Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

John Graziose

Recent Posts

What’s the Most Important Thing to Consider When Remodeling Your Rochester-Area Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Mar 24, 2019 @ 00:03 AM

What’s the Most Important Thing to Consider When Remodeling Your Rochester-Area Home? You’re probably familiar with the old Chinese proverb: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Remodeling your Rochester home is a little bit like that. Maybe you won’t be faced with thousands of details, but there will be quite a few. So what’s your first step? What’s the most important thing to consider when remodeling your Rochester-area home?

Keeping First Things First

It's tempting to jump right into the details of a remodeling project. That's where the fun is, right? If you're planning a kitchen remodel, for instance, you may already have looked at things such as cabinets, countertop materials, flooring, or appliances. If you’re remodeling your master bathroom you may have checked out the coolest new tubs and showers, looked trends in vanities, or browsed through bathroom tile options.

All of those things are important details to consider when remodeling your Rochester-area home, but there’s one thing that’s even more important. Actually, it’s a question you have to ask (and answer) before you pursue any of those other avenues.

What Do You Really Want?

Remodeling isn’t just about making things look better. It’s also about function: it’s about making your home more comfortable and convenient. Even the best-looking kitchen or bathroom won’t make you happy if it doesn’t feel right—if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle.

DOWNLOAD now: Home Design Guide

Get Specific

That means you want to move beyond general terms and think a bit more specifically about how you want your room to change. For example, you may think that your kitchen feels too crowded. But just making it bigger isn't necessarily the answer. How do you want it to function? Do you want more space for entertaining? Is it lack of workable counter space for cooking that you want? What's the one thing you really want more than anything else? Here’s a fun article that helps “your identify your kitchen personality” so that you can make the right remodeling choices.

The same is true for your bathroom. If all you want is to freshen or update the look, that's fine. But if your reason for remodeling is that you're frustrated by sharing a single sink, or that you don't have enough storage space, simply changing fixtures won't make you happy.

Before you get too far into the specific details of your remodeling project, it’s a good idea to get an overview of the process so that you know how to plan. You’ll want to research resources that help explain the big questions and issues.

DOWNLOAD eBook: Remodeling a House, Creating a Home

This eBook provides information for anyone considering remodeling—from choosing a color scheme for the bathroom through selecting a kitchen theme that reflects your personality, to finding a contractor and even applying for financing.

As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of details to consider when it’s time to remodel, but make sure you consider that one thing: What do YOU really want from your remodeling project? Everything else comes from that!



Topics: Rochester Home Renovations, Remodeling Costs Rochester NY, Remodeling Contractor NY

Don’t Forget These Numbers When Calculating the Mortgage on Your Rochester-Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Mar 9, 2019 @ 07:03 AM

Don’t Forget These Numbers When Calculating the Mortgage on Your Rochester-Area HomeFor many people planning to build a new home in the Greater Rochester area, getting a good handle on what their mortgage payments are going to be is a critical early step.

As a matter of fact, it’s smart to get your finances in order first when building a new home (and here’s an article that talks about why that’s true). It can be easy to focus just on the final monthly payment. There are, however, other numbers that will influence your payments. So don't forget these numbers when calculating the mortgage on your Rochester-area home.

Get a Quick First Look

You may want to start off with a quick look at what your payments might be—just to have a ballpark figure. There are a number of free online mortgage calculators you can use to help you approximate your monthly payments. Here’s a simple one from that lets you adjust a number of the variables that can affect your monthly payments (home value, down payment, interest rate, length of term, etc.). Here’s another calculator from It’s not a bad idea to look at a couple of different sources.

Either of these tools can be helpful for providing a rough idea of your expenses. However, many homeowners overlook some figures a free mortgage calculator just doesn’t include.

  • Interest Rate Changes: We have enjoyed very low interest rates on mortgages for a long time. Current rates may not be quite as low as they were a couple of years ago, but mortgages are still very affordable. According to a February 21, 2019, New York Times article, “The average interest charged on a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage this week was 4.35 percent this week, down from an average as high as roughly 5 percent last year, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.  Still, those rates can change pretty quickly. It’s also not unusual for them to change daily, so keep that in mind as you budget. If you’ve budgeted too tightly, a small increase in the rate could put your mortgage out of reach. Make sure you have a bit of flexibility built in to accommodate those shifts.
  • Rising Taxes: While nobody really expects taxes to go down, many homeowners don’t consider that their property taxes could actually go up. As with the interest rate increases mentioned above, this could push your mortgage out of range if you’ve calculated too closely. While this is unlikely to happen overnight, you’ll still want to make sure you have a bit of wiggle room to accommodate increases.
  • Emergency Expenses: Nobody likes to deal with emergencies, but unexpected events sometimes occur (car repairs, education expenses, medical bills, etc.). Make sure the loan you qualify for leave you so strapped that you can’t handle those emergencies.
  • Those Pesky Fees: It's easy to forget about those additional expenses for things such as utility connections, inspections, access fees, and HOA dues. Individually, they may not be overwhelming, but they can add up, so make sure you take those into account when calculating your budget.
  • Changes to the Plan: Often homeowners want to make changes to the original building plans in order to make their homes fit their wants, needs, and desires. Sometimes the changes aren't extravagant, but there are times when they can be significant. If it’s a change you really want to make, it will probably never be cheaper to do it than while you’re building. But if you haven’t allowed a buffer in your budget, you won’t be able to take advantage of the opportunity.

Be Realistic

A major key to creating a good budget is to be realistic. That means not over-budgeting (and taking on more debt than you need) and not under-budgeting (trying to cut corners to save money). Here’s a helpful article about how to arrive at a realistic budget for your Rochester home.

Go ahead and use a generic online mortgage calculator to get a general idea of where your budget will land. Be keep in mind that there are some numbers those calculators won’t figure for you. If you plan for these “surprises” ahead of time, you’ll be a lot more confident and relaxed when it’s time to begin building.


Topics: Mortgage Rochester NY, Rochester Home Builder, Free Rent Rochester NY

Avoiding Remodeling Regrets in Your Rochester-Area Home

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

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

What Remodeling Veterans (Homeowners) Have to Say

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

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

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

Who You Work With Matters

Finding honest, reliable and talented contractors.

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

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

Doing EXACTLY what you want

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

Download the 2019 Cost Vs Value Report

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

Set Realistic (and Flexible) Expectations

Not expecting it to come in on-time and on-budget

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

New Home Communities in Rochester NY Area

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

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

What Makes a Great Rochester area Community?

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

A Few Examples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Cost Versus Value for Your Rochester Remodeling Project

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

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

Cost and Value Vary With the Project

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

Download the 2019 Cost Vs Value Report

A Midrange Minor Kitchen Remodel

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

A Midrange Major Kitchen Remodel

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

An Upscale Major Kitchen Remodel

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

What About Putting On an Addition?

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

A Midrange Bathroom Addition

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

An Upscale Bathroom Addition

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

Your Exact Costs Will Vary

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

There Is More To Cost and Value Than Just Financial ROI

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

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


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

Free Rent While You Build Your New Home!

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

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

Get FREE Rent While You Build

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

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

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

You’ve Got Options—and Amenities

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

Patriot-Corner2Patriot Corner Apartments

1260 Ridge Rd, Ontario, New York

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


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

Includes: free rent and free storage unit

Swiss-ChaletSwiss Chalet Apartments

222 Fayette Street, Palmyra, NY 14522

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


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

Includes: free rent and free storage unit

Seven_HearthsSeven Hearths Homestead
3635 Palmyra Rd, Marion, NY 14505

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


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

Includes: free rent and free storage unit

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


Topics: New homes Rochester NY, Free Rent Rochester NY

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

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

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

DoorsReplacing Doors

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

DecksAdding a Deck

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

PorchPutting on a Porch

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

Roofing-WindowsReplacing the Roof and Windows

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

SidingSuperior Siding

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

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


Topics: Exterior Remodeling Rochester NY, Rochester Home Renovations

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

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

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

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

What Are Your Space Needs?

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

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

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

How Long Do You Plan to Stay?

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

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


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

Choosing Your Rochester Builder: The Step Too Few Homeowners Take

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

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

What Most Prospective Homeowners Get Right

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

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

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

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

The One Step Many Potential Homebuilders Don’t Take

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View our Custom Home Video

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

The Fanfare of the Vanities: Which Vanity is Right for Your Rochester Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Jan 1, 2019 @ 06:01 AM

The Fanfare of the Vanities: Which Vanity is Right for Your Rochester Home?If you’re building a new home in the Rochester area—or are considering a remodel of the bathroom in your existing home—one of the decisions you’ll face is what kind of bathroom vanity to install. The good news is that you’ll have no shortage of choices. The flip side of that is that not every vanity is right for every bathroom. How do you sort through the choices? Which vanity is right for your Rochester home?

Different Kinds of Bathrooms

First of all, you'll want to think about what kind of bathroom you're designing. If you're working on a small powder room, that allows you a lot more flexibility when making your vanity choice. Powder rooms are often unique, fun, quirky rooms that don't necessarily have to conform to the style in the rest of your home. These rooms lend themselves to bold or playful design elements. A Master Bathroom, on the other hand, will usually be tied into the style of the Master Bedroom. And you'll also be dealing with additional components (shower, tub, storage, etc.).  The same is true (to a lesser degree) with a guest bathroom.

In all three cases, you’ll be balancing the form and the function of the rooms. You’ll want to think about how the room looks and how it works to meet the needs of those who use it (whether that’s you or your guests).


I’ve already alluded to the fact that a powder room can be eclectic, fun, and bold. Because powder rooms are generally small, you’ll want to take space into consideration. That’s where a pedestal sink (that actually doesn’t use a vanity at all) can be a good choice. It takes up less physical—and visual space. Antique cabinet vanities are also quite popular. That can work well if you have a family heirloom that doesn’t really fit the décor of the rest of your home. You can convert it into a powder room vanity.  You can see several examples in the illustration above. This kind of piece also lends itself to creative and distinctive sinks.  You can also take this approach in your guest bathroom or your Master Bathroom, but you’ll want to make sure you can coordinate the look with the other features in those rooms.


Of course, you’ll also want to think about how the room will be used. Here’s an article that talks about what matters most in your Rochester bathroom. If storage space is a concern for you, a pedestal style sink may not be your ideal option. This is more of an issue in guest bathrooms and Master Bathrooms. Those rooms need to be comfortable and convenient for you (or guests) to get ready for the day or wind down at night. Make sure whatever style you choose provides enough room to store the things you need (towels, soap, makeup, shaving accessories, cleaning supplies).

Take a Look

Sometimes seeing your options is a big help in making your decision. Click here for a look at some of the bathrooms we’ve remodeled in the Rochester area. It will give you an idea of how to marry form and function. Want more ideas? As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of options! Check out these vanity photos on

If you want to focus on your Master Bathroom, download our free Remodeling a House, Creating a Home eBook and take a look at the section on ideas for your Master Bath!

Adapted from the original post Jun 21, 2016 


Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, remodeling Rochester bathrooms, Remodeling Costs Rochester NY

Subscribe via E-mail

Latest Posts

Posts by category