Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Avoiding Remodeling Regrets in Your Rochester-Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, Mar 4, 2019 @ 09:03 AM

Avoiding Remodeling Regrets in Your Rochester-Area HomeHow you think about remodeling your home depends a lot on your perspective. If you’re looking forward to the process, it can be fun and exciting (and even a bit overwhelming).  If you’re looking back on the process, you can either be delighted with the outcome—or you can have a case of buyer’s remorse because it didn’t turn out the way you planned.  Here’s a look at avoiding remodeling regrets in your Rochester-area home so that you’ll be happy with the outcome for years to come.

What Remodeling Veterans (Homeowners) Have to Say

A couple of years ago, Houzz.com did a survey of homeowners asking them to identify their biggest remodeling regrets. You can read all of the comments here, but let’s look at a few comments that are representative of the challenges many homeowners experienced.

  • Finding honest, reliable and talented contractors (which is more challenging than most people assume it will be)
  • Doing EXACTLY what you want when everything's torn apart, which is almost ALWAYS more cost effective on the front end than trying to do it later. It might cost you a few extra bucks, but spend it now to avoid regretting it later (and it will be more expensive if you can't live with it and want to change it in a year or two)
  • Not expecting it to come in on-time and on-budget. Expect it to be finished later than you thought and cost more than you thought.
  • The biggest mistake I made in the past was "settling" for something when I didn’t want to spend the extra money to get what I really wanted. So I purchased the less expensive item only to redo it later down the road because it was not really what I wanted and then I wasted even more money. [It’s better to] wait until you can buy what you really want, it will be so less expensive in the end.

Let’s look at those key issues in a bit more detail.

Who You Work With Matters

Finding honest, reliable and talented contractors.

So how do you go about selecting the “right” remodeler? Whether you’re remodeling or building a new home, it’s essential that you find a builder who is worthy of your trust. But how can you establish that? One good way is to talk to past clients and ask about their experience.
View More Client Tesimonials

Know What You Really Want (What’s Really Important)

Doing EXACTLY what you want

It’s important to have a clear idea about what you want your remodeling project to accomplish. You need to know exactly what you want and communicate it clearly to your remodeling contractor. And your remodeling company needs to make sure he or she listens carefully and understands exactly what you want. That’s why t’s so critical to work with a remodeler who listens to you.

Download the 2019 Cost Vs Value Report

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)  provides some Remodeling 101 suggestions. Organizing your ideas and plans is important for sure, plus part of the process involves prioritizing what’s most important to YOU. That helps you and your contractor creating the perfect plan for your remodeling project.

Set Realistic (and Flexible) Expectations

Not expecting it to come in on-time and on-budget
Gerber-Homes-Schedule-Your-Free-Home-Remodeling-Consultation-now

First of all, budgets and schedules are important. A reputable remodeling company should be able to provide you with a realistic budget for your project and should also be able to tell you (within reason) when your remodeling project will be completed. There are, however, a number of factors that can influence both your budget and your schedule.

Material prices can fluctuate. The popularity of certain items can cause prices to go up. So can scarcity. Custom-orders can impact both prices and schedules. Weather can sometimes cause delays.  Changes you make to the design or the materials can cause slowdowns as well. Sometimes you'll get something in your home (such as tile for a backsplash) that looked great in the showroom but just doesn't look right in your house. You're not going to want to settle for that (see below), but it can affect both the price and the schedule. You may have to be a little flexible. The same goes for your builder. While you don't want a project to go on for months beyond your projected completion date, it's generally worth it if things take a few days longer—in order to get them the way you want them.

One thing that makes setting realistic expectations difficult is that our emotions often get involved. That’s not a bad thing! As builders/remodelers, we want you to be excited about your home. Knowing what to expect and how to handle the process can make things a lot less stressful for you.

Don’t “Settle.” A Budget is a Tool, Not a Goal

The biggest mistake I made in the past was "settling" for something

Quite often, the reason homeowners “settle” for less than they want is because of the cost. Naturally, you want to be smart about how you spend your money. Setting a realistic budget is important. But keep in mind that your budget is a tool—it’s not your main goal. There are times when it’s worth spending a little bit more to get what you really want.

At Gerber Homes, we’ve been building and remodeling homes in the Greater Rochester area for almost 40 years. In all that time, I don’t recall a single incident in which a homeowner said, “I wish I hadn’t spent so much.”  On the other hand, we’ve heard plenty folks comment they wished they had spent “just a little more” to get what they really wanted. Chances are very good that you’ll live with your remodeling project for many years. Make sure you get what you really want. 

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Topics: Cost vs Value Report 2019, Remodeling Costs Rochester NY, Remodeling Contractor NY

New Home Communities in Rochester NY Area

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Feb 22, 2019 @ 14:02 PM

New Home Communities in Rochester NY AreaIf you’re considering building a new home in the Rochester area, you’ve no doubt heard the real estate mantra: “Location, location, location!” Where you build your home is as important as the style of home you build and choosing the right floor plan. But there’s much more to choosing your home’s location than just the physical coordinates on a map. Finding a community that feels like home is a big factor for many homeowners. So how do you find great new home communities in the Rochester, NY area?

What Makes a Great Rochester area Community?

When we at Gerber choose the locations in which we’d develop communities, we looked for towns and areas that would enhance the lives of the people living there. We chose locations that show a promising future for growth and development. Here’s a post that talks a bit more about the importance of a good community.

A Few Examples

Here are a few examples of local areas we reviewed before deciding that they were great candidates for developing communities.

  • Webster, NY has a vibrant Chamber of Commerce that carefully invites businesses that they feel will enhance the quality of life of the overall community. In addition, they created Town Center shopping as a place for the community to come together. Visitors from as far away as Toronto, Canada stop by Town Center on the bus to shop while on their way to the Finger Lakes region. But the townsfolk of Webster didn't stop there. The town earned the rank of Sports Town USA, boasting more ball fields per capita than any town around.  The addition of their Aquatic Center, Hockey Rink, Marching Band, and proximity to water recreation makes Webster a fun and inviting place to live. 
  • Canandaigua, NY and Victor, NY both offer so much to new residents.  They are both vibrant, growing communities that are close to businesses and shopping opportunities.  That eliminates long commutes—a real plus for quality of life.  And when it’s time for residents to relax, they have easy access to great areas such as Canandaigua Lake and the Wine Region not far from their doorsteps.

At Gerber Homes, we have been building new homes for more than 50 years.  But we do more than just construction. We study trends and patterns so that we have a pretty good idea where a new community will really blossom.  Among other things, we look for communities where people can:

  • Have the easiest commute to work
  • Live in a home that is tailor-made to fit their needs
  • Enjoy their leisure time with great access to outdoor activities and the amenities that make life comfortable and enjoyable

That’s why we’ve built in great New York communities such as:

  • Webster
  • Ontario
  • Victor
  • Canandaigua
  • Sodus
  • Marion
  • East Bloomfield
  • Huron
  • Perinton
  • Farmington,
  • Mendon
  • Walworth
  • Gorham
  • Fairhaven
  • Macedon
  • Rush
 

Click here for more information about these communities and for individual home sites.  You can also click here to take a look at just some of the floor plans that are available in these communities—whether you’re looking for a Colonial style home; a home with a first floor Master Bedroom; a patio home, or a home that features an in-law suite. Or, if you prefer, simply pick up the phone and call us at (888) 437-2373 with any questions you have.

Where you choose to live is important. And with Gerber, you have plenty of options regarding which community—and which kind of floor plan best fits your needs.

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Topics: New Home Communities Rochester NY, Communities in Rochester NY

Cost Versus Value for Your Rochester Remodeling Project

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Feb 17, 2019 @ 20:02 PM

Cost Versus Value for Your Rochester Remodeling ProjectIf you’ve decided it’s time to remodel your Rochester-area home there are a couple of major questions you’ll want to answer before you get too far into the process. The first question is so obvious that a lot of homeowners actually overlook it. What exactly do you want to accomplish with your remodeling project? Here’s a post that digs into that topic a bit.  The second big question you’ll face is what the project is going to cost you (and what kind of value will it bring)? Let’s take a closer look at cost versus value for your Rochester remodeling project.

Cost and Value Vary With the Project

Naturally, your specific costs will vary depending on the size and scope of your project. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular remodeling projects homeowners take on to improve their homes. The figures we’ll mention were compiled for the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com) for the Rochester, NY area.

Download the 2019 Cost Vs Value Report

A Midrange Minor Kitchen Remodel

Let’s assume you want to remodel your kitchen and you’re not looking to make huge changes. You’re really after a minor upgrade to make the kitchen brighter, more welcoming, and more enjoyable to use. In such a case the report assumes you have a functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinetry and countertops. You’ll leave the cabinet boxes in place but replace fronts with new shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts, and new hardware. This project calls for replacing your existing cooktop or oven range and slide-in refrigerator with new energy-efficient models. You’ll replace your laminate countertops and install a mid-priced sink and faucet. To that, you’ll add new resilient flooring. Then you’ll finish by painting the walls, trim, and ceiling.  On average, this type of project will cost $22,352 in the Rochester area. And if/when you sell your home you’ll recoup 67.6% of what you spent.

A Midrange Major Kitchen Remodel

Maybe you want to do a little more to your kitchen when you remodel and you’re looking at a major kitchen remodel. You’re not looking for luxury, so it’s still a midrange project—but there’s more involved. Once again, the report assumes you have a functional but outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen. But instead of resurfacing the cabinets, you want to install 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, including 3x5-foot Kitchen Island. You’ll install new laminate countertops and standard double-tub stainless- steel sink with standard single-lever faucet. The project will include an energy- efficient range with vented range hood, a built-in microwave, a dishwasher, garbage disposal, and custom lighting. You’ll also install new resilient flooring. Then you'll paint all the walls, trim, and ceiling. The average cost for this type of project around Rochester is $65,521. You’ll end up recouping 52.5% of your investment.

An Upscale Major Kitchen Remodel

Sometimes, what you really want to accomplish in your kitchen requires a major remodeling of the kitchen and the addition of upscale materials. In this kind of situation, the report assumes you’re starting with an outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen. This time, however, you’d replace the cabinets with 30 linear feet of top-of-the-line custom white cabinets that include built-in sliding shelves and other interior accessories. Instead of laminate countertops, you might opt for stone countertops with an imported ceramic- or glass-tile backsplash. Instead of a slide-in refrigerator, you’d select a built-in refrigerator. For cooking, you’d opt for a commercial-grade cooktop and vent hood, a wall oven, and a built-in microwave unit. You’d also install a high-end under-mount sink with designer faucets and a water filtration system. The plan calls for adding new general and task lighting, including low-voltage under-cabinet lights. For flooring, you'd install tile or similar flooring that looks like wood. This kind of project averages  $130,513 in the Rochester area. Your return on this investment would average 51.0%.

What About Putting On an Addition?

There may be times when you simply can't make the improvements you want within the parameters of your existing space. If that's the case, you’re looking at an addition to your home. Master Bathrooms are one of the more popular additions we do in Rochester. Let’s look at a couple of different approaches.

A Midrange Bathroom Addition

For a midrange bathroom addition, the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report assumes you’ll add a 6x8-foot bathroom over crawlspace with poured concrete walls. It also assumes installing a cultured-stone vanity top with molded sink and standard chrome faucets. For this project, the report uses a 30x60-inch white fiberglass tub/shower with ceramic tile surround, and a single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced faucet. The commode would be a white low-profile toilet. The project includes general and spot lighting, electrical wiring to code, a mirrored medicine cabinet, plus a linen storage closet or cabinet. It also includes the installation of a ceramic tile floor, as well as painting of all trim. The average cost for this project is $47,397 and it generates a 46.6% return on investment.

An Upscale Bathroom Addition

More luxurious, comfortable spa-like Master Bathrooms are also very popular. For this kind of project, the report assumes adding a new 100-square-foot master bath to an existing master bedroom over a crawlspace. This will include a 42x42-inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls. That comes with an accent strip, recessed shower caddy, body-spray fixtures, and a frameless glass enclosure. It also assumes installing a freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets, a stone countertop with two sinks, and two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting. For this project, you'd also include a compartmentalized commode area with one-piece toilet and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. Flooring consists of larger matching ceramic tiles—laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. A nice addition is electric in-floor heating. General and spot lighting and a waterproof shower fixture are also included. Your bathroom cabinetry would have a custom drawer base and wall cabinets. The plan assumes extending HVAC to the new room.  The average cost for this type of project in Rochester is $87,740 and it should provide a 45.7% return on investment.

Your Exact Costs Will Vary

The figures provided here make a certain number of assumptions. Your exact costs will depend on the size (square footage) of the project, the complexity of what you want to do, and on the specific materials you choose for finishes. Still, these figures provide a starting point for thinking through your budget. And speaking of budgets: Here’s a post that offers help for setting a realistic budget for your Rochester home—whether you’re building or remodeling.

There Is More To Cost and Value Than Just Financial ROI

Even though it’s helpful to look at average costs and projected return on investment for potential remodeling projects, it’s important to keep in mind that there is more to evaluating the value of your remodeling project that just the financial returns. The real reason to remodel has more to do with creating a home you love—one that adds comfort and convenience—and one that allows you to enjoy your particular lifestyle. Here’s a look at some of those “added values” that may be hard to measure in terms of dollars and cents.

© 2019 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

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Topics: Home Remodeling Rochester NY, Cost vs Value Report 2019, Remodeling Costs Rochester NY

Free Rent While You Build Your New Home!

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Feb 8, 2019 @ 10:02 AM

Free Rent While You Build Your New Home!Building a new home in the Greater Rochester area is an exciting endeavor. At the same time, there are a lot of things to think about and juggle. You’ll need to consider the location of your new home (Here’s a quick video that helps with that process!). Then you’ll want to evaluate which floor plan best meets your needs (Here’s another short video that walks you through some tips for doing that). One thing many homeowners don’t think about is where they are going to live while their home is being built—and how they’re going to pay for that. That’s where Gerber Homes really stands out! You can enjoy free rent while you build your new home!

Get FREE Rent While You Build

Here’s One Thing You Won’t Have to Worry About

Sometimes schedules just don’t align perfectly. We get that. Maybe you just sold your existing home and it closed before you expected. Or perhaps you’ve been renting while planning to build—and your landlord just informed you that there’s going to be a significant increase in rent. Or it could be that you’ve recently moved to the area for work and you simply haven’t had time to build—but you need a place to stay.

Our free-rent-while-you-build offer can take the pressure off of you and let you enjoy the building process without the added worry of figuring out a place to live.

You’ve Got Options—and Amenities

When you build with Gerber Homes you’ll have a number of free-rental options from which to choose. We feel privileged to offer families several different choices of places to stay in the area while their homes are being built. Here’s a look at your choices and the amenities each one offers.

Patriot-Corner2Patriot Corner Apartments

1260 Ridge Rd, Ontario, New York

Located off Ridge Road on Patriot Drive, our Patriot Corner Apartments offer a variety of features you won’t find in most run-of-the-mill apartment complexes. This complex features a fitness trail that circles two fishing ponds and its nature preserve area. If you choose this location, you’ll be able to observe wildlife at any time of year. Enjoy some of the best shopping and dining five minutes away in Webster!

Amenities:

  • Two bedroom apartments
  • Central gas heat and air conditioning
  • Refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and disposal
  • Wall to wall carpeting
  • Spacious rooms and closets (960 square feet)
  • Large kitchens with many cabinets
  • Laundry facilities on site
  • Ample parking
  • Outdoor cooking and picnic facilities
  • Nature trail with two ponds
  • Churches and shopping in close proximity
  • Close to Route 104
  • Quality energy efficient construction

Includes: free rent and free storage unit

Swiss-ChaletSwiss Chalet Apartments

222 Fayette Street, Palmyra, NY 14522

Our Swiss Chalet Apartments are located in a peaceful wooded setting with a pond that will allow you to experience a quiet rural setting that still gives you easy access to stores and churches within walking distance. And the Victor Malls are just 20 minutes away. A bonus is that the Erie Canal is just minutes away so your family can enjoy the new marina and hiking trail. 

Amenities: 

  • Two bedroom apartments
  • Ground level entry for each apartment
  • Gas heat and central air conditioning
  • Refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and disposal
  • Wall to wall carpeting
  • Spacious rooms and closets (1,000 square feet)
  • Laundry facilities on site
  • Garages Available (Limited Availability)
  • Ample parking
  • Churches and shopping in close proximity
  • Quality energy efficient construction

Includes: free rent and free storage unit

Seven_HearthsSeven Hearths Homestead
3635 Palmyra Rd, Marion, NY 14505

Seven Hearths Homestead is a charming community located directly off Route 21 in Marion, New York. The name of the complex comes from the original, historic land site. In fact, the first apartment building on the site was an old barn that had been converted into ten apartment units. That structure is now complemented by three additional apartment buildings. These apartments are all with walking distance of downtown Marion!

Amenities:

  • Electric baseboard heat
  • Fully carpeted
  • Wall unit air conditioning
  • Laundry facility on site
  • Convenient to Marion-Walworth Road (Route 441)
  • Beautiful country setting

Includes: free rent and free storage unit

If you’re looking forward to building a new home in the Greater Rochester area—and are interested in securing a great place to live rent-free while your home is being built, please click here to talk to us about your needs so that we can find a rent-free place to live while we build the home of your dreams!

Gerber-Homes-Get-Free-Rent-While-We-Build-Your-Home

Topics: New homes Rochester NY, Free Rent Rochester NY

It’s What’s On the Inside That Counts. Right? [Rochester-area Exterior Remodeling]

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Jan 16, 2019 @ 16:01 PM

It’s What’s On the Inside That Counts. Right?We’ve all heard that it’s what’s inside that really counts. But is that really right? Is it true that what people see from the outside is simply superficial? For a lot of the homeowners in the Rochester area, the outside appearance of their home is extremely important as well. In addition to making a home aesthetically appealing, exterior remodeling can add functionality, increased, comfort, and value to your home. Let’s look at some examples where what’s outside is just as important as what’s inside your home.

DoorsReplacing Doors

A new door is a cost-effective way to refresh the look of your home and increase its curb appeal. A new door, however, does more than just making your home more beautiful. Adding a new door can also improve your home's energy efficiency, provide better accessibility, and add a layer of security to your home. Plus, many homeowners are surprised to discover that replacing their front door provides one of the highest returns on investment of any remodeling project! Click here for a look at some fantastic entryways that can really dress up your Rochester home.

DecksAdding a Deck

Adding a deck to your home increases the useable living space in your home. It’s like having a whole extra room in warmer weather! And even when the weather turns cold, the visual impact can make the inside of your home feel larger. It's a great place to entertain or just hang out with the family. And it adds curb appeal—and value—to your home. Click here for some additional ideas on how you can enhance your deck.

PorchPutting on a Porch

Some homeowners prefer the closed-in feel of a screened-in porch. It’s a great way to blur the lines between outdoor living and indoor living. You can enjoy the fresh air and gentle breezes without the annoyance of fending off insects. It’s open, and yet, provides a bit of privacy. It expands your living and entertaining space. Also, a porch can let you enjoy being outside—even in a gentle rain. It also adds curb appeal and value to your existing home. Click here for some alternatives to putting on a porch.

Roofing-WindowsReplacing the Roof and Windows

You may not think of your roof as being a very sexy part of your home, but it’s so important. The same is true for your windows. Both of these external improvements can enhance your home's energy efficiency (and your level of comfort inside your home). New windows not only improve the appearance from the outside, but they can also improve the way things look on the inside. Today's windows tend to be larger—letting in more natural light. But they also keep out harmful UV rays. That’s important, given the popularity of open plan living spaces today.

SidingSuperior Siding

Replacing the siding on your home can make a dramatic improvement on your home’s appearance, but it delivers more than just good looks. It is essential to the integrity of your home's structure. It can increase the efficiency of your insulation, and help to maintain the structural integrity of your home. It can also reduce maintenance. All of those things add to your home’s value.

You may spend the majority of your time at home inside. But making improvements to the exterior of your home adds a lot of value and comfort—and makes your whole home more useable. Plus, there’s the added benefit of driving up to a home that looks fresh and welcoming.

Download-our-free-ebook-remodeling-a-house-creating-a-home

Topics: Exterior Remodeling Rochester NY, Rochester Home Renovations

How Your Rochester-Area Custom Home Values Differ Based on Age

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Jan 13, 2019 @ 14:01 PM

How Your Rochester-Area Custom Home Values Differ Based on AgeOur tastes, interests, and needs change depending on the season of life in which we find ourselves. Things that were incredibly important to us at one stage are often replaced by other things we value more. That’s certainly true when it comes to our homes. That’s why it’s important to understand how your Rochester-area custom home values differ based on age.

When it comes to choosing the home for a particular season in your life, the decisions you’ll make will probably depend less on style than they do on functionality, comfort, and convenience. That means you’ll want to consider a floor plan that fits your particular lifestyle.

What Are Your Space Needs?

A major consideration when building a home is just how much living space you will actually need (and how much you can afford). If you happen to be a young couple without children, you may not need as much space as a family with several kids. Generally speaking, if you’re a homeowner in your 20s you’re probably pretty adaptable. You can make do with less space. But as you move into your 30s, you may have other considerations; your family may be growing and you may have young children to think about. The house you build should take that into consideration.

If you are in your 40s there is a good chance you are dealing with older children, who may require more space in their bedrooms (or who may no longer be willing to share a bedroom). And choosing the right home means more than larger bedrooms for older kids. You may also find that you (and your kids) want separate spaces where you can entertain your respective friends, watch TV, or just have some “alone time.”

If you find yourself on the other end of the spectrum (say 50 years of age or above), you’ll want to consider how your needs will change as you mature. Increasing numbers of maturing Americans want to stay in their homes rather than move into retirement communities. If that reflects your desires, you’ll need to make sure the home you purchase will allow you to stay comfortably, conveniently, and safely for years to come. You may have other considerations at this point. You may find yourself working from home more, which could make a home office a necessity. Or you could find yourself caring for an aging parent. In that case, opting for a home with an “in-law apartment” could be an attractive option. Even if no one else moves in with you, you’ll have your own comfort to think of. You may want to look at a floor plan that offers single-level living so that you have everything you want and need on the main level.

How Long Do You Plan to Stay?

Regardless of what stage you’re at, you’ll want to consider how long you plan to stay in your Rochester home. It’s important to consider both your current needs and your future needs. And while nobody has a crystal ball that can predict exactly what their future needs may be, you’ll want to keep in mind that your needs will very likely change over time. That’s why, when considering potential floor plans you’ll want to keep potential life changes in mind before deciding on the plan that’s right for you.

Seasons of life change—and each one brings its own delights and challenges. Keeping one eye on your current needs while planning ahead for future needs is a bit of a balancing act. The good news is that you have lots of options.

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Topics: Custom Home Builder Ontario NY, Rochester Custom Home Value

Choosing Your Rochester Builder: The Step Too Few Homeowners Take

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Jan 10, 2019 @ 14:01 PM

Choosing Your Rochester Builder: The Step Too Few Homeowners TakeWhen it’s time to build your new Rochester-area home there are a number of important things you’ll need to consider. Deciding on the location for your new home is a big step. Getting your budget and financing in order is critical. Selecting the right floor plan is essential. One of the most important things you’ll decide on is which contractor you’ll use to actually build your home. Building a home isn’t an overnight experience—it’s a process that has significant implications. Having the right builder can make all the difference in the world. There are a number of steps involved in selecting your builder, and we’d like to highlight the step too few homeowners take when choosing a builder.

What Most Prospective Homeowners Get Right

Most people considering building a home know that they want to deal with a trustworthy, reliable builder. They want someone who has experience building the kind of home they want. They also want someone who is going to be there after construction is completed to stand behind the work that’s been done.

Obviously, you’ll want to check out work that the builder you’re considering has already done in the area. Chances are, you’ll want to look at a number of different projects to get a feel for the quality of work—and to glean ideas. Most builders will have examples of their work for you to review. You can take a look at a variety of our recent projects by visiting our new homes gallery.

Smart homebuyers also want to educate themselves about the homebuilding process and pick up information about how to make the right choices for the home they want to build. They want a home builder who offers helpful resources that highlight their options. Our Custom Home Guide eBook is a great source of helpful and useful information you’ll need before you begin the building process.

Savvy homebuyers also know that they should check for references of recent clients. Any reputable builder worth his hammer and saw will gladly provide you with multiple references for homes he’s built. That’s just standard practice

The One Step Many Potential Homebuilders Don’t Take

What’s surprising is how few people actually go to the effort to follow up on these references. A list of names, addresses, and phone numbers won’t really help you unless you actually do something with it. A lot of prospective buyers, however, skip this step. They don’t actually pick up the phone and talk to a former client and ask specific questions.

Why People Don’t Follow Up—And How to Ensure You Do

Some people find it a little awkward to call someone they don’t know and start asking them probing questions about their homebuilder. But if your potential builder gives you a name, he’s asked permission to do so. Plus, it’s your money and your future home that’s at stake. How else will you know if your builder really does what he says he does?

One reason many people don’t take this step is that they are unsure about what questions to ask. We get that. Most people don’t buy a new home every day. They may have a hard time coming up with questions that will provide the information they really want to know.

That’s why we’ve included a few suggestions here. You’ll notice that not all the questions are about the physical process of building. It’s important that you get a sense for what it’s like to work with and communicate with your builder. 

  • Would you use this builder again?
  • What were your builder’s best qualities?
  • Why did you choose this builder?
  • Did you feel that the builder had your best interests in mind?
  • Did your builder communicate clearly with you?
  • Did this builder demonstrate character and integrity during the project?
  • How well did the builder communicate change orders to you?
  • Did your builder treat you with respect?
  • What was the worst thing that happened during the project?  Was it resolved to your satisfaction?
  • What would you do differently if you were to start over?
  • Was your project completed on schedule?
  • Did the project come in on budget?
  • Did you ever have a time when you felt the builder was not being truthful?
  • Did your builder meet—or even exceed—your expectations?
  • What would you say were your builder's limitations or weaknesses?

You’ll probably come up with a few of your own, but at least these will get you started.

If you’re more of a visual learner, you may want to start with some short-but-helpful videos that explain some of the basics of the homebuilding process. Here are three videos you find useful.

The Homesite Selection Process - How Gerber Can Help!: Watch this video and learn first-hand from about the homesite selection process.

How to Pick the Right Floor Plan - Explainer Video: Picking the perfect floor plan for your family's needs when building a new home is very important! Here are some helpful tips to consider.

The Pre-Construction Process - Explainer Video: What happens before construction begins? With Gerber Homes, we strive to keep you in the loop throughout the entire process!

There are a lot of steps in the homebuilding process. But don’t forget to take the one step that can provide you with a real picture of what it will be like to work with your prospective builder. Talk to past clients and ask them pertinent questions. We hope the questions we’ve provided here make that process easier for you!

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Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom Home Builder Ontario NY

Tips For Keeping Your New Rochester Home Looking and Feeling Fantastic

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Dec 22, 2018 @ 12:12 PM

Tips-For-Keeping-Your_New-Rochester-Home-Looking-and-Feeling-FantasticIf you recently built a new home in the Rochester area, you’ll probably never forget the first time you walked in the door after everything was put away and the furniture was in place. Maybe you even thought to yourself: “I can’t believe we live here!” The good news is that with a little effort you can recapture that feeling—at least to a degree. Here are some tips for keeping your new Rochester home looking and feeling fantastic.

Proactive Protection

If you’ve purchased a new home, you’ve made a significant investment. And when you make that kind of investment, you want to protect your investment so that it retains its value—both in terms of financial return and in terms of the value your home provides in terms of comfort, convenience, and peace of mind.

But even the best-built homes can’t take care of themselves. They require proactive protection: action on your part as a homeowner. That doesn’t mean you have to devote all of your time to keep your house looking like a showcase. It does, however, require you to be aware of some key areas that need consideration and a minimal amount of elbow grease. Keep in mind that not every maintenance task has to happen at the same time. Let’s look at some key areas that you’ll want to keep an eye on—and also look at a plan for doing the maintenance.

Boring Can Be Beautiful

Sometimes the things that make your home warm, welcoming, comfortable, and convenient aren’t even things you see or think about all that much. And yet, even the most lavish home doesn’t feel like a great place if it’s too cold in the winter, or too hot in the summer. Even boring things have a beauty of their own! Here’s a look at some of the boring things that can matter a lot in your Rochester home.

That’s why you’ll want to make sure you stay up to date on maintenance for your HVAC system. Even something as simple as changing the filters on your furnace regularly during the winter months can help. Not only will your furnace run more efficiently, but you'll also keep dust and other allergens down.

How often should you change your filters? There’s no single answer that fits everyone. Some HVAC experts say to change them every three months. Others recommend changing them monthly in the winter. If you have pets, it’s not bad to do it more frequently to eliminate fur and dander. The best answer we’ve come across is: “Change filters when they’re dirty.” Of course, that means checking regularly (probably once a month). The thing is, that furnace filters are pretty inexpensive. Paying a few dollars a month to ensure clean air and efficient heating/cooling is probably worth it.

The same holds true with having your HVAC unit serviced. Chances are it won’t need much (if anything) in the first few years. But it’s cheap insurance. And it provides peace of mind. Once you’ve done it, you don’t have to think about it anymore.

Inspect And Clean

We all like to think that our houses are clean, but never underestimate the power of dirt! And even if you’re really good about keeping your home looking great, there are out-of-the-way places where dirt and dust can accumulate and cause problems. These aren’t places you have to keep spotless all the time, but accumulated dirt or dust can cause problems that may (eventually) require more intense maintenance. Here are some areas that need regular cleaning to keep things running smoothly.

  • Roofs/Gutters/Downspouts
  • Exhaust fans in all bathrooms
  • Range Hood fan in the kitchen
  • Refrigerator/Freezer coils (don’t forget the one in the garage!)
  • Dryer lint trap and exhaust
  • Fireplace flue

Seal and/or Treat

Some of the surfaces in your home may need to be resealed or treated to ensure that they hold up and continue to perform well (and to look great). For instance, if you’ve installed granite countertops, you’ll want to make sure that you keep them sealed. Different surfaces may require different types of sealing. Check the paperwork you received when your counters were installed. The good news is that this isn’t something you’ll need to do often (perhaps once every year or two). Doing it as recommended, however, means you’ll enjoy your countertops for a long, long time.

If you have tile floors, you’ll really want to keep an eye on the grout between the tiles. Once again, this kind of maintenance isn’t required frequently, but keeping an eye on things and keeping up with maintenance can keep your floor (or bathroom/shower tiles) looking like new.

Some hardwood floors require occasional treatment or sealing as well. Again, I’d encourage you to look at the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific flooring. If you don’t need it, don’t do it. But if it is recommended, following those recommendations can significantly extend the life of your flooring—as well as keep it looking great.

By the way, if you haven’t purchased a new home recently (but are considering doing so in the future), here’s a post that compares different types of flooring for your bathroom—including a look at typical maintenance.

Create a Plan

Chances are you’ve heard the well-known quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (author of The Little Prince): “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Simply having a goal of living in a well-maintained house won’t make it happen. You’ve got to have a plan.

One problem that many homeowners encounter is that there are a lot of details to think about. We’re all busy and it’s easy to overlook things. I’ve got good news for you: You don’t have to remember all the details and map out a plan. We’ve already done that for you!

Annual-Maintenance-Web-PageSimply click here to check out our Annual Maintenance for Your New Home Checklist that breaks down the essential maintenance tasks by season. You won’t have to try to remember what to do when—or wonder if you checked all of the things that you needed to check. It’s all laid out for you!

Some items occur more than once a year, so they’ll appear in two different places on this checklist. So even if you think to yourself: “Didn’t I just check the batteries on the smoke detectors?” you’ll be up to speed.

All of the items on the checklist are easy to do and don’t require much in the way of special skills or tools. The biggest part of home maintenance is simply staying on top of the condition of things and making sure they’re working properly. And if you find something that does need special attention, it’s almost always easier (and less expensive) to catch and fix the problem early.

Taking a little bit of time to stay on top of maintenance for your new Rochester home will ensure that your home will continue to look great and feel comfortable for years to come.  And taking care of these items in manageable amounts will mean you have time to enjoy time outside of your home as well—no matter what season we’re in!

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Topics: Home Maintenance Rochester NY, Annual Home Maintenance

Greater Rochester Area Schools You’ll Want to Know About

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Dec 1, 2018 @ 08:12 AM

Greater Rochester Area Schools You’ll Want to Know AboutAs home builders in the Rochester area, we obviously field a lot of questions about which floor plans make the most sense for individual homeowners.  And of course, people want to know about home features and which materials will serve them best when it comes for cabinets or flooring. But for a lot of homebuyers want to know about schools in the area. We understand how important that is, so let’s look at some greater Rochester area schools you’ll want to know about.

To make things a bit easier for you to evaluate, we’ll organize the information by school districts and communities—with specific schools listed under those categories. For additional information about individual schools, you can click on the link to the specific school district.

Rochester (Brighton Central School District)

The Brighton Central School District is a top-rated public school district located in Rochester, NY that has a student population of approximately 3,500 students in grades K-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1.

How The District Stacks Up

#1 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#8 of 675 in Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#10 of 692 in Safest School Districts New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#20 of 689 Districts with the Best Teachers in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#306 in Best High Schools in America in 2019 for Brighton High School by U.S. News and World Report

#45 in Best New York High Schools in 2019 for Brighton High School by U.S. News and World Report

#79 in Best STEM High Schools in 2019 for Brighton High School by U.S. News and World Report

Schools in the Brighton Central School District

Elementary Schools: French Road Elementary, Council Rock Primary School

Middle Schools: Twelve Corners Middle School

High School: Brighton High School

Webster (Webster Central School District)

The Webster Central School District is an outstanding public school district located in Webster, NY. It has over 8,000 students in grades PK, K-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1.

How the District Stacks Up

#8 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#24 of 680 Best School Districts for Athletes in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#77 of 689 Districts with the Best Teachers in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#80 of 675 in Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

Schools in the Webster Central School District

Elementary Schools: Plank Road North Elementary School, Plank Road South Elementary School, Klem Road North Elementary School, DeWitt Road Elementary School, Klem Road South Elementary School, Schlegel Road Elementary School, State Road Elementary School 

Middle Schools: Spry Middle School, Willink Middle School 

High School: Thomas High School, Webster-Schroeder High School  

Webster (Webster Central School District)

The Webster Central School District is an outstanding public school district located in Webster, NY with more than 8,000 students in grades PK, K-12 and a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1.

How the District Stacks Up

#8 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#24 of 680 Best School Districts for Athletes in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#77 of 689 Districts with the Best Teachers in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#80 of 675 in Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

Schools in the Webster Central School District

Elementary Schools: Plank Road North Elementary School, Plank Road South Elementary School, Klem Road North Elementary School, DeWitt Road Elementary School, Klem Road South Elementary School, Schlegel Road Elementary School, State Road Elementary School 

Middle Schools: Spry Middle School, Willink Middle School 

High SchoolsThomas High School, Webster-Schroeder High School 

Canandaigua (Canandaigua City School District)

The Canandaigua City School District is the leading public school district located in Canandaigua, NY with slightly more than 3,500 students in grades PK, K-12 and a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1.

How the District Stacks Up

#11 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#2 in Best School Districts in Ontario County for 2019 by Niche.com

#132 of 675 in Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#164 of 689 Districts with the Best Teachers in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#196 of 688 in Best Places to Teach in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

Schools in the Canandaigua City School District

Elementary Schools: Canandaigua Primary-Elementary School 

Middle Schools: Canandaigua Middle School 

High School: Canandaigua Academy 

Victor (Victor Central School District)

The Victor Central School District is an unparalleled public school district located in Victor, NY with fewer than 4,500 students in grades PK, K-12 and a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1.

How the District Stacks Up

#6 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#1 in Best School Districts in Ontario County for 2019 by Niche.com

#1 of 680 Best School Districts for Athletes in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#30 of 692 in Safest School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#62 of 675 in Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

Schools in the Victor Central School District

Elementary Schools: Victor Primary School, Victor Intermediate School, Victor Early Childhood School

Middle Schools: Victor Junior High School

High School: Victor Senior High School 

Fairport (Fairport Central School District)

The  Fairport Central School District is a highly rated public school district located in Fairport, NY that is home to nearly 6,000 students in grades K-12 and has a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1.

How the District Stacks Up

#7 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#61 of 689 Districts with the Best Teachers in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#78 of 675 Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#44 of 680 Best School Districts for Athletes in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

Schools in the Fairport Central School District

Elementary Schools: Brooks Hill School, Jefferson Avenue Elementary School, Northside School, Dudley School

Middle Schools: Martha Brown Middle School, Johanna Perrin Middle School 

High School: Fairport High School, Minerva Deland School 

Ontario (Wayne Central School District)

The  Wayne Central School District is a highly regarded public school district located in Ontario, NY that has just over 2,000 students in grades K-12 and a student-teacher ratio of 10 to 1.

How the District Stacks Up

#7 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#3 in Best School Districts in Wayne County for 2019 by Niche.com

#291 of 675 Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#243 of 680 Best School Districts for Athletes in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

Schools in the Wayne Central School District

Elementary Schools: Ontario Elementary School, Ontario Primary School

Middle Schools: Wayne Central Middle School 

High School: Wayne Senior High School

Pittsford (Pittsford Central School District)

The Pittsford Central School District is an exceptional public school district located in Pittsford, NY with just over 5,500 students in grades K-12 and a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1.

How the District Stacks Up

#2 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#16 of 675 Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#22 of 692 Safest School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#28 of 680 Best School Districts for Athletes in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#161 in Best U.S. High Schools in 2019 for Pittsford Sutherland High School by U.S. News and World Report

#23 in Best New York High Schools in 2019 for Pittsford Sutherland High School by U.S. News and World Report

#78 in Best STEM High Schools in 2019 for Pittsford Sutherland High School by U.S. News and World Report

#108 in Best U.S. High School in 2019 for Pittsford-Mendon High School by U.S. News and World Report 

#18 in Best New York High Schools in 2019 for Pittsford-Mendon High School by U.S. News and World Report

#157 Best STEM High Schools in 2019 for Pittsford-Mendon High School by U.S. News and World Report

Schools in the Pittsford Central School District

Elementary Schools: Jefferson Road Elementary School, Thornell Road School, Allen Creek School, Mendon Center Elementary School, Park Road School

Middle Schools: Barker Road Middle School

High School: Pittsford-Mendon High School, Pittsford Sutherland High School 

Penfield (Penfield Central School District)

The Penfield Central School District is a superior public school district located in Rochester, NY with just under 4,500 students enrolled in grades K-12 and a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1.

How the District Stacks Up

#3 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#19 of 689 Districts with the Best Teachers in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#28 of 675 Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#29 of 680 Best School Districts for Athletes in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#108 in Best High Schools in New York for 2017 for Penfield Senior High School by U.S. News and World Report

Schools in the Penfield Central School District

Elementary Schools: Scribner Road Elementary School, Cobbles Elementary School, Harris Hill Elementary School, Indian Landing Elementary School 

Middle Schools: Bay Trail Middle School 

High School: Penfield Senior High School

Honeoye Falls (Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District)

The Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District is a top-rated public school district located in Honeoye Falls, NY that hoses slightly more than2,000 students in grades K-12 and has a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1

How the District Stacks Up

#4 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#64 of 689 Districts with the Best Teachers in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#57 of 675 Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#68 of 680 Best School Districts for Athletes in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#371 in Best U.S. High Schools in 2019 for Honeoye Falls-Lima Senior High School by U.S. News and World Report

#51 in Best High Schools in New York in 2019 for Honeoye Falls-Lima Senior High School by U.S. News and World Report

Schools in the Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District

Elementary Schools: Manor Intermediate School, Lima Elementary School

Middle Schools: Honeoye Falls-Lima Middle School

High School: Honeoye Falls-Lima Senior High School 

West Irondequoit (West Irondequoit Central School District)

The  West Irondequoit Central School District is a top-notch public school district located in Rochester, NY with 3,526 students in attendance in grades K-12 and a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1.

How the District Stacks Up

#5 in Best School Districts in the Greater Rochester area for 2019 by Niche.com

#40 of 689 Districts with the Best Teachers in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#59 of 675 Best School Districts in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

#102 of 680 Best School Districts for Athletes in New York for 2019 by Niche.com

Schools in the West Irondequoit Central School District

Elementary Schools: Southlawn School, Seneca School, Rogers Middle School, Iroquois Middle School, Colebrook School, Briarwood School, Listwood Elementary School, Brookview School 

Middle Schools: Dake Junior High School 

High School: Irondequoit High School

While we haven’t covered every single school in the Greater Rochester area, this list gives you a pretty good idea of the quality and availability of great schools in many areas where you might consider building a home. We understand the importance of building your dream home at a location that fits your lifestyle and family needs. That’s why we offer our customers, communities in the most sought-after Rochester and Surrounding Area Locations. Gerber Homes is one of the largest Rochester & Finger Lakes Area Homebuilders with Communities in Wayne, Ontario, and Eastern Monroe Counties.

Gerber-Homes-greater-rochester-home-buyers-guide

Topics: Greater Rochester Schools, Rochester NY School Districts, Canandaigua NY Schools, Fairport NY Schools, Pittsford NY Central School District, Penfield NY Schools, Irondequoit NY Schools, Webster NY Schools, Victor NY School District, Ontario NY Schools, Honeoye Falls NY School District

What Does It Really Mean to Build a Custom Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Nov 25, 2018 @ 10:11 AM

What Does It Really Mean to Build a Custom Home?Often, when people think about custom homes, their thoughts turn toward luxury features. Images of expensive stonework, exotic woods, and gold-plated bathroom fixtures come to mind. But what does it really mean to build a custom home?

There’s More to Custom Homes Than Spending More Money

While it’s true that you’ll spend more for a custom home than you will for a “production” home, the custom home building experience really isn’t about opulence—it’s about customization. That means building a Rochester-area home that fits your family’s lifestyle like a glove. It means designing the space and the look of the home so that it reflects your personal sense of style—and the way you live and entertain.

Just because you’re building a custom home doesn’t mean writing a blank check. You still have to pay attention to your budget. Here’s an article that cautions about some of the surprising places that your Rochester custom home could cost more—and how to prepare for those surprises.

What Custom (Can) Look Like

Let’s look at a few areas in your home where having a custom home looks a little different. Perhaps the best way to do that is to actually show you examples of custom homes we’ve built for our clients.

What-Does-It-Mean-to-Build-CUSTOM-2Here’s a Great Room in a custom home we recently built. You’ll notice that there’s nothing “typical” about it, from the woodwork and lighting in the Great Room ceiling to the unique fireplace and the stunning hardwood floors. It’s light and bright and open (making it a great place to entertain). And even though it’s an open floor plan, there are design elements to clearly delineate between the Great Room and the kitchen/dining area.

Kitchen-1Here's a closer look at the kitchen in the same home. Even the cabinetry in this kitchen is unique—reflecting the homeowners' personal style and preference. And you can tell from the range and hood that this is a family that enjoys cooking. Your particular kitchen might not be outfitted with appliances for gourmet cooking, but this gives you an idea of the possibilities. This family wanted a kitchen island that accommodates food prep and casual dining. You might choose something different.

Master-BathThe Master Bathroom is another area where custom homeowners like to include something a little different. You can see some of the custom touches in the bathroom cabinets and countertops. There’s also a walk-in shower (with large shower head). You could also add features such as a steam shower, or heated flooring for those cold Rochester mornings.  Another custom feature that’s become popular is having the toilet closed off from the rest of the bathroom.

What-Does-It-Mean-to-Build-CUSTOM-3Here’s a Master Bedroom in a custom home that looks a little different than what you’d find in a standard “production” home.  Notice the unique ceiling that ads depth and visual space to the room. If this were your home, you might choose to extend the room to include a larger reading area—or perhaps include a built-in audio/visual center that hides away when it’s not in use.

 

LocationSometimes the location and lot you chose is one of the most significant custom elements of your home. You can see from this image that the custom home we built takes advantage of fantastic views of open space—including a pond in the back. It's no wonder that these homeowners opted for full-length doors at the back of the home that leads out onto a patio that lets them enjoy the scenery.

 

 

Want to See More?

Click here if you’d like to take a virtual tour of another custom home we recently built for Homearama 2018. It provides you with more ideas of ways you can make your home uniquely yours.

You Have Choices

At Gerber Homes, we offer a wide variety of great floor plans that may be exactly what you’re looking for. If one of those floor plans meets your needs, that’s great. But if you’re after something more specific—a design that really reflects your personal sense of style and lifestyle, I’d encourage you to download our free Custom Home Guide that will walk you through the particulars of setting a budget, selecting your building team, finding the right home site, negotiating the contract, and actually designing the home of your dreams!

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Topics: Custom Home Building Rochester NY, Custom Home Builder Ontario NY

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