A custom home builder ensures that clients get exactly what they want in their new home—inside and out.
You know that old saying—you never work a day in your life if you love what you do? That has been true for us since we started our company,” says an enthusiastic Lain Chappell, CEO of Shea Chappell Luxury Homes. He and his partner and wife, Barbara Chappell, president of the company, have been following their passion of creating the perfect home for their clients.
The philosophy cornerstone for the Chappells has been and continues to be building a rock-solid relationship with a client before building with sticks and bricks. “People find it surprising when we explain how clients actually become our friends,” says Barbara. “We’ve been privileged to watch families grow, live, and thrive in the homes we’ve helped create for them. The bonus is that we’ve gained so many wonderful friends through the home-building process.”
To that point, out of all the homes the Chappells have built, only two have been resold in the last 27 years. The company builds between six and eight homes a year. “We love building forever homes,” says Lain.
Both Colorado Springs natives, the Chappells began their construction career in 1995 and founded Solid Rock Custom Homes. More recently, they combined forces with another powerhouse couple in the industry, C.R. Shea Homes, to form Shea Chappell Custom Homes.
“About four years ago, Charlie and Nancy Shea decided it was time to step back a bit after building for the past 40 years,” says Lain. “It seemed very natural, especially having been in the same industry for so many years.”
The Sheas were highly active throughout their career with local and national homebuilder associations and won several Parade of Homes and MAME awards. Based on a solid career, reputation, and relationships proven over the years, the Sheas wanted to share their building experiences and business wisdom with the Solid Rock team. “We were honored that they chose us to continue their amazing legacy in Colorado Springs,” says Lain.
The Chappells bring their own unique skills to this new venture in the luxury home industry. For example, Lain is one of only five graduate master builders in the entire state of Colorado. “Smart consumers look for certifications in all types of industries when they need to hire a vendor, but sometimes they don’t do their due diligence on home builders,” he says. He suggests asking for referrals, making sure what you are promised fits within the real market. He also says to look for customer service awards and companies who are involved in their industry and give back to their community.
In addition to Lain’s graduate master builder designation, he also has a degree in finance and accounting. “It sounds strange, but it has been the best combination of knowledge when it comes to helping clients stay on budget,” he says.
Barbara’s superpower in this unique company is uncovering a client’s personality and figuring out how to let it shine through. Although not a degreed designer, she has that knack to incorporate grandma’s old rocker into a beautifully designed new home, which clients appreciate so much, according to Lain.
Luxury homes are an interesting animal, says Lain. “We’ve built secret passages into homes, a four-story home, and even a water slide where we increased the horsepower to push the sliders into the water faster.”
Barbara has her favorites as well. “Our very first Parade home ended up being a 17,000-square-foot home with hidden passageways, a two-story water feature, and a saltwater pool,” she says. “One of the most recent unique features we built was a wine train—a five-foot-deep cabinet that pulled out of the wet bar, but when you pushed it back into the wall, you couldn’t tell it was any different than the other cabinets.” The wine train portion of the unit could be viewed through a glass wall located on the adjacent wall.
“It’s those unique touches that really show off the client’s personality and lifestyle,” Barbara says. “The centerpiece of our personal home is a magnificent piece of granite we used for our kitchen island countertop, a unique touch that reflects my own artistic spirit.”
Natural beauty abounds in Shea Chappell homes from sustainable hardwoods to durable stone.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
The Chappells agree it takes a team to complete these beautiful homes. Lain says prices used to start at $800,000, but now, you are looking at a starting point of $1.2 million for most luxury home builders (that does not include the price of the land).
But it hasn’t been easy lately. “Custom builders are feeling the shortages just like every other industry,” says Lain. “Our team is so important because it doesn’t just include our designers, architects, and trades, it also includes our employees and clients. We believe one team is the key to creating our client’s dream home.”
Shea Chappell is ordering items earlier in their process to stay ahead of longer lead times for all types of products such as garage doors and windows, says Lain. “Staying ahead of inflation is where my expertise in finance comes in very handy,” he says. “It’s tough when you are budgeting for luxury homes and the basics—like lumber—go up by $60,000 in one quarter! We also surround ourselves with the best labor in the industry. Our trades are top-notch, helping us the entire way with creative thinking for material procurement.”
Another benefit clients receive is Shea Chappell’s membership in purchasing network CBUSA, a group that has grown (by invitation only) to more than 500 builders across the nation and is supported by vendors, distributors, and manufacturers on both local and national levels.
Shea Chappell believes in giving back to its community and its industry. It is part of a unique group called the Builder 20 Club, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders. The 20 Clubs comprise builders and remodelers from noncompeting markets who meet several times a year to share their business expertise, learning from each other how to improve operations and increase bottom lines.
Lain and Barbara are also proud of their Better Business Bureau’s Excellence in Customer Service and Ethics Award, Best of Houzz Customer Service Award, and Best Workplaces Award. In addition to industry work, Shea Chappell gives back to the community through the Colorado Springs Housing and Building Association Cares program, the United Way, Goodwill, Colorado Springs Conservatory, their church, and more.
“Communication is the key to a talented team and creating a one-of-a-kind home for a one-of-a-kind client,” says Lain. “We love building great homes for great people.”
Shea Chappell Custom Homes