Tuesday, December 20, 2011

To the Ends of the Earth. . .

Just a little over a week since I stepped foot back on American soil, I was buckled into four different planes, totaling 24 hours in the air for my return flight and I'm still trying to describe the experience I had in Kolkata, India!  I've been asked many times about my trip and honestly, the only way I know how to truly describe it is by saying, "It was awesome, devastating, beautiful, breath-taking, depressing, hopeless, filled with hope and an unforgettable trip."  There are no words to describe it.  Some of my pictures "might" shed a little more light, but to truly understand India, you have to experience it for yourself and take it in through your five senses. . . without a doubt, it will continue to take time to really process through everything I experienced.
One of the many beautiful faces of India!
Just to give a little glimpse into the city of Kolkata, India, There are 16 million people who live there and 2 million of them live on the streets! Two weeks I was there definitely gave me a different lens through which I view things back home!  Though I "enjoyed" aspects of my trip, I think a better description of the trip would be that it was life changing! I "enjoyed" the children and people I met, the places I was privileged to serve and my favorite aspect was simply loving on those who were so desperate for help. . . that's what I "enjoyed"!

Come take a little photo tour through the sights I took in. . . they won't come close to capturing India, but a least it will give you a little taste of these amazing people!
I love the little pop of color in front of the boys in school uniforms on their way to school in the morning.
 A little boy drinking up the last drop of milk at the Dump School.  These children are picked up from an actual dump where they live with their families. We were able to be a part of their lives as they came to this little school where we gave them a bath, taught them English, made a craft, played and share sweet stories of hope with them!
 Giving thanks for the daily "bread" he was about to receive.
Being served a hot and healthy meal. . . since they live at the dump, they also eat at/from the dump. They understand the gift of a fresh meal prepared just for them!
 Their beautiful colors always amaze me!
 A woman begging.
 A family standing outside their home.
 Slum homes.
This is a "normal" sight. . . trash and garbage are seen all over the place.

Having been to Bangalore in 2005 on a medical missions trip, I knew what I was in for as I set out for India again. . . but from what I had heard, Kolkata was supposed to be harder, filthier and more poverty stricken. . . I found that to be true.

 This group of boys have been rescued by a sweet India family who have a tremendous heart for boys living to survive at a large train station.  Many have been abused by their parents, have fallen into the "gang life" to try to provide that sense of "family", drugs and they end up living like animals as they "fend" for themselves. Their stories of gratitude, hope and a changed life were absolutely amazing since they really were experiencing a genuine and true love for the first time in their lives.  They didn't take their "adoption" into this awesome and self sacrificing Indian family for granted!
Due to a generous cash gift from a Structures family member and a Structures client, 10 "train station" boys will have new clothes for Christmas! They also enjoyed some yummy ice cream after we took them to a Science Center! Something they had never experienced before!

Teaching in a slum school.
 Due to another extremely generous financial gift of someone else from the Structures family and a dear client, over 60 children in this school will have new math and English books!  They were finished with their current books and were specifically praying that their need for new books would be met. . . Wow, were they ever blessed and encouraged!!!

 A precious little girl I wanted to bring home with me!!!
 Learning to enunciate each letter in the alphabet.

As I said, this can only shed a little light on this huge land of beautiful people. . . I'd jump at the opportunity to sit across a table from each person I know and give them a full verbal and visual rundown of the trip!  It would be full of heart gripping and amazing stories that filled each moment from the time I stepped foot into India until I arrived back home. . .  I'm still so grateful and overwhelmed by the privilege I had to be a part of some really awesome and beautiful things that are taking place in India!

Forever changed. . .

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Everyone Smile in 1..2..3!

We recently ventured out of the office and off our project sites for a Structures family photo session at Mt. Pleasant's Memorial Waterfront Park! We were able to get some great shots - we do, after all, live in the city that was ranked by Travel + Leisure Magazine as America's 2nd Most Attractive City. I think you'll agree that we were robbed of Travel + Leisure's #1 spot as you enjoy some outtakes from our day :

Who knows what on earth everyone is doing in this picture! Steve and Amy are having a staring contest, Deb looks like she's all in Dave's face and Justin just looks totally bored and decided to text someone while waiting for every one to get ready to say "cheese"!
Marty needs reindeer antlers on to complete the pose!
Striking a pose.
No words can capture the emotion here. . . :)
And finally...I think we have a keeper!

L-R - Jennifer, Deb, Roger, Dave, Marty, Steve, R.P., Amy, Knox, Kathryn, Justin and Cara

Monday, December 5, 2011

Structures Turns 12

Last week, we celebrated a great milestone as a company – our 12th anniversary! Steve Kendrick began Structures Building Company in 1999, and we’re happy to say that 12 years later, we are still building and remodeling quality custom homes in the Charleston area. This is an exciting time to be a home builder, and we are thankful to our wonderful clients, architects, trade contractors and suppliers, and everyone who supports the work of Structures! Happy Anniversary Steve – here’s to many more years of success!

Read more of the Structures Story HERE.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2011 Prism Award Winners!

Just as we had hoped, the 2011 Prism Awards held on Friday, November 11th did not disappoint! The 23rd annual awards celebration is hosted by the Charleston Trident Home Builders Association and is a gathering of the best home builders and real estate agents in Charleston. These top companies and individuals are recognized for excellence in marketing, customer service, and new home sales as well as those who exceed standards in product quality. That is the exactly the kind of team Structures strives to be, so we were thrilled to walk away with two awards!

Our first award was for the Best Product Single Family Home in the $700,000 to $1,000,000 range for 20 Iron Bottom Lane in Daniel Island Park. This beautiful residence was designed by the talented Darryl A. Cobb of Cobb Architecture, and is home to one of our many wonderful clients!

And about our clients…we certainly work with the best, and that is why Structures was so very thankful to also receive the award for Best Customer Service for a Custom Home Builder! We aim to meet the needs of our clients by providing them with a team who understands the client’s priorities and produces a quality, custom home built with integrity and excellence. We could not be more pleased to receive this particular honor, and it’s the one we will certainly be working hard to take home again in 2012!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happenings on the Harbor!

Stay tuned to the exciting building process of a harbor front custom home designed by Herlong & Associates! The two videos below were recorded at 362 Schweers Lane in the Old Village. You'll see the pile driver picking up the pile in the first video and the second video shows the driving it deep into the ground. Just standing there you could feel the vibration of the ground under your feet. Pretty amazing!

(see the container ship in the background at clip 3.08 - a classic view on the Old Village harbor!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thanks, Y'all - Charleston Voted 2011 Top City in United States

Conde Nast Traveler magazine named Charleston, SC the Top City in the U.S.! Not a surprise to all of us who call this beautiful place home! Check out this great video that talks about the different aspects of this city we love!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Beautifully Built Design - Guest Blog Entry Written by Architect, Darryl Cobb

Recently, I tried to add up how many buildings I designed since I started my architectural firm in 2000. I think the number is somewhere around 400. The next question is, out of 400, how many are special and built to perfection? The honest answer is probably less than a dozen. A lot of them are built well but very few get built as close to perfection as humanly possible. This is why I asked Steve Kendrick if I could write his next blog.

I have worked with Structures on three projects over the last 5 years. One was a major renovation and two were new construction. In all three cases, the team at Structures Building Company has done everything they can to build the best possible house and follow my design to the exact specifications. When they saw the opportunity for savings or improvements, they contacted me to discuss the options prior to making any changes.
There are many steps involved in building a house. The most recent project of mine that Structures completed was a custom residence at 20 Iron Bottom Lane on the Parkside of Daniel Island.The first step was the pricing process. R.P Newton, Production Manager at Structures, went over my plans with a fine tooth comb. There were many, many phone calls about the construction methods and alternative ways to achieve my design for the best possible price. All of the communication between R.P. and my staff insures that not only do they fully understand the building, but also that nothing gets lost in translation.

The next step is the construction phase. Dave Hargis was the Project Manager on 20 Iron Bottom and showed the same level of attention during construction that R.P. demonstrated during the pricing process. The construction phase is where, nine times out of ten, my designs don’t get executed to their greatest potential. Some builders change things to make more money and some simply don’t care how a change will effect the overall design. If Dave had a question, he was quick to call us to figure out a solution instead of making a guess that might compromise my design. Because of this high level of detail and communication, the construction phase of 20 Iron Bottom was executed as close to perfect as one could hope for.

Last, and certainly not least, are the selections of colors and interior fixtures, such as lighting, plumbing fixtures, and counter tops. The homeowners hired Scott Fritz, from Cincinnati, who is a talented interior designer that they had worked with before. Sometimes an interior designer will miss the architect’s intent and the inside selections may not be consistent with the architectural style or details. From my perspective, Scott nailed it.

However, Structures had one more person that was integral to making everything come together. Deborah Way is Structures’ Designer. She was available to help the owner with selections and showroom visits, while also driving the process to keep the selection of finishes on schedule, but more importantly, she played a vital role in coordinating information with Scott, the homeowners, and the suppliers. She took great care to make sure that everything was installed and executed exactly as it was intended. Anytime she thought that something didn’t look quite right, she wouldn’t hesitate to raise the concern with the out-of-town client and Scott to work through all the details. Most builders do not have a designer on staff to help with making such important selections.

My purpose in writing this blog is to explain all the different parts involved in building an excellent house. There are many builders that try to do it all by themselves. It is the team that Steve has assembled that made 20 Iron Bottom the beautiful house that it is.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Charleston Restaurant Week

Cooler temperatures and uniquely crafted three course menus mean one thing in Charleston, Restaurant Week. Over 85 restaurants in Charleston are participating in the much anticipated Lowcountry event with multiple course meals for $20, $30, or $40. Choose one restaurant, easier said than done, or indulge in multiple menus from September 7 - 18. For more information or to scour each and every menu, visit the Charleston Restaurant Association website. Be sure to make reservations early, you don't want to miss out on the creative cuisine!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reason To Celebrate!

L-R - CTHBA Board Member - Anne Svetlik, SBC Owner - Steve Kendrick,
SBC Designer - Deborah Way & CTHBA Treasurer, Andy Barber

We are excited to announce that our team just received two Pinnacle awards at the Home Builders Association of SC's annual convention! Both awards were given to us for the Coastal Living Idea Cottage. This was the first year we submitted any of our homes on a state level, so you can imagine how awesome it was to hear "Structures Building Company" announced twice during the evening of the Celebration of Excellence!

We received our first award for Green Building - Best Overall and the second award was Green Building - Most Energy Efficient. While we would say we're a "green" builder, our definition of what it means to be green is often very different than what most envision. Green building to us doesn't necessarily mean bamboo floors and dual flush toilets as the buzz word suggests, though we can install those if you'd like. Rather green building to us is actually a healthier, more sustainable and durable way to build a quality home that will withstand Charleston's hot and humid environment. Most of the things that make our homes "green" aren't visible to the eye once the sheetrock goes up, instead they're actually incorporated in design and construction methods. We love taking the time to educate our clients on the different techniques. That way they are able to understand firsthand the science behind it and then choose different construction methods that we have adopted as our standard way of truly protecting the sustainability of their high performance home.

Over six years ago, Steve actually "stumbled" into green building. His vision since 1999 has always been and will continue to be the pursuit of building each home to the highest standard of excellence. According to Webster's dictionary the definition of pinnacle is the "highest point of development and achievement possible". I think it would be a fair and true statement to say that each home we are privileged to build, we build to the highest point of development and achievement possible!

To read more about our philosophy of Building Science click here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Possibly Related?

This week Steve and his wife went downtown Charleston to hear Josh Ritter at the Music Farm. They really enjoyed listening to a very talented musician, not to mention a fun night out! When Steve came into the office this morning, he asked us to Google the images of Josh Ritter. We all started laughing as the picture had a weird resemblance to our very own boss. . . ya think he has a long lost younger brother he didn't know about? He thinks Josh got his great looks from him, we asked Steve if Josh possibly imparted his musical talent to Steve. Steve assured us that Josh did not! :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Anniversary Dave!

Congratulations to Dave on his 6th year with Structures! His experience as Project Manager overseeing the many facets of new construction and his enthusiasm for the trade continue to enhance Structures Building Company. Dave's commitment to Structures and the clients sets him apart and makes us thankful to have him as part of the Structures family.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Charleston Style & Design Magazine Feature

We were so thrilled to be featured on the cover of the latest issue of Charleston Style & Design magazine. Darryl Cobb of Cobb Architects designed the custom home that overlooks the golf course on Daniel Island Park. We enjoyed getting to know the homeowners and seeing their house turn into such a beautiful home! Click here to read the entire article and to see detailed pictures.

Visit our website to view the entire portfolio.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Appreciation Lunch

In order to show their appreciation to all those who have been part of their remodel, our clients in the Crescent in West Ashley hosted a lunch catered by Food for the Southern Soul. Everyone came out on a beautiful Monday afternoon and had their fill of barbecue, red rice, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and sweet tea. It was a wonderful time for everyone to come together and celebrate the hard work that will make this home even more of a dream home for our client.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Le Creuset Photo Shoot

Many exciting things are taking place at our most recently completed custom home on Daniel Island. First, it serves as the cover feature on the latest issue of Charleston Style & Design magazine. Second, Le Creuset set up shop in their kitchen and living room this past week for a photo shoot.

Cars lined the streets outside, and Le Creuset's finest products packed the back porch.
Photographer Matthew Scott and his team captured photos for the Le Creuset website.

The table was set multiple times with varying colors of Le Creuset dining ware, cookware, and wine glasses. Iverson Catering used the beautiful kitchen to prepare food for the shoot. We captured a glimpse of the tabletop - stay tuned to Le Creuset's website for the full pictures.