B & H: Building on a Handshake 5

Over the past 20 years, Brad Faber and Hans Raaflaub of B & H General Contractors have built more than beautiful homes, commercial spaces and community buildings: they’ve also built a solid reputation.

“It all started with a handshake,” Brad says of the company’s recent lightning-fast build of FirstBank’s Glenwood Springs branch. Backed by a reputation for quality, B & H met with company representatives before ground was ever broken. “They said, ‘all you have to do is shake hands and we’ll get started tomorrow.’ And they did.”

Founded in 1994, B & H has constructed dozens of familiar buildings in the Roaring Fork Valley. From the Basalt and New Castle libraries to Alpine Bank’s Rifle South branch and the LEED Platinum-Certified Carbondale Recreation Center, they know something about creating solid, cost-effective, attractive structures. Brad and Hans have formed many lasting business relationships within the community. They credit decades of combined experience, value engineering and a can-do attitude for their success.

“We are both from the Midwest,” Brad notes. “We often say we grew up with a Midwestern work ethic.”

One of the company’s most visible projects to date is the Glenwood Springs FirstBank building, located on a busy stretch of Grand Avenue. Local commuters may remember watching the bank spring up during the summer of 2012. From the day crews broke ground to the moment Brad and Hans handed keys to the bank’s owner, less than six months passed.

“We just swarmed the place,” Hans recalls. “There was extensive pre-planning, because FirstBank needed the building delivered fast. The team of subcontractors we assembled – because it can’t just be us, we’re only the leaders – we needed all of these people to help participate in our vision, in our mission to get this thing done.”

Electricians, plumbers, masons, and other workers all came together under B & H’s direction to complete the job. The team also worked closely with local architect and longtime collaborator Michael Hassig of A4 Architects, who led design work on the project.

“Our relationship with Michael and A4 is great,” Hans says. “We all know our roles, and our strengths and weaknesses. A project can evolve without having to say a lot.”

Michael agreed that good communication made the FirstBank collaboration a smooth process.

“We know how to communicate,” he says. “I can’t give Brad and Hans high enough marks. Their work is thorough, timely, and of impeccable quality. When B & H is chosen for a job, I rest easier.”

With design details suited to its natural surroundings, the FirstBank building features a stone exterior, clean lines and abundant windows. The bank’s interior welcomes customers with natural tile, wooden accents, seating areas and a roomy floor plan. Offices enclosed in large panes of glass further accentuate the bank’s openness, helping it feel modern and polished but relaxed.

“I have many great things to say about Brad and Hans,” Adam Snyder, vice president of FirstBank says. “Their team really helped us and brought the project in on time and on budget.”

Brad and Hans agree that their success has much to do with meeting deadlines and budgets, but also with being the grease that keeps a project running; they are experts in the art of juggling the needs and wants of their clients with those of the professionals who collaborate to finish the job. With a knowing smile, Hans laughed, “We’ve seen a lot.”

After 20-plus years in the business, Brad and Hans look forward to applying their well-earned knowledge to future endeavors in the community.