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Rochester, NY Blog

Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Is the Ashton the Perfect Floor Plan for Your New Rochester Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 19:05 PM

Is-The-Ashton-the_perfect-floor-plan-for-your-new-Rochester-Home_-1One of the most critical components of building the home of your dreams is choosing the right floor plan. The floor plan gives you a sense for what it will be like to live in the house you plan to build: How does family traffic move from one part of the home to another? Does the plan match the kind of lifestyle your family enjoys? Will your home continue to meet your needs down the road? 

If you have a growing family, The Ashton you see pictured here just may be the perfect floor plan for your new Rochester home. The main level offers a kitchen with morning room that’s a great place for casualIs-The-Ashton-the-perfect-floor-plan-for-your-new-Rochester-home2 family meals. And the kitchen is also open to the family room (with gas fireplace) so nobody is stuck alone in the kitchen. There is also a separate living room and a separate dining room for when you want to do more formal entertaining. And there’s even a study on the main level for quiet reading. 

The second floor has plenty of sleeping space, with a Master Suite and three other suites for family members. Plus, there’s a large bonus room that you can turn into a family entertainment room—or whatever else you need down the road. 

And there’s more space in the basement. Enjoy the Bar/Game Room (with adjoining lavoratory) and set up a home office that’s away from distraction. If you need additional space, you’ve still got room to expand! You can take a closer look that the Ashton floor plan here

Is the Ashton really the perfect floor plan for your home? That depends on your specific needs, desires, and lifestyle. We offer plenty of additional floor plans for Colonial style homes. 1st floor master homes, patio homes, ranch homes, and more!

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

Why It Matters Who Builds Your Rochester Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 @ 06:03 AM

Why-it-matters-who-builds-your-Rochester-area-homeIf you’ve done some research into building a new home in the Rochester area, you know that choosing the right builder is an absolutely critical step. Choosing the right builder not only makes a huge difference when it comes to the quality of your home—it also has a really big impact on the whole homebuilding process for you. The right builder can make the experience a pleasure. The wrong builder can make your life miserable. Here’s a helpful post if you’re looking for some practical help in how to make that choice. 

Most of the time, people looking to build a new home focus on the builder’s experience and expertise, and they’ll take a close look at past examples of his or her work. Those are all extremely important things to consider—and you should absolutely do them.  Sometimes, however, there are other qualities that a builder has that may kind of fly under the radar. 

Every homeowner wants a builder who has his or her best interests in mind. But sometimes that goes beyond making sure that construction is up to exacting standards and finished on time. Sometimes there are things that happen outside of the actual construction of your home that can impact you. 

Recently a state commission proposed changing building codes that would require all single family homes to have sprinkler systems like the ones you find in hotel rooms. Most people (builders included) have no idea that this is coming. The Rochester Homebuilders Association (of which we’re members), however, does know about it. 

When WHAM, Channel 13 (the local ABC affiliate) recently asked me about the proposed change, I told them, “If you add in the cost of a $6,000 sprinkler system, you're adding three to four percent to the price of a $200,000 house.” That kind of cost can force people out of the ability to purchase a home.

That's why Gerber Homes already offers information about sprinkler systems and their costs—as an option. Naturally, we’re concerned about safety, but a feature like this one really should be an individual choice. Even the firefighters for whom we’ve built homes haven’t selected this option. 

The point of all this is that we feel it’s our responsibility as a reputable homebuilder in our community to keep an eye on the issues that can impact your ability to afford the home of your dreams—and to pass that information on to you. And we hope that provides you with the confidence and trust you should demand from the company that turns your dreams into the home you’ve always wanted.

Topics: Rochester NY, Building a New Home

Want a Great New Home in the Greater Rochester Area—But Don’t Want to Wait?

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 06:01 AM

Want-a-great-new-home-in-the-Rochester-area-but-dont_want-to-wait_You may have heard that good things come to those who wait. That may be true a lot of the time, but sometimes waiting isn’t an option. There are times when we have to make decisions and act fairly quickly. 

That can happen when it’s time to build a house. Sometimes work demands a move and you simply don’t have time to go through the whole process of looking at floor plans, reviewing design ideas in magazines or online—or even waiting through the construction process. 

But just because you’re crunched for time, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for some “cookie-cutter” house. You can still get the quality and energy-efficiency you want in a home that’s ready for you to move into. 

At Gerber Homes we have a number of “Quick Move-in” homes with the kind of features you’re looking for—including that all-important feature of being available for sale now.  You can check out our available homes in the Rochester area and download a brochure, get more details, or even take a virtual tour. And if you don’t see what you want, give us a call at 1-888-437-2373 and tell us what you’re looking for.

If you don’t have time to go through the normal homebuilding process—or if you just hate to wait—we’ve got options you can explore. Don’t settle for any old new house when you can get the kind of quality craftsmanship that we’ve been bringing to the marketplace since 1975!


Topics: Model homes, Rochester NY

Rochester-Area Additions: When “A Little Change” Isn’t Enough

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 @ 20:03 PM

Rochester area additions when a little change isn't enoughWhen you’ve been in your existing home for a while, you sometimes need to make little changes—just to keep things fresh and interesting. But sometimes a “little” change just isn’t enough.

Couples without kids sometimes end up with several. Small children turn into bigger ones. You accumulate more “stuff” and need a place to put it. And sometimes even elderly parents come to live with you. When those kind of life events happen, a modest renovation of your home probably isn’t going to be enough to keep you comfortable in your home. If you like the home you’re in, and want to stay there, you’re probably looking at an addition.

If you’re considering an addition to your Rochester-area home, you’re in good company. Forbes.com, recently reported on a survey of 100,000 people that Houzz took last year. Of the respondents, 40 percent indicated that they planned to remodel or build an addition in 2013.

Of course, changes—especially big changes—come with a cost. But what kind of costs can you expect if you want to add an addition to your Rochester-area home? There’s actually some good news if you live in the area. Home additions around the Rochester area are a bit more affordable than elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic region. Here’s a comparison (from www.remodeling.hw.net) of costs for some common additions.

Project                                                Mid-Atlantic               Rochester

Family Room Addition                        $84,224                 $78,010          

Garage Addition                               $51,129                 $48,294

Bathroom Addition                            $39,661                 $36,937

Master Suite Addition                       $108,536                $100,726

Two-Story Addition                          $159,561                $150,615

Please keep in mind that these are average costs for mid-range projects. Specific costs will depend on the scope and complexity of each individual project. But it does give you a good idea of the range for different addition projects you might be considering.

If life has handed you some changes that require some significant changes in your living situation, you’ll want to do some planning before you jump in to putting on an addition. That’s why we offer our Create Your Dream Home guide that you can download for free. This guide will help you decide if you should build or remodel to achieve your dream home. And it’s full of tips for making the most out of the space you already have.

If you have big changes coming, start by making sure you know your options. 


Topics: garage additions, Rochester NY, home remodeling, Home Additions, Interior Remodeling, second-floor additions, Home Design, first-floor additions

Arriving at a Realistic Budget for Your Rochester-Area Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 @ 20:02 PM

As custom homebuilders, one of the most frequently asked questions we’re asked is: “What will it cost to build a custom home in Rochester (or Webster, or Canandaigua, or Ontario)? If you’re considering building a home in one of these communities—or elsewhere in the Finger Lakes area—it’s a question you have to ask. But it’s also a bit of a loaded question.

Custom Home in Rochester NY

Imagine walking into an appliance store and asking what a big-screen television costs. The answer would depend on the size of the television, the features, the quality of picture you want, whether you want plasma or LED, etc. And of course you have to take into consideration what you can realistically afford.

A custom home, of course, is not a television. But you still have to consider exactly what features you want—and what you can realistically afford. The goal here is not necessarily to get the lowest price, but to get the most value for the dollars you budget.

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to make one of two errors when it comes to budgeting for their custom homes. And either of those mistakes can cause real problems.

Unrealistically High Expectations 

Farmhouse Kitchen in Custom Home in Rochester NY

Planning a custom home can be a pretty exhilarating experience. There are all kinds of magazines, online sites, blogs, and TV programs that highlight the magnificent features you can build into your home. Let’s be honest: a lot of this stuff is really cool! But if it’s beyond what you can really afford, it doesn’t matter. It’s not good moving into the “castle” of your dreams if you can’t afford to live there, or can’t afford to furnish it. You need to be brutally honest with yourself about what you can really afford—and then work with a builder to get the most value for that price.

Unrealistically Low Budgets

Custom Farmhouse in Rochester NY

Some homeowners can afford a higher budget, but they set an unrealistically low budget for their home. They have high expectations, but they set a budget that’s too low to achieve what they want. The problem here is that after the home has been built, they’re not as delighted with the home as they could have been. They’ve settled for less, when they realistically could have afforded more. And of course the real kicker is that if they decide to add in the features they really wanted—it costs them more than it would have originally.

Making either of these mistakes will leave you less than satisfied. Take the time to calculate what you can really afford and then work with a builder who will deliver the maximum bang for your building buck.

Looking for ideas to get started with the custom homebuilding process? A good place to begin is by downloading our free Steps to Building Your Dream Home custom home guide It’s full of helpful information about the steps involved in the homebuilding process.  It features great design tips—and even provides help for choosing the right builder for you home. 

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

Online Resources For Building Your Rochester Area Dream Home

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 @ 20:11 PM

Online resources for building your Rochester area dream homeGod is in the detail. —Anonymous

The devil is in the detail. —Anonymous

Whether you believe that God or the devil is in the detail, one thing remains certain when it comes to building a custom home: There are a lot of details to consider. And at the beginning of the process—before any contract is signed or plans are drawn up—the number of details can feel overwhelming. After all, with so many choices about floor plans and designs and building materials and styles—how do you even decide what it is your want?

The good news is that there are online tools that can help you collect, sort and organize ideas. Instead of having papers and magazines scattered all over you can create—and continually update—an “idea” file. There are a number of different sites that can provide you with some great ideas for creating the style you want in your home. Here are just a few.

If you’re looking for ideas about how to structure your home you may want to check out Dream Home Source. You’ll find thousands of home and floor plans, organized by number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, how many stories and architectural style.  You can buy a floor plan if you like, but you may want to simply glean ideas first and then talk to a trusted builder to make sure that the plan will work for the property where you plan to build. Still, it’s a good first step if you think in terms of space and organization. Of course we offer dozens of floor plans that we’ve used in the Rochester area. If you’d like to see some of the plans we’ve used successfully in the area, you can check them out here.

If you want some great ideas for specific rooms, Houzz has tons of ideas. What’s fun about this site is that you can interact with others who are in the same situation as you and pick their brains. One of the great things about Houzz is that you can set up and save online idea books and continually add new ideas.

If you believe that a picture is worth 1,000 words, Pinterest may be just the place for you. You can peruse images of homes or decorating ideas and organize them by topic.

While it’s more about decorating ideas (as opposed to a homebuilding site), the decorating and home ideas section of The Better Homes and Gardens site has plenty of great ideas when it’s time to put the finishing touches on your home.

And if you’re looking for an introduction to the whole custom homebuilding process, we invite you to download our free 17-page Custom Home Guide. It’s packed with helpful information that will help you make the right choices when it’s time to build your dream home!


Topics: Rochester NY, Building a New Home

Four Things To Think About Before Remodeling Your Rochester-Area Bathroom

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Mar 15, 2013 @ 15:03 PM

Ask any professional home remodeler and he’ll tell you that kitchens and bathrooms are the two most popular rooms to remodel. Some people are surprised that bathrooms are so high on the “let’s-renovate-it” list, but it’s really not all that surprising. Part of the reason may have to do with the fact that the return on investment for a bathroom-remodeling project is so high (on average, homeowners recover about 75% of their remodeling cost when they sell). Another—perhaps more important—reason is that our bathrooms get a lot of use on a daily basis. A bathroom is a pretty personal space, so people are kind of particular about how their bathroom turns out.

Like any other significant remodeling project, a successful bathroom renovation begins with good planning. So here are four things to should think about before remodeling your Rochester-area bathroom.

1. Vanities and sinks: Your choices of vanity and sink will shape the whole look and feel of your bathroom. How many sinks do you want? If you decide on two, do you want a vanity that will accommodate both sinks—or do you want separate vanities? Do you have enough space to allow for two vanities? Will you be sharing your bathroom with kids—or is this an “adults-only” area? And what about style? Are you looking for a warm and inviting look, or clean, elegant lines? Will your vanity have storage space, or are you hoping for a more “minimalist” look?

2. Speaking of space: It’s easy to overlook the need for storage. After all, it’s not very sexy or exciting. Of course, there’s nothing sexy about a bathroom that has stuff strewn all over because there’s no place to put it. If you opt for a vanity that doesn’t have much storage space, can you (or your builder) “find” extra space in the bathroom so that it doesn’t look cluttered? Remember, most bathrooms need storage for more than just toiletries. Don’t forget to plan for things such as cleaning supplies and other things that you don’t want in your hall closet.

3. Look at the lights. Lighting in the bathroom needs to take a number of things into consideration. If your bathroom is an area of relaxation and retreat, you’ll want to have nice ambient lighting to set the right mood. But that light won’t work so well when it’s time to shave or put on makeup. And if you have any artwork in the room you may want to consider some accent lighting as well to highlight special areas.

4. Don’t Forget to vent. A good builder or remodeler will obviously take this into consideration, but ensuring adequate ventilation is an absolute necessity when remodeling you bathroom. You’ll want good air circulation to mitigate humidity and to reduce the potential for mold. While newer homes are required to have ventilation built into the bathrooms, many older homes don’t.Make sure you talk about this with your builder before construction begins.

All four of those things are important. But it’s also important to have good design ideas for this very personal room. If you’re looking for ways to create a comfortable, relaxing, and intimate space in your master bathroom, we invite you to download our free special report: The Ultimate Retreat—Designing a Beautiful Bathroom. It’s full of ideas you can use to create the ideal bathroom that matches your lifestyle—and your budget.

Editor's Note: Originally posted in 2013 

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

Topics: Bathroom remodeling, Rochester NY, home remodeling, Interior Remodeling, Bathroom Design, Home Design

Benefits of Buying a Model Home in the Rochester Area

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 @ 08:12 AM

 Model-homes-for-sale-Rochester-NY, Rochester-NY, Benefits-of-Buying-a-Model-HomesMany prospective homeowners enjoy looking through model homes. It’s a great way to pick up design and decorating ideas. And for some people, seeing a floor plan that’s actually built out is so much more meaningful than starting at a two-dimensional drawing. It really brings the home to life. 

Maybe you’re one of those people who prefers to wander the halls of a real home rather than looking at blueprints. But have you ever considered actually purchasing the model home you’ve been perusing? If you’ve never thought of doing that before, there are a number of benefits you might want to consider.

Upgrades. Models homes are showcases for builders. A builder really wants to “strut his stuff” for potential buyers. That’s why model homes often have upgrades in them that make the house stand out, such as upgraded flooring, more elaborate finishes and other features that you might not find in the “standard” plans of most homes.

Attractive Pricing. Even though model homes tend to have more upgraded features, you can often get a really good deal. The builder has already paid for the materials. He’s already put his labor into the structure as well. Builders don’t like to be bankers. They don’t want to hang on to something that’s costing them money. That means they are motivated to move the property so they can use that money to build something new.

Location. Again, because models are showcases, builders often put them in ideal locations that show off the best of the development to visitors. As a buyer you can sometimes get a premium spot without paying premium prices. 

No waiting. The building process takes time. When you purchase a model home, it’s already completed. Your builder may need to do some touch-up work before you move in, but that will probably take days—not weeks or months. So if you don’t want to wait to move in, a model home may be just what you’re looking for.

You can take a look at the model homes we have on hand right now. You can even take a virtual tour of most properties so that you know exactly what your options are. So if the idea of getting upgrades, attractive pricing and great location—with no waiting—appeals to you, take a look at our models!

Topics: Rochester NY

4 Things That Affect the Cost of Your Rochester Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 @ 08:10 AM

Cost-of-Building, Custom-home-building, Rochester-NY, Gerber-Homes-Rochester-NYIt’s not unusual for someone to ask us what a new custom home in Rochester or the surrounding area will cost. Some people even ask us what the cost per square foot will be. And while knowing what your house is going to cost you before you build it is a really good idea, there’s not a single, simple answer. It’s a little bit like walking into a car dealer and asking a salesman what “a car” will cost. The real answer, of course, depends on exactly what kind of car (or home) you want.

If you ask a salesman at a Ford dealership how much a car costs, he’ll give you a range of prices depending on the model of Ford you want and upon the options you choose. If you ask the same question at a BMW dealership, you’ll also get a varying range of prices depending on the model and the options you specify. But the range at the BMW dealership, will be considerably higher than the range at the Ford dealer.

You’ll have the same kind of experience when pricing homes. Custom homes cost more than standard “tract” homes. And not all custom homes will be the same price, because—well, they’re custom built! But here are several factors that play a major role in determining the cost of your home—whether you’re looking at the cost per square foot, or the total cost.

Complexity: A more intricate home design simply requires more labor. That’s why a simple rectangular house with square corners costs less to build than home with odd angles and 20 different corners. If you’re building on an unusual lot or want to add something such as a steep roof or other custom features, your costs will increase.

Finish: The materials you select for your finish (using wood or stone instead of vinyl on the floors; using granite instead of Formica for countertops; or using tile instead of shingles on the roof) will increase your cost. The number and variety of options you choose will have a direct impact on the cost.

Size and Components: When it comes to building a home, size really does matter. A 6,000 square foot home will cost more than a 2,000 square foot home. We’ve included components in with size because larger homes often include components that aren’t commonly found in smaller homes—such as a three-or-four-car garage. Larger homes are also likely to have additional features such as porches or multiple decks. 

Labor: People who build custom homes generally insist on a higher quality of craftsmanship than you’ll find in mass-produced houses. The features that are built in often require a level of skill that lower-end builders simply can’t afford.

Once you have a pretty good idea of what the specifics are (complexity, level of finish, size/components), shoot us a note. We’d be happy to give you a general range of the cost.


Topics: Rochester NY, home remodeling, Interior Remodeling, Home Design, Home Remodeling Costs