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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

15 Must-Have Features for Your Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jul 5, 2019 @ 12:07 PM

One great thing about building a new custom home is that you don’t have to settle for standard features and finishes. Creating a home that’s uniquely yours is what makes a custom home special. As you’re planning your home, you’re likely to come across certain features that you know you want to include in the plan. It’s not because these things are trendy or ostentatious. It’s because they deliver the kind of comfort and convenience you really want. With that in mind, let’s look at 15 “must-have” features for your custom home that you’ll probably want to consider.

Main Floor Dedicated Laundry Room

Your new laundry room may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning your home. Still, having a dedicated laundry room on the main level can make your life a lot easier. Perhaps laundry isn't your favoritye thing to do, but with a room that's set aside-and designed specifically for that task-it can be much more enjoyable. You can make sure you have adequate space for pre-wash, hanging, and ironing. And you can decorate it in your own style to make it a room you actually enjoy being in. 

Main Floor Dedicated Laundry Room in Rochester NY

Mudroom

A well-planned mudroom can be a life-saver for the rest of your house! Instead of having muddy shoes, backpacks, and coats scattered throughout the house, you can keep things organized by containing them in an easy-to-clean room right off the entrance from your garage. You can build in cubbies for different items and even build in extra storage space for things that only see occasional use. And if you have a dog, it's a great place to wipe off paws (and hang leashes) before your pet heads into the house.

Mudroom in Rochester NY

First-Floor Master Bedroom with Private Bath and Walk-In Closet

If your home is your castle, a first-floor master suite can be your inner sanctum. You can create a space that’s uniquely yours: Private, comfortable, and insulated from everything. An over-sized walk-in closet makes getting ready for the day a pleasure. There will be no jockeying for position as you get dressed. And you won’t have to share your bathroom with the kids or guests. In addition, locating your master suite on the main level means you can remain in your home longer without having to worry about stairs as you mature.

Master Bedroom Suite in Rochester NY

Gourmet Kitchen with an Over-sized Island

Kitchen Islands are extremely popular—and practical. Here’s a look at an oversized kitchen island in a custom home we recently built on Whiting Road in Rochester. You can see how the extended island provides plenty of space for food prep and for casual family meals, as well as for entertaining. This particular kitchen is done in a farmhouse style, but with a custom home, you can create it in any style that suits you. It’s practical, spacious, and welcoming! 

Kitchen Remodel in Rochester NY

Walk-In Pantry

Including a walk-in pantry in your kitchen adds a whole new dimension of convenience and comfort. On top of that, it keeps clutter at bay. You can use your pantry for larger packages of food items without sacrificing space in your kitchen cabinets. It allows you to keep frequently used items at eye level. And it’s a great place to store oversized appliances (mixers, bread machines, blenders) that you don’t use as often.

Walk-in Pantry in Rochester NY

Game Room

If you or your kids love gaming, you know that it can get a little loud at times. A dedicated game room can solve that problem. You can decorate it in a fun or funky style that sets the room apart. You might choose to make it a combination home theater room and game room. Or you might go want to encompass both online gaming and arcade-style games such as pinball. Imagine a whole room dedicated to fun!

Game Room in Rochester NY

Luxurious Shower Room

With a custom home, you don't have to settle for a boring bathroom. The trend these days is toward spacious and luxurious showers that look and feel elegant. You might want to install multiple shower heads or even a steam shower that can warm your shower up before you step in on a cold Rochester morning. Today's luxury showers also include seating, built-in cubbies for bath items, and stylish (but functional) grab bars for safety.

Bi-Fold Moving Glass Wall System

Another building trend that has really taken off is the blurring of the lines between indoor and outdoor living. Adding a bi-folding glass wall system allows you to open the interior or your home to the outside so that you can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine without even leaving the comfort of your family room. And even in colder months, these well-insulated panels allow plenty of natural light into your home.

Bi-Fold Moving Glass Wall System in Rochester NY

Outdoor Kitchen

Building an outdoor kitchen is another way that allows you to enjoy the comforts of indoor living in an outdoor environment. Instead of simply having a grill on your deck or patio, you can create an outdoor kitchen and dining area that includes a built-in grill, refrigerator, counter space, and even a sink for cleaning up. You can cook and entertain guests in comfort while enjoying a great "al fresco" environment.

Outdoor Kitchen in Rochester NY

Floor to Ceiling Fireplace

There is nothing quite like a warm and inviting fire on a cold Rochester evening. But you don’t have to settle for an unimaginative fireplace. A floor to ceiling fireplace is a fantastic focal point for a family room. It’s dramatic—whether you have a fire blazing or not. And you can choose whether you prefer a wood-burning fireplace or a natural gas fireplace that you can turn on or off at your discretion (with no clean-up).

Fireplace in Custom Home Remodel in Rochester NY

Custom Built-In Shelves

Even the shelving in your kitchen, family room, or study can be customized. Built-in shelving not only looks great, but it also doesn’t encroach on your living space. Instead of being an additional piece of furniture in the room, built-in shelving is part of the room itself.

Family Room in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Freestanding Tub

Some homeowners have to choose between including a shower or a tub in their bathroom. With a custom home, you can have both! And sometimes there is nothing quite like a long and leisurely soak. Nothing makes that more pleasant than an elegant, freestanding tub like the one you see here. Not only is a tub like this ideal for a sumptuous soak, but it also adds visual interest to your master bathroom—making a place you enjoy spending time.

Bathroom Remodel in Rochester NY
 

Wine Cellar

If you enjoy collecting, sampling, and sharing fine wines with your friends, you can take that pursuit to the next level with a wine cellar of your own. You can create a small (closet-sized) wine cellar in which to store your bottles—or you can create a larger cellar that includes a wine-tasting room with its own décor and atmosphere.

Wine Cellar in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Central Vacuum System

Who says you have to push or drag a vacuum cleaner around your house in order to keep it clean? Another option is to install a central vacuum system in your new home that lets you plug in wherever you are without fighting chords and hoses.

Central Vacuum System in Rochester NY

Heated Floors

One of the greatest luxuries you can install in your home is also one you’ll never see. Putting in heated flooring in your master bathroom is an indulgence that is an absolute delight in a cold-weather climate like Rochester. Instead of stepping out of the shower onto a cold floor, you’ll be treated to a warm and comfortable end to your shower.

Heated Floors in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Those are just a few of the “must-have” features you may want to consider for your new custom home. We invite you to visit our gallery and click on the custom homes images for additional ideas that can make your new home better meet your unique tastes and desires.

 

Are you ready to build your dream home in rochester?

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

New Home Communities in Rochester NY Area

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

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

What Makes a Great Rochester area Community?

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

A Few Examples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Topics: Model homes, Custom homes, Rochester NY, Canandaigua NY, Ontario NY, Victor NY, Webster NY, Fair Haven NY, brighton ny, pittsford ny, Building a New Home, Sodus NY, Perinton NY

Your Guide to Building Truly Custom in the Fingerlakes Region

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

Gerber-Homes-About-Us-1Your Guide to Building Truly Custom in the Fingerlakes RegionWhat makes a custom home truly custom? Often people think of luxury features. But a custom home is more than just luxury. Some people think of high-end appliances or top-of-the-line finishes. Those are nice things, but they don’t necessarily make a home a custom home. Here’s your guide to building truly custom in the Fingerlakes region.

Customize What’s Important For You and Your Lifestyle

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

Floor Plans

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

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

KitchenKitchen

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

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

BathoomBathroom

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

Family-RoomFamily Room

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

Master-BedroomMaster Bedroom

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

Outdoor-LivingOutdoor Living

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

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

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Topics: Custom homes, Building a New Home

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

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

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

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Make Sure Your Home Fits Your Lifestyle

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

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

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

How Much Do You Want to Customize?

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

Think About Where You Want to Live

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

Educate Yourself About the Process

Once you’ve firmed up the style of home you want and where you might like to live, you’re ready for your next steps. We've learned over the years that the better informed our clients are about the custom home building process, the happier they are with the results—and the more they enjoy the experience. That's why we offer some help for figuring out what those next steps. If you'd like to learn more please download our free page custom home guide.

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

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.

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Topics: Model homes, Custom homes, buying a new home, Building a New Home, Homearama

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!

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Topics: floor plans, Building a New Home, Perinton NY

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!

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Topics: floor plans, Building a New Home, In-Law Suite