When Shane Chapman started his own home building company in 2002, it was the culmination of a dream that started taking shape when he was a child.
“I’ve always loved building stuff. My mom hated it because I was always taking apart my toys and putting them back together again,” he says with a laugh.
Tinkering with toys eventually led to helping his dad in the garage and around the house, both deconstructing and building everything he could get his hands on. By the time Chapman finished school he knew he wanted a job that would allow him to feed his curiosity and use his hands – Chapman landed at a commercial building company that saw promise in his enthusiasm.
“When I started for the commercial company, I was pretty green,” he allows. “I knew some stuff, but it was mostly self taught and what I had learned from dad teaching me around the house.” Following time learning trim carpentry on the job from experienced carpenters, Chapman approached his boss to find out how he could grow in his job. They sent him to school to become an AGC certified master carpenter. The rest, as they say, is history.
Blueprint for success
After years learning his trade, working both commercial and contract jobs, Chapman was ready to try his hand at a project all his own. He purchased an empty lot in the Ridgeport development and built a house from start to finish. When he put it on the market, it generated a bidding war between multiple buyers. It was then that Chapman realized he was onto something – there was a market hungry for fresh, unique design and quality craftsmanship.
In the years since that first house, Chapman has built nearly 150 homes, all of which are designed by his wife and business partner, Andrea, who specializes in innovative, efficient designs that maximize a home’s square footage.
“Her love in life is design,” he says of his wife’s distinct vision. “What I hear most about our homes is that people know when they walk in that it’s the house they want because of how it makes them feel.”
Once Andrea finishes the design, Chapman brings her plans to life, overseeing the process from beginning to end.
“Anybody can draw lines on a paper and call it a house, but she makes the lines on the paper feel like a home, and that is first and foremost what makes us unique,” he says. “From there, I take it and build it right. I don’t cut corners and I use high quality products like James Hardie fiber cement siding and high quality sub contractors who really make a difference.”
Chapman says another advantage he offers his customers is the personal service he offers as the sole superintendent of each job he oversees, which keeps things from being lost in translation. “The buck starts and stops with me,” he says.
If Chapman has a customer who is concerned or stressed at any point through the process, he says it’s important to communicate and find a solution. “If there is something wrong, let’s talk about it, let’s slow the job site,” he says, emphasizing that for homeowners, buying a home is more than an investment — it’s personal. Sensitivity to this is a guiding principle for Chapman.
“I believe in treating everyone the way you want to be treated,” he says.
Chapman’s commitment to communication and getting it right is behind his intentional decision to be selective in the number of projects he and Andrea accept, despite urging for more from area developers. Currently, Chapman Custom Homes is building in the Estancia, Auburn Hills and Dwellings neighborhoods in Wichita. He also enjoys building custom homes in the smaller towns and communities outside of Wichita.
“It allows me to spend a lot more time with homeowners,” he says.
The end result of his partnership with homeowners, and the satisfaction of exceeding their expectations, is what Chapman says he loves most about his job.
“For myself, it is seeing something complete — it’s rewarding to me as a carpenter,” he says. “For the homeowner, it’s seeing how happy they are when you hand them keys.”
For more information about Chapman Custom Homes, visit chapmanhomesks.com or call 316.558.8447.