Nigel Maynard, Editor-in-Chief

Nigel Maynard is editor-in-chief of Custom Builder and PRODUCTS magazines. Maynard grew up in St. Croix, where he learned construction helping his step-dad build the family home from the ground up. Since that early introduction, he has bought and remodeled four homes, and has taken up cabinet and furniture making. His current home was featured in The Washington Post and his previous home was covered in Home Magazine, The Washington Post, and HGTV’s I Want That! Prior to joining SGC Horizon, Maynard was the Editor-in-Chief of Lebhar-Friedman’s all-digital products magazine, Residential Building Products & Technology. Previously, he spent 14 years at Hanley Wood as senior editor of Builder magazine and its sister publication Residential Architect, where he amassed eight prestigious honors for editorial excellence, including AZBEE and NAREE awards.

Site Unseen

Over the years, I’ve talked with many architects who yearn to design a home in a picturesque location, whether that’s on the beach in the Hamptons, in the Los Angeles hills, up in the mountains of Jackson Hole, or on the water in Galveston, Texas. What these practitioners know is that locations matter, and great houses are even more special when they sit on outstanding sites.


Some of the best building sites are located in places where nature is on full display. Well-designed homes on great sites usually offer ideal places for owners to spend their downtime on a porch or deck, a glass of wine in hand, taking in the views. Magazine editors love the drama of these houses and how they embrace their surroundings. It’s why we put them on our covers.


But for custom builders, homes in idyllic locations can be a nightmare. Snow, wind-driven rain, flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, soil erosion, and frigid temperatures can wreak havoc on a home and its inhabitants.


Heavy snow loads mean houses must be built with robust structural systems. To deal with hurricane-force winds, homes must have impact-rated windows and tie-downs. 
Bitter-cold temperatures require super-insulated wall assemblies and triple-pane windows, and locations near the beach need intensive, and costly, site prep and often much more to counteract erosion, flooding, and environmental impacts.


Building in such conditions isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s expensive to fend off Mother Nature, and it requires skill and know-how. Our design story this month provides a glimpse of how much builders must do to pull off these projects.


“The challenges of coastal construction have intensified, in correspondence with the number and ferocity of storms in recent years,” senior editor Susan Bady writes. “Stricter building codes, revised flood-zone maps, and a slew of environmental and legislative regulations are making it more difficult, costly, and time-consuming to deliver a quality custom home. At the high end of the market, it’s especially important for clients to understand that cutting costs may be incompatible with creating a true legacy property.”


In addition to having an in-depth discussion with clients, it’s important for builders to bone up on local building codes and take regional considerations into account. Such preparation can mean the difference between a successful project and a catastrophic failure.



Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 10:15

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This Month in Custom Builder


Fully automated indoor hydroponic appliance that allows anyone to grow herbs, vegetables, and microgreens right in their kitchen all year round without pesticides


A seaside retreat follows the Passive House standard to maximize energy efficiency

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