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Calibre Development

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Calibre Development

Bringing Your Unique Home Design Vision To Life

Dave Henn, founder and owner of Calibre Development, seemed destined to become a custom homebuilder. As a boy he loved woodworking, though no one in the family shared the skill or interest. “I was always trying to build something, whether it was a tree fort or a box.” He used to marvel at the finer details of turn-of-the-the century homes in his grandparents’ stately neighborhood. He enjoyed summer construction jobs, studied hard, got a scholarship, and went to college. After graduation, Dave began his corporate career in banking. A successful path took him to Greenville, SC where he became the head of commercial real estate in the upstate region. This position fed his desire to build, and after 12 years in banking Dave decided, “I’m going to move to the beach and build houses.”

Calibre Development owner, Dave Henn ( far right ), with homeowners Sam and Kay Koonce on the back porch of their residence, built by Calibre, overlooking the North Inlet in Debordieu .

Dave started Calibre in 1997 in Pawley’s Island. One of his houses caught the eye of an architect who asked if Dave could build a house for a client. “This very quickly evolved into becoming a custom builder. From there we evolved into what I call a super-custom builder: one time, one of a kind, very special homes.” In the intervening years, Calibre Development has built over 50 homes in DeBordieu and another 75 or so in the Waccamaw Neck area. The company has a portfolio of special projects including major home renovations, custom garden hardscapes, and a complex swimming pool environment. With every build Dave says there has been one guiding principle, “Quality in our construction and integrity in our actions.”

Quality and integrity are themes echoed by past and current clients. Kay and Sam Koonce decided to build in DeBordieu about seven years ago. The Koonces had built other homes along the coast before family ties drew them to Pawleys Island. Kay said, “We interviewed several people, but we just fell in love with Dave Henn. He was so easy to work with, such an honest person, and was on top of every situation.” They had such a positive experience that when they moved to their DeBordieu home full time following retirement they decided to enclose a deck on the upper floor. Kay said they got the same team together, and also opened up part of the attic to make Sam an office, “which has worked out beautifully.”

The Koonces were interested in environmentally sound products and they wanted less maintenance. Dave was attentive to their concerns and preferences. His banking experience was also evident. Sam said, “With Dave you always knew where you stood. If there was any kind of change order, he let you know exactly what it was going to cost. He was very well organized.” Kay agreed adding, “He had spreadsheets of everything. You knew which products you were getting. The other nice thing is he had someone working here all the time, so there were no big time lapses where you wondered, ‘where is everyone?’”

Dave gives credit to others saying, “I’ve got a good team. I’m very relationship oriented; many of my employees and subs have been with me 10 to 15 years. They have to be competent, care about quality and relationships, and they have to buy into my business sense that we’re not predatory in anything we do because we’re in this for the long haul.” Kay Koonce confirmed this, “His subs were the best I’ve ever seen.” She added, “Good teamwork made for a great building experience.” Their house was completed in the expected timeframe, and Kay shared, “Our electrical bills are low-low. Dave uses really good products, and he did what he said he was going to do.”

Barth and Penny Boss are at the beginning phase of building their home in The Reserve. Barth’s first meeting with Dave came from serendipitously spotting the Calibre Development sign while driving down Highway 17 South. Their meeting went well, though at the time the family was more interested in resales. Barth recalls, “The problem was that the homes we saw were very traditional and the floor plans were not very open.” They concluded that if they were going to get the home they wanted, then they would have to build it. Having had a nightmare experience with their first custom build in California, they prudently interviewed other builders. In the end, Barth and Penny returned to Calibre. Barth said, “We really like Calibre Development and Dave Henn, the trustworthiness of his demeanor, his integrity, his honesty, and we like his personality. Whoever you pick you’re going to be with them 6-9 months, so you want to like and get along with them, and he knows numbers.” Barth said other builders would refer to past projects, but were not concrete about the numbers.

Calibre Development owner, Dave Henn ( far left ), with Barth and Penny Boss at the site of the construction of their new home.

For his part, Dave says, “I see my job as executing on the vision of the architect and the owner, and any decorator that may be involved.” He provides solutions to potential problems and alternatives to ideas that may be difficult to fulfill. He is keenly aware of nature and other elements that will affect the durability of a home. With interiors, Dave looks at proportion, balance and the finishing details. This attentiveness adds a curated sensibility to Calibre’s custom homes.

Barth Boss gave an example of working out a custom detail. “We wanted a plug in the wall behind a drawer that will be used for a hair dryer so you don’t see the outlet on the wall above the counter top.” He liked that Dave’s response was open and positive. Barth added, “A lot of builders have an attitude when it comes to changes – they don’t want to put up with the owner. Barth thinks it is important that builders like the project they are doing, and he anticipates a relatively headache-free experience. He added, “It’s going to be exciting; it’s going to be a really nice house.”
Dave Henn knows well that building can be frustrating for clients and builders, “Our factory has no roof and there are always unforeseen challenges.” When frustrations arise, Dave recalls sage Proverbial advice: “A wise man controls his temper. He knows that anger causes mistakes.”
Ultimately, Dave Henn of Calibre Development balances artisanship with business and durability with design. “We put the same quality and care in the least expensive thing we do as the most expensive.”

For further information regarding Calibre Development call (843) 237-1556 , email CalibreDev@sc.rr.com or visit www.CalibreCustomHomes.com.

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