By definition, the word ‘classic’ means ‘a work of art of recognized and established value; something memorable and a very good example of its kind’. While traditionally we have assigned this powerful word to art, books, recipes and architectural styles, it is quite fitting that one of the Southeast’s premier builders, and one widely recognized here along the Grand Stand, just happens to be named Classic. The company owned by Susan and Berkley White has a history as interesting and diverse as the Grand Strand itself.
The Classic Story
Susan White was born with a passion for an industry that today she dominates. Growing up in a graceful Cape Cod style home that her mother designed and her father built, she was eager to prove herself. Opting for a powerful and prestigious career in medicine with the intention of becoming a pediatrician, Susan graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with degrees in both chemistry and zoology. With a love for beauty and a penchant for fine art, Susan’s electives consisted of every art and design class she could work into her already overloaded schedule. Following college, Susan won the respect of her peers as a chemist and later as a biology teacher before she and her husband made the courageous decision to launch their own real estate firm.
It was during her career in real estate that Susan recognized the need for a talented and committed custom homebuilder. Deciding to embark on a career that has been both a wise decision for Susan, and a lucky one for the hundreds of homeowners who have had the opportunity to work with her, she returned to class, this time earning her general contractor’s license and an associate degree in design. Susan had found her calling.
With his mother as a role model, there’s little wonder that Susan’s first-born son, Berkley, grew up to be a builder. Berkley spent his childhood years at the heels of his parents—visiting a never-ending parade of job sites and learning the ins and outs of a trade that would someday be his own. By the time he finished grammar school he was working with subcontractors, literally learning the trade the hard way—from the ground up. Later, while still in high school, he ran his own framing crew. Much like his mother, Berkley wanted to choose his own path in life. While he enjoyed building, he wasn’t sure this this was the career for him. With the intention of becoming a veterinarian, he attended Appalachian State University earning a bachelor’s degree in biology with minors in chemistry and math. To defray college expenses, Berkley worked for an area contractor, continuing to gain experience as a builder. It wasn’t long until he, too, knew he found his calling; leaving behind the field of medicine for building. Berkley White became a third generation builder, and oh what a builder! In 2013, Berkley was named South Carolina’s Builder of the Year.
Today, Susan and Berkley are joined by a team of experienced professionals including Berkley’s wife, Kim, an Auburn University graduate with degrees in architectural drafting and building construction. Kim’s inherent eye for design and her attention to detail are an integral part of Classic’s recipe for success. Along with Susan, Kim oversees Roofline Designs Inc., an in-house residential design firm that drafts many of Classic’s custom floor plans.
While always at the industry forefront, Classic took center stage in 2012 when the Grand Strand welcomed this area’s first Southern Living Showcase Home—a home designed by Roofline Designs, Inc., built by Classic, and decorated by Classic Interiors.
Thousands toured the home because of its exterior beauty, but an equal number came simply to see its stunning interior. Well known for their ability to create living spaces that are welcoming, comfortable, and withstand the test of time, Susan and her team at Classic Interiors had created a masterpiece. With its warm, rich hues and a global collection of furnishings, the interior was as exquisite as the home itself!
The Southern Living Showcase Home is certainly one of the feathers in Classic’s cap, but not the only one. The firm takes pride in building homes that are influenced by modern amenities, lifestyle preferences and geographic location. As a result, in 2005, Classic became the first builder in South Carolina to build to the FORTIFIED for Safer Living standards offering homeowners an option which specifies code-plus protection measures to increase a home’s disaster resistance to natural weather hazards.
Make Mine a Classic
Classic, a member of the prestigious Southern Living Custom Builder program, has built nearly 1,000 homes in the Carolina’s and is a premier builder for the Grand Dunes where over 150 homes can be called ‘Classics’. Widely recognized for their array of architectural styles, Classic’s homes are examples of unique designs and individual expressions perfectly balanced with a sense of comfort and safety.
Along with new homes, their mark can be made on almost as many revitalizations. From kitchens to baths, to complete makeovers, they help homeowners realize the true potential of their home through modern adaptations that range from simple to complex.
While many first-time home owners turn to Classic, it is those that choose Classic for their next home, and those that call on Classic for the re-imagination of their current abode—that affirm the quality of construction and attention to detail that has earned this builder a solid reputation and have customers requesting, “Make Mine a Classic!”