Tag Archives: Arizona home builders

BUILDING AN ARIZONA CUSTOM HOME… CLAY OR CONCRETE ROOF TILES?

One Decision That Can Save Money When Building A Custom Home…  Clay or Concrete Roofing

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At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, more often than not lately, our custom home buyers are asking us how they can get the most for their money and still get the home of their dreams.  There are so many decisions that a custom home buyer must make beginning with the size of the home and the selected floor plan.  Once the floor plan is completed, selections from toilets, to plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures to accent lighting, floor coverings, sinks, cabinet wood and style, appliances, custom built-ins, doors and door hardware, counter surfaces, among others must be made.

We are happy assisting our custom home buyers with economical selections that can save thousands of dollars without impacting the quality of their custom home.  Just one example of cost savings can be found when comparing clay roof tiles with concrete roof tiles.  Choosing between clay roof tiles and concrete roof tiles is one often consideration for Arizona custom home buyers.  Continue reading

AN OUTDOOR MISTING SYSTEM INSTALLED IN THE CUSTOM HOME

Create Outdoor Comfort Zones with an In-Home Misting System

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Now available for home use are high-pressure misting systems, or sometimes referred to as misting cooling systems.  These units can be installed on any home completed or under construction.  Our experience has been with the installation of a misting system during the custom home building process.  As custom home builders, our customers at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC  have expressed more interest in misting systems than in the past.  A high-pressure misting cooling system compliments the Arizona outdoor lifestyle by providing a cool mist of pressurized water onto a back yard patio or dining area.  The mist line is installed on the overhang and around the perimeter of a backyard patio or outdoor dining area.  Specially designed mist nozzles evenly distributed throughout the high-pressure mist line produce tiny water droplets.  The tiny water droplets are dispersed in a mist that cools the surrounding air temperature.  This mist keeps an outdoor living space comfortable in the heat of the day.

Installing a high pressure misting system in a custom home can be a tricky task.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we are cautious with the installation of these misting systems for several reasons.  Continue reading

AWNINGS ON OUR CUSTOM HOMES… THE PERFECT ACCENT!

 

What is the Stereotype for An Outdoor Awning?    Let it go!

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Like us, do you have prejudged views of outdoor awnings?  If someone suggested installing an awning on a custom home one might instantly think of Sun City, Arizona, well known as a city of retirees.  Does one think of those unsightly retractable awnings that might look better on a camper?  Or does one think of a striped metal awning from the 1960’s?   Perhaps awnings should be given a second look.  This is 2009, after all.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, it has been our experience that there is most definitely a place for awnings on a custom home. 

The ‘Old-World’ look of a spear tent awning adds timeless beauty to a custom home.  Traditional awnings can be installed on square windows as well as arched windows.  Awnings can not only enhance a home’s appearance but block direct sunlight from passing into the house and fading carpets, draperies and furnishings.  By minimizing direct sunlight that passes into a house the mechanical ventilation required to cool those rooms is reduced.  Those features sound pretty good to us, less fading of furnishings and the less the air conditioner must run to cool those rooms.  Perhaps awnings should be given a second look after all.  Our custom home buyers visit Phoenix Tent and Awning  when it comes to selecting the perfect awning for their home.  Phoenix Tent and Awning  have demonstrated absolute expertise assisting our customers with awning selection and installation. Continue reading

CUSTOM HOMES AND THE OVERSIZED SHOWER!

Multiple Sprays, Larger Spaces, and Frameless Shower Doors

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As Arizona custom home builders, at Woodridge Custom Builders, LLC our luxury home buyers are very attentive when designing and accessorizing shower systems.  Shower areas have become larger and taken a more prominent space in the master bath of our custom homes.  Out, is the narrow shower stall where elbows may hit the wall while showering.  Long gone are the flimsy, opaque, metal-framed bypass doors of a shower/tub combination.  New, are larger shower spaces, frameless shower doors made of heavy glass, multiple sprays, snail showers, shower sitting areas, coated glass, and a wider variety of finishes for the fixtures. 

Luxurious showers now seem to be the new status symbol.  Larger than ever, some are large enough that shower doors are not required.  Others are built in a spiral shape eliminating the need for shower doors, (snail shower).  Eliminating the need for shower doors also eliminates the need to clean all of that glass.  In a new or model home, clear glass showers seem so inviting, but once the homeowner moves in and actually begins using the shower, those once lovely glass walls and doors quickly get covered with soap scum and water marks.  Now there is a coating available for glass shower doors and glass walls.  This coating helps prevent permanent spots, stains and soap scum.  Several brands now offer shower doors protected by this coating. Continue reading

BUILDING THE CUSTOM HOME MINDFUL OF BACKYARD SPORTS

Tennis Anyone?  Golf Anyone?  …In the Backyard?

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In Arizona, not all yards are large enough for a tennis court, but many Arizona backyards are large enough for a sport court, putting green, batting cage, trampoline pit, or skateboard ramp.  Popular in Arizona, are small sport courts and half-court basketball, as shown in the photos here.  Courts can be used for multiple purposes, or dedicated to one sport.  Whether it is a half-court for basketball as shown here, or multi-sport court for volleyball, tennis or badminton, each comes in an array of colors and designs.  Because these are custom courts, each court is built to meet the unique needs of the custom homebuyer and designed for the specific space available. 

There are several types of surfaces and choosing the correct surface depends on the intended activity.  Many of these sport courts are made of a modular polypropylene surface with an interlocking design, and placed over a draining system.  Most surfaces are smooth and non-abrasive and come in a variety of UV protected colors and designs.  When running or jumping on the surface, it offers some ‘give’ helping absorb shock and minimize impact to the knees and joints.  Many are virtually maintenance free.  Continue reading

THINKING OF A CUSTOM HOME? WHAT’S YOUR FIRST STEP?

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Many potential customers at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC often ask us how to get started when thinking of a custom home.  First, there is not really a right or wrong way to get started.  Some of our customers find us after they have purchased the land or lot for the home, others want our help in this area.  Some are referred to us by previous customers.  Some are referred to us through our network of architects and home designers as they work on their house plans.  Outlined below is an overview of the custom home building process.  Detailed construction steps are not included here.

Planning and Preparation:  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we believe that each project is an investment for our customers therefore each home we build is a signature of our work.  A fantastic benefit of building custom homes is helping our customers realize your desires for your dream home.  Each one of our customers has unique lifestyle preferences and we take great pride working closely with you to create a home where you and your family can enjoy your personal lifestyle. 

Home Site Selection:  If you don’t already have a lot for your custom home, we can help you find the ideal location for your dream home.  We are familiar with many of the prominent custom home communities in Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Chandler, Rio Verde, Cave Creek, Tempe, and Carefree.  We’ll need to find out if you want the natural beauty of our Arizona desert landscaping, the greens of a golf course or mountain views.  What size of a custom home would interest you?  What architectural style interests you?  Once we understand exactly where your interests lie, we can focus our attention on an ideal neighborhood for you and family.

Floor Plans and Illustrations:  When the lot is selected, we partner with you and your architect or home designer to help design a home that will fit your family’s unique needs.  We begin working on a set of house plans designed for your lot.  With your lot selected, we can design the house for maximum views, best layout for minimizing western exposures and maximizing north and south exposures.  The home designer will want to know what home style you prefer, Tuscan, Santa Barbara, Andalusian, Spanish Colonial, Hacienda, or contemporary.  This is the first time your vision is transferred to paper.  We encourage you to bring in a collection of photos, magazine clippings, preliminary designs, a rough floor plan and any other visual tool helping transfer your ideas to a floor plan, elevations, and illustrations. 

Materials:  While the floor plan is formalized, we can begin working on the home’s materials and details.  Exterior stone, exterior color, stain colors, gates, wrought iron accents, formal entry door, driveway materials, exterior fireplace and grill locations must be made.  Then we’ll ask you to make similar selections for the interior of the house including cabinet style, counter surfaces, flooring materials, door style, door hardware, plumbing fixtures and lighting fixtures among other selections. You will work with our suppliers and visit showrooms to make these selections.  For example, if you choose granite materials, you will actually walk the warehouse and select your own slabs of granite.   Once the floor plan, elevation and materials are selected, each can be submitted to your design review committee for approval.

Bidding Process:  When you have made the many selections for your home, we can begin the bidding process.  We bid competitively each and every project to get you the best possible price for your home.  Our tradesmen are proven and talented contractors that understand we bid each and every job.  We will discuss and contemplate the cost and efficiencies of different designs, structural features, and material selections.  We believe its better for you to take your time making material selections and receive an accurate bid based on these selections, than get a rough estimate up front.  When working with our suppliers and showroom professionals they can assist you with selections that keep your budget in mind.

Permitting:  During the design review committee approval process, all required documents are professionally gathered and submitted to the city for permitting.  The length of this permitting process varies per city but can take anywhere from two to eight weeks.   During this time we will walk through the plan together on paper and specifically review the materials you have selected and mark the specific location of these materials on the plan. 

Construction:  After proper planning, design review approval and city approval we can break ground.  There are various phases of construction beginning with site preparation, the foundation, the vertical stage, the roof dry-in phase, the rough mechanical and rough electrical phase, insulation, lathe, stucco, drywall and trim stage, interior finish stage, cabinets and interior trim detail, finish electrical, plumbing, and mechanical stage, flooring stage, and finally a finish and final clean phase. 

Progress:  During the construction process, you’re welcome to visit the jobsite and see the progress on your home.  During several phases of construction you’ll be asked to re-evaluate or confirm your selections for the location of telephone outlets, light switches, soap dishes, and other details that had only been done on paper before.  As much as possible we keep our jobsites as clean and free of debris as possible, yet during major construction activities this can be difficult, since your safety is our concern, we encourage you to walk the jobsite with the project manager.  If your having your home built while you live elsewhere, you can have private access within our website where photos and updates of your home’s construction will be posted.

Inspections:  Throughout the construction process, your home will go through various inspections by the city to assure that your home is built consistent with the required building codes.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we are proud to offer our customers additional inspections throughout the home building process by an independent inspector.  We are proud of our work and welcome an independent inspector on the job to keep our subcontractors as judicious in quality as we are.  Our customers appreciate the openness with which we encourage an independent inspector.

Final Approval:  Once the city has approved the completed project and issued a certificate of occupancy, you’re closer to moving in.  Before taking possession we will walk through the home and identify any items that need correction before moving day.  You will receive a warranty booklet and directions on maintenance of the new products in your home.  When all the punch list of items has been addressed, moving day has arrived.

Your Custom Home:  You deserve a custom-designed and built home that will bring your family years of enjoyment.  Your home is unique for your character and lifestyle preferences, it is a place to be proud of especially because or your own influences from the design and layout, to material selections, to the finishing touches.  It is your dream home!

CUSTOM HOMES… THE AT-HOME COFFEE BAR

Our Love for Coffee Hits the Master Suite

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In custom homes built by Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, a new trend is to include a coffee brewing area or ‘coffee bar’ in the master suite and/or kitchen.  For some coffee lovers, getting the coffee maker going in the morning is as important as starting the shower and grabbing the morning paper.  So for coffee lovers requiring that cup of Joe in the morning while getting roused, up and ready to face a great day, it makes sense to these coffee lovers to include a coffee bar in the master suite.  Placing a small coffee maker in the master suite minimizes the numerous trips to the kitchen to start the coffee, to get the cup of coffee, and possibly a refill. 

The photos below highlight, a coffee bar area was built into this master suite area.  The space was actually designed as one of two large master closets.  These custom home buyers decided one of the closets was too large and its particular large size of no use them.  So they reduced the size of one of the master closets and created this coffee bar.  The coffee bar is about four feet wide.  The area includes a 48” granite countertop that includes a wet bar sink for obtaining water for the coffee and an under-counter refrigerator for storing cream.  Since only one of the homeowners was a coffee drinker, the under-counter refrigerator also stores bottled water and bottled orange juice.  Upper cabinets provide storage for cups, filters, coffee and other supplies.  This area, although an afterthought to the original house plans, provides a functional and delightful use of the space.  Decorative wallpaper with a coffee theme and coffee accessories add to the charm of the coffee bar.   

Although these homeowners elected to use a coffee maker that rests on the counter, there are more and more built-in coffee makers designed for home use.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, our custom home buyers visit with Andy Welemin of Westar Kitchen and Bath, Tempe, Arizona ( www.westar-sw.com) for assistance with appliances when making selections for a custom home.  Westar Kitchen and Bath represents a wide variety of appliance manufacturers, including those that produce terrific built-in coffee-makers and under-counter refrigerators.

 

FAKE GRASS IN A CUSTOM HOME? DRAMATIC RESULTS!

The Popularity of Fake Grass and the Forever Green Lawn

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In Arizona grass lawns are at a premium.  Not naturally indigenous to the Sonoran desert areas of Arizona, grass is a landscape amenity.  Grass lawns are not possible in Arizona without a well-planned and well-managed sprinkler system.  Look at it like the perpetual golf course, never breaking for fall and winter.  Finding the perfect low-maintenance alternative to the green lawn is the desert landscape strategy.  Planting low-water use plants in rock gardens is a very popular desert landscaping technique in Arizona.  Many of these plants are absolutely stunning and include many varieties of flowering plants.  Yet to some, there is nothing like that green lawn that says, “home”. 

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC we have recently had one of our custom home buyers use an alternative to the unnatural green lawns in Arizona with the latest alternative, synthetic grass or fake grass.  This waterless, low-maintenance solution looked absolutely fantastic in this homeowner’s lawn.  We were amazed at house natural, realistic, beautiful and functional it turned out.  The custom home buyer used the synthetic grass in the front yard, and backyard where he had also installed a putting green.  The pictures below show the beautiful results of this lawn. Continue reading

CUSTOM HOMES AND POWDER ROOM TRENDS

The New Powder Room Vanity… Forget the Pedestal Sink!

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Tired of the pedestal sink often found in standard powder rooms?  Why not consider the wide variety of alternative sink options?  These include antique pieces of furniture transformed into vanities.  There are also many reproduction pieces including a vanity sink.  Glass or stone bowls that can sit atop a vanity have recently become popular.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, some of our custom homebuyers have scoured antique shops looking for just the right piece to transform into a vanity.  Others have designed the powder room vanity around a specific glass bowl.  With a bit of imagination a powder room can reflect a custom homebuyer’s personality and chic. 

 Many of these newer style sinks are not expensive yet add a high-end flare to any powder room.  The stand-alone furniture vanity shown in photo 1, fit perfectly in the niche designed for the sink.  The color and details of the vanity’s base went well in this Spanish Colonial home.  The vanity included a small brass sink and surface-mounted fixtures.  The mirror, lighting and accessories enhanced the vanity and created the complete old-world look.

In photo 2, these custom homebuyers found a glass bowl they treasured.  Finding the stand-alone piece became part of the fun creating the powder room.  The vanity is actually a piece of furniture modified to hold the sink.  Modified to hold and hide the plumbing fixtures underneath the sink, in some cases, the top drawer becomes unusable, though the bottom drawers remain functional.  The additional storage space these stand-alone furniture pieces offer is one of the reasons why customers appreciate these pieces so much, a pedestal sink, on the other hand, offers no additional storage.  As both of these photos show, the furniture pieces are larger than a pedestal sink, but offer counter space and under-counter storage, storage always at a premium. The fixtures in this home were installed on the wall to extend over the sink as opposed to the first photo where the fixtures were also installed on the furniture’s deck.  These are typical options the custom home buyer makes when creating the desired look.

Other trendy vanities include a sink placed on custom-made counter surfaces with wall-mounted fixtures.  In this Tuscan style home shown in photo 3, the homeowners had this vanity custom made to hold the glass bowl they had found.  The material is strong yet opaque enough to reveal the under-counter lighting.  The wrought-iron support system complements the Tuscan style of the home and the wall-mounted fixtures extend over the beautiful glass bowl.

There are so many new styles for stone and glass bowls that opportunities for creating the perfect powder room are endless.  Cheryl Koteita at Westar Kitchen and Bath, assists our customers at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC’s, to select the perfect bowl and fixtures.  Westar carries a wide variety of manufacturers, yet Cheryl Koteita’s expertise helps our customers simplify this, sometimes overwhelming, process ( ). www.westar-sw.com

 For a short video on powder room trends click here…  Powder Room Trends YouTube VideoTo enlarge the photos below, click on each photo and use the ‘back’ key to return.

 

 
 
 

 

MANY USES OF THE UNDER-COUNTER REFRIGERATOR IN CUSTOM HOMES!

Chilled to Perfection!

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Under-counter refrigerators seem to be showing up everywhere lately.  In the custom homes built by Woodridge Custom Builders LLC we have placed them in kitchens, wet bar areas, coffee bars, home offices, garages, and guesthouses.  Woodridge has also placed them in the master suite.

Popular brands for these refrigerators include U-line, Sub-Zero, GE, Viking, and Kitchen-Aid.  Some of these units have pull out drawers, and glass doors.  The glass doors can be switched to an endless number of alternatives from the standard appliance look to matching kitchen cabinets. Continue reading