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Creating a Realistic Budget for Your Rochester-area Custom Home (and Watching Out for the Surprising Places That Can Break Your Budget)

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jul 19, 2019 @ 08:07 AM

Most people who consider building a custom home already understand that a custom home generally costs more to build than a conventional “standard” home. That doesn’t mean, however, that cost doesn’t matter. So how do you go about creating a budget for your Rochester-area home—while watching out for the surprising places that can break your budget? What does a realistic budget look like, and what are the things that are most likely to cause you to overspend your budget?

Custom Home in Rochester New York

What’s Realistic?

Imagine walking into a car dealership that sells everything from a Toyota Yaris sedan to a Porsche Carrara and asking the salesperson what a car is going to cost you. Your question would be met with additional questions. What brand of car would you like to buy? What specific model are you interested in? What particular features or upgrades do you want? Then there is the question of what you can realistically afford. If your budget is in the range of $35,000 to $40,000 you can expect to get more than the Yaris. But it’s also pointless to consider the Carrara.

Of course, buying a custom home is different from buying a car, but you still have to consider exactly what features you want—and what you can realistically afford. The goal here is not necessarily to get the lowest price but to get the most value for the dollars you budget. What will help you arrive at a realistic budget? Let’s look at two common errors homeowners make that can result in a budget that doesn’t match reality.

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Unrealistically High Expectations

Planning a custom home can be a pretty exhilarating experience. There are all kinds of magazines, online sites, blogs, and TV programs that highlight the magnificent features you can build into your home. It’s pretty cool stuff! What the TV shows and online sites often fail to mention is what these cool features actually cost. Figure out what’s most important to you. These are your true “must-have” items. Then figure out what your “nice-to-have” features are (if they fit your budget). Then make a list of “splurges” that you can add if there’s still money in the budget. Check out what things really cost. Don’t expect to get a $750,000 home if your realistic budget is $450,000.

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Unrealistically Low Budgets

The flip side of this problem is that some homeowners can actually afford a higher budget, but they set an unrealistically low budget for their home. They have high expectations, but they set a budget that’s too low to achieve what they want. The problem here is that after the home has been built, they’re dissatisfied. They’ve settled for less when they really could have afforded more. The real kicker is that if they decide to add in the features they really wanted afterward—it costs them more than it would have originally.

Having unrealistically high expectations or setting unrealistically low budgets will lead to dissatisfaction. Take an honest look at what you can really afford and what the features of your proposed home really cost. That’s why it’s a good idea to get your financial house in order and talk to a lender to see what kind of load you qualify before making building plans. Then, work with a builder who will deliver the maximum bang for your building buck.

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Avoiding Unwanted Budget Surprises

Even with a realistic budget, some homeowners get blindsided during the building process. Here are a few areas that can take homeowners by surprise after they start the process.

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Changes to the Plans

It’s not unusual to make some changes to your original design as your house progresses. Some changes aren’t a big deal. In fact, they are smart changes that will help you enjoy your finished home more. Other changes, however, can really hit you hard in the wallet. To be honest, it’s often when you make the changes that matter most. You may think that moving a wall a mere six inches isn't that significant, but it depends on what else may have to be moved. One thing is for sure: if you ask the builder to move it in the design/planning stage, it's a lot cheaper than having him tear out a wall he's already built. It's the same kind of situation if you want a door or a window moved. It can usually be done—but when you want to move it (and where) matters a lot. One of the problems is that these changes can kind of creep up on you before you’re even aware. Here’s a helpful article about keeping those changes under control. 

Custom Home Upgrades in Rochester New York

Upgrades

It’s easy to get caught up in upgrading your finishes. Let’s say you budgeted for one kind of wood flooring, but then came across another flooring material that you absolutely love. The good news is that it’s only $4 per square foot more. At first glance, $4 doesn’t seem like much. But if you’re going to cover 750 square feet with that new material, all of a sudden, you’re looking at an additional $3,000 in cost. That’s not a nice surprise. The same thing can happen with cabinets, countertops, and appliances. What seems like small changes can add up quickly. That's not to say you shouldn't upgrade—but it's an area that often catches homeowners off guard.

Custom Home Lot in Rochester New York

Property

Some homeowners like to buy their own lot and then have a builder construct the home on the lot they’ve purchased. Occasionally, a homeowner will get what seems to be a “great deal” on what appears to be a great lot—only to find that it requires a lot of extra preparation (grading, etc.) before the foundation can even be put in. All of a sudden, that “bargain” lot turns into an expensive lot.

You can avoid that by contacting your builder about the lot before you purchase a home site. At Gerber Homes, we’re happy to help you evaluate a piece of property. You don’t need to hire an outside consultant. We know the area and have years of experience in locating and evaluating land, and we can help you find the perfect location for your new home, surrounded by the amenities you desire.  There is no charge for this service, which includes locating the land, evaluating the site, and checking septic or well requirements. Here’s a quick video that highlights how we can help you with that.

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Topics: Custom homes, Building a New Home, Home Building Costs

Why It’s Important to Understand the Custom Home Process When Building Your Rochester-area Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jul 12, 2019 @ 08:07 AM

Building a custom home is an exciting adventure. At the same time, it’s an undertaking that’s different than anything you’ve done before. Even if you’ve purchased a home before, building a custom house is different. While it’s easy to dive right into the fun stuff (color schemes, finishes, décor, landscaping, etc.) you’ll want to make sure you understand how everything comes together so that you achieve the results you want. That’s why it’s important to understand the custom home building process when building your Rochester-area custom home.

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Before You Start Building

There are a number of things that you need to pay close attention to before your contractor starts excavating or building. Here are some of the key parts of the process.

 

Think About Where You Want to Live

Where you choose to build your home is as important as the design and the floor plan. Your choice of location may be influenced by the schools in the area, the amount of privacy you want, the size of the lot you think is appropriate, the length of your commute—or a host of other factors. Here’s a post that takes a closer look at things you’ll want to think about when considering where to build.

 

Make Sure Your Home Fits Your Lifestyle

As you check out neighborhoods in the Rochester area, you may notice certain homes that are visually appealing to you. You’re likely to come across Colonial-style homes, 1st Floor Master bedroom homes, Cape-style homes, Raised Ranch-style homes, and more. Curb appeal is important, but just because you like the way a home looks from the outside doesn’t mean that home will fit the way you live.

Think beyond the external appeal of the house. What kind of home fits your lifestyle? Do you prefer multi-level living with bedrooms on one level and common rooms on another?  Do you plan to entertain frequently? If so, what style of home lends itself best to the kind of entertaining you enjoy? Are you in a “kid-centric” phase of life, or are you looking for a more “mature, empty-nester” style? The beauty of building a custom home is that it’s definitely not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. You get to choose what fits your needs best. Here’s a post that explores how to select the kind of home that fits your family’s lifestyle.

Custom Home in Rochester NY

How Much Do You Want to Customize?

A basic floor plan can help you visualize how the space in your home will be laid out and how things will flow from room to room. But you can take a basic floor plan and make modifications so that it better suits your specific tastes and needs. You’ll have to decide exactly how much you want to customize. Will you want things like built-in shelving? What about higher ceilings on the lower level? Do you want specialty materials for flooring or counters? Will you install standard design cabinets, semi-custom, or totally unique cabinets? Keep in mind that the more you customize, the more you’ll spend. It can also increase the timeline for completion.

Custom Home in Rochester NY

Understanding the Steps in the Process

After addressing the issues above, you’ll be ready for the next steps. It’s also helpful for you if you understand the steps in the process. Things happen in a deliberate order. And while some things may happen concurrently, nothing happens overnight. You'll feel more comfortable with the progress is you understand the process. Here's a look at how we work through the custom home building process at Gerber Homes.

  • Meet with Your Sales/Design Consultant: During this one-to-three-hour meeting (at our office or at one of our model homes) we’ll work together to fill out a form that covers all of your selections for the colors and materials 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 samples of the materials we plan to use 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: During this meeting, you’ll be able to make sure that the blueprints we've drawn up for your home accurately represent your wishes. 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 (based on things our clients have told us they'd wished someone had asked them before construction started) to ensure we cover everything that's important to you, including:

    • 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 my garage door face?

 

By the way, if you’re more of a visual or auditory learner, click here to see most of this same information in video form.

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Educate Yourself About the Process

The more you know about how things work, the more comfortable you’ll be with the process. We've learned over the years that the better informed our clients are about the custom home building process, the happier they are with the results—and the more they enjoy the experience. That's why we offer some help for figuring out what those next steps. If you'd like to learn more please download our free page custom home guide.

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Topics: Custom homes, Building a New Home, Home Design, Custom Home Features

Where Will I Live While My Custom Home is Under Construction?

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Jul 9, 2019 @ 13:07 PM

Where Will I Live While My Custom Home is Being Built in Rochester NYBuilding a new home in the Rochester area can be a fun, exciting, and challenging task. What can you do to make sure you’re a happy camper throughout the process? You’ll have a lot of details to think about. That will include evaluating floor plans to come up with a design that best suits your needs (here’s some information that can help with that). You’ll make choices about building materials, finishes, and appliances. You’ll want to think through your lighting and decorating choices. There will be budgets and finances to work through, too. But there’s one question that often sneaks up on a lot of homeowners: “Where will I live while my custom home is being built?”

It’s not exactly a small detail, because the rest of life doesn’t stop when you sign a contract to build a new custom home. You still have a life to live and you have responsibilities beyond your new home. And as rustic and romantic as it may sound, “camping out” really isn’t a great option.

In a perfect world, you’d be able to sell your existing home and continue to live in it until your new home is ready to move in. Then you’d simply pack up your stuff and make your move. It sounds simple, right? Most of us, however, don’t live in that perfect world. That means when you sell your existing home, you may have to move out before the new one is completed.

Community in Rochester NY

Great Community Choices

The good news is that Gerber builds homes in a wide variety of communities (and individual home sites) in the Rochester area. Check out the many options available for building in the area, including Canandaigua, Marion, Huron Macedon, Webster, Ontario, and others. Knowing you’ll end up in a community you love is a big help, but it doesn’t take care of your housing needs before your move-in date.

Apartments in Rochester NY

What About Your Short-term Housing Needs?

Finding a short-term lease can really be a challenge—particularly if you want to move into a place where you’ll be comfortable and feel secure. Too often, if you can find a place, you’ll have to be prepared to pay a premium.

At Gerber, we think there’s a better way to solve that dilemma than to put an extra burden on families who want to build a new home. One of the ways we make it easier for homeowners to build with us is to provide them with another short-term housing option. Because we own a number of quality rental properties, we’re able to offer month-to-month living opportunities to our clients. As a matter of fact, while your new Gerber custom home is being built, you can live in one of these comfortable units RENT FREE. Click here for details about our free rental and storage options that you can take advantage of while we build your home! You’ll find options in Ontario, Palmyra, and Marion.

You’ll have plenty of details to deal with when building your new home. Worrying about where you’ll live while your home is being built doesn’t have to be one of them. That should make you a happy camper—without having to actually camp out!

Get Free Rent while we build your Rochester New York Custom Home

Topics: Custom homes, Building a New Home

15 Must-Have Features for Your Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jul 5, 2019 @ 12:07 PM

One great thing about building a new custom home is that you don’t have to settle for standard features and finishes. Creating a home that’s uniquely yours is what makes a custom home special. As you’re planning your home, you’re likely to come across certain features that you know you want to include in the plan. It’s not because these things are trendy or ostentatious. It’s because they deliver the kind of comfort and convenience you really want. With that in mind, let’s look at 15 “must-have” features for your custom home that you’ll probably want to consider.

Main Floor Dedicated Laundry Room

Your new laundry room may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning your home. Still, having a dedicated laundry room on the main level can make your life a lot easier. Perhaps laundry isn't your favoritye thing to do, but with a room that's set aside-and designed specifically for that task-it can be much more enjoyable. You can make sure you have adequate space for pre-wash, hanging, and ironing. And you can decorate it in your own style to make it a room you actually enjoy being in. 

Main Floor Dedicated Laundry Room in Rochester NY

Mudroom

A well-planned mudroom can be a life-saver for the rest of your house! Instead of having muddy shoes, backpacks, and coats scattered throughout the house, you can keep things organized by containing them in an easy-to-clean room right off the entrance from your garage. You can build in cubbies for different items and even build in extra storage space for things that only see occasional use. And if you have a dog, it's a great place to wipe off paws (and hang leashes) before your pet heads into the house.

Mudroom in Rochester NY

First-Floor Master Bedroom with Private Bath and Walk-In Closet

If your home is your castle, a first-floor master suite can be your inner sanctum. You can create a space that’s uniquely yours: Private, comfortable, and insulated from everything. An over-sized walk-in closet makes getting ready for the day a pleasure. There will be no jockeying for position as you get dressed. And you won’t have to share your bathroom with the kids or guests. In addition, locating your master suite on the main level means you can remain in your home longer without having to worry about stairs as you mature.

Master Bedroom Suite in Rochester NY

Gourmet Kitchen with an Over-sized Island

Kitchen Islands are extremely popular—and practical. Here’s a look at an oversized kitchen island in a custom home we recently built on Whiting Road in Rochester. You can see how the extended island provides plenty of space for food prep and for casual family meals, as well as for entertaining. This particular kitchen is done in a farmhouse style, but with a custom home, you can create it in any style that suits you. It’s practical, spacious, and welcoming! 

Kitchen Remodel in Rochester NY

Walk-In Pantry

Including a walk-in pantry in your kitchen adds a whole new dimension of convenience and comfort. On top of that, it keeps clutter at bay. You can use your pantry for larger packages of food items without sacrificing space in your kitchen cabinets. It allows you to keep frequently used items at eye level. And it’s a great place to store oversized appliances (mixers, bread machines, blenders) that you don’t use as often.

Walk-in Pantry in Rochester NY

Game Room

If you or your kids love gaming, you know that it can get a little loud at times. A dedicated game room can solve that problem. You can decorate it in a fun or funky style that sets the room apart. You might choose to make it a combination home theater room and game room. Or you might go want to encompass both online gaming and arcade-style games such as pinball. Imagine a whole room dedicated to fun!

Game Room in Rochester NY

Luxurious Shower Room

With a custom home, you don't have to settle for a boring bathroom. The trend these days is toward spacious and luxurious showers that look and feel elegant. You might want to install multiple shower heads or even a steam shower that can warm your shower up before you step in on a cold Rochester morning. Today's luxury showers also include seating, built-in cubbies for bath items, and stylish (but functional) grab bars for safety.

Bi-Fold Moving Glass Wall System

Another building trend that has really taken off is the blurring of the lines between indoor and outdoor living. Adding a bi-folding glass wall system allows you to open the interior or your home to the outside so that you can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine without even leaving the comfort of your family room. And even in colder months, these well-insulated panels allow plenty of natural light into your home.

Bi-Fold Moving Glass Wall System in Rochester NY

Outdoor Kitchen

Building an outdoor kitchen is another way that allows you to enjoy the comforts of indoor living in an outdoor environment. Instead of simply having a grill on your deck or patio, you can create an outdoor kitchen and dining area that includes a built-in grill, refrigerator, counter space, and even a sink for cleaning up. You can cook and entertain guests in comfort while enjoying a great "al fresco" environment.

Outdoor Kitchen in Rochester NY

Floor to Ceiling Fireplace

There is nothing quite like a warm and inviting fire on a cold Rochester evening. But you don’t have to settle for an unimaginative fireplace. A floor to ceiling fireplace is a fantastic focal point for a family room. It’s dramatic—whether you have a fire blazing or not. And you can choose whether you prefer a wood-burning fireplace or a natural gas fireplace that you can turn on or off at your discretion (with no clean-up).

Fireplace in Custom Home Remodel in Rochester NY

Custom Built-In Shelves

Even the shelving in your kitchen, family room, or study can be customized. Built-in shelving not only looks great, but it also doesn’t encroach on your living space. Instead of being an additional piece of furniture in the room, built-in shelving is part of the room itself.

Family Room in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Freestanding Tub

Some homeowners have to choose between including a shower or a tub in their bathroom. With a custom home, you can have both! And sometimes there is nothing quite like a long and leisurely soak. Nothing makes that more pleasant than an elegant, freestanding tub like the one you see here. Not only is a tub like this ideal for a sumptuous soak, but it also adds visual interest to your master bathroom—making a place you enjoy spending time.

Bathroom Remodel in Rochester NY
 

Wine Cellar

If you enjoy collecting, sampling, and sharing fine wines with your friends, you can take that pursuit to the next level with a wine cellar of your own. You can create a small (closet-sized) wine cellar in which to store your bottles—or you can create a larger cellar that includes a wine-tasting room with its own décor and atmosphere.

Wine Cellar in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Central Vacuum System

Who says you have to push or drag a vacuum cleaner around your house in order to keep it clean? Another option is to install a central vacuum system in your new home that lets you plug in wherever you are without fighting chords and hoses.

Central Vacuum System in Rochester NY

Heated Floors

One of the greatest luxuries you can install in your home is also one you’ll never see. Putting in heated flooring in your master bathroom is an indulgence that is an absolute delight in a cold-weather climate like Rochester. Instead of stepping out of the shower onto a cold floor, you’ll be treated to a warm and comfortable end to your shower.

Heated Floors in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Those are just a few of the “must-have” features you may want to consider for your new custom home. We invite you to visit our gallery and click on the custom homes images for additional ideas that can make your new home better meet your unique tastes and desires.

 

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Topics: Custom homes, Building a New Home, Custom Home Features, Home Building Tips

Bathroom Remodeling Trends for 2019

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jun 21, 2019 @ 13:06 PM

Few things date your Rochester-area home more than an outdated bathroom. It’s understandable, it’s no small task to change out bathtubs, sinks, cabinets, and fixtures. Sometimes homeowners ignore their main bath—reasoning that nobody else sees it. But you see your bathroom . . . every . . . single . . . day. It’s one of the most-used rooms in your house. It can affect the way you feel about your whole house. With that in mind, let’s look at some bathroom remodeling trends for 2019 that can give your bathroom a fresh and invigorating look and feel.

The Art of the Bathroom

Using pieces of fine art in your bathroom gives it a whole different feel.  A simple piece of bold artwork lends an unmistakable look to elegance to the whole room. Adding artwork can be effective in your main/master bathroom or in a powder room. And don’t be afraid to use a large painting in a small powder room. The impact can be impressive.

A Spa-Like Look

Homeowners are increasingly creating spa-like looks in their bathrooms. And while you want your bathroom to be comfortable, convenient, and functional, the trend in bathrooms is to make them inviting and visually interesting.

A Concrete Solution

Concrete is being used more and more for sink basins, walls, countertops, and floors. It really can work beautifully when combined with wood, porcelain, or steel accents. A nice feature of concrete is that it’s durable and easy to maintain. It’s a bit more of a sleek, modern look, so you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable with that style.

Don’t Lose Your Marble(s)

In-vogue counter and flooring materials come and go. Classic styles remain (and here’s an article that highlights why that’s important). Marble—especially white-and-grey combinations have a timeless beauty that remains popular. There is a richness to the look and feel of this material. And the neutral color lends itself to bold accent colors.

Industrial Design Hits the Bathroom

Industrial design has been popular for a while, but now it’s moved into the bathroom. One way that’s playing out is by having sinks and even showers that use exposed pipes. When done carefully (and tastefully) this industrial look provides a clean, sleek design. Some homeowners lean toward a softer “Polished Industrial Style” such as you see pictured here. It still gives a clean and sleek look, but with a touch more warmth.

White Can Be Alright

There is a lot of white being used in baths these days. Many people love the brightness is brings to the room. Too much white, however, can be overpowering or even make the room feel sterile. As a result, there are a lot of bathrooms being created today that use a strong white background (including white subway tiles) with bold black accents or natural wood accents to warm things up.

Of course, there's more to consider than just the look of your bathroom when you're thinking about a remodeling project. Here’s a helpful article that reminds you about four essential things to think about before you begin the process.

 

Gerber-Homes-Custom-Home-Guide

Topics: Bathroom remodeling, Bathroom Design

What to Expect During a Bathroom Remodel

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jun 14, 2019 @ 13:06 PM

On the surface, remodeling the bathroom in your Rochester-area home seems fairly simple. But like any other remodeling project you take on for your home, there are little twists and turns involved in the process. It’s not just your bathroom that’s affected by the project, either. It can require some adjustments in your daily lifestyle as well. Being prepared ahead of time makes all the difference in the world. Let’s take a look at what to expect during a bathroom remodel—and some tips that can make things much less stressful for you.

How Long Is This Going to Take?

A significant remodeling of your bathroom isn’t an overnight endeavor. There are a number of steps in the process required to do a thorough and professional job. Here’s a kind of overview chart of the steps you can expect along the way—including how much time each one takes.

Task

Days

Details

Demolition

2

 

Carpentry

2

You may not need this step depending on the existing structure

Plumbing

1-2

This can take longer if you’re instating a tub or a toilet

Electrical

1-2

This only covers getting the necessary wiring to the bathroom

1st Inspection

1

The inspection itself doesn’t take long but getting scheduled can be an issue. This is out of the contractor's control

Insulation

.5

 

Drywall install

1

 

Drywall finish

2

This includes all the prep work so walls can be painted

Paint

1

 

Final Inspection

1

Once again, the inspection doesn’t take long, but you are somewhat at the mercy of the inspectors

Tilework

2

If you are not doing any tile work, this doesn’t apply

Cabinetry

1

 

Flooring

2

The type of flooring you are installing will affect how long it takes. Vinyl probably takes half a day. Tile or engineered wood will take a little longer

Hookups & Fixtures

2

This includes connecting toilet, sinks, faucets, etc.

Misc.

1.5

It’s always wise to allow for unforeseen issues.

TOTAL

23

 

* Adapted from https://www.thespruce.com/how-long-to-remodel-small-bathroom-1821360


These times are not set in stone, but they provide a sense of what actually goes into your remodel—and why the process may take four weeks or so. More complex remodels will obviously take longer.
 

How Will This Impact Daily Living?

Let’s talk a bit about what you can expect during the process. First of all, you’ll need to become accustomed to someone else being in your house all day. In addition, you won’t have access to your bathroom. That means setting up an alternative place to get ready for work or wind down for the night. Get all of your supplies organized ahead of time so that you’re not scrambling and trying to find what you need at the last minute. Here are some other things you’ll need to adjust to.

It Will Be Noisy: That’ just the nature of construction. Electric saws, drills, hammers, and air compressors are not quiet tools of the trade. You may need to make alternate plans if you work from home. If you have small children that nap, you’ll probably want to find another place for them to do that.

You’ll Deal With Dust: Some contractors seal of the rooms in which they’re working. That helps, but it doesn’t eliminate dust. It’s not a bad idea to cover furniture with sheets to protect them. It may be tempting to run your furnace fan to capture some of the dust, but you’re more likely to simply spread the dust around. Keep an eye on sensitive equipment (computers) and clean them regularly.

Expect the Unexpected: You can pretty much count on running into an unexpected problem or two. It could be the previous wiring that's not up to code or framing that wasn't done properly. You may run into plumbing that is convoluted and needs to be redone. Most of these things can't be detected until your contractor starts the job. It's a good idea to budget a little extra money (and time) for these "surprises."

Changes: You’ll want to plan as carefully as possible up front. But sometimes you’ll see something that just isn’t the way you wanted it. It’s not the end of the world. Just make sure you’re equipped to deal with a bit of extra cost (and time) to get what you really want.

Unexpected Delays: There may be situations in which the manufacturer said your tile or your cabinets or your light fixtures would be ready in two weeks. Then it takes four weeks for them to show up. Knowing that is a possibility ahead of time helps you to deal with the situation.

Be Prepared to Make Decisions: Often you may have to make minor (or even some big) decisions during the process. You’ll have to tell your contractor where you want an outlet installed or where you want a towel rack installed. There are many little decisions that can make a big difference in how comfortable your new bath is.

Preparation Keeps Stress at a Minimum

Let’s be honest: Remodeling is somewhat of a disruptive process. But the good news is that there are things you can do to keep life as normal as possible. Preparing yourself mentally really helps deal with the disruption. Having a good plan for how you’re going to deal without the use of your bathroom for a while makes it easier to do.

 

Another form of preparation that reduces your stress is to make as many decisions ahead of time as possible. Make sure you’re clear about what’s really important to you when you remodel. That doesn’t mean you can’t make small changes but being committed to your overall plan relieves you from last minute, pressure-filled decisions. It's also extremely helpful to have all the materials on hand (fixtures, tile, flooring, etc.) before the contractor actually needs them. You don’t want your remodeler waiting for materials.

 

Knowing what to expect helps prepare you for a much more enjoyable remodeling experience.

 

Gerber-Homes-Custom-Home-Guide

Topics: Bathroom remodeling, Bathroom Design

2019 Costs of Bathroom Remodeling in Rochester

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jun 7, 2019 @ 13:06 PM

For decades, bathrooms and kitchens have been two of the most popular home remodeling projects. That's really not surprising since those two rooms are generally the most-used rooms in any home. No matter what room you're remodeling, you'll want to keep an eye on the costs. Here's a look at 2019 costs of bathroom remodeling in Rochester.

 

Gerber-Homes-2019-Costs-of-Bathroom-Remodeling-in-Rochester

Bathrooms Are a Little Different

While your kitchen may be visited frequently by other family members and guests, your bathroom is a little different. It is your own private space. You want to make it as comfortable and convenient as possible. You may even want to pamper yourself a bit with a spa-like bathroom. How far you want to go with adding luxury, of course, will impact the cost. It’s really up to you to decide what features are most important in your bathroom. To give you an idea of how the different levels of luxury, size, and features will affect your cost we’ll look at several different levels of remodeling.

 

The figures we’re using for this comparison come from the 2019 Cost vs. Value Report (© 2019 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling

2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com). We’re going to look at typical costs for three different types of bathroom remodels: A Midrange remodel; an upscale remodel, and a universal design (aging-in-place) remodel. First, we’ll define the basic project and then we’ll show the costs (and the return on investment) for each project.

 

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Midrange Bath Remodel

This type of project assumes the updating of an existing 5x7-foot bathroom. It entails replacing all fixtures to include 30x60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with 4x4-inch ceramic tile surround. The tub will be equipped with a new single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control. A standard white toilet will also be installed. The vanity will consist of a solid-surface counter with integral sink. A recessed medicine cabinet with light will be installed. The floor will be finished with ceramic tile floor. And the room will be finished with vinyl wallpaper.

 

COST: Typically, a project like the one described here will run about $20,239 in the Rochester area. If you sell your home in the future, you should recover approximately $10,526 of your investment.

 

Gerber-Homes-2019-Costs-of-Bathroom-Remodeling-in-Rochester

Upscale Bath Remodel

The upscale bath remodel calls for expanding an existing 35-square-foot bathroom to 100 square feet within the existing house footprint. The remodeler will relocate all fixtures. The remodeled bathroom will Include a 42x42-inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls with accent strip. It will have a recessed shower caddy; body-spray fixtures; and a frameless glass enclosure. The plans also Include the installation of a freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets. Countertops will be stone and will include two sinks.  Two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting will also be installed. The contractor will add a compartmentalized commode area with one-piece toilet and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. All fixtures will be colored. For flooring, the remodeler will use larger matching ceramic tiles on the floor, laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. General and spot lighting will also be added (including waterproof shower fixture). The cabinetry in the bathroom will have a custom drawer base with wall cabinets. This project also calls for extending any required HVAC and also includes the installation of electric in-floor heating.

 

COST: An upscale bathroom remodeling project such as this one will run about $64,438 in the Rochester area. If you sell your home in the future, you should recover approximately $29,521 of your investment.

 

Gerber-Homes-2019-Costs-of-Bathroom-Remodeling-in-Rochester

Universal Design Bath Remodel

If you’re looking for a bathroom remodel that is based on Universal Design, this update assumes the remodeling of an existing 5x7-foot space. The remodeled bathroom will be wheelchair-accessible (zero- threshold, 36-inch-wide door). It also includes the installation of flat-panel electrical switches at sitting level (36 to 42 inches above the floor). The project also calls for replacing the existing toilet with a comfort height fixture featuring an elongated bowl and bidet-type seat. The existing bathtub will be removed and replaced with a curbless, tiled, walk-in shower that has an adjustable showerhead, fa old-out seat, a thermostatic mixing valve, and a bi-directional glass door. The Universal Design remodel also calls for replacing existing flooring with electric radiant heat beneath new luxury vinyl tile flooring. The remodeler will Install an adaptive living vanity with easy-grasp handles and an adjustable mirror. LED lights will be installed along with infrared ceiling light, a night light, and an ultra-quiet vent fan with humidity-sensing controls. The contractor will install ceramic tiles on the walls with two contrasting color stripes. Nine towel bars that can support 250 pounds will be installed. The storage area will be reconfigured to be accessible from a seated position.

 

COST: If you’re looking at doing a universal design bathroom remodeling project like this one, you can expect to pay about $33,327 in the Rochester area. If you sell your home in the future, you should recover approximately $25,227 of your investment.

 

What Will YOUR Cost Be?

The figures you see posted here are “typical” costs for this kind of project in the Rochester area. Changes in the specific materials and in the exact scope of the project will affect the pricing. These figures do, however, provide a baseline or a framework so that you have a starting point for your particular plan. You’ll want to meet with your remodeler to talk through exactly what you want in your bathroom to ensure that the results meet your requirements. That will also give your remodeler the information necessary to give you an accurate estimate.

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Topics: Bathroom remodeling, Bathroom Design, Home Remodeling Costs

When to Consider Adding an Addition

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, May 20, 2019 @ 09:05 AM

Does your Rochester-area home need a bit of a facelift and reorganization that a conventional remodeling project can bring—or are you actually in need of an addition? The answer depends on your changing needs. Sometimes “re-engineering the existing space will deliver the results you need. Sometimes, there just is no substitute for more physical space. Let’s take a look at when to consider adding an addition to your Rochester home.

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Your Family is Growing

If you’re a younger family, a two-bedroom house may have been more than adequate before you had kids—or when you only had one. What if you are planning on another child? If your existing home doesn’t have the place or the space to accommodate a third bedroom or nursery, you may want to think about adding a nursery or a bedroom. If you’re thinking about adding a room upstairs, you’ll want to ask yourself if it makes sense to simply add one bedroom, or if it’s more financially responsible to add a whole second floor that could give you a fourth bedroom (or home office or craft room) and a bathroom. Material and labor costs are never going to be lower than they are now, so it can actually be cheaper (in the long run) to go a bit bigger now.

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Adult Family Members Are Joining You

Multi-generational homes have been a growing trend for some time. If you have older family members who may be living with you in the future, it’s not enough to just clear out a spare bedroom. You may want to create a space with more privacy—such as an In-Law apartment. Questions you'll want to consider are if this separate living space will have its own entrance, kitchen, and bathrooms to provide privacy. It's not just older relatives that you need to think about. Increasing numbers of families are providing additional living space for their adult children—until they get their careers going and are ready to strike out on their own (and own their own homes).

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You Need Play Space for the Kids (or Yourself)

There are times when your sleeping space is adequate, but there is no place to go to play or to work on a project. You might want to think about adding a playroom or a craft room that doesn’t have to be picked up every time guests come over. If that’s something that could help, you’ll also want to think ahead about how the room could be used five or 10 years from now, so keep your options open.

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You Need Space for “Show Time”

A lot of families have taken to consuming media at home. Many homes, however, don’t have a space that they can dedicate to streaming movies, listening to music, gaming, or engaging in social media. But before you create your own media room, you'll want to think about how you're going to use it. What are the wiring requirements? What kind of lighting will you want/need? Do you want to build in a snack bar to enhance the atmosphere? Here's one additional thing to think about. Up to this point, homeowners have tended to design their media rooms around the TV—and TVs have gotten increasingly larger. What impact will Virtual Reality (VR) have on the media rooms of tomorrow? You may not need space for a humongous screen if you're wearing a pair of VR goggles that make the whole room your screen!

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Your Current Layout Doesn’t Allow You to Entertain

Over the past 25 years or so, kitchens have become central for home entertainment. Guests gather in the kitchen to snack, drink, talk, and just hang out. Depending on how you entertain, you may require a lot more kitchen space than you have. Depending on how your home was designed, you may or may not be able to expand your kitchen’s footprint adequately. You may require an addition to provide the kind of space you want/need. But before you launch into adding a new kitchen, you'll want to pay attention to your "kitchen personality." How will you use your new kitchen space? Are you intending to do a lot more cooking (maybe even gourmet cooking)? Are you planning to eat most family meals in the kitchen? Will this space be primarily used for basic meal preparation and as a comfortable place for casual entertaining? How you plan to use the space should influence the kind of room you design.

If your family is in need of more living space, a home addition is your best option. Why not stay in the home that you love and allow our team to create the additional rooms that you need to make your family more comfortable. Still not sure if an addition is right for you? Our experienced team can help answer all of your questions about our process, design, and cost. Schedule your free home remodeling consultation now!

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Topics: garage additions, home remodeling, Home Additions, second-floor additions, first-floor additions

Exterior Home Additions

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, May 6, 2019 @ 09:05 AM

You may tend to think of home additions in terms of rooms that exist inside your house. But increasingly homeowners are adding living spaces to the outside of their homes as well. Not only do exterior home additions add living space, but they also expand the kinds of activities you can enjoy. Here’s a look at some of the exterior home additions that can help you get even more enjoyment out of your Rochester-area home.

Put on a Deck

Putting on a deck is one of the most popular external additions you can make to your home. It extends your casual living and dining space dramatically. It’s a great place to have casual meals with the family in warm weather months. And it’s also the perfect place for hanging out with friends on summer evenings or on the weekends. You can choose to build in seating or simply arrange outdoor furniture wherever you want. You can make part of the deck covered (as shown in the picture here). Or you can build a pergola over the deck to let in some light while still blocking out harsh sunlight. If you’re curious about the costs of adding a deck, you can click here to download the 2019 Cost vs. Value Report for the Rochester area to give you a baseline figure.

Add a Porch

When it comes to enjoying indoor/outdoor living some homeowners prefer a screened porch. It provides a cozier environment (it feels more like a room)—plus the screens help cut breezes and obviously keep mosquitoes and other bugs out. In addition to that, because a porch is covered, you can even enjoy sitting outside in the rain—without getting wet.

Add a Patio

You may enjoy actually being out in the yard in the summer. When you add a patio, you can make it extremely comfortable—and still be out and away from the house. You can build your patio on gravel, flagstones, or cement—whichever best suits your sense of style. You can make it really rustic, or elegant, depending on your personal taste. Adding a fire pit or a fireplace also adds a warm (and even romantic) touch. Plus, you can landscape around your patio to make it a beautiful little oasis right in your backyard. If you’re wondering what furniture to include on your patio Family Living Today has a review of the Best Patio Furniture Sets & Pieces for 2019

Include an Outdoor Kitchen

Including an outdoor kitchen as part of your external addition has become a growing trend. It takes outdoor entertaining to a whole new level. Now the barbeque chef doesn't have to be separated from his or her guests. You can make your outdoor kitchen as simple or as extensive as you want. Build in amenities such as a built-in grill with counter space, or even a mini-bar with refrigerator and sink. If you want, you can also build in eating space around the kitchen (as shown here) so that you can cook while engaging with guests and serving drinks at the same time. Of course, you'll want to make sure you install the right grill. The good folks at BBQGuys have published their list of the best BBQ grills and outdoor appliances for 2019 to make your choice a bit easier.

Create a Craft or Hobby Room

If you have a detached garage, you can use it for much more than simply parking your car or storing Christmas decorations. You may be able to add onto your garage and turn it into a craft or hobby room. Putting a second story on your garage can create great space for a craft room, an artist studio, or even a music studio. Another option might be to turn that upper room into an in-law apartment or another bedroom if you have an older child who wants more private space. You don’t have to go up to add on. You may be able to expand the space outward to build a woodworking shop or a pottery studio.

 

If you've been looking for ways to expand your outdoor living space, an exterior home addition is the way to go. Do you have questions about remodeling the exterior of your home? Schedule a free home remodeling consultation where we can answer all of your questions about the process, design, and cost. New Call-to-action

Topics: Home Additions, Exterior Design, Exterior remodeling

2019 Costs for Home Additions in Rochester

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, Apr 29, 2019 @ 17:04 PM

When you’re considering an upgrade to your Rochester-area home, a small change can sometimes give you all you need. There are times, however, when a small change just isn’t enough. And while a home renovation can help you get the most out of the available space you have, sometimes you simply need more space. That’s when a home addition actually makes the most sense. What can you expect to spend to make that kind of improvement? Here’s a look at 2019 Costs for home additions in Rochester.

Let’s look at some of the costs for a few of the more common home additions as compiled in the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com). First, we'll provide a brief description of what's included in the project and then we'll follow with the cost you can expect to pay in the Rochester area.


Midrange Bathroom Addition

A midrange bathroom addition assumes adding a 6x8-foot bathroom over a crawlspace with poured concrete walls. Materials used would be a cultured-stone vanity top with molded sink; standard chrome faucets; a 30x60-inch white fiberglass tub/shower with ceramic tile surround; a single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced faucet; a white low-profile toilet; general and spotlighting; electrical wiring to code; a mirrored medicine cabinet; a  linen storage closet or cabinet; painted trim; and a ceramic tile floor.

Job Cost: $25,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 46% of your cost when you sell.

 

Upscale Bathroom Addition

For an upscale bathroom addition, the assumptions would be adding a new 100-square-foot master bath to an existing master bedroom over a crawlspace. It would also include a 42x42-inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls and an accent strip; a recessed shower caddy; body-spray fixtures; and a frameless glass enclosure. It would include installation of a freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets; a stone countertop with two sinks; two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting; a compartmentalized commode area with one-piece toilet; and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. It assumes the use of larger matching ceramic tiles on the floor, laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. General and spotlighting plus waterproof shower fixture would also be included. Cabinetry would include a custom drawer base and wall cabinets. The project would also assume extending HVAC access and installation of electric in-floor heating.

Job Cost: $38,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 46% of your cost when you sell.

 

Midrange Master Suite Addition

A midrange Master Suite addition would call for adding a 24x16-foot master bedroom suite over a crawlspace. Features would include a walk-in closet/dressing area; a freestanding soaker tub; a separate 3x4-foot ceramic tile shower; and double-bowl vanity with a solid-surface countertop. The floor of the bedroom would be carpeted. Tile would be installed in the bath. All walls, ceiling, and trim would be painted. Installation of general and spot lighting, and an exhaust fam are also included.

Job Cost: $90,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 58% of your cost when you sell.

 

Upscale Master Suite Addition

The assumptions for an upscale Master Suite addition include adding a 32x20-foot Master Bedroom Suite over a crawlspace. That would include a spacious sleeping area with lounging/sitting area adjacent to a large master bath. That space would include custom bookcases and built-in storage with millwork details; a high-end gas fireplace with stone hearth and custom mantle; and walk-in closet/dressing area with natural light, mirrors, and linen storage. It assumes the installation of French doors as well. The bathroom will include a walk-in shower with a dual-shower system; stone walls and floor; and a custom frameless glass enclosure. A freestanding soaker tub will also be installed. The bathroom also Includes two sinks in separate custom vanities with stone countertops and large mirrors. The builder will create a partitioned area for a luxury one-piece toilet. Outside the bath expect the installation of a 5-foot-long hospitality center with bar sink; under-counter refrigerator; custom cabinetry; stone countertop; and microwave. The project includes soundproofing; in-floor heating; custom wall finishes and hardware;  general and spotlighting; and high-end lighting controls.

Job Cost: $150,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 44% of your cost when you sell.

 

Photo by Willowood Homes

In-Law Addition 

If you're looking to create a space for your aging loved ones, an in-law addition is a great option. We can create an 800 sq. ft addition complete with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, dedicated laundry, a kitchenette, a seperate entrance, and a 3rd garage bay. 

Job Cost: $190,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 52% of your cost when you sell. 

 

Composite Deck Addition/Wood Deck Addition

This project includes the building of a 16x20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4x4-inch posts anchored to concrete piers. Then composite deck material will be installed in a simple linear pattern. That will include a built-in bench and a planter of the same decking material. The deck includes stairs and assumes three steps to grade. The deck will also have a complete railing using a matching system made of the same composite as the decking material. The specifications/assumptions for a wood deck are identical except that the finish material would be wood instead of composite material.

Job Cost (Composite): $20,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 54% of your cost when you sell.

Job Cost (Wood): $15,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 63% of your cost when you sell.

Keep in mind that the costs here are representative figures. The exact size of the project, the complexity, and the materials used can all impact the final cost. But these figures at least provide a benchmark to help you begin planning. 

 

What About Your Kitchen?

Your kitchen may well be the most-used room in your home. Perhaps the most common request Rochester homeowners have is to expand the size of their kitchen to better accommodate their needs for family use—and for entertaining. Sometimes that can be accomplished by redesigning existing space. In other cases, an addition may be required to deliver the space required. Wil the 2019 Cost vs Value Report doesn’t include figures for this specific kind of addition, we can help you calculate your costs. And if you're looking for an idea, you can download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen ebook.

If your family is growing, building an addition is a great solution for providing much needed living space in your home without the hassle of moving. You can learn more about our process by scheduling a free home remodeling consultation now!

 

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Topics: garage additions, Home Additions, second-floor additions, first-floor additions, Home Remodeling Costs