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Choosing the Kitchen Cabinets for Your Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Oct 18, 2019 @ 09:10 AM

When you (or your guests) step into your kitchen, the cabinets may be the most dominant feature in the room. Your cabinets set the tone for your whole kitchen and—with today's open style architecture—your whole home. That's why you'll want to take your time when choosing the kitchen cabinets for your custom home. Your choice of cabinets is a major factor in designing the kitchen for your Rochester custom home.

 

What’s Your Kitchen Style?

You’ll want to choose a style that fits your personal taste—and creates the right atmosphere for how you entertain in your home. When it comes to kitchen style, there are two basic elements you’ll want to consider: Cabinet style and color.

Transitional Kitchen Renovation with Shaker Cabinets in Rochester NY
 

Cabinet Style

The current style trend in kitchen cabinets is leaning more toward Shaker cabinets—especially those that feature doors with recessed panels (although flat panel and raised panel doors are also quite popular in Shaker cabinets). These clean and simple cabinets are often found in farmhouse style kitchen—but that’s not an exclusive trend. Here’s a look at a farmhouse style kitchen we recently built. And it’s worth noting that a gourmet kitchen with an over-sized island is considered a “must-have” for many people building a custom home.

Farmhouse Kitchen with Glass Front Cabinets in Rochester NY

 

Cabinet Color

You may see design posts proclaiming the death of white kitchen cabinets. And yet, according to RealSimple.com 43 percent of homeowners still prefer white cabinets. Let's face it, you can do a lot of accent colors with white cabinets. Natural wood cabinets (such as oak kitchen cabinets or maple kitchen cabinets) also remain popular. There is something warm and inviting about natural wood in the kitchen. Gray kitchen cabinets are also increasing in popularity. As a neutral color, they also lend themselves to a variety of complementary accent colors.Navy Cabinets in Kitchen in Rochester NY

One trend that has changed over the last few years, however, is that designers and homeowners are embracing two-tone kitchen cabinets. They'll paint their upper cabinets one color and their lower cabinets another color. Often this combination will include one set (upper or lower) in white, with the other cabinets being blue or gray. It's a very stunning look.

Transitional Kitchen with green island in Rochester NY

It’s interesting to note that—according to the same RealSample post—approximately 40 percent of homeowners upgrading their kitchen are opting for custom cabinets and 34 percent are choosing semi-custom cabinets. It’s an area where homeowners weigh the cost versus the value of building/design decisions they make. Many homeowners are convinced that the quality and functionality that custom and semi-custom cabinets offer is worth the money they spend.

 

How Much Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

Before making your decision about what kind of cabinets to install, it’s a good idea to have a basic grasp of the cost differences. Homeadvisor.com offers some helpful information about the relative cost of stock cabinets as compared to semi-custom or custom cabinets. You'll notice a range of prices for each kind. Your exact needs or desires will impact your final costs, but these figures can be a good starting point for comparison. 

 

Style of Kitchen Cabinet

Price per Linear Foot

Stock

$100 to $300

Semi-Custom

$150 to $650

Custom

$500 to $1,200

 

Can You Have a Custom Kitchen in Your Existing Home?

What if you already have a home you love, but would love to have a great new kitchen with custom or semi-custom cabinets? We specialize in kitchen remodeling for Rochester area homes. Click here for some ideas and images of the kind of kitchen you can have in your existing Rochester home.

Farmhouse Kitchen with White Cabinets in Rochester NY

Or, if you just want to talk to us about what you have in mind, please contact us and let us know what kind of information you’re interested in. We can help! We know you have lots of questions and our knowledgeable team is here to guide you through the whole process.

 

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

Choosing the Countertops for Your Rochester Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Oct 4, 2019 @ 09:10 AM

When you’re designing the kitchen in your custom home, think about what part of the kitchen gets the most use—and the most views. It’s probably the combination of your cabinets and your countertops. And when it comes to daily use, your countertops probably bear the burden of the most wear and tear. So, what’s the key to choosing the countertops for your Rochester custom home?

Keep in mind that your kitchen is a multi-faceted, multi-functional room. Chances are good that you use it both for food preparation and for entertaining in your home. That means your kitchen needs to look great and stand up to daily use.

Here are some things that you’ll want to consider:

 

Style

Your personal sense of style can be reflected in the countertop material you choose. If you're after a sleek, modern look for your kitchen, you have several choices. Granite countertops have been the “go-to” choice for upscale kitchens for a long time. They remain extremely popular because of their beauty, elegance, and unique natural patterns.  Quartz countertops, however, are hard on the heels of granite and have even surpassed granite in popularity in some areas.

Kitchen Countertops for Your Rochester Custom Home
 
Concrete countertops are another option. Many of the concrete countertops you’ll find today look like natural stone—and you can essentially choose your color. And, if you’re a fan of industrial chic, you might want to consider a “plain” concrete top for your counter. If you’re after a warmer look, you may want to look at a butcher block countertop. You can create beautiful countertop—and you can cut right on the countertop.

 

Durability

Quartz Kitchen Countertops for Your Rochester Custom Home

All of the countertop materials mentioned here are quite durable. Granite can be somewhat susceptible to staining (from things such as red wine), but you can treat your granite counters yearly to protect them. Concrete is extremely hard and resists chipping and scratching. They’re also very heat resistant, and easy to maintain. You can expect your counters to last for decades with a minimum amount of basic maintenance. Butcher block counters will require more maintenance—and are not as heat resistant as natural stone and concrete.

 

Price

Granite Kitchen Countertops for Your Rochester Custom Home

There is a fairly wide range of costs for various kitchen countertops. A recent (2019) homeadvisor.com post offers a quick guide to pricing. Your specific price will vary, but this provides a kind of baseline for costs.

  • Granite will run you between $15-$140 per square foot
  • Engineered Stone Quartz can cost between $15-$70 per square foot
  • Wood/Butcher Block generally runs around $10-$38 per square foot
  • Concrete costs around $50-$100 per square foot

 

Think About the Sink

Marble Kitchen Countertops for Your Rochester Custom Home

Of course, you'll want to match your kitchen countertops with the right sink. So, keep that in mind as you choose your materials. Do you want an under-counter mounted sink (similar to the one in the picture above)? Do you prefer a single large basin or a double sink? Think about what kind of fixtures go best with the material you choose. Sleek modern faucets look great with quartz, granite, concrete, or even laminate countertops. You might want something more rustic or casual with a butcher block or other wooden countertop.

 

If you’re looking for more ideas and inspiration for the rest of your kitchen, we invite you to download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen eBook. It’s packed with information about kitchen style, functionality, and how to plan for your new kitchen.

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

Designing the Kitchen in Your Rochester Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Sep 13, 2019 @ 09:09 AM

Whether you’re building a new custom home or remodeling the kitchen in your existing Rochester area home, your kitchen is one room that needs special attention. So much happens in your kitchen (food preparation, casual meals, entertaining, and more) that it’s important to get this room right. Achieving the right results, however, is about more than simply installing new kitchen elements. You need a good plan to make sure everything comes together. That's what kitchen design is all about. With that in mind, let's look at designing the kitchen in your Rochester custom home—and cover some essential kitchen design ideas.

 

Balancing Form and Function

Kitchen Made For Entertaining in Your Rochester Custom Home

There are two key elements to creating a modern kitchen that will delight you for years to come. You want to pay attention to both form and function. Homeowners want to create beautiful kitchens that are attractive and inviting—and match their sense of style. But it's equally important to end up with a kitchen that matches your lifestyle. And that means building in the features—and designing the space—that make your kitchen comfortable and convenient for the way you live and entertain.

 

How to Design a Kitchen Layout

Kitchen Layout in Custom Home in Rochester NY

So, how do you go about planning a kitchen that meets your needs? First, think about how you like to use your kitchen. What are the things that can make it convenient and enjoyable for making meals?  If you do a lot of cooking, you might want to consider a design that incorporates double ovens. That enables you to have multiple items (with differing temperatures) cooking at the same time. If you plan to use your kitchen for casual meals, or like making breads/pastries/pastas you may want to build in an over-sized island that allows you more work space (with a built-in sink, or possibly an island cook-top) while still allowing room for family and friends to eat breakfast or a snack on the other side of the island. By the way, if you’d like some additional tips about how to design a great kitchen (and other rooms in your home) for entertaining, check out this helpful article.

 

What About “Extra” Kitchen Features?

Special Features for Your Rochester Kitchen

Once you have your basic design mapped out, you can focus on some other details that can make your kitchen more comfortable, convenient, and even fun. If you’re in the habit of having friends over for coffee, you might want to look at building in a coffee bar to add an element of fun and interest. Many Rochester homeowners love having a separate pantry in the kitchen. This extra space makes storing small appliances and dry goods so much easier—and it helps to keep your kitchen uncluttered. And don’t forget about touchless faucets that make food prep much more convenient.

 

Choosing the Look You Want

Choosing the Look You Want For Your Rochester Kitchen

You have a lot of options when it comes to the visual impact of your Rochester kitchen. You can choose from contemporary, classic, modern, or farmhouse styles. But keep in mind that most kitchens today are part of an open floor plan. That means whatever style and décor you choose for your kitchen will probably be visible from other rooms in the house. That means you’ll want to make sure that the cabinets, countertops, and flooring blend well with what’s in the adjoining rooms.

 

How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Kitchen?

How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Kitchen in Rochester NY

Naturally, you’ll want to keep an eye on the budget with your new kitchen. Your builder can walk you through the design and provide you with an accurate estimate so that you’ll know what to expect. If you’re remodeling an existing kitchen, here’s a very helpful post that gives you an idea of what various levels of kitchen remodels cost in the Rochester area—and what the return on that investment will be. We want you to be able to make an informed decision about remodeling before starting. 

 

Next Steps

Prepare to design the kitchen in your Rochester custom home

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling the kitchen in your current home, gathering good information is essential to achieving the results you want. A great way to get started is to download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen eBook. It’s packed with helpful information and insights. You can also contact us directly. We know you’ll have lots of questions and our knowledgeable Gerber Homes team will be delighted to guide you through the whole process.

 

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Topics: Kitchen remodeling, Custom homes, kitchen design, Home Design, Custom Home Features

10 Must-Have Bathroom Features for Your Rochester Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Sep 6, 2019 @ 09:09 AM

Your master bathroom may well be the most personal room in your Rochester home. It’s definitely a room that will get plenty of use—every single day. Here are 10 “must-have” bathroom features that will make your bathroom a relaxing, comfortable, and delightful place to begin—or end—your day.

 

How to Design a Bathroom

There is a lot more to creating a great master bathroom than just fine fixtures and cabinets. If you’re building a new home, it’s important to understand the custom home building process as you design your bathroom.  The more time you spend thinking ahead about what you want, the better the results will be. Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling the bathroom in your current home, it’s important to begin with a good design. While the way your bathroom looks is important, your first consideration should be to design the room around what matters most to you. Here are 10 “must-have” features to keep in mind when you’re considering how to design a bathroom.

 

An Updated Look

Contemporary Bathroom in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Nothing ages a house more than an outdated bathroom. That’s why a modern bathroom is so important (we’re using the term “modern” here in the sense of “updated”). You’ll be much happier in a master bathroom that feels fresh and new. And should you decide to sell your home in the future, the bathroom is often one of the key rooms that buyers consider.

 

Double Vanities

Double Vanity in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Be sure to include adequate space for getting ready for work or bed. It’s not comfortable or relaxing if you have to jockey for sink space. That’s a big reason that dual vanities are a significant trend these days. And while stand-alone pedestals may look elegant, they may not provide you with the counter space you want or need.

 

Adequate Storage

Ample Storage in Master Bathroom in Custom Home in Rochester NY

This is another consideration that doesn't seem particularly sexy on the surface. On the other hand, a crowded bathroom isn't all that attractive either. Work with your builder/designer to take advantage of unused space. Built-in storage that is recessed can provide additional storage space without sacrificing valuable floor space.

 

Great Cabinets

High Quality Bathroom Cabinets in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Your cabinets probably do more to influence the look and feel of your bathroom than any other feature. We’ve already mentioned the importance of storage above, but you’ll want to keep that in mind for your cabinets as well. But functionality doesn’t preclude style. Think through the kind of feel you want your bathroom to have. Do you lean toward modern or traditional? Will you be happy with standard cabinets, or do you want something that’s customized to your taste—and needs?

 

Stunning Sinks

Stylish Sinks in Master Bathroom of Rochester Custom Home

You have a lot of choices when it comes to the type of sink you can install. Some homeowners opt for under-the-counter sinks. Others prefer a sink that sits above the counter and has more visual impact.

 

Creative Countertops

Bathroom Countertops in Rochester Custom Home

Stunning sinks, of course, deserve beautiful and creative countertops to complete the bathroom “ensemble.” Marble and Quartz countertops are currently very popular because of their beautiful patterns and durability.

 

Fabulous Flooring

Bathroom Flooring in Master Bathroom of Rochester Custom Home

The flooring material you choose for your master bathroom also plays a huge role in both the comfort and visual appeal of the room. You’ll have a multitude of stone and tile options in a range of colors and textures from which to choose. Your builder can help you select the right flooring and advise you about durability and safety (and here’s an article that can help you get started). One thing many people in Rochester consider a "must-have" is heated flooring. And, while it is a bit more expensive than conventional flooring, if you've ever spent a winter in Rochester, you'll understand the appeal!

 

Lustrous Lighting

Bathroom Lighting in Master Bathroom in Rochester Custom Home

Having adequate lighting in your master bathroom is essential. You’ll want ambient lighting that sets the overall mood in the room, but you’ll also want task lighting for things such as makeup application, shaving, and other tasks.

 

Super Shower

Glass shower in master bathroom in Rochester NY home

Today’s showers are a far cry from the simple in-bathtub nozzles for rinsing off. Modern showers are spacious and elegant. A frameless glass shower enclosure looks elegant and takes up less visual space—making your bathroom look more spacious. Steam showers have grown dramatically in popularity. They are great in cold climates like ours because they allow you to warm up your shower before you get in—without using a lot of water. And they're great for relaxing tired or sore muscles.

 

Changing Personal Needs

Frameless Glass Shower in Rochester Custom Home

Another thing to think about is how your personal needs may change over time. As you mature, you’ll want to keep safety in mind. That’s why features such as “stepless” showers are so popular. Not only do they look elegant, but they reduce the risk of tripping. That’s another benefit to the frameless glass showers—or even showers with no doors at all—mentioned above. Increasingly, homeowners are installing showers with built-in grab bars and seating to ensure safety. Many people also choose to have multiple showerheads (including a hand-held sprayer) that give them the option of showering while seated.

 

What About Costs?

If you’re wondering how much it costs to remodel a bathroom in the Rochester area, here’s a post that walks you through the typical costs for a variety of different bathroom remodeling projects (mid-range, upscale, or Universal Design) in and around Rochester.

 

How Can You Get Started?

Take a look at some of the bathrooms we’ve recently renovated. You just might find something that will inspire design ideas for your bathroom. If you have additional questions or want to know how you could adapt one of these bathroom remodeling ideas to better suit your needs, please contact us. We’d be delighted to help you think it through.

 

Schedule a Consultation to Build a Custom Home in the Greater Rochester area

Topics: Custom homes, Bathroom Design, Custom Home Features

Best Rochester Neighborhoods to Build a Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Aug 16, 2019 @ 12:08 PM

Webster

You’ve got to love a place where the official town motto is, “Where life is worth living.” Many homeowners are attracted to the natural beauty of the place—including great views of Lake Ontario. The town itself is committed to protecting that natural beauty and not long ago purchase more than 1,000 acres that are dedicated to outdoor activities such as hiking trails. That open space is also complemented by multiple parks within the city.

Webster NY in Rochester

Great education is also important for parents of school-aged children. Webster has a lot to offer in that regard as well and 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.

And while Webster is a quiet and comfortable town, it’s only a 15-25 minute drive down State Route 104 to downtown Rochester, and to the Greater Rochester International Airport.

Briarwood Estates is an exciting new community in Webster, located on the left side of Salt Road, just south of Lake Road.  Bordered on two sides by Webster Green Space, the community is a mix of rolling hills, mature trees, and sunny open spaces. Click here for additional information about Briarwood Estates, including images of one of our model homes and lot availability.

 

Canandaigua

Canandaigua NY in Rochester

If the idea of small-town living in the Finger Lakes Region appeals to you, you may want to check out Canandaigua. You can enjoy small-town living and lots of activities at the same time. Here’s a post that highlights some of what Canandaigua has to offer. Residents of our Fox Ridge and Old Brookside communities in Canandaigua enjoy a tranquil location that includes a mix of rolling hills, mature trees, and breathtaking views of Lake Canandaigua. Click here for available homesites in Fox Ridge or check out the last remaining homesite in Old Brookside!

 

Ontario

Residents of Ontario the abundant parks, above-average public schools, and access to outstanding healthcare. They are also close to numerous wineries and vineyards. And yet, downtown Rochester is only 25 minutes away.

Ontario NY in Rochester

Our Summer Lake community offers tranquil views of Lake Ontario from many of the home sites (the lots are roughly 1/2 acres in size.  sites. The community has the feel of a nature preserve with an incredible location just minutes to some of Ontario's best shopping and dining. Click here to see available lots and to view images of one of our models. There are also a number of lake-view properties available in our Centennial Village, Holly Meadows community.

 

Perinton

Perinton NY in Rochester

Twice, the Town of Perinton has been named one of the Best Places to Live in America. That probably has to do with this family-oriented community’s pristine environment that includes access to numerous great parks, great public schools, exceptional healthcare, and superior employment opportunities. The area also has weekly farmer's markets, seasonal festivals, and a wide variety of shopping and dining options. That’s part of the reason that there are relatively few available lots remaining in our Magnolia Manor and Copper Beech Run communities. Click here to see availability and for images of the community.

 

Victor

Victor NY in Rochester

Nestled in the foothills of the Finger Lakes is the town of Victor. it offers residents, businesses, and visitors a peaceful, small-town setting within minutes of the Cities of Rochester and Canandaigua. If you’re looking for a larger lot with plenty of shade, there are still two 1-acre wooded lots available in our Scout Reserve community in Victor.

 

Sodus

Sodus NY in Rochester

If golf course living is something you’ve always dreamed about, you may want to check out our Fairways community in Sodus. There are home sites available along the prestigious Sodus Bay Heights Golf Course. Plus, it’s an excellent location that’s close to all of the fun at Lake Ontario.

 

The Town of Sodus is actually divided into two villages: The Village of Sodus and the Village of Sodus Point. Sodus offers a family-friendly atmosphere with ample public parks, excellent schools, and year-round recreational activities. Residents enjoy all of the local marinas, waterfront restaurants, as well as the breathtaking beaches of Sodus Bay. Click here for images of the community and to check out available home sites.

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Topics: Canandaigua NY, Ontario NY, Victor NY, Webster NY, Building a New Home, Sodus NY, Perinton NY, Selecting a Home Site

Designing a Kid-Friendly Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Aug 9, 2019 @ 12:08 PM

If you’re considering building a custom home in the Rochester area and you have kids, you’ll want to include them in your plans for the house to ensure that they feel like it’s their home, too! Let’s look at some of the areas you may want to think about when designing a kid-friendly custom home.

 

Bedrooms

Bunk beds in custom home in Rochester NY

Your home may be your castle, but your kids’ rooms are their domain. You can customize these rooms to your children’s personalities, tastes, and interests. One nice thing about building a custom home is that you don’t have to be restricted to conventional rooms. The bedroom you see here is an example of how you can take the bunk bed concept to a whole different level. You can decorate it thematically or colorfully—whatever suits your child’s preference.

 

Bathrooms

Kid-friendly bathroom in custom home in Rochester NY

Providing separate bathrooms for your children allows you to have your bathroom all to yourself (Here is a look at some of the most important features for your master bathroom.). Another advantage is that you can customize the rooms to meet the needs of your kids. If you have smaller children, you can build in step stools that make it easier for them to reach the sink for washing and brushing teeth. You might think twice, however, about installing lower cabinets and counters. That’s something you’d likely have to replace as your kids get older.

 

Playrooms

Kids playroom in custom home in Rochester NY

Setting aside a special room devoted entirely to play is a great way to ensure your kids will love their new home. If you build a home with a basement, you will probably have space for a large play space that could accommodate a lot of different activities—and even sports such as soccer or basketball (on a smaller scale). Some families build in small climbing walls. If your kids are creative, you could dedicate a room to art projects or crafts.

 

Homework Spaces

Childrens homework space in custom home in Rochester NY

Most parents pay close attention to the schools in the area before building a new home. But homework is a big part of education. And while your kids may not be thrilled about having a special space to do homework, it’s something you’ll probably want to think about. You can build a dedicated space into their bedroom, or you might consider allowing space for that in the kitchen in case your children need some help (or supervision).

 

Music Room

Music room in custom home in Rochester NY

If you have a child that is musically inclined, you might give some thought to having a music room or practice room. Not only will it provide the necessary privacy (away from distraction), but you can also insulate the room so that the rest of the family doesn’t have to participate in practice.

 

Think Outside the House

Childrens treehouse in Rochester NY

Not all activities have to happen inside the home. If you think outside the house, you might want to build a tree house, or a clubhouse in the back yard. It’s a fun way for kids to be one their own—and still at home. Other things to think about are creating areas for sports—such as a small basketball court or an area where kids can practice soccer.

 

Kid & Adult Friendly Features

Dedicated laundry room in custom home in Rochester NY

Having kids can be a dirty experience. That’s never going to change. It’s part of having kids! It is, however, one reason that features such as having a dedicated main-level laundry room and a mudroom are often considered “must-have” features for custom homeowners.

 

Kids remember their homes all their lives. Use your creativity to create spaces that will bring back fond memories for your kids long after they leave home.

 

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

Designing Your Custom Home for Entertaining

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Aug 2, 2019 @ 12:08 PM

Our homes are much more than roofs over our heads. They are places we interact with family and friends. And one big advantage of building a custom home is that you can create a space that allows you to entertain in a way that fits your specific personality and tastes. Of course, that takes some planning up front, so let’s take a look at a few things to consider when designing your custom home for entertaining.

 

Start with the Kitchen

Farmhouse Kitchen in Rochester NY

For many homeowners today the kitchen is the focal point when it comes to entertaining. Today’s open design floor plans make the kitchen an integral part of hosting guests. It’s still a hard-working room, so you’ll want to make sure you design your kitchen to make food preparation convenient and comfortable. But, more often than not, guests today tend to congregate in the kitchen—even while the hosts are preparing meals or snacks.

 

That's one reason that over-sized kitchen islands are so popular. They provide you with plenty of work space for preparing and presenting meals and appetizers. You'll be able to visit with guests while you prepare—and they'll have room to set their drinks, and/or appetizer dishes. Nobody needs to be stuck alone in the kitchen anymore. As you think about your island, however, consider installing a separate sink in the island. It makes preparation easier—and it's a big help when it's time to clean up. You can also make your kitchen island do double duty. Include space for your family to sit at the island for breakfasts and snacks even when you’re not entertaining.

 

Build in a Home Bar

Home bar in custom home in Rochester NY

Another consideration is to build in a separate bar area as another gathering spot. That can take some of the traffic out of the kitchen. You may even want to include an espresso machine or other coffee/tea making station and keep a sparkling water maker (such as a SodaStream© or other brand) on hand.

 

Create Your Own Theater Experience

Home theater in custom home in Rochester NY

Of course, there’s more to entertaining than just eating and drinking. If you enjoy watching movies with your family and friends, you’ll want to think about adding a dedicated home theater that’s separate from your family room. Once again, planning ahead can make sure you end up with a theater/media room that you’ll really enjoy. Sure, you’ll want to pay attention to the television and sound system you install, but there’s more to the story than just the equipment. Think about the ideal location for your home theater. And take sound-insulation into account so that you can enjoy your movies or sporting events at full volume—without disrupting the rest of the household. Think about lighting as well. You’ll want area lighting and ambient lighting to set the right mood. Plus, you’ll want to make sure you can adequately cover windows to prevent glare while you’re watching.

 

More Fun and Games

Play room in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Another fun option is to create a video arcade with “old school” style elements such as pinball machines or other arcade devices. Check out the Game Room Guys for a collection of classic arcade games that include everything from Pac-Man® to air hockey machines. Or, you may choose to create a space for younger children to play while the grownups are upstairs talking.

 

Customize Your Entertaining Ability

Outdoor Kitchen at custom home in Rochester NY

The beauty of building a custom home is that you have the ability to create spaces that fit your specific needs and desires. It’s what really sets a custom home apart. But it all comes down to figuring out what you want and taking the time to plan and design your home ahead of time. Our Custom Home Guide eBook offers a lot of help in thinking through the things you’ll need to know.

 

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

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

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

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

Custom Home in Rochester New York

What’s Realistic?

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

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

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Unrealistically High Expectations

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

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Unrealistically Low Budgets

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

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

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Avoiding Unwanted Budget Surprises

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

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Changes to the Plans

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

Custom Home Upgrades in Rochester New York

Upgrades

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

Custom Home Lot in Rochester New York

Property

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

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

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

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

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

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

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Before You Start Building

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

 

Think About Where You Want to Live

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

 

Make Sure Your Home Fits Your Lifestyle

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

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

Custom Home in Rochester NY

How Much Do You Want to Customize?

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

Custom Home in Rochester NY

Understanding the Steps in the Process

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

  • Meet with Your Sales/Design Consultant: During this one-to-three-hour meeting (at our office or at one of our model homes) we’ll work together to fill out a form that covers all of your selections for the colors and materials for your home. We’ll ask you lots of questions about your expectations, to make sure we’re all on the same page. We’ll actually show you samples of the materials we plan to use so that there are no surprises. You’ll be able to see examples of things such as roofing and siding materials, interior doors, and trim materials.

  • Meet with Suppliers: This is where you’ll have a chance to look at items such as kitchen cabinets, flooring options, plumbing fixtures, and more. We invite you to visit as many of the suppliers as you like—or simply focus on the ones that are most important to you. We always have design consultants on hand to answer your questions and help you make the selections that are right for you.

  • Blueprint Review Meeting: During this meeting, you’ll be able to make sure that the blueprints we've drawn up for your home accurately represent your wishes. I'll meet with you personally in our office to go over these plans. This usually takes about two hours to review the plans and the selections you've made. We'll actually go through a checklist (based on things our clients have told us they'd wished someone had asked them before construction started) to ensure we cover everything that's important to you, including:

    • Where will my basement windows be located?

    • Where will my furnace be located?

    • Which way will the doors in the house open?

    • How wide will the doorways be?

    • What about the positioning of outdoor spigots?

    • Which way will my garage door face?

 

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

Custom Home in Rochester New York

Educate Yourself About the Process

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Community in Rochester NY

Great Community Choices

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

Apartments in Rochester NY

What About Your Short-term Housing Needs?

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

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

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

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

Topics: Custom homes, Building a New Home