Entrepreneurship runs in the Will family.
Kurt Will, who owns Will Construction, grew up watching, working for and learning about business from his father, the owner of a car dealership. Before his father bought the dealership, he climbed the corporate ladder and worked for others, which took the Will family all over the country. “I graduated from high school west of Philadelphia. But Colorado was always home, and as soon as I graduated, I moved to Fort Collins for school at CSU,” said Kurt, whose parents were from Fort Collins. “We had traveled through Durango years earlier as a family, and I fell in love with it. As soon as I had the opportunity to move here after CSU, I did.”
An interest that began as a child continued when Kurt was a teenager. He took a summer job to learn the trade that would blossom into Will Construction. “I always enjoyed working with my hands and building things as a kid,” said Kurt. “One summer I decided it would be fun to learn to frame houses so I took a job on a framing crew. I really enjoyed the work and the building process. When I finally got the opportunity to go out on my own, I started as a framing contractor.”
Kurt quickly grew his client base after forming Will Construction in 1992, realizing his childhood dream. He also met his wife, Terri, in the area, who is from a long line of Bayfield locals and owns an insurance brokerage in Bayfield. Now, with four full-time employees and an average of six subcontractors, he builds custom homes, remodels existing homes and constructs additions in Durango and Bayfield.
Most of the subcontractors have worked with the company since the beginning, and most of the employees are primarily carpenters. Excelling in woodwork often results in craftsman-style homes with large wood posts and beams in and outside of the home, but the company focuses on building homes that are designed specifically for each individual client. “Most of my clients are proud to have built a house that is truly customized,” shared Kurt. “It is designed for them and their needs. It could be in many different price ranges, but in any case it is different from everyone else’s house. They are impressed with how well everyone works together to complete so many different processes that make up a new home.”
With his framing background and carpenter training, Kurt particularly enjoys framing and trimming a house in the building process. “It’s what makes the house take shape,” said Kurt. “The design and details are what makes each home we build unique.”
Kurt has also passed down an entrepreneurial spirit, continuing a family tradition. Two of his four children are business owners, with a chiropractic office in Bayfield and a Crossfit Gym in Sante Fe, and Kurt believes his other two may end up with their own businesses as well. “They got some business background from me,” shared Kurt. “All four have noticed how much I enjoy working for myself. I think what appeals to me most about owning my own business is the freedom it gives me. The more I put into it, the more I get out of it.”
Originally published in the February 2015 issue of Durango Neighbors Magazine.