Photos by SF Photo Agency
Marnie Oursler is the first woman and Delawarean to receive the prestigious National Association of Home Builders award.
Marnie Oursler, president of Marnie Custom Homes in Bethany Beach, was named the 2022 Custom Builder of the Year at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. The award is the highest annual honor in the custom home building industry, and Oursler—host of DIY Network’s Big Beach Builds—is both the first woman and the first Delaware-based builder to receive it.
“I did not grow up thinking I was any different because I was a female. I was out in the field, picking up trash, building decks, and forming up concrete.”
“My dad [a builder and developer] would drop my brother and me off at the beginning of a new neighborhood,” says Oursler. “And with a broom and a drywall bucket we would sweep out houses—that’s how I started.” She continues, “I did not grow up thinking I was any different because I was a female. I was out in the field, picking up trash, building decks, and forming up concrete.”
Oursler earned this honor by demonstrating leadership not only at work, but also in the community. As an advocate for sustainable practices, Oursler has always walked the walk. She was responsible for the first LEED-certified home in the First State. Marnie Custom Homes also uses many reclaimed and recycled materials to produce unique homes full of character. Emphasis on sustainability also led Marnie Custom Homes to build one of the first American-made homes in the country, wherein 95% of materials used were made in the USA. This means less materials being shipped overseas and reduced pollution.
Custom Builder of the Year recipients must also exemplify expertise in converting a client’s wish list into a unique home and contribute to the overall strength of the home building industry. Marnie Custom Homes certainly has experience in making dreams a reality, like when it found a way to provide space and luxury on a smaller Bethany Beach lot by building a home that went up rather than out. The resulting home provided plenty of space to entertain, four bedrooms and coastal luxury galore.
“I love building homes,” says Oursler. “But my best build is my team at Marnie Custom Homes—building this has been the most gratifying. We have a lot of talent, and together we can do amazing things.”
Marnie Custom Homes has 14 employees and has built about 130 homes throughout coastal Delaware. Oursler and her team design and build each custom home with the goal of fulfilling their client’s vision, which is to create the ultimate dream beach house. Marnie Custom Homes is known for building distinctive beach homes, as well as including one-of-a-kind features like built-in bunkbeds, children’s playhouses, under-the-stair nooks, and handicap-accessible pools and bathrooms.
Marnie Custom Homes | 33298 Coastal Highway, Bethany Beach | 616-2664