July 31, 2020
Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, David Farrell’s career in the building industry happened by a twist of fate. As the story goes, a neighbor who spotted him tinkering in the garage introduced Farrell to a friend who invited him to build homes in Malibu, where he learned the building trade from the ground up.
Having studied architecture in high school and college, Farrell developed a clear understanding of how a home should be constructed to become a living, functioning environment. “It’s been a long journey,” Farrell says, remembering his first job as a framer before branching out into project management and community development. “I’ve done a lot of things both inside and outside of the building industry, but I’m a builder to my core.”
One such development — Storke Ranch in western Goleta — brought Farrell aboard as a project manager. Commuting from the Ventura home he shares with his wife of 36 years, he spent his workweek in Santa Barbara, where he crossed paths with local builders, including Giffin & Crane.
Farrell remembered Giffin & Crane from back in his sales days, when the company was just starting out. Three decades later, he noticed they were still in the game. “That’s a good sign,” he says. So when a job opportunity with Giffin & Crane opened up, Farrell threw his hat in the ring. “I sought out Giffin & Crane because of their reputation in the community as the prime builder of custom homes,” says Farrell. “I had found a family of building professionals with core values that I wanted to be a part of.
In 2009, Farrell came aboard as an estimator, navigating clients through the complexities of permitting and budgeting. “There’s never a dull moment in working with thousands of products and building remarkable homes together,” he says. “There aren’t a lot of places like Santa Barbara — I like to call it authentic. Building here can be ridiculously difficult but it’s also what makes the community what it is.”
Like most dedicated professionals in his trade, Farrell can attest that work takes up much of his time. But he is also dedicated to outside pursuits that counterbalance inevitable job stress. Plus, they’re just plain fun.
In the Farrell garage, for example, there’s a BMW F 800 GS motorcycle. “It’s not your typical dirt bike” he says. It’s a “global-adventure bike,” designed for multi-day wilderness travel across remote acreage within the vast boundaries of the nearby Los Padres National Forest.
Off the bike, David and his wife Jodi share many interests, including mountain biking, hiking, surfing, fly fishing, and especially music. She’s the real musician in the family, a singer-songwriter and performer who has been a music teacher for more than 25 years. There’s always music in the Farrell home and a song on the way.
And when they’re not playing music, going on hikes, or enjoying quality beach time together, David and Jodi enjoy making time with friends and visiting their two grown children, son-in-law, and granddaughter.