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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.

 

Are you ready to build your dream home in rochester?

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

What Does It Really Mean to Build a Custom Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Nov 25, 2018 @ 10:11 AM

What Does It Really Mean to Build a Custom Home?Often, when people think about custom homes, their thoughts turn toward luxury features. Images of expensive stonework, exotic woods, and gold-plated bathroom fixtures come to mind. But what does it really mean to build a custom home?

There’s More to Custom Homes Than Spending More Money

While it’s true that you’ll spend more for a custom home than you will for a “production” home, the custom home building experience really isn’t about opulence—it’s about customization. That means building a Rochester-area home that fits your family’s lifestyle like a glove. It means designing the space and the look of the home so that it reflects your personal sense of style—and the way you live and entertain.

Just because you’re building a custom home doesn’t mean writing a blank check. You still have to pay attention to your budget. Here’s an article that cautions about some of the surprising places that your Rochester custom home could cost more—and how to prepare for those surprises.

What Custom (Can) Look Like

Let’s look at a few areas in your home where having a custom home looks a little different. Perhaps the best way to do that is to actually show you examples of custom homes we’ve built for our clients.

What-Does-It-Mean-to-Build-CUSTOM-2Here’s a Great Room in a custom home we recently built. You’ll notice that there’s nothing “typical” about it, from the woodwork and lighting in the Great Room ceiling to the unique fireplace and the stunning hardwood floors. It’s light and bright and open (making it a great place to entertain). And even though it’s an open floor plan, there are design elements to clearly delineate between the Great Room and the kitchen/dining area.

Kitchen-1Here's a closer look at the kitchen in the same home. Even the cabinetry in this kitchen is unique—reflecting the homeowners' personal style and preference. And you can tell from the range and hood that this is a family that enjoys cooking. Your particular kitchen might not be outfitted with appliances for gourmet cooking, but this gives you an idea of the possibilities. This family wanted a kitchen island that accommodates food prep and casual dining. You might choose something different.

Master-BathThe Master Bathroom is another area where custom homeowners like to include something a little different. You can see some of the custom touches in the bathroom cabinets and countertops. There’s also a walk-in shower (with large shower head). You could also add features such as a steam shower, or heated flooring for those cold Rochester mornings.  Another custom feature that’s become popular is having the toilet closed off from the rest of the bathroom.

What-Does-It-Mean-to-Build-CUSTOM-3Here’s a Master Bedroom in a custom home that looks a little different than what you’d find in a standard “production” home.  Notice the unique ceiling that ads depth and visual space to the room. If this were your home, you might choose to extend the room to include a larger reading area—or perhaps include a built-in audio/visual center that hides away when it’s not in use.

 

LocationSometimes the location and lot you chose is one of the most significant custom elements of your home. You can see from this image that the custom home we built takes advantage of fantastic views of open space—including a pond in the back. It's no wonder that these homeowners opted for full-length doors at the back of the home that leads out onto a patio that lets them enjoy the scenery.

 

 

Want to See More?

Click here if you’d like to take a virtual tour of another custom home we recently built for Homearama 2018. It provides you with more ideas of ways you can make your home uniquely yours.

You Have Choices

At Gerber Homes, we offer a wide variety of great floor plans that may be exactly what you’re looking for. If one of those floor plans meets your needs, that’s great. But if you’re after something more specific—a design that really reflects your personal sense of style and lifestyle, I’d encourage you to download our free Custom Home Guide that will walk you through the particulars of setting a budget, selecting your building team, finding the right home site, negotiating the contract, and actually designing the home of your dreams!

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

Building a Rochester-area Home That Pampers Your Pet

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Jan 8, 2017 @ 07:01 AM

Building-a-Rochester-area-Home-That-Pampers-Your-Pet.jpgFor a lot of people living in the Rochester area pets are a big part of family life. Wouldn’t it be nice if the new home you built in the area made your pets feel like pampered members of your family?

There are some innovative (and fairly simple) custom touches you can add to your new home to make it a truly pet-friendly environment. Let take a look at some examples of some things we did recently to help clients create a “Fur Baby-Friendly” place for their pets.

 

Building-a-Rochester-area-Home-That-Pampers-Your-Pet2.jpgA Pet Portal: If you have a pet that likes to go in and out multiple times during the day, you may get a little weary of constantly opening and closing the back door. Here’s a clever solution that let’s your pet go in and out whenever it wants (without having to ask you first). This custom pet entrance allows pets to go out anytime through a swinging door that seals out heat, cold, and moisture. It provides a ramp to let animals access the yard easily.

 

Building-a-Rochester-area-Home-That-Pampers-Your-Pet3.jpgA Window on the World: Both cats and dogs love to perch in a comfortable place where they can survey their domain and keep an eye on happenings in the neighborhood. This pet window seat is perfect for that. It’s low enough that pets can easily access it. It’s even a nice window seat for children! You can cover it with a washable pillow in order to keep it looking nice. And it may just help keep pets off the furniture!

 

Building-a-Rochester-area-Home-That-Pampers-Your-Pet4.jpgA Custom Retractable Pet Gate: Often families will want to keep their pets contained in a particular room or area of the house. But many people aren’t fans of those clunky-looking portable gates that you can buy at pet stores. They often don’t fit well and they aren’t the most attractive things in the world. Here’s a much better solution. It’s a custom, built-in, retractable gate that looks like it was actually made to be part of your home (because it was!). This stylish gate operates smoothly and then disappears into the wall when you don’t want to use it. You never have to find a place to store it (or look for it later) because it’s right where you left it. Plus, it’s much more solid and stable than those portable gates from the store.

Building-a-Rochester-area-Home-That-Pampers-Your-Pet5.jpgA Custom Pet Spa: Anybody who has ever struggled to give a dog or a cat a bath in the family tub knows what a struggle that can be. And when you’re done, there’s pet hair all over the bathroom in the drain. This custom pet spa solves that problem. Install this pet shower/bath in your basement, mudroom, or laundry room. There’s plenty of space to get your pet in and out without having to life it into a tub. And it saves wear and tear on your family bathroom.

 

If pets are a big part of your family, we’ll help you take care of them and make them feel at home in their new house. And don’t worry . . . we won’t forget about you, either. We have dozens of great floor plans for you to check out in order to find the perfect fit for the two-legged members of your family. And if you need customization of features on these plans, we’re here to help!

Topics: home remodeling, Home Additions, Building a New Home, Home Design, Custom Home Features