Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Oct 17, 2018 @ 10:10 AM

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_1Sometimes a remodeling of your Rochester-area home involves a bit of a cosmetic “face-lift.” Perhaps you want to make your family room a little brighter. Or you may decide to reorganize your kitchen so that it’s more efficient. Maybe you want to take advantage of unused space in your basement or attic to give your family more living space. There are times, however, when remodeling is more than just freshening up your home. We’d like to walk you through a recent remodeling project we worked on in 2018 that started (literally) from the ground up.

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_2Clearing the Way

To be honest, before we could do anything else, we had to remove the existing home in order to begin construction on the new home. That meant not only demolishing the old home, but also removing the existing foundation.

 

 

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_3Setting a Firm Foundation

Because the home was a complete redesign, we started with a brand new foundation. As you can see, there's more involved than just digging a hole and pouring concrete. It takes a bit more time, but it's the right way to do it!

 

 

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_4Focus on Framing

Here’s where it actually starts looking like we’re building a house! What you don’t see in this image is the insulation and siding that help make this an energy- efficient home. We take energy-efficiency seriously in the way we build—and in keeping our clients aware of new developments.

 

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_5The Not-So-Sexy Stuff

Some of the most critical parts of the building/remodeling process involve things that aren’t all that sexy at first glance. Who really gets excited about ductwork and HVAC systems? Actually, we do, because they play a huge role in making sure that your new home is comfortable (without costing you a fortune in utility payments).

 

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_6Homeowner Involvement

We know how important it is for you to be involved in something as personal and critical as your home. That’s why we keep you in the loop during the process. We even have some suggestions on how you can be effectively involved in what’s going on.

 

 

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_7Finishing Well

Choosing the right finishes is an important part of the process. That includes selecting things such as cabinets and flooring. It’s also fun and exciting to see an important room such as the kitchen taking shape before your eyes. Because the kitchen is so important, you’ll want to make sure you take the time to research and plan the ideal kitchen before you begin construction. Click here for a great resource that can help you do that.

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_8Exterior Touches

While things are taking shape inside the home, there are still exterior touches that are being added. Pouring concrete and adding stone finishes help add that touch of substance and make your home look “finished.”

 

 

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_9Move-in Ready

Finally! After a lot of preparation, heavy lifting, and times when progress seemed slow (even though it was necessary), you're ready to move into your newly finished—and beautiful home.

 

 

Good News! It Won’t Always Look Like a War Zone!

There are a lot of elements that go into the process of remodeling or building a new home. There may be times when you come out to look at the project and it will look more like a war zone than a home. That’s a normal part of the process. The good news is that it won’t always look that way—and we think you’ll be delighted with the finished product!

By way of proof, here’s a look at some of the finished rooms from this house we’ve been talking about.

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_10Here’s the finished Great Room.

It looks a lot different with all the finishes completed and the fixtures in place. Imagine what it will look like with rugs, furniture, and people!

 

 

 

 

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_11Here’s the Kitchen.

It may not have looked all that inviting before all the cabinets where in place and the hardware had been put on. But with those things completed, new flooring in place, and great lighting, it’s a warm and welcoming space! Look at how bright and open it is.

 

 

 

When Remodeling Is More Than Just Freshening Up Your Home_12The Inside Even Looks Good From the Outside.

Here’s another look at the kitchen through the patio door. A beautiful exterior gives way to a glowing interior that invites family and friends inside!

This is when you look back and realize you're glad that you took the time to plan ahead. And you’re also glad you worked with a trusted builder/remodeler who took your wishes, ideas, and dreams and helped you achieve them!

 

 

There are a lot of phases of the building/remodeling process that we didn’t cover. And we just scratched the surface of what we did talk about. We offer helpful resources to answer your questions whether you're planning a kitchen remodel, a bathroom remodel or a whole home renovation. We’d love to help you through the process so that you can enjoy the home of your dreams!

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

Topics: Rochester Remodeling, Remodeling Project Irondequoit NY

Winter is the Perfect Time to Be Thinking about Summer Lake!

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 @ 17:10 PM

Summer Lake-2-548283-editedThe calendar may tell you that it’s winter, but if you’ve ever dreamed about owning a home on the lake in the Ontario area, now is the perfect time to be thinking about Summer Lake! 

Just a mile and a half from Webster, you’ll find Summer Lake, our newest quality community. If you’re looking for room to spread out, you’ll enjoy up to half- acre home sites that are available now and ready for building.  Add to that beautiful views (most sites have a view of nearby Lake Ontario), a quick 10-minute drive to great shopping, and delightful lake breezes in the summer, and it’s hard to imagine a better, more tranquil spot to build an affordable new home.

The town of Ontario, on the south bank of Lake Ontario, dates back to 1807. Its modest population of about 10,000 residents captures and retains that small town feel that so many families are looking for. Ontario is a close-knit community with top-notch academic opportunities for students in grades K–12.

But why think about Summer Lake in the middle of winter? Building your new home isn’t just an activity—it’s a process. The cold winter months are a great time to think through exactly what you want in your new home and to look over designs and plans to settle on the floor plan that fits your specific taste and lifestyle. Starting to think about that process now gives you more time to ask your builder questions and to make sure that you and your builder are on the same page. That will make the construction part of the process go that much more smoothly.

 Lake-Ontario-NY, Ontario-NY, Summer-Home, Build-your-dream-home

Those summer breezes will be blowing off the lake before you know it! For more information, contact Leanne at leanne@gerberhomes.com or give her a call at 888-437-2373.

 

 

Created on 05/18/12 at 13:26:28

Topics: Ontario NY, Lake Ontario NY, Build your dream home, Summer Home

Essentials for Evaluating the Suitability of a Model Home

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Sep 22, 2018 @ 23:09 PM

Essentials for Evaluating the Suitability of a Model HomePeople looking for a home in the greater Rochester area often assume that they either have to choose an existing home that's on the market or build from the ground up. While both of those may be good options for some people, there is another option: Purchasing a model home. Could that be a good option for you? Let’s take a look at some of the essentials for evaluating the suitability of a model home for your family’s needs.

Location

Location

We all know about the importance of location when choosing a home. Where you choose to live is every bit as important as the kind of home you choose to live in. Choosing the location of your home can be a little tricky. Sure, you can get a feel for how far it is from important locations such as schools, shopping, and other family activities. But that’s only part of the picture.

If you’re purchasing an existing home, you can get a bit of a sense for the existing community. But what if you want a newer home? If you’re building a brand new home, it’s a little harder to do that because if the homes are being built it can be hard to visualize what the community will look like. With a model home, you’ll often have the ability to see the community that is developing around it. We build homes in a variety of different communities in the greater Rochester area and we have model homes in numerous communities. Click here for a look at the communities you can visit and actually walk through a model home.

More Bang for Your Buck

More Bang for Your Buck

I’ll let you in on a little secret. When builders build a model home they like to show off just a little bit. OK, that’s really not a big secret, but it’s true. We builders use model homes as showcases. That means we tend to put our best foot forward. A model home will often have upgraded floor plans. It’s likely to have upgraded finishes for flooring, cabinets, and countertops. What that means is that you can get top-of-the-line materials and design for a great price. Builders also tend to use interior designers to decorate the interiors of model homes. And while you won’t get to keep the furniture and pictures they use to stage the model, you’ll still get the benefit of having had a professional’s touch in color-coordinating things. You can also tap into a professional’s design flair by taking pictures of the staged home and then adapting that interior look to your personal tastes.  That’s one of the things that taking a visual tour can really help.

Availability

Availability

What can you do when you have your heart set on a new home—but simply don’t have the time to wait? That’s where a model home can really shine. You may need to make a move quickly for a number of reasons:

  • You could be relocating to take a new job.
  • You could have an addition to your family on the way.
  • Maybe you have mature parents moving in with you that you weren’t planning on.

Building a brand-new home takes time, and involves a lot of decisions up front and during the building process. With a model home, you don’t have to make a lot of those choices. Plus, the home is already built. That means a faster move-in time frame. We regularly post listings of available model homes that you can either visit in person or visit online with a virtual tour.

Eliminate Guesswork

Eliminate Guesswork

For some people, one of the toughest things about building a new home is visualizing how things are going to look. Some potential homeowners can look at floor plans and see the end results in their minds. For others, the floor plans are just lines and numbers on a piece of paper. It’s hard for them to envision the end result. With a model home, you can actually walk through every room in the house. Not only do you then get to experience what each individual room looks and feels like—you also get a sense of the flow of the entire house. You can experience what it's like to move from the kitchen to the family room. You'll have a first-hand look at how each bedroom is set up. You'll know what it feels like to take linens from the bedrooms to the laundry.

Even if you decide that you still want to build, taking the time to tour a model home is a valuable experience. Model homes can help you take the guesswork out of choosing a home that’s right for you and your family.

Take Advantage of Trends

Take Advantage of Trends

I mentioned above that builders often use model homes to showcase their craftsmanship. Another thing that model homes are good for is to introduce potential homebuyers to new homebuilding trends. While we try to keep prospective clients abreast of new trends that will make their homes more comfortable and convenient, there’s nothing quite like seeing it for yourself. So if you buy a model home, you’re probably buying something that’s in step with the latest home design trends. That makes it more enjoyable for you—and it also means more value later on if you should decide to sell your home.

What If You’re Not Sure That New Is Right For You?

What If You’re Not Sure That New Is Right For You?

Building a brand new home isn't the right answer for everyone. If you're trying to figure out if it's right for you, visiting a model can help answer some of those questions because you'll see things first-hand (without having to look past other peoples' "stuff" in an occupied home. If you'd like some additional insights, here’s a helpful post that delves into the topic in a bit more detail.

 

John-Explains-Video-Series

Topics: Purchasing a Model Home, Rochester Home Builder

Are You Dreading the Holiday Season Because Your Kitchen is Outdated?

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 @ 20:09 PM

HolidaysThe holidays are a time when a lot of us enjoy having friends and family get together for a great time and a great meal. For some of us, however, the joy gives way to dread because we’re really not comfortable in our own kitchens.

There are generally two main causes of kitchen discomfort: Either our kitchens don’t look the way we want them to (and we’re a little bit self-conscious of having guests hang out there), or our kitchens don’t function the way we’d like. Let’s take a quick look at both scenarios.

Ugly Kitchen

Dealing With a Kitchen That Doesn’t Look Good

When your kitchen doesn’t look good, you simply don’t want people in there. But keeping guests out of the kitchen over the holidays is virtually impossible. It’s where everybody congregates; and if you’re the host or hostess, it’s where you’re going to spend a significant amount of time.

What can you do with a kitchen that’s dated, dark, or crowded? Simply changing your color scheme isn’t going to give you the results you want. New cabinets and countertops can dramatically change the look (and feel) of your kitchen. Adding larger windows or even a glass door can let in a lot more natural light and make the room feel bigger and more inviting.

Small Kitchen

Fixing a Dysfunctional Kitchen

Sometimes an existing kitchen simply isn’t designed to be a space for efficient food prep and entertaining. With a remodel, you can start from scratch and create a kitchen to match your needs and style. It’s a bit more involved (especially if it involves moving walls) but the impact can be remarkable. With a remodeling project, you can open up the kitchen to the rest of your home. Opening up a kitchen can increase the visual size and feel of the whole first floor—making it brighter and more functional. 

Image 3

Kitchens that maximize your space and are welcoming places for family and friends don’t just happen. You have to create them. If you’d like help in creating a space where you’ll love to cook, eat, and entertain, download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen eBook. It’s packed with information about how to design a kitchen to fit your personal style; how to get what you really want from a kitchen, and how to plan ahead for your kitchen remodel.

Image 5-1

You don’t have to dread the time you spend in your kitchen over the holiday. You can create the kitchen of your dreams with a little planning and help from a professional.

designing-your-ideal-kitchen

Topics: Rochester Area Home Remodeling, Rochester kitchen remodeling, update Rochester-area kitchen

Your Guide to Building Truly Custom in the Fingerlakes Region

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 @ 18:08 PM

Your Guide to Building Truly Custom in the Fingerlakes RegionWhat makes a custom home truly custom? Often people think of luxury features. But a custom home is more than just luxury. Some people think of high-end appliances or top-of-the-line finishes. Those are nice things, but they don’t necessarily make a home a custom home. Here’s your guide to building truly custom in the Fingerlakes region.

Customize What’s Important For You and Your Lifestyle

A custom home is really about comfort, convenience, and design that are customized for the way your family lives. Your family isn’t like every other family in the neighborhood. Your home doesn’t have to be like every other home in the neighborhood, either. There are numerous ways you can customize your Fingerlakes region home, but here are some of the key areas you might want to tackle first. Some homeowners find it helpful to look over existing floor plans to get an idea of the flow they want in their homes. We offer a wide variety of floor plans that are ideal for that purpose. You can customize these plans, or you can simply use them as a starting point to create a completely custom plan.

Floor Plans

Every great custom home begins with a great floor plan. A floor plan helps you organize all the various parts of your home in a way that makes the most sense for you. That includes the size of your home (how many square feet you’ll have); the arrangement of the rooms (do you want sleeping quarters upstairs for peace and quiet or are you after single-level living); and it get’s down to the specific design of individual rooms. Here’s a helpful, short video that can help you pick the right floor plan for your home.

Once you have your general plan in mind, you can begin to focus on specific rooms or areas within your home. Let’s take a look at some of the most important rooms to consider.

KitchenKitchen

Here’s a picture of a kitchen in a home we recently built. You’ll notice it’s very open and provides a lot of natural light—and lots of space for entertaining, cooking, and even casual family meals at the island. Is that the right design and style for you? That depends on your needs and tastes. And that’s the beauty of a custom home.

With a custom home, you don’t have to settle for the same thing you’ll find in every other home.  You’ll have the ability to create a kitchen that fits your lifestyle and personality. So what is your kitchen personality? Here’s a great post that shows you how to determine your kitchen personality and match your kitchen to your persona! Whether you're a gourmet cook or like to host casual parties, you can create what you want.

BathoomBathroom

Your guests may never see your master bathroom, but it’s a very special—and important place. When you build a custom home, you can add the features that are most important to you. That might be an oversized walk-in shower. Or it could include dual sinks to make getting ready for your day easier and more comfortable. You might even want to include a nice soaking tub for “de-stressing” at the end of the day. It’s up to you! Here’s an article that talks about the advantage of showers or tubs in the bathroom. But you might want both! With a custom plan, you can design your bathroom the way you want—including things such as cabinets, flooring, and even storage.

Family-RoomFamily Room

Next to your kitchen, your family room may be one of the most important social rooms for your family and your guests. The family room you see in this custom home is open to the kitchen and the dining room. Open floor plans remain extremely popular (and here’s an article that looks at some of the reasons why that’s still true). In this particular family room, the customization even extends to the ceiling. Not only is the woodwork on the ceiling striking, but it also helps define and set apart the family room—something that’s really important in homes with an open floor plan.

Master-BedroomMaster Bedroom

The master bedroom in your home is a place of retreat and privacy. It's a very personal room. When building a custom home you have the ability to have this room create an atmosphere that's calm, relaxing, and inviting. You can build in elements that are both visually and physically comfortable and relaxing. That can include anything from windows that let in a lot of natural light, to flooring, or a reading space, or even a space for a television that tucks away when it's not in use. You’ll even want to consider where to locate your master bedroom to create the kind of room you want. Here’s a look at some pros and cons of different options.

Outdoor-LivingOutdoor Living

Sometimes the space just outside your walls is just as important as the space inside your walls. We’ve observed a trend over the past few years that has homeowners taking advantage of outdoor space as an extension of their indoor living space. Here’s an article that explores that a bit more in depth. When you build a custom home, you can customize your deck as well. You don’t have to settle for a simple rectangle where you can set up a few chairs. You might choose to put a roof over your deck (or part of it as seen in this custom home we built). You might want to build an outdoor kitchen with gas range, refrigerator, and dining space. Or you might want to build a deck that allows you to soak in a hot tub whenever you want.

Those are just a few of the ways you can create a custom home that meets your wants, needs, and desires. Other options might include a media room for watching movies, sports, or for gaming. Perhaps you want to build in a fully functional home office. Maybe a dedicated craft room or a home gym is what you want. Or you might want a garage that has space for a workshop. All of these things are what makes a custom home unique. You can build your home around your needs, your interests, and your lifestyle.

Download-our-Custom-Home-Guide

 

Topics: Rochester custom homes, Buidling Custom in the Fingerlakes Region

Building a Custom Home in the Rochester Area: What to Do Before You Start

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Aug 23, 2018 @ 16:08 PM

Gerber-Homes-Custom-Home-Builder-in-Rochester-2Building a custom home is an exciting adventure. It’s easy to get caught up in that excitement and jump into the myriad details that are part of the process. There are some important things to do before you focus on color schemes, cabinet finishes, flooring, and kitchen fixtures. If you’re building a custom home in the Rochester area, here’s what to do before you start. Paying attention to these things up front will help you deal with all the details that follow—and will help you end up with the home you really want.

John-Explains-Video-Series

Make Sure Your Home Fits Your Lifestyle

As you drive around neighborhoods in the Fingerlakes region, 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.

The big question you need to ask is, “What kind of home fits your lifestyle?” Do you prefer multi-level living, or do you want to keep everything on one level? Is a walkout basement important to you? Do you plan to entertain frequently? Are you in a “kid-centric” phase of life, or are you looking for a more “mature” style? When it comes to building a custom home, it’s definitely not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. Here’s a post that explores how to select the kind of home that fits your family’s lifestyle.

Once you decide on the basic style you like, you’ll find that there are a variety of different floor plans from which to choose (We offer nine different floor plans for Colonial-style homes alone! You can check them out here).

How Much Do You Want to Customize?

Basic floor plans can help you visualize how the space in your home will be set up. They can give you a good idea of how life in your new home will flow from room to room. But what if that flow or arrangement doesn't quite reflect what you want? That's' where customization comes in. You can take a basic floor plan and make modifications so that it better suits your specific tastes and needs. It is, however, essential that you make plans for those adjustments and customizations before construction begins. Otherwise, you can be looking at significant changes in cost. That can also cause delays to your schedule. Here’s an article that talks about that in more detail.

Think About Where You Want to Live

We’ve built homes in Perinton, Webster, Canandaigua, Ontario, Victor, and numerous other communities in the area. Your choice may be influenced by the neighborhood, the schools in the area, the privacy level, your commute to work—or a host of other factors. We invite you to take a virtual visit to the communities where we build homes to see which one might suit you best.

Educate Yourself About the Process

Once you’ve firmed up the style of home you want and where you might like to live, you’re ready for your next steps. 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.

Download-our-Custom-Home-Guide

 

Topics: Custom Homes, Rochester Area Custom Home Builder

Which Remodeling Trends Matter Most For Your Rochester Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Aug 1, 2018 @ 08:08 AM

Which Remodeling Trends Matter Most For Your Rochester Home?Every year industry experts talk about the newest trends in the remodeling industry. You’ll hear about these trends on home improvement sites such as houzz.com or on remodeling shows on television. A lot of what you’ll hear or read tends to focus on interior design: What are the “hot” colors this year? What kinds of backsplash materials are “in?” Which hardware finishes are most popular?  Those are all interesting and important items to consider, but which remodeling trends matter most for your Rochester home?

I’d like to suggest that real remodeling trends—ones that have staying power—focus more on functionality and changes that come about in response to homeowners’ changing lifestyles.  Let’s look at a few of these kinds of remodeling trends in some key areas of your Rochester home.

Kitchen Trends

Kitchens have changed dramatically over the years. They’re no longer simply spaces for food preparation. These days, people use them for entertaining, cooking, casual dining, and even family meetings. While color changes and finishes may constantly change, one trend that seems to have great staying power is the use of kitchen islands as a major feature in kitchens because they lend themselves to multiple uses. Take a look at some of the kitchen projects we’ve worked on recently.

Bathroom Trends

Bathrooms are kind of a big deal in today’s homes. There’s a good reason for that. This is a room you use multiple times a day. It’s where you get ready to meet the challenges of the day and it’s also a place you relax at the end of the day. A couple of trends in bathrooms have been to make them more comfortable and functional. That means dual sinks and more space for getting ready in the morning. And when it comes to comfort, many homeowners have replaced old conventional tubs (and even whirlpools) with elegant soaking tubs and spacious showers that enhance relaxation. Here’s a look at some of the things you’ll want to consider as you plan your bathroom remodel.

Interior Trends

Even though open floor plans have been around for a few years they continue to be a popular trend. It’s a way to bring more natural light into your home and it also gives the inside of your home a more spacious feel. Often homeowners choose to repurpose existing rooms to meet their changing needs for things such as a home office, a guest bedroom, or a multi-purpose family room/entertainment room. You can even finish out your basement or convert your garage into extra living space.

Addition Trends

There are also trends in home additions that are worth noting. There has been an increase in the number of multi-generational households over the past few years. Often that requires adding physical space that can be used as an in-law apartment (which can be used for older parents moving in, or for adult children who are still working on getting started in their own careers).  Click here for some inspirational images of how you can add beautiful—and needed—space to your existing home.

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

 

 

 

Topics: Home Remodeling Rochester NY

Where Will I Live While My Custom Home Is Being Built?

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 @ 09:07 AM

Where Will I Live While My Custom Home Is Being Built?Building 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.

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.

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.

New Call-to-Action

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!

Download-our-Custom-Home-Guide

Topics: Rochester area Home Builder

Custom Building in Rochester: Controlling Creeping Cost

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 @ 09:07 AM

Custom Building in Rochester: Controlling Creeping CostOne of the most prevalent “horror stories” about building a custom home or doing a home remodeling project has to do with homeowners going over budget. That tale of woe is followed closely by stories about projects that took much longer to complete than planned. Sometimes that happens when a homeowner doesn’t take enough time to think through what they really want and need. That may mean adding options later that weren’t in your original budget (here’s a post that deals with that in more detail).

There are some other things that can cause building and renovation projects to exceed their budgets and deadlines—and homeowners often get surprised by these things.

Home Size

It's no surprise that (generally) a bigger house costs more money. Your builder will use more materials and more labor. One housing trend that may be a bit of a surprise for you has to do with the size of homes. For many years new home sizes got gradually bigger and bigger. House sizes took a dip around 2008 but then began edging up again. Around 2013, however, that growth flattened out and actually started down. Instead of focusing so much on the size of their homes, owners were paying more attention to the comfort and quality of their homes. They wanted homes that fit their lifestyles. Here’s an article that talks about the emphasis on better over bigger.

Home Layouts

Size isn’t the only physical characteristic that can affect your building cost. The layout of your home can have an impact as well. Some plans are more expensive to build than others. Here’s a look at the cost difference between building a one-story home, a one-and-a-half- story home, and a two-story home.

Property

Sometimes new homeowners forget that the money they spend on their lot is actually a pretty significant portion of the overall cost of the home. Location and size obviously affect the price of the lot, but the condition of the lot (it's suitability for building) can also affect your cost.

Upgrades

When you’re looking at the finishes for your new house, it can be tempting to add more upgrades than you really need. It’s not that you shouldn’t do it (sometimes it’s the right thing to do), but lots of little upgrades can add up fast. Here’s a post that looks at the surprising impact of both property costs and upgrades.

Scope Creep: Small Changes That Aren’t So Small

This is a problem that hits a lot of homeowners. Part of what makes this issue so insidious is that it doesn’t happen all at once. It tends to creep up on homeowners without them being aware of it. Some builders call it “scope creep” and here’s how it can happen.

It begins when you add “small” features to the plan or contract you’ve already agreed upon with your contractor: “Let’s move that wall 5 inches to the right.” Five inches isn’t much, but sometimes it leads to having to move an outlet. In your kitchen, it could mean moving some plumbing. Or moving the wall may affect the light in the room, so you want to add a window to compensate. What seemed like a really small change can end up having a big impact.

Of course, not every change has major ramifications, but you get the picture. Changes happen in small increments that don’t seem like a big deal. But it can cost you considerably more money and add to the time it takes to complete your project.

How can you avoid scope creep?

Start by paying close attention to the plans you and your builder have created before construction starts so you both know what to expect.  If you feel strongly that something needs to change, talk to your builder about it. Tell him what you want (or don’t want) but don’t dictate the solution. Your builder may come up with an answer that doesn’t cost you more or extend your deadline. When you tell your builder what you want, he’ll probably respond in one of the following ways:

  • Sure, we can do that! Here’s the revised estimate, reflecting the increased cost.
  • No problem! That’s a change we can make, but it will take us an extra week.
  • Yes, that’s something we can do. It will cost you an additional $X and it’s going to take us an additional five days to complete the project.
  • Sorry! If you’re not willing to spend any more money and if you aren’t willing to extend the amount of time it will take to complete, we can’t make this change for you.

Talk to Your Builder and Focus on What You Can Control

Sometimes circumstances beyond anyone’s control (unforeseen increases in material costs) can increase your costs some. Unexpected material shortages or bad weather can cause delays. And sometimes things are just more difficult than expected. But you can avoid the horrors of “scope creep” by maintaining clear communication with your builder.

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Topics: Gerber Homes Rochester NY, Custom home building, Staying on budget

Rochester Additions Are About More Than Adding Space

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Jul 22, 2018 @ 19:07 PM

Rochester Additions Are About More Than Adding SpaceSometimes there is simply no substitute for adding onto your Rochester home. If you have more children than when you first moved into your home, you may need more space. Or it could be that your kids are older and it's not realistic for them to share a room anymore. Or you could have an older parent who needs to move in with you. Each of those situations requires more space, but keep in mind that Rochester additions are about more than adding space.

At Gerber, we've been doing Rochester home additions for years.  One of the things we've seen time and time again is that it's not just about how much space you have in your home—it's about having space that fits your needs and your lifestyle.

Let’s look a little closer at a few scenarios to illustrate what it means to add more functionality and comfort while adding additional space.

Aging-in-Place Needs

Let’s take the example of creating space for your aging loved ones. It’s not just a matter of adding square footage. Their needs may be a little different than yours. You’ll want to pay attention to things such as:

  • Doors and Hallways
  • Kitchen layout and design
  • Stairs (or solutions that eliminate stairs)
  • Bedroom needs
  • Bathroom needs
  • Garage considerations

In each of those situations, your aging parents will have needs or preferences that are different than those of the rest of your family. Here’s a helpful infographic that highlights specific things to consider for each of the things mentioned above. These are things you’ll want to think about in order to create space where your aging parents will feel comfortable and safe.

Ease of Access

When you put on an addition, you’ll want to make sure that it’s easy to access. Open floor plans have been extremely popular for a number of years (and here’s an article that talks about how they aren’t going away anytime soon). You’ll want to talk to your remodeler about creating a space that is easy to access from the rest of your house—and looks and feels like an extension of your existing home.

Flexible Space

When adding on to your home it's a good idea to keep flexibility in mind. Things change with time. Right now you may want a game room to enjoy with your kids. That's great! But what about a few years down the road? The same is true with adding a home theatre. It may be the idea use of extra space right now, but will it still meet your needs in a few years? With some prior planning, you and your contractor should be able to come up with a flexible solution—something that can be adapted to other purposes later on. Here's a post that talks about how to keep your options open for future needs.

Sometimes, you simply need more space. That’s when a home addition can really make sense. Just be sure to take a long-range view when you do your planning. And take advantage of your builder’s expertise as you plan.

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Topics: Home Remodeling Rochester NY, Additions Rochester NY

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