There is Character and then There is “Character”

What do we mean?

Simply know what you are paying for. To us character is the look, feel, and style of a home. Whether or not you use Elk Ridge floor plans or your own design (which we can crate for you), the home will represent you.

Why go with Elk Ridge for your new home?

Because none of our homes come with the other kind of “character”…the stuff you could live without.


We have all heard horror stories when it comes to home buying, and so we searched the web and found some of the best (or worst depending on your point of view).


  1. When Dawn Turner’s son purchased a foreclosed home in rural Tennessee, he thought he was getting a steal. But after three years of living in the home, he and his family found out from neighbors the home was considered “unfit for human inhabitation” by local health authorities because the former owner produced methamphetamines in the home. From there, the new homeowners were financially responsible for bringing their home up to code.
  2. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that home sellers do not have to disclose if the home was the site of a murder, suicide, or satanic ritual. The ruling came after a homeowner filed suit because her home was the site of a murder/suicide.
  3. Although a home inspector passed Justin and Kate Treher’s home, he missed some problems. For instance, the previous homeowner supposedly installed and tested the sump pump in the basement, and it failed shortly after move in, flooding the basement. Then the lovely sunroom was filled with termites, costing the couple $2,000 in repairs. After the termites were eradicated, they discovered the sunroom was entirely covered in mold — there was no caulking around the windows to keep the moisture out.
  4. When Gregory Leeson listed his Dunmore, PA home for sale, he wanted to be honest. His home was “slightly haunted.” Nothing crazy, just the usual: footsteps, knocking, and screams. His listing went viral, and ghost hunters from around the world were knocking on his door. Turns out, he didn’t have to be so honest. Pennsylvania law only dictates that home sellers have to list any “material defects that would have a significant adverse impact on the value of the property or an unreasonable risk to the people living in the home.” And since proving you have a ghost is pretty much impossible, it’s not required. But your state might be different, so make sure to check with a real estate agent if your home gives you the heebie jeebies.
  5. A man who lost his home to foreclosure, and made certain the bank would remember his name. With nothing left to lose, the Texas resident poured concrete down all the drains, yanked the porch from the house with his truck, and left holes in each of the walls–sometimes multiple holes in one wall, as a final farewell. The former tenant did such a number on the place that the city government had to demolish the entire structure.
  6. A lettings agent in Holland Park arrived at a property with a prospective tenant to find the front door hanging on its hinges. Inside, the flat was a shambles, but the agent continued with the viewing and merely pulled the door shut when he left. It wasn’t until the owner returned home that evening that she discovered she had been burgled.
  7. An estate agent showed prospective buyers around an £800,000 house in Notting Hill, London, without realizing that the 55-year-old owner he presumed was asleep on the sofa had actually died. The agent admitted to a coroner’s court that he had thought “something didn’t seem right” but continued with the viewing nevertheless.
  8. Elizabeth Kearney, a business consultant and author, was a real estate agent years ago. She says she was pleased to get a lead for a listing in an expensive part of Los Angeles. She jotted down legal details, including the owner’s name, and visited the house. She was met at the door by the man who lived there. Kearney and the man toured the property together and talked about the listing’s details. Kearney handed paperwork to the man to sign. “Oh, I can’t sign this,” she says the man told her. “You have my name wrong.” After some back and forth, Kearney realized that she wasn’t meeting with the owner; she was speaking with the tenant. He was renting the house. The owner didn’t know about the tenant’s overtures to Kearney, and didn’t want to sell.
  9. The Thompsons bought a house that was for sale by the owner. The house was on a septic system, but the Thompsons took the seller’s word that the system had never given him any problems. Six months after closing the drain field started to puddle and overflow into the yard. The Thompsons called a septic company to drain and pump the entire system. Another six months down the road the system overflowed again, but this time into the neighbor’s yard. At this point the Thompsons had a smelly, overflowing septic problem as well as angry neighbors. Unsure what to do, Mr. Thompson talked to a friend who suggested he contact the county to get a copy of the original septic permit in order to make sure the seller had installed the proper system. Here begins the real horror. The seller did have a septic permit, but it was for a three-bedroom home. The Thompsons had purchased a five-bedroom, three and a half bath home. The existing septic system could never have supported a house that size. Mr. Thompson had the septic company come back out to the house to find a solution for the problem. To his surprise, the company said nothing could be done. The soil wouldn’t perk, there wasn’t enough room to install additional drain fields, and even if there were the soil could never support a house that size. If the Thompsons notify DHEC, they’ll probably be forced to move out of the house. Upon further investigation, the Thompsons discovered that the septic system had never performed properly, a fact the seller intentionally hid from them, which is a huge violation of the disclosure law.
  10. An older couple, we’ll call them John and Mary Jones, purchased a house in the Southeastern area. They didn’t know nor were they advised by their agent to have a home inspection, even though the house they were buying was over 30 years old. The couple did not even know they had the right to a final walk-through inspection. Apparently, their agent had better things to do than to help these clients. After they closed on the house and moved in, Mary was emptying the water in the kitchen sink one day and it started backing up. The next day, the washing machine overflowed. John took a look under the house and found several leaks, so the Jones’s called a plumber. The plumber came out, and as he was tapping on a drain, the entire bathroom floor fell in. Later, the dryer door was not closing properly so the couple called a local repair company. The person they spoke to told them that they had been to the house before and had told the previous owner that parts were no longer made for that particular dryer. The big problem started when the air conditioning wouldn’t work properly. The service person discovered that there wasn’t a filter in the unit, which caused it to malfunction. The repairman decided to go into the attic to investigate further and discovered thousands of bats that were covering the eves, preventing proper ventilation in the attic. But here’s the nasty part: five 55-gallon containers of bat guano – yes, that’s what you think it is – had to be removed from the attic. The guano had penetrated the insulation and wood in the attic and as a result, Mary developed a rare disease associated with being exposed to bat guano, which destroyed her peripheral vision. The Jones’s sued everyone involved, but some sharp defense lawyers caused them to have to settle for much less than the actual damages. The couple ended up moving out of the house – still making the payments – and living in a house donated by their church.
  11. Henry and Marcia had an unfortunate experience the first time they bought a house. Not only were Henry and Marcia inexperienced, their agent was too. The couple was excited about their first house and closed on the morning of December 12th. As soon as the final papers were signed, Henry and Marcia took some friends over to see the house and discovered disaster. The sellers’ relatives, who were doing the moving, had stripped the entire house of anything they could unscrew or pry off including light bulbs, electrical fixtures (even the plastic covers on the wall switches), curtain rod fixtures, cabinet knobs and all the drawers in the garage work bench. In addition, the seller had siphoned all of the oil out of the fuel tank after the gauge had been read for the closing adjustment. The sellers had replaced the new appliances with older models that didn’t work. The carpet had several large holes in it and the area underneath the sellers’ couch had been completely cut out. Several areas of carpet in the bedrooms had large bleach spots. Many of the windows had broken seals and would need to be replaced.
  12. This horror story comes right out of Lexington, South Carolina. The Turners purchased a home in a very nice subdivision on a heavily wooded lot. The family did not like trees but the house was beautiful and perfect for their needs. About 45 days after closing and moving into the house, the Turners decided to cut down all the trees and landscape and sod the yard. They called in a tree company within a few hours 43 trees had been cut and removed from the yard. Late that afternoon the developer was in the neighborhood checking on a new construction project. When he saw what the Turners had done he was livid. He stopped and informed the Turners in no uncertain terms that the subdivision restrictions prohibited the cutting of any trees unless they were diseased or dead or were a threat to a house. The restrictions further stated that if the homeowner cut down any trees unnecessarily the owner would replace them with trees of similar size. I don’t know if you have checked on the price of mature trees and the planting of them but it is very expensive. The Turners had to spend over 45 thousand dollars to replace what they hated.


Links to where we found these stories:


What’s the moral of the story?

If you want zero surprises, and you want your home buying and/or building experience to be the best, then you have to work with the bestElk Ridge Custom Homes.

People Are Moving Here and It’s Not Stopping


According to one census…

“Clark County has been like a release valve for the Portland metropolitan area.”


In the Southwest corner of Washington State sits Clark County, and in it there are the cities of Vancouver, Camas, and Washougal (just to name a few).

Why did we just name these three towns/cities?


They sit right on the bank of the Columbia River.

And directly across the Columbia River is the city of Portland, Oregon.

Some say that Vancouver is a suburb of Portland, even though they are two different states.

True or not…

They are completely different worlds.


Let’s take the town of Washougal, Washington for example…

There is no other town like it on the Oregon side of the river. People live in Washougal because they have fallen in love with the quaint picturesque town where time has slowed down, but still want to be in the hustle and bustle of a major city (Portland) within a few minutes.


Washougal is also (purposely) where Elk Ridge Custom Homes builds a lot of homes.

Why is that?

Because that is where people want to live. The founder of Elk Ridge lives there too.


But let’s hit you in the pocketbook…

It is cheaper all around to live in Clark County than in the Portland metro-area.

Houses and land are less expensive in Clark County than in the Portland metro-area.

Elk Ridge Custom Homes builds higher quality for a lower cost compared to EVERY other company in the area.


So why not reach for the stars and get what you truly want?

A custom built home that you want and designed, in an area that is so beautiful that you’ll never want to leave, and all for a lower cost than buying a house that’s been previously owned.

Make your dreams happen through Elk Ridge Custom Homes.

Call us today…




Fact…Tornado Did NOT Damage Elk Ridge Properties


An F1 tornado hit our area a few weeks back, and as an area that rarely sees any sort of tornado activity; that is major news and is…well…frightening.

It was big enough to have a category ranking.

We know…

The Midwest probably eats F1’s for breakfast because they have tornados big enough to destroy entire towns.


All joking aside…

No Elk Ridge homes were damaged.


Two reasons…

1. We use quality materials, products, procedures, and techniques; all guaranteed to give your home a very long life. We don’t skimp on anything. Our roofs, for example, will outlast other home’s roofs because we have seen Mother Nature in action, and so we prepare for the worst when we build so that you can have peace of mind and safety during a storm.

2. There wasn’t a lot of Elk Ridge built homes in the area, but even if there was; we would still have the same story. We don’t believe in shortcuts because it can kill someone later. We may joke among each other, but we never joke when it comes to safety and quality.


Zero damage to any of our homes from the tornado, other high winds, and storms. That is a number that we are proud of.


Elk Ridge Custom Homes invests in your family’s future.

You should too…

Call us today…

1-855-225-4636 (toll free)


Unwrapping Your New Home Christmas Morning


Name another builder that works day and night to get you your house for Christmas?

We are talking on the job and in full swing at 5:00 AM Christmas Eve to make sure that it was ready for the new owners to take possession and make their Christmas wish come true.

No one else would have done it.


Elk Ridge Custom Homes isn’t the average company. We do everything humanly possible to do the right thing.

Being able to deliver this house for Christmas was the right thing, and we accomplished that.


To the new owners…

Merry Christmas and welcome home!


Here are some shots of what we finished up today…

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Elk Ridge Custom Homes


Happy Holidays from Elk Ridge Custom Homes


Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s make up what we call the Holiday Season, but the truth is that there are reasons to celebrate throughout the entire year; and as the year comes to an end, we would like each of you to take a moment to reflect on what “celebrations” you had.

At Elk Ridge there is a lot to be thankful for

  • We have our Elk Ridge family, and we have our families that we go home to each night.
  • We have built some beautiful homes for a lot of great people that let us be a part of their lives.
  • We have built and remodeled numerous buildings and properties that have impacted the lives of hundreds of people around the area.
  • Our business has grown.
  • Our business has changed.
  • Our reach and ties to the community have strengthened, allowing us to make new friends and connections that better helped our neighbors in need.
  • We have become the liaisons for thousands looking to move to our neck of the woods from all over the country. Some have moved and now live in an Elk Ridge custom built home, some are here and waiting for their Elk Ridge home to be finished, some have moved and live in a different house or apartment (not recommended by our personal and biased experts), some never moved at all; but all of them came to Elk Ridge first looking for information.


Why come to us first?

Because people know us (even if they never met us face-to-face) and they trust us.

We started as a family business, and we still are a family business. That will never change.


Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives.

From our family to yours…

Merry Christmas from Elk Ridge Custom Homes!!!!



Rain Rain Keep People Away


It’s true that it rains in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), but is it as much as the stereotypes have made it out to be?

The Western most parts of Washington and Oregon are absolutely beautiful with their green landscapes, and that is because it does rain, and so at least part of the stereotype must be true.


But is all of it true? Does it rain all of the time?

Would it surprise you if we said no?


Elk Ridge Custom Homes put it to the test…


Do you remember that old song…”The Ballad of Davy Crockett”?

The song starts off…

“Born on a mountain in Tennessee

Greenest state in the land of the free…”


Greenest state?????

If it’s green then it must rain.

Tennessee is beautiful no doubt, but is the scenery more beautifully green than the PNW?



Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we’re not even getting into that fight.

So let’s look at average rainfall instead to see how our area, which is the Portland-Vancouver metro area, ranks in a list of ten US cities that get a fair amount of rain every year.


New Orleans, LA – 62.7 inches of rain yearly

Miami, FL – 61.9 inches of rain yearly

Memphis, TN – 53.7 inches of rain yearly

Birmingham, AL – 53.7 inches of rain yearly

Orlando, FL – 50.7 inches of rain yearly

Houston, TX – 49.8 inches of rain yearly

Providence, RI – 47.2 inches of rain yearly

Tampa, FL – 46.3 inches of rain yearly

Raleigh, NC – 46.0 inches of rain yearly

Portland, OR – 43.5 inches of rain yearly


What do you know?

Tennessee might be greener than Washington and Oregon based solely off of rainfall.


So yes it does rain here, but no it’s not what the stereotypes try and make it out to be.


So in conclusion…

Raining every day is false, and that rumor was probably made up by some anti-tourist group trying to keep the beauty to themselves.



When it does rain, our custom built homes will keep you dry.


Elk Ridge Custom Homes

Getting More House for Less Cash…Why the Pacific Northwest Makes Sense

It is absolutely true that the Pacific Northwest (PNW) has something for everyone; deserts, mountains, rivers, the ocean, and four different seasons.

Question is…

Where do you want to live?

Small town? Big city? On a farm? On a mountain? On the ocean?

Wherever it is that you want to live, the PNW has a location to fit your needs, and Elk Ridge Custom Homes can put you in your dream home.


But let’s scale the PNW down to a smaller area…

The Portland-Vancouver metro area…

People move here every day, but why do they move here?

Well it’s not to become hipsters (that happens on its own).


They move here for the beauty of the green scenery. They move here for the friendly smiles. They move here for the food, fresh produce, beer, wine, and coffee. They move here because it is affordable.

People move here because they want to…plain and simple.



Think about everything that we said. Do you want it? It’s yours for the taking.

Imagine having options to do the things that you want to do in an area that you want to live in.


Have you thought about a house?

Here at Elk Ridge Custom Homes, we have helped people just like you customize and build the homes of their dreams; homes looking out over the water, the city skyline, a vineyard, or their own backyard.

People are surprised (in a good way) on what they can get for their money when they move here, and Elk Ridge homes are no different.


Think about it…

A 3,000 sq. ft. custom built house for the cost of a studio apartment in San Francisco, or a one-bedroom apartment in New York City.

The numbers don’t lie. Check out the housing costs from four cities (two West Coast and two East Coast) compared to the Portland-Vancouver metro area.


Housing costs only

Los Angeles, CA = 143% more expensive

San Francisco, CA = 347% more expensive

New York, NY = 138% more expensive

Boston, MA = 108% more expensive



Welcome to the PNW, and now that you are here living in the perfect location, in your perfect house; what do you do with all of the extra money that you saved buying an Elk Ridge custom built home? Perhaps buy a flannel shirt and a cup of java (our attempt at a hipster joke).


Elk Ridge Custom Homes


Only One House and That’s Your House


There are a lot of companies that build a lot of homes every year; 200-400 new homes a year should be a lot compared to anyone’s standard, and we’re not insulting these companies because there is an obvious need.

Like those golden arches…“99 Billion served”.


We however, take a different approach.

We are not in it for quantity. There is no race to see who can build the most houses. If there was, we wouldn’t even complete.


We could compete…

We don’t care to.

The only competition that we have is with ourselves. How do we improve the standard? How do we do more with less so that the customer wins?


As stated before…

The homes that we build, are homes that we like and would live in ourselves.

That’s the truth.

And honestly we cannot live in every house that we build because we physically can’t, and people have called us out on that.


For example

There is this residential area in Washougal where we are currently building six homes. The houses are all single-story and a nice size for pretty much anybody.

This guy points out one of the houses and asks, “Are you telling me that you would really sell your house and move into this house here?”

The answer was, “No, but that’s because I like my house and I put a lot of custom work into it, and I don’t feel like starting the process all over again.”

The guy snickered, but he was cut off…

“However, I’m trying to get daughter and my son-in-law to buy this home. It’s a great home, in a great area, and the value will just increase. So no I won’t live in this home, but I feel comfortable having my children and grandchildren live here.”

The guy walked off speechless.


We’re not trying to build 400 houses this year…

We’re building your home.

Elk Ridge Custom Homes has a moral standard to be the best, because you’re the best and you deserve a home perfect for your needs and built for your wants.


Call Elk Ridge today…



A Writer on a Journey with Elk Ridge Custom Homes


As a person that works with a lot of different businesses, people, and personalities; there is somewhat of commonality amongst these groups. So much, that one can “predict” the outcome of an event.

I’m not a psychic, nor can I actually predict anything; I am however, able to understand people and why they do what they do. This skill is very beneficial to my profession.

So when I say that spending the day with Elk Ridge Custom Homes was eye opening; please don’t take that lightly, because some of the things that I saw were shocking.

Shocking in a good way, because the attention to detail was some of the best that I have ever seen.


I cannot claim to be a builder of any sort, and anyone who knows me can vouch for that, but I am a consumer who knows what he likes.


If I ever get the opportunity in life to build a home; Elk Ridge is the only company that I would call.


Because of the details.

On some of the homes that I got to go to on my adventure, I saw a specific type of siding that needed to be gapped to allow for movement and prolong the life of the product (and the house). At first, it seemed like a small detail for us to be inspecting, but as I was taught the “why”, then it became clear to me that they were looking at the big picture. Why build something that wasn’t going to last?

But what really blew my mind was that Elk Ridge was willing to rip the siding off of the walls and start over if it didn’t meet their quality check. Thousands of dollars that they would have to eat, just to make sure that it was done right.


There are no shortcuts with Elk Ridge.

That was just the siding. Everything they use is quality.


Roofs for example

Some builders go with a 20 year limited warranty roof. Some go with a 50 year. Not Elk Ridge…they go with a lifetime limited warranty roof.


Because they put their name on the house, and if Elk Ridge puts their name on anything, it can be sure to outlast you and me.


There is however, more than quality product…

There are quality people.


On one of the jobsites that we visited, there was this red mud everywhere, and I mean everywhere. It was a mess. The team that I was with was not having it; they were pissed, because the mud was all over the building site (of course), but it was also over the sidewalk and the road.

The boss got to the heart of the issue quickly, because his company’s name was on this build, and the mess was uncalled for and ridiculous. The mud all over the sidewalk and street was caused by a delivery driver who was delivering materials and had gotten stuck.

I saw Elk Ridge flex their muscles. They had the delivery company on the phone, and had them coming out to clean up their mess. Even though it is construction site, that attention to detail, even when it comes to cleanliness, is untouchable.

On my own, I talked to a few of the neighbors around the build site. To my surprise, there were no complaints. Which surprised me, and so I dug a little deeper. The truth was that there was noise and inconveniences that come with any build, but Elk Ridge was so professional in everything, that the neighbors couldn’t complain. They were so used to, and expected, lower quality builders, that they couldn’t find anything negative to say simply because of comparison.

Remember I talked about the red mud?

It was all over my shoes. It was also all over the builder’s boots.

I took some photos of two of the workers, Smokey and Chris, as they were building a deck on the back of one of the houses.


I want you to pay attention to Smokey’s feet…

His worn, but clean, white tennis shoes.


How did he keep them clean in all of that red mud?


He would change his shoes and boots Mr. Roger’s style whenever he went between stepping into the home (including the deck) and onto the muddy ground.

This was a step that added a minute (he was really quick), but it was so impressive to see. The care and quality never swayed on the Elk Ridge site.


What about business partners and working with other contractors?

A handshake…literally a handshake (I’m sure that there was more to it).


For example…

Clayton and his crew fromMy Concrete Guy, LLC.” were top notch. They are true professionals. They were able to explain where they were in the project, and what was happening going forward.

Honestly…true professionals.


I knew right away why Elk Ridge had been partnering with them to do the concrete work on the project.

With a handshake, the two companies partnered up for additional work.

It didn’t hurt my feelings that Clayton offered up some of his pizza; although I didn’t take any, it was a really nice gesture that said a lot about the man. I would have eaten a piece or six, but it was his and his crew’s lunch, and all I was doing was standing around asking questions.

My Concrete Guy, LLC.” is a great company that I had the privilege of meeting and learning a little bit about. I wouldn’t hesitate to give them all of my concrete business (if I had any).


In conclusion…

I saw a lot, and I learned a lot. I was able to see different Elk Ridge homes in different levels of completion all over the area. I saw build sites in residential areas, scenic hill tops, in the country, and in town.


There is a quality that amazed me. Every aspect of the build held a standard that I didn’t know existed in any one company.

There was no quality-vs-quantity…

There was only quality.


I know that they talk about it, but to actually see, firsthand, a company willing to lose money to make it right was that jaw dropping moment for me. Elk Ridge is everything that they claim to be.

Am I biased?

It’s hard not to be after I seen the best, but truthfully, I’m a writer who has nothing to gain or lose by writing this piece. I’m not in the market for a custom built home, nor am I looking to buy an Elk Ridge home at this time. I’m simply sharing my journey with Elk Ridge Custom Homes with you…take it or leave it.