Five Under 40 Award: Builders Shawn Lowe & Wes Fisbeck
The 2014 and 2015 Five Under 40 Design Awards were so overwhelmingly positive that it looks like the tradition is here to stay. This year, the mass and magnitude of talent that arrived in Colorado Homes & Lifestyles’ inbox was both exciting and inspiring.
We called on the 2015 Five Under 40 award winners to help us with the difficult task of selecting five of the finest from a pack of worthy contenders.
Here we get to know two of the award recipients, builders Shawn Lowe & Wes Fisbeck—co-owners, Pinnacle Properties of Colorado, Denver—and see some examples of their work.
Portrait photo by Jennifer Olson
Shawn Lowe & Wes Fisbeck
Co-owners, Pinnacle Properties of Colorado, Denver
Photo by Ben Eyster
Mr. Outside and Mr. Inside—that’s the team of Shawn Lowe and Wes Fisbeck. Lowe, an Illinois native with degrees in engineering and construction management, is in the field all day, overseeing the construction of new single-family builds or remodels in the Denver area. Fisbeck, who grew up in Loveland and has a degree in business management, is the office guy, doing estimates, permitting, ordering materials and accounting. The two, whose parents also worked in construction, met on the job in Las Vegas and founded Pinnacle in 2007.
Their motto: “We don’t build houses. We build new homes with old souls.” They pride themselves on “self-performing” as much of their work as possible, using a team of their own longtime employees rather than subcontracting out. “One thing that makes them unique is that their team has a multi skill set,” says Kathy Jones, AIA, president of the architectural design firm ArchStyle Inc. “If someone is framing your house, they will be much more particular about how they do it if they are also going to do the interior trim. And ultimately the results will be better. Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about them. If they could do every job for me, I’d be happy.”
Photo by Ben Eyster
THE ART OF CAMOUFLAGE:
Wes: We always try to build homes that fit in well with the neighborhood, that don’t stand out.
Shawn: We do that by using the same materials on the outside as were used 100 years ago. Our houses are all brick, all stone. They look like historic homes, but they were only finished yesterday. We’re actually working on a house right now where the appraiser is having a hard time with the appraisal because he didn’t realize it was a brand-new home.
WHAT MAKES THEM GOOD AT THEIR JOBS:
Wes: It’s mainly my attention to detail. Whether it’s estimating, budgeting or accounting, I always try to put together a good proposal that is easy for people to understand and makes it clear what we’re including and not including. The more detail in the proposal, the better.
Shawn: For me, it’s that any job on a house I am managing is something I specifically know how to do myself. So I can break things down and know if someone working for me knows how to do his job or not.
Wes: What is a lot of fun for me is trying to figure out everything we need for a job six months before it’s actually built and then watching how the project starts to come to life, how some things I thought of early on turn out.
Shawn: Building houses is not rocket science, so for me, the more complicated and the more detail, the better—like one continuous curving banister on a stairway from the top floor all the way down. We did a house in Belmar recently that includes a lot of details you can’t buy off the shelf; almost everything is custom made. That’s what I like.
SEE THE OTHER 2016 FIVE UNDER 40 AWARD WINNERS