Stephen (Steve) S. Jones , founder and CEO of Merlin Contracting & Developing LLC in Las Vegas, has been honored as the Custom Home Builder of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Custom Home Builders Committee. Sponsored by Sherwin-Williams™, the award was presented at a ceremony last night in Orlando during the NAHB International Builders’ Show.
Jones believes his company’s craftsmanship and innovation are key to creating each client’s dream home. With projects ranging from new estate homes to renovations of homes and condominiums, Jones credits quality building, good communication and exceptional project managers for the company’s success at satisfying customers’ unique visions.
One penthouse renovation was described in the Wall Street Journal business section as having a “James Bond-like aura,” with secret rooms, disappearing walls and other intriguing features. A 5,108-square-foot custom home with Moroccan hand-painted wood panels, a cantilevered roof with oculus and a metal pivot front entry door was dubbed “the coolest house in Las Vegas” and featured in Architectural Digest.
During each of the past six years, Merlin Contracting & Developing has completed two custom homes ranging in value from $1.8 million to $10.2 million, as well as averaging six custom remodels ranging in value from $19,000 to $9.5 million and three custom high-rise unit remodels ranging from $13,000 to $15.2 million.
“Steve likes to say he’s built homes ‘with a handshake rather than a contract’—and that integrity shines through not just in the relationships he establishes with his clients but in the fine craftsmanship that marks his homes,” said Gary Wilkerson, president of Gary L Wilkerson Custom Homes LLC and chairman of the NAHB Custom Builders Committee.
Mark Batson is owner and designer at Tongue & Groove LLC, a boutique design-build firm in the coastal city of Wilmington, N.C. The firm focuses on a limited number of specialized projects, completing an average of six a year.
Using in-house design-build and interior design, 3-D photo-realistic rendering and a collaborative creative process, Tongue & Groove is committed to deliver on each client’s vision. The company uses the latest technology and innovation to create homes that are beautifully designed, thoughtfully constructed and make living both easy and enjoyable.
Rod Cullum, founder and CEO of Cullum Homes in Scottsdale, Ariz., builds 10 to 15 multi-million-dollar homes a year and completes six to eight remodels. With more than 30 years in the business, Cullum relies on handpicked professionals to take projects from the early stages of site selection and architectural design through construction and beyond.
The firm offers services to maintain a home after move-in and, in many cases, renovates the home years down the road as the owners’ needs change. Focus on post-move-in client care and service, sometimes extending for years or even decades, has led the company to expand short-term warranty service into a long-term profit producer.
“These gentlemen build fine homes. They are leaders in their communities and mentors for their local home building associations. Congratulations to both Mark and Rod,” Wilkerson said.