CB January 2006


John Blair of Blair Custom Homes in Bethlehem, Penn., describes what products he wouldn't build without.

Award winning homes require quality products. Here are the manufacturers whose products were used the most in the making of this year's BALA homes.


Custom builders are typically small builders, and budgets for expenses like marketing tend to be equally small. For a while, a hot real estate market has made it possible for custom builders to survive without devoting a lot of time and thought to marketing. But as markets start to cool, custom builders need to consider how they can create a stir about their companies without getting strapped.

Custom builders are finding allies in a new place — their suppliers. A few short years ago, the residential construction industry seemed to be focused on removing what they thought were unnecessary costs from the supply chain. The impulse was being driven by the national builders, who were trying to leverage their buying power to create economies of scale.

If successful custom home building was a recipe, the ingredient list would be one part skilled builder and trades; one part good land, floor plans and options; and two parts satisfied customers. Because customer satisfaction is such an integral part of the custom home building recipe, custom home builders are focusing more than ever on improving their customer satisfaction ratings.

A porte cochere sets the stage for this southern California custom residence's grand entrance, withholding the view of the two-story home's elegant Spanish Colonial façade until one has passed under its distinctive arcade and into an ultra-private central car court.


This Month in Custom Builder


Union is an industrial-inspired bath fittings collection from the UK-based brand Crosswater London


Collaboration holds the key to a smoother selections process that satisfies both client and builder

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