January 2020

Willis Sinclair Homes

The Lowcountry’s Premier Custom Home Builder”

This five foot long gingerbread house is on display at Biltmore, the largest single family residence in America. It seems it would be more fun to demo (eat) the gingerbread house than build it.

24 Gabriel Road

Lodge, South Carolina 29082



843 599 9056

January 2020

Number 71

From the desk

of Willis…

Happy New Year! We hope that everyone enjoyed time with their families over the past few weeks and made it safely through the holidays!

The year 2019 was another good year for us and we are looking forward to good things in the year 2020. Some of you may not know it but we still perform all of our work right on Brays Island. With the exception of one home we built on the river right outside of Brays Island we have been working exclusively on Brays since 2007. That’s 13 years now that we have enjoyed working in this beautiful place! We don’t exclude the possibility that we will expand outside of Brays in the future, but for now we are committed to providing the best home building and home stewardship services that we can, right where we are.

Working on Brays has its unique challenges as well as it’s many benefits. We have learned a lot by working for some of the most successful people, literally, from around the world. Our customers have all helped us in one way or another to build and improve our business and services. Having come from such a wide variety of backgrounds, each of our customers has something different to offer in the way of opinions, preferences and past experiences. Past experiences usually drive future expectations, so we have learned to do different things in different ways that we would not have otherwise if we were working for a less varied demographic.

The various backgrounds of our customers is also one of the challenges of working on Brays. Often we will be discussing with a customer how something “should be done” and we find that their preference varies greatly from those of other customers. What one person would see as the “right” way to do something might be completely unacceptable to another. We welcome this diversity though and enjoy stepping up to the challenge of meeting all of these varying needs. We listen, seek to understand and then implement our customer’s ideas in the best way that we can. This keeps us flexible and in the process we usually learn something new!

We consider the various challenges we face in work to actually be one of our greatest benefits. We are continually challenged to grow our skills and improve our services. This leads to our better ability to serve an ever-increasing number of customers. We are so very thankful for all of our many customers and look forward to helping all of you with any of your needs in this new year. Should you ever need help with anything at all, please feel free to call on us. Also, if you have suggestions for improvements to our services or business, we are all ears!

Best Regards, 


Flooring Materials


Wood is the most common material we use in homes we build. There are so many different choices with wood floors that we seldom lay the same type of floor twice.

Species & Type

Pine and oak are the most common species we use, but we have also used black walnut, hickory, Brazilian cherry, bamboo and even tigerwood among others. A hardwood mix of reclaimed ash, beech, chestnut and oak is also a popular option. Heart pine is very common here in the Lowcountry, but is getting more and more difficult to obtain. Black Walnut is dark wood that makes a beautiful, but relatively soft, floor. Walnut is the accent wood used in the octagonal pattern in the photo in the next column.

This entrance foyer (and the entire house) has mixed hardwood flooring made of reclaimed lumber.

In addition to species the age of the wood (new or reclaimed) is also an option. Do you want your floors to look rustic or perfect? Some people love the character of wood that is hundreds of years old while others prefer the cleaner look of new wood.


The pattern on this floor was created by using different species of wood.

The size of the boards is the next option that needs to be chosen for floors. Wider is more expensive (per square foot) than narrow boards just as longer boards are more expensive than shorter ones. Random lengths and widths are easier to supply, thus less expensive.


After deciding on a species, age and size, you need to consider the different finishes available. Wood floors can be stained or left clear. They can be finished with a shiny, satin or even matte finish. They can be oiled or coated with polyurethane or varnish of some sort.

Pre-finished flooring is also available in many species, dimensions and prices. This is something to ponder particularly if you are remodeling. It prevents having to sand the flooring which will leave dust in your home. Flooring sanders have good vacuums they use when they are sanding floors, but none of them are good enough to completely contain the dust.

This beautiful floor is narrow oak with a number of throw rugs on it.

Wood floors are fairly durable, but can be scratched by claws on pet’s feet or just normal foot traffic. Different finishes have pros and cons as it relates to scratching so be sure to do your homework before deciding on a finish.


Here the flooring sub was making samples of different stains so the home owner could choose.

Tile is another popular flooring type, and is typically used in areas where floors may get wet or see a lot of traffic. Tile is usually scratch resistant and water will not harm it like it does wood flooring. Tile prices vary widely depending on the material chosen.

One of the newer trends is tile that looks like wood planks. They are much more durable than wood, but if you drop a plate on a tile floor, you will need a dust pan to pick up the pieces.


Carpet is sometimes selected for flooring in bedrooms. It provides a warm, soft floor for bare feet. Hard floors (wood, tile and others) tend to be cold and some find them uncomfortable to walk on without shoes.

Carpet tends to get wear marks in it where there is a heavy traffic flow. It also collects dust and dirt. When an old carpet is removed, there is typically a very significant amount of dirt under it that has filtered through the carpet.


Stone is used where a natural material is desired that is more durable than wood. It is available in many shapes, sizes and materials. It is used much in the same way as tile but it often requires more care and maintenance than tile.


Brick floors are usually used as an accent floor inside of a house. They are mostly used in damp areas such as laundry rooms or mud rooms. They are also used as flooring for entrance foyers. Many different colors, sizes, shapes and surfaces of brick are available along with dozens of colors of mortar.


This is a floor electrical outlet in a stained concrete floor.

Stained concrete is another type of flooring we have used. It looks nice in casual areas. One home we built has a stained concrete floor in an area that was modeled (roughly) after an African hunting camp building.

There are many things to consider when thinking about flooring. The look is important as is the durability and the cost.

If you need help deciding or just want to bounce some ideas around, call us: we can help. We will be happy to share our home building experiences with you. No cost or obligation, of course.

Willis Sinclair Homes

A builder striving for excellence!

Call Us

Willis: 843 599 9056

Abbey: 843 599 2302

Bill: 843 846 2500



January 2017

Willis Sinclair Homes

The Lowcountry’s Premier Custom Home Builder”

All of us here at

Willis Sinclair Homes

hope you had a

Merry Christmas

and a

Happy New Year!

We are looking forward to seeing you in 2017!

24 Gabriel Road

Lodge, South Carolina 29082



843 846 2500

January 2017

From the desk

of Bill …


Alice, our granddaughter with leukemia is doing well. She is currently being treated at the Springfield branch of St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

If she continues to respond to the treatment and has no recurrence by October this coming year, she will be officially in remission. She will need annual checks, but no more treatments unless things change.

Thank you all very much for your support, your prayers and your gifts. They were and continue to be a blessing.

A Trip West with 4 of our Grandsons

This is the crew in front of Chimney Rock in Nebraska. It is the most frequently mentioned landmark by Oregon Trail travelers. (left to right): Mandy, Henry, Jerry, Jon, Jack, Kandy, me and Jessy.

In June of this past year, Kandy and I took two of our daughters and four of our grandsons (Willis’ boys: Henry and Jerry and Bill’s sons: Jack and Jon) on a three week tour of some western sites. We watched Old Faithful erupt. We saw both of the Yellowstone Falls. We saw glaciers. We saw petrified trees. We saw bison, elk and other animals.

We visited Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon (both the North and South Rims), Yellowstone, Glacier and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks and many points in between. We took a train ride and a stage coach ride. We rode horses in Glacier National Park. We explored an extinct volcano and walked in the lava field. It was a lot of fun.

George Robert Ponds

George Robert Ponds, Willis’ 7th child and Bill’s 32nd grandchild.

Born July 19, 2016.

George joined us this past summer! He already has an Indian Motorcycle outfit. What can I say … obviously he has discerning taste.

Siding materials … what are the choices?

Siding is the material that covers your home. While it may seem superficial and decorative, it is much more than that. The siding protects your home from the elements and that is very important.

Brick veneer is probably the most desirable siding. If you are concerned about low maintenance, brick may be what you want. It never rots. It never needs paint. It does not crack, split or warp.

Brick makes a beautiful siding material.

If brick veneer is all of those good things, why is it not used exclusively? There are two main reasons. The first is cost. Handmade brick and mortar work out to about $1.40 per brick. Add about $1.60 to lay it and each brick costs about $3. When you multiply that by 20,000 or more bricks in a house, you get a rather large number.

The second reason why brick veneer homes are not more popular today is, there are several more economical alternatives. In the past, stucco was about the only economical and long lasting alternative. If you wanted a southwestern look, that was fine.

Cement board shakes mimic cedar shakes. Obviously, they have to be painted and not stained.


Cement board siding installed horizontally and vertically.

Today, fiber cement board, commonly referred to as Hardie (a trade name) board is one of the lower maintenance alternatives. It is made of cement and wood fibers. It won’t rot. It won’t burn, It does not split or warp. It does have to be painted however, but paint adheres very well.

Most cement board is about ¼ of an inch thick, so it is obvious to some that the material is not wood siding. Cement board is also available in ⅝ inch thick boards. This looks much more like wood siding, but it is more expensive to purchase and more expensive to install.

Cement board can be installed horizontally (like traditional siding) or vertically (like board and batten). It is also available to mimic shakes.

Cedar shakes can be stained or painted. These will turn a silvery gray when they age.

Wood boards are is another choice for siding. It looks authentic because it is authentic. Wood does crack and warp. Sometimes paint does not adhere perfectly. Wood also rots. Even cypress will rot. It is rot resistant, not rot proof.

Cedar shakes are another siding choice. They are more expensive than lap siding and more expensive to install. Cedar is another rot resistant (not rot proof) natural material.

There are a number of other sidings, but these seem to be the most popular in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

You may have noticed in some of the photos that siding types are mixed on a structure to add interest. Siding is usually installed horizontally, but can also be installed vertically with a board and batten pattern. The wood can be stained or painted. Wood again is not extremely stable like bricks or cement board.

Wood board and batten is another choice of natural material that can be used for siding.

If you would like to see different types of siding, call us. We’ll be happy to show you how they look and give you a feel for the price range.

Willis Sinclair Homes

We will never knowingly disappoint you!

Call Us

843 846 2500