March 21st, 2012


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Many people wonder, What is design build? Design Build is essentially one stop shopping.  The concept is very effective and simpler.  The most attractive aspect of a design build arrangement is that you make only one agreement—with the company.  You do not need a separate architect, an interior designer, or anybody else.  In some design build companies you may be forced to choose from their existing plans with little to no modifications.  You may get an individual to help with color selections and interior finishes. What you usually cannot get is a truly custom home.   This is somewhat of a stock house with your choice of colors and finishes.  In actuality, this is not a true custom but a semi-custom design build.  With Manuel Builders you can truly get a custom design build experience.  We have an in house architect that will assist you in developing a custom design for your house.  You then will have the help of our degreed interior design consultant to assist you in obtaining the interior style and finishes that are suited to you and your family perfectly.


March 6th, 2012

Doing your “homework”

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Building a home can be an overwhelming and scary process.  We recommend that you definitely do your “homework” before beginning this journey.  Just like you would research before any sizeable endeavor, whether that be where to vacation or what automobile to purchase, it is even more important to do the necessary research prior to building so that you may get the ultimate result.  We call this discovery process doing your “homework”.

“Home-Work” is the process of searching out and uncovering the details regarding the kind of house that fits you and your family.  It is the process of determining the style of home you desire, in addition to determining special features and characteristics.  You want your home to be a reflection of you and your family with regard to style/tastes, lifestyle, budget and dreams.    There are many steps you can take to achieve this goal.  Once you identify and document things that you want you can begin to lay out specifics and hire a team of professionals to pull all these things together to build your personal home.

Let this be your guide as you begin by taking the following steps:

       1.  Make a list of rooms and spaces desired? Create a paragraph or a series of notes about the characteristics of those rooms. (ex. storage possibilities/needs, design details you like, closets, bay windows, built in seating, closets, wainscoting, specialty rooms, etc.).

Keep these things in mind when listing rooms and detailing needs for rooms:

  • How many people will be living in the home?
  • Do you have children? If so how many?  How many rooms and which ones/features will they require? Do you have elderly living with you or frequently visiting?  What needs do they have or will have?
  • Do you have pets and do you need anything special for them?  (Pets may change flooring considerations, add pet doors, laundry sink for bathing, fences, etc.)
  • Do you entertain?  If so, how often?  Is it casual, formal, or what special features do you need to make entertaining easier?
  • How many computers do you have? TV’s?
  • How often do you eat meals as a family?
  • How often would you like to eat meals together as a family?
  • Should the kitchen overlook the playroom/pool/yard so that you can cook or work while keeping an eye on the children?
  • Do two or more people work in the kitchen at the same time?
  • Where will televisions be located? Will sound be an issue?
  • Do you want your kids to be able to have computer bays in a children’s work/play area that can be monitored from the kitchen? This is an increasingly popular alternative to having the kids be alone in their rooms doing homework with or without their computers.
  • Do you need work spaces, private offices, or project rooms/spaces?
  • How many bedrooms will you need and will that be contained in one story or two?  What about the bathrooms?  Does the master have two sinks, separate vanity spots?  How much closet space do you want?



In addition, I would ask that you think of all the places you have ever been—your house growing up, houses you have lived in, other houses you have visited, places you have dreamed of, etc.  What was the most wonderful and memorable spaces you can recall?  Think of details in those spaces.  What worked and what did not work for you?  What have you wished you had?  What could have been better?

Be as thorough as you can but accept the fact that you cannot answer all questions that will be necessary.  This preliminary work is simply to lay a good foundation for capturing a large portion of what you would like to see in your new home.  Once you have done your “homework” or at least made some headway, you should sit down with your sales person, your architect or builder.  In our case, Manuel Builders has all this under one roof to assist you in putting together your dream home.  So relax, let your mind and creativity flow.  Sometimes “homework” can be fun, enjoy the process!!