SHELTER is committed to expertly crafting beautiful homes that exceed every aspect of our client’s vision.


As an award-winning, locally-owned company, SHELTER Custom-Built Living has a vested interest in the quality and innovation of your home and its unique place in the LowCountry. Our mission is to place our clients needs and wants as our top priority while providing an honest, straightforward, seamless approach to custom home building. This approach has earned our company the highest-possible rating from Guild Quality. The five star, 100% approval from our clients speaks to what we value and execute as builders.



A Multi-Prism Award-Winning Company, SHELTER Custom Built-Living is the first builder in South Carolina to be featured on the “Today’s Builder” television show.  View episodes here.



Each project we take on utilizes our in-house build/design team. This collaboration of experienced and talented builders, artisans and designers clearly defines the goals and vision for our clients’ homes while ensuring that the entire design-build process is transparent. Each member of what “Today’s Builder” called our “Dream Team” contributes their own creative vision and ensures that the building process is memorable for all the right reasons.



Every home we build is carefully curated and truly unique, unlike any other home. SHELTER believes the process of building a home should be an enjoyable experience. As a custom home builder, we work hand-in-hand with our clients to create and execute the perfect vision of your home. With clarity of process and schedule, we provide expert guidance through each step of the custom home building experience– from lot procurement to design and material selection. We have a history of establishing lasting relationships with our customers by exceeding expectations, exceptional performance and ongoing communication., SHELTER builds homes of unparalleled craftsmanship that will be cherished today and for generations to come.


Read client testimonials.


Ryan Butler

Ryan Butler, Owner

A second generation builder, Ryan Butler grew up on job sites with his father, a veteran in the industry. He learned early on that integrity and respect are integral parts of delivering a quality product. Ryan received his Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Bowling Green State University. Upon graduation he began working for John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, one of the Southeast’s premier homebuilders in Atlanta. Ryan quickly ascended the ranks of the organization and moved to Charleston in 2005 to become Vice President of Construction, making him one of the youngest VP’s in the company’s history. He was honored as a Chairman’s Club Recipient, appointed member of the Committed Leader Program and served on the company’s Leadership Council. Ryan spent more than 14 years honing his passion for delivering exceptional homes and excellent customer service before starting his own company, Shelter LLC. Shelter LLC- a custom home builder, focuses on delivering a competitive price, innovative building ideas, quality craftsmanship and skillful, personal oversight. Ryan enjoys the challenge of matching his building expertise with the dreams and needs of the customer. Ryan lives on Daniel Island with his wife, Jenny, and their two children. He is a South Carolina licensed general contractor and member of the Charleston Trident Home Builders Association, where he received accreditation as a Certified Green Building Professional.

Kecia Heyward

Kecia Heyward, Design Coordinator

Kecia Heyward is an experienced interior designer who skillfully creates the collaborative process her clients desire. She is a member of both the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).


Although a native of the Midwest, Kecia has long considered Charleston her home. It was while raising a family here that Kecia first realized her love of design as she renovated several of her own homes. When her children entered high school, Kecia decided to make her passion her profession, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Charleston.


Kecia’s finely honed sense of composition, arrangement, pattern and perspective are evident in her designs. She takes great interest in her clients’ tastes and loves mixing furniture, materials, and colors from many different genres. The result is a space that perfectly reflects the client’s unique style and scope.


“Building a home is such a personal endeavor with so many important decisions to be made in a brief period,” says Kecia. “It is a pleasure to help guide clients through this time and see their joy at the end of a completed project.”


Kecia’s former clients have often remarked that she seemed both like a trusted advisor and a close friend.


Kecia and her husband currently live in Charleston. They spend their free time traveling, entertaining, and enjoying family.

Chris Vaughn, Project Manager

SHELTER Project Manager Chris Vaughn brings more than 15 years of construction experience to our team.


Growing up, Chris spent his summers training in the art and science of stone masonry. Following his graduation from Ithaca College in 2003 with a Bachelor of ­­Science in Recreational Management, Chris enlisted in the US Army. He served as an Infantry Officer for three years and completed his service in 2006.


Although corporate America called, Chris couldn’t let go off his roots as a tradesman and his passion for building. He decided to return to work as a stone mason and expanded his rapidly-growing business into residential renovations and remodeling. Chris earned his certification in Rough and Finish Carpentry as well as becoming an International Residential Code (IRC) Safety Official.


In 2012, Chris was given the opportunity to build a custom home and never looked back.


“I vividly remember completing the first floor walls and setting the second floor system,” Chris says. “I balanced on the first floor wall top plates, took in my surroundings and instantly knew that building custom homes was the path I had been searching for since my departure from the army.”


Chris utilizes his expertise in residential construction and operational management in each project he takes on. Our staff and clients find Chris’s unique skills and experience to be an invaluable resource.


Chris and his wife Dianne have two young sons, Jake and Brody. The family enjoys spending time boating and fishing.

Brad Richter, Project Manager

SHELTER Project Manager Brad Richter brings over 30 years of construction experience to our team.


Brad began working in the custom home building field at the age of 18 when he moved from Indonesia to Southern California. What started as a summer job, quickly progressed into a lifelong career.


Brad contributes a wealth of knowledge to the SHELTER team. At the age of 24, he built his first custom home completely on his own. “I didn’t hire any tradesmen,” Brad said. “I was the architect, framer, plumber and everything between.”


In 2001, a trip to Mexico presented Brad with an entirely new opportunity. He was astonished by the amount of people without any shelter and he knew he had the right skill set to make a change. He developed a style of homes now known as a loft house that could be built in one day and for around $3,500. Brad and other volunteers built these homes in the states and transported them to Mexico. What started as one man’s desire to help those in need, grew into a non-profit organization now known as “Hands of Mercy” that continues to provide homes for those in need.


Brad continued his career in custom home building and in 2017 moved to the Low-Country. After 30 years on the job, he still enjoys the unique challenge of turning an empty lot into a home.


Brad and his wife Marilyn have five children and enjoy spending time together to take advantage of all their new home has to offer.

Shawn Hotson, Office Manager

Shawn Hotson is an office and social media manager who brings a fresh perspective to SHELTER. She is a 2017 graduate of the University of South Carolina Aiken where she majored in communication and was a member of the volleyball team.


Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Shawn ventured to South Carolina to continue her education and begin her career. Her background in communication allows her to keep the office running efficiently throughout it’s day-to-day operations. She is experienced in social media from holding several positions throughout her collegiate career that emphasized the importance of this in today’s climate.


“I am very grateful to begin my career with a company that has such a prominent role in the custom home building industry of Charleston,” says Shawn. “I love that each project is unique. Being a part of a process that allows a client’s dream to come to life is a process that is second to none.”


She looks forward to continuing to learn and grow in Charleston’s custom home building community.


Shawn resides on Daniel Island. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, going to concerts and attending sporting events.