About Us

The Cottage Group, LLC was formed on the premise that you can have a smaller custom home without sacrificing quality, style and durability. A sister company of Dillard-Jones Builders, we have the staff, the experience and the vendor partnerships to deliver a value-driven product that combines quality and a good price. The company is fully funded for long-term stability with excellent credit and banking relationships.


Tom Dillard is the founder and president of The Cottage Group, LLC. Tom has been a custom homebuilder since 2004 when he established Dillard-Jones Builders. A Clemson University graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering, Tom draws on 20 years of construction, project management and sales experience to manage a successful, award-winning homebuilding company that is the only two-time winner of Southern Living's Builder of the Year award. He is a hands-on leader who works directly with homeowners, vendor partners, and subcontractors to stay personally involved in each project.


Susan Vernon is a professionally trained interior designer who serves as The Cottage Group's Customer Advocate assisting homeowners with budgeting, color and style selections, and quality control. Susan hails from a homebuilding family, which gives her a working knowledge of the critical relationship between construction engineering, space planning and interior design. She serves as the client's daily communications link to suppliers and specialty contractors in the field to ensure quality service, customer satisfaction and a smooth homebuilding process. 



JC Urps serves as project manager for The Cottage Group, LLC. JC has 35 years of construction management experience as a sub-contractor and business owner, serving as president of JC Urps, Inc. for 14 years. He also was a project manager for The Cliffs Communities and construction manager for Mt. Zion Christian Fellowship. A skilled carpenter, JC'c custom trim and woodwork is featured in many homes throughout the Upstate region of South Carolina.