Tag Archives: custom home builder

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.

PHOENIX AREA HOUSING MARKET – AUGUST 2009

Current Housng Market Conditions in the Phoenix Area

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As a custom home builder in Arizona, at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC we must stay abreast of the housing market in the Phoenix area.  Data available through the local multiple listing services (MLS) through August 2009 reveals interesting housing market information.  Is the news good?  It still depends on whom you ask.  Here we have detailed information on closed sales, pending sales, active listings, types of homes sold, average days on the market, average sales price, list price to sales price ratio, cancellations and expired listings, and months of inventory.  Whether the news below is good or not depends upon if you’re a buyer, seller, banker, or in our case, custom home builders.  One conclusion for us is that the market looks better each month and nowhere as bad as it did 20 months ago.  Continue reading

GRANITE COUNTERTOPS… THE MOST POPULAR SELECTION IN WOODRIDGE’S CUSTOM HOMES

By Far the Most Popular Counter Surfaces… Granite!

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As Arizona custom home builders, it’s granite, granite, granite, at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, our custom home buyers are choosing granite over any other countertop surface materials.  Granite is a natural stone, in the simplest terms, igneous rock with large crystals.  Granite ranges in color from white, gold, pink, green, blue, to gray and black.  These products are ideal for counter tops because, by nature its high durability and aesthetic qualities.

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, our custom home buyers begin their granite selection working with a design and fabricating professional.  The colors and varieties of granite are numerous.  We recommend our customers begin looking at a color or shade of granite to focus their search.  Once a color range has been selected, the varieties in that color range are narrowed down even further.  For example, granite called Autumn Harmony, originating from India is a combination of browns, blacks and creams, yet has no veins.  Aurora Borealis, originating from Brazil, is also a combination of brown, blacks and cream, yet is venous.  Again, the colors and varieties are endless; and without the assistance of a professional the process can quickly become overwhelming. 

Granite, in a warehouse is usually stored in large four-by-eight foot slabs ¾” or 1 ¼”.  Once a custom home buyer has made the basic selections from the showroom or design professional’s samples, the actual selection process begins.  Continue reading

FIVE STRATEGIES FOR MINIMIZING WESTERN SUN EXPOSURE IN ARIZONA CUSTOM HOMES

Minimizing the Impact of Arizona’s Intense Sun When Designing and Building a Custom Home

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As Arizona custom home builders, at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC  the position of the house as it relates the sun has always been an important consideration.  In Arizona, north or south exposures have always been the most desirable direction for a house as it sits on a lot.  In some subdivisions, the lots with north or south exposures are offered at a premium to east or west facing lots.  In some well-planned subdivisions, nearly all of the vacant lots have north and south exposures.   There is usually a main vehicular artery in the neighborhood that prohibits this completely, but as many lots as possible are created with north or south exposures.  In other parts of the country this may not be as important as in Arizona.  Outlined below are five common strategies for minimizing western sun exposures in Arizona custom homes. 

1)  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we work with our customers and their architect or home designer with the placement of the house on the lot for the best sun exposure, minimizing the worst sun exposures.  Turning the layout of the house on the plan, perhaps just angling the house slightly can affect how the sun’s rays hit the house and any western exposures.  Continue reading

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

CUSTOM HOMES… EVER POPULAR SPLIT FLOOR PLANS

Still Strong, The Split Floor plan

Ever strong in Arizona custom homes is the split floor plan.  The split floor plan is not limited to high-end custom homes.  It is a very popular floor plan for homes of any size.  Simply, this floor plan places the master bedroom on one side of the house.  The secondary bedrooms are located on the opposite side of the house.  The family room, kitchen and public rooms of the house are placed between the bedrooms in the center of the house.  This sets the master bedroom apart from the rest of the house helping achieve the master retreat feel.  The floor plan may not work for everyone, but for families with teenagers it works out great.  Loud music or slumber party laughter doesn’t usually travel to the master retreat on the other side of a house.  It is sometimes referred to as the Mother-in-Law floor plan.  This floor plan works with any home style from Santa Barbara, Tuscan, Spanish Colonial to traditional ranch.

The attached floor plan is an example of a split floor plan.  The master retreat is on one side of the house and the secondary bedrooms are on the other side of the house.  The master retreat has a guest bedroom on the same side of the house.  In this plan, the guest bedroom includes two entrances, one from within the house and a private exterior door located under the covered loggia. This floor plan can be modified if the entrance within the house is not desired creating more privacy for the guest quarters as well as the master retreat.

As custom home builders in Arizona, at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we stay abreast of changes in floor plans, home styles and various amenities.  We built our first split floor plan in 1990, yet this plan had been popular in Arizona long before that.  This is a floor plan that has staying power and offers a custom home buyer good resale value. 

Split floor plan in a Tuscan Courtyard style custom home

Split floor plan in a Tuscan Courtyard style custom home