The Norman Conquests
Awards, achievements and other newsworthy stuff.
Extra! Extra! Read all about NBD’s latest extraordinary accomplishments that have been making headlines here, there and everywhere.
Awards, achievements and other newsworthy stuff.
Extra! Extra! Read all about NBD’s latest extraordinary accomplishments that have been making headlines here, there and everywhere.
Norman Building & Design, LLC didn’t become one of Bend’s most successful and proficient custom homebuilders by sticking with a tried-and-true, cookie-cutter approach year after year. They continued to push boundaries, to explore new styles and ways to save costs and energy. Yet even by the company’s normally dynamic standards, the past several months have brought on a considerable amount of change and growth, as well as some significant recognition.
Most recently, the Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) honored the company’s Founder, Jim Norman, with a Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual Excellence Awards held January 15 at the Bend Golf Club. In joining past recipients Dennis Pahlisch and Brooks Resources, Norman was recognized for his “passionate pursuit of beauty, function and fun,” which has resulted in the completion of more than 400 exceptional Central Oregon homes as well as a close-knit company that’s going strong after more than 40 years.
“While it took a lot of grit and long hours to get the company started back in 1977, we wouldn’t be here today without the ingenuity and dedication of our employees over the years,” said Norman. “They’re the ones who have helped us continue to build homes that capture the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and support the lives of our clients. I couldn’t be prouder of what our company has achieved and where it is heading.”
In 2018, Jim Norman decided to withdraw from the day-to-day responsibilities of running the business and focus strictly on designing custom homes. Armed with a dozen years of experience as a Project Manager and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Jim’s son-in-law Brian Murphy was more than ready to step in as President.
In the year-and-a-half since Murphy took the helm, Norman Building & Design (NBD) has won back-to-back Best of Show awards on the Central Oregon Builders Association Tour of Homes (2018 and 2019), experienced significant growth in its remodeling business, and added five key employees. That kind of progress and success indicates why Murphy, 38, recently made the Cascade Business News list of “Accomplished Under 40.”
“Jim Norman is a legend in this community,” said Murphy. “Not only has he designed and built dozens of custom homes that fit with Central Oregon’s lifestyle and landscape, he has created a close-knit business that has sustained itself for more than four decades. I see my role as maintaining the company’s core values and exceptional customer service, while expanding our horizons with new techniques and technologies.”
With a sharp eye toward the future, NBD turned to Kinetic Branding of Bend to update its identity and provide a thorough overhaul of its website. Like most logos created in the 1970s, NBD’s was showing its age with a gradation element that gave away its stylistic time period. Kinetic designer Paul Ruettgers kept the spirit of the original logo by using the triangle shape as a design element. But instead of having it make a generic roof, he used two triangles and a rectangle to make an “N” out of the negative space in between. He also chose colors that reflect the natural palette of wood materials used throughout most Norman homes.
“We are delighted with the new brand identity,” said Greg Garrick, NBD’s Director of Sales & Marketing. “It definitely shows respect for our past, yet it has a refreshing timeless quality that will eventually look great on our vehicles, shirts and hats.”
Similarly, the new website introduces a fresh new look and feel with a streamlined approach that is much easier to navigate. Ruettgers and his team eliminated multiple layers of color and content that created a cluttered and dark visual experience. Using the new theme “Extraordinary is the Norm,” he introduced more white space that helps enhance the stunning images of Norman homes throughout the site.
Ruettgers also worked with drone footage shot by Fred Gunnerson of Butterfly Multimedia and Brent Barnett of Future Filmworks to create a breathtaking introductory video featured on the Home page.
“The new website and video are the ultimate showcases for what Norman Building & Design is all about today,” said Garrick. “As evidenced by the COBA Lifetime Achievement Award, the company has a tremendous history as well as a long list of satisfied customers who have become part of the family. Yet, supported by new marketing materials and Brian’s energetic leadership, we’ve laid the foundation for an even more promising future.”
On October 2, 2019, Cascade Business News celebrated its annual Accomplished Under 40 award winners at the Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend and what do ya know? Our own president Brian Murphy was among the chosen few.
Earning such recognition was no small feat as this year's competition featured one of the largest and most diverse groups of nominations ever.
"It's quite an honor to be selected among such an amazing group of talented professionals," said Brian. "I am extremely thankful to my co-workers for nominating me."
To see what a winning "Accomplished Under 40" nomination looks like, here's Brian's:
Co-owner & President
Norman Building & Design
Brian’s positions in construction have included laborer, estimator, project manager, VP of operations and now president. Some of his notable projects include the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Larry Ellison’s Woodside Residence and work on both UCSF and SFSU campuses. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Econ/Math from UC Santa Barbara, and a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State. Brian’s passion is to combine the creativity and beauty of his clients' dream homes with the business systems and discipline to reliably deliver on time and on budget. He has also enjoyed increasing Norman’s remodel business by five times over the last three years.
Civic, Industry & Community Involvement
Brian and his wife, Jenny, have traveled abroad in various volunteer roles from orphanages to skilled nursing facilities, to consulting with small women-owned businesses. Brian was a past board member for EChO, an organization dedicated to providing education for Chinese orphans with special needs. Norman Building has made countless contributions to local nonprofits and has an affinity for causes impacting children. Some include MountainStar Family Relief Nursery, Deschutes Children Foundation, Assistance League of Bend, Bend Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity Restore, Bethlehem Inn and Bend Search and Rescue.
Specific Characteristics that Distinguishes Them from Their Peers
Brian has the unique ability to stay the course regardless of the pressures he faces. When times get tough, he focuses on taking small steps forward. When Brian’s kids were two, one and one (Irish twins and actual twins), his wife Jenny was diagnosed with epilepsy that eventually led to brain surgery. Brian’s ability to step up for his family while running the business through a transition was admirable. No matter how stressful the issue, Brian can keep perspective and calmly move forward, which belies one of his most distinguishing characteristics: his prematurely gray hair.
Business Leadership Philosophy
Brian’s leadership philosophy is centered in teamwork. High-performing teammates are aligned, respectful and humble. These characteristics of leadership provide all employees and clients access to varied perspectives, growth and commitment. And these teams naturally produce high-quality work. Norman’s internal team and external subs and vendors take a normally stressful process of building to create a memorable and fun experience for themselves and their clients.
Local builder claims five awards, including second consecutive Best of Show.
Bend, OR – When it comes to the design, construction and attention to detail they put into every one of their incredible custom homes and remodeling projects, the folks at Norman Building & Design, LLC like to say that “extraordinary is the norm.” But even they have to admit that winning Best of Show in the $2.4 million and up category in the Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) Tour of Homes for the second year in a row is extra-extraordinary.
“Winning Best of Show again in the high-end category speaks volumes about the expertise and dedication of our team,” said Brian Murphy, President of Norman Building & Design (NBD). “They don’t rest on their laurels. They get excited about the next project and dive in. Of course, it helps to have homeowners like Dave Moog and Janet Sweeney Moog give us a spectacular homesite to work with, as well as the leeway to do what we do best.”
Indeed, the homesite perched on a bluff overlooking Whychus Creek just off Camp Polk Road in Sisters is simply drop-dead gorgeous. Several people who made the drive and wandered through the courtyard were heard to gasp in astonishment upon walking through the front door and taking in the stunning view captured in the floor-to-ceiling Great Room windows. Beyond the Whychus Creek Canyon, the snow-capped Three Sisters Peaks dominate the horizon.
“As soon as I walked in, I was drawn to those windows,” said Lori Davis, a Tour of Homes visitor from Bend. “I felt like getting my phone out and taking pictures like a tourist.”
While it was easy for people to be mesmerized by the killer views, they had a lot to say about the rest of the home with its 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath, 4,875-square-foot floor plan designed in a rustic French Country style.
“I watchedas folks walked in and I could see them visibly relax,” said Greg Garrick, NBD’s Director of Sales & Marketing who hosted during the Tour. “Their shoulders would drop and they would just feel instantly at peace in the space. Many commented that other people on the tour told them that they ‘hadto see this house,’ and it was absolutely worth the drive. More than one indicated that it was the most beautiful home they’d ever seen.”
Norman’s team of highly skilled designers and craftsmen used the space both inside and out to create a place that feels like home, even though most homes might not have:
More hardware for the trophy case.
In addition to Best of Show, the Theater Room, engineered by Central Oregon Audio Video, helped Norman win another Tour of Homes award for Best Feature to go along additional awards for Best Interior Finish, Best Landscaping and Best Value.
“We’re delighted that the COBA judges found so much to like about the home, especially in terms of the value that is a huge part of every Norman home,” said Garrick. “But the icing on the cake for me came from a visitor who prides himself on finding mistakes on the Tour of Homes. After exploring the entire home with a critical look on his face, I asked him what he found. He said, ‘Nothing! Everything was perfect.’”
But just like last year when NBD won Best of Show and six other awards in their category, the team won’t be content to rest on their past perfection. They’ve already begun framing on a home in Tetherow that will be ready for the Tour of Homes in 2020. Can anyone say, “Extra-Extra-Extraordinary”?
About Norman Building & Design
Norman Building & Design has been designing, building and remodeling fine custom homes in Central Oregon since 1977. Our unique approach includes home design and construction, cabinetry design and craftsmanship, and interior doors and front entry systems, all under one roof. Our team also includes interior designers to assist in making your home building experience complete. Our goal is to deliver a residence that reflects the owner’s individual tastes, desires and budget, and to make the entire process enjoyable throughout.
To learn more about Norman Building & Design, visit www.normanbuilding.com or call 541-280-6753.
BY DANIEL YOUMANS CBN FEATURE WRITER ON MAY 21, 2019
Heading up sales and marketing for Norman Building & Design naturally fits Greg Garrick. A former client, Garrick’s highly personal approach to serving new clients even includes a tour of his own NBD-built home. This typifies the home construction philosophy of NBD, which builds between six to eight custom homes each year in Central Oregon, along with providing remodeling services.
When did you join Norman Building & Design, and what brought you to the company?
I joined Norman Building & Design in 2003. My history with the company, however, goes back to 1989, when our family first visited Central Oregon. We toured a home that Jim Norman had designed and built. That led to building a vacation home with NBD. We worked together later on an investment home. When we decided to make Bend our home, Jim and his team designed and built our first primary residence in Broken Top. We have since built our fourth NBD home.
After moving into our first Broken Top home, I was walking my dog and bumped into Jim. We had a breakfast and lunch and he suggested working for the company on marketing and sales. My experience as a client and the qualities that drew me to the company for our family needs are the things I have shared with our clients for the last 16 years.
Do you have a particular philosophy or approach to conducting business in the field of home design and construction?
For us, it’s about designing and building exceptional homes that we can stand behind both today and long into the future. We build a continuing relationship with our clients following completion of a home or remodel. Our clients become our biggest cheerleaders with multiple repeat clients.
Being clear up front as to the real cost of creating a client’s dream home allows us and the client to have a great experience. I know that whatever I share with a client will be something they will find to be true — because I’ve had all those experiences.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about entering the home construction industry?
NBD has been in the construction industry for 42 years. That’s a long time, particularly in residential construction. There are, no doubt, many lessons that would be valuable to others that are a part of our approach and our core values. I will say it can be a very challenging business. The recession years of 2007-12 is an example of what can happen that has nothing to do with your efforts but, instead, are forces outside of your control.
In Central Oregon, what are the latest trends in home design and construction, and are these trends different than elsewhere in the country?
The contemporary style is certainly hot at present here in Bend, and that’s true elsewhere. The concern with fire safety is a priority given the impact of wild-fires in California. (We are currently building for a couple who lost their home in the Santa Rosa fire.) One of our top priorities is being aware of what materials and approaches will make the most difference in a home being safe and energy efficient.
Are there particular fads in home remodeling or new construction that you try to steer clients away from?
First and foremost the client is the director of all the action at NBD. We tell our clients that we aren’t shy about sharing our opinions, but nonetheless theirs is the only vote that counts provided it doesn’t compromise structure or construction practices. We do encourage our clients to stay with the classics that will stand the test of time.
We also want to share our experience as to the brands of flooring, plumbing, appliances, etc. Too many times a name commands a premium price without additional value or improved functionality.
Above all a home should feel like a home with natural warmth and light-filled spaces. Working with our clients we can create a home that will live larger than its footprint.
When clients approach you for the first time, what questions should they have for you, and what questions do you have for them?
Clients will obviously want to know about the costs of construction, and an honest indication of how much time will be spent creating and building a custom home. Clients should also check references. It amazes me how few prospective clients will make such a large financial decision while doing little or no research.
Our questions start with land, including our clients’ selection of property, its location, and what they envision. Then, what are their goals for their home? Are there specific issues that they expect to be resolved in design? It all starts with shared expectations and diligent follow up.
Norman Building & Design was founded in 1977. What qualities have led the company to long-term success?
First, doing what you say you are going to do in an exceptional way without cutting corners. Also, seeing what is needed, then taking steps to find a solution. For example, how do we get cabinets of the quality we want? Jim Norman decided to explore designing and building cabinets in our own shops to ensure this important element of the home is available on time and of the highest quality.
One of the best decisions Jim made was bringing onto our team several talented interior designers who work directly with our clients. That ensures our communication is spot on.
What are the greatest challenges and opportunities for the home building industry, both locally and nationally?
For us the challenges remain to be aware of what is new and to keep ensuring that we are employing best practices in our efforts for both design and construction. We strive to employ all the various elements available that can make us more effective and in turn cost competitive.
I wear two hats in some ways — I “bleed” Norman colors in believing what we do is truly amazing. Our team is made up of creative, talented people, and I want continued success for them. As a client, I want the company to thrive so I can continue to receive exceptional follow up and the attention that each of our client’s deserve. That peace of mind means a lot.
Published May 8, 2019 by Bend Magazine
Written by Bend Mag Staff
Photos Mike Albright
Take a tour inside this modern ranch retreat, a custom home built by Norman Building & Design in the new Bend neighborhood The Tree Farm.
When Mac and Patti Douglas moved from Seattle to Bend four years ago, they bought a house in Broken Top. While they loved the large, refined-style home in the high-end development, and especially its very livable layout, the location wasn’t quite right. “We wanted more privacy, and a view,” recalled Patti.
They searched for some time for a new home, but the right place didn’t materialize. What they found was either too dated, too large, or on too much land. Explained Patti, “We wanted more elbow room, but not too much property.” Patti was interested in custom building a home, but Mac was hesitant. “We’d been through that process before,” he said, referring to two homes the couple had designed and built in the past. “I wasn’t ready for that level of involvement and intensity again.”
Despite Mac’s hesitation, the Douglases reached out to Bend company Norman Building & Design—the team that had built the Broken Top house that they liked so much. The match was instantly positive. The company’s long history in Central Oregon made them knowledgeable and reliable, and the team was easy to work with. “It was convenient and stress-free to work with Norman,” said Mac. “Everything was done in-house—they really hold your hand through the process.” Patti added, “The relationship was so much fun.”
CENTRAL OREGON TIES
Patti was born in Bend, and the couple and their family had been vacationing during summers at Black Butte since the 1970s. The Douglases were familiar with the region. Once their thoughts shifted to building a home, the task turned to finding land.
After a thorough search, Mac and Patti bought a lot in The Tree Farm, one of Bend’s newest neighborhoods. Located west of town off of Skyliner Road, on what was for many decades actually a tree farm owned by the Miller Lumber family, the development consists of 50 two-acre home sites on a ridge and in the forest. The Douglases secured a spacious lot with views of the Cascade Range, and began plans for their new home.
While contemporary design is trending now, the Douglases wanted a warmer style. “We knew we wanted many of the same elements as our previous home, but with a more rustic lodge-style.” said Patti. The completed nearly-4000-square-foot house is in the style of a modern ranch home, or rustic lodge, with plenty of wood and stone accents. Their Tree Farm residence is a grand home that is also extremely comfortable, welcoming and warm.
A HOME BY DESIGN
As one approaches the home, a circular drive parallels a fence and gate which protect a spacious front courtyard. The home’s exterior is cement shingles accented with rusted metal, for a rustic appearance that blends nicely with the forested landscape. The exterior of the home is entirely fire-safe, per the Tree Farm’s strict requirements, as a Firewise community from the ground up.
The timber-framed front entry shelters a large alder door surrounded by two massive rock walls. Guests enter into the great room, facing huge windows framing a northwest view, taking in sights of a sloping hill, a Ponderosa forest, and Mount Bachelor, Mount Jefferson and Black Butte in the distance.
The great room, purposely, has no electronics or screens installed. “There are no distractions,” said Mac. “We can just read here, or watch the views.” The couple owns a large collection of Western art, from sculpture to paintings, which is subtly placed throughout the home, including a piece prominently displayed over the great room’s massive rock fireplace.
To the southwest of the great room, the master bedroom opens into a den, enlarging that space when desired. “We wanted the home to be designed smart, with no wasted space,”said Patti. “Each room works for us.” Patti’s spacious, coveted sewing room is on that end of the home as well.
On the other end of the home is a family and media room, with two guest rooms, one with a bunk as well as a queen bed. “Every room has a reason for being,” said Patti.
In the kitchen, a huge dish pantry contains everything cleanly, with easy access. “I have so much storage in this house,” said Patti. Polished concrete countertops cover a large center island in the open kitchen space.
The theme of wood—purposefully compatible with a tree farm—appears throughout the home. One hallway wall is rugged reclaimed barn wood. Even some of the tiles in the bathrooms are designed to look like wood, in different grain appearance. The woods contribute to a rich and warm texture. Patti is a quilter, and several quilts and other fabric panels are hung around the home, also adding texture.
An outdoor patio off of the back is tucked into the shape of the house, designed for shelter from the elements, with an overhang inset with heat lamps. A full-size outdoor fireplace sits near several seating options. Off the patio is a round fire pit, perfect for roasting marshmallows on a summer night. “The fire draws people in and brings conversation,” said Patti. “The patio brings us together.”
AT HOME IN COMFORT
Patti and Mac have three grown children as well as many grandchildren, and one desire for their home was that it would be welcoming for their family to visit. “We had fifteen people here at Christmas, and it worked out very well,” said Patti. The guest wing closes off entirely, giving both guests and homeowners privacy.
The Douglases moved into their new home in April 2018. “We just love our home,” said Patti. “It lives so well.” Mac added, “And we have good memories of the process. The Norman team did a great job of listening to us.”
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