To survive in the construction business for nearly four decades in Taos takes plenty of resourcefulness. Whether it is new construction and additions, historic building preservation, renovations and remodels, commercial or residential, or project management and consulting, the work of Wayne Rutherford General Contractor Inc.’s suite of services and its resourceful approach can be found across Taos County and Northern New Mexico.
More than 40 years of on-the-ground experience includes building a staff, crew and subcontractor base with decades of experience on private and public projects, leading to a reputation for exceptional service and quality.
Projects throughout the area with the mark of the Rutherford team’s talents include: St. James Episcopal Church, The Blake Hotel, Holy Cross Medical Arts Plaza, Taos Clinic for Children and Youth, the south People’s Bank, Medley Restaurant, Taos Charter School, projects for Taos Municipal Schools and Questa Independent Schools, two Dialysis Clinics, Vista Taos Renewal Center, Taos County Public Housing, Indian Health Service, Milagro at Los Luceros, renovations at Kit Carson Home and Museum, and numerous private residences in Taos, Taos Canyon, Red River, Arroyo Hondo and Angel Fire.
Recently, Rutherford’s crew worked on a “local component” contract at The Blake hotel project in Taos Ski Valley. They hung more than 300 windows and 100 doors and put up over two miles of exterior trim and two acres of siding.
In addition to being selected by Taos voters as the winner of “Best Building Contractor” for multiple years, Rutherford’s decades of construction and consulting experience have also lead to his company’s receiving multiple recognitions and awards for both dedication to craft and community at both the state and national level.
Projects receiving awards include St. James Episcopal Church, Chrysalis Alternative School, Milagros at Los Luceros and others, including multiple awards from the Associated General Contractors for renovations and expansions in “buildings under $2.5 million” category, as well as merit awards for the “under $5 million” category.
While his success in the commercial market is obvious, given his druthers, Rutherford likes remodeling old buildings in Taos: “What I do well is recycle buildings.” It is here that the challenge of giving a vintage building a new look and function without compromising its integrity or style fully engages Rutherford.
While the company builds limited new residences, it has designed and remodeled scores of them.
To Rutherford, each building has its own “embodied energy,” and the job is to repurpose the building without detracting from its origins. “It’s critical to know the history of construction in Taos,” said Rutherford, who came to Taos in 1978 to study Northern New Mexico construction and alternative energy systems. “Knowing how a house was built, often when there wasn’t much wood, ceilings were low to hold the heat, how they built with adobe, what the land let them do — all those things are part of remodeling in Taos.”
What happens before any remodeling project begins is key to the overall success. Rutherford has a thriving consulting business that aims to anticipate the many issues in a remodeling project in advance of any work on site.
While not a substitute for the standard appraisal or home inspection, Rutherford’s preproject consulting services identify what a property offers, what it needs and what it would benefit from. These services help a buyer make practical and informed decisions about investing in real property in Northern New Mexico.
“We’ve seen time and again that questions that should be asked before actually placing an offer are delayed until the offer is on the table, or the sale has closed. In these cases, the buyer is often unpleasantly surprised by the actual costs,” he said. “The buyer is best served when supplied with the facts up front. My clients get 45 years of my experience in construction in a couple of hours.”
Rutherford is a member and officer of many industry and business organizations, including Associated General Contractors of New Mexico, Builders Trust of New Mexico, and the New Mexico Home Builders Association. These affiliations also provide him with a valuable network of contacts throughout New Mexico and the Southwest that allow him to maintain a client-and information-focused philosophy that has endured in the Taos market.
He considers not only today’s needs, but also future changes in the building’s use including technological advances.
When you think about your upcoming construction project needs: “Build on our Experience. We do!”