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Another Fine Designer Builders Custom Home

What Designer Builders' Clients Say About Us

In March we moved into our new custom-built home in Aiken  When we purchased the lot almost four years ago, it was our intent to speak with the four contractors authorized to build homes in our development before making a decision.

Our first sit-down was with Todd Gaul of Designer Builders.  Todd spent several hours with us.  We found him to be professional, thorough, and genuinely interested in building us the house we desired.   Todd probed our interests and asked relevant questions.   When we left his office, both of us felt that it was unnecessary to talk with any of the other builders.

When we made that decision, we had no idea of how "right" that decision was. When it came time to sign a contract, Todd presented us with a very detailed list of specifications.  Everything was spelled out.  He had listened to the kind of home we wanted, and adjusted our allowances so that they fit the choices we would be making.

It makes sense that a professional, conscientious contractor would surround himself with employees and subcontractors who shared his business philosophy. And Todd has.

Bill Kolarek worked tirelessly helping us design our dream home. When we would mention a change or a new idea, Bill would make it happen in the design, and send us a new blueprint within days.

Melody Binion, our liaison with Designer Builders, was an unbelievable asset to us during construction.  She patiently taught us their computer software that would allow us to keep abreast with the building of our home from afar. She answered every phone call and replied to every email, promptly and efficiently. She coordinated all the subcontractors and kept us up-to-the-minute with a detailed calendar.  We always knew what and when something was being done on the house. When I mentioned one Monday morning that I had fretted all weekend that I could have made a bad decision, she assured me that there was "no fretting" when you choose Designer Builders, because they are there to make us happy.  I never fretted again.

Todd provided us with a wonderful design consultant, Melissa Day, whom we cannot say enough about. We could not have built this home without her expertise and assistance. She quickly learned our style preferences and budget concerns, and kept us on tract Melissa is highly competent and has excellent taste. Our beautiful home is the proof. And when we were making those design choices, we were not sent to one design center to make all the decisions. Melissa took us to multiple sources and stores-as many as were necessary for us to be satisfied with our choices.

Beth Gavin, Designer Builders business manager, was an enormous help with the financial side of the process. Her knowledge of the necessary insurance and finances kept us on schedule. She answered our questions and explained each procedure.

Craig Keller was our building superintendent. What a great job he did. . His attention to detail and quality is unmatched. When we were in town, he would meet with us whenever we desired. Craig regularly sent us pictures of our home so we could see the process. When we made changes, he never flinched or groaned-he just made them happen. He spent several hours with us prior to closing, teaching us the mechanics of the house. We have never had a builder do this before!

We really didn't meet Shawn Bowden until after we moved in. What a treasure. He has been so helpful with the little things that always come up when you are moving into a new home. Without even asking, he has repaired wall and woodwork damage caused by our movers. When I mentioned that we scratched the hardwood floor, he came over and fixed it.  He is always cheerful and willing to lend a hand.

This is the third custom-home we have built in the past 30 years. With the other two, we lived in the same town during the process and could visit the site daily. With this home, we built from afar. This was undoubtedly the easiest and best experience of all three.  We know the reason is because we chose Todd Gaul and Designer Builders.

  -- Monie and Jim Skinner

I wasn't home when they repaired the window yesterday but IT LOOKS GREAT! Thank you and Todd so much for your quick response. The other window is not having any problems that we can see. They did not change it. If we ever build a house around here you can be sure it will be with Designer Builders!

  -- Leslie Wilson

Please pass my thanks along to Shawn for his caulking and fixing yesterday.  Now, we need a rain to see if the deck leaks less or not at all.  The caulking along the stucco looks good as well and I will paint it tomorrow if it stays dry.

We greatly appreciate the follow up after six years of living in our home. That is part of the competitive advantage that Designer Builders has.  As usual, if you have someone interested in Mount Vintage, our home is available to view.

  -- Doug Schultz

Thank you and all your staff and workers for an excellent renovation experience. As you know, I had been planning this Master Bath renovation for over a year, and had practically all of the parts in place, ready to go. All it took was the right contractor to pull all of those pieces together and make it real.l I couldn't be happier.

It was always a pleasure to interact with your personnel -- from Melody as front office/major scheduler, to Beth, Melissa, and then of course all of the subs. In particular though, I would like to bring notice to Shawn. I cannot say enough about his excellence as a carpenter, detail man, and project coordinator. But beyond all of the talents and abilities that I'm sure you are aware of, what became so important was his ability to calm the nervous client in times of project stress. His natural positive demeanor plus professionalism were always what go things done with the least amount of difficulty. It was hugely appreciated by Mike and me.

Others of note were the bricklayer, -- you cannot tell the old from the new on the outside below the halfmoon window! And the tileman -- I have a new regard for epoxy grout. Both beautiful jobs. Plus Rhett as Shawn's assistant -- a really wonderful individual. Thanks also to the electrician, the plumber, and wallboard folks. Everyone who entered tech house, treated it with respect. It IS terribly different having a renovation in an existing home, and we appreciated their care.

All along, from when we first met you and Shawn to review the project, we had a true feeling of confidence that it would be well done quality job, and it was. Many thinks to all of you, and we will recommend Designer builders to our friends should they need renovations or add-ons or maybe even a new house.

  -- Mike and Barbara Lupfer

Designer Builders, Inc. builds the finest home using quality materials and expert workmanship. Neighbors who selected a different builder have all lamented that they didn't use Designer builders, Inc. because their builders lacked follow-up on punch lists, had hidden costs, and the quality and workmanship was not to Designer Builder, Inc. standards. The follow-up issues have been few and Designer Builders, Inc. responds immediately, all costs were up front and clear, and the quality and workmanship in our home is unsurpassed. The quality people at Designer builders, Inc. is what drives a quality build. Todd, an exceptional master builder, created a design to our exact specifications and provided leadership and oversight for the project to insure our satisfaction . Melissa, our phenomenal Interior Decorator, worked with us to select the flooring, lighting, cabinets, plumbing, and closets to best reflect our overall design and intended use. She "got us" and helped us outfit out home perfectly. Craig, our project manager, was absolutely the best. He managed the building of a quality home that we love to live in, and are proud to own. Beth did an excellent job keeping us exactly on track with out financials. We knew exactly what was needed, in what amounts, by when - no questions or surprises. Melody's attention to detail in planning and scheduling our build allowed everything to progress smoothly. She is working the punch list around our schedule, and we truly appreciate her effective communications in getting the work done.

  -- Bill Hall & Lynda Mann

"Designer Builders is a great group of people to work with. Todd helped us design a home that is beautiful and fits well with the area we live in."

  -- Bill and Carolyn Kuehnle

"I'm most satisfied with the quality of work. There's very little that's had to be redone. Also the office staff is fantastic."

  -- Al & Fran Warner

Shari and I want to thank you for making the process of building our new home a great experience.  Things could not have gone better; we found everybody in your organization a real pleasure to work with.

In talking to your subcontractors on the job, it was apparent that they have the utmost respect for your company and the quality you demand on your jobs.

Needless to say, Shari and I are very happy with our new home.

  -- Dick & Shari Evans

Sandy and I returned home over the Labor Day weekend and I had the opportunity to really enjoy the house.  I am currently still working in Florida...project managing the installation of the country's largest solar photovoltaic fields.  Anyway, I had the chance to take several photographs of the house and when I returned to Florida, I showed them around.

The reaction of the various people was priceless to say the least, the photos were only half as good as the house.

We continue to enjoy your work and are so thankful for all that you did.  Great job.

  -- Al & Sandy Budnick

Thank you so much for building my beautiful home.  It will continue to give me much pleasure and help make wonderful memories in the future.  I appreciate the many hours of help in making my home a place to be proud of and enjoy.

Thank you for the courteous and professional help you all gave to me.  Each room is beautiful, especially the master bathroom!

  -- Doris Hull

More Designer Builders' Testimonials

This month marks the first anniversary of our living in the fabulous home you built for us.  It is hard to believe that a year has passed so quickly.  Aiken is a great place to live and our home is the icing on the cake.  We have had many family members and old friends from Virginia visit and they are amazed at the superb quality and attention to detail in the construction and finishing.

We interviewed four builders.  We could have worked with any of them.  But, after our first meeting, we just had a sense that between your personality and enthusiasm for the home plans we brought with us, that this was going to be a fun adventure, and, indeed it was.  We sometimes kid around about calling you and having you build us another house, but we are not about to leave this one.  It "lives" very well.

However, we do miss the interaction with you and your wonderful staff and subcontractors.  Carol, Beth, Sharon, Elizabeth, Craig, Shawn and Aaron answered our many, many questions and accommodated our requests to make changes to things during the building process professionally and pleasantly.  Tom Garvin of Emerald Landscaping did a spectacular job on our yard.  Every single thing he planted has thrived.

Please feel free to give us as references.  We would also be pleased to have your potential clients visit our home to see what one of your finished products looks like.

Again, thanks to everyone associated with your company for the effort they made in building our home.

  -- Jim & Sharon Burke

We want to tell you how pleased we are again with the view through the clearest of glass, on our mahogany and leaded-glass front door.

Our younger son is deployed just now (Lt. Colonel, USAF).  For this reason, we have the entry lighted on the vertical American flag, which will wave until his return.  Shining the light caused the discovery of the clouded glass.

Elizabeth Lorenza and Shawn Bowden were great to work with.  Elizabeth had to dig deep to solve this challenge, with distributor and manufacturer.  She continued to keep us informed over the months.  And, Shawn's attitude and competence brightens any day!

We've been living in Cedar Creek since October 2004.  This is the 17th home we've owned, in 44 years.  Past experiences with other builders might lead us to expect we'd be on our own to attempt to have this corrected.  That's why we were particularly impressed with being treated as if we'd just moved in!

Designer Builders has such a fine reputation among our friends and neighbors, here and at other area locations, too.  While this extraordinary treatment from you, Elizabeth and Shawn was not surprising, it still was amazing!

  -- Don and Midge Rothrock

You have built us the best house in the world!  Thank you for all your talent, skill, patience, and caring.  Your team rocks!

  -- Jim and Anne Jones

Ken and I want to express our sincere appreciation for the fabulous job you did for us. We love our new home! The quality is superb. Building a house has to be built on trust, it would be a stressful process otherwise. We had complete trust in you. When problems arose, and they always will in construction, you made things right, even when it was at your expense. That is rare in today's world.

Todd, your staff was always courteous and efficient. Gordon was the ideal foreman and very conscientious. You hire good people! Tom and his landscaping crew put on the finishing touches and were a joy to have around. We could not be more pleased with our new home and surroundings. I will miss the fun interaction with Carol, Kristie, Beth, and Elizabeth. I could always count on them for help. Sharon & Craig launched me into the many decisions I had to make early on. It was a great experience. We are happy to be settled and to have time now for our new life in Cedar Creek. We'll recommend you to any new prospects any time. Our home is open to you.

  -- Pam and Ken

The building inspector went over this house with a fine tooth comb and commented several times about what a beautiful home this was. Well built and he especially made note of the curved roof over the front entry. He asked me twice who the builder was and his last comment was "fine home". Thought you might want to pass this along to Todd.

  -- Linda

It has been six months since we moved into Cedar Creek and we are quickly assimilating into the Aiken and Cedar Creek communities and activities. We wish to thank you and your Designer Builders staff for building us a home of which we are very proud. This home was the first new home that we had built. In order to make our dream home everything that we wanted we needed to follow a proven design and construction process and select a builder with whom we could communicate.

We selected you as our builder for your professionalism and for how well you seemed to understand our wishes. You, your staff, and your 'WEB-site' compensated for our on-site absence with excellent communications to report progress and to process changes as we went along. Your staff always communicated and responded to our questions professionally and promptly. Specifically, we want to extend our thanks to Shawn Bowden for all he did to supervise construction and troubleshoot issues with our home. We enjoyed working with him.

We want to thank your sub-contractors for their quality work and resolution of all minor problems after 'move-in'. They resolved issues promptly and to our satisfaction. Our expectations were high, yet you met and even exceeded them in several instances.

It was our pleasure to work with you. We happily referred you to others and are pleased that our friends building in Cedar Creek have selected you as their builder.

  -- Dick & Beverly Gillette

The remnants of "Frances" tested the drainage of the new deck spacing. It passed with flying colors, absolutely no water retention.

Thank you for correcting the problem.

I appreciate your excellent follow up service.

  -- Linda

Thank you for your prompt response to my call. At the time I felt you might want to know what kind of job had been done. I was not complaining, just informing, but now I have the best TV picture since I moved into the house.

It is truly a pleasure doing business with someone of such exemplary character who stands behind his product, and I will tell that to anyone who will listen.

  -- Linda Payne

After living in our new home for seven months, there is not much we would change, maybe nothing, as we are very pleased. We have seen and witnessed horror stories of home building gone badly. Fortunately for us we were lucky enough to have contracted with you and your company.

Our experience in home building was a pleasure. We were somewhat apprehensive about long distance building but that thinking changed once the process began. The people at Designer Builders were always courteous and helpful even when our questions probably sounded not so smart.

You and your staff always responded promptly to our questions. In the initial design stages you were always back to us quickly with changes and plans after we talked by phone or in person.

We have been very pleased with the quality of our home. Shawn, Kristie, Elizabeth, Beth, and Marie have been easy to work with as well. You have been very responsive to getting people back in to fix problems, which doesn't always occur with all builders.

In short we want to thank you for the excellent job you did and for the service attitude that you and you staff exhibited. Whenever I am asked I always recommend Designer Builders.

  -- George & Judy Montgomery

As we approach the first anniversary of your completion of our new home at Mount Vintage Plantation, I want to tell you again how much we enjoyed our "building experience" with you and your staff. The building of a new house sometimes leads to friction and "animosity" between the builder and the owner; but I am happy to say, "We began our relationship with you and Designer Builders as friends, and I consider us to still be good friends with you and you staff."

You have proven yourself to be an extremely honest person of very high integrity, and a "man of his word". These personal characteristics also flow down to your staff, all of whom were extremely helpful to us during the "building process". While all of your staff and your various sub-contractors represented you well, I want to particularly single out Elizabeth and Craig who have been so helpful and responsive in the "follow-ups" after construction was completed. Both had gone "above and beyond" the normally expected responses to ensure that all of our "glitches" were addressed in an expeditious, professional, and successful manner.

As you may know from Charles Blackston, we are "ambassadors" for you and your company here at Mount Vintage Plantation. We have hosted numerous prospective buyers who have visited our home to view "your work", and to discuss their interest in using Designer Builders to construct their "dream house" at Mount Vintage. We always give you "high marks" and will continue to do so.

  -- Bob & Harriet Ramsey

Todd worked with us every step of the way, from designing the house plans, through construction, and to closing. Todd stands behind his work and doesn't disappear after he cashes the check.

  -- Kevin & Beth Cannon

Todd took the stress out of building a home and made it a pleasurable experience. If we ever build again, or add on, we'll go straight to Todd and Designer Builders, Inc.

  -- Bill & Sandra Campbell

We could not be more pleased with the results. From the perfect craftsmanship of the brick masonry to the beautifully designed interior. Todd Gaul could not have been more helpful. He worked with us to stay within our budget. Todd built this home while we were still in New Jersey. Sending us pictures periodically helped us immensely. We came down to the home site only twice. Todd worked with us from redesigning the architectural plan to picking our material and finalizing the landscaping. Thank you, Todd. We are very happy we found you as our builder.

  -- Tim & Jean Briede

My husband and I were very busy and sometimes we only made it to the building site once a week. We had complete trust in Todd Gaul to keep the construction going. He was always accessible to us and demanded quality workers and products. The result was a beautiful, well built home.

  -- Todd & Paige Johnson

We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the outstanding quality of our new home and, most of all, for the pleasure of working with such honest and courteous people. You made building our new home a truly pleasurable experience.

  -- Barry & Judy

It's been three years since Designer Builders constructed my home. My first impression upon its completion was aesthetics - everything I wanted in my dream home. Now, after three years, I'm realizing what quality went into its construction. A good, solid foundation (no cracks in the walls from settlement), an outstanding heat/air system, and the house is virtually sound proof (excellent insulation with low monthly gas/electric bills). I could go on praising the quality of construction - things never considered three years ago. A big thanks to Designer Builders for the QUALITY CONSTRUCTION.

  -- D. Wood

Andrew and I would like to take this time to thank you and your staff for the fine work done on our house. We would especially like to extend our gratitude since we were unable to be here during the building phase. I don't know of anyone we could have trusted more with such a big undertaking. Everyone has been extremely helpful, even after we moved into the house. Once again thank you for the wonderful workmanship and excellent service.

  -- Andrew & Helen Kelly

We wanted to let you know how much we appreciate the positive experience we had during the building process of our new home. From the beginning, you were instrumental in seeing our vision become a reality. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Designer Builders to anyone in the future. Thank you again for the fine workmanship on our new home which we will enjoy it for many years to come.

  -- Rex & Deborah Decker

Thanks for making our dream home such an enjoyable and exciting adventure.

  -- Mike & Debbie Koon