Design South Homes in Modern Home Builder
DESIGN SOUTH HOMES – “A Total Package”
Modern Home Builder Magazine, March 2016
Excerpt from article by Jim Harris, MHB Magazine
“Design South Homes’ design/build approach to custom home building makes the process seamless and positive for its clients.”
“Our client’s receive the benefits of design services from day one.”
– Philip Crotwell, Design South Homes Founder
Design South Homes’ design/build approach streamlines this process. The company is involved with the entire construction process from providing initial conceptual drawings, product selections, budgets, permits, feasibility studies and working drawings to the actual construction and final walk-through. “Our clients receive the benefit of design services from day one,” says Philip Crotwell, owner of the Mount Dora, Fla.-based company. “We offer a complete, comprehensive package, which has given us a market advantage.”
The company operates a showroom where clients can see and choose finishes, fixtures and products for their new homes. Design South Homes also serves as a dealer for several high-end brands including DalTile, Shaw Flooring and KraftMaid Cabinets. “We try to partner with as many high-quality national brands as we can,” he adds.
Clients also receive a design booklet containing all of their fixture and finish selections. Crotwell personally supervises all home projects, and makes himself available to clients for questions or concerns. “Providing a good experience for our clients all the way through the process is one of our hallmarks,” Crotwell says.
For clients who prefer a production home-type approach, Design South Homes this year is introducing a line of semi-custom homes with multiple floor plans for customers to choose from. “We will pre-price a few floor plans, so people can shop a little more easily,” he adds.
The company typically builds a dozen custom homes a year, ranging in size from 2,800 to 7,000 square feet. Design South Homes specializes in the luxury and estate home market, though it also takes on smaller single-family homes.
All of the company’s homes are built with quality and sustainability in mind. Energy efficient features such as low-e windows and high-density insulation are standard in all Design South Homes homes, and LED lighting is becoming more prevalent as well.
Many of Design South Homes’s customers request open floor plans with formal dining rooms, large kitchens and outdoor living spaces in their home. Contemporary architecture and in-law suites are also commonly requested.
Crotwell – who has 30 years of design and construction experience – founded Design South Homes in 2003. The company builds within the central Florida region, which includes several towns near Orlando.
The company’s first custom home project was a participant and winner in a regional Parade of Homes showcase. This recognition gained it exposure and client referrals early in its history at a time when the housing market was down nationwide.
In addition to new home construction, the company performs commercial projects such as restaurants and niche retail spaces. Design South Homes also keeps busy integrating kitchen design and home remodeling work. “We work with enough trade partners to create an environment to consistently accomplish a variety of projects in scope and size,” Crotwell says. “The renovation work we’ve done has allowed us to be a better custom builder.”
Referrals remain a large source of business for Design South Homes, as it has a more than 90 percent referral rate. “We want our customers to continue talking about us long after their home is finished and refer us to a friend,” Crotwell says.