BC Custom Homes: Creating works of housing art for 13 years
Building stunning homes for the Street of Dreams never gets old for Bill Winkenbach, CEO of BC Custom Construction.
This year's home, called Private Reserve, is his company's 13th house built for the prestigious home show.
Last year, the house BC Custom Construction built for the Street of Dreams, The Barclay, won two Professional's Choice Awards for best kitchen and best landscaping.
Winkenbach started his Oregon City-based company in 1990 after building more than 1,200 custom homes in Southern California. He wanted to raise his family closer to the Portland metro area's new home market, "and the Street of Dreams was part of that inspiration," he said.
In 1999, his dream to be a Street of Dream builder became a reality — only he built two homes instead of one. "And they were custom homes, too, not spec," which makes them even more labor and time intensive, he added.
His efforts were rewarded with the Golden Hammer Award and Builder's Choice Best of Show by a first time Street of Dreams builder.
Since then he's gone on to build 11 other Street of Dream homes (including this year's Private Reserve) and has won a total of 19 Street of Dream awards — all while remaining true to the company's mission to build the highest quality home at a value for clients without sacrificing top-notch service.
"The Street of Dreams is an example of artistry, an example of administrative intensity, an example of professionalism," Winkenbach said. "We as a company pride ourselves on being a process-driven company, on trying to be superior in all facets of what we do."
Whether it's meeting with clients, the design process, or the actual build, Winkenbach constantly strives to improve the process. The company also is always watching for new products and different ideas to pioneer, he said.
For example, the polished concrete flooring throughout the main level of Private Reserve is unlike any he has ever seen in a Street of Dreams home. It includes the Lochinvar radiant floor system, which is managed through a boiler that runs water through tubes built into the floor to heat the home. "This manner of heating the home creates ambient heat that radiates to all surfaces to make it incredibly comfortable," Winkenbach said. Insulation under the concrete slab that contains the radiant-heat system makes it energy efficient.
"Polished concrete can be one of the most beautiful, long-lasting floors you could imagine," he said. "We start with extra hard concrete and then add color, polish nine times to create a work of art."
President Scott Bowles, who has been with the company for about eight years, said building a Street of Dreams home is a rewarding logistical challenge. Something simple, such as having materials delivered, can become complicated under tight deadlines.
But those challenges present a huge sense of accomplishment once the house is complete. He also enjoys working with other Street of Dreams builders and the sense of camaraderie they share, Bowels said.
Ultimately though, building a Street of Dreams home is all about showcasing new and unique elements that people have never seen before. The entire team of designers collaborating on the home takes a similar approach. "We try to come up with something unique and nail it," Bowles said.
This year's home is a team effort with Interior Designer Carin L. Atterbury of Surface and Interior Designer Carin L. Atterbury of Surface in Portland and Architect Michael Barclay of Barclay Home Design in Clackamas.
With the house situated on what Winkenbach considers the best lot in the entire Vendage at The Reserve development, Barclay highlighted the amazing golf course views with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows in the great room.
Because the lot is rather pie-shaped, the backyard is wide, making for even more expansive views and creating a perfect backdrop for an outdoor fireplace. For a more private outdoor space, a courtyard style patio is located off the front entry.
The house also features a first-of-its-kind corner fireplace. The Montigo Prodigy indoor gas fireplace features a cool-to-the-touch glass front and a surround made of tiles designed to look like charred cedar planks.
BC Custom Construction may be a small custom homebuilder but the Street of Dreams allows Bowles and Winkenbach to show off what their crew is capable of. With Winkenbach's big picture approach and Bowles' hands-on attention to detail with the build itself, "we're a good team," Bowles said.
"The house is a reflection of us as builders," Bowles said. "This is our marketing, honestly. We're showing what we do to 70,000 people. You want people to walk through and remember your house."
And the builders who created it.
2018 NW Natural Street of Dreams
When: July 25-Aug. 26, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily,
Where: 4027 S.W. 229th, Hillsboro
How much: $20
Initiated in 1975 by the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland, the Street of Dreams has called several communities home. This year's NW Natural Street of Dreams, named The Vendage at The Reserve, is situated near the The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club and features six new homes in South Hillsboro. It will launch what will become the largest master planned community in Oregon and has been about 20 years in the making. When completed, it will house up to 20,000 residents in three developments with amenities such as walking and bike trails and nature preserves.