Happy New year to all. 2015 will be a year filled with successes!

The Merlin Custom Home Builders Family of Builders wishes each and everyone one of you and your families a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!
We will remember 2014 as the year our recession ended.  Credit for that wonderful statement goes to:  First, all of our talented and loyal staff who sacrificed and pulled together through the hard years which sustained Merlin Custom Home Builders’s reputation for exceptional homebuilding and customer service.  Second, we are so grateful and thankful to the wonderful homeowners who entrusted us with renovating, remodeling and building their dream homes.



Protect your home from winter’s cold air. Especially if you have living areas above your garage, be sure to keep your garage overhead doors closed. Doing so will keep the garage as well as rooms adjacent or above the garage warmer, and will help protect plumbing pipes that may be in the walls or ceilings.
Be sure that all hoses are detached from exterior hose bibs. Leaving hoses connected in freezing weather can interfere with the anti-frost feature, potentially causing the pipes to freeze and burst.
Lastly, if you have a garage sink, turn off the supply lines and empty the trap so they do not freeze.

How homeowners benefit from the established builder’s systems and relationships.

The first question is what defines a professional builder and then it is how to find the right one.  The State Nevada has a great resource for evaluating general contractors and custom home builders in Las Vegas and throughout the state. The Nevada State Contractors Board provides a wealth of information about current and past licensed contractors.  It notes when a contractor became licensed and if they are still licensed.  It states the construction amount limits the Board approved for each contractor, the exact trade their license covers and lists all disciplinary actions the board applied to licensed contractors.

The Las Vegas rebound of home building from the great recession has attracted lots of new contractors to the business. This has given homeowners more choices, tempting some to choose a contractor based strictly on price.

Bad idea. It’s nearly impossible to compare apples to apples when collecting competitive bids, especially for a complex custom home. That’s why homeowners who have built before prefer to compare builders rather than prices.

By some estimates, the U.S. economy boasts more residential contracting companies (general contractors as well as subcontractors like plumbers and electricians) than any other type of business. This reflects a low barrier to entry: all that’s needed to get started are a contractor’s license and the right insurance. Of course, licensing and insurance are crucial—no smart homeowner hires a contractor without them—but they are simply the ante to get in the game. They say nothing about the company’s work quality, budgeting skill, financial stability, or customer service. These factors and a multitude of others are the difference between a great building experience and an expensive disappointment.

The big advantage to hiring an established professional custom home builder is that the pro has the systems needed to manage a custom home project. It’s a real company with a physical location and proven management systems. These include systems for customer service, design, estimating, construction, and warranty work, among others. Advantages for customers include:

Timeliness and accuracy. Professional builders have a team of specialists that handle design, estimating, purchasing, and construction. More gets done, in less time, and with fewer mistakes. One important specialist is a dedicated manager for each jobsite—this person takes ownership of the project to make sure work gets done on time and as planned.

No surprises. Detailed specs that clearly define the scope of work, eliminate hidden costs and help prevent disappointing outcomes. Specifications take time and knowledge to create.  The professional custom home builder has the systems and staffing to develop and adhere to this ‘master game plan’. One of the pitfalls of ambiguous specifications is a low-bid proposal that is ultimately unrealistic and the source of surprise and disappointment.

Buying clout. Successful custom builders are highly skilled purchasers. They know the best places to get each of the hundreds of products that go into a home. Their relationships with suppliers help ensure the best available prices and timely delivery.

Value engineering. Years of experience have taught the professional builder the most efficient approaches to new home construction. The builder’s staff will work with the designer and engineer to make sure the plan minimizes waste and is cost-effective to build.

High-quality subs. Professional custom home builders only work with professionally managed subcontractors. Because the builder is their steady customer, these subs work hard to protect that relationship—for example, by charging fair prices and showing up on the job when needed.

Warranty confidence. Most new contractors fail after just a few years, often because they lack the financial resources to stay in business. Homeowners can’t be confident that the contractor will be around to fulfill warranty requests. By contrast, the established professional builder has the resources to back up a written warranty of its work. Its longstanding relationships with subs and suppliers help ensure a quick response to warranty claims.

This article isn’t meant to disparage the small contractor. The company that lacks business acumen and capital may be led by a skilled tradesperson who does top-notch work. In fact, talented tradespeople who are unable to grow their businesses often end up putting their skills to work for the professionally managed company.

Warm Regards,



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

702.257.8102 – Phone