September 2010

Willis Sinclair Homes

The Lowcountry’s Premier Custom Home Builder”


Personalized Full-Service Construction

Fixed Price and Cost Plus Contracts

A mantle hand built by Willis Ponds


24 Gabriel Road

Lodge, South Carolina 29082

843 846 2500

September 2010

What do our girls do in their spare time?

Four of Bill’s daughters have small side businesses.

Jessy, the youngest, sells old radio shows on CDs and DVDs. She has Johnny Dollar; The Lone Ranger; Have Gun, Will Travel and many others. She also sells shipping supplies such as mylar tape, bubble envelopes and padded mailers. Jessy also does web design including our own ( Her website is Check it out.

Abbey is a photographer specializing in children and families. She also enjoys doing landscapes. Check out some of her work on her website (The girl on her site is Genie, Willis’ daughter and Abbey’s niece.) Abbey is available for parties, get- togethers or other special occasions. You can call her at 843 599 2302 to arrange for an appointment.

Mandy and Debby (Willis’ wife) hand make jewelry to sell in local stores and online. They also sell supplies, including handmade beads, for other hobby jewelry makers. Debby and Mandy’s website is

Be sure to visit their sites. You will be delighted with their products, service and work. We guarantee it.



From the desk

of Bill Burdick …

The summer of 2010 is officially behind us. It was a record breaker in many places.

This chart is from NOAA. It shows the 3 month average temperatures in South Carolina through August this year. (°F on the left)

Most of us could look at our power bills and tell it was a record summer in more ways than one.

If you would like help figuring out ways to save money on your power, call us. We will be glad to help you invest in your home to save money in the future.

Whether you are a part-time or full-time resident of South Carolina we can probably still help you to save energy. Call us.


Vice President, Willis Sinclair, Inc.

Professional Engineer, Retired

843 846 2500

Ideas for a Low Maintenance Home

Green building is very popular today, but one aspect of green building that does not seem to get notice much is the amount of maintenance your home needs.

For years, we have been building homes with low cost of ownership high on our priority list. How do we (and can other builders) do that?


Metal roofing costs more initially than shingle roofs, but it has a lifetime which is much longer than asphalt shingles. Copper roofs last well over a hundred years with little or no maintenance.

Painted steel and aluminum roofs also last well. The initial cost is lower and the life can be well over fifty years.

Asphalt shingles are among the least expensive roofs. If you are considering asphalt, it would be a good idea to consider 40 or 50 year shingles rather than 30 year architectural shingles. The material cost is not much more and the installation labor is about the same. Obviously, the lifetime is greater for the 40 and 50 year shingles than the 30 year ones.


Siding is another area where low maintenance should be considered. Brick veneer homes are very low maintenance, but not very common in the coastal South. Brick homes are also expensive. Typically handmade bricks cost about $1.25. Laying them costs another dollar or more each. The total cost for the brick veneer on a house can be very high.

Cement board siding has a good life, but will need repainting periodically. Sometimes this siding is called Hardi-Plank after the original manufacturer. Cement board can be purchased in several thickness long pieces to look like traditional wood siding. It can also be purchased with grooves so it looks like shingle siding. Large sheets are also available. Cement board has a very high fire resistance, will not rot nor will it be eaten by termites.

Cedar shingles have a shorter life than brick or cement board, but they can be left unfinished so no painting is necessary. It is probably better to seal the shingles, however. Sealing, staining or painting has to be refreshed over time although the shingles will last well even without it.

HVAC Systems

Air conditioners and heat pumps are one of the more expensive items in your home. Not only are they expensive to purchase, they are expensive to operate. Typically, the more expensive the system, the higher the efficiency. That means savings in electric bills.

One thing you should strongly consider with your HVAC system is routine maintenance or servicing after installation. Sometimes small problems become major problems if they are not caught early. Like any machine an HVAC system will not last forever. However, you can greatly increase its longevity with proper routine servicing.


Windows are another major cost item. In coastal South Carolina, impact protection is required in windows. That adds dramatically to the cost, but gives much greater protection during wind storms than traditional windows.

In the South’s hot and humid climate, aluminum clad windows add greatly to low maintenance. The paint color is baked onto the aluminum so it will last a very long time. The aluminum is then wrapped around the wood to completely protect it from the elements on the outside. From 10 feet away you usually can’t tell an aluminum window from an all wood one in appearance.

Vinyl windows are low maintenance and rot free, but sometimes, the brutal sun here will shorten the lifetime of them.

Traditional wooden windows must be painted regularly and still will rot and need replacement.

Low-E film is also a very good idea to decrease UV damage to items inside your home and to minimize heat from the sun getting in your home.


Doors, especially those exposed to the weather, should be aluminum clad like windows. The cladding requires little maintenance other than a routine wash.

House Checks

One key to low maintenance is to catch problems early. If an owner is away from his home for several months and a minor problem arises, it can be a major problem if not found in a timely fashion.

For example suppose a window is inadvertently left open when an owner leaves. The open window would be found on a house check and then closed. If the window were to stay open for several months there could be major problems.

A water or gas leak, if not found could cause major problems as well if they are not caught and corrected.

If a power surge causes an air conditioner thermostat to turn the unit off or do something abnormal, it would be good to catch it quickly. A closed home without air conditioning in the South Carolina summer is not a good thing.

Willis Sinclair Homes offers customized house checks. We will help home owners decide what they want checked and how often they want it checked.

We even monitor electrical usage and alert our clients if something is out of the ordinary. It is much better to catch excessive power usage early than to be surprised by a high power bill.

Willis Sinclair Homes gives top priority to our house check customers so that emergencies are taken care of as quickly as possible. Non-emergency problems are brought to the attention of the homeowner, usually with accompanying photos. We will suggest solutions to the home owner and do whatever is requested.

Call us if you would like for us to do house checks for you. We will be glad to provide references for your consideration.


Willis Sinclair Homes, where ‘Built Right’ is the only ‘good enough’ we understand.

Call 843 846 2500

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