From Hangar to Home: New West Alpine thinks outside of the building box

ALPINE, WY — Rex Doornbos should have been an architect.

“I went into sculpture because it pays so well,” Doornbos jokes.

Doornbos, a Wyoming native, went to school to be a sculptor. He still is a sculptor of sorts, and is certainly still an artist — but on a much larger scale. Now, Doornbos builds homes in Alpine, Wyoming, where he’s the Managing Partner for New West Building Company’s Alpine office.

Doornbos’s specialty is actually building airplane hangars. But building a house, Doornbos says, isn’t all too different from crafting a sculpture or building a hangar. “It’s all sculptural,” he says. “You’re taking a 5,000 square-foot structure and making it look like something other than a big box, and feel like a room in a house. It’s a challenge, and I really enjoy it.”

Rex Doornbos

New West’s Alpine branch is relatively new and offers custom, high-end housing in the Alpine community. Doornbos brings his artistry and his building expertise, honed over decades of working in Wyoming and Alpine specifically. There’s only one thing he won’t build: a cookie-cutter home. Instead, he will work with his clients to build a home that is as unique and custom-made as the clients themselves.

“I really enjoy the creative process and working with people,” Doornbos said. “My favorite part of the job is interacting with clients and trying to come up with creative solutions to problems they might have.”

Building in Alpine comes with unique advantages and challenges. The building regulations in Lincoln County aren’t nearly as strict as, say, Jackson, Doornbos says. There’s “little to no oversight,” and that much freedom can be a blessing and a curse. While people in Jackson tend to need general contractors “to help them navigate the permitting process,” people in Alpine “almost need it to navigate the freedom.”

Doornbos and his team at New West Building Company offer a wealth of experience, creativity, and artistic vision to their help clients build their dream homes. From renovated cabins to airplane hangars to high-end contemporary homes, they’ve built it all. Alpine doesn’t have a defining style, and Doornbos will never try to give it one. “It’s not about what I want [clients] to have,” he says. “It’s about what they want.”

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