Maple Park Development--Building Better Homes
by Deborah A. Chesley
Maple Park Development Corporation is an award-winning company owned
by Dave Forrest and his wife, Pati. They are building better homes by
being involved in every detail of the building process. They can
satisfy customers' needs better than a larger company could. Even
though the larger companies can often get better prices on their
supplies, Dave says that Maple Park Development can have better
control; it's easier to build a home that is just right for the
customer when you don't have so many layers of management. His wife
Pati has been involved in the interior design for the homes they have
built over the years. The company builds between four and eight homes
per year, each of superb quality.
Dave Forrest has had many years' experience in the building industry.
His father owned a business dealing with building materials, and Dave
was exposed to various components of the industry at a very young
age. He also has education to broaden his view. Dave graduated from
Oregon State University with a major in Business Administration, and a
minor in Applied Physics. His family moved from Oregon to the St.
Louis area in the 1970. At that time Dave was involved in the
manufacture of materials used in building a house, such as doors,
paneling, lumber, and plywood. The opportunity to work with the
customers is the main reason he got involved in the actual building of
homes. He enjoys associating with the people while he builds their
homes. He gets to know each customer and takes each facet of their
lifestyle into account before final plans are made.
The whole environment surrounding a home is a focus of Maple Park
Development--not exclusively the interior. Dave says they like to
build a model of each home prior to finalizing plans, so they can see
how the sun is going to interact with the home. This helps them in
knowing how to place the home on the lot. This is one of the
strengths of the company--putting the home on the lot so it is exactly
right. The windows are of considerable importance, as is their
placement. When you walk in, your eyes are drawn to the entire area.
The home that Maple Park Development Corporation has built for this
year's HomeArama is a perfect manifestation of the concept of
"bringing the outside in." The courtyard, with its stone
balustrades, the entryway, and the windows on the front of the home
give the exterior a fine traditional look.
Dave explains that they wanted an uplifting feeling when you walk in
the door. This was accomplished very well through the selection and
placement of the windows, as well as the other extraordinary design
elements. Dave says that many people request the use of angles in
their homes to give their space an open feeling and more visual
interest. In designing the HomeArama home, the Maple Park Development
team used many angles, but to make it work even better, they added a
circle in the middle of a high barrier wall, softening the angles.
They carried the circle theme throughout the home, using an inventive
juxtaposition of squares, angles, and circles. The circle theme was
also incorporated in the lighting fixtures.
There is a contemporary feel to the interior of the home, where
features are better than up-to-date. There are various window styles
and sizes used throughout the home, including double hung, casement
and picture windows. The windows are Andersen windows, known for
their high quality and beauty. In addition to the spacious Master
suite and retreat area, the main floor includes another bedroom--which
could be used as a home office or guest room, a dining room, and a
breakfast room off the great room. The laundry facilities are also on
the main floor. The kitchen is a dream, with sunlight streaming in
from the high windows. There are ample storage areas, and plenty of
counter space. There are natural wood cabinets and trim. The use of
light colors throughout keeps the interior of the home feeling open
and spacious. The windows enhance a spectacular view and the design
is masterful in the use of the soft morning light.
The lower level of Maple Park Development's HomeArama home is also
extraordinary. There are two bedrooms, a media center, a wine cellar
(with a keyed lock to keep little hands away), and kitchen facilities.
The lower level bathroom is perhaps one of the most interesting and
innovative features of the home. Because of the topology of the lot,
the addition of a swimming pool in the future would be ideal. The
team at Maple Park Development has planned the bathroom area with this
in mind, creating all the appropriate spaces to accommodate changing
clothes, swimming, and cleaning up. This area is equipped with a steam
environment type shower unit made by Jacuzzi and provided by Lami Wood
Products. The shower unit can be completely closed for use of steam,
there are body sprays on both sides, and other special features. The
lower level also boasts a separate entry, and a large overhead access
door in the storage area for lawn care tools and other large storage
items. This home is skillfully and beautifully placed on a cul-de-sac
lot that is one and one quarter acres in size, taking full advantage
of the southeastern exposure at the back of the home.
Dave says of the HomeArama home, "I think that this home demonstrates
the ability to take a lot and design a home for it, rather than
taking an existing house plan and building it on a lot. The house
should be built for the lot and for the people."
Taking the topology of a lot into consideration and finding a way to
implement the best placement of a home on each lot is one of the
strengths of Maple Park Development. The company is well known for
their ability to build homes on difficult sites. This is especially
evident in the homes they built in Amiot, a development on the Creve
Coeur Bluffs--just south of Creve Coeur Lake. They worked there with
as much as a fifty foot drop on some of the lots and met the
challenge--with beautiful results. Prior to the Amiot development,
which they built in 1991 through 1995, Maple Park Development built
Westledge, a more standard-size subdivision located in Des Peres.
Westledge was a joint project with Roy Beal.
Dave is always looking for new and better products to use in the
homes he builds. The Maple Park Development Corporation's HomeArama
home for 1998 is of steel construction. Because of research done in
the industry, Maple Park Development began in 1992 to use steel
framing, including steel joists and steel interior studs. Dave finds
that using steel minimizes the shrinkage problems and "nail pops", and
in many applications is more stable than wood. The steel products
used by Maple Park Development in the HomeArama home were supplied by
Fenster Steel through their custom steel fabrication division.
Dave's philosophy is to keep an open mind toward changes and new ways
to do things. Much of Maple Park's design work is computer assisted,
making it possible to finalize plans in a shorter time and helping to
Dave and his work are well-respected in the building industry. Maple
Park Development has received the prestigious Homer Award for three of
their projects. They received one Homer Award for a condominium
project, and the other two were awarded for custom homes designed
specifically for clients who were involved in the design process.
This company is indeed recognized for building better homes.
Dave is a long-time member of the Home Builders Association of
Greater St. Louis, having joined the association in the 1970s. He has
given time and funds to various projects with the HBA over the years,
and has served on various committees. He was president of the
organization during 1991-1992. Before being chosen as president, he
spent much effort and time in behalf of the HBA for more than ten
years. Dave feels that he has benefited by being a member of the HBA,
having the opportunity to gain knowledge about governmental issues,
environmental issues, and other relevant topics. He appreciates the
chance to get to know the various suppliers and others with whom he
associates in this capacity. He was also president of the Missouri
HBA in 1985.
Another of Dave's philosophies is, "Never stop learning." He is
involved in a variety of activities. In addition to his work with the
HBA, he is a boating enthusiast and carries a Coast Guard Master's
License. He also teaches two classes in Advanced Coastal Navigation
for the Meramec College Continuing Education program. Dave is active
in the Rotary Club, and was involved with a Russian Building
Delegation, which was here recently. He likes to stay up on the
latest technological advances and enjoys electronics experimentation.
In the 1970s he built his own computer (he is quick to add that he has
since then purchased a newer, up-to-date one). Dave is also active in
local computer users' groups, and with an Internet users' group. He is
also a country western dancer and has been involved with Amateur
Radio. With such a broad and varied background, it's no wonder that
Dave Forrest is so accomplished at what he does. Maple Park
Development Corporation creates homes that are indeed exceptional.
Builder/Architect Magazine is proud to feature Maple Park
Development Corporation, an official HomeArama builder. For further
information, contact Maple Park Development by telephone at 314-965-4140
or e-mail: email@example.com