Custom Builders – Saratoga, Wyoming

April 29, 2024

Custom Builders

Constructing Leading Custom Home Options in a Beautiful Rural Setting


Equipped with the local expertise and ‘hammering home’ the client relationships along the way

Although Wyoming is a favorite destination for tourists looking for adventure, wide open spaces, and jaw-dropping natural beauty, only a lucky few can call this slice of the US their permanent home.

For Custom Builders, a long-established and highly-respected local builder, years of building homeowners’ dreams while keeping the uniqueness of the region in mind is simply in its DNA. Offering attractive home options as well as utilizing high-end materials and possessing the rare ability to listen to exactly what a homeowner is looking for, Custom Builders has managed the Wyoming landscape as well as the wildlife that graces its slopes and valleys.

“I think our county has something like 16,000 people and it is a destination spot for summer residence,” Lance Grub, Owner of Custom Builders, begins.

“We have a lot of people that have homes that they use in the summer- secondary properties- and there are some world-class attractions here like the Brush Creek Ranch which is considered one the top-rated destinations in the world, and we also have a couple of very prestigious country clubs and an amazing airport that brings in large business jets.”

“It is a very unique feel to a very small town that draws a lot of tourists here.”


A unique business approach that pays off

Custom Builders has been a construction staple in the local market for decades and has grown to embrace 15 employees with plans to add more staff. The company has enjoyed long-time relationships with its valued sub-contractors who have remained loyal over the years and Custom Builders consider its clients to be “life-long friends.”

Providing a multitude of housing options as well as renovation services for this dynamic town is exactly what Custom Builders has set its sights on, and the builder has earned a stellar reputation along the way. Grub, a local himself and third-generation builder, takes pride in constructing winning properties, as well as offering renovation options ranging from small jobs to a major remodel; his passion is palpable when describing his craft.

“As a construction company we service a very wide range of customers,” Grub describes.

“We will do anything from a garage door spring replacement for a local homeowner to multimillion-dollar homes, so we have a very unique business model compared to a city contractor in that we try to do a little bit of everything and do not do the same thing over and over again.”

With the ability to offer several construction options, the work that Custom Builders undertakes offers a sheer variety that the local competition may find difficult to match.

“Every year is unique and there are some years where we don’t build homes but rather take on remodels and insurance jobs such as [fixing damage] from fires and floods or reroofing houses, siding or [installing] new windows, and this becomes our bread and butter,” Grub offers.

“Then there are years that we do almost all new homes and in the last couple of years we have done a lot more commercial work.”

Adding a commercial building focus to its construction portfolio represents working on some high-profile projects including the Brush Creek Ranch.

“[Brush Creek Ranch] represented about 60% of our business doing everything from greenhouses for them to working on their shooting ranges to remodeling commercial kitchens- all kinds of stuff.”

Grub is quick to point out that while providing other key services, they have plenty of room to build new homes.

“We have built a lot of homes. There is a lot of demand in our valley for new homes so over the last couple of years we have been more geared towards that.”

“I would say that in the last year, we have taken on probably 80% homes and only 20% has been smaller projects,” Grub calculates.

Building key relationships along the way

Grub is first to admit that it has been a bit of a rough ride over the last couple of years for some contractors as the construction sector has at times grappled with a few economic realities coming out of a global pandemic.

Inflationary concerns, supply chain logistics, delays, an ongoing labor shortage, especially in the skilled trades, as well as the escalating price of materials, have all come into focus and at times have offset the sheer demand for new home construction impacting some construction firms more than others.

As Grub highlights, only the companies with a proactive approach, a keen sense of where they are going and the key relationships with subcontractors, as well as their clients, have weathered the COVID storm. Custom Builders has managed to jungle all three strategies with success.

When it comes to Custom Builder’s subcontractors, loyalty is key. Custom Builders have been very good to their subcontractors, keeping them busy, paying them on time, and considering them to be colleagues as well as important assets for the company’s business goals.

“We have always used local help, and it is a small town and we often train our own.”

“We have one gentleman who is seventy years old and he began working for my grandfather when he was in high school and our employees have all been with us more than 10 years,” Grub elaborates.

“We have a great relationship with the local lumberyard, RP Lumber, and there is a hardware store in town called Shively Hardware that has taken care of all kinds of needs and they maintain a philosophy that aligns with ours. We also work with local banks such as Rawlins, as well as Sherwin Williams and Pella Windows who have been great to us too,” Grub details.

Clients are also highly valued by Custom Builders. Grub points out that the company maintains relationships with past clients even after the last shingle has been fastened on a property.

“It is all about the customer and this is why we have the idea of doing anything, any small project, any big project. We used to advertise the motto that ‘no job is too big or too small’ and because of the labor shortage, we can quit advertising even though it is still our philosophy because we were not able to take care of everybody.

“I do think that is still our philosophy because it all comes down to what the customer needs and we can accommodate them with the resources we have.”

The client interaction begins in the very early design phase of construction for Custom Builders.

“We talk by phone or email or in person and focus on the scope of the project. The timeline is a big piece for me because of the labor shortage and we will determine if our timeline fits their desired timing.”

“We do our design in-house. We can design almost anything that needs to be designed. Sometimes clients will bring in their designs or we agree to work off an architect’s plans. This forms phase two of our construction process,” Grub outlines.

Custom Builders can hammer out costs for each project which represents the third phase of their construction process and they do not charge for these upfront services, further illustrating the company’s commitment to keeping their clients happy.


Projects on the horizon

“One of the projects that we are working on right now is in the forefront of my mind,” Grub relays. “It is a 9000 square foot home with a 1000 square foot garage so it is a large home.

“It is very detailed with a lot of fancy trim work and it is one of those projects that is something that you do once or twice in your career, so it has been a really fun project that we have utilized reclaimed snow fences in the construction,” he adds. The capacity to source local products and create an enviable ‘rustic’ look is something that Grub is particularly proud of when describing the project.

Other projects the company is working on shed light on Custom Builder’s shift towards green building initiatives.

“We are very much an advocate of anything sustainable and a lot of it comes down to price point.

“I think that realistically the things that we can do that are most sustainable are using products that are long-lasting as in the type of siding or roofing that we use. I like high-efficiency homes and what it looks like is always different according to the customer.

Grub mentions the use of floor heat, spray foam for insulation, and other sustainable options that keep the overall costs down for the customer over the long term and are built into the house at the onset of construction.

“A lot of people like to put their money into finishes before they put it into stuff like that, so I would say we present that to people and try to give that to people as an option and whether they want to budget for it or spend the money on it varies from case to case,” Grub determines.

Constructing the future

Grub is quick to point out that the future of Custom Builders looks very similar to what it is currently doing. He has no big plans to expand to neighboring states or to take on too many projects. Rather, for Grub less is more; quality trumps quantity.

“I like where I live and I am happy here. There is a point where I am satisfied and would rather just try to grow locally than try to expand. I want to be home.”

“I think we would like to try to grow our employee base so we can serve a few more customers and take care of a few more people. I think that would be our goal.”

“We just want to continue to put out a high-quality product that is of great value,” he concludes.


Custom Builders

What: A leading construction and renovation company specializing in detailed design and the use of local products

Where: Saratoga, Wyoming



RNB State Bank –

RNB State Bank is an independent, community-centered financial institution operating in Southern Wyoming with branches in Saratoga, Rawlins and Hanna. Celebrating 125 years of service to our community, we offer modern financial products with first-rate customer support. We proudly provide personalized service for individuals, families and other small businesses.

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