Case Studies

Sun Canyon Homes Inc.

Building Homes with an Eye on Craftsmanship

Sun Canyon Homes Inc. (Sun Canyon) builds homes in subdivisions, as well as custom-designed homes based on clientele needs. The company, based in Sierra Vista, Ariz., stays committed to clients throughout the building process with customer service beyond industry standards.

Ivan Hardt, owner of Sun Canyon, has spent 20 years in the construction industry. His experience started with building traditional Southwest pueblo homes. “I used to build nothing but Santa Fe-style homes,” says Hardt. “People don’t realize the amount of maintenance that needs to be done with these homes.”

Hardt changed the name of his company in 2005 to its current designation to represent a shift in construction style. “I wanted to change my style and get rid of the maintenance that people didn’t want to deal with,” says Hardt.

However, Hardt maintains the quality and detail in his work. According to Hardt, the creative process of constructing quality homes is his passion. Through Sun Canyon, he develops custom homes and semi-custom tract homes.

The company’s website has layouts of various floor plans that Sun Canyon offers. There are six plans available via the Executive Collection and another eight available through the Signature Collection. Homes are one- or two-story styles with between three and five bedrooms, ranging between 2,000 square feet and 3,000 square feet. Sun Canyon also has inventory homes for sale that are brand new with 10-foot ceilings, maple cabinets, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, executive height countertops and a series of upgrades available.

Building with Heart

In 2011 southern Arizona was hit by a large wildfire known widely as the Monument Fire. It burned 30,000 acres and about 60 homes were destroyed. Twin sisters who lived next door to each other on two four-acre lots owned two of those homes. “They really didn’t know what they wanted to do,” says Hardt. “It was a real difficult and touchy situation with them because they were attached to their homes.”

One of the sisters had lived in her home for more than 20 years, according to Hardt. “It was a difficult scenario to talk to someone about building a new home when the old home was just burned down,” he continues. “They pretty much lost everything.” Everything inside the home was a loss, but the walls to both were still standing. Hardt worked with each sister to determine the best plan.

Sun Canyon rebuilt both homes for the sisters. One home was leveled and the company rebuilt a structure with an adobe veneer on the exterior. According to Hardt, some burnt adobe from the previous home was salvaged and used in the new building. “It brought some character of the old house into the new home,” he says.

The other house’s walls were salvaged and the new construction engineered around the existing walls. Hardt reports that the company worked collaboratively with a Tucson-based engineer to verify the stability of the existing adobe walls. According to Hardt, he put much time and thought into designing arches and features in the existing walls to hide electrical work. “You would never know that it’s functional instead of aesthetic,” says Hardt.

Between navigating conversations with the twin sisters and coming up with custom homes that helped comfort them in the loss of all their possessions, Hardt explains it was creative work at its best. While Sun Canyon specializes in a series of tract homes with specific floor plans, the company and its staff are always willing to go that extra mile to make a custom house a home for a client.

Focused on New Construction

With the economy the way it has been, many homes are for sale. Even more existing homes are being foreclosed and abandoned. Despite that, Hardt focuses his efforts with Sun Canyon on building new homes that are high quality, yet affordable for today’s market.

Sun Canyon is currently involved in the development of a new subdivision known as Mesa Verde Estates in Sierra Vista, Ariz. “It’s taking off,” says Hardt. The company has a map on its website showing where the homes are located. On the subdivision site, there is a model home for perspective buyers to visit and see what the subdivision will be like as it develops.

Nicole Hall, previous head of sales and realtor for Sun Canyon, along with new lead DeeAnna Penna has helped sell the homes within the subdivision. Hall has been with the company for three years, while Penna started in January 2013. Both have seen the business grow, despite a struggling economy.

The challenge Hall and Penna see for the company’s future is the limited amount of vacant land. According to Hall, the Ft. Huachuca Military Installation that borders Sierra Vista limits the land for the custom home market. Despite this challenge, Sun Canyon Homes Inc. continues to strive for success, and will do so for many years to come.

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Spring 2018

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