customer first each step of the way with Lexar consultants acting as expert tour guides.
“It’s efficiency of process,” he said.
Lexar features 75 floor plans with a quartet of styles – Traditional, Prairie, Timber Frame and Farmhouse. Alterations are available within each layout. The Spokane Valley office includes an in-house designer who navigates customers through each aspect of the customized process.
“It’s about the personal experience for the homeowner,” said Steve Watts, managing partner over operations. “We never want to get so big where we lose the experience of building a home.”
Lexar also emphasizes a green, sustainable standard, utilizing the Home Energy Rating System that measures a home’s energy efficiency or, in Robinson’s words, “acts as miles per gallon of a home.” The company is often a step ahead of requirements outlined in the Washington State Energy Code such as the hot water tanks they installed two years ahead of the stipulation.
“Our homes consume less energy,” Swanson said. “We have our ear to the ground for what’s down the road. We’re always investing in continuing education.”
Lexar offers diverse price points from $155 per square foot up to $245 per square foot. Home sizes also run the gamut, from 600 square feet up to 7,000 square feet. Lexar Homes currently has 56 homes under construction.
“Being an on-site builder gives us more versatility,” Swanson said. “We can build on any land you acquire, replace a home or build a vacation home. Some people have a dream of moving away from the sub-division and having a hobby farm.”
A priority on partnering with local vendors is another trademark of Lexar, whether it’s cabinets (Huntwood), lighting (Home Style Lighting), countertops (Flow Form) or flooring (Great Floors). When it comes to filling out a home with products from companies like Carrier, Mitsubishi, Owens Corning, Moen and others, Robinson said being under the Lexar umbrella “gives us buying power.”
Lexar provides a three-year, top-to-bottom warranty, a five-year mechanical warranty and a lifetime structural warranty.
“We’re not going to be the cheapest builder out there but we’re building something that has durability and longevity,” Swanson said.
While Lexar has established a presence in Spokane, Stevens and Lincoln counties, the new owners say they would like to expand more extensively into North Idaho and communities like Sandpoint, Bonner’s Ferry, St. Mary’s and Lewiston.
In addition to appearing at several home shows each year, Robinson said Lexar has been connecting with a variety of community entities and emerging as a sponsor of high school sports. The company was represented recently with a table at an East Valley High School Booster Club event.
“We’re trying to be good citizens and give back when we can,” Robinson said.
Swanson said those at the current helm of Lexar Homes will continue to follow a local compass.
“We’re all homegrown guys who want to better our community,” he said.
Check out what Lexar Homes is building here.