Former Realtor Preston Guyton was motivated to provide quality homes in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, area.
WITH A FOCUS on energy efficiency and exciting home designs, Preston Guyton launched CRG Companies in 2010 – trying times for many builders across the country.
But he didn’t aim for an average construction company. With a distinct structure and a goal of putting quality first, CRG flourished, growing from three employees to 30 in its first five years and quickly multiplying the number and diversity of projects the company took on.
“2010 wasn’t the best time for Realtors or builders,” he says. “It was a risk I took. However, I knew the need was there, which is evident in our success even during a tough real estate market.”
CRG Companies now houses three divisions – real estate, construction and design – and serves the towns and neighborhoods of South Carolina’s coast, known as the Grand Strand.
Guyton’s expertise in online marketing – particularly helpful in a region where homebuyers, seeking a second or vacation home, start their searches on the web – was part of the company’s rapid rise, he says. The rest was delivering on promises of quality and making the process smoother for buyers.
“With a family background in construction and my career start in real estate, I knew that one of the big issues in home building was a lack of communication,” Guyton says. “Homeowners would have to find a Realtor, a home designer and then a contractor. The process can be a lot to manage for someone not in the industry, which is why I founded one company that could handle all three.”
The company’s design services allow homeowners complete customization, with plans available as a potential starting point. With the hire of a licensed architect, the company is also in the process of becoming a licensed architectural firm in the state of South Carolina, something Guyton sees as an opportunity to move into commercial construction, too.
“We truly are a custom home designer, so we aren’t limited in the style of home we can design/build – from modern to traditional to beachfront,” he says. “I would say people know us best for building really good, quality homes, regardless of style or size.”
As the company continues a path toward more growth, Guyton says that won’t change.
That philosophy now will extend to the company’s first multifamily development, Living Dunes, a Grande Dunes community that will provide a refreshing switch from the more traditional Myrtle Beach style, to incorporate a neo-traditional lifestyle with Low Country aesthetics in a neighborhood of 200-plus homes.
With a mix of single-family homes, townhomes and coupled cottages, the planned community will feature numerous walking trails and green spaces, as well as a community pool and amenity center. It also will be the first gigabit community in Myrtle Beach. The idea is to offer a more modern development that fosters a sense of community with shared amenities in an ideal location just minutes from local businesses, shopping, medical care and conveniently nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Grande Dunes Marina at the Intracoastal Waterway.
CRG Companies is handling the construction, real estate sales and marketing for the $100 million project, Guyton says. It represents a synergy between CRG and local developer Living Beach LLC.
“We’re bringing the same high standard we give to each custom home into the development,” he says.
Infrastructure work on the site began this summer, with a plan to start home construction in the early fall.
From the start, CRG Companies has emphasized greener and more sustainable building.
“We’ve always taken a green building approach to our homes, even before it was required,” Guyton says. “Now, with the new energy codes, it’s certainly something you hear more often, and we continue to seek ways to implement more energy-efficient and eco-friendly products into our homes.”
Standard practices for CRG include using 2-by-6-foot boards for exterior walls instead of typical 2-by-4-foot boards, which allows for a better insulation package.
The company also used radiant barrier roof sheeting, low-e windows and tankless hot water heaters years before others followed suit.
“We’ve always wanted to give clients the best house for the money – and it pays off for them in the long run,” Guyton says.
Beyond a better home for individual families, Guyton says the company aims for a better community, one where he was raised and his employees have roots. The green philosophy also stretches to sustainable practices, such as not setting up dumpsters at the new development site.
“The idea is to not be wasteful,” he says. “People are more mindful of what they are throwing away if they have to plan for trash removal. Our custom carpenters work to reuse a lot of the materials that would typically be thrown into landfills. We try to repurpose any materials possible, even wood pulled from a demo project can be reworked into a reclaimed barn door or custom countertop, something that adds character to the home.”
The company also gives back to the community – donating thousands to local organizations and causes.
“We’re not only a company that does well in real estate, construction and design,” Guyton says. “This is where we live, where I grew up. We want to make sure we give back to the community that’s given us so much opportunity.”