Refuge Builders LLC owner Chris Kent says, “If you can find your niche, you can make a living here.” His company has three employees and averages two to three homes a year.

Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star

The belief that one’s home should be a refuge was the inspiration behind the name of local homebuilder Refuge Builders LLC.

The 16-year-old company specializes in spec homes in developments in Vail and on Tucson’s west side, said owner Chris Kent.

Over the past three years, Refuge has lowered its price point “significantly” in Coyote Creek and Wildcat Pass, Kent said, in order to remain competitive with national builders, which have had an impact on the local builders.

“But, they bring folks out to Vail in their tract subdivisions and that’s good for us,” Kent said of exposing homebuyers to the area.

“If you can find your niche, you can make a living here,” he added.

The company has three employees and averages two to three homes a year.

In a nod to Arizona, Refuge floor plans have names such as Mescal, Patagonia and Sonoita.

Both developments in which Kent builds are luxury home sites.

Wildcat Pass is a gated community that neighbors JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa. Coyote Creek, in Vail, is also a gated community and features scenic sites and equestrian properties.

“Chris Kent … has consistently built quality homes in Coyote Creek, (and) his ability to capitalize on our fantastic views with great custom designs is commendable,” said Peter Backus, a broker and developer of the Vail community. “He starts out with plans that can be modified to accommodate the owner’s desires and makes the transition very easy and affordable.”

Refuge Builders also offers excavation services.

Kent has 33 years of experience in the Tucson construction industry and “doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.”