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Beyond the Build – Establishing Relationships for a Successful Build

By Matt Ellington

Congratulations on making the decision to build your dream home! Your journey has begun, and you start with finding the perfect property and designing a home based on your dreams and desires. Throughout the building process, you make many decisions based on what is best for your family, you, and your current season of life. During this time, excitement can sometimes be met with moments of anxiety because there are so many options.

To reduce anxiety and enjoy the process, begin by narrowing down the choices. 

  • What is my style?
  • What fits within my budget?
  • What is my timeline?
  • Are there Design Review
    Board (DRB) guidelines?
  • What fits in the DRB guidelines?

The decisions you make when you first embark on the building process are pivotal, as they will determine your next steps and the details that follow.If you have been involved in the building process in the past, you can relate. The reality is that choosing the property, the architect, and the design are major steps that direct the trajectory of the project. The next big step is to determine the right builder for your dream home. To select the right builder for the project, you should consider many things. First, keep in mind that you will be working together over the next 12 to 18+ months, depending on the size and finished style of your project. Second, and equally important, is to consider the actual home that is being constructed. Take a step back and look at three main elements of building a home: quality, time, and cost. In a perfect world, all three elements exist and complement each other. Unfortunately, because we do not live in a perfect world, prioritize two of the three to realistically focus your decision-making. Look for a builder who best represents your priorities. Third, remember that the builder must also work well with your architect and designer, have a knowledgeable grasp of the vision, design, and concept of scope, and value timeless elements of construction. Finally, consider builders who respect the future legacy of the home you are looking to build.

Once the purpose and values are established and the plan comes together, you begin the builder interviews. Be prepared with questions that reflect your priorities. Want in on a little secret? During these interviews, the builder is also ‘interviewing’ the potential client. Builders often ask questions to determine if they can relate and communicate clearly with the clients, whether their values and priorities align, and if their overall visions of the project are consistent. Likely, you will be asking similar questions.

A potential client once asked me in an interview, “Matt, what gets you excited about your work?”

My first thought was to jump to “quality construction, of course” or “building exceptional homes.” But, I thought for a few moments and answered, “It’s about building relationships.”

As a builder, I enjoy building relationships with subcontractors, vendors, architects, designers, and the clients who trust us to take their visions to reality. Building these relationships is the key to successful construction projects. In addition, the relationships often continue for years after the builds.

Once you have a team and a plan for your dream home, you must fit one more piece into the puzzle: Enjoy the build! Keep communication open with your design and build team. Be open-minded, adapt to changes, and dream big. Remember that each step is forward progress in constructing your dream home, and each step is something to be celebrated!


Grand Bay Construction

Matt Ellington is a project manager for Grand Bay Construction, LLC. and has been building on the Emerald Coast since 2010. Grand Bay Construction seeks to not only set the standard in Gulf Coast’s construction industry, but to also surpass our customers expectations.

For more information on Grand Bay Construction and our approach to building your dream home, visit the link below or email

Photography By Modus Photography


To check out vacant lots in the area click on the link below to see some of Coastal Luxury’s prominent building opportunities.

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