Tag Archives: home design

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

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CUSTOM HOME LAUNDRY ROOMS… FOR MORE THAN LAUNDRY!

Custom Home Laundry Rooms Complete with Storage and Multiple Washers

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At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, laundry rooms are often times more than laundry rooms. They become utility rooms, larger than closets, sometimes even containing a closet as in the photo included here.  This laundry room houses two washers and two dryers.  These custom homebuyers preferred having two washers and two dryers in one location.  The family wanted to get their dirty laundry to one room where all of the work could be done.  Other custom home buyers prefer having two separate laundry rooms, perhaps one upstairs and one downstairs, or one in the master closet, it depends on the family and what the specific needs might be.  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!

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. 

 

COLUMNS… AND THEIR TIMELESS BEAUTY IN ARIZONA CUSTOM HOMES

Architectural Columns Work In Many Custom Home Styles

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Working well with nearly every architectural style, architectural columns popular in Arizona custom homes offer timeless beauty and a classic look.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we have installed columns in Santa Barbara style homes, and Tuscan style homes, and everything in between.  Outlined below are examples of these timeless towers of beauty that we have installed in homes of our custom home buyers.  The columns outlined in these photos were made of pre-cast concrete and then painted.  Columns can also be constructed of cantera stone and assembled.  Cantera stone columns are not usually painted, but rather used in it natural stone color.

A Santa Barbara style home is named after those homes in the southern California city of Santa Barbara.  These homes derive their origins from the Mediterranean region of Spain, Italy and Greece.  Popular features of a Santa Barbara style home include red roof tiles, smooth white stucco, huge white columns on the exterior as well as interior of the home, and wrought iron accents.  In the photos below of this Santa Barbara style home, majestic white columns support the large formal entry.  Inside the home, the white columns define the entrance to the living and dining rooms.  The rear of the home also includes exterior columns as they support the covered patio of this home.  In Arizona, the Santa Barbara style has been around for years, and because of its classic style will likely remain so for many years to come.

The Tuscan style home is also very popular in Arizona.  Columns work just as well in this home style.  The first photo below highlights an exterior column on the rear patio of a Tuscan style home.  This column has been faux finished to complement the earthy colors of this home.  The second photo emphasizes how smaller columns work well with the Tuscan style.  These small columns support the entrance gate to this home and harmonize with the stone, wood, and wrought iron gate of this home.  Highlighted in the third photo are columns used in an exterior Ramada of this Tuscan style home.  These columns, in a faux finish complement the Ramada’s arhitecture.  Click on each photo to enlarge.

CAN A CUSTOM HOME BE TOO CUSTOMIZED?

When is a Home Just the Way a Homeowner Wants it…  Stupid?

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At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC  we are pleased to say that most of the custom homes we have built have not been too customized.  Not to say it hasn’t happened on rare occasions. What does it mean to be too customized, one might ask?  Shouldn’t a custom home be exactly what the customers’ want, and shouldn’t they get what they want?  We believe, “yes”, custom home buyers should get the home constructed with the amenities and features they want.  Can those amenities or features sometimes be stupid or better said “unwise”?  The answer probably depends on whom you ask. 

In most situations, custom home buyers make very wise decisions regarding so many elements of the construction process, beginning with a terrific floor plan.  The selections made throughout the process for flooring, doors, door hardware, lighting fixtures, cabinets, counter tops, and similar decisions are usually very well done with or without the help of an interior designer.  Most of our suppliers assist custom home buyers with these selections and let buyers know what is popular, what is true to the style of their home, what is the most economical, and what is the priciest, etc.   The custom home buyer gets to make the ultimate decision, that is one of the fun parts about building a custom home.

Sometimes, however, custom home buyers make decisions that may affect resale value of the home.  A former neighbor that had their home constructed, had a videocassette collection.  Closets in all of the secondary bedrooms were designed and constructed to hold videocassettes.  Shelf after shelf after shelf of videocassettes filled those closets.  When the homeowners wanted to sell the home, they realized that the closets were not constructed deep enough to hang clothes on a regular clothes hanger.  Each closet had to be converted by an organizing professional to make the space usable by new homeowners. 

The closets in this home were just a little too customized.  It would have made sense to design traditional closets in this home that were deep enough for hanging clothes.  Then have those closets modified by a closet organizing professional to hold the videocassette collection.  The basic elements of a closet would have been built-in this way.  Alternatively, a large pantry type closet could have been designed in the house to hold the collection, and this closet would have been an additional storage area for the existing and all future homeowners.  Plenty of storage is almost always a desired feature in any home.

Another home in this neighborhood was constructed with two master suites, although this worked out perfectly for the unhappily married couple, the two master suites were the only bedrooms in the house.  This home did not resale well at all. Perhaps it would have in a retirement community, but not in this family oriented community.  Despite the two master suites, had the homeowners included even a third bedroom, it would have significantly helped resale value.

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we are here to help our custom home buyers get the home of their dreams, it isn’t our home; it is their home.  We can make recommendations and offer guidance against unwise decisions, but ultimately the decisions are still theirs to make.