- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 4, 2010

Name: Giles Griffiths

Title: Owner

Company: Kingston Custom Homes

Address: 11654 Plaza America Drive, Reston, VA 20190

Phone: 703/929-5028

Fax: 703/663-9897

E-mail: [email protected]

Website: www.kingstoncustomhomes.com

Year started: Started in England in 1995; Kingston was founded in 2007

How did you get started? I started under the watchful eye of Master Builders in England, where I’m from. I had a small company and bought historic buildings (100 to 250 years old) that I then renovated and remodeled. This experience was invaluable to me, as it was 100 percent hands-on and provided me with a core understanding of the quality and integrity needed for a building to stand the test of time. I have applied that experience to every renovation and home I have built since, while at the same time allowing for today’s more sophisticated and demanding design intent. I am very strict about the amount of work I take on because I want to be the one on hand, helping each and every client see a project through from beginning to end.

Licenses: Virginia Class A, D.C. license

Associations: Earthcraft of Virginia, Building Performance Institute

Greatest accomplishment in the past 12 months: Balancing an active family life with my wife and two young children (Mae is 2, and Sebastian is 4) while keeping my business running. Both my wife and I work full time, so I feel very lucky that I have a job I love that enables me to be flexible when needed.

Community most proud of developing: This is tough because I am proud of each home I build. I recently built a home for a couple in Arlington who wanted a home designed to raise a family and grow old in. When we met, they explained what they needed, and I worked with them to ensure that their home was well-suited for their current lifestyle and long-term needs. I helped educate them on the vital importance of indoor air quality, superior insulation and specific building techniques that would make for a truly efficient, safe and comfortable home. The couple truly valued the process and one-on-one guidance - as building a home is not just a financial investment, but an emotional one as well. They send me e-mails on occasion to say how pleased they are with the home and that they would have chosen no one else. That makes me very proud, to say the least!

Upcoming projects: I am just finishing an addition and renovation in Great Falls. Up next is a speculative custom home in Vienna, as well as an addition in Falls Church with all the Kingston attributes.

Age: 37

Family: Married with two children

Pets: A German shepherd named Kingston. He’s the most gentle and kind dog I’ve ever owned - he goes with me everywhere.

Education: While I was educated in Leicester, England, most of my building - and life - knowledge came from hands-on experience. Before becoming a builder, I was a soldier in the British Army. I then moved to Jamaica, where I grew papaya and sugar cane for five years. It makes for a very interesting resume!

Outside interests: I love to hike, travel and spend time with my family.

Last book read: “Anna Karenina,” by Leo Tolstoy

Last movie seen: I rarely see movies, as life with two small children doesn’t allow for much down time, but my wife and I are really into the new HBO show “Boardwalk Empire.”

What kind of car do you drive? A very dirty Toyota 4 Runner

Describe your personal dream house: A home that is well-built with a cozy feel where my family can relax, have fun and enjoy life. Of course, green qualities are a must!

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