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Old 08-19-2012, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,320 posts, read 19,944,310 times
Reputation: 5107

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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscman View Post
Appreciate anyone who rersponds.
I don't own a lot, but I went through all the web sites of the 10 builders in the St James Builders Guild. They all show samples of their work, some in more detail. If I were choosing today and had no budget constraints, I'd pick the Signature Construction Group. They advertise "eco-friendly" methods. Their style is "plantation casual", which I'd call low-country, with a bit more fussy wood exterior trim, that is somewhat "Craftsman style". Some of their examples remind me of New England shingle cottages like you might see in Maine.

I'll sketch my impressions of others. Barker & Canady and Bill Clark feature simple coastal homes, and I'd guess they are less expensive. Crane and Firetti do brick traditional and simple coastal homes. Hagood's only large models are European style, which I'd call fussy and pretentious. Kent Homes and Jack Satterwhite do both traditional and coastal homes. Logan seems to be building only in certain sections, mostly coastal style. Mark Johnson does green building, and features mostly Donald Gardner and Sullivan Design-- like you would see in Southern Living magazine. (They are a bit too fussy to my taste.)

So, your tastes may be different, but I hope this narrows it down a bit for you.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:32 PM
 
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Goldenage1-Thank you very much, did not recognize some of the builders you mentioned but i will investigate them now. Very helpful.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,320 posts, read 19,944,310 times
Reputation: 5107
Quote:
Originally Posted by biscman View Post
Goldenage1-Thank you very much, did not recognize some of the builders you mentioned but i will investigate them now. Very helpful.
It helps to look for the list of the St James Builders Guild. These guys have at least passed the standards and code of ethics.

On the whole, I though the Signature Construction Group seemed the most creative. I have no idea of their costs.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:51 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
794 posts, read 1,645,778 times
Reputation: 343
Since this has been asked multiple times and several people have asked me in direct message, I'll give my thoughts on the subject, briefly.... remembering this is only one person's opinion.

1st off, it doesn't matter one single whit what size or style of house you want in St James, ALL the builders that regularly build in here ( way over 20 + of them ) will and do build any size or style that you may desire, they all have plans of all kinds to look at.

My personal opinion is to NOT use a BIG builder that builds dozens or more home per year and in multiple communities all at the same time, if you are ONLY looking for a price point then that may be the way to go, but for MY money, if I were to have someone else build my home down here, I would choose a smaller builder of which there are quite a few, for more personal and custom construction..... "IMHO and ONLY IMHO", the end product will be a better quality structure, systems, etc and the aforementioned "stuff" will be of better quality and last longer and you will be happier longer... especially the HVAC system which is all important down here in this climate.

After meeting with and discussing construction with MANY of the previously mentioned BIG builders and a bunch of the smaller ones.... if I were to have someone else build MY home down here I would contact Bob Hazeton of Hazelton Builders 910-253-0476. Small but quality and reputable guy, lives in St James, been building here for about 13 years, builds "several" homes per year therefore giving very personal service with personal supervision EVERY day by the same person HIM, throughout the construction process, only uses the best of materials and mechanical systems, again, espcecially the HVAC system ( only installs the best ).... very conscientous and takes personal pride in each house he builds and has quite a list of very happy customers. He may or may not be the one for you in th end but it is a very good place to start and then compare some of the others and what they do and do not put in their homes and why it will affect you as the years go by..... at the very least, after meeting with him, you will have a good education on what you should be looking for in your new home, it may turn out a "little bit" more than the BIG builders with the big billboards out on Rt 211, but the end product will be better. I don't mean this to be a commercial for him but it has been asked many times in general on this forum AND of me personally and that is my thought on the matter...... it's worth a very educational meeting IMHO.

PS: Just another bit of info regarding mentioned "The Builders Guild "... being a member has no reflection on anyone's "Standards or Code of Ethics" ( that sounds nice in advertising )... in reality it simply means that the "Guild Members" have agreed to pay an "EXTRA" 3% commission on the price of the new home to be constructed to the developer of St James in return for a share of "leads" that are generated by the developers advertising..... in addition, "several" of the orginal GUILD MEMBERS have since dropped out of the GUILD as the leads were not being disseminated exactly as was promised and it was not worth the extra $$%%..... BTW.... give a guess as to WHO is going to pay that "EXTRA" 3 % commision in the end that will be "buried" somewhere in the total price of the "Guild Members" home ! Just something to ponder.

Last edited by Stonecreek67; 08-19-2012 at 03:02 PM..
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,320 posts, read 19,944,310 times
Reputation: 5107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonecreek67 View Post
I would choose a smaller builder of which there are quite a few, for more personal and custom construction..... "IMHO and ONLY IMHO", the end product will be a better quality structure, systems, etc and the aforementioned "stuff" will be of better quality and last longer and you will be happier longer... especially the HVAC system which is all important down here in this climate.......I would contact Bob Hazeton of Hazelton Builders 910-253-0476.....
Stoney has some very good points. For the size of the house Biscman was planning, it is probably necessary to have a 2-zone HVAC system, especially for upstairs space. I agree the quality of the HVAC is very important to your comfort. Don't let anyone talk you into skimping on that factor.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:22 PM
 
1,090 posts, read 1,976,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
Stoney has some very good points. For the size of the house Biscman was planning, it is probably necessary to have a 2-zone HVAC system, especially for upstairs space. I agree the quality of the HVAC is very important to your comfort. Don't let anyone talk you into skimping on that factor.
Boys, thank you very much. As i know Stoney is a Jersey guy and has a fair amount of experience with builders up in the Garden state i was hoping he would reply. I didn't want to come straight out and ask sir Stoney but I respect his insight as one Jersey guy to the next his thoughts are right on. I thank you both.
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:32 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
383 posts, read 746,551 times
Reputation: 214
A few quick comments on the flurry of posts. In regards to Wind and Hail insurance, this may be difficult to obtain from major insurers, due to the perceived risk of storms. The State of NC has established the Farm Bureau to provide this insurance. My last quote, including liability insurance, in a 3,200 sq. ft. home was about $2,500/year.

In terms of builders there are a lot of considerations. Kent and Logan are higher volume builders, where Barker, Signature and Jack Satterwite are custom (stick) builders. Cost is a factor, given cost per Sq. Ft on a home ranges from $110 - $150+. I went with a bigger builder who was willing to accomodate my many custom requests. HVAC is an important factor. IMHO 2 zone is a must. Whether you go with a 2 zone system with a single 5-6 ton compressor and a dual panel system or two smaller compressors is a matter of taste and cost. Also, the sear rating will impact energy costs and cooling (higher sear systems have units with multiple fan speeds and are more energy efficient). One of my main focus was windows. The semi custom builders use vinyl (very low end) and even some of the custom builders use questionable quality windows. I put a lot of attention and directed extra dollars into this area. I also wanted a third car garage and floor plan modifications. Quality windows with argon gas, tinting and excellent sealing systems will save money, provide more comfort, and improve resale. Also, as I discussed with Stone, you can also get windows with unbreakable glass.

My recommendation is to walk through a builders homes. Do they prefer to build on a crawlspace or slab? Are their floor and roof joists 16 inch on center (many builders build 20 or 24 inches on center), what type of HVAC systems do they use. Also, what is your budget and can they stay within it?

These are just a few of the factors that entered into our decision as well as future resale. If you build a 3,200 sq. foot home that costs $500K+ and your lot is an additional $100K, will you be able to get the resale back on a $600+ investment, especially with 3,000 homes in the community? I can't answer that question, but it was a factor for consideration in my evaluation process.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,320 posts, read 19,944,310 times
Reputation: 5107
Quote:
Originally Posted by PonyPride View Post
... Kent and Logan are higher volume builders, where Barker, Signature and Jack Satterwite are custom (stick) builders. .....
Kent does not offer a floor as large as Biscman was asking about (2900-3200SF). Logan has only two plans that large, and one is 54 feet wide and the other is 65 feet wide. Unless you have a very wide lot, the Logan plans could be difficult to fit. I'd scratch them off the list.

If Biscman does want to spend $500-600K, Ponypride has a good point that it's difficult to resell. There are many other very nice existing homes for sale in that price range. Of course, if it's the last home you will ever own, why not get what you really want?
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:53 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
383 posts, read 746,551 times
Reputation: 214
IMHO, the trend at SJP is definitely towards smaller homes. This is in response to customer's needs and the economy. The SeaSide community is definitely geared towards smaller homes. I would not be surprised if in the future SJP even has a section dealing with people who transition out of their homes to assisted living type arrangements.

If the medium/larger homes in the community are about 2,800 square feet, and you add a third car garage, this modification to the existing footprint usually adds about 300 sq. ft. to the upstairs, making the total sq. footage 3,100 sq. ft. As far as Kent goes larger homes include Pamlico Bay, Grand Belle and a few others. Long story short, you can usually take a home with a smaller footprint and make it larger.

Pony
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:55 AM
 
2 posts, read 10,782 times
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Thanks so much to goldenage 1, PonyPride, and Stonecreek 67. As a lot owner who hopes to build next year and who has never constructed a home before I appreciated your posts very much.
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