Anyone ever created a custom theme for wordpress? Like, from scratch? Not a child theme, but an actual custom theme? Harder than you might think. A solid knowledge of PHP, HTML, and CSS are essential. My PHP skills are a little lacking, so it’s turning out to be a bit harder than I had hoped.
Conclusion. Starting from a stripped down theme (my personal favorite is Toolbox) seems to be the way to go. A lot of the coding has been done already, and you are pretty much ready to customize and get your client’s site up and running without losing (and in most cases actually gaining) functionality.