Local homebuilder crafts custom-home brand

PerrinCrest’s homes will be comparable to this house at 7200 Bonallack Drive in Magnolia Green, CraftMaster’s entry in last year’s Homearama showcase. (Photos courtesy PerrinCrest Custom Homes)

The husband-and-wife team behind an established area homebuilding brand is entering new territory with the launch of a separate custom-home business.

Jeff Tunstall, owner of Mechanicsville-based CraftMaster Homes, recently launched PerrinCrest Custom Homes with wife and CraftMaster collaborator Bobbie Sue.

The new company, which will operate independently of CraftMaster, will focus on customized homes at a higher price – from about $800,000 to $1 million and up – for customers wanting to build on land they already own.

Where CraftMaster uses a portfolio of home designs that buyers can personalize, Tunstall said PerrinCrest – named for his mother’s family name, “Perrin” – allows for custom designs out of the gate that also take a home site’s topography into account.

“Truly organic plans, from looking at the land, how the house should be positioned, the style and so forth,” Tunstall said.

“We’ve been in business for 18-plus years, and we get a lot of people who have come to us and asked us to build larger homes or custom homes or build-on-your-lot. We just at the time could not meet those needs,” he said.

Encouraged by showcase

The family room at 7200 Bonallack Drive.

Plans for the new company had been in the works for years, and Tunstall was further encouraged by response he received to CraftMaster’s entry in last year’s Homearama, the annual custom home showcase of the Home Building Association of Richmond. Tunstall serves on HBAR’s board of directors.

PerrinCrest has purchased two lots in Hallsley, where it is starting construction on a 4,200-square-foot house that will be priced in the range of $900,000. The four-bedroom, 3½-bathroom house at 1707 Tulip Hill Drive is scheduled to be completed and listed for sale by summer. Stephanie Brown Realty Group is handling the listing.

Property records show PerrinCrest purchased the lot in November for $285,000. Tunstall said he selected Hallsley for the company’s first homes at the invitation of developer East West Communities.

“We were approached by East West to come be a part of it. We thought if there was a place to start, there’s no other place than Hallsley here in Richmond to start our company,” he said.

While Tunstall is PerrinCrest’s sole owner, he said the company’s duties are shared with Bobbie Sue – “just like any marriage,” he added, laughing. At CraftMaster, where Tunstall has served as president since 2001, Bobbie Sue is primarily involved in interior design, he said.

Jeff and Bobbie Sue Tunstall.

A Hanover County native and Radford grad, Tunstall has owned CraftMaster since 2016, when founder Lloyd Poe sold not only that company but also Midlothian-based LifeStyle Home Builders, which was sold to fellow Poe protégé Kevin McNulty. Poe has since launched a new company, Richmond Hill Design Build.

CraftMaster employs about 20 employees and brought in $33 million in revenue last year, Tunstall said. The company sold 80 homes averaging 2,600 to 3,200 square feet, at sale prices averaging $410,000, he said.

Won’t compete with each other

Where CraftMaster is most active in communities in Chesterfield such as Magnolia Green, Collington and FoxCreek, Tunstall said PerrinCrest’s different product and price point will keep the two companies from competing with each other. He said PerrinCrest’s build-your-own-lot model also would lend well to rural areas in Hanover, where he was raised, and he and Bobbie Sue reside.

“We see there’s a really big need for that, especially up here in the Hanover area,” he said. “It’s a perfect match, because we’ll never be in competing communities with CraftMaster Homes. We’ll always be in neighborhoods that don’t directly compete with each other.”

Also active in Hanover, CraftMaster has 54 lots in the Taylor Farm community and is signed on to build 38 homes in nearby Caldwell Park.

With CraftMaster established, Tunstall said it made more sense to launch a separate company rather than try to work in a custom-home or build-your-own-lot division. In addition to the Tunstalls, PerrinCrest includes a full-time superintendent, Pete Droujinsky. Homes will be designed with local architect Jos Biviano, who Tunstall has worked with in recent years.

“It made more sense to set up another company that can have its own policies and procedures and model it that way,” Tunstall said. “We’re very proud of the CraftMaster homes we build. I just wanted to create this other company to take opportunities and advantages that CraftMaster might not be able to achieve.”

PerrinCrest joins another custom homebuilding brand recently launched in Richmond. Late last year, Matt Ellington and C. Ryan Fanelli launched a local franchise of Florida-based Arthur Rutenberg Homes.

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