An interview with Drew Owens. Q. Where were you born? A. I was born in the Nation’s Capitol, Washington DC. Q. When did you come to New Mexico. A. I officially moved here in 1974. But my grandparents lived in New Mexico so I have been coming to New Mexico virtually all my life. Q. Where did you attend college, and what was your major? A. I received a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. I also attended Graduate School at the University of New Mexico. I was a Parks and Recreation major. Some of this education has traveled with me over the years and creating a park-like atmosphere is something I try to do with my homes. Q. How and when did you start designing and building homes? A. I got my Contractor’s License in 1985. The time from when I graduated college until I got my license, I spent working for architectural and construction companies learning the technical as well as the aesthetic part of the business. I spent a lot of time in the field checking production specs on a variety of job sites and ensuring that the plans were being followed as designed. Q. When did you start building in Placitas? A. About four years after I got my Contractor’s License, I met Jo Anne Thornton, a Placitas real estate professional, who had a client who needed a home built in Placitas. I had built a number of homes in Albuquerque prior to that. But this was my first home project in Placitas. I fell in love with Placitas, the views, and the whole feeling of the area. I liked the way the homes were designed to blend with the environment. Placitas is a very different world compared to most of the areas around Albuquerque. I decided that Placitas is where I wanted to devote my energies. And I have had the fortune to work with some really terrific people and build some pretty terrific homes. Q. How many homes have you built in Placitas? A. Golly, a lot! I think the number is around 50 give or take a few. Q. Some builders have a very distinct style. Is there a Drew Owens style? A. Well aside from a few Frank Lloyd Wright touches that find their way into my designs (I used to have a bust of Wright in my living room until one of the kids broke it), the answer is no. Each home I build is different. Because each of my clients is different. And frankly, I’d be bored if each home I designed was just like the last. I enjoy the challenge of starting with a clean sheet and seeing how I can creatively translate my client’s input into a design that will make them happy and make me proud. Q. What have you learned in your 20+ years as a designer, planner and home builder? A. I believe the most important thing is to have a good and open client/builder relationship. Trust is key. I want my clients to be a part of the building process and it is important for them to be able to question and contribute during the building process. And I need to be able to flag potential building problems and to suggest acceptable alternatives. Q. What happens after the house is built? A. I stand behind every home I build. And that is not just an empty promise. I want my clients to be happy. If something goes wrong a few years after the home is built, I want to make sure the problem is resolved. I take a lot of pride in my work and satisfied clients are my best advertising. Q. What are some important considerations for people wishing to build a new home? A. Picking the right lot is very important. A great home is often the result of a great lot. When I get the chance to purchase an exceptional, buildable piece of property with fantastic view, I do so. Often, I can provide not only the home design and construction, but the property as well. I only buy property that I feel has outstanding building potential. Many people who are relocating to Placitas are “empty nesters”. They have lived in big homes and raised their families and now they want to downsize. But at the same time they want to upsize the quality of home and the furnishings. Retirees often have very different needs and desires than working families. Workshops, studios, great kitchens, and entertainment areas to name a few. For these people, their home takes on a whole new importance. It is important to determine what the needs of the home will be at the beginning of the design process. I like to tell people that my most important building tool is my ears! Q. Why should someone pick Drew Owens? A. Because I am a nice guy (Drew laughs), and I like dogs. No, really, when a client hires me to plan and design their home, they are also getting one of the finest building teams in the area. I handpick my crews and they know I expect the maximum quality from each of them. I’m a real taskmaster. At the same time, I must be doing something right, because most of my crews have been working with me for a long time. They know the quality I expect from them and they like the challenge of delivering. So I guess I would have to say, when you pick Drew Owens, you get a fantastic team of construction professionals and craftspersons. I am committed to Placitas and am a member of the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade. Q. How important is customer satisfaction? A. It is the most important aspect of any home I build. If I deliver the home my clients expect, and then go the extra mile and add some touches they did not expect, then I feel I have done my job and they are going to be satisfied customer. When someone asks one of my clients “Who built your home?”, if they can answer with pride, Drew Owens, then I’m a happy guy. If you have a question for Drew go to the Contact Us page. TOP OF PAGE
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