Lifestyle

For Island remodeler, a steady climb to the top; Davis makes list of fastest-growing

Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Peter Davis, owner of Peter Davis Builders, shows a single-family home construction in progress in Mercer Island’s First Hill neighborhood, one of several projects the Island contractor currently has underway. Davis’ business was recently named as one of the fastest-growing private companies by the Puget Sound Business Journal. -
Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Peter Davis, owner of Peter Davis Builders, shows a single-family home construction in progress in Mercer Island’s First Hill neighborhood, one of several projects the Island contractor currently has underway. Davis’ business was recently named as one of the fastest-growing private companies by the Puget Sound Business Journal.
— image credit:

Peter Davis knows the right way to build a house. From small remodels to large developments, he has some 200 construction projects around the Seattle area to prove it. And now that he has landed on the list of the Puget Sound region’s top 100 fastest-growing private companies, he has proven that he knows how to build a business, too.

Last month, Davis’ Mercer Island-based construction business, Peter Davis Builders, landed the number 99 spot of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s annual list, reporting the required yearly revenue of $200,000 or more over the last three years.

Davis said that the key to building a business well is “not growth just for growth’s sake.”

“You have to grow the right way,” he said.

For the past 25 years that he has been operating Peter Davis Builders, he has made progress little by little, keeping a low profile, letting word of mouth do its job of spreading a good reputation.

In the 12 years he has been in business on Mercer Island, the 55-year-old Island resident, whose grandparents first moved here from Spokane, Wash. in the 1920s, has been quietly responsible for a share of the Island’s growth as well.

Davis’ focus is on home remodels and new home construction. At any given moment, he has four or five projects underway on Mercer Island, which makes up about 60 percent of his business. Many of his clients are families who move to the Island for the good schools and safe community. They buy run-down properties and come to him wanting to make them more modern, more sophisticated.

Acknowledging the controversial nature of the Island’s recent development, Davis talks about its growth much in the same way he does his business - it’s a good thing, as long as it’s done right.

“If projects are well executed, taking into account the neighborhood and the community in terms of scale - that it’s not overbearing - then it’s OK,” he said.

When planning a remodel, Davis regards the home as a strong reflection of its owner. “We like to help them achieve their own voice,” he said. He keeps up with trends and offers suggestions when needed, but he recognizes that one of the biggest trends in home design is to be unique. He also notices that glitz is out. Green, on the other hand, is in.

Homeowners want to respect their home’s sense of history while modernizing its space. They want to make use of salvaged or recycled materials while supporting local producers. This Davis sees as a positive reflection of Islanders in general.

Davis simultaneously moved his family and business from Seattle to Mercer Island 12 years ago. He completed a philosophy major at Colorado College and took up work as a carpenter after graduating. Following a brief stint teaching at the Busch School in Seattle, he decided to focus full time on construction. Having been brought up in Bellevue by a father trained in architecture and a mother who photographed for Sunset Magazine, hands-on, domestic projects were natural.

Despite his soft-spoken demeanor, Davis’ own Mercer Island home reflects an owner who loves company and is passionate about the arts. Performances for groups of up to 50 friends and family are not uncommon in the Davis household. He has hosted an opera performance; a concert by his brother-in-law, who is a professional cellist; a belly dancing troupe from Bellingham and a reputed Hungarian pianist who needed a venue.

“It’s so fun to do these things on such an intimate scale,” Davis said. “That’s the fun about any home and what it can represent.”

To continue to grow his company, Davis is thinking about scaling down. He can’t seem to keep up with the smaller projects, such as deck replacements and bathroom upgrades, that his clients would like to hire him for. The answer might be a “lighter division.”

“We want to be able to handle these things. We just can’t,” Davis said.

Maybe next year he will again make the list, and maybe improve to number 98th of the fastest-growing or better. If that happens, Davis thinks it’s a nice thing to be recognized for - but only if he has done it right.

OTHER ISLAND CONTRACTORS

Beckes Homes

Custom new construction and remodels

236-0371

www.beckeshomes.com

Bledsoe Construction

General contractor

4355 92nd Ave. S.E.

232-1689

Booth Construction

Design, build and remodel

232-0868

www.boothdesignbuild.com

Jason Whistler Custom Carpentry & Construction

Contractor, carpentry and remodeling

604-1883

jwhistlercc@comcast.net

King Construction

Custom homes and remodels

2240 72nd Ave S.E.

275-0904

www.mkingconstruction.com

March-MacDonald

Custom homes, residential remodels and commercial tenant improvements

9725 S.E. 36th St. #110

232-8464

www.march-macdonald.com

NW Deck Construction

Kitchens, baths and

additions

4114 83rd Ave. S.E.

232-0132

Redman/C.J. Design & Construction Company

Remodeling and custom building

7525 S.E. 24th St. #300

232-3022

www.redmancj.com

Richard A. Bersos Construction

Finish carpentry, remodeling and consulting

7820 S.E. 24th St.

232-8632

RJ Smulski Homes

Custom homes and remodels

2856 80th Ave. S.E.

236-7544

www.rjsmulskihomes.com

RKK Construction

Custom homes and remodels

3056 70th Ave. S.E.

236-2920

www.rkkconstruction.com

R L Walker Construction

3019 61st Ave. S.E.

236-2633

SJ Construction

PO Box 600

232-9825

Smersh Construction

Custom homes and remodels

PO Box 1246

236-2020

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