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Creating a Luxurious Master Bathroom in Your Rochester Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Nov 5, 2019 @ 08:11 AM

Of all the rooms in your home, your master bathroom may be the most personal. It’s also a room that you use multiple times every day—and it’s one that you can creatively customize to provide comfort, convenience, and a touch or two of luxury. Let’s explore some ideas for creating a luxurious master bathroom in your Rochester custom home.

 

Custom Convenience

Farmhouse bathroom vanity and storage in Rochester NY
 

First and foremost, your master bathroom needs to be fully functional and offer outstanding convenience. It's important to remember that it's probably going to be a shared space, so your bathroom design should consider that.

 

Vanities Are About More than Vanity

Master Bathroom in Rochester NY Custom Home
 

Togetherness is a great thing—except in the bathroom. Nobody wants to struggle for space when getting ready for work in the morning, or when they are trying to wind down for the night. That's why dual vanities are an absolute must for any custom master bathroom. Not only is it much more convenient to have your own sink, but it's also nice to have places for all of your toiletries where they are easy for you to access. Of course, having vanities that look great is a huge plus. The great thing about a custom master bath is that you can take the design in any direction you want. You can go for a sleek, modern look that sets the tone for the whole room. Or you can opt for stand-alone vanities that are custom-made (even from antique furniture) to create a warm, inviting space. Here’s an article that takes a more in-depth look at various vanity options.

 

Super Showers

Contemporary Master Bathroom in Custom Home in Rochester NY
 

Today's showers have come a long way from the simple showerheads that sprayed into a conventional bathtub. Spacious showers with multiple showerheads (such as rain showerheads and body sprayers) are increasingly popular. Many homeowners are opting for barrier-free walk-in showers that have great lines and are a real benefit for maturing homeowners who are thinking ahead about aging in place. Many homeowners are adding elegant grab bars and seating options that not only look great but also add functionality and safety.

 

Customized Comfort

 

Your master bathroom can also offer lots of comfort. Adding features such as towel warmers may seem like a small thing, but you’ll love grabbing a warm towel when stepping out of the shower on a cold Rochester morning. You can also take that warming comfort to another level by adding radiant floor heating. Nobody enjoys stepping on a cold bathroom floor in the middle of winter. Your master bathroom isn’t just a place to get clean. It can be a great place for a solitary soak in a freestanding soaking tub at the end of the day.

 

Light, Bright, and Private

Traditional Bathroom Vanity Lighting in Rochester NY
 

It's easy for homeowners to overlook the importance of great lighting in the bathroom. Of course, you'll want task lighting for applying makeup or for shaving. But you'll also want to let in as much natural light as possible to keep things bright. Adding skylights or high windows to your bathroom lets you do that without having to sacrifice privacy.

 

Extending the Luxury

Dressing room in master bathroom in custom home in Rochester NY
 

Your bathroom itself isn’t the only area where you’ll want luxury and convenience. As you design your room, you may also want to consider an attached dressing room or a large walk-in closet that provides plenty of storage, space to get dressed, and lighting that makes it easy to pick out just the right outfit for your day.

 

What About Cost?

Contemporary Farmhouse Bathroom in Custom Home in Rochester NY
 
Naturally, you’ll want to have an idea about what your custom master bath is going to cost you before you jump into planning. Because there are so many variables involved (size, complexity, materials used) it’s virtually impossible to provide a “one-size-fits-all” cost. But to give you at least a general idea, here’s a look at remodeling costs for a variety of bathroom remodeling projects in Rochester. An advantage you’ll have when building your custom home is that you won’t have to be concerned with tear out and limiting spaces. Still, this article can provide you with comparative costs for varying levels of luxury bathrooms.

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

Choosing the Kitchen Cabinets for Your Custom Home

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

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

 

What’s Your Kitchen Style?

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

Transitional Kitchen Renovation with Shaker Cabinets in Rochester NY
 

Cabinet Style

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

Farmhouse Kitchen with Glass Front Cabinets in Rochester NY

 

Cabinet Color

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

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

Transitional Kitchen with green island in Rochester NY

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

 

How Much Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

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

 

Style of Kitchen Cabinet

Price per Linear Foot

Stock

$100 to $300

Semi-Custom

$150 to $650

Custom

$500 to $1,200

 

Can You Have a Custom Kitchen in Your Existing Home?

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

Farmhouse Kitchen with White Cabinets in Rochester NY

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

 

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

Choosing the Countertops for Your Rochester Custom Home

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

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

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

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

 

Style

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

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

 

Durability

Quartz Kitchen Countertops for Your Rochester Custom Home

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

 

Price

Granite Kitchen Countertops for Your Rochester Custom Home

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

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

 

Think About the Sink

Marble Kitchen Countertops for Your Rochester Custom Home

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

 

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

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

Designing the Kitchen in Your Rochester Custom Home

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

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

 

Balancing Form and Function

Kitchen Made For Entertaining in Your Rochester Custom Home

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

 

How to Design a Kitchen Layout

Kitchen Layout in Custom Home in Rochester NY

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

 

What About “Extra” Kitchen Features?

Special Features for Your Rochester Kitchen

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

 

Choosing the Look You Want

Choosing the Look You Want For Your Rochester Kitchen

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

 

How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Kitchen?

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

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

 

Next Steps

Prepare to design the kitchen in your Rochester custom home

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

 

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

10 Must-Have Bathroom Features for Your Rochester Custom Home

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

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

 

How to Design a Bathroom

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

 

An Updated Look

Contemporary Bathroom in Custom Home in Rochester NY

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

 

Double Vanities

Double Vanity in Custom Home in Rochester NY

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

 

Adequate Storage

Ample Storage in Master Bathroom in Custom Home in Rochester NY

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

 

Great Cabinets

High Quality Bathroom Cabinets in Custom Home in Rochester NY

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

 

Stunning Sinks

Stylish Sinks in Master Bathroom of Rochester Custom Home

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

 

Creative Countertops

Bathroom Countertops in Rochester Custom Home

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

 

Fabulous Flooring

Bathroom Flooring in Master Bathroom of Rochester Custom Home

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

 

Lustrous Lighting

Bathroom Lighting in Master Bathroom in Rochester Custom Home

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

 

Super Shower

Glass shower in master bathroom in Rochester NY home

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

 

Changing Personal Needs

Frameless Glass Shower in Rochester Custom Home

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

 

What About Costs?

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

 

How Can You Get Started?

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

 

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

Topics: Custom homes, Bathroom Design, Custom Home Features

Designing a Kid-Friendly Custom Home

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

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

 

Bedrooms

Bunk beds in custom home in Rochester NY

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

 

Bathrooms

Kid-friendly bathroom in custom home in Rochester NY

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

 

Playrooms

Kids playroom in custom home in Rochester NY

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

 

Homework Spaces

Childrens homework space in custom home in Rochester NY

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

 

Music Room

Music room in custom home in Rochester NY

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

 

Think Outside the House

Childrens treehouse in Rochester NY

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

 

Kid & Adult Friendly Features

Dedicated laundry room in custom home in Rochester NY

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

 

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

 

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

Designing Your Custom Home for Entertaining

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

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

 

Start with the Kitchen

Farmhouse Kitchen in Rochester NY

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

 

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

 

Build in a Home Bar

Home bar in custom home in Rochester NY

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

 

Create Your Own Theater Experience

Home theater in custom home in Rochester NY

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

 

More Fun and Games

Play room in Custom Home in Rochester NY

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

 

Customize Your Entertaining Ability

Outdoor Kitchen at custom home in Rochester NY

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

 

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

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

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.

 

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

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

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

Traditional Bathroom in Rochester NY custom home
 

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).

Form

Bathroom Vanity in Rochester NY custom home
 

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.

Function

Contemporary Bathroom Vanity in Custom Home in Rochester NY
 

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

Contemporary Wood Bathroom Vanity  in Custom Home in Rochester NY
 

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!

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