About Our Company
Jon Harrah, owner of 1st Source Solution, took a detour from custom home building that actually led him back to using his love of design for renovations and select custom builds, but on a more personal scale. In 2009 Jon made a career change when he became a police officer for the city of Myrtle Beach. This led to transferring to the Building Department. He started as a commercial plan reviewer, but true to his nature, “I always progressed, trying to become better at my job.” As a result, Jon obtained International Code Council (ICC) certifications required to be a certified building official.
Jon said, “One of the things that really sets me apart is I’ve maintained my license as a certified building official. When I do my drawings, I do them according to code as if I was reviewing them.” Jon is midway through studies for his Master’s in Architect, consistent with his nature to improve and bring more to clients.
1st Source Solution also offers third party quality control inspections, not to be confused with home inspections. The quality control inspections give homeowner’s assurance that their builder is meeting promised specifications, including proper procedures to ensure that product warrants will be valid.
Having had the experience of owning a company with 100 employees and sub-contractors, Jon values the change in scale that 1st Source Solution affords. He said, “My relationship with my client is more important than taking on every job. I want a few special jobs that mean a lot to the clients. I like the personalization of it, walking the job and ensuring my design is being executed to the client’s satisfaction.” He also appreciates a healthy team environment. “I have an excellent team of subcontractors. They’re vital to my success and their success,” Jon said. “One of the critical things on any construction site is schedules,” he added. Jon meets with core team members before starting a project to give everyone their schedule so when the work begins, it moves forward smoothly. This includes having the right engineers and surveyors on board, “When you have that in place, the project goes so much better and looks better.”
Jon knows his way around multiple code books, CAD programs, and project management, but in the end, “My satisfaction is that I was able to translate what a homeowner told me onto paper and then into bricks and mortar. It’s just as satisfying whether it’s a 200 square foot addition or a 6,000 square foot custom home. It’s not the project size, it’s the ‘wow’ from the homeowner once they see their vision come to life.”
1st Source Solution has completed several recent area projects, including a custom home. Building Industry Synergy learned from speaking with homeowners that each project had its own character and challenges.
Ramon Arbaiza had ideas that needed a 1st Source Solution response. He purchased a 1950s 1300 square foot home in Myrtle Beach. Ramon said, “I was at home (in Maryland) with my wife and I made a little design to do something with the house.” That something was a 2000 square foot addition that took the small 3 bedroom /2 bath home to 6 bedrooms and 6 baths.
The Arbaizas have grandkids and they wanted to have space for them when they come to the beach. Ramon said, “We sat down and talked about the house and I learned Jon knew all the rules and regulations from working with the city.” Once the job started, it was completed in less than four months, even accounting for rain and the removal of a septic tank and proper sewer hook ups. A second floor was added and there was a 20’ expansion to the front, back and side. The Arbaizas plan to retire to Myrtle Beach soon, and look forward to enjoying their new space.
Melissa and Fred Woriax own a home in historic downtown Conway. Melissa said, “We knew when we purchased it, it was a little too piece-y for us; the rooms weren’t open, so we knew we wanted to do that first.” Having built three other homes in Columbia, Melissa was familiar with the design and construction process. “What I really like about Jon is that he gave me a real estimate of what it was going to cost us, and he gave us a specific timeline as well. He answered so many questions providing a budget for each step; I loved that. He’s fantastic,” Melissa said. The contract was equally detailed, which allowed them to juggle spending priorities. She added, “Jon was forthcoming in saying there could be some unforeseen things that arise once construction begins.” Prior to this design project, Melissa used Jon for his design expertise and opinion on a gourmet shop layout and mechanicals that she owned and has since sold. Melissa felt confident using 1st Source Solution for their home design and intends to have the company handle the construction.
Maria Worley has a home in Loris that has been in the family since it was built in the 1930s. A 1970s addition added space, but it was awkward in terms of internal flow because of an interior brick wall that had three windows. Maria said, “I did not even think about creating one big room. I wanted to carry over the brick into the kitchen to kind of blend it. Jon asked if I’d ever thought about removing the brick wall and enlarging the space.” When Maria found she could do that within her budget she agreed. When the addition was built there was a staircase that ran up a wall into a study above. Maria turned the study into attic space and did not want the staircase jutting out. She and Jon played around with some ideas. Jon suggested moving the staircase outside to the back of the house, which proved to be a practical solution that preserved the curbside esthetic.
Maria spoke with several contractors before finding 1st Source Solution. As with the Woriax home, Jon advised Maria that they could have issues with the older home once they got into it. “There wasn’t a challenge that he couldn’t find a solution to, and he stayed within budget,” Maria reported. She added, “I’ve been proud of this home, and I could tell that Jon had a passion for older homes. I appreciated him wanting to maintain the integrity of the home. The level of communication between Jon and his subcontractors was impeccable.” Maria is considering a bathroom remodel. She said, “I would love to have his crew do that undertaking.”
At the other end of the Grand Strand, Lisa Phillips wanted to create an outdoor kitchen for her Mt. Gilead home. An exterior wall needed to be added on one side (with matching stucco) so the roof could be extended over the space (with matching shingles). The design included a hibachi, grill, sink, two refrigerators, lighting, and an overhead fan. Travertine was used on the floor. During the same time frame, Lisa was also redoing her pool, but the contractor left the job. Jon stepped in to oversee that project to completion. Lisa said, “Jon is a great contractor and I would highly recommend him. He did a beautiful job and fulfilled everything that was requested in a timely manner.”
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