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Fastest 50: Turnstone Custom Homes


Photo by Eric Crossan

Turnstone Custom Homes
CEO: Harvey V. Ryan
Location: Rehoboth Beach

Turnstone Custom Homes is a design/build solution for discerning buyers seeking a quality custom home or luxurious renovation at the Delaware shore. We are based in Rehoboth Beach, but our reach extends throughout coastal Sussex County, Delaware — from Broadkill to Fenwick and the inland bays. Our in-house design/build capabilities mean clients can rely on one company to envision and construct a design that works for them — functionally, aesthetically and financially. 

What have been the biggest obstacles your company has faced over the past three years, and how did you overcome them?
(1) Employee turnover. We have learned to hire slow, train obsessively, and fire quickly when necessary; (2) earning a reasonable gross margin on our work. We have vastly improved procurement processes and adherence to project schedules and become more selective about projects; (3) material costs — there’s not much we can do about tariffs, but we have included contractual provisions to protect us from rapidly rising material costs; and (4) availability of competent trade partners. We have expanded and upgraded our trade partner base.

Looking back, what’s the biggest mistake you made and what would you do differently if you could?
Assuming too much. When you are building a unique custom home, you can’t take anything for granted. In retrospect we would have built more robust systems and processes earlier (we have them now). Our philosophy now is trust but verify.

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