• Jacki Johnson

Charlotte Harbor Construction, Custom Home Builder, meet the owner Garrett Kizer

We love working with Charlotte Harbor Construction and have collaborated with them on several custom homes and lighting projects throughout Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Englewood, and Boca Grande. The owner, Garrett Kizer, sat down with us in their gorgeous offices to discuss living in Southwest Florida, custom lighting packages, and automated smart home options.

Todd: What made you decide to open in Punta Gorda?

Garrett: I've been working in town... 15 years. Born in Tampa, grew up in Orlando. I was working with a company called Adams Homes for years and years. They moved me over here to help with the whole southwest Florida Division, and I decided to go out and do my own thing.

I just wanted to build more customized homes. Adams is great, and I learned a lot, but it was building the same house over and over and over. And I wanted to do something that just took a little more creativity and specific to each client. 

Todd: What are you working on right now?

Garrett: We build 12 to 15 houses a year, and each one is different. They range from 2,500 under air—our biggest one this year was 8,800 square feet under air. It's an exciting range of work. Currently, we're working on nine custom houses, a few remodels mixed in there as well.

Todd: Do you have any favorite projects that you're working on?

Garrett: We have a beautiful house right downtown on the Corner of McGregor and Palm, that we're working on with The Local Lighting Shop. That's really going to be a gorgeous house when we're done.

The other favorite was the one in Grassy Point that we just wrapped up a few months ago. It was the big one that was 12,000 square feet total, it's a massive three-story, right on the harbor.

Todd: What type of lighting packages do you work with on your custom homes?

Garrett: Well, our base package consists of can lights, up to 40 can-lights are included. But, what's fantastic with The Local Lighting Shop is that our clients can customize every light in the house. If you want pendants or chandeliers, round, square, bronze, white, black, they really give you our clients a lot of freedom. We have people that spend $3,500, and we have other people who spend $15,000 on light packages. So really, they have something for each specific, their options are endless.

Todd: You've been working with The Local Lighting Group for a while, What do you like about working with them?

Garrett: The organization. In the production world, electric is electric. The lights go in the same spots over and over again, they're not moving things around that much.

However, everything we do is custom, and we include home automation, low voltage, alarms, cameras. There's so much to the world of electrical. The Local Lighting Shop can take a full set of plans and have an electrical engineer that basically lays the whole thing out for us. So to have that and be able to send that to my electrician is just priceless. Most electricians are a little leery about working with lighting designers because; but, they make it so easy and fast, so you're in and out.

Todd: Are there any trends in the industry right now that you like or don't like?

Garrett: It's particular to the buyer and each specific market. What we're doing here in Punta Gorda is not what we're designing and building in Boca Grande or Englewood. The Mediterranean stuff has kind of worked its way out. Today everything is moving to a coastal, contemporary look, which we started doing three, four years ago.

Todd: Is there anything that you've geeked out about recently?

Garrett: The home automation stuff is so neat. When it first came out, it was such a nightmare. There were so many bugs in it. But, now that we are working with The Local Lighting Shop, it's so much easier. What you can do with a house... it endless. You pull in the driveway, and it senses you're home. And your lights come on, TVs pop on, it's incredible.

I've set it up in my personal house, and it's really amazing. When we pull in the driveway, all the lights out front come on—garage lights, the entry lights.  And, the same when you leave. You drive away, and it says, "Hey, you left 11 lights on." You click a button, they all go off. So it's very cool.

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