2024 Homestead Magazine


Homestead Magazine


Hitting the Mark

Design Inspiration
Benchmark Builders has expertly blended a wide range of materials on the exterior of this modern home.

Benchmark Builders

Story By
David Porter

Photos By
David Agnello
Latham Jenkins

Late on a winter afternoon, Mike Hodes hurries into Benchmark Builders’ office in East Jackson. Pale light traverses the conference room window. The room is spangled with blueprints and plans, all signs that Benchmark balances a number of simultaneous projects.

Hodes has had a busy day and runs a little behind schedule, but that’s understandable given how many projects he squeezes into the average day. He’s been on the job, completing finish work on a new home in Melody Ranch. He and Paul Nash own Benchmark Builders, which they created by combining their respective contracting companies in 2013.

As it turns out, “on the job” is exactly where Hodes likes to be. In fact, even after 20 years
in the business, he still does a great deal of carpentry himself. “At Benchmark, we work directly with our clients. Paul and I are on each job site every day. We’re hands-on, which provides a guarantee of the highest-quality work and craftsmanship.”

Symmetry wins in the interior and exterior design of the barn. Custom structural trusses and the ceiling are fashioned from hemlock timbers reclaimed from an old Montana sawmill. The custom handrails with stainless steel cables were fabricated on-site.

In Hodes’ view, customer service distinguishes Benchmark from the dozens of other contracting firms in Jackson Hole. “We’re with our clients from start to finish. If we can be there at the beginning of the design process, so much the better. We all seek the best finished product and happy clients.” Over their years in the business, both he and Nash have focused on listening to their clients and developing strong relationships. Often the two retain clients as friends, even cycling and skiing with them in their off time.

Benchmark specializes in craft building and executes a diverse array of construction projects throughout the valley, from small remodels and additions to the building of new homes. Nash says, “We know that building a home will be a big experience for our clients. For most of those we contract
with, we’re building their first home; their dwelling. Mike and I will be there every step of the way to make sure we maintain good relationships and fulfill our clients’ vision.”

With their focus on relationships, Hodes and Nash are open to teaching their clients about the building process. Hodes says, “In our direct contact with clients, we find that we’re not only building to their specifications, but educating them along the way, too.” Nash adds, “We want our clients on-site, so that they can see the process and the house emerge from an idea to a reality.”

Right: A two-sided gas fireplace heats the living room and patio, providing an inviting space for entertaining guests.

In its refined craftsmanship, Benchmark Builders stacks up with the best contracting firms in Jackson. “There are a lot of great builders in Jackson,” says Nash, “but what sets us apart are the relationships with our clients that we nurture. Our clients truly find our carpenters and subcontractors pleasant and easy to talk to.” This is satisfying feedback for Hodes and Nash.

On-the-job commitment and genuine relationships ensure the thrill of seeing a project come to fruition, for both builders and clients. In this case, the benchmark is indeed set high.