Above all else, Gus McKinley says a custom homebuilder needs to be a good listener.

“I pride myself in listening to my clients and taking their dreams and making them a reality in their home,” says McKinley, president of Gustin Construction in Edgewood, Ky.

“There is nothing better than having a client come to you years later, still beaming about how much they still love their home,” says McKinley who says he emphasizes quality materials, craftsmanship and attention to detail in all his projects.

A Northern Kentucky native, McKinley is a graduate of Covington Catholic and Northern Kentucky University and has been in the home building and remodeling business his whole life.

He started working as a painter in high school and worked for two other custom builders doing everything from concrete work to framing and finish carpentry. “I’ve just always enjoyed working with my hands and building things,” he says.

In 2003 he launched Gustin Construction. He specializes in custom homes generally priced at $400,000 and above and remodeling projects from a single bath addition to a whole house. 

Over the last 15 years Gustin Construction, a member of the Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky, has earned a reputation for quality workmanship, innovative designs and having a strong relationship with his subcontractors.

Although based in Northern Kentucky Gustin does work across the Tristate.

“The market is on the upswing right now with a lot of projects,” he says. “Consumers are starting to feel good about the place we live and confident in spending money again.”

McKinley, who is a graduate of the Northern Kentucky Chamber Leadership NKY Class in 2011, says one building trend he sees is that people want more outdoor living space.

“The want the inside to expand outside,” he says. “They want entertainment areas both inside and out.”

McKinley says he enjoys working with clients to fulfill their dreams.

“I love to design a space or part of a space to make it special for my client.”

He also emphasizes education for both his customers and his employees.

“We have a monthly newsletter that we send out on new construction processes and products to keep clients informed,” he says.