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Business Profile

Copeland Architecture

“Hey, I see you painted your house. It looks great!”

When a passerby made this comment about a 1908 home that had been completely rebuilt by Copeland Architecture & Construction, the homeowner was thrilled for a simple reason: the goal had been achieved. 

“This was a unique project,” remembers Jeff Fountain of Copeland, a Spokane-based firm that specializes in taking their clients through the complete design/build process, serving as both architect and contractor. “The family absolutely loved their classic home. But they had a lot of specific needs.” 

Austin Dickey adds, “They wanted a lot more usable space, especially in the basement. But it had very low ceilings, rendering it unusable.” 

The family’s decision was to basically rebuild from the ground up, maximizing space and refreshing their beloved home, while maintaining the look and feel. So when someone familiar with the home mistook the complete rebuild for a coat of paint, it was clear that Copeland had done their job.

‘The homeowner really was tickled by that comment,” says Fountain.

Each project comes with these little triumphs, whether it’s breathing new life into a classic craftsman or designing and building a fresh, modern new home or commercial space. Over more than three decades, Copeland has helped people in the Inland Northwest make the right plans, and then bring them to life.

“A lot of our clients are very busy with their professions and families,” says Dickey. “So asking us to take them smoothly through the complete design-and-build process -- from bare ground to move-in day -- makes a lot of sense. And in that process, we love getting to know our clients.”

When creating and executing these plans, the Copeland team enjoys the challenge of using space efficiently, and crafting a building as sustainably as possible. Often, these features don’t necessarily lead to the largest homes.

“We’ve found that our clients today really are willing to make that trade: better quality, detail, sustainability, and efficiency instead of just building a big house,” explains Bob Britton, another partner in the company. “And it's a real compliment when our clients refer us to friends, or come back to us for that second or third building, because they appreciate our process and the outcome.”

From offices to ski cabins to custom homes (and even a bit of dabbling into small homes and guest houses), Copeland Architecture & Construction can be found creating and remodeling spaces that upgrade the lives of their inhabitants, as well as the feel of the neighborhood. That’s how the art of their design process and the craft of their building process come together. 

Once, that art and craft process brushed up against an architecture legend. In the early days of the company, Britton remembers a man walking into the office with a set of plan drawings.

“He had grown up in a Frank Lloyd Wright house, and he wanted us to build one that captures that feeling,” Britton says. “He had the plans from his childhood home, and Gerry Copeland was sitting there in awe, because Wright had drawn them. They were almost like holy papers to him.”

Throughout the process, the client reminded Britton more than once, saying, “You’ve got to capture that feeling.” 

A feeling is a hard thing to plan for, but at the party to celebrate the home’s completion, the man patted Copeland and Britton on the back, and confirmed that they'd done it. 

The team at INB has been proud to help Copeland build this unique business approach over the years. “We have a great relationship with INB,” says Dickey. “Our commercial banker, Shelley Menne, is a dynamo. She’s always taken great care of all of our banking needs, and over the years, we’ve built other strong friendships and connections with the INB team as well.” When local companies get the high level of banking service they deserve, they are freed up to grow, be creative, and focus more deeply within their expertise. 

In Copeland’s case, that might mean recreating a century-old charmer from the ground up, conceiving and executing a modern structure, or simply capturing a feeling.