Builders Ben and Heather Beard of Red Cliff Homes not only build stylish and affordable homes, they’re creating educational and career opportunities for the youth of Las Cruces.
Written by Cassie McClure Photography by Donicio Madrid
For the past year, Red Cliff Homes has been bringing a new option to Las Crucens hoping to build a house from the ground up with two new series of homes, the San Juan and the Padre. When he’s not building homes, owner Ben Beard is also working to give back to the youth of Las Cruces by helping them to gain a different measure of their own potential.
Ben found his interest in residential construction while in high school where he took classes in general construction and electrical wiring. He then worked at a plumbing supply shop and as a framer before leaving on a two-year church mission. He went on to Brigham Young University and obtained a his degree in construction management.
After graduating in 2012, he moved to Las Cruces, where he was recruited as a superintendent and purchasing manager for a local builder. He and his wife, Heather, who he married that same year, fell in love with their new hometown.
As Ben grew more experienced and debated pursuing an MBA, he decided see if he could make some extra money. “We thought we’d build a few homes and it would allow me to go to school without debt,” says Ben.
Heather, who is the part-time chief cheerleader for Red cliff Homes, adds, “We prayed about it, and looked at opportunities in other places, but it never felt right. We were already getting a side education and we couldn’t really grow under anyone else because we had ideas that we felt were right for us.”
In 2017, growing into their own business did feel right and they launched Red Cliff Homes.“We have great relationships in Las Cruces already, and great relationships with all the contractors,” Ben notes. “Now it’s feels like we’re building toward a future.”
Red Cliff Homes was designed to fill a need in the market for budget-friendly homes that still exceed expectations of what money could buy.
“The San Juan series has 10-foot ceilings, eight-foot doors, move-in ready package blinds, and a garage door opener,” Ben explains. “We include things that others charge extra for because we know our customers look for that in their purchase. For example, we also include tile in the great room, and backsplashes in the kitchen.”
Red Cliff Homes also has an option to delve into the smart home ready market, by having a house with “a brain.”
“It’s control from anywhere with your phone,” Ben says. “For those who just want it to be a thermostat, it’s that. For those who like to have the extras, we can put in the front door camera and speakers throughout the home.”
The Padre series of homes leans toward the affordable, and keeps in mind the entry price for first-time buyers.
“It’s a truly affordable entry price with nine-foot ceilings and regular door heights, but still a home that we as family would be happy to live in,” Ben adds. “In fact, a recent Padre home sold before we dry-walled it just because it was the right price.”
While Ben and Heather love the weather, land, and views, that come with living in the Southwest, they also realize that desert dwellers often need an escape.
Ben says, “We get enough brown and desert outside, so we don’t want our homes to feel like that. When you walk into our homes it feels cool and fresh, a place to relax and be comfortable and not just a continuation of the outside.”
The couple demonstrates their love for Las Cruces in their work; for every home they build, they put $1,000 into a Las Cruces Technical Education Fund intended for high school students to take classes and be equipped get jobs in construction and other technical, hands-on careers.
“We’ve had a chance to learn and grow and that’s given a lot of opportunities for our family,” Ben notes.
In the long term, the Beards want to establish a community-based initiative—and are currently looking for interest from other contractors and organizations—that gives high school and college students the ability to learn by building with their own hands, and to use those skills to transition into a career quickly.
“When I ask high school students about careers in construction, they’ve never had the vision that you can make great money if you have these skills,” Heather explains, with Ben adding, “We desire to grow the Las Cruces economy. There is potential here and they are capable. I want to provide those opportunities I had to local kids.”
Red Cliff Homes: redcliffhomes.com