Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Timeless Design: Why It Pays to Go Classic Rather Than Trendy

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Nov 19, 2016 @ 07:11 AM

Timeless-Design-Why-It-Pays-to-Go-Classic-Rather-Than-Trendy.jpgAs we approach the end of the year you can expect to start seeing homebuilding and decorating articles pop up that tout the newest design and decorating trends for the coming year. You’ll see topics such as: “Which Colors Are Hot—And Which Are Not.” You’ll hear about which countertop materials are trending for the next year. There will probably be articles about the “death of stainless steel appliance” like there have been for years now.

The honest truth is that much of what the interior of a home looks like depends on personal taste. Instead of worrying about whether or not you have the perfect shade of blue (or mauve, or whatever the color-de-jour is) it makes more sense to pay attention to timeless design that will look good—and feel comfortable for years to come.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping up with trends. We’ve all been in homes that are in desperate need of updating. But timeless design has more to do with comfort and function than it does with specific color palettes. And let’s face it; if you don’t like your wall colors, faucets, or light fixtures, you can change them. Sure, it will cost you to make those changes, but they’re not too costly or hard to do.

Timeless design, however, is focused on how the space within your home is configured and built out to accommodate that way your family lives. It’s all about making sure your home fits your lifestyle—the things you do and enjoy on a daily basis.

For instance, if you like to cook and entertain your kitchen is going to be a focal point of your home. Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your existing Rochester-area home,  you’ll want the kitchen to take center stage and allow you to cook and entertain comfortably. It’s really more about how you organize the space (and build it) than it is about how you decorate the space.

Some trends, really aren’t “trendy” at all. They are a reflection of what’s important to homeowners. Years ago, kitchens were kept separate and out of sight. Today the kitchen is often visible from multiple rooms in the house. Open floor plans are all about easy access to other areas in the home. Plus that trend (open floor plans) enables homeowners to take advantage of more natural light. The result is a home that feels more spacious and incorporates the beauty of the outdoors. That’s the kind of trend that has staying power because it’s focused on how you live—and not just which colors are currently in vouge.

If you’re planning to build a new home, it can be really helpful to review floor plans to identify designs that best match your family’s lifestyle. That’s why we offer dozens of different floor plans in a variety of sizes and styles. You can take a look to see which one best matches your specific needs.

As you make your decisions, keep timeless style and functionality in mind. Styles may come and go, but great, functional design is timeless.


Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, Rochester home remodelers, timeless design vs. trendy decor

Community Living in the East Rochester Area

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Oct 29, 2016 @ 22:10 PM

Community-Living-in-the-East-Rochester-Area.jpgOne of the most important aspects of building a new home in the East Rochester area is deciding where you’re going to live. While you certainly want to pay close attention to the floor plan you choose for your new home (to ensure your home fits the needs and lifestyle of your family), the fact is that you won’t spend all of your time inside the walls of your house.

Just as the design of your home should fit your needs and personality, you’ll want your community to reflect your lifestyle and sense of home. The good news is that in addition to lots of home design options, you also have a nice variety of communities from which to choose in the greater Finger Lakes region.

Let’s take a closer look at just a few.

Webster is known as the place “Where life is worth living!” and this community has a lot to offer, including employment opportunities as it is home to a number of established businesses and start-up companies. Webster also places a high value on its pristine environment, and recently purchased 1,023 acres of land to be used for hiking trails and other recreational activities for current and future generations. There are also numerous parks throughout the town and village, including Webster Park with its breathtaking views of Lake Ontario. Another great feature of the town is the Webster Arboretum in Kent Park, which has an incredible variety of plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees. The town is also conveniently located near State Route 104 allowing residents easy access to downtown Rochester or the Greater Rochester International Airport within 15-25 minutes. With an excellent geographical location, business and educational opportunities, and a friendly, community environment this might be your pick. You can also check out what’s going on in Webster on their Facebook page!

Huron is named after the Great Lake that borders the town on the north, and is a superb location for those who love open spaces. The topography of the town is comprised of rolling hills, tracks of wooded areas interspersed over acre upon acre of open land, crop fields, orchards and pasture land. Agriculture and farming are an essential and integral part of the character of the community. Huron offers the benefits and enjoyment of extensive public waterways and resort facilities and properties. For those looking for a community with a truly rural character, this is an ideal spot.

Fair Haven prides itself on being a place for all seasons. A quiet and peaceful community along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, Fair Haven offers small town hospitality that is enjoyed by visitors year after year. Located on the Seaway Trail, between Rochester and Syracuse, Fair Haven, NY has year round seasonal activities for everyone, including winter activities such as the Winter Festival and the annual Winter Festival Progressive Dinner and Dance. For more events, check out Fair Haven’s events calendar!

We invite you to check out the other great communities (and new home options) in the East Rochester area so that you can find the home and the community that best fits your family’s lifestyle and personality.


Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, new communities in eastern Rochester area, new homes in Webster, Fair Haven NY, Huron

Why Choosing Your Community Is Important When Choosing A Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 @ 11:09 AM

Why-Choosing-Your-Community-Is-Important-When-Choosing-A-Home.jpgYou’ll often here real estate professionals talk about the importance of “location, location, location.” They’re actually on to something. Where you live can be just as important as the home you build to live in. Let’s face it: you don’t spend all of your time within the walls of your home. That’s why the community you choose to live in is so important.

Gerber Homes builds quality homes in a number of different communities in the eastern Rochester area. Finding the right community for your family isn’t something you want to leave to chance. So you’ll want to think hard about moving into a new community.

One of the advantages of moving into a new construction community is that you can help shape the character of your neighborhood. Chances are good that you’ll be surrounded by others who are in the same situation you are. You’ve got a clean slate and you can organize community events that reflect the kind of things you’re interested in. There’s no “history” so you don’t have to overcome issues that may have been in place before you arrived.

You’ll also have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about how your community will develop and evolve. You don’t have to be a social activist to influence the character of your neighborhood. You simply have to be present and let others know what’s important to you and your family.

In a new community there are lots of opportunities to be involved in, including Home Owner Associations that will shape your neighborhood for years to come. And the good news is that you can be as involved as you want to be. You can organize events; if that’s something you’re comfortable with. Or you can simply choose to participate. You can attend HOA meetings if you’re good at expressing your thoughts and opinions.

A big part of determining where you want to live depends on your own community personality and selecting a community that fits that personality. One thing you may want to do is take a kind of “get-to-know-you” tour through communities such as Webster, Ontario, Canandaigua, or Mendon to see how they feel to you. Drive through the streets. Have dinner at some of the local restaurants. Take a walk in the parks. It may not be a terribly “scientific” approach to choosing a neighborhood, but it will give you a sense of what individual communities feel like. And that’s something really important to find out before you make a significant (and long-term move).

If you plan to move into a community in the Rochester area, you’ll want to think about more than the home you’re buying—you’ll want to think about what kind of community you and your family will be living in. Choosing your community is as important as choosing the floor plan for the home you plan to build.



Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, new communities in eastern Rochester area, influencing the character of your new neighborhood

When Buying a Rochester-Area Custom Home, It’s not Just What You Pay—It’s What You Get for Your Money

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 11:08 AM

When-Buying-a-Rochester-area-Custom-Home-Its-Not-Just-What-You_Pay-Its-What-You-Get-For-Your-Money.jpgWhen you’re thinking about building a new custom home in Ontario, Perinton, Webster or anywhere else in the Greater Rochester area, it’s easy to focus on the cost of the home. It’s important to have a realistic budget for your home. If you try to take on too much house, you probably won’t qualify for the loan. And even if your do, you may find yourself stretched beyond your comfort level. It’s no fun living in a home if you can’t afford to furnish it or if you’re constantly stressed by the monthly payments.

The real issue, however, isn’t just how much you pay for your home—it’s how much value your home delivers for the money you spend. You may want to check out this post, which talks about getting a fair price for a new Rochester-area home.

One of the big factors to consider when you’re thinking about the cost of a home is the quality of the home. Most new homes look pretty good in the first year or two. But if you’re planning to stay for a few years, you’ll want a home that’s solidly built and will stand up to the use you give it.

That’s one good reason to check out homes your prospective builder built several years ago; you can see how well they are maturing. Do they still look great, or are they starting to show signs of wear and tear? For three generations, our family has been building homes in the eastern Rochester area. You can choose from more than 3,000 existing homes if you want to check out the quality of our products!

As proud as we are of our quality craftsmanship, true value in a home involves more. In addition to quality of construction, you’ll want to think about how the home meets your specific needs. What are some of the things that add value to your home? Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Location: Where you live is just as important as the physical structure you live in. The quality of the community you call home is so important. So are schools and proximity to work and activities. We build in a wide range of locations around the Rochester area, including Webster, Canandaigua, Perinton, Ontario, Victor, Sodus, Penfield and numerous other communities in the region.

Design: A comfortable home doesn’t just happen. The design of your home needs to fit your specific lifestyle—with a configuration that matches the way you live and entertain. Take a look at the wide variety of floor plans we offer in a range of sizes and styles (including Colonial homes, first-floor masters, patio homes, ranch homes and Cape homes.

Size: Some people will say that size doesn’t matter, but when it comes to your home, you’ll want to think twice about that. You may not need a large, two-story home, but when you’re considering building, you’ll want to keep the future in mind. Spending a bit more for extra space now can actually save you a lot of money later if your needs outgrow the home you’re in.

Money does matter when it comes to building your custom home. But the value you get from your home (in terms of overall comfort and quality) is more important than pure price. And if a lower-priced home doesn’t deliver long-term quality and value, it’s no bargain.


Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, cost versus value in Rochester homes, Gerber Homes Floor Plans, what adds value to a Rochester-area home

2016 Kitchen Design Trends for Your Rochester-Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Jul 23, 2016 @ 21:07 PM

2016-Kitchen-design-trends-for-your-Rochester-area-home.jpgKitchens have come a long way in the last few years, and they’re continuing to evolve. Today’s floor plans no longer relegate the kitchen to a remote space of its own. Current home designs (whether you’re building a new custom home or remodeling your existing Rochester-area home) incorporate the kitchen into the whole home. After all, that’s the way we live. We tend to gravitate to the kitchen, whether we’re eating, entertaining or doing homework.

Kitchens with open designs have been around for a while, but recently homeowners and designers are rethinking how kitchens can best fulfill their role as the heart of the home. Here are a couple of trends we’ve been noticing for this year.


When choosing cabinets, countertops, flooring, backsplashes and even appliances, you’ll want to keep in mind that your family and guests may be sitting in the dining area or the family room, but they have a pretty clear view of the kitchen. Make sure there’s not a jarring difference of styles in your kitchen finishes.


This carries on the theme of having a kitchen that’s visible from other rooms in the home. Nobody wants to stare at a cluttered kitchen. That’s why an increasing number of kitchen designs are incorporating storage that allows you to keep more “stuff” (including some appliances) off the countertops.


There’s nothing more frustrating than not having enough light to perform everyday food preparation tasks in the kitchen. That’s why today’s kitchens often feature specific task lighting that lets you focus adequate light where you want it. But if you entertain off the kitchen, you don’t want harsh light in your guests’ eyes, so modern kitchens often incorporate ambient lighting as well. Use your task lighting when you’re doing prep and then switch to softer, more relaxing light in your kitchen to set the tone for entertaining.


It’s important to remember that your kitchen isn’t just for entertaining. Be sure the layout reflects the way you use your kitchen. That means designing the space to fit your workflow and the type of cooking you do. Kitchens today can be both beautiful and functional!

If you’re looking for additional ideas on creating a kitchen you’ll love, we invite you to download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen eBook, which can help you design a kitchen to fit your personal style.


Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, trends for modern kitchens, essential design elements for new kitchens, Rochester-area kitchen design

Will Spending More on Your Rochester-Area home Guarantee You More Value?

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, May 17, 2016 @ 14:05 PM

Will-Spending-More-on-Your-Rochester-area-home-Guarantee-You-More-Value_.jpgA lot has changed in the homebuilding business since we began building custom homes in the 1950s. But one thing never seems to change: homeowners are always concerned about their budgets.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re building in Ontario, Webster, Perinton, Canandaigua, Mendon or elsewhere in the Graster Rochester and Fingerlakes area. And it also doesn’t matter if you’re looking at building a smaller, 1,040 square-foot home or a larger, 3,600 square-foot home. Your budget matters!

Of course, creating a realistic budget is a crucial part of the homebuilding process. And while it’s important that you don’t overextend yourself by purchasing more house than you can really afford, it’s also critical to make sure you don’t under-budget and spend less than you should to get what you really want. That can actually cost you more if you have to add features or space later. Here’s a post that can help you avoid those kinds of budget missteps.

That raises a couple of really important questions about how much you should spend on your home: What are you getting for your money? Will spending more money on your Rochester-area home guarantee you more value?

Ultimately, it’s not really about how much money you spend (or save), but how much value (comfort, enjoyment, convenience, sense of well-being) you get for whatever sum you decide to spend.The fact of the matter is that not every expenditure generates the same kind of value. So if you’re going to spend more on a new home, where does it make sense to invest your money? Here are a few suggestions:

Your Kitchen

In all our years of homebuilding, we’ve never had a client complain that the kitchen in their home was too big. Kitchens today are such a central room in the house, and they get a lot of use. Spending a bit more for counter space, adequate cabinet space and even more square footage is something you won’t regret.

Your Family Room

This is another room you’ll use extensively. When your family isn’t in the kitchen, this is where they will probably be. This living space should be designed to accommodate the whole family. It may not need to be cavernous, but if your budget will allow it, making this room a little larger will make it that much more comfortable and enjoyable.

Master Bathroom

Along with the kitchen, the master bathroom is the most likely room to be remodeled. Why? Because it gets used everyday, and many people feel their existing bathroom is simply inadequate. People want a space where they can comfortably get ready for their day. You don’t have to turn your master bath into a spa (unless you want to…and here’s a great guide to help you plan “the ultimate bathroom”), but you’ll want it to be comfortable and to adequately meet your needs.

Room Size

Bigger may not always be better, but building too small can turn into a problem later. A tiny bedroom may be adequate for a baby or a small child—but what about when that child is a teenager?  Increasing the size of a room or adding a new room later will cost much more than building a bigger room to start with.

While this isn’t an all-inclusive list, it should get you started in thinking about what you’d want to spend a bit more on in your new home. You may notice that the suggestions listed here have less to do with how you home looksand more with how your home feels and meets your needs. That’s how you create value in your home. Not surprisingly, it’s alsohow you’ll see the best return on investment, should you decide to sell your home down the road.


Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, cost vs. value, budgeting for custom home, Greater Rochester, Fingerlakes area

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

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 @ 06:04 AM

How_your_Rochester-area_custom_home_values_differ_based_on_age.jpgIf you’re planning to build a custom home in the Rochester area, it’s important that the home you build fit your personality, your taste and your family’s lifestyle.  Your home should be a place where you and your family will be comfortable for a long time.

However, that raises an important question: What exactly is a long time?” How long do you plan to stay in your home? If you’re planning on the house you’re building being your home for many years to come, your needs (and even your tastes) may change.

Generally speaking, homeowners in their 20s can adapt to almost anything; at that stage, as long as you have a roof over your head, you’ll survive. But as you move into your 30s, you may have other considerations; your family may be growing and you may have young children to think about. The house you build should take that into consideration.

Homeowners in their 40s are often dealing with older children, who may require more space in their bedrooms (or who may no longer be willing to share a bedroom). Additionally, you may find that you want separate spaces where you and the kids can watch TV on occasion (especially if you want them to invite their friends to your house).

If you’re planning to remain in the same home in your 50s and beyond, there are a whole new set of considerations. The kids might be moving out, but perhaps you have an aging parent who might be moving in. You may even begin to think about making the home easier for yourself—even to the point of having everything you need to access daily on the main level.

Nobody has a crystal ball that can predict exactly what their future needs may be. But it’s helpful to realize that your needs will very likely change over time. That’s why, when you look at floor plans, you’ll at least want to keep potential life changes in mind before deciding on the plan that’s right for you.


Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, age-appropriate housing, building with future needs in mind, choosing the right plan for your on-going needs

Featured Floor Plan: The Gilmore on Parrish Road in Mendon, NY

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Mar 17, 2016 @ 06:03 AM

Featured-floor-plan-The-Gilmore-on-Parrish-Road-in-Mendon-NY.jpgThey say that good things come to those who wait. That may be true, but sometimes really good things come to those who just can’t (or don’t want to) wait. Our Gilmore floor plan on Parrish Road in Mendon, NY is a case in point! 

This 2,004 square foot home sits on approximately 2.2 acres and features three upstairs bedrooms with room for expansion. A finished bonus room on the second level can be used for a fourth bedroom, a separate media room or even a large home office. And with two bathrooms on the upper level (one in the master suite) there’s plenty of space for getting ready in the morning. Plus, there’s a powder room on the main level. 

And the main level is ideal for family time and for entertaining. The nine-foot ceilings on the main level lend a sense of spaciousness. The open floor plan provides lots of space for family and friends in the kitchen, dinette area and great room. And on top of that, there’s a separate dining room for quiet or more formal sit-down dinners.  

Gilmore-Floor-plan-1.jpgThe laundry room is conveniently located off the kitchen, just inside the entrance from the spacious two-car garage. This beautiful home also includes upgraded hardwood flooring, a gas fireplace with ceramic surround and central air conditioning. 

Click here to take a closer look at the Gilmore floor plan. 

This home is packed with value, and it’s an even bigger value with a fantastic sale price. And, it’s available right now! If you have questions about this model or would like to arrange to see it, you can contact Sharon Steck at 585-259-7172 or email her at 

Good things may come to those who wait, but you don’t have to wait to take advantage of a great home at a great price! 


Model Homes

Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, Mendon NY Custom home, quick move-in home in Mendon NY, Great Mendon NY floor plan

No Time to Build? You Can Still Choose a New Home in Mendon, Webster, or Ontario

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Feb 17, 2016 @ 06:02 AM

No-time-to-build_-you-can-still-choose-a-new-home-in-Mendon-Webster-or-Ontario.jpgPlanning ahead—especially for something as important as a new home—is a great idea. But maybe you’ve noticed that time isn’t always on your side! Sometimes life has a way of sneaking up on us. It could be a new job or a job transfer. It could be a new baby on the way a little earlier than expected. It could even be an aging parent needing to move in. Sometimes life springs surprises on us.

That can happen when it comes to selecting a new home. You may not have the luxury of months of planning and building before you need to make a move. The good news is that you don’t have to “settle” for something you don’t want.

We have a number of superb homes available for people who simply don’t have time to go through the homebuilding process—but still want the quality and comfort of a custom home in some of the Rochester area’s best communities.

There’s a 2005 square foot, 3-bedroom/2 ½ bathroom home that comes with a finished bonus room and lots of extras in Mendon.

Or if you prefer living in Webster, you might want to check out this 1,707 square foot, single-level, open floor plan home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. If you like, you can even take a virtual tour of the home!

If Ontario is where you want to be, you’ll want to explore this 2,044 square foot, 4-bedroom/2 ½ bathroom home with stone veneer accents, 9-foot ceilings on the main level and upgraded flooring. Click here to take a virtual tour of this outstanding property!

If you’re looking for a bargain in Perinton, make sure you take a look at this 3-bedroom, 2-bath home that offers the convenience of single-level living that’s available (for a limited time only) at a fantastic price!

If life hasn’t allowed you the luxury of taking all the time you want to choose your new home, you still don’t have to settle for less. You can take advantage of homes that are ready for you right now—and offer those extra touches that model homes have to offer!

 Dream Home

Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, model homes in Rochester area

How to Approach Costs with Your Rochester-area Builder—So You End Up With More Value

Posted by Blog Tipster on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 @ 06:12 AM

How-to-approach-costs-with-your-builder-so-you-end-up-with-more-value.jpgMany of us grew up hearing that it just isn’t polite to talk openly about money. That’s probably still good advice in most social situations. But it’s terrible advice if you’re in the process of building a custom home. It’s essential that you talk about costs with your builder. Nobody wants surprises in the final bill!

There is, of course, a right way to talk about money and costs with your builder, and it begins with having the right goals and objectives. Keep in mind that your goal is not to build the cheapest house possible—it’s to build the best house possible within your budget. What you’re really after is value.

So how and when should you talk to your builder about money? There are two key times when it’s important to have frank conversations with your builder about costs.

Start up front when you’re looking at floor plans and gleaning ideas about the house you want to build. Be honest with your builder and create a realistic budget. Don’t plan for a home that’s out of your range and don’t set your budget artificially low. If your builder knows what your range is he can work with you to give you the most bang for your buck. Here’s a helpful post that talks about how to create a realistic budget for your new home.

When you’re in the process of building, you may want to make some modifications. This is where it’s essential to talk about costs. Talk to your builder about the changes or modifications you want to make and ask for suggestions about the most cost-effective way to accomplish your goals.

Quality builders who have been around the block a time or two often have ideas about how to give you what you really want that may be less expensive than the ideas you suggest. Take advantage of your builder’s expertise and experience!

Your builder may give you several options that will accomplish what you want. That’s when you need to talk about costs again. Different options may have different price tags, and you’ll have to decide which one fits your budget. Reliable builders usually insist on a written change order to make sure that both of you understand exactly what the change will cost.

You may want to check out this article about how that kind of conversation with your builder might look. This is helpful information for keeping your building budget from creeping out of control.

Not only is it acceptable to talk to your builder about costs—it’s essential! It begins by matching your expectations with your budget before building begins. And it also includes having open and honest conversations with your builder about changes you might want to make to the original plan.

Created on 05/18/12 at 13:26:28

Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, working with your builder to control costs, homebuilding costs

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