Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Essentials You Need to Know About Rochester Home Remodeling

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jun 1, 2018 @ 06:06 AM

Essentials you need to know about Rochester home remodelingRemodeling your Rochester home isn’t something you’ll want to take casually. It involves a lot more than simply slapping on a new coat of paint or changing some light fixtures to freshen things up. It’s a chance to turn your Rochester home into a more comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable space for you and your family. It's a chance to customize your home to better suit your lifestyle and your personality. That kind of change, however, doesn't just happen. You'll want to be prepared so that you can make the most of the situation.  Here are some of the essentials you need to know about Rochester home remodeling.

Identifying Exactly What You Want From Your Home Remodeling Project

First of all, it’s important to identify exactly what you want to accomplish with your home renovation project. Do you need more living space? Where do you need it the most? Do you want to open up space in your home so that it feels larger (even if you don't add square footage)? You might want to think about a remodel that incorporates an open floor plan to accomplish that (and let in more light).

You’ll also want to think through how much you want to take on at one time. There may be multiple areas you want to change, but it’s helpful to start with the ones that address your most pressing needs. Here’s a post that offers some practical help in getting a grip on the scope of your project so that you tackle “first things first.”

Remodeling Costs

Another essential to ensure a successful home remodel is having a good handle on what your costs will be—before you begin. It’s easy to fall in love with gorgeous homes you see online, but everything has a cost. You need to figure out how much you can reasonably spend on a project. We’re not talking about cutting corners to save money. If you do that you won’t be satisfied with the results down the road. It’s important to balance cost and value when planning a project. Both are important.

It is important, however, to have a realistic budget and stick to it. One way to do that is to meet with a lender to see what kind of loan you qualify for. Then talk to a contractor about what a realistic plan is for the amount you’re planning to spend.

A big mistake many homeowners make is over-spending their remodeling budget. Remember, one of the main reasons to remodel is to be more comfortable in your home and to enjoy it. It's hard to do that if you're overextended. Here's an article that looks at three reasons homeowners tend to overspend their budgets—and how you can avoid doing it.

Once you establish your needs and your budget, you’ll want to get down to more specifics. Not all remodeling projects are the same, and you’ll want to think about different details depending on what kind of project you’re taking on. While you can renovate any room in your house you choose, here are some of the most commonly remodeled areas of the home. By the way, there are two main reasons these projects are so popular. They tend to deliver the most “bang for your buck”—both in terms of the return on investment (resale value) and in terms of comfort and convenience for your family.


Kitchen Remodeling

We’ve all heard that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s truer today than ever before. While kitchens used to be isolated from the rest of the home, they are now often the center of activity. It’s where much of family life takes place: cooking, homework, family meetings, and entertaining are just a few of the activities that take place in the kitchen. Your kitchen is much more than just your appliances and your countertops. That’s why you’ll want to give some serious thought to how your kitchen is designed. Here’s a post that highlights important things to consider when designing your Rochester home’s kitchen.

  • Bathroom Remodeling
    Bathrooms run neck and neck with kitchens as the most remodeled room in any home. There’s more to a successful bathroom remodel, however, than just putting in a new sink or toilet. Your guest bath (or Powder Room) is a room that all your guests will see. You’ll want it to be comfortable and inviting. Your master bathroom, on the other hand, is your private space. You’ll want it to be a place that offers comfort and makes getting ready for your day easy and stress-free. Here's an article that reminds you of some of the essentials you’ll want to pay attention to when remodeling your bathroom.
  • Interior Remodeling
    Many times homeowners are simply looking for more living space in their homes whether it’s for entertaining, working, additional sleeping space, home entertainment, or for hobbies. Your basement can be an incredible source of untapped (and potentially useful) space. Your garage may be another untapped source of useful space. A converted garage can be a great place for a home office. It’s also ideal for a craft room, an art or pottery studio—or for a room for older kids to hang out with their friends. Bonus room conversions are another fantastic way to create flexible space—whether you need a home office, an extra bedroom, or an entertainment room. Because it uses existing space, it's a quick and affordable way to add needed living space to your home.
  • Exterior Remodeling
    Not all remodeling, of course, has to take place inside your home. Sometimes what's outside your home matters just as much as what is inside. There's just something special about coming home to a home that's beautiful inside and out. Of course, an exterior renovation can add significant curb appeal to your home should you decide to sell at some point. But exterior features (such as porches and decks) also add to the usable space of your home. Take a look at a few examples of how great exterior remodels can make your home look—and how they can add functionality.

There are a few other things that are essential in order to ensure great results when you remodel your Rochester home. They really have more to do with information and educating yourself than anything else.

  • Remodeling Process
    The better you understand the remodeling process, the better your results will be. A big part of understanding the remodeling process is having a good grip on your responsibilities during remodeling. When you fulfill your responsibilities, it helps keep the project on schedule—and that reduces stress for you and your contractor. One of the most important tools at your disposal is your remodeler’s knowledge and experience. Of course, that’s one reason why choosing the right contractor in the first place.
  • Remodeling Resources
    Finally, there is simply no substitute for knowledge. Educating yourself about the remodeling process and about specific kinds of projects is so important. It helps you learn to ask the right questions—which puts your mind at ease. It also helps you gather ideas—and even come up with your own that you can run past your remodeler. We’re committed to helping prospective clients get the information they need before they begin the home remodeling process. It’s why we offer free downloadable remodeling resources such as our:

Remodeling your Rochester area home may not be something you’ll want to take lightly, but the good news is that with the proper information and resources it’s not something you have to take on all by yourself. The more you know about the process and your options, the better your results will be. Remodeling can actually be a fun and exciting adventure. We’d love to join you in that process!

 Click to Download: 2018 Remodeling Cost vs Value Report for Rochester, NY 

Prepare Yourself Before Attending Homerama in Rochester NY this August

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, May 9, 2018 @ 16:05 PM

Prepare Yourself Before Attending Homerama in Rochester NY this AugustAnybody considering building a new home in the Rochester area will want to arm themselves with as many ideas and inspirations as possible before jumping into the homebuilding process. Attending Homerama in Rochester, NY is a great way to gather that information and inspiration. And while perusing the properties for ideas may be great, the more prepared you are, the more you’ll benefit from the experience.

Here are a few tips to ensure you maximize your time and come away with knowledge that will help you find the perfect Rochester home for your family.

Do a Little Homework

It’s important that your new home fits your lifestyle. Before you begin to look at homes, take some time to think about how you’ll use your home. You’ll want to consider what size home fits your family’s needs. How many bedrooms will you need? How do you entertain? Will you need a larger family room in which to interact with guests? What about your kitchen? Will you use your kitchen for entertaining? Or do you hope to use it for gourmet cooking? Here’s a post that helps you match your new Rochester kitchen to your specific personality.

Think About Floor Plans

Reviewing some potential floor plans before you look at a finished model home can be helpful. Do you prefer an open style floor plan? Are you looking for a plan that has bedrooms on one level and common spaces on a separate level? Or are you considering something that offers single-level living? Take a look at the floor plans Gerber offers to see what appeals to you. Then you can head over to Homerama and see what a plan like that looks and feels like in real life.

First-time Buyers

If you’re looking to build/buy your first home it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. You’ll want to focus on what’s really important for you and your family at this point in time. That being said, you’ll also want to keep in mind what your family’s needs may look like down the road a few years. Here’s a helpful post that highlights some of the essentials that first-time homebuyers look for.

Establish the Essentials

It’s not just first-time buyers who should consider the essentials. Before you get too far into the process, you may want to establish what’s essential in your new home so that you’ll be happy with it for years to come. Consider making a list that’s divided into three categories: “Must-Have” features; “Nice-to-Have” features; and “Splurge” features.

Consider Your Budget

Thinking about your budget ahead of time is really smart. You’ll want to have a realistic budget in mind before you begin choosing plans. It really doesn’t make sense to look at a $400,000 home if what you really need is a $250,000 home. Here’s a look at how to create a realistic budget for your Rochester-area home. You may also want to visit a reputable lender to see what kind of a loan you qualify for. That can help you set realistic parameters before you get into the details of floor plans, finishes, and upgrades.

Educate Yourself About the Basics

As builders, we’re often asked a lot of basic questions about home design. We think that’s a good thing! That’s why we created a free Home Design Guide eBook that you can download for free. It provides basic information about how to design key rooms in your home such as your kitchen, bathroom, living room, and master bedroom. This guide goes beyond style and talks about the importance of function in good design.

Attend 2018 Homearama


Topics: Homerama Rochester NY 2018

Farmhouse Chic for Your Rochester-Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, May 8, 2018 @ 17:05 PM

Farmhouse Chic For Your Rochester-Area HomeWhether you’re planning to build a new custom home or remodel your existing Rochester-area home, you’ll want a home that reflects your own sense of style, comfort, and personality. If relaxed, casual comfort is high on your list you might want to take a closer look at Farmhouse Chic for your Rochester-Area home.

Not New But Still Trending

The style has been around for at least 10 years or more, but it continues to grow in popularity—thanks, no doubt to HGTV’s Joanna Gaines who has been somewhat of an evangelist for the style. Part of the appeal of Farmhouse Chic is that it has so many different sub-categories. You can find examples of Classic, Western, Cottage, French, or Bohemian Farmhouse Chic all over and Pinterest.

Common Farmhouse Chic Elements

Despite their different nuances, the various versions of Farmhouse Chic share some common elements. Almost all of them feature some (if not all) of the following things:

  • Use of reclaimed wood, leather, or metal
  • Wide plank floors (often with a distressed look)
  • An emphasis on pine furniture (or other woods)
  • Comfortable, casual furniture that tends to be larger (clean lines are important)
  • Wrought iron accents
  • Accessories with a vintage look and feel (including weathered accents such as shutters, barn doors, and windows)

Let’s Take a Peek at Chic

Perhaps the best way to describe Farmhouse Chic is to take a look at a few examples. Your particular sense of taste and style will vary of course, but here are some images that illustrate the beauty and feel of this popular style.

You can see some of the elements of Farmhouse Chic in this master bedroom with the wide-open space, the use of stonework, and the clean, comfortable look of the furniture.

The kitchen in this Farmhouse home highlight the wood accents; from the wide plank wood floors to the tables, cabinets and paneled walls. You’ll also note the neutral color scheme.

This rustic kitchen/dining area really emphasizes the distressed wood look—from the floors to the ceiling and even the barn doors handing on the outside walls. You can also see the metal accents in the barn door railings, and in the chandelier.

Here’s one more look at a Farmhouse Chic kitchen that is a blend of rustic and modern. The wide plank flooring is much lighter. The kitchen table is very rustic—but matched beautifully with more modern chairs and a modern chandelier that brings in a dark metal color. Even the glassware on the table fits: It’s a subtle accent color that adds interest without dominating the room. This homeowner used the hanging barn door as a nice accent to separate the pantry from the kitchen and dining area.

A Few Words of Caution

While there may not be hard and fast rules about how to incorporate Farmhouse Chic into your home, here are a few suggestions that can help guide you.

Keep it Uncluttered

One of the keys to successfully pulling off the Farmhouse Chic style is to keep things uncluttered. The clean, airy look is a huge part of the appeal. This is one of the subtle differences between Farmhouse and Country styles. It’s a bit more sophisticated and sleek. It doesn’t need to be austere, but it should be a bit more open

Don’t Overdo It

Because accessories are an important element in the style, it can be tempting to go a bit overboard. Don’t overload rooms with accessories (that goes back to the uncluttered idea). You’ll also want to use some restraint with the reclaimed woods and metals. If you use too many varieties (or either wood or metal) the elements can start to compete with one another. Farmhouse Chic is a bit subtler.

Be Sparing with Accent Colors

Because Farmhouse style tends toward more neutral colors, it begs for some accent color. The key here is to make sure the accents are truly accents and don’t dominate the room.

Trends come and go. That’s why, as a general rule, it’s a good idea to go for classic design and staying power rather than what’s “hot.”  Still, when tastefully done, Farmhouse Chic looks like it may still be popular years from now.

 Attend 2018 Homearama


Topics: Homerama Rochester NY 2018, Rochester Home Builder

The Ellington Floor Plan in Magnolia Manor—A Great Home for a Great Community

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, May 8, 2018 @ 15:05 PM

EllingtonMagnoliaIf you’re looking for a great place to live in the Rochester area, the town of Perinton really should be on your shortlist. You’ll find it just minutes from the Village of Fairport—so it’s easy to pop in for their Farmer’s Market. There’s easy access to the New York State Thruway (Exit 45 is only 15 minutes away), and it’s close to Eastview Mall, which puts great shopping within easy reach. Twice the town of Perinton has been selected as “The Best Place to Live in America.”

Our newest community, The Magnolia Manor Community, located in between Route 31F and Whitney Road just east of Wakeman Road in Perinton, builds on that reputation. Residents can enjoy walking trails, plentiful sidewalks for strolling, and open park spaces. Nearby Center Park provides great entertainment during the summer months.

The Ellington Floor Plan in Magnolia Manor—A Great Home for a Great Community Of course, a great community deserves a great floor plan. That’s exactly what you’ll find with the Ellington located in Magnolia Manor. This 4- Bedroom, 3-1/2 Bath home offers 2210 square feet of comfortable living that includes:

  • A partially finished walkout lower level w/ full bath
  • 9’ Ceilings on the main level
  • A spacious 3-Car Garage
  • Wood/Laminate & Ceramic Tile Floors plus Granite Countertops
  • Heat Pump / Air Conditioning
  • Fireplace
  • Luxury Bath with Tile Shower & His / Her Sinks

Click here for a larger and more detailed look at the floor plan.

If you’re after comfort and convenience, this home has them in abundance. Enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning room off of the open kitchen. You can then move easily to the adjoining Great room where you can enjoy a warm fire in the colder months. There’s also a study on the main level that makes a great home office in case you want to work from home.

The upstairs of this model is spacious and comfortable as well. The Master Bedroom has it’s own bathroom with a tile shower and dual sinks and walk-in closets that make getting ready for the day a convenient pleasure. There are three additional bedrooms on the upper level. There is also a laundry room on the upper level so that you don’t have to haul clothes and bed linens up and down the stairs.

In short, this home provides all the comfort and space that you can imagine. What’s even better is that you don’t have to imagine it. You can visit this completed model and check out all the amenities for yourself! It’s open weekends from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Contact us to set up an appointment so you can check it out for yourself. Or, if you want a preview, click here for a virtual tour!

Magnolia Manor in Perinton offers you a great family-friendly floor plan in a great community. Come and see it for yourself! We’d be delighted to show you around!

Check out our client testimonials!


Topics: Rochester Home Builder, The Ellington Floor Plan, Magnolia Manor Community

What to Know About Rochester Area In-Law Homes

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 @ 20:04 PM

What to Know About Rochester Area In-Law HomesYears ago, families used to gather around their television sets to watch a show about what we now call a “multi-generational” family that lived together in rural Virginia during the Great Depression. At the time, the show was a reminder of the times when several generations would occupy a single house. Today, that practice is becoming a reality again as increasing numbers of families are once again living together under one roof—even right here in the greater Rochester area. Here’s what to know about Rochester area in-law homes.

Things have changed a bit since the days of the fictional Waltons (who were actually based on a real Virginia family).  Today’s demands of two-career households coupled with economic strains have motivated more families to bring different generations under one roof. You can add to that the increasingly high costs of retirement homes and assisted living facilities. On top of that, many maturing adults simply prefer to be with their families.

Of course, housing opportunities have changed as well.  Today we tend to preserve our privacy a bit more than in days gone by—and housing designs reflect that. There are floor plans that allow older family members to have their own private space (bedrooms, sitting rooms or family rooms, and even their own bathroom facilities). Some plans even include a kitchen or kitchenette so that older family members can prepare their own meals if they want—and still join the rest of the family at other times.

In some cases, families opt to remodel an existing home or put on an addition to accommodate their extended families. That option often includes having a separate entryway allowing extended family to come and go at their leisure without disturbing other members of the family.

Sherrie and Brenda are clients of ours who were looking for a home that would meet their needs and also provide a safe and comfortable living space for Mom and Dad. Click here to hear them describe their experience with having Gerber build a home for them that included an in-law suite.

One of the things they loved about the particular plan they picked was that the in-law suite (which contains a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen nook, and its own bathroom) was on the main level. That meant they didn't have to worry about navigating stairs. The floor plan also provides ample space on the upper level where you'll find a master bedroom and bath along with two additional bedrooms and a second bath. There is also an optional Bonus room that can be added.

Even if you’re not considering space for aging parents, an in-law suite such as this is ideal if you have older children who need a place to live while they are pursuing their careers.

Because of the increased demand for homes with in-law suites, Gerber has additional floor plans in our In-Law Layouts section. Click here to take a look at the various option to create a home that’s just right for your multi-generational family!

Check out our client testimonials!


What to Look For as a First-time Rochester Homebuyer

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Apr 6, 2018 @ 06:04 AM

What to Look For as a First time Rochester HomebuyerWe’re used to hearing that “One size doesn’t fit all” when making personal choices—whether we’re talking about shoes, cars, or even houses. I’ve talked before about how what you want out of a new home can vary depending on your age and your specific needs.  But there is some interesting information that came out of the recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Show in Orlando. There’s evidence that what you look for in a home also depends on whether it’s your first home or not. So let’s take a look at what to look for as a first-time Rochester Homebuyer.

According to the NAHB Economics & Housing Policy Group, here’s a list of the top 10 features first-time homebuyers are looking for.

  1. Living room (61%)
  2. Laundry room
  3. Dining room
  4. Walk-in closet in master bedroom
  5. Both shower stall/tub in master bath
  6. Front porch
  7. Great room
  8. 2-car garage
  9. Kitchen double sink (40%)

It's interesting to compare this list with a list of what people who've already purchased at least one home are looking for. Here's the list NAHB shared that shows the top 14 essentials seasoned homeowners are looking for. Apparently, people become even more demanding once they have one purchase under their belts—so their list is longer!

  1. Laundry room (72%)
  2. Living room
  3. Walk-in closet in master bedroom
  4. 2-car garage
  5. Garage storage
  6. Kitchen double sink
  7. Dining room
  8. Patio
  9. Table space for eating in the kitchen
  10. Both shower/tub in master bath
  11. Hardwood flooring
  12. Energy-Star appliances
  13. Great room
  14. Granite countertops (40%)

So what does that mean for you if you’re a first-time buyer in the Rochester area? For one thing, it’s interesting how many of the same features both first-time and repeat-homebuyers consider essential. If you ever decide to sell your home down the road, you’ll probably have an easier time selling it if it includes these features. Even if some of the features don’t make your “Top Ten” list, it may be wise to include them for resale value.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind. Some of the features on the second list show up there because they are things people who had already owned a house wanted (and perhaps didn’t have in their original home). Things such as table space for eating in the kitchen; hardwood floors; Energy-Star appliances; and granite countertops could be considered “upgrades.”  And while we firmly believe that you should set a realistic budget and stay within that budget, there are times when spending a little bit more can be a smart move. The upgrades mentioned here aren’t necessarily “luxury” upgrades (with the possible exception of the granite countertops). They are simply things that make living in your home more enjoyable.

The truth of the matter is that making these upgrades will never be less expensive than when you’re building. Renovating, or adding on later will cost you more. If you can afford it—including some of those items can really make sense. Not only will you derive more enjoyment from your home, but you’ll also make it more attractive to a wider group of potential buyers if you ever decide to sell.


Topics: Buying a Home in Rochester NY, First-Time Home Buyer

2018 Housing Trends: Bigger Isn’t Better—Better Is Better!

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, Apr 2, 2018 @ 13:04 PM

2018 Housing Trends Bigger Isn’t Better Better Is BetterSmart home shoppers in the Rochester area know that it makes sense to keep an eye on trends in housing. They don’t want to find themselves living in a house with an outdated design or sense of style. They also have a sense that it makes sense to look for classic, enduring design rather than to blindly pursue the latest “hot” styles. It does, however, make sense to be aware of broad trends in the housing industry. I’m not talking about “This Year’s Bold New Colors,” or “Are Stainless Steel Appliances Dead?” Instead, I’d like to talk a bit about a couple of 2018 housing trends that the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has been tracking.

Bigger Isn’t (Necessarily) Better

The first piece of information (as documented by the NAHB Economics & Housing Policy Group) is that in general, new houses are a little bit smaller than they have been. They’re not talking about the “Tiny House” movement that tends to get a lot of press. They’re talking about the average/median size of homes across the country.

2018 Housing Trends Bigger Isn’t Better Better Is BetterAs you can see from this chart (from the 2018 NAHB show) the size of homes has steadily increased over the years. There was a dip around 2008 and then the overall size of homes flattened out in 2013. We’re not talking about a huge shift here, but it is a break from past trends. One way to interpret this trend is to say that homeowners may find the overall size of their homes less important than their home’s overall quality. They’re after floor plans that deliver more efficient and comfortable use of space than simply more space. It’s also probably safe to say that homeowners are aware of the costs to maintain (especially heat and cool) larger spaces.

I would like to offer a caveat. While bigger isn't necessarily better, there are times when there is simply no substitute for additional square footage. Here’s an article that looks at those cases when sometimes bigger is better!

Better is Better

2018 Housing Trends Bigger Isn’t Better Better Is BetterSo if size is perhaps less important, what is it that will make a home better? This chart from NAHB highlights the features that industry research indicates will be the most likely features to appear in new homes for 2018. Those include (in order of popularity):

  • Walk-in closets in master bedroom
  • Great room (Kitchen/Family/Living)
  • Laundry room
  • Low-e windows
  • 9' first floor ceiling height
  • Granite kitchen countertop
  • Programmable thermostat
  • Energy-Star appliances
  • Central Kitchen Island
  • Energy-Star windows
  • Exterior lighting
  • 2-car garage
  • Front porch
  • Bathroom linen closet
  • Private toilet compartment in master bath

The NAHB research shows that these are what most people will be looking for—and expecting to find in any new home they consider. Your specific list might be a little different. There may be things that aren’t on this chart that you’d definitely want. There also may be things on here that you hadn’t thought about—but recognize as being things you would value.

Obviously, your personal needs and sense of style are the most important things to consider. But these are at least some of the features you'll want to think about to make yourself comfortable in your home for a good long time. And if you keep an eye on resale value, these are things that future buyers will be looking for if and when you should decide to sell your home.

Let’s be clear: There is no “magic” number for determining exactly how big your new home should be. And there’s no specific set of features that will fit the needs and desires of every homeowner. It really comes down to finding the floor plan that really fits your family. And when it comes to choosing the right floor plan, Gerber can help!

So keep your eye on general trends in the homebuilding industry. And make sure you choose what will make you happy—and hold its value.

Adapted from the original published Jun 18, 2014 @ 07:06 AM



Topics: Buying a Home in Rochester NY

If You’re Thinking About Building in the Rochester Area You May Want to Take a Spring Road Trip!

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, Mar 5, 2018 @ 06:03 AM

Thinking About Building In the Rochester Area Take a Spring Road TripWe’re approaching that time around Rochester when the ice begins to give way to the first blossoms. Officially, the first day of spring is March 20th this year (and the long-range forecast for Rochester on that day calls for a high of only 33 degrees—not very spring-like!). Still, if you’re thinking about building in the Rochester area you may want to take a spring road trip!

Why take a road trip this time of year if you’re planning to build a new home? Choosing where you want to build is an extremely important part of the homebuilding process. In fact, you could argue that where you choose to live is as important as the floor plan you choose for your home. And while you can look at floor plans online, it's a bit more difficult to get a sense of what a community is like just from online images.

We build homes in communities all across the greater Rochester area, including Webster, Perinton, Victor, Ontario, and Canandaigua—just to name a few. You can read descriptions about the communities (click on the links shown here) and their amenities. You can even check out photos of what the town looks like. But there’s nothing quite like visiting the communities themselves to get a feel for what it actually feels like.

A short road trip will let you see for yourself what traffic is like, where the stores are, how far it is to schools and work. You can get a feel for the general lifestyle of the community and see if you think it’s a good fit. Another thing to consider is that a description (or even a picture) of a lot doesn’t really tell you much about what that piece of property is like.

That doesn't mean you can't do a little homework ahead of time to narrow down your search a bit. We invite you to check out the communities where we’re currently building. Simply click on the name of the community and you'll see sitemaps and photos of the area. Then if you see some communities that appeal to your family, you can head off for a first-hand look. If you can't find what you're looking for in any of those communities, you can also search for property (or houses) by zip code.

But once you’ve done some preliminary research, there’s just no substitute for seeing a community for yourself to see if it feels like a good match for your family’s needs and lifestyle. And doing that now can put you a step ahead in the process of building your new home when the weather is no longer a factor.


Topics: Building a New Home Rochester NY

Cost Versus Value for Your Rochester Remodeling Project

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Mar 3, 2018 @ 06:03 AM

Cost Versus Value For Your Rochester Remodeling ProjectAny time you consider a remodeling project for your Rochester home you'll want to know what it's going to cost you—and what kind of return you're going to get on your investment. And while no two projects are identical, it's nice to have some kind of benchmark so that you know that the bid you have is a realistic one. So how do you evaluate cost versus value for your Rochester remodeling project?

The good news is that you have a valuable, free resource at your disposal. It’s called the Cost vs.Value Report and you can download it for free at to see what costs are for your specific area. It’s the oldest and most popular remodeling report in America—and it provides costs for 20 different remodeling projects (by region). It also includes data from local real estate professionals that tells you what you can expect to get back from these projects if you sell your home.

Click to Download: 2018 Remodeling Cost vs Value Report for Rochester, NY 

That helps you when you’re trying to create a realistic budget for your remodeling project. By the way, here’s a helpful post about how to talk about costs with your builder to make sure you’re both on the same page.

The new Cost vs. Value Report for 2018 is now available. It’s a great idea to download it so that you have access to good impartial information. Here is an interesting trend from this year’s report. Overall, remodeling costs around the country are up between two to five percent. In some cases, it can be higher because the hurricanes and fires that hit the U.S. this year are causing some material shortages—which drives prices up, even in areas not affected by those events.

If you’re interested in a remodeling project in order to sell your Rochester home (and get the best price for it) you can evaluate which projects will give you the best return on your investment. By the way, of the top six projects listed in the report (based on their payback), five of them are projects that focus on the exterior of the house. Curb appeal still matters!

Of course, if you’re not planning to move, you’ll want to focus more on the cost side of the report when considering a kitchen remodel, a bathroom remodel, or even a home addition. Those are projects you undertake to make your home more comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable. But it’s still helpful to have a rough idea of what you can expect to spend.

Whether you’re planning to move or simply planning to make your house more comfortable, it’s good to have access to accurate and impartial information that can help you plan. The Cost vs. Value Report for 2018 can provide you with exactly that kind of information.

Topics: Home Remodeling Rochester NY

Build, Buy, or Remodel? What’s the Right Choice for Your Rochester Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Feb 24, 2018 @ 21:02 PM

Build-Buy-or-Remodel-What’s-the-Right-Choice-for-Your-Rochester-Home.jpgWe Americans love our choices and options. If you don’t believe me, take a walk down the cereal aisle in one of the Rochester-area supermarkets and look at all the different options you’ve got for breakfast cereal!  The same thing is true when it comes to your housing needs. You have options for meeting your family’s needs. But should you build, buy or remodel? What’s the right choice for your Rochester home?

The answer, of course, will depend on what you’re looking for in a home. Your budget and the timing of your move will also be factors. Your specific needs will be different from those of others, so there’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer to whether you should build, buy or remodel.

That's why it may be more helpful for you to compare some of the advantages and disadvantages of your various options. Here's a quick overview of some of the pluses and minuses of building a new home, buying an existing home, or remodeling your current Rochester home.

Building a New Custom Home


  • Your home will be built to your exact specifications. You’ll be involved in the process from the ground up to ensure you get exactly what you want.
  • You’ll start with a clean slate. That means you won’t have to work around existing structural constraints or styles in order to get what you really want.
  • You get to put more of yourself into the way the home is built. Your home can reflect more of your personality.
  • With a new custom built home, you'll have lower initial maintenance costs (because it's new) and down the road because of the quality of materials and craftsmanship.
  • Custom built homes are more likely to use green building materials and technologies—resulting in lower utility bills and a decreased impact on the environment
  • With a custom home, you can build in features such as higher ceilings and bring in more natural light.
  • New custom homes offer the advantage of a basement that's dry from the beginning and remains dry because of the quality of construction.


  • There is a cost differential. Custom homes tend to cost a bit more than tract homes (but bear in mind that you’re getting more as well, so you have to take overall value into consideration).
  • You may face some delays before you can move in. If immediate occupancy is important this can be an issue and you may have to stay where you are longer—or find a temporary solution.
  • Custom building is a lot more “hands-on.” You’ll face a lot more decisions about the design and finish of your home. That can consume a lot of time and mental energy.

Buying a New or Existing Home


  • Buying an existing home gives you the ability to move in more quickly. There’s no waiting for construction to be completed—your home is “move-in ready” right now.
  • Existing homes generally have landscaping already done—and it’s often more mature. In addition to looking nicer, it can save you money later on.
  • Buying an existing home requires fewer decisions. If the thought of deciding on finishes and features and the like leaves you cold, you avoid all that. 

By the way, at Gerber, we frequently have existing models for sale that allow you to see a finished home that nobody has ever lived in—and move in quickly. Click here to check out our current inventory.


  • An existing home sits on an existing lot and you have to take what you get. You don’t have the option of choosing the lot you like best.
  • You’ll be somewhat limited with regard to how much you can customize your home. If you like the way the home is designed and finished, that’s great, but if you want to make changes it will take time, effort, and money.
  • If you’re buying a home that someone else has lived in you don’t get to “break in” your new home. Some people really like the idea of being the first ones in their new home. Also, your fixtures and appliances won’t be brand new (unless you’re buying a model).

Remodeling Your Existing Home


  • If you live in a neighborhood you love that is convenient to work, schools, and other activities, you don’t have to pull up roots and start anew.
  • You can avoid the stress and extra expense of a major move. There will be some disruption—but it’s not the same as moving. 
  • Good remodeling isn’t cheap but it’s probably going to be less expensive than building from scratch. 


If you really don’t like the overall style of your current home (i.e. You really want a rancher and you’re in a two-story) your remodel may not be able to address that issue.

It’s good to have options. And while you may have additional questions that you need to address before you decide what’s best for you and your family, evaluating the advantages and disadvantages above will give you a good start on your decision-making process.


Topics: building a new home, Rochester NY Home Builders, Moving to Rochester, Rochester Remodeling, Buying a Home in Rochester NY

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