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

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 @ 13:03 PM

When 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 of your Rochester custom home

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.


The Design of your Rochester Custom Home

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 of your Rochester area custom home

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 price. And if a lower-priced home doesn’t deliver long-term quality and value, it’s no bargain!

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Topics: floor plans, Custom homes, Rochester NY, Building a New Home, Home Design, Home Building Costs

The Ellington Floor Plan in Magnolia Manor—A Great Home for a Great Community

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, May 8, 2018 @ 15:05 PM

EllingtonMagnoliaIf you’re looking for a great place to live in the Rochester area, the town of Perinton really should be on your shortlist. You’ll find it just minutes from the Village of Fairport—so it’s easy to pop in for their Farmer’s Market. There’s easy access to the New York State Thruway (Exit 45 is only 15 minutes away), and it’s close to Eastview Mall, which puts great shopping within easy reach. Twice the town of Perinton has been selected as “The Best Place to Live in America.”

Our newest community, The Magnolia Manor Community, located in between Route 31F and Whitney Road just east of Wakeman Road in Perinton, builds on that reputation. Residents can enjoy walking trails, plentiful sidewalks for strolling, and open park spaces. Nearby Center Park provides great entertainment during the summer months.

The Ellington Floor Plan in Magnolia Manor—A Great Home for a Great Community Of course, a great community deserves a great floor plan. That’s exactly what you’ll find with the Ellington located in Magnolia Manor. This 4- Bedroom, 3-1/2 Bath home offers 2210 square feet of comfortable living that includes:

  • A partially finished walkout lower level w/ full bath
  • 9’ Ceilings on the main level
  • A spacious 3-Car Garage
  • Wood/Laminate & Ceramic Tile Floors plus Granite Countertops
  • Heat Pump / Air Conditioning
  • Fireplace
  • Luxury Bath with Tile Shower & His / Her Sinks

Click here for a larger and more detailed look at the floor plan.

If you’re after comfort and convenience, this home has them in abundance. Enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning room off of the open kitchen. You can then move easily to the adjoining Great room where you can enjoy a warm fire in the colder months. There’s also a study on the main level that makes a great home office in case you want to work from home.

The upstairs of this model is spacious and comfortable as well. The Master Bedroom has it’s own bathroom with a tile shower and dual sinks and walk-in closets that make getting ready for the day a convenient pleasure. There are three additional bedrooms on the upper level. There is also a laundry room on the upper level so that you don’t have to haul clothes and bed linens up and down the stairs.

In short, this home provides all the comfort and space that you can imagine. What’s even better is that you don’t have to imagine it. You can visit this completed model and check out all the amenities for yourself! It’s open weekends from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Contact us to set up an appointment so you can check it out for yourself. Or, if you want a preview, click here for a virtual tour!

Magnolia Manor in Perinton offers you a great family-friendly floor plan in a great community. Come and see it for yourself! We’d be delighted to show you around!



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

What to Know About Rochester Area In-Law Homes

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 @ 20:04 PM

What to Know About Rochester Area In-Law HomesYears ago, families used to gather around their television sets to watch a show about what we now call a “multi-generational” family that lived together in rural Virginia during the Great Depression. At the time, the show was a reminder of the times when several generations would occupy a single house. Today, that practice is becoming a reality again as increasing numbers of families are once again living together under one roof—even right here in the greater Rochester area. Here’s what to know about Rochester area in-law homes.

Things have changed a bit since the days of the fictional Waltons (who were actually based on a real Virginia family).  Today’s demands of two-career households coupled with economic strains have motivated more families to bring different generations under one roof. You can add to that the increasingly high costs of retirement homes and assisted living facilities. On top of that, many maturing adults simply prefer to be with their families.

Of course, housing opportunities have changed as well.  Today we tend to preserve our privacy a bit more than in days gone by—and housing designs reflect that. There are floor plans that allow older family members to have their own private space (bedrooms, sitting rooms or family rooms, and even their own bathroom facilities). Some plans even include a kitchen or kitchenette so that older family members can prepare their own meals if they want—and still join the rest of the family at other times.

In some cases, families opt to remodel an existing home or put on an addition to accommodate their extended families. That option often includes having a separate entryway allowing extended family to come and go at their leisure without disturbing other members of the family.

Sherrie and Brenda are clients of ours who were looking for a home that would meet their needs and also provide a safe and comfortable living space for Mom and Dad. Click here to hear them describe their experience with having Gerber build a home for them that included an in-law suite.

One of the things they loved about the particular plan they picked was that the in-law suite (which contains a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen nook, and its own bathroom) was on the main level. That meant they didn't have to worry about navigating stairs. The floor plan also provides ample space on the upper level where you'll find a master bedroom and bath along with two additional bedrooms and a second bath. There is also an optional Bonus room that can be added.

Even if you’re not considering space for aging parents, an in-law suite such as this is ideal if you have older children who need a place to live while they are pursuing their careers.

Because of the increased demand for homes with in-law suites, Gerber has additional floor plans in our In-Law Layouts section. Click here to take a look at the various option to create a home that’s just right for your multi-generational family!



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

Rochester Winter: How to Get Through It and Get Ahead!

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Dec 2, 2017 @ 07:12 AM

Rochester-Winter-How-to-Get-Through-It-and-Get-Ahead.jpgPerhaps only in the greater Rochester area would anyone think to mention winter and Summer Lake in the same sentence!  Still, if you've ever dreamed of owning a home on the lake in the Ontario area, winter is the perfect time to be thinking about Summer Lake! 

Just a mile and a half from Webster, you’ll find Summer Lake, our newest quality community. If you’re looking for room to spread out, you’ll enjoy up to half-acre home sites that are available now and ready for building. Add to that beautiful views (most sites have a view of nearby Lake Ontario), a quick 10-minute drive to great shopping, and delightful lake breezes in the summer, and it’s hard to imagine a better, more tranquil spot to build an affordable new home.

The town of Ontario, on the south bank of Lake Ontario, dates back to 1807. Its modest population of about 10,000 residents captures and retains that small town feel that so many families are looking for. Ontario is a close-knit community with top-notch academic opportunities for students in grades K–12.

But why think about Summer Lake in the middle of winter? Building your new home isn’t just an activity—it’s a process. The cold winter months are a great time to think through exactly what you want in your new home and to look over designs and plans to settle on the floor plan that fits your specific taste and lifestyle. Starting to think about that process now gives you more time to ask your builder questions and to make sure that you and your builder are on the same page. That will make the construction part of the process go that much more smoothly.

Even if lakefront living isn't your dream, winter is still a great time to start planning a home in other nearby areas such as Brighton, Greece, Henrietta, Irondequoit, Pittsford, or Rush. Others in the area may be dreaming about a new home, but they probably won't pursue that dream in earnest until the weather gets warmer. You can really get a jump on things by getting started with the process now. That will enable you to move in earlier—and enjoy your new home in the spring and summer months.

Of course, you’ve still got to make it through the upstate New York winter! Here are a few tips that can help you do that.

Winters in the Rochester area are really no big deal—unless you actually happen to live here! While folks around Rochester are used to pretty harsh winter conditions, if you’re new to the area, you may be in for a bit of a rude awakening! The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NYSDHSES) recommends that residents have the following home emergency supplies ready in the event of a severe winter storm and/or power outage.

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Emergency non-perishable foods that do not require refrigeration
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Bottled water
  • One week supply of essential medicines
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Emergency heating equipment used properly

The NYSDHSES also suggests that homeowners wrap pipes in insulation—or layers of old newspapers covered in plastic to help keep out moisture—to keep the pipes from freezing. And when temperatures drop well below freezing, they recommend letting faucets drip just a bit for the same reason. And just in case, they advise that you know how to shut off the water valves in your home so that if you do have a break, you can avoid water damage.

Keeping warm in the event of a power outage can be a challenge and NYSDHSES cautions residents to only use safe sources of alternative heat such as a fireplace, small, well-vented wood or coal stove or portable space heaters. And always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you’re thinking about a new home, start planning and doing your research now. Then when you make it through this winter, you’ll be in a position to jump on your new home more quickly. And that means being able to enjoy your new home this spring and summer. And when the snow starts flying next winter, you’ll be able to enjoy the improved comfort, convenience, and security of your new home.


Topics: floor plans, Custom homes, Building a New Home

Understanding the Cost Difference Between 1, 1 ½, and 2 Story Buildings

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Sep 24, 2017 @ 20:09 PM

Understanding-the-Cost-Difference-Between-1-1_½-and-2-Story-Buildings.jpgOne choice you’ll face when choosing a floor plan for your new Rochester-area home is how many stories your home will have. You can chose from a wide variety of different floor plans that include one-story, two-story, and one-and-a-half-story homes. In addition to impacting your lifestyle now and potentially inthe future, the number of stories your house has can impact the cost of your home.

The fact of the matter is that it’s not just the number of stories (of floor levels) that impact a home’s cost. The overall size of the home, of course, plays a big role.

For instance, if you build a 2,000 square foot 2-story home and a 2,000 square foot single-story home, the one-level home will almost always be more expensive to construct. But being happy with your home is about more than just square footage—or a slight difference in cost. What you really want is a plan that meets your needs and makes you feel comfortable. The simple fact of the matter is that one-floorplan won't fit the needs of every individual.

These days, we find that many of our clients prefer open floor plans for their common rooms (kitchens, dining areas, family rooms). A ranch-style home in the range of 1,600 to 1,800 generally allows us to build a home that offers everything they want, such as a first-floor master bedroom, and easy access to everything. The cost for that is generally less than it would be for a similarly designed two-story home. That's because the two-story home will generally need to be a bit larger to include the features you want on the main level—and still have rooms upstairs.

So what about the cost for a one-and-a-half-story home? Prospective homeowners are frequently surprised to discover that this is generally the most expensive option. Part of the reason for that is that a one-and-a-half-story home usually has a good-sized first floor and a rather small amount of space in the upstairs. The dimensions of that small second floor prevent us from using standard trusses, and have to build flooring and other structural elements out of what we call “stick frame.” Unfortunately, that’s a more expensive process—and that makes the home cost more.

As I mentioned earlier, being happy with your home depends on more than square footage and cost. A much bigger factor is finding a floor plan that fits your needs (and your budget).


Topics: floor plans, Custom homes, home remodeling, Home Additions, Building a New Home, second-floor additions, Home Design, first-floor additions

How to Pick the Right Floor Plan—Gerber Can Help

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Aug 20, 2017 @ 10:08 AM

How-to-Pick-the-Right-Floor-Plan.jpgWe Americans love to have our choices. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the cereal aisle in the grocery store! That same affinity for options holds true when it’s time to build a home in the greater Rochester area. That’s one reason we offer so many different choices of floor plans. If you glance through our plans you find Colonial homes, first-floor master homes, patio homes, ranch style home, Cape homes, and even homes that offer in-law layouts.

The only problem with having so many choices is that at some point you actually have to make a choice. But how do you pick the right floor plan for your family’s specific needs? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you select the plan for your new Rochester home.

What Makes a Good Fit?

When it comes to plans for your home, one size (or style) doesn’t fit all. Before you fall in love with a floor plan because it looks nice, you’ll want to consider your lifestyle. Do you like to entertain? What kinds of activities does your family enjoy? What about your kitchen? Will the kitchen in the house you build match your personality?

How Flexible Are Your Plans?

What do you do when you find a floor plan that’s almost right? Are you locked into it, or can you change it? Some builders simply don’t allow for changes. What you see in the plan is what you’re going to get. That’s not a criticism. It’s just the way their business model works. At Gerber, we take a slightly different approach. We’ll work with you to make modifications and adjustments. In fact, even though we offer dozens of great plans, we’ll will also work with a plan you bring us to make sure you get what you want and need.

Planning for the Future

Your home is a long-term investment. Chances are you’re going to be in your home for a while. That means your needs (and even your tastes) will change. It’s easy to overlook the fact that small children, who can easily share a bedroom when they’re little, will grow into teens and adolescents who will want their own space. Then there are your own needs to consider. Stairs may not be a concern to you at all right now—but what about five or 10 years from now? You may want to consider a single-level home or a home with the Master Suite on the first floor.

I like to tell prospective homeowners that the floor plans are really a starting point. The important thing is to create a home that meets your needs, satisfies your sense of style, and fits your budget. That may take a bit of work and time—but we think it’s the best way to get a great home that you’ll love for years to come.

I invite you to check out this short and informative video in which I explain a bit about how our process for choosing the right floor plan works.  Instead of having to adapt your lifestyle to the floor plan you chose, we think your floor plan should adapt to your desires and lifestyle!


Topics: floor plans, Building a New Home

Is Open-Plan Living in the Fingerlakes Region a Fad?

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Feb 11, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

Is-Open-Plan-Living-a-Fad.jpgThere is no mistaking the popularity of open-plan design in the homebuilding and home remodeling industry. And if you scour sites such as Houzz.com and BHG.com a lot of the homes you see reflect how widespread this style has become. But is open-plan living just a fad? Is it still something you want to consider for your Rochester-area home?

First of all, there’s a difference between a fad and a trend. Fads come and go quickly and tend to be a bit more superficial. For instance, a color that’s “hot” at the beginning of 2017 may not be all that popular by the end of the year. A genuine trend, however, tends to reflect changes in design that are based on how people actually live.

Years ago, the trend was to have rooms in one’s home that were distinct and set apart for specific purposes. That was particularly true of the kitchen. It was a room that was devoted to food preparation. It simply wasn’t a place where guests would congregate. Living rooms were more formal spaces for entertaining guests. Family rooms were less formal, but generally devoted to the family and close friends.

As we’ve gotten less formal and more casual in our lifestyles we’ve also embraced design that is more open. People don’t have to be cut off just because they are in the kitchen or in the family room. There’s simply more access. And on top of that, open-plan design allows much more natural light. There has also been a movement toward blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors—with homeowners wanting to bring the open spaces of outside into their homes.

Not everyone has fully embraced that style, however. Some individuals feel the open-plan homes are too open and that they can feel cavernous. Some miss a sense of privacy or coziness.  There are those who want specific spaces to be more defined.

If you look at the image of this open-plan home, you’ll notice how it does indeed let in lots of light and makes access to different rooms (kitchen, dining area, family room area) easy and unobstructed. But you’ll also notice how those individual spaces are defined and set off by items such as area rugs, lighting, furniture, and even built-in features such as a fireplace. Some homes use screens or half-walls or bookcases to break up the space and provide some privacy.

It would appear that open-space design isn’t a fad, but a design trend that is here to stay for a while. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel like you’re living in a warehouse! You can use other elements to warm up the space and to define specific areas within that open space to make your home warm and comfortable while making access to various common rooms in your home easy.

It’s also important to remember that your specific decision about your home doesn’t have to be dictated by what others do. That’s one reason we offer such a wide variety of floor plans for your new Rochester-area home. Whether you’re looking for a Colonial style home, a 1st Floor Master Bedroom plan, a Patio Home, a Ranch home—or even a home that features an In-Law apartment that provides security and privacy in a multi-generational setting, you’ll find it with Gerber.

The Benefits  of Moving to Greater Rochester

Topics: floor plans, home remodeling, Building a New Home

2017 Remodeling Trends in Rochester, NY

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Dec 27, 2016 @ 14:12 PM

2017-Remodeling-Trends-in-Rochester-NY.jpgEvery year when the calendar gets flipped over to December, we start hearing about what we can expect in the New Year. It’s certainly true  for homeowners and people in the remodeling industry. How does that affect you if you’re planning to remodel your Rochester-area home?

A lot of the talk you’ll hear (or read about) will focus on new trends for 2017. Often that involves which colors are the “hot” new colors, which countertop materials are expected to be popular, and whether stainless steel appliances will finally fall from fashion as so many experts have (wrongly, so far) predicted. (By the way, color is important and here’s what the color gurus at Pantone/House Beautiful are projecting to be the hot palettes for 2017)

At Gerber, we’re more concerned with the true trends in remodeling that reflect what actual homemakers say they want. These are the trends (changes) that shape the way people live and feel comfortable. An October 2016 survey of remodelers provides some insights into what homeowners are actually asking for. Here are some of the results (by percentage from low to high):

Source:From remodeling.hw.net

How will those things impact the changes you make to your Rochester-area home in 2017? For one thing, you may want to think about how your home can continue to meet your needs both now—and into the future. Here’s a post that talks about some of the details you’ll want to consider.

If you’re planning to add space to your home, you may want to think about adding space that could be used if extended family members come to live with you. Multi-generational living situations are on the rise. It could be that you’ll want to have aging parents live with you. Or you might want to provide space for grown children who are not quite out of the nest, yet. Here’s some helpful information to keep in mind.

Both of those things reflect significant trends that have been gathering momentum for some time—and will continue to do so in 2017. Another trend has become so mainstream that it’s sometimes easy to overlook. But homebuyers are increasingly looking for homes that are energy-efficient and easy on the environment. That’s certainly something any remodeling project should reflect. Here’s a look at what it really means to live green in the Rochester area.

So as you look forward to possible remodeling projects for the coming year, look beyond color trends and which fixtures or finishes are expected to be hot. Pay attention to the trends that really matter and will enhance your comfort and convenience in your Rochester-area home.

Download Remodeling a House, Creating a Home ebook for your Rochester NY home remodel

Topics: floor plans, Custom homes, Home Design

Why It Pays to Work with a Reputable Homebuilder Who Listens to YOU

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 @ 10:11 AM

Why-It-Pays-to-Work-with-a-Reputable-Homebuilder-Who-Listens-to-YOU.jpgA big part of building the home of your dreams involves finding the right builder for your project. For a lot of individuals, that means finding a reputable builder with the right building skills. Of course that’s extremely important, but some of our past clients cited another ability as a big reason they chose Gerber: Our ability to listen.

Why is that so important? One reason is that building a custom home is a rather unique endeavor—one that starts with your vision of what you want your home to be. Your home should reflect your style and personality. Exactly what that is may not be obvious on the surface. You’ll want to find a builder who can grasp your vision and then work with you to create the home you’ve always dreamed of—instead of adapting your vision to his or her plan.

We recently had clients tell us, “I know you build lots of homes, but this is the only one we’re building!” We get that! It’s why we work with customers every step of the way—from choosing the right property to creating the right floor plan to making the final finish selections on the inside of the home. But to do that, we need to know what our customers want and think. Frankly, there’s no better way to do that than to talk to them and listen to their thoughts, their concerns, their ideas, and their questions. Even though we are one of the largest privately owned area builders, that doesn’t mean we are “too big” to get to know every one of our customers.

After listening to our customers, our consultants are ready to guide them through our 6 personalized steps to buying a home so they can understand everything they need to know about  process. That empowers them to make the best choices for their unique goals.

Why-It-Pays-to-Work-with-a-Reputable-Homebuilder-Who-Listens-to-YOU2.jpgOf course it’s one thing for us to talk about how we listen to customers, but we think our customers do a better job of explaining how important that is—and of describing what the custom homebuilding process with Gerber is like.  We invite you to click here to hear how Scott and Sherri describe the process they went through when we built their new home in Victor.

If you want a home that reflects your personality, your lifestyle, and your sense of style, make sure you select a custom homebuilder who will listen to your vision and come up with a plan to turn that vision into reality.


Topics: floor plans, Building a New Home, Home Design

Get More Usable Space in Your Next Rochester NY Home

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 @ 19:12 PM

Looking-for-a-home-with-lots-of-livable-space-and-optipons--check-out-the-Southmore.jpgWhen you’re looking for a plan for your new custom home in the Rochester area, having enough space is always a consideration. But not all space is created equal.

There’s more to space than simply square footage. It’s important that the home plan you choose fits your needs. And in addition to usable space, you want to have options that can make your home fit your lifestyle.

The Southmore has plenty of space (2,431 square feet, or 2,657 square feet if you opt for the finished Bonus Room). And this space is well laid out. The centrally located kitchen is open to a gorgeous morning room with cathedral ceilings and a great room with an optional fireplace. There’s plenty of space for the family to hang out together and for casual entertaining. And if you want a more formal setting for a sit-down dinner, the separate dining room is easily accessible.

If you need a home office, it’s in a quiet corner of the first floor. And there’s plenty of practical space as well. The attached garage has extra storage space built in and opens to a mudroom, powder room and laundry room.

There’s also plenty of room upstairs. In addition to the master suite, you’ll have three more bedrooms and a second bathroom. There’s even a large bonus room that can be finished as a home entertainment room, a game room, or whatever else you need.

You can add other options as well, such as his/her sinks in the master bath, a countertop in the downstairs laundry room, gable windows on the house and garage, windows in the overhead garage door, and stone/brick veneer on the exterior of the house.

If you’re looking for plenty of open, livable space, with great options to make this house the home you’ve always dreamed of, you’ll want to check out the Southmore. Click here to see an enlarged floor plan for this beautiful home.


Topics: floor plans, home remodeling, Building a New Home