Most people who are in the privileged position to build a custom home realize that they are at the mercy of their chosen home builder. We understand the details of our own businesses, we think we are pretty savvy, but if we are honest with ourselves we admit to a high degree of ignorance about the ins and outs of building a home – and, in our case, building in a state that is 1800 miles from what had been home. If our builder wanted to take advantage of us, to cut corners, to pad the bill, to use inferior materials, to hire inexperienced craftsmen, etc. there would be no way we could find out. So for us, the primary criterion (after competence) for choosing a builder was: “Do we trust this outfit?”
Sterling Custom Homes is a firm you can trust implicitly. We trusted them from the get-go and they more than earned that trust over the entire 18 months of design, build, and settle in. The most remarkable part of that trust is that it permeates the organization. Trustworthiness is in the Sterling culture.
Duke McDowell, the owner, gave his personal guarantee – a handshake – that he’d build us a great home and stand by his work. Cody and Bruce, our construction managers, were always on the job and kept us in the loop. Christine kept track of progress, decision deadlines, design choices, etc. and is as sweet as she is competent. Jeff kept track of every dollar spent. The architect and designer Sterling recommended – each with 10+ years of experience working on Sterling jobs – were exceptional.
From looking at prior Sterling projects and Showcase Homes, we knew that Duke and his team could build us a first-rate house. But would this be a nightmare experience? Or would it be a project we could actually enjoy and remember happily? Answer: It’s been a fabulous experience from day 1. We had the luxury of living a mile away during construction, so we were able to be immersed in the details. Sterling staff made the process fun and engaging. Questions – us of them and them of us – get answered almost immediately.
It’s now been six months since we moved in. Every time we have a question or a small problem, Cody or Bruce is on our doorstep literally the next day to remedy the issue. We are entitled to a Year 1 checklist of final things to address. But, honestly, that list is zero right now. Our neighbor lives in a Sterling home, and has called on Duke to remedy an issue 5 years after completion. The answer is always “Sure – OK.”
Sterling Custom Homes? We trust them, they were a joy to work with, and they are dependable beyond what the situation calls for. Did I mention competent? Oh yes. . . .