Bend Craftsmen Company Pays Attention to Every Detail to Meet the Owner’s Vision

(Hank Hill of Bend Craftsmen Company and Lester Simonson of LCS Carpentry and Construction have worked together on several projects, including the Deschutes River Woods project | Photo by Kristine Thomas)

The kitchen is nowhere near complete in the house Hank Hill is remodeling in Bend’s Deschutes River Woods neighborhood. The house is projected to be done by November, in time for the owners to celebrate Thanksgiving. 

Hill stood by where the stove will be to make certain one detail is firmly in place. “The owner is a gourmet chef and requested that when he is cooking that he will be able to look out the window and see the mountains,” Hill said. 

This is just one example of how Hill goes above and beyond to craft a house that meets the owners’ vision. 

In 2012, Hill founded Bend Craftsmen Company LLC, a full-service residential and small commercial general contractor serving Central Oregon. Bend Craftsmen Company specializes in remodels, new builds, additions, finish carpentry, ADU’s and custom woodworking. It can also provide project management and building consulting services to help run your project smoothly.

Hill, 40, has nearly 20 years of professional experience within the building industry. He credits his father, William Hill, for inspiring his interest in woodworking. “My dad was a hobby woodworker and always working on projects around the house from tables to bookcases to kayaks and canoes,” Hill said. “I was always watching him and learning from him.” 

Growing up in South Carolina, he also helped his uncles with the vendor window and door supply company started by his grandfather in the 1950s and tagged along with them when they built a new deck on a beach house after  a hurricane.

His passion led him to work as a finish carpenter and eventually project manager for a design/build remodeling company in Charleston, South Carolina. He worked on a $1 million home restoration in Charleston. “I realized I really loved taking something old and preserving it, yet making it something new,” he said. “I believe anything handmade should be made well and be able to be used for many, many years.”

In 2007, Hank moved to Bend for the small-town living, outdoor splendor and great community. While working as a project manager for another construction company, he worked part time crafting furniture and doing custom woodworking projects. Using the experiences and knowledge he gained from working for others, Hank said he enjoys doing the carpentry work at his job sites and working with trusted partners who are experts in their trades such as electricians, plumbers and masons. He averages ten to 15 projects a year, adding he’s booked until the spring of 2022. 

Each project begins with meeting with the client and gaining a keen understanding of what they envision for their project. Hill said preconstruction planning takes about six months to draw plans and apply and receive permits. “Builders and remodelers are seeing an increased demand for their services,” Hill said. “Demand is at an all-time high. If you meet a builder or remodeler who says they can start next week, reconsider your options.” 

What sets him apart, Hill said, is his thoughtful approach to every project and the quality of his craftsmanship. “I love being a part of the Central Oregon community and being a steward of the community,” he said. “I only work with other businesses that pay attention to the details and who are craftsmen in  their work.”

Hill is certified by Earth Advantage as a Sustainable Homes Professional and is a regional leader in sustainable, energy-efficient building practices. “We incorporate green building practices when we can and depending on the scope of the work,” he said. “Whether it’s used depends on the owner’s preferences, their lifestyle and their budget.”

Hill shared his favorite home remodeling show is This Old House, which premiered in 1979 and is the most trusted home improvement show featuring expert advice. “This Old House is a good example of my philosophy about remodeling a home,” he said. “It’s real remodeling done correctly, and it incorporates the true craftsmanship behind every detail of a home. Imperfections in a home keep me up at night.”

Hill defines the word “craftsman” as a perspective, not a style. “Craftsman is an artisan approach to the production of the house,” he said. “It’s the custom details to everything that ensure the home’s quality and it meets the owner’s vision. As a craftsman, I put my care and thoughtfulness into the entire project.”

Lester Simonson of LCS Carpentry and Construction has worked with Hill on several projects, including the Deschutes River Woods project. “It’s refreshing to work with a contractor that is hands-on at the construction site and who puts a personal stake in his projects,” Simonson said. 

While it’s important for Hill to finish a project on time and budget, Simonson said Hill works with the client to inform them about what’s happening and why a project may need additional time or resources. “Hank is all about creating quality projects,” Simonson said. 

When he has free time, he enjoys building furniture for his family and clients. He and his wife, Amber, enjoy spending time with their 2-year-old daughter, Aidaleen. He likes all things Central Oregon including snowboarding and kayaking and taking off to the Oregon Coast to surf.