March 2019

Willis Sinclair Homes

The Lowcountry’s Premier Custom Home Builder”

On Valentine’s Day a few years ago, we were blessed with a special gift.

Happy Birthday, Abbey!


24 Gabriel Road

Lodge, South Carolina 29082

843 846 2500

March 2019

Number 61

From the desk

of Bill …

In a “previous life,” I did electronic circuit design for some major corporations.

I worked in a manufacturing setting, so all of my designs had to be accurate and done well. When I was working for Philips (Magnavox), a couple of million television sets per year were built with my designs in them.

If the design was marginal and only 99% of them worked as they were supposed to work, that meant I had to deal with 20,000 sets failing on the assembly line. That worked out to about 100 failures per working day or one every five working minutes and that was before they even got out the door.

Clearly that would have been a disaster. I learned right away, designs had to be as perfect as possible. They had to be accurate and clear so the production floor knew exactly how to build the televisions. We tried to keep our line fall off rate down around 100 per million or 0.001%.

Today, things have changed considerably. I am on the “production” side of the projects. Architects and structural engineers are on the design side. Just as I wanted my plans perfect, I tend to get frustrated when our home plans are not perfect. There are a number of other factors involved and I try to keep those in mind.

Back when I was designing Airborne Weather RADAR systems for business jets, the typical cost for a new design was about a million dollars in 1975 dollars – about 5 million in today’s dollars. That cost could be spread over thousands of systems, so the design cost per unit was relatively low – maybe $1,000 per $20,000 system.

When you consider a custom home design, there is one product: a single home. That means the entire design cost must be borne by the home. That puts on pressure to do the design quickly. Since you are building only one home, there is no possibility of building a prototype run where you iron out the bugs (we typically did prototype runs of 100 televisions). All of the problems with home plans have to be caught by just visually checking the plans. That is a very difficult task.

So with that in mind, a person should certainly not be surprised when problems arise. I don’t think anyone would want to pay for “perfect” home plans. I certainly would not.

On the flip side, since the designs are done on a computer, one would expect that the different views or parts would all match (i.e., the foundation would match the first floor and the roof). If a change were made in the first floor, that change should be echoed to all sheets.

Sadly, it appears some architects (and engineers) don’t take advantage of all of the strengths of a computer based design system. It seems some basically use it as an “electric pencil”. They seem to manually make changes on each sheet (hopefully).

Although I am an electrical engineer, there are many aspects of home building that fit well with my training and experience.

Paying attention to details and making sure materials are available are two areas that serve me now.

Project scheduling is also a useful skill I learned. With television design, the design had to be in production at a certain time of the year or you missed the Christmas sales (and got to work on your resume).

So, in a way, the transition was major and in another way, it was not all that large. I do get to have much more customer interface now and that is nice. I enjoy helping our customers build just the house they want.

We’d like to build a home for you. Call one of us and we will arrange it!

Built-Ins to Consider

Built-ins really make a house a home – not just a home, but your home. There are a number of places where you might consider them.

The Mud Room/Back Door

Sometimes a coat rack or shoe cubbies at a back door are really convenient. If you had a coat rack or cubbies by the back door, you could easily store items you might need when you went out such as an umbrella, jacket, gloves and even keys. Do you need something like this?

Book Cases

This custom cherry book case has adjustable shelves and storage cabinets at the bottom. The shelves and doors have not been installed in this photo.

Book cases can make a room look studious or cozy. Cases can be painted, stained or made of nice hardwoods such as walnut or cherry. You don’t have many books? Search for “books by the foot” and you will find a number of stores that sell books (leather bound, by color or various types). Do you need some built-in book cases? One big advantage of a built-in book case over a piece of furniture is the built-in book case will not tip over.

This closet built-in has a triple rod section, a double rod section, an island with a single rod, many shelves and dozens of shoe cubbies.

Closet Organizers

One of the most common built-ins we build are closet organizers. We might just build in a rod or two and shelves, but often it is much more. We have built drawer banks, shoe cubbies, belt racks, large mirrors, glass front cabinets with accent lighting, islands and even a safe (for jewelry and other valuables). Do you have space in your closets going to waste? We can help you plan better use of the area.


Building a dry bar is typically not a major undertaking and it adds a nice conversation area to your den or man cave. Since no plumbing is involved, usually the cost is moderate.

A wet bar can be a bit more involved depending on the location and proximity of water and waste pipes. Still, it might be worth considering. Call us. We will help you evaluate the situation.

Work Areas

This closet includes hanging rods, shelves and drawers.

What are your hobbies? Do you need a work area for them? Perhaps a nice solid, well lighted work bench?

How about a workspace with doors on it. When you are ready to take a break, you can simply close the doors and not have to pick up everything.

Do you want to set up your garage so you can do some wood working or other hand work that you would not want to do inside? We have installed a pottery kiln and a complete wood shop before. We have even helped set up an automotive work area.

Would you like an outdoor sink and gardening area? We can do that.

Gun Room

This wet bar features authentic zebra skin insets.

Gun rooms are technically Work Areas, but they are specialized so we have made a separate heading for them. Do you have or need a gun safe? How about a work bench so you can clean or maybe work on your guns? Is it well lighted and conditioned? Do you have sturdy, lockable cabinets for your ammo?



Do you need some cubbies? These were built to hold shoes.

Cubbies are very handy places to store items you like to see or use. Do you need a place to put knickknacks? How about a place to put your car keys or purse? Sometimes cubby holes are just what you need.

What built-ins can you add to really personalize your home? A cedar lined closet? Built-in book cases? Storage or shoe cubbies? Customized closet? A bar? Call us. We can help.

Willis Sinclair Homes

We work hard for your unreserved recommendation!

Call Us

Willis: 843 599 9056

Abbey: 843 599 2302

Bill: 843 846 2500

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