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Why Zar Custom Homes

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Ted and Kelley B.

I’m sitting here on the side porch, watching a blustery rainy morning unfold and thinking about how happy we are with our home. Kelley and I want you to know how happy and satisfied we are with this house. As we have lived in it for nearly 5 months now, we have really come to appreciate the work and energy you put into our home. The quality of detail is excellent. The unseen decisions that you made on our behalf have been some of the most rewarding parts of working with Zar Custom Homes. No surprise to either of you, but we both have strong opinions about what we expected from the builder of our forever home. Although we didn’t know it at the time, many of these expectations were just loose formations in our minds until we actually saw it come to life. You two have such an incredible ability to listen and navigate those unseen wishes and adjust and build accordingly. I’ve never seen anything like it from a builder. We’ve also come to recognize that handing you a set of plans from someone you’ve never worked with before had to be particularly challenging, especially given the nature and uniqueness of our home. Russell, no doubt you left a little bit of yourself here as you battled these differences in our best interest. As we look back, we can see more clearly the decisions and choices you navigated through. For that, we are most grateful, and we want to acknowledge that gift to us. Our goal in the beginning was to find a builder who wanted to build the project to the best of his ability and to truly understand what we wanted. We found that in Zar. Without a doubt, we are convinced by the results that you wanted this house to live out our dreams as much as we did. You guys will always be welcomed and remembered here.

TF Delaney

Zar Custom Homes built a one-of-a-kind rustic home at River Oaks Golf Course in Statesville, NC. Russell and Lisa were very professional, confident, and totally customer-oriented. Their calm, no-pressure approach coupled with patience and understanding put us at ease and takes them to the top of list for custom home builders. We needed a builder who could deliver us high-quality workmanship and a high-end home, while maintaining our strict budget. We were searching for a builder who had the ability to listen and comprehend our vision, who could and would be flexible to last-minute changes and roadblocks. Getting a construction loan for a custom home in the Statesville, NC area proved to be extremely challenging. It took us several months to work our way through the wickets. During this process, Zar Custom Homes was not only patient, but also worked closely with us on the budget and contract changes to satisfy our and the bank’s needs. From the beginning, we felt very comfortable with Zar Custom Homes. We had complete faith and trust that Russell and Lisa could deliver. Their vendors and subs were a well-tuned team of skilled professionals. Once we pulled the trigger to build, things came together like clockwork. We faced minimal delays. Russell and Lisa were very responsive to me, a very needy client, and put our minds at ease over and over again. Russell was careful to explain and clarify any and all questions and concerns in detail. At the end, many areas of the house exceeded our expectations. The stonework was remarkable and the wood work superb. My wife and I spent 30 years in the military, planning on building this retirement home. We only had one shot to get it right. Zar Custom Homes hit a bullseye and delivered a dream retirement home that far exceeded our dreams. Their follow-up after the build has been beyond reproach and unheard of in today’s world. As far as I am concerned, you are not going to find any better builder. Zar Custom Homes is number one. 

Werner Born & Jeanette Lawrence

To Whom It May Concern: Zar Custom Homes built a workout room in our attic this past spring, which included building new walls, moulding to match our moulding throughout the upstairs, and hardwood floors that matched our upstairs floors and continued into the workout room. Their quality of workmanship was superb, actually better than the builder of our home. Their workmen where friendly, courteous, and cleaned up after themselves daily. It was a pleasure working with Russell and his wife, Lisa. Russell was very thorough in compiling the estimate with his subcontractors as well as his timetable. My wife and I would highly recommend Zar Custom Homes to anyone who is interested in adding an addition or building a new home. They truly are a custom builder.

Pete Bowen

Dear Russell and Lisa, just wanted to take a moment to recognize the outstanding job that you and your contractors did in building my dream home on Lake Norman. The whole process from start to finish was seamless and went very smoothly. I must have contacted seven or eight contractors, and you were the only one that called me back within an hour or two of my phone call. A couple of them never called me back. Go figure in an economy such as this. I had a good feeling about you, Russell, from the start, and my intuition was correct. You did everything you said you would do, including completing the project on time and on budget, which, let’s face it, is probably the most important part of the entire process. You always responded quickly and reassured me when we ran into any issues that need to be resolved. You definitely have the formula down, and your company runs like a well-oiled machine. I did not know that much about building a house in the beginning and learned a lot during the process, as I had the good fortune to compare how my house was being built relative to a neighbor who built their house with another contractor at the same time. The differences were stark to say the least, which included, but were not limited to : 12″ poured walls and 12″ block vs 8″ block by the other contractor, a thick membrane for waterproofing on the foundation vs. black spayed-on paint, a thick membrane underneath the porches and balconies to prevent any water damage, the fit and finish of the house in general (i.e. walls, countertops, drywall, flooring, etc.), and timeline for completion. My house was completed on time in February. The other builder is still not done, and yet they were supposed to be done before my house was done. This is just an abbreviated list, but gives you a flavor of the things that I learned of how different the quality and the process of building a home can be. There were a number of reasons that I chose Zar Custom Homes, but the main ones include real stone work on the outside of the house vs. the fake stone and the mason (Mora Construction) did an amazing job on the stonework and stucco. It is like a work of art and the showpiece of the house. Lisa Zavatsky is the fashion consultant with an edge. After seeing how Lisa decorated their own house, I knew I would have everything color-coordinated and on the cutting-edge of fashion, and I was right. Lisa and I were on the same page on the vast majority of the things we picked out, but she steered me into the correct decision on the other 10%, where I was later grateful that I listened to her. She ROCKS! I forged a strong trust and bond with Russell. I knew from the first phone call that I wanted Russell to build my house. I had to do my due diligence, but every step of the way, my intuition only proved to be right that I did indeed choose the right builder! Probably one of the most refreshing strong points of the entire process was the follow-through, and that is where Dean Nieman comes into play. Dean always did a great job of coordinating everything with the contractors and making sure that things were well-organized and got completed in a timely fashion. More importantly, he did not stop till he had everything completed on his punch list and I was 110% satisfied. He even scheduled an appointment to have some of the contractors come back nearly a year after the house is complete to do any touch-up on the drywall and the paint, which he said is just “standard operating procedure”. Most contractors take the money and run and forget your name after the project is complete. But that is not the case with Zar Custom Homes, and I would strongly recommend Zar Custom Homes to build your dream home, or any other construction project. Thanks again for all that you did, as you exceeded all my expectations. I love my new house, and you all made my dream a reality!! Warmest regards.

Anne Lander

Dear Russell and Lisa, just a short note to let you know how much I appreciated the superior quality of the job Zar Custom Homes did for me. The entire process was a dream come true. Your team led by Dean Nieman was just wonderful and very efficient. All aspects of the renovation were done with the utmost quality and care. Everyone involved was top in their field and always presented themselves as polite and concerned about my project. Thank you again! 

Curt Seifart, Jr.
Helen Adams Realty

Dear Russell and Lisa, thank you for the professional and quality work performed by ZAR Custom Homes to rehab the home at Hadrian Way in the Randolph Park neighborhood! It was a large undertaking, which required careful logistical planning, scheduling, and budgeting to pull off. You guys did it right! I was impressed by the constant contact and weekly update sessions Dean provided on our behalf. And Lisa gave expert guidance in helping decide on the many finishing details. Lastly, I am pleased that the project came in on time and on budget! As a realtor, I recognize the value of providing good service. Part of that is having faith in who I might recommend to homeowners for solving home repairs and/or upgrading, or even building a new home. Due to your “can-do” approach to your customers, I am happy to refer future business to Zar Custom Homes!

Bill & Nancy

Russell & Lisa, we want to thank you for the outstanding job you did in helping us build our dream lake house at Lake James. It was such a challenging project since we were several hours away. We needed a builder we could trust when they promised a superior home and excellent customer service. We needed a builder who would listen when we explained our vision. We needed someone who was available and responsive to our questions to ease the anxiety of not being able to be on site. You delivered on all counts and truly exceeded our expectations time and again. Your help and involvement with the planning of the house, the architectural review, and interior design were invaluable and critical to the success of our house. You added details that accented our design ideas and truly took our breath away. We can’t thank you enough. 

Jason Bush

Hi Russell, thank you for all of the amazing work your team completed on our home. The new wine rack and gates look absolutely amazing and far exceeded anything we could have imagined!!! We have always wanted to have a wine rack in our home, and the gates truly are a work of art! Also, the repairs to the front roof turned out great, as well as the molding you replaced in the office. Both the roof and molding updates matched what we had exactly and were completed professionally by your team. Thanks again for everything, and we look forward to partnering with you on future projects. 

Rodney & Beth Lynn

Zar Custom Homes did an excellent job on our screen porch addition and stone patio. After talking with multiple builders about our project, we selected Zar Custom Homes based on references, quality of work and Russell’s “no pressure” approach to selling us the job. We are very satisfied with the final product, and we had no idea the addition would transform our backyard into a completely different living space. 

Debe Maxwell

Hi Russell, I wanted to thank you for all that you have done in the past few months for my clients. I am most grateful for the level of service that you provide, as well as the quality of workmanship that your team of professionals provides to my clients. I cannot thank you enough for your dedication and commitment to my clients, as everything that you and your team do is a direct reflection upon me! I have received numerous compliments from my clients in regard to every aspect of the job that you perform, as well as the ‘above and beyond’ that you give, including the numerous phone calls from all parties involved in a punch-list transaction and your prompt responses, either by phone or by email. My clients who are in need of renovations and not just punch-list items have been extremely impressed with you and, as in my business, your goal of making them a ‘client for life’ is extremely important. In my opinion, this goal for your business has been accomplished with both my clients and me, although I am aware that this is an ongoing, crucial aspect of your business model and I’m sure will continue! Oh, and did I mention your reasonable fees? In this market, that is very much appreciated! Keep up the excellent service, dedication and work and know that you and your entire team are most appreciated and highly recommended! Have a great day.

Tim & Linda Vang

Dear Russell and Lisa, we would like to thank the both of you for a job well done in completing our lovely home. Right from the start, you guys responded quickly to every question, inquiry, phone call and e-mail. You guys also provided great advice and support on floor plans, finishes and locations. We were involved and informed throughout the entire process, and everything went smoothly. Even after we moved in, you guys followed up with us and made sure everything was okay. We were very impressed with your attention to detail and integrity. We are thrilled that Zar Custom Homes brought us home on time and on budget. We will definitely go with you guys again for our next house.

Nadine & Darrin King

Dear Russell and Lisa, I wanted to write and thank you and your team once again for doing such a terrific job on our garage project. We are all just thrilled with the final results. We’ve met so many new neighbors. People keep stopping by and commenting on how nice it looks. The brick face and siding match great! I was pretty concerned we would have a tough time matching those materials up to the existing structure, but it worked out fine. The concrete work around the outside leading to the back patio looks so nice. I love the brick stairs off the back of the garage too. Your professionalism and certainly patience throughout this project do not go unrecognized. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done several remodeling projects in the past, and I’ve never had an experience like this one before. Your willingness to work through any hurdles and ensure the project was staying on track so that we would get the final results we wanted was a refreshing change from what we’ve dealt with in the past. In fact, I’ve never finished a remodeling project without any regrets or dissatisfaction. I can say with this project that was accomplished. There isn’t one thing about the project that I’m dissatisfied with; everything was done perfectly. I only regret that I didn’t work with you on my kitchen remodel and other past projects. My little guy, Lucas, will miss talking to all the guys on the job every day. They were all very friendly and professional and patient when my four-yea- old wanted to tell them lengthy stories when they were trying to work. Also, thank you for finishing the job in the timeframe you estimated. I couldn’t believe that even though we had a two-week delay with inspections, you still finished on time. This has NEVER happened to us before. We’ve had builders come in six months over their estimated completion dates on past projects. This was a wonderful surprise. This was a big project for us. I was very nervous about starting the job because of our past experiences. You assured me that your firm was different and you would make sure we were happy. You were true to your word, and that’s a refreshing change from what we were used to. You have restored my faith in the construction industry. I won’t hesitate to recommend your firm. I’m a member of Angie’s List and have written a positive review there. If you ever need a reference, I would be more than happy to help you out. For any future construction needs I have, you’ll be the only one I call to quote the job. Thanks again, Russell. It was truly a pleasure working with all of you. 

Tony & Susan Pope

Dear Russell and Lisa, wow, it’s hard to know how to begin this letter to you both and let you know how much we appreciate everything you did. After many months of deciding who we wanted to build our home, it was evident that Zar Custom Homes was the way to go! The two of you handled the meeting with professionalism, honesty and most of all, the confidence to build the home we have dreamed of. The past year was a great experience for both of us, and it was due to your scheduling of the vendors, always answering emails and questions, and being available to meet or talk about changes or concerns. It was a process that could have been a pleasant one or a disaster, but you showed us that not all builders are created equal!! You rose way above the others and made the entire year an exciting time for us! The greatest compliment that we can give the two of you is that you were always, always available. This says so much about a builder. Building a home is one of the biggest investments a couple will make, and there is so much emotion involved. We felt like we could come to you about anything concerning the house, and that was very important to us. Lisa, we want to let you know that the monthly budget sheet that was emailed to us was so helpful and very informative. It helped us to keep ourselves “in check” and stay within our budget (we all know that was more difficult for me!) You were always there to answer any questions regarding things that were ordered and prompt in getting back to us if you didn’t have the answers. Russell, our home turned out just like we imagined, and it was due to the dedication and hard work you put into the everyday drive to Cornelius. We both know your main concern was for us to be happy with the end result, and we are not only happy, but very proud of everything that was accomplished! A big thank you to both of you — we did it, we made it through, and we hope this experience was a good one for you also! Congratulations to you both on a job well done! 

Brian Freeman

Russell and Lisa, Everyone connected with Zar Custom Homes was extremely professional. Everyone involved was very responsive to any questions and very helpful in working out all the little details. Best of all, the work was done on time and on budget, a true turn-key, hassle-free effort.

James & Gamaris McNally

Dear Russell and Lisa, we would like to sincerely thank you and your team for the phenomenal spaces you have created in our home. The covered patio and new breakfast area turned out to be so much more than we had envisioned, and it is doing exactly what we wanted. As you know, the McNally clan is a very close-knit family. Christmas at our house went extremely well with all the added space. It has extended our living area, and everyone gravitated to the patio. The new, larger breakfast area has completely transformed our entertaining space inside. It seamlessly integrates with the kitchen, and best of all, you have made it possible for a future remodel of the kitchen. We chose your company because we felt you had a passion for building, and you proved us right and exceeded our expectations. We had total peace of mind that our house was being taken care of throughout the entire process. It takes a special company to foster that kind of work ethic in this business, and that is what sets you apart from all the rest. For all of our future remodeling projects, we will definitely use you again. Thank you and your company again for making this a pain-free process. Other than the anticipation of the finished product, it was a very enjoyable experience, and we couldn’t be happier with the process and the end results.

Steve & Shannon Lowe

Dear Russell and Lisa, I wanted to thank you for the wonderful job you did in our backyard. Not only do the porch and pool look better than I expected, but the entire building process also went extremely smoothly. I always felt very confident in your work and knew you would have a group of vendors that would not only deliver a quality product, but would also understand the level of customer service that is critical in today’s business. You have a unique ability to customize the experience to meet my personal expectations and exceed them! On several occasions, I found myself calling to ask you a question, and you had already thought of it and had it resolved. It gave me great comfort knowing you were there to oversee the worksite and keep the process moving forward per your schedule. I always came home to find the site clean and safe for me and my family. I was impressed with the level of professionalism and customer satisfaction that was demonstrated during the entire project. You did a great job at communicating where we are, and next steps. Communication was key throughout the entire process, and I always felt we were on the same page and where we were in terms of the targeted completion date. I also loved the emails that would just let me know that I would be psyched to come home today! (Like the day when the speakers were installed you had the music playing so we heard it when we pulled up, or when the pump for the pool was able to fit behind the garage). I felt that you had as much pleasure in doing this job as we will have using the finished product! To me, this goes back to the person you are . . . one who has accountability, trust, passion, and integrity. My family and I can’t thank you enough for the great memories we will have enjoying our new porch and pool! 

Andy & Jennifer

Russell and Lisa, we cannot say “Thank You” enough for all your hard work with us during the recent remodel of our kitchen and master bath. As you know, we interviewed several other contractors and had even hired a “professional” design team without success. From the moment we first met with Russell, we felt we were in very capable hands. Whether it was talking us through the process of getting the estimates or working with our budget and timeline, we were 100% satisfied to the point of being impressed. The fact that our project was completed ahead of schedule was an incredible bonus! It is so rare today to work with people who say what they are going to do, and actually do it. On an almost daily basis, one of you was in contact with us. We knew every evening what was happening the next day and who to expect in our home. Also it was so comforting when you would come to the house (on a daily basis) to see what work was being done. The attention to detail confirmed that we had made the right choice with Zar Custom Homes. Lisa, your help with tile choices, lighting, and paint color made such a huge difference. The options can be overwhelming, and you really helped to keep us focused. On top of all that, you were always so cheerful and pleasant. We could definitely feel your desire for us to have all that we wanted. In addition to how much we enjoyed working with each of you, the subcontractors you chose were so professional. We know it would have been impossible for us to find the quality of workmanship you had available. You were both wonderful, and we are so looking forward to another project with you.