Builder/Architect Article

M.S. Dudley Development, Inc. always has a very tough customer to satisfy, Michael Dudley himself.  Since forming his company in 1989 and building his first spec home in Scottsdale, Michael Dudley has specialized in the luxury custom home market.  This focused home building activity ha given him a thorough understanding of the needs and expectations of the high-end home buyer.  But unlike many luxury home builders who employ a commercial construction business model with layers of middle managers, Michael Dudley prefers to keep it personal-personally meeting with every prospective client, personally supervising each project, and personally guaranteeing his customers’ satisfaction.  And judging by the increasing demand for a M.S. Dudley-built home, his clients prefer it that way too.

Originally from Indiana, Mike was a successful framing contractor who came to Phoenix, like many of us, to escape the long winters.  As a new building company, M.S. Dudley Construction began by building spec homes.  In fact, his first completed project still sits proudly near 90th Street and Cactus in Scottsdale.  From the beginning Mike’s interest was not in producing quick-build “cookie cutter” homes, but rather in creating one-of-a-kind, architect designed, luxury residences.

However, the acid test of any builder is customer acceptance, and M.S. Dudley Development passed it with flying colors.  From that first spec home in Scottsdale to the next, and all that followed, an eager buyer would appear shortly after the framing stage was complete.  And as M.S. Dudley’s buyers proudly showed their homes to friends and family, Michael began to receive overtures from people wanting him to build-to-suit their custom home.  Today, build-to-suit projects constitute a major portion of M.S. Dudley Development’s activities, along with major renovation/remodel projects and M.S. Dudley’s continued spec home building.

Michael Dudley explains, “Whether the project is a spec home, build-to-suit or major remodel, it’s critical that the proper team of professionals is in place to ensure the project’s success.  Architectural design and engineering incorporating the unique aspects of the site’s topography are the first important steps.  Our clients justifiably expect that their new home will sit comfortably in its surroundings and that the natural features will complement the character of the architecture.  Everything must work together.  By personally supervising each project, I can ensure that the client’s vision is successfully translated and remains consistent from the architect to the designer to the individual tradesmen.”  The same planning and attention to detail that is seen in their build-to-suit projects is employed in all major remodel and spec home projects as well.

As the Greater Phoenix housing market evolves, more homeowners in desirable communities are choosing to renovate or remodel as opposed to moving.  Paradise Valley and Arcadia serve as two good examples of areas where million dollar remodel projects are becoming commonplace.  Mike states, “As the market changed and our reputation grew, we received more and more inquiries from people looking to expand and update their homes.  Seamlessly blending the old construction with the new presents an interesting construction challenge that offers great satisfaction for both the homeowner and M.S. Dudley Development as well.  And while the demand on our schedule causes us to limit our remodeling activities to only large scale projects, we see this as a rapidly expanding area of our business.”

With four build-to-suit projects currently contracted, one notably at the exclusive Fire Rock Country Club in Fountain Hills, M.S. Dudley Development plans to continue designing and building luxury spec homes.  On the drawing board is an approximately 8,000-square-foot-home, designed in M.S. Dudley’s “land sensitive” manner, that takes full advantage of the views and natural features of its five-acre site on the north side of Black Mountain in Carefree.  Sporting intricate rooflines, this luxury residence includes a large guest house and six-car garage.  Another is underway in Pinnacle Canyon-Troon North.  In this 5,800-square-foot Southwest-style ranch on one acre, Old World design influences are introduced to create a unique blending of the past and the present.

Although many builders talk in terms of “standard” and “upgraded” features, these terms do not apply to an M.S. Dudley home because “upgraded” is “standard”.  Michael Dudley points out, “At this level of luxury construction, it’s not a matter of good, better, best.  All construction materials used are top grade.  In our build-to-suit and remodeling projects, finishes are determined by the client’s tastes and preferences.  We build our spec homes with those features that our research and experience have shown to be in greatest demand y the luxury home buyer.  And with our spec homes, I get to have the fun of selecting the colors and finishes that add to the uniqueness of our designs.  And while every building project has a budget, the luxury homes that we build are expected to have every built-in amenity.  But quality execution, our number-one commitment, must also be present.  For example, it’s not just a matter of having state-of-the-art structured wiring throughout the home, but ensuring that the installation was done thoughtfully and properly.  That’s one area where I think our company excels.  And by being on-site every day, I personally make sure of it.”  Mike concludes, “My clients understand that custom construction is an evolution from concept to completion.  They appreciate that I will share my opinion during construction if I see something that should be changed or improved.  By placing integrity at the forefront of all client relations, my home buyers gain confidence in our commitment to quality, and my personal assurance of customer satisfaction.  I have a close working relationship with each of my clients, and encourage them to visit the job site as much as possible.  In most cases, this close working relationship turns into a strong friendship…and that may be the part of this business that I like the most.” 

For more information about M.S. Dudley Development, Inc., call (480) 941-4944.