News for Home Buyers and Owners

News and updates from our luxury
home building experts.


Admin Coastal Signature Homes - Monday, July 18, 2016

Give Your AC a Simple Checkup

Now's the time to make sure your air conditioning is in perfect working order. First, replace your air filter to make sure the whole system runs smoothly. Clear any debris on or around your vents or exhausts, and clean off any dirt, grass, or winter debris from the main unit outside.

If your unit isn't working properly, now is the time to call in a professional... don't wait until it stops working altogether.

Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction

Ceiling fans are designed to rotate differently depending on the season. In the summer, you should run your fan at higher speeds turning counter-clockwise, creating a downward air flow. The fan creates a breeze in the room and a "wind chill" effect on the skin and helps you feel cooler.

In winter months, your fan should rotate clockwise, circulating air upwards, to help distribute the heat that has risen towards the ceiling. The fan pulls cooler air upwards, mixing it with the warm air, then circulates it out and down the walls.

Check to see which direction the fans in your home are moving, and, if necessary, hit the small black switch near the base to change directions.

Embracing Modern Lowcountry Style

Steve Tilton - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

by Steve Tilton

It has all the hallmarks of traditional, southern, Lowcountry style - from the tabby (oyster shell) driveway to the expansive porch. Yet, this new home, built by Coastal Signature Homes in Palmetto Bluff, is packed with inspirational details that make it a timeless classic, no matter what style you're seeking.

The covered breezeway provides cover and shade for traveling between the house and the two-car garage / guest suite apartment. The architectural details are something you won't find in many custom homes. This porch is outdoor living at its best. Transitional design elements embrace for a mix of old and new furnishings, allowing the homeowners to feature treasured collections and family heirlooms while still maintaining clean, modern lines. 

Inside, the family room opens up from the kitchen and onto the screened-in porch. The brick fireplace with white surround is a stunning focal point. The hardwood floors set off the room. There's fine craftsmanship at every turn. Even the landing at the top of the stairs features molding and details that other custom builders typically overlook.

There are many, many more inspiring details in this recently completed home built by Coastal Signature Homes. We invite you to take a virtual tour with more pictures on our HOUZZ site.

5 Things to Remember About Spring Planting at Your New Home

Steve Tilton - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This is the time of year when days are getting longer and we all long to be outside. This is especially true for many of our customers who are enjoying their first spring in their new homes.

While the great weather beckons us to be outdoors, it also drives folks to garden and home centers like a flock of birds returning north. Everyone wants to make the most of their patios and yards, and almost instinctively, we start planting.

Before spending an entire Saturday (along with all your hard-earned money) at the garden center, these are 5 things to keep in mind about spring planting:

  1. 1. Avoid the garden center on the busiest days – Saturday and Sunday. You are likely to get a better selection during the week, and you won’t have to fight the crowds. Plus, you’re far more likely to get help from a knowledgeable person.
  2. 2. Know the difference between Annuals and Perennials.

    Annual plants are basically disposable. They die at the end of the season. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them for color in beds and containers, just remember that you will have to replace them. These include marigolds, vinca, and the like.

    Perennial plants come back next year, hence the name. They may die back at the end of the season, but it means you won’t have to replace them next spring. Hostas are a good example.
  3. 3. Color sells, but buyer beware. Garden centers use colorful blooming plants to entice you – and who doesn’t colorful flowers? Be sure that the colorful blooms you buy today will continue blooming throughout the season. Some plants will bloom only once. (Azaleas and some daylilies are a good example.) Other plants may require that you remove dying blooms before new ones will appear (this is called “deadheading.”) If you don’t want to tend plants all summer, avoid these. They include most geraniums, daisies and petunias.
  4. 4. The right plant for the right place. It’s simple – some plants like hot sun and some like shade. Read the tags and ask questions. Strive to get drought-tolerant plants. Our summers can be very hot and dry. Unless you are planting them where you can water them very frequently, look for plants that will hold up in the heat. Just because the garden center sells it doesn’t mean it will do well in our climate. If in dought, there are plenty of resources available online.
  5. 5. When it comes to trees and shrubs, plant them in the fall. It may seem counterintuitive to hold off planting trees and shrubs until fall, but trust me – you’ll have far greater success. Planting trees and shrubs now means that they (and you) will struggle all summer trying to keep them from frying in the Lowcountry heat. In addition to the money you spend on plants, you’ll spend a fortune on water too. Fall weather, especially in the Lowcountry, is far more conducive to planting shrubs and trees. In fact, the later in fall that you plant, the better. The mild weather of our fall and winter months will be gentle on your plants and will allow them to develop stronger, deeper root systems. You won’t have to water nearly as much, giving them a deeper soaking less frequently. Even deciduous trees (those that shed their leaves) will fare much better over winter and will be prepared to thrive in the warm sun of spring and summer.

APRIL 2016 - Transitional Design

Steve Tilton - Thursday, April 14, 2016

IN THE NEWS - Recently Published in Bluffton Breeze Magazine

by Steve Tilton

My family has been building homes in the Lowcountry since the 1970’s, and our goal is to give our clients exactly what they want in their new homes. For most of them, we are building their “forever home”, and we get a lot of special requests, which we always strive to deliver. While we pride ourselves on delivering the quintessential Lowcountry-style home, we’re getting an increasing number of requests for a relatively new style of interior finish, called “transitional.”

What is transitional design? It’s a major design influence in new homes, and in remodeling and redecorating. Think of it as a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, somewhere between old world traditional and contemporary chrome and glass. The name “transitional” might even be a bit of a misnomer. Maybe it would be better described as “updated classic” or “cohesive eclectic.” The “transition” actually comes from how the style allows you to move, or transition, back and forth between styles, using elements from one style and then another to create a completely new style all its own. It’s the best of both worlds.


FEB 2016 - 1 Key Advantage in Today's Homebuilding Market

Steve Tilton - Wednesday, February 10, 2016

1 Key Advantage in Today's Homebuilding Market

I recently blogged about the new economic landscape and how it can impact your plans of building the retirement home of your dreams.  The Recession of the early 2000’s ended 15 years of uninterrupted prosperity. Homeowners saw their home values drop by 30%, and the banking and home financing industries are just now pulling out of a deadly tailspin.

Bottom line: the economics of building a home today are different, and it’s vital that you have someone on your side that knows the intricacies of the business and can overcome the challenges to put you in your dream retirement home.

That’s where CSH co-owner, David Renaker, comes into play.

David worked for more than 25 years in banking, at the executive and senior levels. He brings extensive financial experience to Coastal Signature Homes and our customers. On top of his decades of real-life experience, David has a degree in Finance and Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. In the course of his career, David has worked with banks of all sizes. While in the banking industry, he dealt with homebuilders, and now utilizes his extensive knowledge and expertise on this side of the fence as the homeowner’s advocate. He knows when a financial institution is being fair and honest, and he has the keen eyesight of a hawk for spotting extraneous fees and unnecessary charges.

While he works with current and new clients to get the best and wisest options, his “behind the scenes” work is also crucial to your homebuilding experience. He develops and maintains our contractor and vendor relationships, and helps us find the best people and products at the best prices.

David’s experience also means that you have an advocate who is accustomed to enforcing the exact checks and balances necessary in accounting and financing, and applies them to your project for your benefit. To David, there’s no “ballpark” accuracy – everything either balances or it doesn’t.

If you are at that exciting time in your life and ready to start pursuing your “American Dream,” find out if your builder has a financial adviser who will be your advocate during this often challenging endeavor. Your best choice will offer David’s financial expertise at no additional cost to you. 

JAN 2016 - A Look Back, A Look Ahead

Steve Tilton - Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Look Back, A Look Ahead

As one year ends and another begins, we are grateful for our customers, our sub-contractors, vendor partners, and our supporters who helped make this a banner year for Coastal Signature Homes.

2015 was a year of growth, transition, and change, yet our core principles remained the same: service excellence, and quality in construction. In late January a new company partner and Director of Finance, David Renaker, joined the team. CSH now has two project managers, David Johnson and Sid Holland, to manage the growing number of jobs in various communities, and with the addition of Donna Johnson as bookkeeper, we feel our executive staff is now complete.  We closed eight homes in 2015, and have 10 more scheduled to close in 2016, each one the most striking residence on the street!

Award Winning Year

We are also thrilled to announce Coastal Signature Homes won several 2015 Hilton Head Home Builders Association Lighthouse awards for the Campbell-Wood Residence located in Oldfield Plantation. We won 50% of the categories in which we entered, and we are elated that our team, and our sub-contractors, and vendors are recognized for their excellence. We extend our thanks to the Campbell-Wood family for allowing us to enter their beautiful home in the awards program.

A Bright 2016

Our area is blessed with a strong building industry, and 2016 brings us two exciting model homes. Reed Development selected us to be among the guild of builders in Hampton Lake's third phase, and construction is underway on a model home that will serve as a future residence for the Sweet family. We are also in the design phase for a model home on Callawassie Island for the Shannon family.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to work with, and serve you this year. It has been an honor and we treasure the relationships formed, which we will continue to enjoy in the years to come. 
We wish you abundance and peace in the New Year!

The Team at Coastal Signature Homes
David Renaker, David (DJ) Johnson, Leah England, Steve Tilton

NOV 2015 - CSH In The News 2

Steve Tilton - Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Have you seen the recent article that was published on

NOV 2015 - CSH in the News

Steve Tilton - Monday, November 09, 2015

We're proud to share an article that was published in the November issue of The Breeze magazine. Click here, or follow the web address below. Enjoy!

NOV 2015-Our Roots Run Deep

Steve Tilton - Monday, November 02, 2015

Our Roots Run Deep


  • The Beatles performed for the first time on The Ed Sullivan show, launching the British Music Invasion.

  • “Bewitched” twitched into existence on ABC… one of first programs to be transmitted IN COLOR on one of only three TV networks.

  • A gallon of gas cost 30 cents. A new car cost about $3500. And the average cost of a new house was just over $13,000.

  • And in 1964, my father built his first home in the Lowcountry

Even back then, folks knew there was something special about the Lowcountry, and they wanted to live and work here, and raise their families here. Since 1964, we have built over one thousand, five hundred homes. Over 800 of them are on Hilton Head Island.

My father built homes, not houses. Back then, a man built a house with the expectation of living there and leaving it to his children, who would live in it as well. That’s the philosophy my Dad and my uncle instilled in me - build a house that will last for generations. My father also built his business with the same sense of purpose, inspiring in me the concept of quality construction and exceptional customer service. I think of my career in construction as a rubber-band ball… like adding a new rubber band, every home is a learning experience that builds, layer upon layer, toward something bigger.

Of course, the materials and technologies used to build homes has changed greatly since 1984. Today, we build Earth Craft Houses and Energy Star rated homes, and are recognized as Certified Registered Green Building Professionals However, there are many techniques that we used back then that are better than  modern shortcuts, and I’ll be glad to point some of them out when we talk about building your Lowcountry dream home.

Equally as impressive as building 1500 homes, people come BACK to Coastal Signature Homes for home additions, and even to build second homes. That says a lot about the quality of our work and our relationship with the people we serve.

It was no accident that our slogan is, “Our Roots Run Deep.” I am very proud of my family’s heritage of building homes here in the Lowcountry. Am I bragging? Maybe. But it speaks directly to the level of experience and quality that we strive for at Coastal Signature Homes.

If you are looking for a builder with solid experience and a willingness to make your construction project something special, then call me at (843) 757-8889.


OCT 2015-Post Recession Home Buying – the Advantages of Building a New Home

Steve Tilton - Thursday, October 29, 2015

Post Recession Home Buying – the Advantages of Building a New Home

Note: This is the third blog that will help guide you to making great choices in home buying or home building in this post recession economy

To recap – Today’s home buyer/builder is feeling an "age crunch" to get on with missed years of building a dream home and living the “dream life” they had planned. Today, it makes sense to purchase or build where you want to retire, even though you may still be planning to work for years to come. The Lowcountry of South Carolina is an ideal destination, with affordability and opportunities in abundance! There has never been a better time to build here than now.

Advantages of Building A New Home

According to a recent Trulia survey, twice as many people prefer new homes to existing homes. While existing homes have the advantage of architectural charm and sizable lots, and are generally located in more established neighborhoods, a conscientious home builder is aware of that, and goes to a great deal of effort to add character and authenticity to their projects. For example, at Coastal Signature Homes, we offer reclaimed hardwood floors with wood salvaged from the textile mills of North Carolina and Virginia. They are every bit as durable as new, but have character and style that adds instant appeal.

Floor Plans Designed For the Way We Live Today

One the biggest advantages of buying a new construction home is that they are designed and built for today's lifestyle. Today, more than ever, home builders are offering buyers the ability to customize their home with a vast number of options. Lighting, flooring, cabinetry, countertops, wall coverings, paint colors, even landscaping can often be selected from a wide variety of choices. Some of the choices are considered upgrades and will add to your base price, but now builders are adding options that are still considered part of the original price package. You'll be moving into a home that's customized for you! Coastal Signature home plans have Flex Space, which can easily and inexpensively be changed to meet the changing need of you and your family. Today’s home office can become tomorrow’s FROG suite (Friend, Relatives, Or Guests.)

Energy Efficient

Utilizing new construction materials, just-built homes are more energy efficient - and that means lower utility bills. Consider this: a 20 year old HVAC system is 250% LESS EFFICIENT than a new one. New technologies, like digital thermostats and on-demand water heaters could save you thousands over the course of the years you live in the home.

Less Maintenance and Repair, More Free Weekends

Most newly constructed homes come with a builder’s warranty, included in the price, but you have to pay extra for a warranty on a “used” home. Another big financial benefit to a new home is that you won't have significant maintenance for quite a while. With modern, new appliances, plumbing, HVAC, you should be able to live repair-free for a years. You won't be spending all your weekends at home renovation stores trying to tackle that "honey-do" list of home improvements. That will keep your weekends free and save you money!

Financial Advantage

When you buy new from a reputable and established builder, you are able to finance your selected upgrades into the purchase price and mortgage amount, spreading the expense over time. When you purchase an older home, you will have to secure a mortgage, buy the home, and then begin renovations with separate funds, usually coming directly out of your pocket. New construction, however, allows you to make your choices of upgrades and additions and have those costs incorporated into the overall purchase price of the home.

Easier On Your Relationship

While buying a home is never stress free, buying a new home helps you avoid stressful renovations and upgrades that come along with buying an older home, including the strain it can put on your relationship. In fact, according to a survey by Houzz, twelve percent of couples admitted to considering a separation or divorce during remodeling!

In conclusion, the reasons for buying or building a home have changed significantly since the Recession, but home ownership is still a necessary and wise objective.

Economic downturns are stressful and typically increase people’s desire for simplicity. Even affluent consumers are simplifying and taking stock of their long-term needs, and they desire a simpler and less excessive (hence, less expensive and less stressful) life.

Life moves along no matter what the economy decides to do. You can still have the “American Dream,” but the dream has changed… for the better. I believe that consumers coming out of the recession will, like their great-grandparents who lived through the Great Depression, carry the attitudes and behaviors they learn now throughout the remainder of their lives. For the foreseeable future, we will value quality over quantity. It will serve you well to keep this in mind when buying or building a home.

If you have any questions or comments, I urge you to contact us here at Coastal Signature Homes. We’ll be glad to help you on your way back to the American Dream.

© Coastal Signature Homes