Local builders spot trends in custom home construction
By Darla Brown and Lisa ReicoskyIn the custom home-building business, it’s all in the details. And it seems the sky is the limit to what local home buiders are creating — even on a budget. Cognizant of the current economy, Greg Kauth of Kauth Custom Builder said his customers want to be able to spend more time at home and be able to entertain others there.
“A lot of money is being spent on staying home more often,” Kauth said. “People would rather make it nice and stay home — with finished rec rooms and home theaters.”
Kitchens and master suites are common places homeowners are looking to focus on now, he said.
“Far more money is being spent on custom showers with multiple shower heads, rain heads, seats and inset holders,” Kauth said. “There’s less focus on whirlpool tubs. People are busy and aren’t going to spend time in the bath.”
Anna Mavrakis of Mavrakis Construction and Cottage Draperies & Interiors agreed that her customers also are conscious of the economy when making choices for their home. She said they have been doing a lot of partial remodels on homes.
“The big luxury items are out — people are doing budgets,” she said. “People want to know how much they can keep of what they already have. It’s a lot cheaper than a total remodel.”
Mavrakis said customers are asking for paint, crown molding and trims, specialty window treatments, hardwood floors and reupholstery work. High-end wallpaper is making a comeback as well, she said.
She said basement work also is a big trend right now and “a really good investment.”
Above all else, whether building a new home or improving a current home, most customers seem to be looking to stand out.
“Buyers today seem very interested in a custom design that sets their home apart from others within their neighborhood,” said Tim Fleishour of Tim Fleishour Homes. “For this reason, we try to incorporate features such as old-world stone and brick combinations, dramatic roof pitches, rounded walls of windows, eyebrow dormers, Jack Arnold chimney caps, round gutters with square water collectors, copper around rooflines and cupolas. … just to mention a few.”
Another trend that remains strong is the outdoor living area.
“The exterior living room is a must, with screened entertaining areas as well as open-air cooking and dining spaces — and twilight fireplaces,” Fleishour said.
“People are getting really creative and spend money on outdoor spaces, paver patios and outdoor cooking spaces,” Kauth said.