Saad Chehabi is a builder who is only satisfied when his client is. His personal attention to each project his S&R Development takes on means that his clients will receive an open line to the founder and chief executive of the very company they have hired.
Not many builders offer such access, which is why Chehabi’s company has earned a spot among our exclusive list of CandysDirt Approved Builders.
“So far most of my projects have been in Highland Park and Preston Hollow, and I get attached to every one because I am hands-on,” Chehabi said. “I will not take on a project unless I know I can personally be at the job every day of the week. Since I am at each job for a few hours a day, I will never take on more projects than I can handle and will not hand the project over to the superintendent on the job.”
See what we mean? Chehabi, who came to Dallas 34 years ago from Syria to attend SMU, has fallen in love with the people and places that make the Park Cities such an incredible area. He’s lived in Highland Park for 26 years, though he has traveled across the world and built in several highly-sought-after locations, too.
Chehabi has a background in design, founding one of the first high-end stone mosaic companies in the U.S. His firm supplied unique stone designs to the Bellagio, Mirage, and Venetian hotels in Las Vegas, the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, along with the private residences of Oprah Winfrey, Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, and many other celebrities. It was in 2002 that, after working on so many amazing homes, that Chehabi decided to start a residential construction company of his own. It’s an enterprise that continues to provide a wellspring of ideas.
“I spend my weekends going through design books and hundreds of pictures to get ideas and inspiration,” Chehabi said. “The first thing I do when visiting a new city around the world is explore the different bookstores, searching for building and design books. I was able to assemble a great design-reference library.”
And the library that Chehabi has amassed has enabled him to solve many problems for his exclusive list of clients by designing and fabricating materials for his homes in a cost-efficient manner — an asset appreciated by clients over and over.
Chehabi is not one to wither from a challenge, either, making sure that, despite the setbacks a lot or location may provide, the client ends up with a home that will retain its value and livability.
“The most challenging project I have had was removing a large lot in Preston Hollow from the flood zone in order to build a new home. It was difficult dealing with the government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” Chehabi said. Still, he has completed several 8,000-plus-square-foot projects in less than a year. “I can do that because I personally manage my job sites on a daily basis,” he added.
His homes are ones that, while substantial, have a weightless feel thanks to the abundant sunlight. “I have great love for natural light,” said Chehabi. “I always try to design my houses with the largest, top-quality windows, with a special love for steel windows.”
But what happens when a project doesn’t seem to be going the way a client imagined? “I meet with my clients regularly to present conceptual drawings and design ideas throughout the entirety of the project,” Chehabi said. “I am very flexible and get along with everyone.”
And while building unique luxury residences can seem like a business that never takes a break, that’s not a problem for Chehabi, as he can’t imagine doing anything else.
“If I changed careers I would still be a builder,” Chehabi said. “I cannot sit still in an office. I have to be outside working.”
Find out more about Chehabi and his firm, S&R Development, on their website.