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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

Where Will I Live While My Custom Home is Under Construction?

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Jul 9, 2019 @ 13:07 PM

Where Will I Live While My Custom Home is Being Built in Rochester NYBuilding a new home in the Rochester area can be a fun, exciting, and challenging task. What can you do to make sure you’re a happy camper throughout the process? You’ll have a lot of details to think about. That will include evaluating floor plans to come up with a design that best suits your needs (here’s some information that can help with that). You’ll make choices about building materials, finishes, and appliances. You’ll want to think through your lighting and decorating choices. There will be budgets and finances to work through, too. But there’s one question that often sneaks up on a lot of homeowners: “Where will I live while my custom home is being built?”

It’s not exactly a small detail, because the rest of life doesn’t stop when you sign a contract to build a new custom home. You still have a life to live and you have responsibilities beyond your new home. And as rustic and romantic as it may sound, “camping out” really isn’t a great option.

In a perfect world, you’d be able to sell your existing home and continue to live in it until your new home is ready to move in. Then you’d simply pack up your stuff and make your move. It sounds simple, right? Most of us, however, don’t live in that perfect world. That means when you sell your existing home, you may have to move out before the new one is completed.

Community in Rochester NY

Great Community Choices

The good news is that Gerber builds homes in a wide variety of communities (and individual home sites) in the Rochester area. Check out the many options available for building in the area, including Canandaigua, Marion, Huron Macedon, Webster, Ontario, and others. Knowing you’ll end up in a community you love is a big help, but it doesn’t take care of your housing needs before your move-in date.

Apartments in Rochester NY

What About Your Short-term Housing Needs?

Finding a short-term lease can really be a challenge—particularly if you want to move into a place where you’ll be comfortable and feel secure. Too often, if you can find a place, you’ll have to be prepared to pay a premium.

At Gerber, we think there’s a better way to solve that dilemma than to put an extra burden on families who want to build a new home. One of the ways we make it easier for homeowners to build with us is to provide them with another short-term housing option. Because we own a number of quality rental properties, we’re able to offer month-to-month living opportunities to our clients. As a matter of fact, while your new Gerber custom home is being built, you can live in one of these comfortable units RENT FREE. Click here for details about our free rental and storage options that you can take advantage of while we build your home! You’ll find options in Ontario, Palmyra, and Marion.

You’ll have plenty of details to deal with when building your new home. Worrying about where you’ll live while your home is being built doesn’t have to be one of them. That should make you a happy camper—without having to actually camp out!

Get Free Rent while we build your Rochester New York Custom Home

Topics: Custom homes, Building a New Home

15 Must-Have Features for Your Custom Home

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

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

Main Floor Dedicated Laundry Room

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

Main Floor Dedicated Laundry Room in Rochester NY

Mudroom

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

Mudroom in Rochester NY

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

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

Master Bedroom Suite in Rochester NY

Gourmet Kitchen with an Over-sized Island

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

Kitchen Remodel in Rochester NY

Walk-In Pantry

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

Walk-in Pantry in Rochester NY

Game Room

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

Game Room in Rochester NY

Luxurious Shower Room

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

Bi-Fold Moving Glass Wall System

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

Bi-Fold Moving Glass Wall System in Rochester NY

Outdoor Kitchen

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

Outdoor Kitchen in Rochester NY

Floor to Ceiling Fireplace

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

Fireplace in Custom Home Remodel in Rochester NY

Custom Built-In Shelves

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

Family Room in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Freestanding Tub

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

Bathroom Remodel in Rochester NY
 

Wine Cellar

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

Wine Cellar in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Central Vacuum System

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

Central Vacuum System in Rochester NY

Heated Floors

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

Heated Floors in Custom Home in Rochester NY

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

 

Are you ready to build your dream home in rochester?

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

New Home Communities in Rochester NY Area

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

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

What Makes a Great Rochester area Community?

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

A Few Examples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Are Your Space Needs?

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

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

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

How Long Do You Plan to Stay?

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

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

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Topics: Custom homes, aging in place

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

Your Guide to Building Truly Custom in the Fingerlakes Region

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

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

Customize What’s Important For You and Your Lifestyle

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

Floor Plans

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

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

KitchenKitchen

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

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

BathoomBathroom

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

Family-RoomFamily Room

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

Master-BedroomMaster Bedroom

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

Outdoor-LivingOutdoor Living

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

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

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Topics: Custom homes, Building a New Home

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

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

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

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Make Sure Your Home Fits Your Lifestyle

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

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

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

How Much Do You Want to Customize?

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

Think About Where You Want to Live

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

Educate Yourself About the Process

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

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

Controlling Creeping Cost While You Build Your Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 @ 09:07 AM

Custom Building in Rochester: Controlling Creeping CostOne of the most prevalent “horror stories” about building a custom home or doing a home remodeling project has to do with homeowners going over budget. That tale of woe is followed closely by stories about projects that took much longer to complete than planned. Sometimes that happens when a homeowner doesn’t take enough time to think through what they really want and need. That may mean adding options later that weren’t in your original budget (here’s a post that deals with that in more detail).

There are some other things that can cause building and renovation projects to exceed their budgets and deadlines—and homeowners often get surprised by these things.

Traditional Custom Home in Rochester NY

Home Size

It's no surprise that (generally) a bigger house costs more money. Your builder will use more materials and more labor. One housing trend that may be a bit of a surprise for you has to do with the size of homes. For many years new home sizes got gradually bigger and bigger. House sizes took a dip around 2008 but then began edging up again. Around 2013, however, that growth flattened out and actually started down. Instead of focusing so much on the size of their homes, owners were paying more attention to the comfort and quality of their homes. They wanted homes that fit their lifestyles. Here’s an article that talks about the emphasis on better over bigger.

Home Layouts

Size isn’t the only physical characteristic that can affect your building cost. The layout of your home can have an impact as well. Some plans are more expensive to build than others. Here’s a look at the cost difference between building a one-story home, a one-and-a-half- story home, and a two-story home.

Property

Sometimes new homeowners forget that the money they spend on their lot is actually a pretty significant portion of the overall cost of the home. Location and size obviously affect the price of the lot, but the condition of the lot (it's suitability for building) can also affect your cost.

Upgrades

When you’re looking at the finishes for your new house, it can be tempting to add more upgrades than you really need. It’s not that you shouldn’t do it (sometimes it’s the right thing to do), but lots of little upgrades can add up fast. Here’s a post that looks at the surprising impact of both property costs and upgrades.

Custom Home in Rochester NY

Scope Creep: Small Changes That Aren’t So Small

This is a problem that hits a lot of homeowners. Part of what makes this issue so insidious is that it doesn’t happen all at once. It tends to creep up on homeowners without them being aware of it. Some builders call it “scope creep” and here’s how it can happen.

It begins when you add “small” features to the plan or contract you’ve already agreed upon with your contractor: “Let’s move that wall 5 inches to the right.” Five inches isn’t much, but sometimes it leads to having to move an outlet. In your kitchen, it could mean moving some plumbing. Or moving the wall may affect the light in the room, so you want to add a window to compensate. What seemed like a really small change can end up having a big impact.

Of course, not every change has major ramifications, but you get the picture. Changes happen in small increments that don’t seem like a big deal. But it can cost you considerably more money and add to the time it takes to complete your project.

How can you avoid scope creep?

Start by paying close attention to the plans you and your builder have created before construction starts so you both know what to expect.  If you feel strongly that something needs to change, talk to your builder about it. Tell him what you want (or don’t want) but don’t dictate the solution. Your builder may come up with an answer that doesn’t cost you more or extend your deadline. When you tell your builder what you want, he’ll probably respond in one of the following ways:

  • Sure, we can do that! Here’s the revised estimate, reflecting the increased cost.
  • No problem! That’s a change we can make, but it will take us an extra week.
  • Yes, that’s something we can do. It will cost you an additional $X and it’s going to take us an additional five days to complete the project.
  • Sorry! If you’re not willing to spend any more money and if you aren’t willing to extend the amount of time it will take to complete, we can’t make this change for you.

Talk to Your Builder and Focus on What You Can Control

Sometimes circumstances beyond anyone’s control (unforeseen increases in material costs) can increase your costs some. Unexpected material shortages or bad weather can cause delays. And sometimes things are just more difficult than expected. But you can avoid the horrors of “scope creep” by maintaining clear communication with your builder.

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Topics: Custom homes, Home Building Costs

Prepare Yourself Before Attending Homerama in Rochester NY this August

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, May 9, 2018 @ 16:05 PM

Prepare Yourself Before Attending Homerama in Rochester NY this AugustAnybody considering building a new home in the Rochester area will want to arm themselves with as many ideas and inspirations as possible before jumping into the homebuilding process. Attending Homerama in Rochester, NY is a great way to gather that information and inspiration. And while perusing the properties for ideas may be great, the more prepared you are, the more you’ll benefit from the experience.

Here are a few tips to ensure you maximize your time and come away with knowledge that will help you find the perfect Rochester home for your family.

Do a Little Homework

It’s important that your new home fits your lifestyle. Before you begin to look at homes, take some time to think about how you’ll use your home. You’ll want to consider what size home fits your family’s needs. How many bedrooms will you need? How do you entertain? Will you need a larger family room in which to interact with guests? What about your kitchen? Will you use your kitchen for entertaining? Or do you hope to use it for gourmet cooking? Here’s a post that helps you match your new Rochester kitchen to your specific personality.

Think About Floor Plans

Reviewing some potential floor plans before you look at a finished model home can be helpful. Do you prefer an open style floor plan? Are you looking for a plan that has bedrooms on one level and common spaces on a separate level? Or are you considering something that offers single-level living? Take a look at the floor plans Gerber offers to see what appeals to you. Then you can head over to Homerama and see what a plan like that looks and feels like in real life.

First-time Buyers

If you’re looking to build/buy your first home it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. You’ll want to focus on what’s really important for you and your family at this point in time. That being said, you’ll also want to keep in mind what your family’s needs may look like down the road a few years. Here’s a helpful post that highlights some of the essentials that first-time homebuyers look for.

Establish the Essentials

It’s not just first-time buyers who should consider the essentials. Before you get too far into the process, you may want to establish what’s essential in your new home so that you’ll be happy with it for years to come. Consider making a list that’s divided into three categories: “Must-Have” features; “Nice-to-Have” features; and “Splurge” features.

Consider Your Budget

Thinking about your budget ahead of time is really smart. You’ll want to have a realistic budget in mind before you begin choosing plans. It really doesn’t make sense to look at a $400,000 home if what you really need is a $250,000 home. Here’s a look at how to create a realistic budget for your Rochester-area home. You may also want to visit a reputable lender to see what kind of a loan you qualify for. That can help you set realistic parameters before you get into the details of floor plans, finishes, and upgrades.

Educate Yourself About the Basics

As builders, we’re often asked a lot of basic questions about home design. We think that’s a good thing! That’s why we created a free Home Design Guide eBook that you can download for free. It provides basic information about how to design key rooms in your home such as your kitchen, bathroom, living room, and master bedroom. This guide goes beyond style and talks about the importance of function in good design.

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