There are so many of you—CUSTOM HOME is read by more than 40,000 custom home pros—and so few of us in comparison—six staff editors—that we can sometimes feel that our editorial “net” must be missing many inspiring builders and their projects. So when an outstanding builder steps up and introduces himself and his company to us, we cheer, and then we try to find out more about him. That's how we learned of this year's Custom Builder of the Year.

The CUSTOM HOME editors first got to know Scott Hobbs in 2003 when we pored over that year's Pacesetter Awards entries. Hobbs had sent us strong, well-prepared entries in several different categories. We were impressed by all of them and had a tough time deciding which one we'd cite for an award. His company's worker safety program made an especially big impression on us, and he received a Pacesetter in the Production category for that effort (CUSTOM HOME November/December 2003).

But Hobbs Inc. struck all the editors as a company that stood out for many reasons, and senior editor Bruce Snider was inspired to find out more. “None of us had heard of Hobbs, but when I read his entries a light went on,” he explained. Bruce has good instincts. His nose for news led us to one of the most successful custom builders in the country, a builder we are proud to name as CUSTOM HOME's 2005 Custom Builder of the Year.

By Main Street standards, and especially by those of the custom home business, Hobbs Inc. is a big, sophisticated operation. It specializes in the kind of stately mansions that require both highly developed organizational skills and intense attention to the smallest details. Its clients come from the top echelons of industry and finance and demand ultra-attentive service. With offices in three markets and two subsidiary companies, Hobbs' business model is more complex than nearly all custom builders.

The reason we chose Scott Hobbs as Custom Builder of the Year, however, had little to do with the size of his company, and everything to do with its quality. Building on the two generations who ran the company before him, Scott Hobbs has developed the family business into a world-class custom home building business. And while his vision for the company has taken him down an ambitious path, his means of achieving that vision is based on executing each small step very well. Those steps are essential to the success of any custom builder. Whether your company is big or small, I know you will find at least a few ideas in Hobbs' story that will help and inspire you on your own journey.