Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Fall 2016 Activities in the Finger Lakes Region

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Oct 8, 2016 @ 21:10 PM

Fall-2016-Activities-in-the-Finger-Lakes-Region.jpgMaybe your summer swimming days are but a faint memory now, but there’s no fall-off of activities in the Finger Lakes Region when fall rolls around. Here’s a look as some of the fun fall activities you can enjoy in the area’s communities.

Rheinblick German Restaurant (Canandaigua)

Oktoberfest may be over, but if those festivities stirred up your yearning for German food and celebration, you may want to check out one of the most popular restaurants in Canandaigua: Rheinblick German Restaurant. The restaurant was founded by a German family, and serves authentic German cuisine accompanied by a large selection of beer. Locals and food critics alike rave over the traditional dishes such as Sauerbraten, Schnitzels, Bratwurst, Bauernwurst, and many other popular German dishes. The female servers are dressed in dirndls (traditional Bavarian dresses), and the restaurant décor emulates the feel of an authentic Germany Gasthaus.

Bristol Mountain Ski Resort  (Canandaigua)

It may be a bit early to strap on the snow skis, but if you’re looking forward to hitting the hills this winter, fall is a great time to check out the local ski areas. Bristol Mountain Ski Resort is only a 20 minute drive from the heart of Canandaigua. The resort offers 35 slopes across 138 acres and is considered one of the premier ski resorts in the region and boasts a 1200’ vertical drop giving visitors great skiing and amazing views. If you are looking for a great way to spend the day with the family, nothing beats driving out to Bristol Mountain, strapping on some skis, and then pointing them downhill. And you can enjoy those view with Fall Sky Rides on the lifts through October 30th!

The Webster Comedy Club (Webster)

Don’t mourn the passing of summer, laugh it off at The Webster Comedy Club—one of the top entertainment venues in the area. It has a great atmosphere, good food, and is often considered an "A list" comedy room when it comes to attracting talent. Some of those top talent names include Drew Carey, Jim Norton, and Andrew "Dice" Clay, just to name a few. Whether we’re having a great Indian Summer or an early taste of winter, it’s always warm and inviting inside the Webster Comedy Club.

Enjoy a Walk in the Park (Ontario area)

Sometimes the simplest activities are the best—such as enjoying a walk in the park. While B. Forman County Park isn’t officially inside the city of Ontario, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular parks for anyone who wants to enjoy beautiful Lake Ontario. The park features a massive 80-person indoor pavilion, as well as many grills and benches for picnicking. While there are no trails at this park, the main attraction are the wide open beaches along Lake Ontario. This location is popular among fishermen and photographers because of beautiful scenery and location.

Visit the Past (Ontario)

Not every museum is comprised of glass exhibits in an imposing building. The Heritage Square Museum is a small and unique museum in Ontario comprised of a collection of small historical buildings and landmarks showcasing what life was like in the 1800s. You can take a look at an 1800s train station, an apple dry house, the old Ontario Jail, a schoolhouse, and the Baptist meeting house among other things. The museum is a popular visit for local schools, and often features activities and events for the whole family.

The Benefits  of Moving to Greater Rochester

Topics: Rochester area custom homebuilder, Fall2016 activities in Finger Lakes, fun fall activities in Finger Lakes

Small Appliances Every Kitchen Should Have

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Jul 30, 2016 @ 21:07 PM

Small-appliances-every-kitchen-should-have.jpgThere’s no question that the way we use our kitchens has changed the way they look. However, it’s not just the cabinets and countertops that have changed. The appliances we use in our kitchens today are dramatically different as well. They’ve become pretty darn smart. Here’s a quick look at some of the appliances that remind us that “This isn’t your grandmother’s kitchen!”

  • Smart Scales: Grandma used her kitchen scale to weigh ingredients. That’s a great start, but now you can select a recipe and then use a scale with a Bluetooth connection to your iPad to follow the instructions and weigh out exactly the right amount of each ingredient. The scale will tell you when you’ve added the right quantity.
  • Smart Ovens: You’re probably on the go a lot more than Granny was. But with a smart oven (LG makes a smart oven you might want to check out), you don’t have to let your hectic schedule interfere with cooking or baking. Monitor and adjust your oven’s temperature from any location using your smartphone. If you need to, you can even preheat your oven remotely. And if you can’t remember the appropriate temperature for a particular recipe, you can pull up the recipe stored in the oven’s memory, and the oven will set the temperature for you!
  • Smart Refrigerators: Pretty much any refrigerator will keep your food cool. But that doesn’t guarantee that your refrigerator will be well-stocked. LG makes a refrigerator that lets you scan your receipt from the grocery store so that your refrigerator can remind you if you’re getting low on certain items. It can even notify you if you have items that are passing their “best-used-by” date.

Maybe you’ll never improve on your grandmother’s recipes, but some of the new kitchen appliances sure make it easier to try! And if you’re looking for other ideas to make your kitchen more useable and enjoyable to work in, check out our free eBook, Creating the Ideal Kitchen for some helpful tips.


Topics: Rochester area custom homebuilder, kitchen ideas for Rochester area homes, innovative kitchen appliances

Building Your Rochester-area Home: The Process

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 @ 20:03 PM

Building your Rochester area home the processCustom homes don’t spring up overnight. They’re built one step at a time. And a lot of the steps that go into building a custom home take place before the hammers and saws come out. Building a new home in the Rochester area can be a fulfilling and exciting adventure. But it’s important not to skip the early steps so you can get to “the good stuff” of actually seeing your dream take shape.

Let’s look at some of the important steps you’ll need to take.

Initial Planning: You’ll want to have a good idea of what kind of home you want to build—one that will meet your family’s needs now and for the foreseeable future. How do you get started? Some people like to start by looking at floor plans. It gives them a sense for how all the elements come together and how the space in the home will be used. Others prefer to sit down with a builder or designer first; talk about what their needs are, and then use the builder’s expertise to help pick out or create the best floor plan for them.  It really works either way, but don’t be afraid to involve your builder early on. He can be a real help in guiding you.

By the way, we have dozens of floor plans representing a variety of different styles and sizes of homes. You can check them out for yourself right here!

Creating a Budget: This is incredibly important. You want to create a realistic budget. You don’t want to plan a house you can’t afford. And you also don’t want to budget less than you should (you’ll end up disappointed). Again, it’s good to work with a builder who can give you a very accurate estimate of what a realistic budget is for the home you want to build.

Property: For some homeowners, this should go at the top of the list. Having a very specific location in mind can drive both the design and the cost of your home. Are you looking to build in a community? Do you want to be in a more isolated area? Picking the right parcel for your home is critical.

Financing: Most homeowners don’t simply write a check to pay for their new home. You’ll want to have your financing in place before construction starts. It doesn’t hurt to talk to your builder about financing. Sometimes builders hear about good deals that the general public doesn’t.

Breaking Ground: This is when the action really picks up. Your contractor will need to prepare your lot before he pours, lays or builds the foundation and starts hammering away. It may not look like much is happening at this stage, but that “hole in the ground” has to be just right before the foundation can go in.

Construction: This is where your home really starts to take shape. But even though you won’t be wielding the tools, you’ll still be involved in the process. There will be decisions to be made throughout the construction process and you’ll want to meet regularly with your builder so he can keep you apprised of progress, and get your input if any changes need to be made.

That’s a pretty quick overview of the custom homebuilding process. There are, of course, a lot of details we didn’t go into. If you’d like to explore some of those details in more depth, we invite you to download our free custom home guide: Steps to Building Your Dream Home. It’s also packed with design tips and even offers help in selecting the right builder. 

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

Topics: Rochester area custom homebuilder, floor plans, building sites, custom homebuilding process, budgets

Thinking About Building in Ontario? How Are the Schools?

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 @ 07:03 AM

Thinking about building in Ontario how are the schoolsWhen you think about building a new home, there’s a lot to consider. Sure you want a great location. You want an environment that feels right for you. You want to get the best quality home you can get for your money. But some of the things that are important don’t have much to do with the actual house you’re planning to build.

For most parents, being able to send their kids to a great school is pretty high on the list of things that are important in a community. Maybe you’re considering building a new home in Ontario, but wonder what the schools are like.

We thought that one of the best ways to give people a real sense of what Ontario schools are like is to let the people who use them talk about them. Here are some actual comments about students and parents who have experienced what Ontario schools have to offer. What better way is there to find out than “straight from the horses’ mouth?”*

Wayne Senior High School

My school is excellent. I've only been here for two years but the atmosphere you feel when you walk through the doors each day is welcoming. The teachers and staff are always doing the better to help each student with a successful future and maintaining a positive impact. Students are so eager to learn, the school sports provided at Wayne are limitless. This should definitely be named a blue ribbon school.—Submitted by a student

Wayne Central is an excellent school. Staff are always working hard to help students achieve their goals and dreams. Students do very well here and have performed highly on state tests. Students are very motivated to excel in their studies and the parents are also very involved with the school. Teachers at Wayne are always doing what they can to better the students. —Submitted by a student

I would like to see this school become a blue ribbon school. The teachers are excellent. The students learn and have fun all at the same time. The programs they offer at Wayne are wonderful. —Submitted by a parent

Wayne Central Middle School

I have to tell you this is the best school to go to because the teachers work with you if you are having trouble and if your grades are going down they keep you after however long and help you until your grade is excellent! No bullying and they make sure you are ALWAYS taken care of. They care about you and your family so if you need to choose a school this is the one. —Submitted by a student

FANTASTIC TEACHERS! I am actually a student, I love this school, principals could be a bit better...but I love the teachers, they are great people. if you’re looking for a great school, send your children here! —Submitted by a student

This is a wonderful school. All 4 of my grown children went through Wayne schools from grade school all the way up to the high school and received a most excellent education. The teachers were first rate and caring people who went out of their way to make everyday wonderful. All 4 have gone on to good colleges and to earn degrees. —Submitted by a parent

We can build you a great new home in Ontario. (And we hope you’ll check out the beautiful homes in our Summer Lake Community). But we know that great design, fabulous features, and quality construction are only part of the picture when it comes to creating the place you’ll call home. We know how important good schools are in deciding where you want to live. We hope that these comments—“straight from the horse’s mouth”—give you a sense of the quality you can expect from Ontario schools.

Quotes are from You can gather more information about specific schools at


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

Topics: Rochester area custom homebuilder, homes in Ontario, schools in Ontario

Something Old . . . Something New in Canandaigua

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 @ 20:03 PM

Something old something new in CanandaiguaYou know the philosophy: If you hang onto something old long enough, it eventually becomes new again. That may be true when it comes to the width of lapels or men’s ties, but it generally doesn’t apply to residential communities.

And yet, there is something “old” that’s new in Canandaigua: It’s the community of Old Brookside—and it’s home to some fabulous new homes (such as the home pictured below). If you’re considering a new home in the Canandaigua area, you’ll want to check out Old Brookside, and some of the other new home offering there.

There’s much more to Old Brookside than just great homes. It’s an exciting community, located off of Buffalo Street in Canandaigua.  You’ll find rolling hills, mature trees, green space, a children’s park, and lots of sunny open spaces. 

Something old something new in Canandaigua 2The area also boasts community ponds stocked with fish, a pedestrian trail, and plenty of maintained open spaces.  All of that comes with close proximity to all of Canandaigua's shopping and dining amenities—making it extremely convenient.

Here are just a few of the additional amenities in the area that make Old Brookside a great new community: 

  • Canandaigua Lake and Parks
  • Bristol Mountain Skiing and Snowboarding
  • Many Golf Courses
  • Roseland Water Parks
  • Sonnenburg Gardens
  • Granger Homestead
  • Finger Lakes Wine Trails
  • NYS Wine and Culinary Center
  • CMAC Performing Arts Center
  • Eastview Mall

There really is something new in Old Brookside. And we’d like to invite you to take a closer look at home sites in the area—and even take a virtual tour of one of our models. Once you do, we think you’ll agree that it not just a great new community—it’s a place that feels like home!

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

Topics: Rochester area custom homebuilder, New homes Canandaigua, new communities

Build a Custom Home in Rochester? NOW?

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 @ 20:02 PM

Gerber-Homes-Custom-Home-Builder-in-Rochester-4If you look at the calendar, you may wonder why anybody in his or her right mind would think about building a home in the Rochester area now. And if you look out your window, you may be absolutely convinced that thinking about building a home now is a really bad idea.

In reality, this is a great time to be thinking about building a custom home. After all, what you’re considering isn’t an overnight decision. And the whole building process takes a fair amount of time. You’ll need to think about where you want to be. You’ll want to think about what style home you want. You may want to look at some floor plans to get a better idea of exactly how you want your home to look and feel. And you’ll want some time to think through your budget and arrange financing.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: You won’t be the only one thinking about homebuilding once the weather warms up. Other families in your area are starting to plan ahead—and so are the builders. As a matter of fact, we’ve opened two new areas for home site reservations.

Our new Briarwood Estates in Webster features eight distinct home sites nestled in Webster’s Green and Open Spaces.  Home sites range from ½ to nearly ¾ acre, with a maintained pedestrian trail and ponds.

Or, if you’re looking for something in Ontario, our Summer Lake development is now taking reservations for spring building. Most of the sites back up to open space where you can experience the lake views and relaxing lake breezes, only 10 minutes from the Webster Shopping Plaza.

And you won’t want to miss out on Homerama in June, which will feature seven homes in a Watersong development in the 375,000 to $500,000 range. The development is off Five Mile Line Road just north of Plank Road. You can access more information here.

It may be cold now, but things will heat up this spring. Start thinking ahead and making your plans now so you don’t get left in the cold! 


Topics: Rochester area custom homebuilder, planning ahead for your custom home, new developments in Rochester-area

3 Ways To Glean Ideas For Your Rochester-Area Custom Home (And 3 Warnings)

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 @ 21:02 PM

3 ways to glean ides for your Rochester area custom home and 3 warningsIf you’re considering building a custom home in the Rochester area, gathering ideas about what you want that home to look like is one of your first priorities. How do you get started? Where should you look? We’d like to suggest three ways you can glean ideas for building a custom home in the eastern Rochester area—along with three warnings (cautions, really) about the kind of information represented in each of these methods.

1. Floor Plans: Many homeowners like to start by looking at floor plans when thinking through the way they want their future home to look. One of the big advantages of using a floor plan to envision your home is that you have the ability to see how all the parts connect and work together. You’re not just looking at an image of how the kitchen or master bath looks. And you’re not going to be distracted by the way the home is decorated. It’s a more functional look at the space you’ll have.

The Warning: Some people have a tough time visualizing something as personal as a home by looking at drawings. And if you’re looking at existing floor plans, you may have some difficulty seeing how you can customize the plan to fit your personal tastes and needs. Don’t let that stop you. Looking at a floor plan is still very helpful to get a sense of space and layout. Just bear in mind that it’s only one perspective. You can check out a wide range of our custom floor plans to get an idea of how you might want your home to be organized.

2.Online Sites: On the other end of the spectrum, you can find online sites such as that provide you with detailed, up-close-and-personal looks at how a home can be customized and decorated. If you can imagine it (and sometimes, even if you can’t!) you can find design ideas for every room of your home. And you can even create “Idea books” that you can save for future reference.

The Warning: Sometimes there is so much too look at that “you can’t see the forest for the trees” on sites like Houzz. And not everything you see there is practical (or even physically possible) to build in every situation. Still, it’s a great way to collect ideas and then discuss their practicality and possibility with your builder before drawing up actual plans.

3. Model Homes: Another great way to glean ideas is to visit a model home. This method combines the benefits of the first two methods. You get to actually experience what the home looks and feels like, plus you get to see how someone has customized it and decorated it. You don’t have to imagine walking from one room to the other. You can actually do it and see how it actually feels. We have a number of model homes that you can visit to get a real feel of what living there will be like.

The Warning: The number of model homes a builder constructs is limited. You may not find the exact model or floor plan that you have in mind. And when it comes to customization, that’s already been done. So even if you find the basic design that’s to your liking, it may not be finished in the exact same way that you’d want it done. Still, there’s a lot to be said for seeing something with your own eyes. And a good builder will be able to help you envision how your dream could be brought to life—even if the model is a little different.

Which way is right for you? We’d recommend any—and all of them. You’ll pick up different pieces of information with each method. So go ahead and get started. It’s never too early to start gathering ideas and information!


Topics: Rochester area custom homebuilder, custom home ideas, Custom floor plans, model custom homes

Why Rochester-Area Model Homes Make Sense

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 @ 20:01 PM

Why Rochester area model homes make senseIf you’ve been considering building a new home in Canadaigua, Ontario, Webster or Perinton, you may not have given much thought to purchasing a model home. But here are three compelling reasons you may want to think about before scratching that idea off of your list.

1. You hate to wait: Building a new home can be an exciting adventure, but it’s not something that happens overnight. There is a lot of thought, research and planning that goes into building a new home. And that all happens before the hole for the foundation is excavated. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to wait, that might not sit well with you. And sometimes it’s not even a matter of wanting to wait. Maybe your living situation changed suddenly and you no longer have the luxury of waiting to build your new home. What if you need to move now? Model homes are often ready immediately—or on very short notice. That takes some of the pressure of waiting away.

2. Upgrades are us: When builders create a model home they want to use it as a showcase for what they can do. The result is that many model homes have upgraded features in them that show off a builder’s expertise. And usually the finish materials are upgraded as well because they show better. What that means is that you can get more “bang for your buck” with a model home because you’ll pick up these upgrades at bargain prices.

3. What you see is what you get: Not everybody enjoys looking at floor plans and schematics to see what their future home is going to look like.  As a matter of fact, some people really struggle to envision what the finished product is going to look like. If that describes you, a model home may be a big help. You don’t have to imagine what it will look like when it’s finished—you can walk through it right now. And for a lot of people that means peace of mind.

With those three things in mind, here are four more reasons you might want to consider a model home: 

  • 3 Bedroom/2 Bathroom, 1,600 square foot home in Canadaigua 
  • 3 Bedroom/2 Bathroom, 2,426 square foot home in Ontario 
  • 3 Bedroom/2 Bathroom, 1,707 square foot home in Webster 
  • 4 Bedroom/3 Bathroom, 2,395 square foot home in Perinton

Click here for more details, to download a brochure, or to take a virtual tour of any of these properties. Check out these great homes to see if a model home in the Rochester area might make sense for you!

Model Homes

Topics: Rochester area custom homebuilder, Model homes, upgrades, no waiting

Where Should You Build Your Rochester-Area Home? Where YOU Want To Live!

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 @ 20:01 PM

Where should you build your Rochester area Home Where YOU want to liveYou’ve heard the real estate people chanting their mantra: “Location! Location! Location!” And you know what? They’re right. There are a lot of great places to live in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region. But someone else’s idea of the ideal location may not be what feels like home to you. You should be able to build your custom home where you want, whether it’s in Wayne, Ontario, or Eastern Monroe County. After all, your home site should fit your family’s lifestyle and needs as much as the home you build on it.

Of course it’s not just a matter of geographic location that matters. Some people prefer a building site that’s a little bit larger. If you want a two-acre property with rolling hills view, you might want something like you’ll find in Factors Walk in Ionia. If lake views are something that’s important to you (along with one-acre of property), you might be interested in something in Williamson, in Wayne County. Want wooded acreage with lots of privacy? Check out Pineview Estates in Marion. Or if you’re looking for a somewhat smaller parcel (say .25 or .5 acres) with lots of open space and walking trails, you might find it in Canandaigua, or in Webster.

Some homeowners want the feel of a close-knit community. Others are looking for stand-alone property. If you’re looking for a site on .5 to 1.2 acres of land with a country setting, you may want to check out Greenfield Acres in Marion.

You don’t have to settle for someone else’s idea of what makes the best community or development. You have choices. You can choose the location you want and the kind of community you want to live in. And then you can choose from a wide variety of floor plans that fit the particular needs of your family, whether it’s a colonial style home, a patio home, a cape style home—or something else.

When it comes to your home, location really does matter. You should be able to choose where you want to live before building your dream home.  That’s just one of the reasons we say that we build dreams, but families live them!

Dream Home

Topics: Rochester area custom homebuilder, communities, building sites, location

Rochester-Area Homebuilding: How Big Is Too Big?

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Jan 8, 2014 @ 07:01 AM

Rochester area homebuilding how big is too bigWallis Simpson, for whom King Edward III gave up his throne in 1936, is credited with saying, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” For a while, there seemed to be a similar line of thought when it came to building a new home. The boom of “McMansions” across the country seemed to reflect the attitude that one could not build a house that was too big.

The age of the McMansion seems to have gone the way of the age of Edward III. According to a MSN Money post in October of 2012, the average size of American homes began decreasing (after a steady increase in size from the 1950s until about 2012).  However, a more recent (June 3, 2013) post by CNN points to an increase in the size of homes again.

If you’re considering building a custom home in the Rochester, NY area, what does that mean for you? Should you build larger or smaller? How big is too big? The statistics may continue to change, but how do you decide on the size of home that’s right for you? Let’s look at a couple of important issues. 

  • Your Budget: This may be stating the obvious, but more square footage will drive up the cost of your home. You really don’t want to build more than you need. And yet, it happens all the time. Homeowners build houses that they really can’t afford. When they do that, instead of ending up with a great investment and a sense of comfort and security, they end up stressed by payments they can’t afford. Others end up “house poor,” with a big house that they can’t even afford to finish and decorate the way they want (not to mention utility bills that are higher than they’re used to). 
  • Your Needs: There is a flip side to building too big. Some people build too small. They don’t plan ahead for changing needs. Maybe they have small children at the time they build and don’t think about the need for more space as the kids get bigger. Maybe they don’t plan for an elderly parent to move in. Or perhaps they aren’t thinking about the possibility of working from home or having guests. And they don’t take into account that it’s cheaper to build somewhat bigger now than it will be to add on in the future. 

Larger doesn’t have to mean ostentatious. There’s a big difference between planning for the future when you build and building beyond your means. How big is too big? It’s when you build more than you can really afford and add space (and features) that you really don’t need—and will never take advantage of. 

We’ve got floor plans that range from 1,040 square feet up to 3,605 square feet—in a wide variety of styles. We invite you to take a no-obligation look at these floor plans. We’d love to help you build a home that’s not too big and not too small—but just right for your family.

Dream Home

Topics: Rochester area custom homebuilder, Home size and budget, planning for future needs, choosing the right sized home

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