On the Boards - Dining Hall

Our clients love to host large dinner parties at their historic lowcountry plantation. A tent erected on the lawn worked well until this winter when it was just too cold! The cold winter inspired them to build a dining hall that will seat thirty. The cozy interior is all antique heart pine. We will break ground soon to be ready for next winter’s cold weather.

On the Boards - Beach Front

We just presented this beach front house to the clients and they love it! This is the ocean side with multiple terraces and porches. The top deck will have endless views - probably almost to England!

On the Boards

We have a new project on the boards. This property has some great live oak trees. We positioned the house to focus on the trees and on a long view down the pond. 

On the Boards

We are excited to have a multi-family project on the boards! The community will be affordable housing with an emphasis on energy efficiency. Here are some drawings of the preliminary design. The three apartment buildings are dogtrots, with a outdoor passage through which provide ventilation and an outdoor living space. The remainder of the buildings are single family cottages with either one or two bedrooms, which center around a common space with a Chapel and a Pavilion.

 Solar panels on every south-facing roof!
Solar panels on every south-facing roof!

On the Boards

Factory Creek House

Here's a new house on the boards that overlooks Factory Creek. The owners wanted  traditional lowcountry style, but we went with a more contemporary feel in the rear with a lot of glass to take advantage of the incredible view. 

Hilton Head House

These clients originally hired us to help with a window replacement. Unfortunately, Hurricane Matthew cause significant damage to their existing house and they have decided to tear it down. Here's the design for their new house.

On The Boards

We are all excited about this new project on the boards! The lot is on a bluff with an incredible view.

With the installation of solar panels, the sustainable design and the use of energy efficient materials, we are hoping this house can be net-zero!

The kitchen

The glass staircase is really cool!

Here's the view from the foyer, we are loving the mid-century modern feel!

Sketches, 3-D Models and the Real Thing

Helping our clients understand the design of their house is essential for a successful project. Our first presentations to our clients are watercolor sketches to show the preliminary design. These sketches convey the design, yet are still easy to revise.  As we progress in the project we begin building the project in the computer.  With sophisticated software, called Building Information Modeling (BIM), we virtually build the project long before construction begins. This also allows advanced coordination and integration of all the systems and scheduling components. Many clients have difficulty visualizing the house. Because of this, the use of digital modeling is very useful.  Here are some project under construction showing the initial sketch, the computer model and the same view of the real house.


On the Boards at Spring Island

We have a great new project on the boards at Spring Island. The property has a long view over Pole Creek.

On the Boards

Lost Rabbit Residence

This project is located in Lost Rabbit, Mississippi. The plan has lots of spaces to enjoy the outdoors; porches, an outdoor living room, courtyard and a zen garden.

 Courtyard design
Courtyard design


Battery Creek Garage and Guest House

This is a phased project with a garage and guest house being built first. Later, the main house will be built when the client moves to Beaufort on a full-time basis.

Construction Costs

Many people who are contemplating building a new home are surprised at the cost of construction. The sticker shock is often due to the expectation of the same costs that were available during the recession. Our firm’s historical data of residential construction show that the average new home construction costs are still 38% less expensive than the few years before the great recession. So now is a good time to consider renovating or building a new house, while costs are greater than 2010 they are still less than 2007.

Construction costs are higher in Beaufort County because we are in both a hurricane zone and an earthquake zone. The requirements to mitigate both of these hazards include the following:

  • Building the first floor above FEMA’s base flood elevation which adds to the foundation cost.
  • Structural Engineering fees to design code compliant structural systems.
  •  Connecting the roof, through the walls to the foundation and footing with threaded rods, go-bolts, hurricane clips or other code approved methods. This adds to both the material and labor costs.
  • The shear walls required for lateral stability are more expensive than sheathing options available in other parts of the country.
  • Window and door openings must be protected from windblown debris. Impact rated windows can cost up to twice as much as non-impact openings.

There are several best practice options that will cost more initially but will either save money on your home insurance or utility bill that we recommend.

  • A secondary roof under a metal roof that ensure water tightness if the roof is compromised during high winds.
  • An U.L. certified lightning protection system will add $7,000 to $10,000 to a 2500 s.f. house but will protect your house and electronics from lightning strikes during our many lightning storms.
  • Spray foam insulation is typically 2 to 3 times more expensive than fiberglass insulation but is a far superior product. It stops air and moisture infiltration, will not sag, keeps dust and pollen out and reduces capacity requirements, maintenance and wear of heating and air conditioning equipment.

TV remodeling shows also add to unrealistic time and cost expectations. Those shows often have donated materials, low cost fees from the contractors and have pre-built a large portion in a warehouse prior to the show.  

Cost, square footage (both inside and outside) and quality of materials and workmanship are the triad of construction. If cost is the driving issue in your project you must be flexible in the size of the project and the quality of materials and workmanship.