Tag Archives: contractors

BUILDING A CUSTOM HOME… NEVER TOO EARLY FOR PLANNING AN OUTDOOR FIREPLACE

Fire Pits and Fireplaces Gain Prominence on Patios and in Courtyards of Arizona Custom Homes!

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There has always been a fascination with an outdoor fire while camping or spending time outdoors.  In Arizona, this fascination has been brought home to the backyard.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC many of our custom homebuyers want full fireplaces or built-in fire pits incorporated in the landscape of their custom home. Continue reading

ONE STRATEGY FOR CHOOSING A CUSTOM HOME BUILDER

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC we work with potential custom homebuyers for months, if not longer before breaking ground on a custom home.  We practice open and honest communication and believe in sharing as much information with our customers as possible regarding the homebuilding process.  Outlined below is one of the most frequently asked questions that receive.   

What is the Best Strategy for Choosing a Builder?

If you’re like most custom homebuyers you want experience, competence, service, trust, and open and honest communication.  Look for someone that you can trust.  Synonyms for trust include faith, confidence, and belief.  You want to have faith in your builder, feel confident that he can do the job on time and within budget, and believe he is the right contractor for you.  The relationship we have with our customers is long-term.  We have worked with customers for more than a year before they were ready to build their home. For another year while they worked on their plans, and then during the course of construction.

Whether you have your home site selected or not, or whether you have your house plans completed or not, the construction expert you hire to build your home is one of the most important decisions you will make during your custom home project.  Outlined below are several strategies that you may want to use.

1)      Referrals are one of the best strategies to use for finding your custom home builder, ask for referrals from your house designer if you are working with one, and/or family and friends that may have had a custom home constructed. 

2)      Visit projects that you like, if there is a construction sign on the project, call the builder.  Is the builder easy to reach?  Must you go through a handful of office staff to reach the builder or does he have a direct line?

3)      Interview builders and visit completed homes.  A finished project will reveal as much, if not more than a construction site.  Some people don’t know a good job from a bad one.  A finished home can show you the quality of finished details not just rough construction and how clean a jobsite may be.

4)      Interview builders and ask questions.  Do not ask for an estimate without a full set of house plans.  No reputable builder will give you a bid from a house plan drawn on a napkin or partial plans.  If the builder does, he is not likely the best choice.  We will explain why later in this section. 

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC we are available for questions, feel free to contact us through our website or information outlined on our About page.

SPANISH COLONIAL… EVER POPULAR HOME DESIGN

Arizona Custom Homes…  Spanish Colonial

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There is something totally unique about Arizona custom homes.  The homes in Arizona are not like any other part of the country.  Some may say, “Santa Fe”.  Perhaps, though many of the homes in Santa Fe are true to the Mission or Territorial architectural styles.   As a custom home builder, California actually serves are a great inspiration source for our Arizona custom homes.  It isn’t the inspiration of new homes in northern San Diego, but sometimes it’s the old, but true classics found in San Marino and Pasadena. The old Spanish influenced homes with fully arched windows, white smooth stucco,  red terra cotta roofs and big heavily carved wood doors, this architecture still inspires Arizona custom homes.  Spanish Colonial makes one think of Billy Wilder’s film, Double Indemnity as Fred MacMurray approaches such a house to renew an insurance policy only to find a dangerous and sultry Barbara Stanwyck.  Watch the first minute or so of the clip to get the feel of the Spanish Colonial as Fred MacMurry approaches the front door.  .

The Spanish Colonial home design is what; at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, is our term for the custom home that resembles the home highlighted in the movie clip.  This is probably not termed correctly to the professional designer or architect, but the custom homes we build today rarely seem true to one particular style.    Continue reading

BUILDING THE GREEN CUSTOM HOME… SOLAR!

The Eagle Solar Roof

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As custom home builders, Eagle Roofing Products has been one of our suppliers at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC  for years.  Recently, Eagle Roofing has introduced a new roof solar panel.  The Eagle Solar Roof uses highly efficient silicon solar cells.  It is a solar system that powers the home, but also integrates seamlessly with the home’s roof tiles.  Integrating the functionality of a solar powered home with the beauty of its roof tiles is worth checking into.

There are significant benefits to including an Eagle Solar Roof into a custom home including:

  • Quiet and reliable power generation
  • Significant federal and state rebates and tax incentives are available
  • Bank extra power with the local utility
  • Substantially reduces or eliminates monthly energy bills
  • Increases resale value to the property
  • Reduces pollution
  • Provides safe and sustainable energy to the home

During the day the solar panels create energy for the home, at night energy is drawn from the utility grid.  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

MASTER CLOSET SYSTEMS… IN THE CUSTOM HOME

No Need For A Dresser or Chest of Drawers with Master Closet Systems

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When planning and designing a custom home, the decision regarding the master closet ultimately surfaces.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, most of our custom homebuyers elect to have the master closet built-out by a professional closet and storage company.  These custom closets create significant more storage than a dresser or chest of drawers, and frees the master bedroom of such furniture pieces.  The space and organization created by a professional closet system is incredible.  The number of styles and combinations are endless, stacked shelves, open shelves, shelves closed by glass doors, shelves closed by cabinet doors are shelf options alone.  Rack styles are also endless; half-rack with shelves above, full-floor length racks, and two half-racks are just a few choices for hanging clothes.  Including a bank of drawers creates additional options, standard drawers is one option, while sock drawers, and jewelry drawers offer specialty options.  Unique storage areas for large hats, handbags, dirty laundry, and even luggage are possible.  Shoes can be hidden or exposed and maximized to hold as many pairs as one desires.

Using a professional closet and storage company can instantly double or triple storage space. Jeane Perantoni is an experienced designer at California Closets (http://www.californiaclosets.com/) and works with our custom home buyers; Jeane excels at creating space yet matching selections to the homeowners’ style.  Initially understanding this benefit helps a custom homebuyer understand that the shell of a master need not be excessively large.  Building-out a closet significantly adds storage space, yet it can add match any interior style as well.  Most closet and storage companies offer multiple materials, fixtures, finishes and amenities that can match or complement a homeowner’s style. The finishes include cherry, alder veneer, white, oak or maple among others.  These units can be installed as full-floor to ceiling or placed at a comfortable height for the homeowner.  Depending on the size of the closet, an island of drawers or shelves is also possible. 

The photos above show the basics of a master closet build-out; in on of the custom homes built by Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, there are combinations of shelves, rack, and drawers.

 

 

 

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

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 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

BUILDING AN ARIZONA CUSTOM HOME… SHOULD IT INCLUDE RV STORAGE?

RV Storage at a Premium, Some Custom Home Buyers Build in Storage Space

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For owners of recreational vehicles, (RV) storage is an important issue.  For RV owners, storage is as important as its use.  Many Homeowners’ Associations (HOA) in place today prohibit RV storage on a homeowner’s property for more than a couple of days, unless enclosed in a garage.  A standard car garage isn’t remotely close to the size required by most recreational vehicles.  Storing an RV off-site becomes a necessity without a property large enough for enclosed storage in an HOA regulated area.  If  one is fortunate enough to live in an area that is not regulated by an HOA, you may be able to store the RV in the driveway or side yard area, but this doesn’t mean your neighbors like it.  Storing an RV off-site is typically an inconvenience when preparing for a trip, and unpacking from a trip.  Most RV owners would agree that the ease of loading and unloading for a vacation, camping trip, or other adventure is much more convenient when it can be done at home over a few days without rushing to get the RV off the property before the HOA jumps down your throat.  Storing an RV off-site at a local storage company may cost anywhere from $30 to $90 a month depending on where you live.

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, as custom home builders some of our customers have experienced these RV storage issues.   If at all possible, RV storage was constructed with their custom home if the lot was large enough and allowed by their HOA.  Aside from the difficulty with adequate RV storage space on the lot, incorporating such a large garage into the architecture of a house that meets with HOA approval is sometimes challenging.  In many custom homes subdivisions, all garages must have side-entries.  Difficult for a large RV, a lot must be extremely large to allow for any kind of side-entry.  RV garages must be higher than a standard car garage and this too can create an architectural challenge.  Most HOAs will not approve a custom home design and floor plan if the RV garage is an unsightly large box better fitting in an industrial park than a residential custom home neighborhood.  

For custom home buyers interested in incorporating RV storage with the construction of their custom home, a well-planned home design and floor plan can save time later with HOA and city code approvals.  Waiting to construct an RV storage garage until after the home is completed is not recommended unless it has been initially incorporated into the house plans.  In most municipalities, homes constructed on residential lots are permitted to cover a certain percentage of the lot.  Failing to let the architect know that an RV storage garage is planned for later, the architect may design the house and standard garages without leaving enough room for RV storage as required by designated zoning.  Exceeding lot coverage may require a variance by the municipality and approval by neighbors prior to construction.

At first glance it doesn’t seem as though the custom home in the photo below includes an RV storage area.  In fact, this large lot included RV storage in the back of the home.  As shown in the second photo, although large enough for a 36 foot RV, this garage is located in the back of the house and not overbearing and overpowering to the architecture of the house.