The year was 1994. The Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl, Forrest Gump was the top grossing film, the U.S. housing market was beginning a comeback after a four-year slump, and Pat Dunbar established Chapin, SC-based Dunbar Builders Inc.
A graduate of Indiana University School of Business, Dunbar founded his custom homebuilding business after serving in the U.S. Air Force and working for many years in banking and finance. An eyewitness to the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980’s, Dunbar developed an authentic understanding of the integral role that housing and real estate play in the U.S. economy.
“I had seen up close the risks and the rewards of the housing industry,” Dunbar said. “Weighing all of that, I made the decision to become a custom homebuilder and now 20 years later, we’re experiencing the best sales growth and the some of the highest praise in the history of our company.”
Five years into business, Dunbar’s oldest son, Patrick, joined the company after graduating from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in Business. The father-son team today builds in many Columbia area communities including Saluda River Club, Woodcreek Farms and Timberlake, on Lake Murray, and on client-owned lots.
Dunbar says his company stock rose considerably in 2011 when Dunbar Builders was selected to be a member of the Southern Living Custom Builder Program, an invitation-only network of some of the finest homebuilders throughout the South.
“We’re so fortunate to have been chosen by Southern Living to represent the magazine in the Columbia market,” Dunbar says. “To be associated with an instantly recognizable and credible icon of Southern culture and style has made a huge difference for us.” It made so much of a difference that in 2013, Todd Lewis was hired as Director of Purchasing and Construction Management to help handle the workload.
Southern Living builders must not only demonstrate superior quality and attention to detail in their homes, but also have an excellent reputation among consumers and the local building trade. Dunbar Builders brings both to the table with its award-winning homes and the company’s continuing commitment to the home building industry.
An active member of the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia where Pat served as president in 2002 and where Patrick currently serves on the board of directors, Dunbar Builders is a perennial participant in HBA’s Parade of Homes. In 2013, Dunbar Builders collected nearly every award offered during the parade’s 16-day run at Sweetbay in Woodcreek Farms. Judges first awarded Dunbar’s ‘The Jasmine’ with Best Kitchen and Best Master Bedroom honors. Then, the majority of more than 8,200 parade visitors crowned Dunbar the People’s Choice Award winner for Best Home and for Best Interior.
“We were so honored to receive the judges awards, and thrilled to be the People’s Choice winner,” said Patrick Dunbar. “To be so highly praised by our peers and by the public is exciting and rewarding.”
In 2014, as Dunbar Builders celebrates its 20th year in business, a marked increase in the number of custom contracts and home starts prompted the company to add a Warranty Department and to hire James Pohorence as Warranty Manager. “We’re experiencing the best growth years in the history of our company, and this is an important step to ensure that our customer satisfaction continues after construction is complete,” the elder Dunbar said.
“Building or buying a home is the largest single investment most people will ever make, and certainly one of the most important buying decisions,” Dunbar said. “We take great pride in our product and our professionalism, and we look forward to working with the next generation of homebuyers.”
Visit Dunbar Builders at the Carolina Classic Home & Garden Show March 14-16 at the SC State Fairgrounds in Columbia, or online at dunbarbuilders.com.