I live at Lake Norman near Charlotte and was a custom home builder in that area for many years. When I bought my lot in West Jefferson in September 2005 I began my search for a builder since my sub contractors were too far away to economically use for my cabin construction. As a builder I first looked for existing building projects in the area and walked through several cabins under construction without identifying myself. Of all the projects I walked through, the one that impressed me most was one of Brandon’s log homes near the lot I had just bought.
Initial impressions are “everything” and I immediately related to the well organized and very clean worksite, something I was always a “stickler” for when I was actively building large custom homes. While skilled craftsmanship and attention to construction details are important, I always felt that a clean worksite was a good indication of a builder who paid attention to detail and was very likely to have good construction quality and project management skills.
My impressions were correct and I am still glad that I chose Brandon to assist me with my cabin project. I think that being a “builder’s builder” is the best recommendation any builder could hope for given the extra level of scrutiny that would naturally accompany these types of building projects.
1. Did they stay on budget?
2. Were they on time with deadlines?
Yes. I did not expect to start building until the spring of 2006 but the weather in the late fall of 2005 and the winter of 2006 was fairly mild and we were able to get started ahead of schedule and worked through the winter getting “dried in” before Spring. You cannot count on the weather always cooperating in the mountains so I would advise that you plan for delays in advance and hopefully be pleasantly surprised when you don’t need the extra building time.
3. Are you happy with the finished product?
4. How was communication, prompt or slow?
Brandon was always available to talk to me on the phone when I was in Charlotte or meeting me on the job site whenever needed when I came up to monitor the construction progress.
5. Were there any surprises?
None other than the speed that we were able to get things done because he had his subcontractors “ready to go” as each phase of the project was completed. He got the lot cleared quickly and immediately got the basement foundation dug and the block layed, plumbing roughed in, and the slab poured within a few weeks. Framing followed with no delays and this is why project management is so important when selecting a builder who “plans his work and works his plan.”
6. If there were any post construction issues, have they been responsive to correct them?
In the 40+ homes I built I never had a completed home that did not have a “punch list” at the end of the project that needed to be done to fully satisfy the customer. My cabin project was no exception and Brandon returned promptly to take care of all of my concerns.
7. Do you have any recommendations, suggestions or tips on what you would do differently.
As mentioned above, allow extra time for construction due to weather. Homeowners often don’t realize that a major weather event not only delays the next step in their project but may also cause further delays in the subsequent steps of the project because the subcontractors that were scheduled for the next steps of the project are now also behind because of weather delays.