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Does Building a New Rochester-Area Home Make Sense for You?

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 @ 19:04 PM

Does_Building_a_New_Rochester-area_Home_Make_Sense_for_You_.jpgOwning your own home—and especially building your own custom home—is a big part of the American dream. Timing, however, plays a big role in whether you can make that dream a reality right now. Does building a new Rochester-area home make sense for you?

Here are a few things that can help you decide if building a custom home really makes sense for you right now.

Does Making Decisions Energize You or Drain You? One thing that makes building a custom home a challenge is that you get to (and have to) make a lot of decisions. Some people love the idea of making all the decisions (floor plans, locations, finishes, fixtures, etc.) that make a custom home unique. If those kinds of decisions wear you out, you may not want to put yourself in that position.

Do You Change Your Mind A Lot? Building a custom home gives you lots of opportunities to make changes. If you have a hard time sticking with a (good) decision, the options can be a huge challenge. And if you’re not careful, the changes you request can severely delay construction and drive your costs up.

Do You Have the Time? This is related to the first question. Not only will you need to make decisions, but in order to keep things moving, you’ll need to be available to your builder to deal with questions that come up. If you don’t have the time or energy to do that, you may resent the intrusion the homebuilding process brings to your life.

How Will This Affect Your Family? You’re not the only one who will be impacted by the building process. If you have other issues you’re dealing with, ones that require your time and attention, you may want to hold off for a while until things have settled down.

Are You Planning to Stay for a While? If you have a job that might require you to move soon, building a custom home may not be the right choice right now. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it or shouldn’t, but the timing may not be right at the moment.

If you’re not sure whether it makes sense to build a new home or to remodel the home you’re currently living in, download our free Create Your Dream Home e-book. There are some additional ideas in there that will help you decide whether to build or to remodel.

Topics: Model homes, Custom homes, Rochester NY, Building a New Home, Home Design

Boring Things That Matter A Lot in Your Rochester Area Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Oct 7, 2015 @ 06:10 AM

Gerber-Homes-Custom-Home-Builder-in-Rochester-6There’s something exciting and invigorating about making a brand new start in a brand new home. And even though there are a lot of decisions to be made, most homeowners we’ve dealt with really get into some of the details surrounding things such as kitchen and bath countertops, what kind of flooring to put in the various parts of the home, and what cabinets will work best for the kitchen.

There are some areas, however, where a homeowner’s interest can flag a little. When we bring up topics such as plumbing, electrical systems, and the heating and cooling of their home (HVAC), it’s all a lot of them can do to stifle the yawns.

However, those things that may bore you to tears are actually elements that are essential to your ongoing comfort in the new home you’re planning to build. Sometimes it’s the things you can’t see that can have the greatest impact. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your living room, or master bedroom is if you’re cold all winter. And it doesn’t matter how beautiful and functional your kitchen is if it’s too hot to be in during the summer months. And it also doesn’t matter how attractive and welcoming your home is if you have to spend an arm and a leg each month on utility bills to keep it that way.

Those things are part of the reason that Gerber Homes was one of the first builders in the greater Rochester area to become an Energy Star builder. ENERGY STAR certified new homes are designed and built to standards well above most other homes on the market today, and deliver energy efficiency savings of up to 30 percent compared to typical new homes. A new home that has earned the ENERGY STAR label has undergone a process of inspections, testing, and verification to meet strict requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), delivering better quality, better comfort, and better durability. Click here to learn more about the benefits of an ENERGY STAR home.

Talking about plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems may not be quite as much fun as looking over floor plans to pick the home of your dreams, but you don’t want to ignore these important issues. Because worrying about being comfortable—or how you’re going to pay the utility bill—can keep you up all night!

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Topics: Custom homes, Home Design

Take Your Pick of Places, Plans, and Properties for Your New Home

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 @ 06:06 AM

Take-your-pick-of-places-plans-and-properties-for-your-new-home_copy_2If you’ve begun the search for a new home in the Rochester area, you may occasionally feel as if your options are awfully limited. There are times when it seems that the choices builders offer you are: “My Way” or “The Highway.” That’s not much of a choice! 

When you’re selecting your new home, there are a few things that are really important: The Place (location), the Plan (design), and the Property (surroundings). You should be the one who gets to pick what fits your preference and your family’s lifestyle. 


Where you live matters—a lot. You may want to be close to work. You may like the schools in a certain area. Maybe you have family or friends in the area and you want to stay close. Or you just may like the feel of a certain community. Whatever your reasons, you need to be the one to choose what’s right for you. That’s why Gerber Homes has communities in Webster, Canandaigua, Perinton, Ontario, Macedon, Mendon, Sodus, Ionia, Williamson, Farmington, Penfield, Victor, Marion, Huron, East Bloomfield, Rush, and Fairhaven. You get to choose. 


The style of the home you build and the specific layout of your home is also really important. Sometimes, however, you may run into situations where a builder only builds a few styles of homes—and doesn’t offer much in the way of differing floor plans.  Gerber offers a wide variety of styles and plans, including: Colonial (more than 50 plans), First-floor Master Bedrooms (5 unique plans), Patio Homes (9 different plans), Cape Homes (7 great choices), and In-Law Layouts (10 distinct options). Again, it’s your choice. 


The location of your new home is much more than just the address. You want to live in a place that feels right for you. Not everybody has the same desires, however, when it comes to their surroundings. That’s why our selection of lots and communities includes: Lakeview and wooded homes, Meadows, Walkouts, Patio homes, country settings, established communities, golf course communities, open space and walking trails, acreage, open space, and park views. 

When it comes to deciding on your new home, choice is a beautiful thing. It’s your home and your future, so make sure you get to make the choices you want about the place you want to live, the plans you want, and the property you’ll live on.



Topics: floor plans, Custom homes, Building a New Home, Home Design, Selecting a Home Site

Essentials for Your Rochester-area Home Office

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 @ 11:03 AM

Essentials-for-your-Rochester-area-home-officeDoes the idea of working from home appeal to you? If so, you’re not alone. A recent Forbes article (citing a study by Telework Research Network) claims that, “some 30 million of us work from a home office at least once a week. And that number is expected to increase by 63% in the next five years.” 




Why is working from home so popular? Here are the top reasons employees list:

  • Avoid commute
  • Greater flexibility
  • Increased productivity
  • Saving money

How is that working out for these work-from-home employees? According to the study, 47% of people who have the option to work from home are “very satisfied” with their jobs, compared to 27% of those who have to work from the corporate office. 

Of course having an optimal home office makes a big difference. There’s more involved than simply placing a spare desk in an extra bedroom and plugging in a laptop. What are some of the essentials for a real home office that will enable you to be productive? 

A dedicated location is essential. It’s one thing to have a space where you can go occasionally to pay bills or sort through mail. But if you’re really going to get work done, you need a space that’s set aside for work. Our Hemingway model (with optional bonus room) has a space that’s ideal for a home office—on the second floor, separated from the living areas to keep distractions to a minimum. The Ashton also offers a bonus room, or a study just off the kitchen, with it’s own bath—again, away from major distractions. The Regency (one of our newest models) also has an optional bonus room on the second floor—above the garage—that provides the kind of isolation you want for undisturbed working conditions. 

What are some of the other essentials for a productive home office environment? Here’s a partial list.

  • Reliable High-speed Internet with WiFi access: When building your home, make sure you have cable or dish access in your office space. You’ll probably want your modem/router in the room with you so that you’re not struggling to stay online. 
  • A Window: That may sound counter-intuitive, but the window isn’t there for daydreaming—it’s there for inspiration and to give your eyes a break from staring at a computer screen. 
  • Comfortable Office Furniture: A lot of old-fashioned desks may look inviting, but they’re really not designed for use with a laptop. The same is true with your office chair. Don’t go cheap. Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time in this position so get something that feels good and supports you.
  • Storage Space: That “paper-free society” we were promised never really materialize. Yes, more of what we do is digital, but work still seems to generate paper. Make sure you have a place to store it so that you can access it when you need it. 
  • Creative Space: Depending on the kind of work you do, you may want to have room for a white board or something like that where you can sketch out ideas and write notes. This may not be a “must” for everyone, but a lot of people like to have and “old-school” space to jot down rough ideas. 

What would you consider “essentials” for your perfect office space? Jot us a note in the comments section. We’d love to hear your ideas.


Topics: home remodeling, Interior Remodeling, Home office, Building a New Home, Home Design

How Important is a Creative Homebuilder in the Rochester Area?

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 19:01 PM

How-important-is-a-creative-homebuilder-in-the-Rochester-areaIf you’ve decided that you’d like to build a new home in the Rochester area, one of the biggest decisions you’ll face is whom you want to build your home. Here’s a helpful post on some of the key characteristics to consider before you make your choice.  

One of the things that homeowners may not consider when choosing a builder is creativity. How important is creativity when choosing your Rochester-area builder?

Let’s clarify what we mean by creativity. You don’t necessarily want a builder who tries to do something outlandish. For the vast majority of people, building a home is about creating a warm, welcoming, comfortable, and secure place to live—not about “making a statement.” When we talk about creativity, we’re really talking about offering different ways to satisfy your desires for that warm, welcoming, comfortable, and secure place to live. 

That means being creative or flexible about where your house is built. Some builders are pretty rigid when it comes to home sites. They’ll only build on the sites they own or have developed. A creative builder is open to other options and will even help you locate land, evaluate the site for suitability, and make recommendations about the style of home that fits the piece of property.

Creativity also means variety when it comes to floor plans. Again, some builders will only offer a very limited number of floor plan options. We’re of the opinion that people need more choices. That’s why we offer dozens of different floor plans from which to choose. People are different and they want different things from their homes. 

It’s also important to be creative when it comes to a choice of communities. Homeowners look for different character traits in the communities where they choose to live. Even a great house won’t feel like home if it’s located in a community that doesn’t fit your personality and lifestyle. That’s why we feel it’s important to have a variety of options in the Rochester area

So when you’re considering a builder for your new home in the Rochester area, don’t overlook the builder’s creativity. And remember that creativity isn’t about building something “unusual”—unless you’re looking for unusual quality and an unusual variety of choices.


Topics: Building a New Home, Home Design

Want the Perfect Rochester-area Home? Plan For It!

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Dec 26, 2014 @ 19:12 PM

Want-the-perfect-Rochester-area-home-plan-for-itDream homes don’t just happen—you have to build them. And before you can build them, you need to plan them. So if you want the perfect Rochester-area home for your family, you’ll need to find the perfect plan. Ah but how do you select the perfect plan for your home? 

One way is to review floor plans to see if they match your lifestyle.  For instance, the Chelsea in Briarwood Estates (pictured here) is one of our featured floor plans. It’s a 1707 square foot 3 bedroom, 2-bathroom single-level home with an open floor plan. 

The open plan means you can entertain guests in the dining room/great room without being hidden away in a closed-in kitchen. You’ve got two bedrooms for kids (or guests) and the master bedroom (with walk-in closet and master bath) is conveniently located on the same level. The attached garage (with extra storage) is ideal for those cold and snowy Rochester winters. It’s a great plan for people who want single-level living (a real plus for folks who want to stay in their home longer). 

But is this the perfect plan for you? That all depends on your wants and needs. Obviously, the “perfect” floor plan for one family isn’t necessarily the right choice for everyone. That’s why it’s a good idea to think through your lifestyle before deciding on a floor plan. 

Do you do formal entertaining, or are most of your events more casual? Do you need a lot of storage space? Is having a separate room for children to play in important? Will you be working from home? Is having a separate craft room a plus. What if you want more space? What if you’d prefer a larger kitchen? What if you need space for a home office? Or what if you want your children’s rooms on a second level—away from noise and guests? 

You get the idea. Figure out what things are important to you first. Make some notes. Then begin looking for a floor plan that matches the lifestyle described in your notes. Even then, you’ll want to have a variety of options. 

We have dozens of floor plans from which to choose. Take a look and find one that’s perfect for your specific lifestyle. The perfect Rochester home begins with the perfect plan.

Topics: floor plans, Custom homes, Building a New Home, Home Design, Selecting a Home Site

3 Things to Think About Before You Decide to Build in the Rochester Area

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 @ 06:12 AM

3-things-to-think-about-before-you-decide-to-build-in-the-Rochester-areaOne of the main reasons people consider building a custom home instead of simply buying an existing home is that they want to make sure they get the home they really want. But there are three particularly important things to think about before beginning a building project in the Rochester area. 

Property: Choosing the property on which your new home sits is a really significant decision. And there’s a lot more to “location” than simply an address. Plus you can’t always tell everything you need to know about a piece of property just by “eyeballing” it. In addition to locating the land, you’ll need to do a site cost evaluation (is it suitable for building). You’ll also need to make sure that the floor plan you have in mind works with the lot. And you’ll need to ensure that you have access to septic, water, and other utilities. 

Plans: We already alluded to the importance of the right floor plan. But you also want a plan that fits your personality and lifestyle. Many builders have just a few from which to choose. We think you ought to have dozens of floor plan choices. And if you don’t like one of ours—bring yours in for review and we’ll be happy to work with that. 

Place: Choosing where you want to live is a bit more involved than just picking out the right parcel of land. It involves picking the right community and surroundings, whether that’s in Webster, Canandaigua, Ontario, Perinton, or other communities in the Rochester area. 

Building a custom home means building it your way: And that means choosing the property that’s right for you, building according to the plan that fits your lifestyle, and living in the place where your family will feel most at home.

Topics: floor plans, Custom homes, Home Design, Selecting a Home Site

Rochester-Area Remodeling: Which Projects Make the Most Sense?

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 @ 19:12 PM

Rochester-area-remodeling-which-projects-make-the-most-senseThe winter months are a great time to think about remodeling projects for your Rochester-area home. Normal outdoor construction tends to slow a bit and that means quality builders are more available for indoor projects.

But which projects make the most sense for your home? There may be some projects you have to take on simply because your needs have changed. If you have kids that have gotten older and need more space, a home addition may be the obvious choice. But if there are other areas of the house you’ve been thinking about, which one’s will give you the most bang for your buck? 

The 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvalue.com) provides an overview of what a variety of home renovation projects in the Rochester area cost—and what kind of return they provide on the money you invest (the money you’ll get back out if you sell your home). They cover a wide variety of projects, but let’s look at just a few midrange projects here. Bear in mind that these are average figures.

Project Type  Cost                Resale $         Recouped
Attic Bedroom Remodel $48,792 $25,545 52.4%
Family Room Addition             $79,500 $34,667 43.6%
Major Kitchen Remodel $54,231 $31,667 58.4%
Minor Kitchen Remodel $18,587 $10,500 56.5%
Home Office Remodel             $27,596 9,045 32.8%
Two-Story Addition $152,978 $ 63,636 41.6%

As you can see, there’s a fair amount of variety in costs and in return on investment (ROI). But the ROI is only part of the story.  What it doesn’t reflect is the comfort and enjoyment you receive from living in a newly remodeled home. And while a project such as a home office remodel doesn’t generate as much money at resale, if it allows you to work from home efficiently, it can be worth a considerable amount.

These are just a few of the projects you might consider. You can check out Gerber’s remodeling services that include kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, home additions, in-law additions, and more. And if you’re concerned about remodeling during the cold winter months, rest easy— we’ve developed an approach that allows side, back, and second-story additions to be completed while your family remains in the house throughout construction process!

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

Topics: garage additions, Kitchen remodeling, Bathroom remodeling, home remodeling, whole home remodeling, Home Additions, Interior Remodeling, Exterior remodeling, Home Design

4 Steps to Creating the Rochester-Area Home of Your Dreams

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 @ 20:10 PM

4 steps to creating the Rochester home of your dreamsThere’s an old German proverb that states: “All beginnings are difficult.” That seems to be true for a lot of endeavors—and building a new custom home in the Rochester area is no exception. There is so much think about when it comes to building the home you’ve always dreamed about that it’s easy to get overwhelmed—and stuck—before you even get started. 

If building a home to your own specifications appeals to you (and there are a lot of reasons people like this idea) there are some steps you can take to get the ball rolling. Of course, if you’re interested in a custom home, you may not approach the process the same way as everyone else does. The good news is that you don’t have to. Here are four distinct ways to get moving and to collect the information and ideas you want and need if you’re going to create the home of your dreams.

1. Start With a Plan: For some people, a visual floor plan is extremely helpful in deciding how they want to organize their future home. Getting a visual picture of how the rooms relate to each other and flow into each other helps them think through the specifics of how much space they need—and how it should be arranged. If that helps you organize your thoughts and move forward in the homebuilding process, we’ve got plenty of floor plan options from which to choose—whether it’s a colonial style home, a 1st floor master bedroom home, a patio home, a ranch style home, or a Cape style home. Comparing styles (and options within each style) can help you choose the right direction for your family’s lifestyle. 

2. Browsing for the Best Ideas: Some of us like to see images of the “finished product” or take a look at innovative ideas for what our perfect home could look like. If seeing what others have done gives you great ideas of your own, you may want to browse sites such as houzz.com or HGTV.com. You don’t have to copy what other people are doing, but it can get your creative juices flowing. 

3. Understanding the Process: There are significant numbers of homeowners who want to understand the basic process of building a custom home before jumping in. They like to know what they’re getting into, what options they have, what pitfalls to avoid, and how the whole process works. If that describes the way you operate, you might want to download our free Steps to Building Your Dream Home eBook. In addition to helping you understand the steps involved, it will also provide you with some great design tips. 

4. Do a Physical Walk-Through: For some of us, nothing beats actually walking through a finished home in order to see how things really look and feel. And even if there are some things that you’d do differently, physically walking from room to room can provide the most realistic impression of what your dream home might feel like. One of the best ways to do that is to check out a model home. We’ve got several models you can explore. If you want, you can take a virtual tour first—just to see if a closer, in-person tour is warranted.

All beginnings may still be somewhat difficult, but there are steps you can take that make getting started a whole lot easier!

Topics: Custom homes, Home Design

The Most Important Tool in the Homebuilding Process

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 @ 20:06 PM

The most important tool in the homebuilding processWhen you finally start building the house of your dreams, your builder will use a lot of tools. He’ll use hammers and saws. He’ll use a wide variety of screwdrivers and wrenches. There will be tape measures and levels. You’ll hear sanders grinding and circular saws cutting. Of course, before any of those tools see the inside of your home-to-be, he’ll have already brought in the heavy equipment to dig and pour your foundation.

Each tool has its place in the homebuilding process. And that’s a key thing to remember: Building a home is a process. Not everything happens at once (even though at times it will seem as if everything is happening at the same time!).

There is one tool, however, that needs to be used constantly—and in every aspect of the homebuilding process. And it’s without question the most important tool in the whole homebuilding process. And what’s more, it’s a tool that both you and your builder need to wield well. We’re talking about your ears.

A big part of building a custom home is that you get to decide what features you want to build into your house. But that also means that you have a lot of decisions to make—and those decisions can come up at any stage of the homebuilding process: design, foundation, framing, or finishing.

That’s why it’s so important to listen carefully to what your builder says to you. It also means feeling the freedom to ask clarifying questions of your builder until you’re sure that you understand your options. It’s your house. You get to decide. But you need to make sure you understand your options.

Of course it’s equally important that your builder listens to you. You need to feel confident that your builder understands exactly what you want. It’s his job to make it happen (not yours), but it’s also his job to make sure he understands what you want before he figures out how to make it happen.

That’s why choosing the right builder is so critical to the homebuilding process. You’re really entering into a partnership with your builder. You need to be able to communicate clearly with one another—and understand one another. That’s one reason it’s so important to spend some time with your prospective builder before you sign a contract. If you feel like you’re on the same wavelength—that you can accurately communicate with one another—that’s a good sign.

For more help in selecting the right builder, check out: Choosing a Rochester Area Homebuilder for some great tips.

You may never pick up a hammer or saw during the building of your custom home, but you—and your builder—need to master the most important tool of all!

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