Sometimes we just get lucky!

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I was reminded of that after reviewing my notes from our 3-day Builder 20 Club meeting. Steve, Bart and the Merlin Custom Home Builders Team got lucky two years ago when we were invited to become a member of “The Doors” a Builder 20 club. We get to be one of the eighteen exceptional custom home builders from across the country sponsored by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) which provides the organization and staff that supports builders learning best practices from one another. We are one of the fortunate builders able to share information and learn from two different club members each named “Custom Home Builder of the Year” by the NAHB. We get to be mentored by successful member custom home builders from some of the most challenging markets, climates and environments in the country. If we have questions about the building science for cold and snow (our Lee Canyon home) we reach out to members
from Utah, Colorado and Ohio. If we have desert environment questions we have the best builder in Phoenix, Arizona to call on. When we request marketing help, we get emails from members sharing what worked for them and what didn’t. The business of custom home building is unique and the Builder 20 members provide decades of experience, wisdom and support. We review and critique each other’s business plans twice a year, forcing us to tighten up our own business goals, directions, then evaluate which decisions were losers and which winners. There is nothing as humbling as exposing the good with the bad of our business model, and there is no better way for Merlin Custom Home Builders to become the best builder in Southern Nevada than by learning from the best custom home builders in the country.

This Fall’s meeting was held in Solana Beach, California and hosted by Wardell Builders, our Southern California member. How lucky are we to be a part of the Doors? Lucky enough to get to tour the custom home Terry Wardell’s team built on a 12-acre Del Mar hilltop overlooking the beach and the race track. This home’s world class design, complex concrete structure and construction details can proudly stand next to anything built in America today. We have now had the opportunity to visit our builder members in Cleveland, Charlotte, Austin, Durango, Philadelphia, and now San Diego. I can’t wait for Phoenix, Santa Barbara and beyond.

In the current economy, it has become fashionable to define “value” as simply the lowest price among new homes. But doing so discounts the value of providing a high level of construction quality, as well as service, before, during, and after your new home is built. This may not be in your family’s best interest.

It’s been said many times… a new home is likely to be the largest single financial investment anyone will ever make. Why, then, would you trust that investment — both financially and in your enjoyment of it — to the lowest price and a limited definition of a home’s value?

As a professional custom home builder, we operate with a different and broader definition of value. We believe value includes a positive building experience for the owner and a sense of confidence and pride about a home’s quality. Value should also consist of a high level of personal service and a commitment to maintaining a relationship built on trust long after the move in date.

Some custom home builders play the low-price game. They narrowly define value as a stripped-down house, built on the cheap, to achieve a cut-rate price. The goal: make a sale and move on. They typically don’t have the staff or systems in place to respond to issues once title is transferred.

Here’s how we define and deliver a higher level of value:

Communication: As professional builders, we listen and respond to our clients’ ambitions and dreams for their new home. We help them define and discover their wants and needs, while working within their budget. We seek to educate them about the complexities of the building process, set realistic expectations and keep them informed about what happens — and why — as their new home takes shape. We seek to be prompt and respectful when we meet to discuss a project. We follow through on promises made and keep our clients informed about a job’s progress.

An Efficient Job Site: Our crews and job site managers follow an agreed-upon schedule and detailed list of specifications that we develop with each client. Materials for a new home are ordered and delivered as needed and on time. We manage and coordinate our trade partners and suppliers toward the common goal of meeting our company’s standards and our clients’ expectations.

Follow-Through: When a new home is finished and we turn over the keys to our clients’, we don’t disappear. We know that it is critical to our clients’ ultimate satisfaction that we continue effective communication while providing thorough and prompt service. When issues crop up — and they always do — we have policies and procedures in place to respond in a timely fashion.

We work the problem; we don’t pass the buck. We belong to this community. This is where we’ve chosen to raise our family and we intend to be here for years to come.

We believe our definition of value instills confidence and helps ensure satisfaction. We respect that our clients’ entrust us to deliver a product that only exists on paper and is created before their eyes. It’s a responsibility we take seriously and it’s the cornerstone of what we call value.

Warm Regards,



Steve Jones & Bart Jones
Merlin Custom Home Builders
6408 S. Arville Street
Las Vegas, NV 89118

702.257.8102 – Phone