Charlotte Remodeler Re-Defines “Custom” – A Thoughtful, Personal & Boldly Creative Approach To Each Project

Posted on | November 17, 2015 | No Comments

So few things in life are ever a perfect fit, so a custom build or renovation really can seem like the height of luxury. For Charlotte builder and remodeler Don Davis, owner of Davis Properties & Building Co., however, “custom” isn’t a word that automatically translates into big-budget specialty items. For Don, it’s about taking a thoughtful, personal and boldly creative approach to building – a philosophy which shines through whether he is building a Tiki Bar, a classically styled porch, or a transitional bathroom. North Carolina Design sat down with Don to hear his take on custom building, and how he achieves such a unique look for each space he creates.

Images Courtesy of Davis Properties & Building Co. ©

“I don’t like the term ‘custom,’” Don tells us. “I think it’s overused, and often misconstrued. It’s like Mercedes Benz branding – everyone associates it with luxury and assumes it’s out of reach, but that’s not necessarily true. Just like there are affordable ways to buy a Mercedes Benz, there are affordable ways to do custom.”

“From my perspective, custom doesn’t mean expensive. It means hands on, project oriented, personalized service. Rather than getting something off the shelf, you are getting something that’s catered to your specific home. With some creativity, some wise spending and some value engineering, you can get a lot of what you’re seeking on a moderate budget.”

Don asserts that listening carefully to clients is key to giving them the custom space they’re looking for. “If we’re doing a kitchen, we want to know, are you a budding chef? Are you modernizing for resale value? Knowing your wants and needs helps us analyze where to put spice rack rollouts, drop zones, cabinet pullouts and pan storage. We want to make the best possible use of the space, while giving you the best visual impact”

When it comes to cabinetry, Don is able to give his clients the ultimate in custom design. “We have our own shop, and we make our own cabinetry,” he affirms. “This gives us a lot of flexibility. Generally, if you find something out there you like, we’ll find a way to make it fit as though it was always there. There’s honestly no space we can’t accommodate. We are always thinking about how we can overcome an odd angle, a small room, or a vaulted ceiling.”

Don’s open mind and willingness to learn has proven a great asset in the custom field. “We’re not afraid to take on something new,” he notes. “Every time we take on a new challenge, we gain a little more knowledge and a little more wisdom. That knowledge and wisdom helps us find creative solutions for future projects.”

“When we were asked to do a storm room addition, we went out and learned everything we could about tornado proofing. When we did a residential dance studio, we consulted with a professional dance studio to find the best way to use the space. We’ve never pigeonholed ourselves into a single style or a type of structure. We stay open-minded so we can keep up with our client’s needs.”

Don’s main goal for any project is to serve his clients well. “Doing custom work does give me creative freedom, which I love,” he concedes. “But in the end, this is a service industry. Putting a smile on my client’s face puts a smile on my face. And that’s what motivates me.”

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