This is the first post in a series we are calling the “Best of 2014”. Over the past year, Old World Stoneworks has worked with some great people and we wanted to show our appreciation. With that being said, we chose the best Architects, Designers, and Builders we’ve worked with in 2014. The following interviews will showcase some of the people we’ve worked with and how they contribute to building such beautiful homes and buildings.
This marks our first edition and we interviewed Taylor Stark, the Vice President at The Stark Companies, a family owned and operated residential design + build firm specializing in remodeling and new construction, primarily in the Park Cities.
How did you get into construction and remodeling?
My father started in 1976 and grew into a large firm focusing on client remodels, new construction, and speculative projects. He had as many as 60 projects per year and has completed over 1,500 in the Dallas area.
I grew up cleaning job sites but worked in commercial real estate brokerage out of college. I began working with my father in 2009, deciding to focus on a boutique building and remodeling business.
Do you work on commercial or residential projects?
I almost exclusively work on residential projects. I have done three commercial projects since 2009.
What would you consider to be your best work of 2014?
In 2013, we designed, built and sold a spec home. During construction, I befriended the next-door neighbor. We purchased her home and built a spec house there for the 2014 market. I enjoyed refining and critiquing that job compared to the house next door; making sure it had the details we incorporate in our work but was not too similar to what I had just completed.
The end product was more than just a single home in 2014, but a vast improvement to the neighborhood. Each house has exterior design elements that differentiate The Stark Companies from the market and inside had different finishes, both very different versions of traditional. I’m confident both will age well as trends continue to morph.
It’s always very fulfilling to put so much effort into the construction and completion of a home and have it be purchased by a great family. My industry has very tangible results and I appreciate them every day.
How involved are you with the architects?
The Stark Companies is primarily a design + build firm. We have a very collaborative design process with in-house architects, often refining and tweaking the smallest nuances that help separate something from being good and great.
I am always looking for ways to improve on our previous work while catering to market trends on surfaces, finishes, and design.
Have you noticed any sort of trends? What are your clients asking for?
Keep it clean and simple. More light, less formal. Fewer new construction homes have living rooms. More combined indoor/outdoor space. Soft contemporary is becoming more mainstream, while incorporating traditional elements. Three adjectives that continue to be popular in homes are ‘white, light and bright’.
What’s your inspiration?
I am most inspired by the great homes of the 1920s and 1930s that are throughout many areas of Dallas. Their architectural details, proportions and quality make them timeless. My goal with each project is to create a product people will describe that same way.
What do you look for in a client?
I look for someone who is committed to a close working relationship, one where we share a mutual level of trust and respect. An open line of communication throughout the process is very important. Managing expectations needs to be maintained throughout the entire project. It is very important for a client to understand that balance.
Forbes ranks DFW as the 4th fastest growing city in the nation. Does this have in impact on your business or the type of work you’re doing?
There has been a lot of pent up demand for new construction or newly remodeled homes in the Park Cities. The price of dirt is at a historical high, so there has been more new construction. I’ve always strived to have a balance between speculative ventures and client work. This blend helps me perpetuate The Stark Companies through homes we’ve designed, built and sold and happy clients who refer us to their friends.