Renovation Retirement : 17 Years at PBC


PBC Design + Build recently celebrated some pretty important people with a fun Sunday afternoon at local favorite Palate Bottle Shop and Reserve.  For years, our office family has been blessed to work with Libby and Maureen Beccarino. These two have been a rock star team providing updated, beautiful spaces to some amazing clients throughout Southeastern North Carolina.  Although known to most as the PBC Renovations Division, they have been so much more to us over the years!

Upon their much-deserved retirement, below is a list of reasons why PBC Design + Build would not have been the same without Team Beccarino…

  • Kyle would never have gotten that first “punch-out job” back in 2002, eventually leaving Dave without a business partner, lonely, and sad.
  • Several plants would have lost their lives over the years, causing periods of oxygen depletion in the office and much slower work production.
  • Bar tabs at company events would have been lower. That said, there is no party like a Beccarino party!
  • Dave or Kyle would have been forced to answer to “Mr. Plantation”.
  • Angela and Libby wouldn’t be nearly as close as they are if it wasn’t for all that quality time spent resetting Lib’s passwords.
  • Maureen may never have received her unofficial title of “Saint” had she not BOTH lived with Libby AND worked with him.
  • Downtown would be missing some beautiful new homes, revitalization, and existing home renovations.
  • Things would have been quieter, laughs would have been fewer, and overall our company just wouldn’t have been the same.

Cheers to the years! We will miss Libby and Maureen tremendously in the day-to-day operations but we know that the friendships won’t end there.  What a wonderful career they have spent building custom homes, performing beautiful renovations,  meeting great friends, and creating happy clients.  Bon Voyage!

CFCC Construction Institute is a success!

PBC Design + Build recently partnered with Wilmington Cape Fear Home Builders Association(WCFHBA) in hopes to fill a labor gap in the construction industry.  After spending some time volunteering as a “mock interviewer” with Step Up Wilmington, a local non-profit that helps people who have been affected by unemployment, it became very clear to Kyle Henry, CEO of PBC Design + Build, that there were other ways to help.  Kyle had also been spending some time with members of WCFHBA, Cape Fear Community College, and fellow construction industry leaders to develop a two-week intensive training institute to help fulfill the need for entry-level tradespeople in the construction industry. A program that could help place anyone (willing and able) into the fields of masonry, carpentry, plumbing, or HVAC after just a two-week commitment to learning and a decent amount of dedication.

Kyle Henry Became a Driving Force

Kyle had valuable input to add:  “CFCC had the idea of starting their Construction Institute in response to the demand our industry had shown for needing additional labor at all skill levels.  Over the years, our industry has done a poor job appealing to the younger generation as well as the general population.  Working with your hands, which can be very profitable and fulfilling, has gained a negative stigma.  This program is a perfect example of finding someone who wants to work and learn a trade, and then helping them find a route to get there.  Our industry is proud to offer second chances to folks that want to be involved.”

CFCC 2-Week Construction Institute

We are so happy to announce that CFCC successfully held their first two-week long Construction Institute this summer.  Each course included entry-level skills such as safety, measurement, math, and how to use both power and hand tools.  An eighty-hour course in one of the four trades by qualified instructors, real world experience in a respective field, and a certificate upon completion.  Perhaps the best part of the program was on the last day of classes when the students were afforded the opportunity to participate in “hiring day”.   Students were interviewed by prospective employers, providing them the possibility to go directly from learning to production. PBC is so excited to say that ELEVEN students have gained employment through CFCC’s first ever Construction Institution!  We are just as excited to share that at least one of those eleven came through the Step Up Wilmington  program… check out Sal’s journey…

A few of PBC’s next generation participated!

Houzz TV: Meet the Builder

You may have caught Dave Spetrino, president of PBC Design+Build, in the latest episode of “My Houzz,” when skateboarder Tony Hawk enlists his help for a special renovation. We talked with Dave to learn more about his building philosophy, where he finds inspiration and his favorite parts of the My Houzz renovation – check out what he had to say below.

What is your building philosophy?

Some days it feels like the world is against you when you’re designing, budgeting and then constructing a home. I know it’s not rocket science or brain surgery but for most clients, what we do for them is about the most money and effort they’ll ever expend. It’s a worthy challenge.

With any project you’re committed to delivering on quality, schedule and budget – all equally important components to a successful project, but never willing to cooperate with one another in reality.

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself: Is this “place” better because of our hard work? Does it feel good? Are our clients smiling? Am I smiling? Do I deserve a milkshake? As long as the answer continues to be yes, I’ll continue to show up the next day.

Where’s the most unexpected place you’ve found inspiration?

Travel has been a tremendous benefit. I can’t go anywhere without seeing something within the built environment – from any country or century – that doesn’t have an effect on me.

What trend are you most excited about right now?

I’m not much of a ‘gadget guy’ but I am continually impressed with what technology, mobile apps and intuitive features are doing for home building right now. The benefits of technology and the speed with which they are being implemented into construction will continue to benefit our clients, and it’s only getting better and better with time.

The whole point of custom home building is to allow your client to set their dreams in your hands and then trust you to deliver. It’s a serious role to take on and the ability to translate that information into something tangible is an art.

It’s more than features or finishes, what our clients are really asking us for is to guide them, use our knowledge to help them make good decisions, and prevent them from missing an opportunity to do something great.

What do you geek out on when it comes to design/construction?

I am such a sucker for light fixtures. I think they’re the hardest detail to commit to – it’s probably why I push a lot of clients to concealed or can lights and then limit the number of decorative fixtures to the most compelling places within a home to keep them from feeling overwhelmed.

You can set the entire ‘vibe’ of a home with a sconce or chandelier – a light fixture can create a conversation or set the mood as soon as you walk into a space. Light is powerful, and that mode of delivery cannot be understated.

What is one of your design secrets/ tricks?

There are always a couple of “cheats” where we seem to get more from a design without having to put too much of our budget toward a feature. This usually comes from our designer who will choose a special element within the design and celebrate it. Sometimes it’s well defined symmetry or an interior connection that extends to the exterior. Other times it’s just the use of a detail that has meaning to our owners.

Basically, the secret is just being thoughtful about how your client may better appreciate a space well after you’ve moved on to the next project. That’s really the best way to leave your ‘mark.’

What’s your favorite building or space in the world?

Maybe it’s my lust for travel or a nostalgia of sorts but I love train stations. New, old, repurposed into a museum, I can’t get enough of these iconic buildings. The ceiling heights, ornamentation, the elegant organization of moving people from space to space within a building, I’m continually transported in both space and time!

Going to Omaha? Visit the Durham. Going to Paris? Don’t miss the Orsay!

What did you enjoy most about this particular project?

We loved meeting the family. They were amazing in all the right ways.

They trusted this specific process (move out and don’t ask questions!) and they were genuinely grateful and truly overwhelmed at the reveal.

Kerry’s reaction was the best! It was the moment where “it all came together.” It is an amazing feeling to make a difference in someone’s life and the joy from Kerry permeated to everything. It really is unlike anything we’ve ever done before professionally and it felt good to be a part of that happiness.

But don’t get me wrong, meeting Tony Hawk was incredible! He is so cool. Did I mention Tony and I are friends?

What is your favorite element in the space from this project?

There are some really cool features within Brad and Kerry’s home that became the ‘bookends’ for the renovation. In many ways the farm table became the centerpiece for the whole house – not just as a piece of furniture but in what it represented to the family as the centerpiece for the way they live.

Also, the ability to re-purpose some of the existing elements. The reclaimed wood and the sliding barn doors within the new living room. I love seeing ‘something old and something new’ in such a personal project like this.

Chrissy Bonney, our Interior Designer at PBC, was completely in tune with Kerry’s vibe. The family spends a lot of time together and the house was somewhat disjointed; an open concept was introduced to allow the main living area flow easily into the kitchen.

When you’re not designing, where can you be found?

I really enjoy being on the move, traveling and exploring new places. A lot of our adventures start with the need to see a historical building or even a compelling neighborhood. It’s not just to experience the architecture, I love seeing how other communities (or cultures) live, manage or adapt to their environment


Houzz TV: Meet the Builder

PBC Recognized As Industry Leader by GuildQuality

Since 2005, GuildQuality, an Atlanta-based third-party customer satisfaction software surveying company, has powered the Guildmaster Award to recognize and celebrate home building, remodeling, and contracting professionals demonstrating the highest level of customer service within the U.S. and Canada.

Out of 600+ eligible applicants, PBC is one of 300+ businesses within the residential construction industry recognized by GuildQuality for consistently delivering superior customer care. In North Carolina, PBC is one of only 8 awarded in our category for “New Home Builders.”

In determining which businesses received the 2018 Guildmaster Award, GuildQuality reviewed thousands of survey responses submitted by customers of Guildmaster candidates, and considered two primary metrics for each candidate: the percentage of customers stating they would recommend the business to friend and the percentage of customers who responded.

PBC Design + Build achieved a recommendation rate of 90% or above from their customers surveyed by GuildQuality.

“The independent GuildQuality surveys are a great asset to our team; we gather unfiltered information to improve our process based on client experiences and feedback.”
Kyle Henry, CEO, PBC

2018 Guildmaster Press Release

PBC Participates in WOMEN BUILD Benefitting Habitat for Humanity

The women of PBC participated in WOMEN BUILD on Monday, May 7th for the Cape Fear Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Since 1991, women from all walks of life have come together to build stronger, safer communities through the WOMEN BUILD event.

The ultimate goal of Cape Fear Habitat WOMEN BUILD is to build a home in partnership with a local hardworking family and provide access to an affordable mortgage.  This home will be funded/constructed primarily by women and will provide a female-friendly work site that empowers women to take leadership roles and learn new skills while building homes, community & hope.


Team PBC helped to exceed the fundraising goal with the assistance of generous friends, clients and suppliers.  Our fearless women worked together on the framing portion of this new home using just hammers, nails, a tape measure and their brains.  🙂

River Bluffs: Meet the Builder

The beautiful village community of River Bluffs offers residents a wonderful mix of first-class amenities, a great location just minutes from all of Wilmington NC’s conveniences, a builder team focused on quality and craftsmanship, and a gorgeous natural setting unlike any other you’ll find in the Coastal Carolinas!

The neighborhood’s newest amenity, the Riverwalk offers all residents of River Bluffs the opportunity to enjoy the river, not just those with riverfront lots. The Riverwalk is the longest, privately funded, overwater Riverwalk in the country, measuring 2,700 feet long! The Riverwalk joins popular neighborhood amenities, including Porches Cafe, which offers residents and visitors (it’s open to the public!) – delicious lunch, dinner, and dessert options seven days a week. Residents enjoy first-class amenities such as a resort-style pool and fitness center, tennis & pickleball courts and a half-basketball court, many elevated walking trails and miles of nature trails, rv & boat storage, boat slips, a boat & kayak launch, a community mail center, meeting spaces, a community farm (Farm Market) and ample covered decks and patios for relaxing and gathering together with friends.

The River Bluffs lifestyle is about living life to the fullest and 2018 promises to be the best one yet for this growing village community.

Karen Clow interviews Dave and gains insight on the PBC building process!

Building A Recovery: Dave Spetrino

Custom homebuilder Dave Spetrino shares the lessons he’s learned and how he’s moved on from the Great Recession. (photo by Michael Cline Spencer)

By Dave Spetrino

Putting on my play clothes after school to go work on my “fort” in the woods behind our house was the best part of my childhood. I’ve always wanted to build things – I would ask for nails for my birthday, preferably 16-penny.

Fast-forward to college, and it was fascinating. But I couldn’t wait to graduate and get to work – taking extra hours each semester and a couple stints of summer school. I was out early. As a business major, my courses centered around process, marketing, management and growth.

Looking back, I didn’t get what I needed most: a genuine understanding as to what to do when things go bad, really bad.

I’ve been self-employed since I was 19, and there have been plenty of cycles in the economy since that time.

I paid attention, I asked questions and I was certain I would never repeat the same mistakes of those who had failed during those ups and downs.

But no one seemed immune to the Great Recession.

One could argue that our local real estate, development and construction industries took it the hardest, not just in jobs lost – thousands – but also the number of failed enterprises, bruised relationships and slashed real estate values.

These days the company I founded with David Nathans in 1997 – originally Plantation Fine Homes, then Plantation Building Corp. and now PBC Design+Build with my current partner Kyle Henry – builds homes.

Unlike a traditional retail business, the margins for construction companies are narrow. Beyond consumer demand you’re relying heavily on strong management, a stable pool of skilled labor and limited movement in commodity pricing.

A few percentage points in the wrong direction, and you end up working for free.

Prior to 2009, it was understood that a change in market conditions would affect our business, but we believed we were well-prepared for a downturn, certainly nothing that couldn’t be managed.

Our assumption was flawed, as our overhead extended well beyond our gross profit and as real estate values reset. I learned that a bank can ask for more money against an existing loan to keep their ratios in balance.

Actually I learned a lot more than that in 2009 – new words like “compliance,” “forbearance” and “curtailment.” While I was fortunate to avoid words like “insolvency” and “bankruptcy,” I can fully articulate the differences between Chapters 9, 11 and 13.

I’m grateful to look back with relief, and our approach is dramatically different today than that of a decade ago.

Construction and real estate are very broad descriptors. Wilmington is a small town, and we spent years trying to be everything to everyone – commercial, development, multifamily, remodeling and custom homes.

Today PBC Design+Build is a custom homebuilder serving the Wilmington region. That’s it.

We are still presented with many opportunities to diversify, but by politely declining, it makes it that much easier to fine-tune our processes and concentrate on what we do well.

There hasn’t been a time in history where homes were ever more complex. It goes beyond government regulations and the building code. It means understanding how homes are built and what it takes to make sure a decision on day 14 doesn’t have a negative consequence that may not materialize until months (or even years) later.

I get asked daily about our local market, about interest rates. Like a bunch of others in the real estate business, I guess we’ve unceremoniously become somewhat of a bellwether. I predict the next correction won’t be as bad as the last because guys like me (hopefully) matured to the point of some restraint and constant reality checks – something I lacked more than a decade ago.

But there will be a correction, and for those who have prepared, the opportunities will continue to materialize, and others will not be as fortunate.

I don’t know exactly what will cause the next correction, but I can tell you what keeps me up at night: There are a lot of moving parts that touch the costs associated with construction.

Regulatory and environmental challenges, immigration, lack of truly skilled labor and an aging pool of business owners whose children aren’t necessarily going to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

Affordability is going to get worse as well, and it will become more noticeable as both interest rates and hard costs rise.

Homes are the very last consumer product that is completely handmade. I believe we’ll see more efficiencies in construction like those we see in Europe and Asia where walls are mass-produced and assembled like a kit.

You’ll still see housing built, but fading will be the thought, character and emotion that comes with the art of design and the talent of a tradesman.

Feeling completely safe or immune to the next set of challenges in the economy isn’t likely to occur, but we do enjoy a maturity that only comes from experience.

We step back more often than we like to retool or readjust one of our processes – it’s not perfect. It will never be perfect – but it will be great.

Dave Spetrino is president and founder of Wilmington-based PBC Design+Build.

WilmingtonBiz Magazine

TEN All Star Experiences!

GuildQuality conducts an independent customer satisfaction survey with all of our clients upon completion of their job. We read every one (EVERY ONE!) to see how we can improve our program and processes. TEN all star experiences in a row is a formidable achievement and the PBC Team is VERY PROUD!

Click here to go directly to GuildQuality to see what our previous clients have to say!

Real Estate Scorecard chats with Dave about Brunswick Forest

Real Estate Scorecard is an industry leader of online real estate reviews, providing in depth information about the most popular master planned communities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

By Margie Casey

If you’re one of the 76 million Baby Boomers approaching retirement, it’s likely the happiest time of your life. After working hard and diligently saving, for many, now’s the time to cash in the rewards and what better place than in one of the North Carolina’s most beautiful coastal areas. Wilmington is found in a string of barrier islands connected by the famous Cape Fear River. Boomers love Wilmington because it’s not too far from family and friends in the northeast, the region rarely experiences snow and it boasts over 200 days of beautiful sunshine.

When folks first dabble into exploring Wilmington NC real estate for retirement, it’s natural to start by exploring communities who were built in the early 1980’s. Amenities are in and the curb appeal is apparent. Yet for some, the downside to living in older communities is the awareness that resale homes are often outdated and homesites to build a new home don’t exist. Older homes built in the 1980’s and 90’s are typically smaller, have low ceilings, smaller bathrooms, short doors, and limited glass. These type of renovations are costly which makes building a new home far more attractive.

We had the opportunity to chat with one of the most respected custom home builders in Wilmington NC, Dave Spetrino of Plantation Building Corp, a company established in 1997 who agreed with us that building a new home will make you happier in the long run for many reasons.  According to Spetrino “products and trends are constantly evolving, colors and features come and go – but a good design is timeless”. This is why they’ve become “obsessed with design and approach”.

Plantation Building Corp is one of Brunswick Forest’s preferred custom home builders who builds about a dozen homes in Brunswick Forest every year, as well 30 or so in 18 other communities in one of the best coastal towns in North Carolina. Their homes have spacious open floor plans, lots of windows to capture the outdoor beauty and their homes are technologically brilliant. They’ve won dozens of home building awards. Before they ever put a pencil to paper, they spend 2-3 months getting to know the client and their retirement lifestyle. Do they cook and entertain? Are they gardeners? How large is their family that will visit during the holidays? Do they need a split floor plan or bedrooms upstairs? Do they need a workshop, mud room or office?

Some interesting stats about Plantation Building Corp clients:

  • 63% are empty nesters
  • 56% live out of the area during the home building process
  • 27% choose 3 car garages
  • 17% build swimming pools
  • 16% choose waterfront

Spetrino describes the typical Brunswick Forest buyer as “middle to upper class clientele, educated, have strong marriages and are financially sound. As buyers who have been sacrificing and saving and are now their willing to splurge on themselves. They want the upgraded appliances, modern fixtures and accessories.” This is why Plantation Building Corp has clients pick their appliances and fixtures first so they have an idea of the level of quality the client desires in their home. From start to finish, clients will be happy to know the entire process to take less than 12 months. The best statistic of all, they’ve achieved 100% satisfaction! Take a peek at what clients have to say about them:

Plantation Building Corp Testimonials

The Cate Greene is Plantation Building Corp’s most popular model. This beauty is like no other home in Brunswick Forest. Situated perfectly on the 11th tee of the Cape Fear National Golf Course, the home was designed to capture sunsets and golf games with floor to ceiling windows across the back. It won BEST DESIGN MASTER BATH overall and the SILVER award in the 2016 Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association Parade of Homes. Be sure to tour the Cate Greene model when you visit Brunswick Forest located in one of the best coastal towns in North Carolina.

Plantation Building Corp has found over the years people typically spend $75,000-$90,000 more on building a new home versus purchasing a resale. The reward; the home is more energy efficient, it’s tailored to their interests, has a more functional floor plan and is built with lower maintenance materials. Spetrino admits “building is rarely the less expensive option but the benefits of new construction is the long term savings from utility costs and deferred maintenance that will ultimately by on the horizon”. We agree, new construction doesn’t provide an immediate benefit but it does provide immediate happiness from having something perfectly designed and built for you. We love the fact that their custom home building team takes the time to study the homesite selection to maximize the sunrise, sunset and vista views common at Brunswick Forest. It’s a photographers dream.

Since 2005, Brunswick Forest has welcomed over 1,800 families. It’s conveniently located, has incredible curb appeal, optional golf at their own Cape Fear National golf course and they are constantly adding new amenities such as swimming pools as the community continues to grow. Amenities currently include:

  • 18 Hole Championship Golf Course designed by NC native Tim Cate
  • Golf Clubhouse with restaurant and bar
  • 18,000 Square Foot Fitness & Wellness Center with lounge
  • Indoor and Outdoor Swimming Pools
  • 5 Hard Surface Tennis Courts and a Sport Court
  • 6 Hard Surface Pickleball Courts
  • Community Parks and Gardens
  • 100+ Miles of Walking, Biking and Nature Trails
  • Canoe, Kayak and Small Boat Launch

We also like the fact that Brunswick Forest is a walkable and bicycle friendly community. You can leave the car at home. The Villages at Brunswick Forest is the community’s 500,000 square feet town square with a grocery store, restaurant and pizzeria, a famous coffee shop, banks and medical practices.

Spetrino loves building at Brunswick Forest. “The greatest people I’ve ever worked with live in Brunswick Forest. A true sense of community, not just an anomaly.”

If you’re considering Wilmington NC real estate for retirement, call Brunswick Forest now at 877-588-4313 to schedule a tour.


Great article about moving to Brunswick Forest!

A good read from the Real Estate Showcase about Brunswick Forest, an award winning  master-planned community nestled beside Wilmington, NC!


Do you dream of a tropical backyard retreat centered around a refreshing pool, a luxurious lanai and a gourmet summer kitchen? Is a Southern manor more your style, where sweeping porches are marked by stately columns and rocking chairs for family and neighbors? Perhaps your heart desires to work with an architect to create the stunning masterpiece that (for now) exists only in your imagination.

It’s all possible in Brunswick Forest’s premier neighborhoods of Cape Fear National, Cypress Pointe and Banyan Bay. The homes are upscale, the amenities rival any country club community without the initiation fees, and the warm, welcoming environment is a pervasive breath of fresh air.

Most of the homes in Cape Fear National are customizable, with residents working one-on-one with a member of the esteemed builder team. Cypress Pointe and Banyan Bay offer a portfolio of established floor plans with the ability to personalize them inside and out.

Dave Spetrino, President and CEO of Plantation Building Corp, whose company has built more than 70 homes in Brunswick Forest since 2009, explained the process. “It’s fairly comprehensive, from determining how to best site the home based on views or the sun, to creating a floor plan that meets our clients’ needs and their new, local lifestyle,” he said. “We ask a lot of questions to really understand not only who our clients are, but how they plan to live in their new home.”


Jerry Helms, Director of Sales and Marketing at Brunswick Forest, underscored the desirability of
the community’s premier neighborhoods. “In most cases, people who build here have worked very hard to achieve a fine lifestyle and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of their labors,” he said. “Brunswick Forest is a natural fit because we have several neighborhoods that epitomize the pinnacle of retirement living.”

Helms continued, “But the appeal of Brunswick Forest reaches well beyond retirees. Families of all ages are finding the community has a wealth of amenities and styles of living.” In addition to the renowned golf course, Brunswick Forest offers residents three swimming pools, tennis and pickleball courts, a fitness center, miles of scenic walking and biking trails, a creek-side boat launch, and an onsite town center with shopping and dining, as well as quality medical care and other services.

“Without a doubt, Brunswick Forest is the new home community in our area,” said Spetrino. “The quality of the infrastructure and the strength of the developer reassure our clients that they are making a good decision for their forever home.”

Spetrino also emphasized the diversity in price points, home site sizes and home types. “Everyone feels as though they will fit in, no matter which section of the community they choose,” he said. “ Most importantly, neighbors are what make a neighborhood great. We joke about how little free time our owners have after they move in. Brunswick Forest residents really enjoy their time being active within the community, whether on the golf course, socializing or giving back.”