Stono construction is a boutique builder that takes on just a handful of projects per year, ranging from custom homes to extensive home additions and historic renovations. In a booming market where they could get away with doing less, co-owners John Goodwin and Dan Logan are determined to keep their business customer-focused and their homes of the highest quality. For this team, integrity, trust and clear communication are points of pride, and they are values that run deep because they’re anchored in a lifetime of friendship.
“Dan and I have known each other since we were kids,” Goodwin says. “After school, Dan got a business degree and got into residential real estate investing. I got into construction management and worked for a Fortune 500 construction company in several different roles, including the director of construction.” When the timing was right, Goodwin and Logan decided to combine their complementary skill sets and work together.
Today, Logan runs the back office, and Goodwin oversees estimating and building projects. “We’re both experts in our fields,” Logan says. “We have decades of experience and excellent connections with vendors and contractors. We’re a small company by design—we’re in control of everything and always available for our clients.”
One of their most recent projects is a 2,500-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath Lowcountry cottage on a scenic 4-acre parcel on the Wadmalaw River. While the cozy home, designed by Allison Ramsey Architects, has plenty of living space, it also has over 2,000 square feet of porches and decks. The owners—who have a home in Tennessee—wanted a place where the whole family, including children and grandchildren, could gather. The project came with the typical challenges of building in the Lowcountry, including working with out-of-town clients, building in a coastal flood zone, and installing utilities and septic systems around protected live oaks.
This cottage has an open living room, kitchen, pantry, laundry room, powder room, guest bedroom and bathroom, and the owner’s bedroom and bath on the first floor, and two guest rooms and baths upstairs, one of which serves as a bunk room for the grandkids. The high-quality details and craftsmanship inside and outside the home are remarkable, from the grand sapele mahogany entry door to the precise shiplap and vaulted cypress ceilings. “There are a lot of complicated woodworking details in this house that required a special eye and skill set,” Goodwin says. “We’re fortunate to be teamed with quality craftsmen that can make our clients’ dreams and visions a reality. Architectural plans don’t always have every single detail on them, so we listen to what our clients want and give them plenty of options if they don’t know what they want or what’s possible.”
Goodwin and Logan attribute much of their past client satisfaction to their practice of having an in-depth first call with clients. “Before we’re even hired, we want to ensure the whole team is a good fit from the start. Construction isn’t a black-and-white process, and plans don’t always translate exactly. There are a lot of moving parts once you start bringing plans to life, so it’s important to have a good relationship with everyone involved,” Goodwin says.
If the partnerships and project are in sync, the team guides clients through the selection process timeline so they can work independently or with an interior designer to choose finishes and other details. For this home, the clients worked with interior designer Teeny Morrison of Teeny Morrison Design to add cozy, elegant and functional touches. “We had such a great team, and the homeowners were fantastic,” Logan says. “There’s so much demand, and the labor market is tough right now, so construction can be stressful. We’re different because we truly respect our clients and our trade partners. We’re always available, we know the local artisans and craftsmen and have long-term relationships, and we trust the people we work with. That’s important.”
Robin Howard is a freelance writer in Charleston. See more of her work at robinhowardwrites.com.