Interview W/ Utah Home Builder, Gary DeRose, Apache Builders

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Gary DeRose
Owner and Founder
Apache Builders

Discover the Difference Fine Details Can Make" is a trademark motto exemplified by Apache Builders, Inc. As founder and president of Apache Builders, Gary DeRose's progressive approach to the different needs of each project-plus his creative designs, integrity, commitment to excellence, and understanding of aesthetics-have all contributed to the company's reputation as a superior builder." I produce what I say on time, and I do it honestly," says DeRose. Born in Price, Utah and raised in Springville, Gary DeRose joined the Navy, then completed a stint in Vietnam, before realizing he couldn't stay away from home. He returned and graduated from Weber State University in 1972, with a B.S. in economics and minors in accounting and marketing. This man loves and knows Utah. It shows in the care and attention given to details at every site chosen or home built. He wants to make certain that what he builds reflects the unique beauty of the state.

ary DeRose started as a journeyman plumber before obtaining his general contractors license in 1976. Plumbing proved an invaluable experience for DeRose, as he had an opportunity to work in a myriad of homes throughout the valley. In home after home, DeRose became dismayed by seeing the same mistakes in construction and the same unimaginative designs. Realizing he could do much better, he made an abrupt change in his career in 1976 and discovered his true calling as a home builder. DeRose's thriving business now builds 50-60 homes a year, ranging in price from $300,000.00 to $1,800,000.

Apache Builders specializes in beautiful, innovative, semi-custom homes, known for their intricate uncompromising detail and craftsmanship. The high and vaulted ceilings, tall archways and beveled glass door in these spacious homes set them apart from anything on the market. Innovation is synonymous with Apache Builders. Consequently, the company's designs are often copied.

"My price is competitive, but it includes all those extras you won't find anywhere for the same price."

Apache Builders is one of the very first builders to exclusively use: glass blocks, white kitchens, skylights to brighten dark rooms, round corners, thick and wide arches, wooden windowsills with high gloss trimwork, Sheetrock recessed ceilings, built-in closet organizers, prehung closet doors, maintenance-free exteriors, and oncrete designs stamped around the perimeter of the driveway, giving a European tile effect. Features considered additions or extras with other builders are standard at Apache Builders." All the things that one forgets to put in a home, we put in. We prewire TV, cable and telephone wires to all bedrooms. We put in central vacuum systems, designated circuits for Christmas lighting, sleeve under flatworks for future lighting, to name a few," DeRose proudly states. "My price is competitive, but it includes all those extras you won't find anywhere for the same price."

Apache Builders operates with a "can-do" and "no request is impossible" attitude.

Apache's front doors, entryways and foyers make a statement, reflecting DeRose's belief that the first impression is indeed the last one. Everything the company does is a testament to the importance of experience, visions and dedication to quality. From the moment you enter an Apache Builder's home, you see something unique and beautiful. "We are innovative. We try to find new and better ways to do things. We are constantly upgrading, trying to make the home maintenance-free. We want our buyers to have more than they ever expected," states DeRose.

The key to Apache Builders' success is loyalty to staff and the determination to remain a small, family-run business. DeRose's wife and former high school sweetheart, Susan Condie, as well as the rest of his family and extended family, are integral to the operation, as are Apache's first-rate subcontractors, who are used for every project.

Receiving the first Sandy City Home Builder of the Year Award in 1991 was thrilling for Gary DeRose. He considers that recognition a highlight of his home building career. He was also named Builder/Architect Magazine's Builder of the Month for June 1996.

He also believes in community involvement. He is a member of the Greater Salt Lake Home Builders Association and the local Better Business Bureau. DeRose and his family reside in Riverton.

For those new home builders seeking Gary DeRose's longevity in the industry, now over 30 years, he has this advice: "One, focus on quality. People, over time, will always come back to quality. Two, treat people with honesty. Do what you say and follow through with it. Three, be a risk taker. Don't follow the pack. Don't be afraid to be innovative."

(Adapted from Oligario, C. (1996). Apache builders: Innovators of quality homes. Greater Salt Lake Builder/Architect, 58, 18-24)
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