It’s fitting that dolphins play in the Wando River in full view of the house that Jay and Teresa Yates built. Parents of a 13- and a 10-year-old, the Yates believe firmly in play. It’s also fitting that the porch offers a distant view of tugboats shouldering cargo ships up to the Wando Terminal. The Yates believe firmly in work as well. Both husband and wife have an office in the breezy stucco Barbadian-style home recently completed for them by Structures Building Company on Daniel Island.
“I really wanted a house on the water, a house you can live in—with a lot of space for entertaining,” says Jay Yates, franchise-area director for Jersey Mike’s Subs. “I wanted my house to be where the kids want to be.”
Meanwhile, Teresa Yates, co-owner along with Nicki Newport of Embellish Interiors, knew there had to be places just for family in the four-bedroom house. “As open as the house is,” she says, “I still wanted it to have some cozy spaces.”
The Yates, who were already living on Daniel Island when they toured a Structures home, met company owner Steven Kendrick at a home show. There was good chemistry from the start.
Having remodeled twice and built twice, the Yates knew what they wanted in a builder. They also knew what they didn’t want: the familiar refrain, “That’s not how we do it.”
“Structures was willing to figure out a way to make things work,” says Jay Yates. “They had a superior team and they are excellent communicators. They’re second to none!”
“We take a unique approach to building,” says Kendrick, “by coordinating a team of experts—architects, engineers, landscape and interior designers—who manage the details to make sure our process is seamless and our homes are built right.”
The Yates’ home, which is on deep water, presented several intriguing challenges, Kendrick says.
Like a front-row beach house, it had to be built to withstand wave velocity, with pilings and breakaway louvers through which water could flow in a storm. The challenge, Kendrick says, was to disguise the raised pilings to look like a masonry foundation, then create the special troweled stucco finish that Teresa Yates specified.
Structures’ HVAC specialist encountered a challenge when Jay Yates stipulated that no wall space be devoted to an air return. Instead, he wanted the air handler placed under the staircase and vented through the risers of the first seven steps. The result became an architectural element: 24 beautifully cut vents in each hardwood riser.
And the flooring and trim contractors took great pride in their installation when it was requested that they eliminate the shoe molding, which usually covers any gaps between baseboards and floor boards.
Deborah Way, design manager for Structures, notes that the company creates mock-ups to visually confirm decisions. For example, a mock-up of the Yates’ door casings helped everyone see that the 11-foot ceilings downstairs dictated a wider molding than plans originally specified.
Residential designer Phil Clarke collaborated with Teresa Yates on the design of the home, and Mandy Shealy served as the design coordinator, working between the homeowners and the project manager.
“Ultimately, we came out feeling we got exactly what we wanted,” the Yates agree. As they realized recently, 40 guests can enjoy their hospitality without making the house feel crowded. And the homeowners and their children can settle in as a family, retreating to their cozy places both upstairs and down.
Margaret Locklair is a Charleston-based writer.