Print
Real Estate - Residential

Custom Homes Contain Local Touches

By Cece Nunn, posted Jun 1, 2018
Tommy Jordan, an employee at Hollingsworth Cabinetry, wraps a recently completed custom wood piece. The company employs 30 to 35 people at its facilities at 2915 Castle Hayne Road. (photo by Cece Nunn)
A coastal lifestyle and custom homes go together like sand and surf.
 
And in the Wilmington area, numerous companies manufacture custom home elements locally.
 
One example is Hollingsworth Cabinetry on Castle Hayne Road, a company started by Hudson Hollingworth’s parents 25 years ago.
 
The firm, which started out as a bed frame manufacturer, now employs 30 to 35 people, half of whom are dedicated to manufacturing cabinetry, custom wood hoods and other kitchen components, as well as bathroom vanities and other pieces found in custom homes in the Cape Fear region.
 
“We basically have a full design team that meets with and interfaces with our customers that takes it to a certain point all the way up to being ready for production, and then we’ve got a production team that steps in,” Hudson Hollingsworth explained.


 
The company also has a finishing staff and custom wood assembly staff, as well as CNC machines that take computer-aided designs and cut out the pieces needed to create them in real life.
 
“We’re able to take trending designs from customers and builders that bring in pictures, inspirational photos and we’re actually able to make and manufacture those things,” said Hudson Hollingsworth.
 
His wife, Kristyn Hollingsworth, keeps up with those trends.
 
“Every job we do is about as unique as the homeowner,” she said.
 
The size of Hollingsworth Cabinetry’s operation isn’t immediately visible from the first glance at the historic building that holds its showroom at 2915 Castle Hayne Road. The building next door serves as a business office and buildings in the back hold the company’s manufacturing processes.
 
Hudson Hollingsworth said the firm’s primary customer base is in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, but his goal is to keep expanding to other communities in the southeastern U.S.
 
Hollingsworth isn’t the only maker or manufacturer in Wilmington or the Castle Hayne and Wrightsboro areas. Another example, one of many, is Area 51 Powder Coating Inc. at 2721 Old Wrightsboro Road. In addition to powder coating, the company makes railings, gates, metal staircases and metal awnings for custom homes and has seven employees.
 
“Everybody wants something custom,” said Brett Lenz, owner of Area 51. “Whether or not the economy can withstand it is going to be the question of the day.”
 
Lenz said his company uses steel, stainless steel and aluminum. But the cost of steel has gone up 25 percent this year and aluminum is up about 10 to 15 percent since the beginning of 2018, Lenz said. Those costs ultimately get passed along to the customer, but the increases haven’t seemed to affect demand, he said.

 
“We’re definitely not there yet. Demand’s still hot right now. New construction’s going crazy,” Lenz said.
 
Homebuilder Mark Batson, owner of Tongue & Groove, said the demand for custom homes in the area is healthy. Batson’s company builds around six to eight luxury homes each year that range from $1.5 million to $6 million.
 
“If you come to Wilmington and you look for a luxury custom home, you’re not going to find one that’s brand new and available,” Batson said. “Demand is healthy and supply is diminishing.”
 
T&G has its own custom cabinet shop and creates other custom pieces, including mantels, hearths, decorative components and furniture.
 
He said his firm just finished a house in Carolina Beach designed with a nautical contemporary theme, and one of the touches is a metal smokestack for the roof made out of sheet metal with cable stays to hold it in place and a steam whistle, all created by Wilmington-based subcontractor Flores & Foley.
 
Batson said he believes custom home demand, particularly for those in coastal areas like Wilmington, will remain healthy.
 
“They’re not making any more waterfront lots,” he said. “Anywhere on the East Coast, they’re being bought up as quickly as they can find them.” 
 
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Forecasting the Future: Demystifying Two Common Assumptions in Our Economy

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington
Img 1576c1

What’s Next for Equity Investors?

Eddie Nowell - South Atlantic Capital Management Group
Billhunter300x300 b&w

Is Your Phone Listening?

Bill Hunter - Wilmington Design Company

Trending News

Realtor Submits Site Plans For Luxury Condos, Executive Office Center

Cece Nunn - Aug 22, 2019

Firm's Expansion Expected To Lead To New CRO Jobs In Wilmington

Cece Nunn - Aug 22, 2019

SummerFest 19 To Include Street Food Cook-off At Battleship Park

Jessica Maurer - Aug 21, 2019

Timeline In Motion For Castle St. Redevelopment Project

Christina Haley O'Neal - Aug 21, 2019

Drift Coffee  & Kitchen Now Open At Mayfaire 

Jessica Maurer - Aug 21, 2019

In The Current Issue

ILM Passenger Numbers Trending Up

The number of travelers using the growing Wilmington International Airport has soared each month in 2019 compared to the same month the prev...


Local Distillery Makes A Splash

With Brooke Bloomquist’s background in marketing and special events and her father’s naval career and business prowess, their masterminding...


Info Junkie: Girard Newkirk

CEO & Founder of KWHCoin, Girard Newkirk shares his top tech and informational tools....

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

WILMA's Leadership Accelerator
Power Breakfast - The H Word (June 13, 2019)
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`