Story by Alli Steinke / November 12, 2020

We’re back with more from our podcast Brilliant Builders + Renovation Sensations. Curt Wegner of Curtis Daniel Homes talks with Charleston Home + Design magazine publisher Tim Barkley about how to take your time with design to ensure the best end product for your family.

Take a moment to tell everybody about Curtis Daniel Homes.

We started about two years ago and our goal is to surpass the ordinary in all aspects of our business. We’re focused on Daniel Island and Mt. Pleasant at the moment but we’re looking to expand to build homes in other areas. We’re continuing to grow and looking forward to building custom homes for our clients.

TakeYourTimeWithDesign-CurtWegner

How did you get into the custom home building business?

I always had a passion for architecture and spent a few years studying it in college, but ended up with an accounting degree. After spending a few years working in accounting, knowing it wasn’t my passion, I accepted a job with a national home builder. After 20 years in the business, I decided to start my own company and focus on custom homes.

Why do you think you drive your architect friends crazy?

Just the attention to detail and making sure we have the door swings in the right location. We’re thinking about how the house is going to live. I spend a lot of time in meetings with the client and architect making sure we’re coming up with the best home to serve the needs of the client.

How many hours does it take for you to make a bid for a potential customer?

It’s probably a few days of total time over a few weeks. I like to give the bid back as quickly as I can, but I also want to make sure we’re accurate. We just want to keep them informed of the cost and make sure we’re all on the same page.

Is the cost per square foot a difficult thing for you to talk about with the homeowners?

It’s probably the most tricky thing to talk about and I try to be as trustworthy as I can. Sometimes home buyers think we’re hiding something when we’re reluctant to answer that question, but it’s because there are so many different components that go into each build that can change the cost significantly. 

What level of communication do you maintain with your clients throughout the process?

I’m in constant communication with them. I’m typically at the job site once a day and communicating with the customer. I tell them they can reach me any time. Regardless if you’ve built one house, or one hundred homes, it’s an exciting time and can also be a frustrating and emotional time, so I think that communication eases those concerns and makes it a more pleasant experience.

Do you require your customers to choose all of the items that are going into their custom home in advance or does it happen in stages while the house is under construction?

I do allow there to be selections while construction is going on, but the more we can do upfront the better.

How do you help homeowners overcome the challenge of not having a vision?

I like to be involved in the architectural process and I have great respect for what the architects do. Also, I just want to be able to be there for them answering their questions and guiding them through the process.

How do you handle a problem during the building process?

I tell my clients when we get started that there are going to be bumps in the road. Communication is the number one thing in solving those bumps and getting it right. While we’re not trying to break anything, I also tell clients that there isn’t anything we can’t make right.

What do you say about trying to create realistic allowances?

I think it’s important clients look at that when comparing builders. When preparing a bid for someone, I make sure they can build the house they’re expecting with the bid; if they can’t, I was dishonest in my bid process. We make sure the bid covers the expectation.

It is important for anyone working with a custom home builder to take your time with design. Fully understand and process everything that goes into building a custom home and be patient with the process. If you take your time with design and ask your builder questions to help you through the experience, the result will be a beautiful collaboration that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.

For more information, call Curtis Daniel Homes at (843) 901-5801 or visit curtisdanielhomes.com.