Buying Homes Downtown Charleston SC Tips | What To Know about purchasing homes in Downtown Charleston SC

There are few places in the United States that are as pretty and majestic as downtown Charleston, SC. With the perfect mix of places to see, things to do, and unbelievable dining who wouldn’t want to live in downtown Charleston? If you are going to buy downtown there are some issues that you need to consider since most of the homes downtown will need renovations, remodeling, or improvement due to their age.

Houses for sale in downtown Charleston SC don’t come cheap. Especially anything that is really nice, and living downtown comes with its own set of challenges. It’s no mystery that we get a lot of rain here in the South and that rain coupled with a city that is just at or below sea level has its inherent problems. FLOODING. Although the city has done a lot to help curb the problem of flooding but there is still a ways to go.

charleston sc historic property renovations builderSo.. Next question if you want to live in Downtown Charleston is what kind of home do you want to buy? So many people love the historic charm of such an old city, but homes this old have issues, and there aren’t a lot of new construction homes in downtown Charleston that come on the market regularly. Good news… there are some new developers that have come to the area making purchases and building new in real estate downtown Charleston, SC.

Another large factor to consider when thinking about buying homes in Charleston SC is the PARKING. As with most metropolitan living, parking comes at a premium. Many homes downtown do not have “off street” parking so your car will always be parked near the curb on the street versus your own drive way. No.. there are no such things as a garage in downtown Charleston, SC. Just to have your own drive way is luxury alone. Some of the more older historic homes for instance, houses for sale on Tradd St, were built so long ago that they have old servant’s quarters or old non-attached kitchens that are now garages, or completely other living spaces. That’s why a lot of buyers coming to the area consider condos in downtown Charleston, SC. The only kind of garage you will find in downtown Charleston homes is with completely renovated multi-million $$ mansions or a parking garage associated with a condo.  If you a condo is more your style then downtown Charleston SC high-rises might be your best option. All of these properties have been completely built new which is rare for a lot of homes. Parking isn’t a problem in these condos.

ThirdRENOVATIONS. Doing improvements, and renovations in a historic city isn’t easy, and luckily that is the case. There are very many rules, restrictions, and other things one must know before buying downtown Charleston SC because you can’t just tear something down and build it as you want it. You have to go through the ARB (architectural review board) and get everything approved, and signed off on. If you try to do construction on a home without having done this, YOU and the contractor will get serious fines. READ MORE –>

Lastly; is where in downtown Charleston, SC to live? There are different boroughs of downtown Charleston SC all with their own set of charming qualities and features.

Borough neighborhoods of Downtown Charleston, SC:

 

  • South of Broad – Literally just as it is named this area is the most popular part of downtown Charleston, SC.
  • Harleston Village – Located just 3 blocks of the city’s hospitals Harleston Village is also near the only lake in town.
  • French Quarter – Very reminiscent of New Orleans for obvious reasons it is centered amongst the commerce.
  • Ansonborough – This community is probably one of the most sought after of all the downtown Charleston homes.
  • Radcliffeborough – In the middle of Calhoun and Morris St this borough is centrally located.
  • Wraggborough – Is nearest to all the nightlife, dining, and entertainment of all the communities of downtown.
  • Cannonborough and Elliottborough – The most affordable of downtown Charleston real estate, charm is still everywhere.
  • Hampton Park – Has gorgeous homes, nature, green area, and detail in this area named after Gen. Hampton.
  • Wagener Terrace – Just on the other side of the cross town this community is known for more modestly sized homes.

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What’s The Difference Contractor – Builder – Carpenter – Tradesman?

It has come to my attention that the public truly doesn’t understand what all is involved in construction, and furthermore they don’t know the difference in the types of people and personalities associated with construction. Specifically I am talking about home construction, such as: renovations, roofing, home building, etc.

So.. This article is strictly for other contractors and builders to pass onto their customers, clients, and homeowners alike. Hopefully, I will have done a good enough job explaining and clarifying how difficult construction really is, thus encouraging homeowners and clients to be a little more understanding.  Being a contractor is not easy work.

First; what is a contractor? Let me start by saying this. It depends on who you ask, but to most professionals inside the business, a contractor is the man or woman who drafts up “contracts”, hence the name. Contracts between themselves and carpenters or tradesmen, and those are contracts to do a specific type of work or trade. In most instances a contractor is the guy the homeowner or business owner corresponds with regularly about the project. What’s more, a real contractor really isn’t the one who “swings the hammer”, but is usually the brains behind the project. The contractor is the person who knows how the job should be done, knows the people (tradesmen) who know how to do the work, knows what materials cost, time necessary to complete, knows how to schedule, takes on the liability, as well as knows the permits/codes that have to be adhered to.  The contractor aka builder is “the brains” behind the operation. Contractors often times are college educated and business minded people.

Unfortunately most homeowners don’t understand the stress, the work, responsibility  and expense that goes into their home improvement, remodel, or new home build. If they did they would be much more understanding and patient. First, the cost of liability insurance for a contractor is some of the MOST expensive insurance in the marketplace. Contractors not only have to insure their sub-contractors (carpenters/tradesmen), they also have to insure the client’s interest, the job quality, and the property. For that reason it is extremely expensive to carry adequate and proper insurances and bonds.

What is a Carpenter? A carpenter is usually an uneducated, yet sometimes skilled (sometimes unskilled) laborer or crafts-person who works with materials and tools to construct or build a finished (sometimes) unfinished product.  There is a difference between contractor and carpenter. The contractor is the one who hires the carpenter(s) to provide them with work, and instruction as to what they are to do. That isn’t to say that a carpenter can’t also be a contractor, but most good contractors aren’t carpenters because they don’t have time to do the labor or they wouldn’t be able to get any other work done. A carpenter is kind of, for lack of a better term, a generic laborer who usually knows and/or can figure out how to complete the desired construction related task. A carpenter is often times, the guy who works out of his beat up pick up truck and carries his tools around with him from job to job.

That leaves tradesman or craftsman?

Charleston, SC General ContractorThese are basically the same as a carpenter, however tradesmen usually stick to knowing how to, or prefer to work with one specific area of the process or trade. For instance: roofer, framer, trim carpenter, woodworker, cabinet-maker, tiler, painter, etc. These people know how to do one thing (trade / craft) very well and thus are experts in that one trade. Verses being a carpenter who is usually someone who works on everything and doesn’t know how to do one specific thing perfect.  An expert craftsmen is another level of tradesman that is SO well versed at one trade and has many many years of hands on practical experience in one trade that they usually demand a much higher price to hire them as they can usually do specialty, detailed, and ornate work. When you go into a very expensive, and breath-taking home you are usually seeing the work of custom, expert-fine craftsmanship.

The stress of being a contractor comes in dealing with carpenters and craftsmen. Each trade usually has to be coordinated in particular order, and these carpenters and tradesmen all have to work in sync and together, BUT all too often do not. Unfortunately, it is common that most carpenters are comprised of people who do not take the care to be professional, timely, and respectful while on the work place. That’s why you do business with a contractor and not a carpenter.  This is where the problem comes in, because the client expects the contractor to do the work, the contractor expects the carpenter or tradesman to do the work and when one of these things doesn’t fall into place then the entire job comes to a halt. If majority of carpenters were people  with values, and ethics then construction would be much easier, but alas that isn’t the case so contractors have to deal with these problems for the customer.

So next time you want some work done in your house or your office consider these things, and maybe you’ll understand that it isn’t easy to do construction work or you’d be doing it yourself.

Charleston SC Green Building Contractor and Energy Efficient Construction |

With energy costs constantly rising and paychecks shrinking it is more important than ever that your home be as energy efficient as possible to save money and the environment.  As a certified green builder in Charleston, we go to great lengths to ensure that your home, commercial building, renovation, addition and/or anything we build well exceeds minimum code for energy efficiency. We will always make sure to explain the difference in products, prices of each product, options, and construction methods that are available to help your property conserve as much energy as possible.Contractors in Charleston SC

Here we have a helpful image that illustrates some of the most common places, and construction shortfalls that contribute to a home or business’s inefficient energy footprint.

We have a huge list of all the best suppliers of the most energy efficient products, materials, windows, doors, siding, and anything else you’d need to make sure you are not only saving money, but also saving the environment.