Today, Draper Construction is part of the $225 million luxury lake home industry in the Grand Lake market. However, Terry Draper is also into building and remodeling people.
GROVE — Terry Draper had just hammered in his last nail on the wooden frame of a lake home.
Draper was part of the construction crew hired to build the home, but his thoughts were drifting toward owning his own construction business.
“I wanted to make houses into homes,” Draper said.
As he began to apply the custom-made trim to the laundry room cabinets, his thoughts once again drifted. He knew what high-end amenities, details and craftsmanship people wanted in their homes.
Now every detail about the trim had his attention — but those thoughts came back in his mind — just maybe he could start his own business.
Today, Draper Construction is part of the $225 million luxury lake home industry in the Grand Lake market. There are 27 lake homes in Oklahoma with a price tag of $1 million or more, according to a marketing report by Lake Home Realty released in October.
Of that number, 23 homes are on Grand Lake, which tops the list of the most expensive homes with an average of $466,569.
“Most of the homes I have built in the last 10 year are over half-million, and six homes are in the million-dollar range,” Draper said.
Draper’s knowledge of the entire building process quickly earned the young builder the reputation of having an uncompromising attention to detail. He has been building custom homes in the Grand Lake area for more than 20 years.
“I learn something new with every custom home I build,” Draper said.
Each home reflects the owner’s personality, whether it be a gourmet kitchen with a butler’s pantry, an outdoor living room or a theater-seating man cave.
“Our homes are designed to be a sanctuary — a place for fellowship with friends and neighbors,” Draper said.
Draper has the ability to take a person’s dream and bring it to life. Not only is the young father detail driven, but he can bring blueprints to life, even if the blueprints were drawn on a napkin while he is waiting for breakfast at Nu-Taste in Grove.
Draper’s home office is packed with blueprints he designed, including some napkins. A home is not measured by its size but rather its details that are unique to each client, Draper said.
Levi Gillen, the company’s operations director, has been an engineer in the construction industry for more than 15 years. The two have provided professional home building services based on the principles of accountability and continuous improvement.
Draper Construction homes can be seen in Grove, Zena, Disney, Langley, Cleora, Ketchum, Bernice, Monkey Island, Patricia Island, Buffalo Shores, Shangri-La, Duck Creek, Dripping Springs and The Coves. Draper’s work ethic is described on the company’s website: “Put your vision in the hands of a master builder.”
Those words have double meaning for Draper.
Draper is also into building and remodeling people. His hands-on approach to construction extends to his crew and new homeowners, and he often starts his workdays at 6 a.m. and prays for his crew and the family that will soon live in the house under construction.
Draper has also provided his expertise to building churches and homes on foreign soil, but one of the most unusual faith-based projects Draper has been involved in was building a spec house and the proceeds went to build an African orphanage.
Terry and his wife, Shana, and family, attended Newsong Church for many years, and he began to formulate a plan and it came together in a heavenly way.
A developer first donated land in one of Grove’s more affluent subdivisions near the Grand Lake shoreline. Draper paid his crews but donated their work efforts to build a 2,800-square-foot spec house, and he also got other craftsmen to donate their skill, including the Jenks-based Renaissance Hard Wood Floors.
“He is a man of integrity, and it shows up in his work,” said Marty Dyer, who now pastors Newsong. “He built a house in order to have the money to build a home for orphans in Zambia, Africa.”
Green Forest School and Orphanage provides a home with safety, nutrition, education and spiritual support for orphans, he said.
Dyer said over a million children are orphans because their parents have died of HIV or AIDS.
“This moved Terry and Shana’s hearts,” Dyer said.