When you first got excited about a new custom home on your own dream property, what was your vision? Did you imagine sitting on the covered patio, enjoying a cup of steaming coffee while watching the deer graze down the hill? Or were you gazing at the sun setting over the Central Texas hills or watching the grandkids frolic in the crystal-clear pool? Did you tell all your friends about the new home you planned? Did you stop at a model home or two and find the real truth of the exorbitant prices of new custom homes? How embarrassing was it when your friends asked how the new home shopping was going?
Hi, I’m Dennis Celsor, and I know the feeling. Rebecca and I renovated a starter home when we got married in 1984 and I promised her we would build our new home in 2 years. Little did I know. It took 2 years just to find our dream 3 acres. We hired a contractor to dig a fishing tank and began planning for a new home.
At the time I was about halfway through a career with the Houston Fire Department. I never asked anyone about the cost of a new home, since I planned to do much of the work myself. We found a low-cost designer and hired him to draw up the plans for a 4,000 square foot home. Imagine the disappointment when we began to shop those plans to custom home builders. With my beautiful wife at home with 3 small children, there was no way on a fire fighter’s salary that we could afford that new custom home. Remember the great deal I got on the architectural plans for that home? I remember the pain of burning those blueprints.
Finally, we found a builder who agreed to redraw the plans, reduce the square footage, build the shell and let me finish the inside. I burned 3.5 months of accumulated vacation to finish that new custom home so we could enjoy it. We lived there 13 years before we got the dream to build again.
When I retired from the fire department, we started interviewing owner builder companies, as I wanted to again build the home myself. I was fascinated with the process of how these companies helped people like us plan and manage the building of their own home. It was absolutely mesmerizing at how they could give us a rough cost of building our new home in an hour or so. Imagine not making that same mistake all over again! So began a second career showing people just like me how to build their own home, but not necessarily by doing all the work themselves.
That first owner builder company turned out to be a sales outfit that cared mostly about getting the customer’s money, so I left. While building our second custom home on my own in 2004, I started with Owner Built Custom Homes. The founder, Charlie Watts, really impressed me with his integrity. I remember getting a phone call from a fire fighter who had gone with my previous company and was stuck, out of money, and the bank refusing to lend him more. The previous company offered him no help. I told him in 10 minutes how to work with the bank to get out of the situation and finish his home. In 2009, we rebranded from Owner Built Custom Homes to Built Green Custom Homes, as we wanted to become the premier owner builder consulting firm specializing in affordable energy efficiency for Texas. I enjoyed working with owner builder clients so much that in 2010, Charlie asked me to expand the company into Central Texas. Over the years OBCH/BGCH has helped thousands of clients successfully build their own home. With our guidance, you can succeed too.