Labor Availability in Today’s Market

Labor Availability in Today’s Market

It should come as no surprise that skilled labor is in high demand in the residential construction industry in the Carolinas in 2019. But what is driving that trend in recent years? Three main reasons continue to appear in construction journals, news stories, and industry expert presentations:

  1. Lack of trades focus in US secondary and post-secondary school programs
  2. Impact of the sub-prime lending crisis / Great Recession on existing construction workers
  3. Impact of immigration policy changes or uncertainty

Our industry still faces the lingering impact of significant loss of skilled workers from the recession of 2008 in which large numbers of construction workers were laid off- some never to return to the sector. Combine this event with a vacuum of new entrants to the field due to an intense push for all (or most) high schoolers to go to college for an expensive 4-year degree and you’re left with a real shortage. So how does Fairview Custom Homes operate in this environment?

  1. High quality products attract high quality labor
  2. Quick subcontractor payment
  3. Clean and safe job sites
  4. Focus on relationships

At Fairview, we’re fortunate to build the most spectacular homes in our industry, and these projects are especially attractive to the best subcontractors in our region. Think about it, if you were a framer, mason or electrician, wouldn’t you prefer to perform your artistry on the best canvases in town? If you knew you’d be treated fairly and could come to a clean job site every day, wouldn’t that make a Fairview job opportunity more valuable to you?

That’s what we hear every day and is why we put such a premium on job site cleanliness and protection of finish items like floors, windows, countertops and paint. Our subcontractors know what to expect for interaction with our project management team throughout the job and for prompt payment of their services rendered.

We love building and renovating custom homes and the personal interactions we have with tradesmen is one of our favorite parts of what we do. We’re people people, and that’s a big reason why we’re able to continue building our hand crafted custom homes despite the tough labor market around us. Visit a Fairview job site today to see the difference!

Drew Hamblen Joins the Fairview Team

Drew Hamblen

The wait is finally over and we’re thrilled to have Drew Hamblen back since he left home in 2003 for military training and service. He’s settled right in as Fairview CFO and looks forward to meeting you. In conjunction with adding Drew to the team, we are pleased to announce the creation of Fairview Custom Homes, LLC and sharp new branding seen here on our site!

Here’s more about Drew:

Having served for 11 years as a United States Naval Aviator and recently exiting at the rank of Lt. Commander, Drew joined Fairview in early 2018 to partner with Chris and Steve in business. He transitioned from a promising military career as a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor pilot, in order to bring his creative energies to Fairview in a more family-focused enterprise here in the Carolinas. Drew hopes to help fulfill our multi-generational commitment to enhancing the quality of life for our homeowners, many of whom have served our country as well. Drew majored in International Affairs at Georgetown University, completed his MBA at the University of North Carolina’s  Keenan Flagler business school and specialized in contingency operations and safety programs in the Navy to prepare him to be an effective company manager and CFO at Fairview.

What Does it Cost to Build a Custom Home?

Without a doubt, the most talked about variable in custom housing is price. Widely considered to be the “standard real estate method,” the term most people use to start this discussion is cost per square foot. Sales executives use it, friends and neighbors use it, and often times builders use it as well. What does cost per square foot really include, though? Is it an effective way to compare builders and home plans?

If you have decided to build a home, or have done so in the past, then you have likely heard of most if not all of these phrases (and perhaps did not even realize that they are so different). Cost per finished square foot, cost per heated square foot, cost per conditioned square foot, cost per square feet under roof, and cost per square foot are all used by different firms and in different ways.

Are you aware that a standard custom home can have anywhere from 500-1,000 square feet of unfinished mechanical and storage rooms? Most architectural plans will not account for that space in the “total living space” figure, and so a builder might not include that space in their “cost per SF” figure. What about landscaping features and driveways, are those included in “under-roof square foot” figures? From Property Owner’s Association fees, to county water tap fees, to lake docks and garage spaces, there is a multitude of cost items that are often left out entirely when discussing initial estimates to build a home.

An article in Professional Builder Magazine (Nov. 2014) discusses a topic and puts it, rather bluntly, in a way that many builders can relate with. “The fact is, price per square foot is the least accurate and, frankly, the most ridiculous way to determine the true value of a home”. Why is this so? We have seen that there are many variables that need to be discussed when speaking about unit pricing. Additionally, price and value are not the same concepts. Every make of automobile has a price, but what is the value that a particular automaker’s brand conveys? What is the quality of construction, and finish, of that specific car? Unity pricing only applies to identical and identifiable equal units. Before you select your next home builder, request that they thoroughly convey to you what exactly they are including in their cost estimates, and additionally, ask them what intangible value their process and product has that competitors might lack. Remember, building a home is an emotional journey. This journey can be exciting, or it can be miserable depending on how it is managed. Can the value of the experience that a builder will offer be factored into a cost per square foot estimate?

By: Chris Hamblen GM/COO

Fairview Completes Beautiful Showcase Home

There’s energy in the air! In conjunction with the grand opening of the Gary Player Signature golf course in Mountain Park, Fairview is thrilled to announce completion of our beautiful model home in Mountain Park. Located on Highridge Parkway just inside the main gate, Fairview’s Model Home offers residents and future homeowners alike the chance to see a truly special home. Whether you want to see what’s possible with high-end finishes or wish to purchase a stunning home, we welcome your visit and hope to see you soon!

Confidence From Afar

It’s no secret that building a home is one of life’s many stressful mountains to climb, even despite the wonderful downhill ride that is seeing one’s dreams come to fruition. Add to this the challenge of building a home in another state, and the challenge can often appear overwhelming and insurmountable.

This challenge is something that Fairview Builders knows well and deals with quite often, and we feel that we’re better than ever at helping our clients achieve an excellent result with minimal stress. Throughout our nearly 14 year history in the custom home market, we’ve dealt with far more out-of-town clients than locals. Our market is centered on the luxury resort and golf communities scattered around North and South Carolina, and that typically means that we deal with clients that are nearing retirement, already retired but looking to relocate, or who want a second or third home in the beautiful foothills and lakes of the Carolinas.

The goal: being trustworthy stewards of the significant investments that our clients entrust us with and seeing that our clients come out of this process with the home they’ve dreamed of. The strategy? Communication and transparency. Fairview embraces the opportunity to construct beautiful homes while honoring your busy schedule and your hard earned expectations. We keep you informed of the many possibilities you may wish to pursue on each finish, while using our experience in partnering with you to stay accountable for the budget you wish to follow. We organize information in ways that we’ve found to make the most sense to homeowners so that you don’t feel led into the unknown.