Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Not Planning to Move After Retirement? Join the (Growing) Club!

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Nov 4, 2017 @ 06:11 AM

Not-Planning-to-Move-After-Retirement-Join-the-Growing-Club.jpgPeople of a certain age grew up listening to Bob Dylan singing, "The Times, They Are a-Changing." The way those people look at their housing needs is a-changing as well. It's estimated that approximately 10,000 U.S. baby boomers turn 65 every day. And according to a recent Demand Institute Housing & Community Survey, 63 percent of them don’t plan on moving from their current homes after retirement. That doesn’t mean they aren’t planning for their future needs when building or remodeling now. So if you’re not planning to move after retirement, what should you be thinking about?

That same Demand Institute Housing & Community Survey indicated that some of the things homeowners in this particular age group are looking for include:

  • a home they can stay in as they age (75 percent)
  • a single-story home (58 percent)
  • a low-maintenance home (47)
  • a home that’s accessible for special needs/disabilities (27)

We offer a number of single-level floor plans (including our Carrington model and our Camden model) that will allow people of retirement age to live comfortably with plenty of space without having to be concerned about navigating stairs.

In addition to those items, this group expects the home they live in to have additional features such as:

  • Safety Features that include such things  as shower seating and grab bars
  • Automatic Countertops and Shelving with cabinets and countertops that can be opened and/or lowered automatically for easier access
  • Smart Home Devices  that provide quick and convenient control of the entire home environment (motion-sensor lighting; automated HVAC control systems, etc.)
  • Advanced Security Features such as doorbell cameras, security systems, and smart smoke/Carbon monoxide units to provide peace of mind

Safety and security aren't all that mature homeowners are concerned with. They're also looking for homes that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. That includes features such as low-flow showerheads, smart sprinklers/irrigation controls, and “gray” water recycling devices.

And if you’re already in a Rochester home that you love (and don’t want to leave), we can help you turn it into a home that will continue to meet your needs for years to come. We offer a wide range of remodeling services that range from updating specific rooms within your existing home to additions that allow you to live more comfortably.

If you’re approaching retirement age—and don’t want to be moving afterward—you’re part of an ever-growing group of people. We’d love to help you make sure you’re in a home where you’ll be comfortable. And if you’re considering a new home, here’s a helpful, short video that will help you pick the right floor plan!


Topics: aging in place, Retiring in Greater Rochester, Retirement Age

Home Additions: Adding Space That Let’s You Enjoy Your Rochester Home

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Oct 28, 2017 @ 08:10 AM

There are times when you love the home you’re in, enjoy your neighbors and neighborhood, but you’ve simply outgrown the space you’re living in. Is moving really your only option?  There is another choice. A home addition can add space that lets you enjoy your Rochester home to its fullest.


There are actually a number of options for adding space to your existing home. If you enjoy entertaining, you might consider a remodeling project that gives you a bigger, better kitchen that incorporates an open floor plan so that friends and family can gather in a kitchen/great room setting—and nobody gets stuck in the kitchen. The kitchen you see pictured here is just one example of how you could accomplish that (Click here for additional kitchen designs we've implemented recently).

While a kitchen remodel might make better use of the space you already have, there are times when you actually want to increase the actual amount of space in your home. Here’s a look at a couple of options others in the Rochester area have chosen to give themselves more living space.

  • Adding an Airy Sunroom


Sometimes you just need a quiet space where you can sit by yourself or with your spouse or with a couple of friends and enjoy a nice conversation. In addition to meeting that need this sun room addition lets in lots of natural light and lets you enjoy the views. You're surrounded by light and views on three sides. As a matter of fact, it almost doesn't feel like you're inside at all. Click here for additional views of this room—including how it seamlessly transitions into the rest of the home.

  • Adding a Useful Garden Shed

Gerber Homes Detached Garden Shed.jpg

Sometimes the main thing you need space for is to store your stuff. If your garage is overflowing with tools, supplies, and other items it can make the whole house feel cluttered.

The garden shed you see pictured here provides plenty of space for garden tools and materials. There’s even space for storing seasonal items such as Christmas decorations. Not only does a garden shed like this keep your garage free for your cars and other items, it also keeps the backyard looking neater. And if you click here for additional photos, you’ll see that we were able to match this shed to the design and color of the home—making it an addition that really looks like it belongs here.

These are just a few options. We’ve also done morning room additions,  first and second story additions, and even multi-story additions. Depending on your needs, we can add a family room addition or bedroom, a master bedroom, or even build a garage addition with overhead living space.

Just because you currently don’t have enough space doesn’t mean you have to move. Contact us and provide us with a little bit of information and we'll help you figure out a solution that works for you.


Topics: Home Additions, Sunrooms, Garden Sheds

Multi-generational Homes Aren’t Just For Mom & Dad

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Oct 1, 2017 @ 07:10 AM

Multigenerational-Homes-Aren’t-Just-For-Mom-&-Dad.jpgThe upward trend of building multi-generational homes doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. I’ve talked about multi-generational homes before, but there is some interesting new information out there about this trend.

Often, when prospective homeowners think or talk about a home that can accommodate more than one generation of a family it’s because there is an older family member who wants or needs to move in. If that describes your situation, you know that there are certain features you’ll want to build into your home that will make your home safer and more comfortable for aging parents. Here’s a post that takes a look at some of those features.

According to a recent report, 60 percent of those looking to build a multi-generational house indicated they are doing it for their parents. That's really not terribly surprising. But that same report indicates that 73 percent of those looking to build this kind of home plan to remain in the home even after the multi-generational features are no longer necessary.

What that means is that smart homebuyers are not only making choices that will meet the needs of their aging parents—they are also thinking ahead to what their own needs may be down the road. They are being proactive about the kind of home that they may want or need a few years down the road. They are also aware of the fact that building safety and comfort features in now is a lot more economical than trying to come back in later to make those changes.

There is, however, another aspect to the whole multi-generational housing trend. Not everyone is building homes just to take care of aging parents. An increasing number of young adult family members are returning home after school until they can get their own careers launched. But these young adults have lives of their own (as do their parents!) so it’s important that any house that accommodates young adults (or aging parents) have a certain amount of privacy built in. Familial togetherness may be a beautiful thing, but even family members need their privacy.

That’s the beauty of a floor plan like The Westcott. It offers two bedrooms and two bathrooms for the whole family plus a master bedroom and bath for the extended family. It’s not just the number of rooms that makes this a great multi-generational home. The part of the home that’s designated as the “in-law section” also features a full kitchen, a large living area, and a separate entrance. That means everyone in the family has his or her own private space!

That is one of the appealing things about multigenerational homes. They can meet a variety of needs; whether it's for your own aging parents, your adult children, or your own needs for the future. And that's why we don't think you'll see this trend going away anytime soon.

gerber homes client testimonials

Topics: aging in place, building multi-generational homes, Muti-Generational Living

Understanding the Cost Difference Between 1, 1 ½, and 2 Story Buildings

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Sep 24, 2017 @ 20:09 PM

Understanding-the-Cost-Difference-Between-1-1_½-and-2-Story-Buildings.jpgOne choice you’ll face when choosing a floor plan for your new Rochester-area home is how many stories your home will have. You can chose from a wide variety of different floor plans that include one-story, two-story, and one-and-a-half-story homes. In addition to impacting your lifestyle now and potentially inthe future, the number of stories your house has can impact the cost of your home.

The fact of the matter is that it’s not just the number of stories (of floor levels) that impact a home’s cost. The overall size of the home, of course, plays a big role.

For instance, if you build a 2,000 square foot 2-story home and a 2,000 square foot single-story home, the one-level home will almost always be more expensive to construct. But being happy with your home is about more than just square footage—or a slight difference in cost. What you really want is a plan that meets your needs and makes you feel comfortable. The simple fact of the matter is that one-floorplan won't fit the needs of every individual.

These days, we find that many of our clients prefer open floor plans for their common rooms (kitchens, dining areas, family rooms). A ranch-style home in the range of 1,600 to 1,800 generally allows us to build a home that offers everything they want, such as a first-floor master bedroom, and easy access to everything. The cost for that is generally less than it would be for a similarly designed two-story home. That's because the two-story home will generally need to be a bit larger to include the features you want on the main level—and still have rooms upstairs.

So what about the cost for a one-and-a-half-story home? Prospective homeowners are frequently surprised to discover that this is generally the most expensive option. Part of the reason for that is that a one-and-a-half-story home usually has a good-sized first floor and a rather small amount of space in the upstairs. The dimensions of that small second floor prevent us from using standard trusses, and have to build flooring and other structural elements out of what we call “stick frame.” Unfortunately, that’s a more expensive process—and that makes the home cost more.

As I mentioned earlier, being happy with your home depends on more than square footage and cost. A much bigger factor is finding a floor plan that fits your needs (and your budget).

gerber homes client testimonials

Topics: Single-Story Home, Two-Story Home, Floor Plan Options, Building a Home in Rochester

Understanding The Pre-Construction Process

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Sep 2, 2017 @ 08:09 AM

Understanding-The-Pre-Construction-Process.jpgHomebuilding isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s a process comprised of a lot of different parts. You need a budget. You’ll want to carefully select the right location for your home. You’ll want to make an informed decision about which floor plan is right for you. Even when you’ve done all of those things, you’ll still have questions you’ll need to answer before making important decisions. (By the way, if you prefer watching a video, click here to see most of this same information)

The good news is that you don't have to do all of this on your own. At Gerber Homes, we've built more than 3,000 homes over the years, but we know that this is your home. That's why we want you to understand the process so that you're comfortable with it—and feel confident that you're going to end up with a home you'll love.

Even after you’ve picked your plan and lot, there are a lot of things that happen before construction actually begins. Here’s a quick overview of how we walk clients through that pre-construction process.

  • Meet with Sales/Design Consultant: This is generally about a one-to-three hour meeting at our office or at one of our model homes. Together we’ll fill out a form that covers all of your selections for the colors and materials you choose for your home. We’ll ask you lots of questions about your expectations, to make sure we’re all on the same page. We’ll actually show you the materials we plan to use in building your home so that there are no surprises. You’ll be able to see examples of things such as roofing and siding materials, interior doors, and trim materials.
  • Meet with Suppliers: This is where you’ll have a chance to look at items such as kitchen cabinets, flooring options, plumbing fixtures, and more. We invite you to visit as many of the suppliers as you like—or simply focus on the ones that are most important to you. We always have design consultants on hand to answer your questions and help you make the selections that are right for you.
  • Blueprint Review Meeting: This is where you get to make sure that the blueprints we've drawn up for your home really represent what you want. I'll meet with you personally in our office to go over these plans. This usually takes about two hours to review the plans and the selections you've made. We'll actually go through a checklist to ensure we cover everything that's important to you. We came up with this checklist based on things our clients have told us they'd wished someone had asked them before construction started. It covers things you might not think of at the time, but wish you had, such as:
    • Where will my basement windows be located?
    • Where will my furnace be located?
    • Which way will the doors in the house open?
    • How wide will the doorways be?
    • What about the positioning of outdoor spigots?
    • Which way will the garage door face?

These may not seem like very exciting issues, but that can have a significant impact on the way your home feels. Details matter when building the home of your dreams, and this checklist covers roughly 80 items to help ensure that your home is everything you want it to be. Click here to download a copy of this checklist.


Topics: Pre-Construction Process, Homebuilding Rochester NY

How to Pick the Right Floor Plan—Gerber Can Help

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Aug 20, 2017 @ 10:08 AM

How-to-Pick-the-Right-Floor-Plan.jpgWe Americans love to have our choices. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the cereal aisle in the grocery store! That same affinity for options holds true when it’s time to build a home in the greater Rochester area. That’s one reason we offer so many different choices of floor plans. If you glance through our plans you find Colonial homes, first-floor master homes, patio homes, ranch style home, Cape homes, and even homes that offer in-law layouts.

The only problem with having so many choices is that at some point you actually have to make a choice. But how do you pick the right floor plan for your family’s specific needs? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you select the plan for your new Rochester home.

What Makes a Good Fit?

When it comes to plans for your home, one size (or style) doesn’t fit all. Before you fall in love with a floor plan because it looks nice, you’ll want to consider your lifestyle. Do you like to entertain? What kinds of activities does your family enjoy? What about your kitchen? Will the kitchen in the house you build match your personality?

How Flexible Are Your Plans?

What do you do when you find a floor plan that’s almost right? Are you locked into it, or can you change it? Some builders simply don’t allow for changes. What you see in the plan is what you’re going to get. That’s not a criticism. It’s just the way their business model works. At Gerber, we take a slightly different approach. We’ll work with you to make modifications and adjustments. In fact, even though we offer dozens of great plans, we’ll will also work with a plan you bring us to make sure you get what you want and need.

Planning for the Future

Your home is a long-term investment. Chances are you’re going to be in your home for a while. That means your needs (and even your tastes) will change. It’s easy to overlook the fact that small children, who can easily share a bedroom when they’re little, will grow into teens and adolescents who will want their own space. Then there are your own needs to consider. Stairs may not be a concern to you at all right now—but what about five or 10 years from now? You may want to consider a single-level home or a home with the Master Suite on the first floor.

I like to tell prospective homeowners that the floor plans are really a starting point. The important thing is to create a home that meets your needs, satisfies your sense of style, and fits your budget. That may take a bit of work and time—but we think it’s the best way to get a great home that you’ll love for years to come.

I invite you to check out this short and informative video in which I explain a bit about how our process for choosing the right floor plan works.  Instead of having to adapt your lifestyle to the floor plan you chose, we think your floor plan should adapt to your desires and lifestyle!

gerber homes client testimonials

Topics: Floor Plans Rochester NY, building a new home, how to pick the right floor plan

The Home Site Selection Process—How Gerber Can Help!

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Aug 5, 2017 @ 11:08 AM

The-Homesite-Selection-Process—How-Gerber-Can-Help.jpgYou can’t be too careful when choosing the right homesite for your new Rochester-area home. Where you choose to live can be every bit as important as the floor plan you choose for your home. There are two major factors that you should consider when choosing a home site. One is the community you'll be living in, and the other is the physical condition of the lot itself. Let's look briefly at both.

Your Prospective Community

Some homeowners want to build in a place that offers great views or gives them easy access to water. That could mean looking for a site nearer to Lake Ontario—or down closer to the Finger Lakes area. Some people want easy access to Rochester for work or other activities.

For many homeowners, however,  the location they choose isn’t merely about convenience to shopping or an easy commute to work. They want to build a home in a place where they can also build community and feel comfortable with the residents living around them. The good news is that Gerber offers opportunities in a wide range of locations around the Rochester area.

The Physical Characteristics of Your Potential Lot

After giving it some consideration, most prospective homeowners don’t have that much trouble picking a community. But when it comes to selecting the specific lot they plan to build on, they can find themselves facing things they may not be prepared to deal with.

That's because the physical characteristics of your potential lot can have a huge impact on the kind of house you can build—and even the ultimate cost of building your home. For instance, when you're considering lots, you may find one that is more reasonably priced than other lots. It may look great to you and fit your budget better, but is it the right lot?

Often there are things about a lot that aren’t readily observable to the untrained eye. And sometimes it’s those unseen characteristics that can end up costing you time and money when you build your home. If that inexpensive lot you have your eye on requires a lot of grading to get it ready to build on that’s going to cost you money. What looked like a deal can actually end up costing your more!

There are other things to consider. How easy is it to access the utilities that you’ll need? Are there building or zoning restrictions that you’re not aware of? All of those things can significantly impact the desirability and affordability of a home site you’re considering.

That’s where Gerber can help. We’ll work with you to find the right lot for your family’s home—whether it’s in one of our own developments or a piece of property you own. Or we can help you find property elsewhere and determine what it’s going to cost you to build on that site.  Click here for a short and helpful video in which I highlight our process for helping you select the site that will best suit your needs and budget.

gerber homes client testimonials

Topics: homesite selection, finding a lot, building in Greater Rochester NY

“Discover the Promise” in Greece, NY

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Jul 16, 2017 @ 06:07 AM


The motto for the town of Greece is, “Discover the Promise.” There is plenty of promise in this town of about 96,000 located just five miles northwest of Rochester.  And while it’s just one of many areas where Gerber Homes builds, it's definitely worth its own look!

The town’s history goes back to 1822 when it was originally established as Northampton and was part of the town of Gates. The French explorer LaSalle visited the area originally inhabited by the Seneca Indians, in 1669, and the first permanent settlement was established in 1792. The town’s name was changed to Greece in support of the Greeks who were fighting for independence from Turkish rule.

In the early 1800s, trade from the Great Lakes made the community a transportation hub and a major supplier of farm produce to the new and growing nation. Agriculture remained the dominant enterprise in Greece for many years, until the Eastman Kodak Company emerged as the region’s largest employer.

Today, as a residential community, it still holds plenty of promise for residents. There is an abundance of recreation in the area and much of it takes advantage of the large expanse of undeveloped land and the more than 8 miles of shoreline along Lake Ontario. There are a number of bike trails in town. The town's bike trail extends from the Canal to Lake Ontario.  There are also trails along the New York State Erie Canal.

The Town also maintains 17 park areas. Of the 764 acres that make up these parks, only 189 acres are developed areas that contain 13 baseball diamonds, 10 soccer fields, 3 combination football/soccer fields, 8 basketball courts, 20 tennis courts, 2 volleyball courts 16 playgrounds, a skate park, 2 disc golf courses, and several nature trails. The remaining lands are used for passive recreation.

Greece is also home to a very popular public library that receives more than 500,000 visits annually. A new main library facility was completed in 2000 and provides 35,000 square feet of space for books and other media used by the library patrons.

The town hosts numerous special events including  Concerts at the Greece Town Hall.There are great things to do in the area as well, such as taking a Finger Lakes Wine Tour with a professional driver.  Or you can head to Rochester and take a tour of the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House.

If you’re thinking about building in or around Greece, you’ll want to check out the many floor plans Gerber Homes offers that can be built in the area. Whether you’re looking for a patio home, a ranch home, a Cape-style home or something with a 1st-floor master suite—you'll find it here.

Photo from


Topics: residential area Greece, Rochester area new homes for sale, finger lakes area living

Brighton & Pittsford: Distinctive Small Town Character with Easy Access to Rochester

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 @ 09:07 AM

Brighton & Pittsford: Distinctive Small Town Character with Easy Access to Rochester

If you work in the Rochester area—but would like to live in a place that’s a little less busy and a little more open—there are a couple of towns in the area that you may want to check out before building a new home. Both Brighton and Pittsford give you easy access to the greater Rochester area—and yet retain their own distinctive character.

Brighton is a smaller community of about 37,000 residents that has plenty to offer. This time of year you can take advantage of their annual Summer Concert Seriesthat runs for six weeks.The concerts are free to the public and are handicap accessible. Contact the Recreation Department 585-784-5260 with questions or check out the 2017 Summer Concert Schedule.

You can also take advantage of theBrighton Farmers’ Market. This weekly, producer-only market was founded in 2008 as part of the Town’s Color Brighton Green initiative. Sponsored by the town, the market helps promote environmental sustainability among Brighton residents and businesses. Click here for additional information.

The town is also home to six park sites and various recreation areas encompassing 350 acres that feature playgrounds, lodges, pavilions, pools, sports fields, picnic facilities, walking trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, and more.

Brighton & Pittsford: Distinctive Small Town Character with Easy Access to Rochester

Pittsford is another smaller community (with a population of just under 30,000) in the Rochester area that has a long history. The Town of Pittsford was settled in 1796 and incorporated in 1827. There are a number of buildings within the community that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Adsit Cobblestone Farmhouse, Cole Cobblestone Farmhouse, Gates-Livermore Cobblestone Farmhouse, Mendon Cobblestone Academy, Mendon Presbyterian Church, Miller–Horton–Barben Farm, Sheldon Cobblestone House, Stewart Cobblestone Farmhouse, and Whitcomb Cobblestone Farmhouse.

Today, Pittsford is more likely to be known for golf since the LPGA Championship has been hosted at Locust Hill Country Club repeatedly. Pittsford’s Oak Hill Country Club hosted the 1995 Ryder Cup, as well as the 1956, 1968 and 1989 United States Opens. It was also the site of the PGA Championships in 1980, 2003, and 2013.

Golf isn’t the only pro sport in town. Every August the Buffalo Bills of the NFL also have their summer training camp at St. John Fisher College.

Pittsford boasts 11 town parks within its borders including Great Embankment and Thornell Farm Park. Lock 62 and Erie Canal trail offer a look at the historic double lock, and the Isaac Gordon Nature Park offers hiking trails and cross-country skiing. Powder Mill Park has a ski lift and a creek that is popular with trout fisherman while Mendon Ponds includes a vast trail system and some of the most unique geology in the area.

Prior to the 1950s, Pittsford was a largely agricultural community with a distinctly rural character that was home to many family-owned farms. The area still retains that flavor and character.

Both communities are great places to live and provide easy access to Rochester. Gerber Homes offers a wide range of floor plans that can be built in either Brighton or Pittsford, ranging from the cozy 2-bedroom 1 bath, 1,040 square foot Hampshire to the 3,605 square foot Walton that offers 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths and a 1 bedroom 1 bath “In Law” apartment. And there are plenty of other options in between! Click here to view the many different floor plans available.


Topics: brighton ny, pittsford ny, rochester area new homes

Transportation History Comes Alive in Rush, NY

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

Transportation-History-Comes-Alive-in-Rush-NY.jpgKids may be growing up in an age where a ride in the car is almost like sitting in their living room. They can listen to music, watch videos, and even surf the Internet from the back seat. And it may not be long before our cars are driving themselves. They might be astonished to know that it wasn’t always that way. And if you live in Rush or Rush/Henrietta, you’ve got the proof right in your own backyard!

Here are a couple of ways you can show your kids (and remind yourself) how things used to be.

Enjoy a Sunday Ride That’s All About the Rides. The New York Museum of Transportation is open all year on Sundays only, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and provides a fascinating look at the history of transportation from days gone by. Check out antique trolley cars, a steam locomotive, a fire truck, an ambulance, an operating model railroad, many other vehicles along with numerous exhibits of photographs and artifacts that bring local transportation history to life. You can even ride on some of the vehicles that are no longer in operation anywhere else—including the only trolley ride in New York State! Click here for more information.

All Aboard!The Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum is home to the largest collection of historic trains in New York State. You can visit the restored 1909 Erie Railroad train station located off Route 251 in Rush. Climb aboard authentic freight train cabooses for a one-and-a-half mile round-trip ride through the museum grounds. It’s a fantastic way to explore the region’s rich railroad heritage. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes inside the restoration shop to see how these vehicles of yesterday have been brought back to life. If you work up an appetite "working on the railroad" it's just two miles to the Village of Scottsville where you'll have your choice of great restaurants, including Scottsville Diner, Salvatore’s Saloon, Dirty Dave’s Bar & Grill, Mark’s Pizzeria, and more. Click here for more information and a list of events.

Get Back to Nature: Of course, there's much more to the region than historic transportation! The area around Rush is naturally beautiful and Mendon Ponds Park is a great place to enjoy that natural beauty. The park encompasses 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds, wetlands and glacially created landforms. It's ideally suited to outdoor activities including Biking; Birdwatching; Boating (non-motorized); Fishing; Geo-caching; Hiking/Running; Horseback Riding; and Kayaking/Canoeing. This unique park also features six Lodges and seven Shelters that are available for rental. Click here for more information about Mendon Ponds Park.

Whether it’s history or nature that interests you, if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary around Rush, you really don’t have far to look!

Photo courtesy of The Rochester &Genessee Valley Railroad Museum


Topics: Rochester Area homebuilder, Things to do in Rush, NY, Homebuilding in Rush NY, Finding a lot in Rush NY

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