Mr. & Mrs. Hunter
My husband, Rob Hunter, and I met Jim Robinson in 2014 when we decided to build a home on our property near Cashiers, North Carolina. We had narrowed our search to 3 contractors. After Jim’s initial visit to the lot, he suggested a variation on the original site orientation and other changes that convinced us he should both design and build our home. His suggestions maximized our 270 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and provided a home that is perfect for our lifestyle! Jim is a listener. He took the time to really understand our lifestyle and needs, enabling him to design a home that included all of our specific desires and truly exceeded our expectations. Jim is organized and patient. After construction began, Jim kept me informed of upcoming decision points so that my answers were timely and did not delay our project. When Jim realized a decision needed “re-consideration,” he offered guidance and alternatives.
One unexpected benefit was having a builder who was also an architect. At least four times during the project Jim recognized opportunities to alter the original design to incorporate new elements that have added tremendously to our enjoyment of our home. Had the builder not also been the designer, the builder would not have had the ability to make such changes.
Jim employs amazing craftsmen. During one visit we were spellbound by the stone masons as they built a chimney! Jim’s ability to source unique materials is seen throughout the house, in the reclaimed beams, cabinets of wood from a barn in Ohio, and a wine cellar formed of bricks dating from 1900.
Mrs. Patty Smith
I have built at least six houses over the years, and never have I had as talented of a designer and builder as Jim Robinson, with Design South Builders. Working with Jim was a dream. His remarkable ability to design my home and bring to fruition my vision, was refreshing. My input in the process was embraced, and he respected any ideas I brought to the table. My home is not only beautiful, but superbly constructed. Jim was available to meet and help me understand the process and choices that needed to be made. It was a seamless and enjoyable endeavor. I highly recommend Design South Builders as a builder of quality, estate homes.
I would like to share how very pleased we have been with the service provided by Design South Builders. It is refreshing to come across a company that can produce designs that are fresh, aesthetically pleasing and highly functional while at the same time construct the house in a efficient, high quality and cost effective manner. Jim Robinson, the principal, is a delight to work with. He is both professional and very articulate while maintaining an easy going rapport. His formula for design and build eliminates any slippage between the client desires, design fulfillment and resulting construction.
Apart from Jim's core business I have used him as a consultant to resolve several complicated renovation issues. His council has proven invaluable in resolving a variety of complex renovation challenges. I highly recommend Design South Builders and would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding my experience with them
My 1890's farmhouse has a new life thanks to Jim Robinson and his DesignSouth team!The project started with demolition of about 60% of the original structure, then an intricate effort to salvage a substantial amount of the old materials for use in the new home. We added approximately 1100 square feet of new construction plus completely renovated the non-demolished portion of the original house. Due to settling over the years the house we added onto was neither plumb, nor square and we had to make many field decisions on how to tie in the new structure to the imperfect original.
It was a successful collaboration in part because Jim "shared the stage" when it came to incorporating design ideas (mine and others') with his own creative ideas and construction skills. The end result is a finely crafted, unique home that pays respect to the past while offering a floor plan suited to my lifestyle, safety, comfort, energy efficiency and very handsome styling.
Jim was a good communicator and among other things did an excellent job of offering up suggested materials choices to keep within my budget. I presented many ideas and challenges along the way, they were met with an open mind and a can-do response.
When the friendship with your building contractor is stronger than when you started the project, you know you have selected the right builder for the job, and I did!
Jim & Shaun Grey
Building a home in Cashiers was always a dream of ours, but undertaking a project 5 hours away was a bit overwhelming. Jim and the Design South team not only made possible but enjoyable. Most importantly the final product was better than we could ever have imagined. We would do it again if we didn’t love our house so much.
Jim, It was a pleasure working with you and your team at DSB. Your entire team made the process a pleasure and they focused on every detail to make sure the project was a success and we were comfortable each step of the way. Thank you for your continued guidance and for finishing strong.
Lynn & Ed Cassady
Having done significant renovation projects, but never built a house, we were nervous about building our vacation home by long-distance. We worried that we were starting down a road that could either consume us or lead to disappointment. When Jim showed up and listened through what we wanted in a mountain house and then returned a couple of weeks later with preliminary plans that truly reflected what we had envisioned for our house, we began to become more comfortable. Through the process of refining the design and building, Jim proved to be the ideal partner for our project.
One anecdote serves to illustrate many great experiences. During the course of building we had expressed concerns about the design of the main entryway. As time drew close to construct that portion of the house, we spent a day driving around through local neighborhoods looking at entryways until early evening over dinner we sketched what we thought the front entryway should look like. We took a picture of the cocktail napkin sketch and sent it to Jim. We had finalized the design before the end of the meal. That sort of ease of communication and responsiveness with Jim was a relief after having been involved in other projects which were delayed while suggesting adjustments, engaging with our architect, waiting for drawings, waiting for pricing, re-adjusting designs, and waiting for pricing before finally moving forward. On top of all those great experiences, in addition to enjoying our ideal home in the mountains, we also had the pleasure of making new friends. We love to see Jim and Kristen when we are visiting Cashiers and hearing about all the great things that they are doing in the community.