The inspiration for our company was formed by the memory of my grandfather, John D. Schmidt.
My grandfather (aka, Pop Pop), was a tool and die maker by trade but was best known for being a problem solver, especially in the community. He led by example and enjoyed working in a variety of capacities such as mayor and volunteer fire fighter. He prided himself on his work ethic and integrity. This component is especially significant in a successful building company. The name of our company is a tribute to him and the authenticity in which he led his life. My father, JJ Ewers, was also instrumental in my younger years by sharing his work from his architectural firm – this creativity and design element is essential in developing solutions to the potential complexities of custom homebuilding. I was fortunate enough to have these excellent mentors in the formulation of our company.
As a father of two special needs children, I’ve come to realize that things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes the detour is entirely better than the original plan. The same goes for custom homebuilding. If we can step back and embrace what has been afforded to us, we will inevitably elevate the outcome. The joy of this fruition is astoundingly rewarding. We strive to maintain this spirit in all of our team – that good will, innovation, and hard work will always yield the best results and value. We hope to make each of our homes as uniquely as God has made our lives.
As a general contractor, I realize it is important to promote transparency in everything we do as we are a “contractual-based” company that forms agreements with one party and then contracts with another party to execute that agreement. First and foremost, we must hire the right people that do the right thing when nobody is watching. My uncle once asked my grandfather why he painted the back of cabinets, that nobody would ever see that side because it was fixed to the wall. Pop Pop simply replied, “but I will know it’s not painted.” It’s the foundation to do the right thing regardless of conflict or difficulty – to follow through and ensure all work is completed as agreed.
While working for a national homebuilding firm, I realized the importance of setting realistic expectations and managing our commitments to those milestones. These milestones were to provide an outline to execute our original agreement. However, custom homebuilding is more of an evolution with creativity and ideas that can completely transform a nice plan into an exceptional home. It is the awareness that every home is unique with its orientation to its natural setting, its occupants’ uses and functions, its fit and finishes, and most importantly, its lasting value. This awareness and pursuit of transparency will enable a network of team players to collectively deliver that agreed-upon value.
Matt Ewers started Grandfather Homes alongside his wife, Gretchen, in their 1000 square-foot Plaza Midwood bungalow. Full operations started in January 2007 with five speculative homes underway. Matt focused in on a niche of taking a seemingly ordinary lot or home plan and customizing it’s features to accentuate the highest and best use. This component wasn’t really difficult to uncover – but it took patience and commitment.
The economic downturn made Charlotte’s real estate market come to a screeching halt. Matt turned to the banks, not for money, but for projects that were left for ruin on account of loan defaults. When the original builders had gone bankrupt, Grandfather Homes worked alongside lenders to help sell their investments. Through this process, Grandfather Homes helped many trades and workmen in our region stay afloat during the downturn. We not only survived the housing bust but helped many others along the way. The Mecklenburg Times in 2013 explained, “Ewers managed not by fighting a bleak economy, but rather by spotting a sliver of opportunity amid the darkness. In other words, he’s not only good at custom-building homes…he’s also a shrewd and disciplined businessman with an operation nimble enough to change with, and even to anticipate, the next trend.”
When the market rebounded, Grandfather Homes was able to leverage these strong relationships for luxury spec home and land opportunities. Grandfather Homes sold its first speculative home for over $2,000,000, realizing the vibrancy of the Charlotte’s high-end market had returned. The company roster grew to include project managers who specialized in various neighborhoods including (but not limited to) Foxcroft, Eastover, Chantilly, Cotswold, Dilworth, Elizabeth, Myers Park, and Midwood. Technological advancements through project manager software helped better manage the home buying experience. Extreme lengths were taken to ensure that clients could customize their homes and were afforded multiple options.
Mattie Rose Development, Inc. was formed as a sister company to acquire land, design communities, and execute residential land developments. This helped Grandfather Homes create specialized land opportunities to better meet Charlotte’s increasing demand for custom homes.
While continuing to craft custom and speculative homes, Grandfather Homes introduced the duet concept to its product line. Duets are two attached residential units connected by one shared wall, which serves as a sustainable approach to thoughtful growth while enhancing community vitality. Duet homes are designed and built to increase each resident’s privacy, creating the feel of a single-family home but with conveniences often associated with multifamily living. Duet homes are built in center-city Charlotte, close to amenities such as groceries, retail stores, and restaurants.
After a decade of ventures, the Charlotte real estate market afforded Grandfather Homes the opportunity to design and construct custom speculative homes over $3,000,000. This realization translates into a priceless building experience for our clients, as it combines our knowledge and expertise to increase their home value and equity. Our greatest assets are our exemplary level of craftsmanship, unwavering dedication to building your dream home, and the depth of experience that our employees bring to each project. We understand that integrity, close attention to detail, and honesty at each step of the process help create the best working environment.
The most important realization is that Grandfather Homes is a team driven company where collaboration is encouraged to make each home its own unique identity amongst its natural setting and its residents lifestyles. If you choose Grandfather Homes to build your custom home, we will get to know you on a first-name basis. We will sit down with you and extract your vision to enable our team of designers and builders to actualize this concept from thought to paper and then reality. We take the time to understand what you envision in your perfect home – and then we will bring your dreams to life.