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South Carolina recalls the Deep South and sprawling colonial neighborhoods, but its rich culture and geographical diversity are often forgotten; there is something for everyone in this charming state. South Carolina’s architecture is quite diverse due to its location: bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the southeast and the Savannah River in the southwest, with mostly lake homes found in neighborhoods that are by the shore.
Some of South Carolina’s famous areas include Charleston, a picturesque port city where cobbled streets and pastel antebellum-style houses are found on every corner. Lexington, on the other hand, is a family-friendly community close to the mountains, with many nature trails to be enjoyed by everyone. Many residents of South Carolina have found homes in these locations.
There are many French colonial or plantation-style homes left untouched by times; many families opt to restore or remodel these historical homes instead of building new ones. This list will help every homeowner determine the best remodeler for their home. From unique projects to awards, this list has covered all of the bases on these remodelers. Here are the 15 best general contractors in South Carolina.
15) Kehoe Constructors
P.O. Box 2304, Lexington, SC 29071
Kehoe Constructors is one of the most wide-scale remodeling firms in Lexington. The firm’s services aim to cater to everyone, from homeowners who have a family member with special needs to multi-generational spaces—the firm is a certified Aging-In-Place specialist and follows the Universal Design criteria. The firm’s founder, Timothy Kehoe, has a background in construction management and architecture; he is able to effectively assess the creative solution for every kind of home. The firm’s Universal Design expertise has won five Columbia Remodelers Awards.
The firm’s style varies depending on the needs and demands of a homeowner. For Kehoe Constructors, a successful remodel is a home that is accessible for everyone. A great example of this is the “Cooking Across Generations” kitchen floor plan that features countertops at various heights.
14) Gallup and Lafitte, Design-Build
113 Columbia Ave Chapin, South Carolina
Dick Gallup’s start as a real estate agent exposed him to the many frustrations of purchasing the perfect home. He realized that every homeowner needs a simplified building process that is easy to understand. So he decided to establish Gallup and Lafitte, Design-Build, a firm that pioneered a turnkey design-build process for custom residential firms in Columbia, South Carolina. In 2002, the firm started providing remodeling services as well. Despite being fairly new, Gallup and LaFitte’s remodeling services have already won the firm three Columbia Remodeler’s awards for their large additions, as well as a Historic Preservation award from the Historic Columbia Foundation.
The firm’s award-winning historic preservation homes have caught the attention of many residents in Columbia. One of them is Prairie-style home built in the 1910s. The firm turned the outdated home into a simple ranch home with modern interiors.
13) The Twelve Oaks Group
14 New Orleans Rd. Ste 14 Hilton Head, SC 29928
As a third Generation Homebuilder, Brian Quinn had the principles of construction instilled in him at a very young age. He created The Twelve Oaks Group in 2007 to carry on his family’s legacy and build to the highest standards in the Hilton Head Area. The philosophy of The Twelve Oaks Group and its staff are simple, provide quality homes and cutting-edge construction techniques while engaging in complete transparency to their clients. Everyone on The Twelve Oaks Team is involved in every phase of all custom projects assuring the highest quality materials and workmanship possible. They are bold in their approach, and they are up to date on the latest trends and techniques in home building. This has proven to be a well-received process and they have been awarded over 23 local and national awards for their designs and custom homes in the last few years.
Since the firm is capable of light commercial construction, it can also do wide-scale additions such as garage car lifts and bowling alleys. The firm designed a custom urban bowling alley decorated with graffiti and neon lighting; this was featured on an episode of MTV’s Teen Cribs and HGTV. However, most of the firm’s designs are sophisticated homes that have a touch of Victorian colonial with some warm bohemian accents.
12) Esposito Construction
1 Matthews Drive, Suite 115 Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
After 18 long years in the construction business, Brian and Leslie Esposito decided that it was about time for them to pursue their dream—to establish their own firm. In 2008, Esposito Construction was established to provide commercial and residential renovation for Hilton Head Island. Despite being ten years old, the firm has no plans of expanding; instead, it will remain a small company, focused on providing consistent quality and excellent customer service. The firm has become popular in Hilton Head; it has been featured regularly in Hilton Head Monthly magazine and had the honor of being Hilton Head’s Builder of the year in 2012 and 2014. Brian is also the president of Hilton Head Area Home Builders Associations.
Esposito Construction mainly remodels beach homes with stunning views. The firm’s contemporary bohemian style perfectly captures the beachside vibe of Hilton Head. It comes as no surprise that most of the firms remodel are either vacation homes or retirement homes.
11) Citadel Enterprises
523 Wando Lane Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
In November 1991, Pete Loy started Citadel Enterprises as a one-man team, catering to Mount Pleasant and Charleston. Throughout the years, Pete invested in a rigorous training program that tackles all the latest construction methods and products. This led to Citadel Enterprises’ state-of-the-art workshop that provides top of the line resources for the firm’s craftsmen. The firm is very proud of its superior craftsmanship; it has won five Guild Quality awards from Guildmaster, as well an award from Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce for construction services.
The firm prefers to use hardwood furnishing for remodels. Not only does it give a rustic feel to the designs, but as hardwood is sturdy and long-lasting, it also makes for a good investment. Vintage furnishings and warm tones lend a rustic cabin vibe to the room.
10) Renaissance South Construction Co.
220 Coleman Blvd. Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Renaissance South Construction is one of Charleston’s leading home builders and remodelers. The firm’s projects are mostly found in upscale neighborhoods in downtown Charleston. Projects span from traditional to bohemian; the firm’s diverse knowledge of style has won it four Prism awards. The three-time Builder of the Year winner boasts a team with a combined experience of 100 years, as well as membership on Remodeling Magazine’s Big50 list.
The firm’s projects are a perfect balance of modern and traditional. One project is a traditional craftsman home, with an elevated pool addition overlooking the lush greenery of its scenery. The walls remain simple and elegant, and colorful furnishings gives the home a fun style that could be appreciated by anyone.
9) Priester’s Custom Contracting
PO Box 60040 North Charleston, SC 29419
Priester’s Custom Contracting has made a name as a luxury home builder and is additionally known as a seasoned remodeling company serving North Charleston. The firm made a reputation for superior quality remodels, which has earned it the highest distinction from the Guildmaster award for eight consecutive years. Priester’s Custom Contracting is a popular choice for residents in North Charleston, as the firm is featured regularly in Charleston Home and Design magazine and the Charleston Fall Home Show.
Since it is a primarily a custom home builder, the firm’s whole home renovations are quite extensive and unique. The Walsh Family had many unrealistic requests for the builders when they had their Isle of Palms home renovated: they wanted the two-story home to have enough rooms for their four children and five grandchildren, a swimming pool, and a deck perfect for sunbathing. The firm utilized the space by providing bunk beds for all the children to give more room for the adults. And since the backyard didn’t have enough space for a deck, the firm customized a roof deck to accommodate all of the members of the Walsh Family.
8) Sea Island Builders LLC
2113 Middle Street Suite 100, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482
As the only firm in the area with in-house professional estimating, professional project scheduling, and professional mechanical systems design and engineering, Sea Island Builders is one of Charleston’s best and most efficient design-build firms. The Sea Island Builders management team retains four licensed residential builders on staff with over 80 years of combined experience in the residential design-build industry. Through his experiences, Fowler brings quality management to the firm’s unique design-build construction process. His management has produced amazing results: the firm has won four Guildmaster Excellence awards, three awards from Charleston Home Builders Association, and a South Carolina Home Builder’s Association Pinnacle Award.
Charleston is a historical city, and many homes have stood the test of time. Sea Island Builders aims to restore the glory of these forgotten homes, like the Sullivan’s Island historic restoration to a circa 1850’s beach cottage. The 1850s house was remodeled to look brand new. The craftsman home was repainted with fresh linen paint, but its interiors were kept original in restoring the antique wood to its original glory.
7) Dillard-Jones Builders
115 N. Brown St. Suite 200 Greenville, SC 29601
Founded in 2003, Dillard-Jones Builders is a national award-winning custom builder that is redefining expectations of what all-inclusive service means. With more than 360 years of combined residential experience, the DJB team of designers, architects, interior designers, and builders work with clients in a collaborative manner from early conceptuals, through design, construction, interiors, and after move-in care. As the preferred builder in many luxury communities, Dillard-Jones has won countless awards for quality, design, and business integrity.
Dillard-Jones’s craftsman style homes are designed with rustic wood paneling and tailored leather interiors. The firm stays true to the craftsman and traditional designs common to the area, but excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail showcase the team members’ talent. All of Dillard-Jones Builders’ remodels are guaranteed to have top-notch furnishing, as Tom Dillard recently established an interior design firm, Tribus Design Studio.
6) Court Atkins Group
29 Plantation Park Drive, Suite 504 Bluffton, SC 29910
When William Court and James Atkins established Court Atkins Group in 2003, their goal was to deliver projects with an outstanding architectural design. They wanted a firm with an open studio dynamic to promote collaboration and inspire a constant exchange of dynamic solutions. Court Atkins Group advocates for sustainable building that uses architecture to seamlessly connect the home with its environment. Overlooking windows are used to open the space of a room; these windows can be installed in colonial style homes, giving a traditional design a more updated look. The firm’s innovative take on these classic designs have earned them 55 NAHB Lighthouse Design awards and the honor of helping the building team of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in 2011.
Since the firm’s focus is on architecture, the general room layout always complements the overall character of the design. Take, for example, the Spring Island home was a traditional farmhouse style house that was made with brick. The firm opted for simple white furnishing and traditional hardwood floors to bring out the character of the exposed brick.
5) Stein Renovation and Design Group
1780 Dartmoor Circle Charleston, SC 29407
Tori Stein, one of Charleston’s most accomplished remodelers, has been in the construction industry for 30 years. After a short hiatus from renovating homes, Stein realized that Charleston needed a firm with experts in every remodeling service. Stein Renovation specializes in every kind of remodeling, whether that be a simple deck installation or an upscale historic home preservation. Stein Renovation and Design Group aims to be the best in every aspect, in order to be Charleston’s one-stop-shop remodeler. Stein’s many years of experience have earned her many accolades, including three Charleston’s Remodeler of the Year awards; Stein Renovation has won South Carolina awards since 2014.
Thanks to Stein’s extensive experience, the firm is capable of any style: the Mediterranean, traditional, modern, or craftsman. Stein Renovation’s portfolio boasts a whole home Mediterranean remodel featuring an adobe brick spiral staircase. Another impressive remodel is a modern bathroom, walled by black tiles, which are accented by abstract lines.
4) H2 Builders
40 Persimmon Street Suite 105 Bluffton, SC 29910
With over 350 homes and 20 years of experience, H2 Builders is one of Bluffton’s longest-running firms. Often servicing colonial homes, H2 Builders stands out thanks to its elegant work in ranch and craftsman homes. Most of the firm’s homes are palatial, but their interiors are warm and humble, making the designs extremely welcoming. It is evident that the firm strives to make all homes perfect for the family; this has won the firm yearly “Best Home Builder” distinctions from Island Packet Reader’s Choice, Hilton Head Monthly Reader’s Choice, and Bluffton Today.
The firm is also a Certified Aging-In-Place and Certified Green Remodeler, so one can expect H2’s projects to be sustainable and long-lasting. The firm’s style is very clean and simple, but impressive moldings and wood paneling make the designs stand out. Making quality materials the focal point of the room is a clever way of designing a room; not only is it simple, but it brings an authentic charm that ties the entire room together.
3) Gabriel Builders, INC.
641 Garden Market Dr. Suite A, Travelers Rest, SC 29690
Gabriel Builders, INC. is one of the Cliff communities’ preferred builders, as the firm has received countless awards including nine South Carolina Pinnacle awards and 15 Southern Home and Garden Bridge awards. The firm’s recent awards include two 2018 SC Pinnacle awards for New Home Constructions, both grand ranch style manor homes. These award-winning homes reflect the firm’s signature style— a contemporary interpretation of classic ranch style designs. Gabriel Builders’ classic designs have garnered the firm spreads in the county’s most distinguished home magazines such as At Home Magazine, Palmetto Living Magazine, Links Magazine, and Charleston Style and Design Magazine.
The firm is known for excellent home-building services, but the remodeling services bring the same level of class and elegance. The firms remodel are reminiscent of old ranch homes that are warm and rustic; the builders ensure that their interiors blend well with the exterior; most of the remodels are classic and rustic, always with a modern functional twist. The Lake Keowee home, featured in Palmetto Living magazine, has a custom fireplace, hot tub, and light switch, which can all be controlled remotely by the owner.
2) Classic Remodeling and Construction
1832 River Road Johns Island, South Carolina 29455
In 1989, Bob Fleming founded Classic Remodeling & Construction with only 3 employees. Today, the firm is Charleston’s largest remodeling-only contractor. Bob is a passionate and dedicated builder; when the company was founded, he drew all of his plans by hand for all of his customers. Classic Remodeling and Construction now has the means to provide its customers with 3D floor plans that can generate full scale remodels, allowing the homeowner to see the new home before construction. The firm, a GuildQuality Guildmaster award winner since 2005, has made a name for themselves in the Lowcountry, with a 97% customer satisfaction rating. Classic Remodeling and Construction also has several features in various publications including Professional Remodeler magazine, Charleston Home + Design magazine, Builder/Architect magazine, and the Charleston Living magazine. Post and Courier have also given the firm Charleston’s Choice Finalist for best Home Remodeling Company in 2016 and 2018, Winner in 2017. Nationally, the firm has been part of Remodeling magazine’s Top 500 firms of the nation.
Classic Remodeling and Construction is also known for its historic preservation services. The firm’s Himmelein home restoration was featured in Kitchen and Bath magazine: this project involved the efficient conversion of a 150-year-old former hospital into a cozy home for a recently retired couple. The result was a simple contemporary home with classy marble accents and Victorian-style moldings. The Himmeleins were the most impressed with their kitchen remodel because it had enough space to accommodate two cooks passionate about entertaining their guests with their cooking.
1) Randy Jeffcoat Builders
40 Persimmon St. Ste 103 Bluffton, SC 29910
Randy Jeffcoat Builders is one of the leading firms in Hilton Head, with more than 45 years of experience in building custom homes. Randy Jeffcoat was inspired by his father to start his own firm; his family has been building homes since 1972. Jeffcoat’s passion for framing homes and structural background paved the way for his company to build innovated and modernized colonial-style homes. The firm does custom home-building and remodeling, using modern interpretations of the rustic colonial design common to the state. Randy Jeffcoat Builders’ remarkable designs have won the firm over 50 LIghthouse awards; the firm is regularly featured in Belfair Oaks Magazine and CB2 Home; the firm has also participated in the Lowcountry Parade of Homes tour.
One of Randy Jeffcoat Builders’ most memorable projects is the Knockers’ newly constructed home. The firm built a home that appears to be a traditional craftsman home from the front. However, the backyard addition has a pool accepted by a stonewall fireplace, as well as two overlooking fire bowls. The Knockers commended Randy Jeffcoat for attending to their every request, such as a custom dog wash that was installed in the laundry room. Despite all of these special requests, the firm managed to make every room cohesive with the overall look of the house. The home’s interiors were painted a simple toned down gray, with modern Victorian furnishing.
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