The Pursuit of Perfection
By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa
Photo Gallery at Bottom
After two decades in the business of distinctive home building, Mark Miller maintains a sense of curiosity and idealism that keeps his approach –and his work- fresh. A keen eye for design and a desire to create lasting and sustainable homes that suit his clients’ lifestyles yield spectacular results in new construction and renovation projects; Westwater Construction offers a quality experience from start to finish.
His hands-on approach to business began long before Mark founded Westwater Construction. “I’ve always had an interest in the mechanics of things, understanding how they were built,” he recalls. As a young man he crafted everything he could: playhouses, motorcycles, boats. He went to work with one of the largest roofing contractors in the State of Florida before launching his own homebuilding firm.
At the foundation of Westwater Construction’s success is Mark’s belief in providing quality beyond the actual build. “Quality for us is an experience,” he explains. “We want our clients to enjoy the process, to feel that what we are creating is their space.” The process begins with an in-depth interview designed to open lines of communication. “Understanding how our clients live, cook and eat, knowing their hobbies and lifestyles, helps us to place them in their homes,” Mark reveals. “By building an intimate knowledge of how the home will be used, we are able to provide our clients with a home that is tailor-made to them. So often, people think of homes primarily as shelters; our clients traditionally get more out of their homes than they ever dreamed they would.”
Though he has built a reputation as a high-end luxury homebuilder, Mark notes that current green trends are inspiring significant shifts in the wants and needs of his clientele. “There has been a change in attitude about how space is used,” he observes. “More than ever, we are building homes for individuals who want to use every inch of space. There’s still a huge emphasis on luxury and the aesthetic element, but we are also incorporating more and more functionality into our floor plans. Large, showy spaces are giving way to streamlined designs.” It’s a trend that suits Mark and the professionals at Westwater Construction. “What we are seeing is that we can preserve the quality and beauty of a home while reducing waste,” he says. “That gives our clients more home for the value, and it reduces the environmental impact we make.”
Green building remains a much talked-about issue within the construction industry, though Mark offers much more than lip service. “It’s great to go green, but if it’s not cost effective, it’s not realistic,” he acknowledges. “What we’re doing at Westwater Construction is working on utilizing innovative green products that yield immediate results.” Westwater Construction is committed to incorporating environmentally-friendly technology into all of its homes; after a trial in 2010, the company has made LED lighting a standard for all of its construction projects. The benefits, says Mark, are significant. “LED lights are up to ninety percent more efficient than the incandescent lighting that many builders continue to use,” he states. “Not only do they cost less to operate, but they also feature a longer life span than regular bulbs.” Other features of Westwater Construction homes include double insulated glass windows, integrated solar panels for water and pool heating and spray foam insulation.
Mark doesn’t just believe in the environmentally-friendly technology he’s utilizing in his homes; he lives it. Since 1996, he explains, he has tested new products in his own residence before incorporating them into homes built by Westwater Construction. “With each project we learn and grow,” he says. “The culture that our employees, subcontractors and partners share is that we are committed to excellence, committed to consistent improvement. And we have achieved this through hands-on efforts.”
Though he counts the region’s top subcontractors among his professional crews, Mark maintains that he is never far from any of the projects his company oversees. “I’m hands on throughout the process,” he asserts. “Not only am I on site regularly, but I am in constant communication with my clients, as well.” Regular meetings ensure questions and concerns are addressed, and maintain a sense of accountability among all parties involved.
“We actually encourage our clients to be on site during the construction project, so that they can see firsthand how we build our homes and why,” says Mark. Subcontractors, too, are in close communication throughout the construction process. “I have to have the same access to my subs as my clients have to me,” he explains. “They are more than a name and a number; I know them well and can call on them after hours when necessary.”
The sophistication and quality with which Westwater Construction projects are completed has earned the firm a decidedly loyal customer base. “We have been fortunate to work with a number of repeat and referral clients, who share our vision and our passion for building beautiful, quality homes,” Mark notes. “This has allowed our business to weather significant industry challenges, and enabled us to continue in our efforts to offer an incomparable level of quality and care.”
While Westwater Construction has been known for complete white paper design of award-winning custom floor plans, the company is now launching an exciting and innovative semi-custom division, in which customers can choose from a line of new floor plans and design schemes, with products from high-end vendors. “Some people enjoy the process of taking a home from concept to reality,” Mark says. “Others prefer the convenience of selecting from a range of options, while still taking advantage of the option of customizing features and colors.” Designs and floor plans are available on the company’s re-launched web site, enabling customers to peruse their options at their convenience. Inspiration for these designs, Mark adds, comes from international trends. “We aspire to meet the tastes and the lifestyle needs of a range of clients, from individuals living in Italy, to Hong Kong, to Wisconsin,” he states. “Our designs are contemporary and classic, and fit well within the communities they’re situated in.”
Westwater Construction has built stunning homes throughout Florida, with much of their work situated between Naples and Tampa. Their residences are located within some of the most exquisite communities in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, including The Concession, Lakewood Ranch and Stillwater on the Bay.
Experience the art of luxury living. Mark Miller and Westwater Construction work closely with each client to deliver a quality product that is true to their vision.
5583 Marquesas Circle
Sarasota, FL 34233