New Arthur Rutenberg Homes Model Opens in Plain City, OH

The Hyde Park model is designed with the intent of providing a balanced mix of traditional farmhouse and modern architecture. The interior of this home provides homeowners with a retreat lifestyle, which centers on luxurious living spaces. The home incorporates extraordinary design features, including dramatic floating trusses, which create interest and comfort for a modern lifestyle. Throughout the secondary spaces in the home, there is a contrast of transitional architectural detail with contemporary pieces. On the lower level, brick faced walls create a fun family space including billiards and shuffle board.

Colleen Roach, Senior Designer at Arthur Rutenberg Homes, designs homes with modern clean lines and expressive custom artwork. We talked with Colleen to learn more about this model home, her design inspiration and the challenges that go into designing a model of this magnitude.

What did you enjoy most about this particular project?

Working with a new Building Company. It is always nice to establish new relationships within the industry. AJ and Ankur were great to work with and easily adapted to our standards which can at times be difficult for new franchises. I am always excited when we enter a new territory. It is interesting to learn about the buyer profile and research local design trends.

What is your favorite element in the space from this project?

I love the Master bedroom ceiling detail and over scaled light fixture. We typically follow the trend of encompassing ceiling details within a recess. This particular ceiling detail spans the entire ceiling which makes the space feel larger. The dramatic light fixture tops off the room!

What feature in this particular project would you want in your home?

The Master bath tub. The modern Kohler freestanding tub and floor mount faucet are placed in front of 3 large windows. It has a spa like feel and would be a great place to end a long day.

What was the biggest challenge for you during this particular project?

It takes an overwhelming amount of coordination to complete a model home of this caliber. We had quite a few delays with outside vendors which really made us work down to the wire. At the end of the day, it all came together and our design team can be proud of all the challenges we overcame together.

About Colleen Roach

Colleen brings over 10 years of interior design experience to Arthur Rutenberg Homes. She has worked as an ARH Designer for 5 years. The first 2.5 years in the corporate Clearwater office and now calling the Charlotte office home base where she has been promoted to Senior Designer. She leans on the principles of design–scale, proportion, harmony and balance–to transform model homes into unexpected yet imaginative reflections of the future homeowner.

Colleen is NCIDQ certified by the American Society of Interior Designers, a distinction reserved for highly qualified and competent designers. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including Charlotte magazine, Home + Design and Mount Pleasant Home. She has also accepted multiple ARH model of the year awards and continues to grow with the company.


Looking to learn more about our model homes? Click here for more information!

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Building A Custom Home – DIY or Custom Home Builder?

Designing your dream home is the biggest investment you’ll ever make—and not just in terms of money. You could have bought stock house plans, but instead you are building a physical object that embodies all the love, happiness and hopes you have for your family’s future. So you want to do it right.

Once you have your budget and financing nailed down, the next step is to find the right professional to help you create the blueprint for a home that shows the world who you really are. But if you’ve never worked with an architect or custom builder before, it can be hard—or nearly impossible even—to know where to start.

The stereotypes don’t help. For many people, architects are the peacocks of the design world. At best, people imagine they bring an aloof beauty to a project with grand designs, and at worst, architects are seen as touchy artists who can only be hired for billions of dollars. On the flip side, people often think of a builder as the worker bee—some guy in jeans who works for cheap because he knows a lot about tools but not much about design.

But those stereotypes don’t give proper credit to either profession. Custom builders bring a wealth of on-the-job experience to a project’s design and architects are known for their skills at thinking outside of the box to find practical design solutions. There are excellent designers and communicators in both professions and oftentimes the fees they charge—which might be more comparable than you think—will pay for themselves in project efficiencies. But singing the praises of both doesn’t help you decide which to work with.

Gathering the team — custom builder, architect, interior designer, landscape architect, and other key players — before the project even starts can help ensure everyone is on the same page and help avoid surprises.

Budgets are a large consideration as well…

To help you figure out who should draw up the blueprints for your dream house, let’s take a look at what the differences really are between a custom builder and an architect.


Advantages of a Custom Builder

Consider a custom builder a craftsman. He or she will often work from an existing set of plans that will then be tailored to your needs on land you own or are purchasing. This can make the process go faster than designing a house from scratch. The customizations your custom builder offers can be small—including choosing colors and materials—or larger—like moving the kitchen to the other side of the house.

Although the draftsperson your custom builder employs to finalize your plans and ensure they are up to code may use the same design software as an architect, including but not limited to AutoCAD, in most cases he or she will not be a licensed architect.

Once you have agreed on a final design, a custom builder usually works with an established team of subcontractors to make your plan a reality.

A custom builder is not the same as a production home builder who usually works by buying a large tract of land and subdividing it out into parcels. That type of builder will frequently offer a few options of plans and sets of finishes which allows him or her to build a large volume of similar houses all at once.

Instead, a custom builder works on a smaller scale. And although your dream home might be similar to other houses designed and built by the same company, you have the opportunity to make it uniquely your own.

What an Architect Could Bring to a DIY Project

An architect is a designer who can help you envision a house that’s completely unique. If you’ve ever seen that commercial where the couple tours an architect’s office then sits down with him, holds out a faucet and says, “Design a house around this,” you know that an architect is also a creative problem solver.

If you need a design that suits a difficult site or to make sure your house is the greenest building in the state, you might want to hire an architect. And some people really enjoy the prestige of being able to say they own a home designed by so-and-so.

Architects are also highly-trained. Depending on the state an architect hopes to become licensed in, he or she must complete either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Architecture. Then, most states require architects to complete an internship. Finally, to earn their license and the title “architect” an intern architect must pass a comprehensive test that includes seven separate divisions lasting four hours or longer. This can mean upwards of eight years of higher education.

You can work with an architect on a wide range of projects from a remodel to a large-scale, multi-family home. If you decide an architect is the right partner for your building project, the American Institute of Architects offers a brochure to help you get started.

Sometimes architects will outsource some of the design work and bill it to the client. Mechanical engineers, landscape architects, interior architects and kitchen designers quickly add to the price of home design. “These individuals are, quite honestly, doing some of the architect’s job,” says Rial Jones, president of Jones Clayton Construction in Orlando, Fla. “Truthfully, if you get all of these professionals involved, the end project is better. But the home-owner is paying X number of dollars per hour to design this when they thought they had already paid for that in the design of the drawings.”


Next Steps

Take some time to think about your project and what you really want from a design. How important is it to you that your house is unlike any home ever built before? How much time do you want to spend in the design process before starting to build?

Once you’ve decided whether you want to work with a custom builder or architect, the next thing to do is find the right individual within that field. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals, visit online portfolios and project sites, and set up informational meetings with a few people.

Regardless of whether you choose to work with a custom builder or an architect, make sure you ask enough questions up front to know you’ve found a person you’ll enjoy working with, because you’ll be spending a lot of time together. Look for someone with good listening skills who shares your vision for what your home should look like. Feel free to ask for references. Then, before you sign on the dotted line, check with your state to ensure your architect or custom builder is licensed in his or her field.

After that, you’re ready for the next step: finding the right team to transform your blueprints into a physical home. Both custom builders and architects should have a good network of people to work with if you don’t already have someone in mind.

Building your dream home is a huge investment and it will take some time. But if you’re working with the right person, you can start building great memories before you even move in.

To see floor plans from a home builders who has been designing custom homes for over 60 years, Click Here.

The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Floor Plans When Building Your Dream Home

In designing your own luxury home, you are given the opportunity to curate your own living work of art. Every day, you and your loved ones will get to wake up in a house tailored to your every need and whim. Building this custom home is the opportunity of a lifetime. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to handle the planning process with perfection.

Floor plans are the foundation to any luxury home; both because they’re the first visual step in the planning process and also because they literally map out the foundation to your new home. Understanding them is key to utmost satisfaction.

The Value of Understanding Floor Plans

Having the knowledge to understand your luxury house plans is certain to answer a number of questions you may already have about the building process. Equipping yourself with the right answers may circumvent a number of problems you would have otherwise had later down the building process. Sample questions solved by floor plans include:

  • Does your layout match your lifestyle?

Look at your current living situation and imagine the tasks you do in any given day, week, or month. Think of the challenges that you face in your current home that could be alleviated with a new one. Are you constantly running out of storage space? Do you need more natural lighting? Do you find it hard to get your own space?

Mapping out workspaces, closet space, and relaxation rooms can and should be considered when creating new home plans. If this new luxury home will change your lifestyle, think about the accommodations needed to account for it. Ask friends who share a similar lifestyle about what they need.

  • Are your spaces too big or too small?

Visualizing space in the abstract can be unreliable when looking at floor plans. Investigate the legend to deduce if the desired rooms have enough space. Generally speaking, it’s better to skew too large than too small; storage always manages to creep up on homeowners.
Are the spaces flexible for family changes?

The fun aspect of family is that it’s always changing. People get married, have children, see family members move in or away, even the definition of “family” is often in flux.

Don’t just plan a home with the “now” in mind; look towards the likely and unlikely future. Are there guest bedrooms and guest bathrooms to accommodate new tenants? Is there proper storage space for unexpected items? Are the bedrooms too cramped into one area of the house?

Likewise, if family members leave, could bedrooms be easily converted into other useful spaces for hobbies and storage?

  • Does the layout ‘flow’?

A home is more than just a haphazard collection of rooms; it’s a thriving organism that requires proper layout planning to work as a whole.

Consider the your daily routine and the routines of your family members. Is the path you need to take relatively direct and organic? On the flipside, does your home’s layout allow for ample space between potentially crowded areas? Does the architectural design of each room match (or at least not clash with) adjacent rooms?

The Basics of House Floor Plans

When planning and analyzing your house floor plans, there are a number of items you can expect. Knowing what they are and how to read them is integral to making the best possible planning choices.

  • Size Legend

Every page of floor plans worth its pages has a legend. Combined with a scale, the legend compares the home’s diagram on the paper to its eventual, real-life dimensions. This legend makes it easier to visualize how the home will turn out. It’s also an ideal resource for grasping how large a room will actually be. Do the math on paper, and measure out a room’s distance in tangible space. A room that may look large on paper may surprise you when articulated in physical space.

  • Doors, Windows, and Other Entrances

Keep tabs on the various doors, windows, and other myriad entrance/exit features in each room. On the typical floor plan, a door is depicted as a perpendicular line attached to an arc. That arc indicates which direction the door opens. A window is usually depicted as a triple line (compared to a wall’s double line), and other openings are often denoted with dotted lines.

Will an open door take up more room than anticipated? Is every room getting enough natural lighting from the windows? Will the windows alter furniture placement?

  • Stand-out Fixtures

Every artist brings their own originality to their work; homeowners are no different.

Luxury homes require visual masterpieces and focal points in nearly every room. These relics exude sophistication and elevate decor to a professional level. Many of these pièces de résistance would show up on floor plans, including fountains and fireplaces. Have a room or lot’s aesthetic planned for in advance. Such knowledge will help to better integrate these items into their budding home.

Elements to Keep in Mind

After scrutinizing the small picture with individual rooms and features, it’s now time to look towards the big picture.

  • House-to-Lot Ratio

When compared to the rest of your prospective lot, how does your house fare? Is it situated comfortably on the most ideal part of your property? Make sure that there’s ample space between your home and the waterfront, the forest, or drastic shifts in elevation.

Does your house’s placement leave room for space and expansion? Luxury home owners love expansion projects, so make sure you have enough room for your imagination—both in the foreseeable future and maybe the not-so-foreseeable future. Such projects may include vehicle garages, pools, outdoor entertainment centers, and secondary suites.

  • Balance of Open and Private

Striking the perfect balance between “open” and “private” is a goal for many homeowners. Make sure your new home plans do just that. Fences, for instance, are a great way to maintain property boundaries without closing off the property too much. Natural landscaping is another way to curate space. This often makes a property look even larger than it really is.

  • Comparing Scale

When you look at the holistic map of your future home, identify which rooms and features stand out the most. Do they overpower the flow or aesthetic of the building? Do the smaller rooms still serve a functional purpose next to the bigger spaces? Do you have a visual plan to make each room “pop” in its own, unique way?

Rooms without an immediate purpose often get underutilized or overlooked—even by builders. Guest bedrooms notoriously end up smaller or less cohesively designed than intended. Make sure each you have a purpose and plan for every room in your new home.

Click here to see more home plans from Arthur Rutenberg Homes

Does Using A Professional Interior Designer on Your New Home Really Pay Off?

Adding Value to a New Home with Professional Interior Design

If you want to build the home of your dreams, an interior designer can help make it happen. Professionally designed homes not only exude your style and personality, they often retain higher market values than generic homes. Whether you have a clear vision of your new home’s design or need help navigating the possibilities, a professional interior designer can guide you every step of the way.

What Defines a Great Interior Designer?

An interior designer is responsible for turning homeowners’ ideas into reality. As such, top-notch interior designers are also excellent listeners and skilled at bringing your vision to life. They have a keen eye for construction and can often visualize a blueprint based off of your descriptions. They’ll quickly let you know if your project is feasible and provide estimates of time, cost, and allocation of space. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, interior designers may present examples of popular designs or draft a few possibilities based on your goals and interests. Great interior designers are also flexible. They can often find alternatives to meet your budget and aesthetic needs. From planning to completion, they work with you every step of the way to make sure the project matches your vision.

Top homebuilders often have teams of interior designers working at regional design centers. Customers can visit, browse colors and materials, and get expert advice on designing their new home. This includes ceilings, walls, floors, paint, surfaces, counters, cabinets, and other key interior components. A designer helps consolidate these elements into an aesthetically pleasing yet practical design. Interior designers who work for a homebuilder often possess deeper knowledge of construction and how their company’s building process impacts potential designs, enabling them to make smart decisions that save time and money.

What Does a Typical Interior Design Process Look Like?

While the steps may vary from one designer to another, most interior designers have a structured process for completing their projects. An interior designer may perform the following steps:

  1. Learn the customer’s needs and provide time and cost estimates, along with alternative options.

  2. Create floor plans, 3-D models and other visuals to conceptualize the project and obtain customer approval.

  3. Order and install materials to meet the project schedule.

  4. Consult with the customer upon initial completion.

  5. Add finishing touches such as lighting, finishes, etc.

Why Choose a Professional Interior Designer?

Professional interior designers bring specialized knowledge, skills, and connections to the table. They know how to make colors and textures click, use space efficiently and effectively, and keep projects within your budget. Savvy designers can open customers’ minds to new possibilities and methods of thinking. Below are five ways interior design can add value to a new home.

Hiring an interior designer can save you time, money, and headaches.

People without design experience often try to spruce up their home on their own. While respectable, do-it-yourself interior design projects can often become stressful, time-consuming, and far exceed initial cost estimates. Professional interior designers help you avoid mistakes, save money, and boost the value of your new home for years to come. It’s what they’re trained and educated to do.

An interior designer can provide valuable insight.

Professional designers know many tricks to fit a project into a tight budget. They know how to choose materials and textures and use space efficiently. They know when to perform each step to avoid hold-ups and time-consuming errors. Designers can visualize colors, size, spacing, texture, colors, and proportions at a glance and can spot details that an untrained eye can easily miss.

Interior designers are problem-solvers.

Experienced interior designers are equipped to solve a variety of problems. Every design project inevitably involves conflicting elements. A desired layout may impede walking space, or the proposed wall color may clash with the countertops. Windows may need to be custom made, or accommodations added to facilitate family members with special needs. These considerations can be extremely difficult and costly for an inexperienced homeowner to sort out alone. Professional designers know how to shop for supplies and strike deals with shops and contractors. They create order from the chaos and save you a lot of stress.

They help you stay within budget.

Creating a feasible budget and sticking to it is much more difficult than it seems. It involves extensive research into materials, cost comparisons across multiple vendors, and negotiating with contractors. Interior designers provide accurate estimates and have top-of-mind knowledge of prices for supplies and labor. They can create a detailed budget with line-by-line costs and conduct a project in an efficient and organized manner.

Interior designers know people.

Most interior designers have a vast network of contacts who can get them special materials, process custom orders, and send experts to help. They know how to leverage their network to save time and money. Their connections can often provide them with exclusive discounts and special prices for materials and labor. They have access to unique fabrics, accessories, and furniture that can completely change a room’s atmosphere. Experienced interior designers know how to lead a team and make sure everyone understands the flow of the project before starting. Furniture, appliances, lighting, flooring, and other aspects of the project are sorted out and arranged into steps.

Arthur Rutenberg Design Studios specialize in turning new houses into stylish new homes. They love nothing more than seeing the look of joy and excitement on homeowners’ faces when they look at their professionally furnished home for the first time. A team of interior design professionals will work with you to create a beautiful home that fits your lifestyle and budget. Moving into a new home should be a time of joy and relaxation.  Visit an Arthur Rutenberg Design Studio near you to get your questions answered and learn more about interior design services.


How To Select The Right Interior For Your New Home

Tips on how to choose your interior style:


When designing a room, be sure to choose a proper color scheme. Be aware of colors that work together and which will clash, so your room appears balanced and tasteful. In addition, you should avoid using lots of very bold colors in one room. If you have a neutral room, one great colorful accent piece can give the room style and a focal point for the eyes.

If your kitchen is small and you want to change that feeling, think about light colors. A nice off white or beige gives the room a bigger appearance, so will furnishings and accents in light colors. Dark colors tend to make rooms look a lot smaller.

Try using light colors like cream for the other rooms that you want to give a spacious look. This is particularly helpful when designing for a small apartment or a cramped room. If you choose the right colors, your space will feel light and open instead of small and cramped.


If you want a home office, the space needs to be functional. Comfortable furnishings such as chairs, tables and desks are important, as well as adequate lighting. Make sure you create a work space that you can see yourself working in.


Lighting is something that can transform a room completely. The whole mood of a room changes with sufficient lighting. Bright lights give off positive vibes, and work nicely in kitchens and bathrooms. In contrast, though, bright lighting can spoil the effect you’re shooting for if you want to make a room feel calmer and more subtle. In bedrooms and living rooms, use dimmer lights.

When thinking about using wall sconces, it is best to figure out the location, as you do not want to have to much clutter in the room. If you are putting sconces around a mirror you should give it enough space. The amount of surrounding space depends on the size of the mirror, so step back to consider all your options.

The amount of light that each room gets from natural or artificial lights is something you should always consider when working with interior planning. If a room doesn’t get much sunlight, using too many dark colors can make a room seem drab, uninviting and much smaller than it is. Use light colors to brighten up a room and give it the illusion of space that most people crave.


If you are creating a room for a child, think about what they would like and how they will see the space. This will help them to feel comfortable instead of designing the room the way you would like. Keep in mind their size, and make sure everything is accessible for them. Aim to view the room like your child would. Most importantly, make sure you eliminate possible hazards.


When redoing the countertops in your kitchen, get creative. Granite is the number one choice, but there are other great options including cork or concrete. You may find these to be not only unique, but also easily affordable.

Countertops should be neutral colors and let one element in the kitchen be the focal point, like a backsplash or design element. How, and how much use a counter is going to get may help determine the material for the counters. Certain materials are lower maintenance than others and clean up spills with less staining.


When doing any interior planning, you should try not to make any of your rooms look cluttered. Going overboard on accessories or furniture could make a room look smaller than how it is. Instead, pick out just a few items to feature that will help you open space.


Depending on the personality of the home and your family, you might be able to use some creativity when you are working with framed pictures. They are also a part of your decor. They do not have to be hung in a perfectly square manner. These can be placed in different angles for a unique effect. The contrast of these items to surrounding white space is often enough to change a room’s mood.

There are several schools of thought with picture frames. One is that all the frames should be matching and that the pictures will show better. The other is that the frames themselves have artistic value and all the frames should be different. The final decision may be based on the surrounding design elements. Most home owners will go with frames that are at least similar (like all black frames and white mats) to compliment each other.


Consider the design effect of using wallpaper on one portion of a room only. Redecorating your walls can cost a lot of money if you choose wallpaper that creates a very distinct look. Create a unique look and save money by being selective when choosing areas to wallpaper. Try wallpapering only the bottom half of a wall, and then use a wood or wallpaper border where the wallpaper ends to make it look finished.


A good trick and tip when decorating a home that is small is to incorporate the use of lots of mirrors. They expand the space and bounce available light around the room. It is wise to invest in a nice mirror near your entryway to begin your interior decorating project. Mirrors also do not have to be just one large mirror. Many designers mount smaller mirrors in patterns or groups to create stylish elements.


You will be very tempted to use trendy elements when you design. Save these for your accent pieces. They give a modern and stylish feel to a room, yet can be easily replaced later (when they become “so last year”). You do want to remember, though, that too much of something can be a bad thing.

For instance, if your pillows have leopard print on them, you can get rid of them easily when you want something else. If you use super-trendy items as staples in a room, it will be very hard to change the style without a complete and costly makeover.


Consider using floor surfaces that are reflective to get the most out of your natural light in interior decorating. White tiled flooring and hardwood flooring are two such examples of those that can be reflective in nature. Reflective flooring brightens interior rooms; dark carpets and woods absorb natural light.

For your floors, think about the traffic in the room and how each room will need to hold up under normal wear and tear. Also, think about actually cleaning the floors and what surfaces may be easier in different rooms. (Like having carpet in your entry area might require higher maintenance).


By incorporating the simple tips you just learned, there is no reason why you cannot assure your home has a great look while maximizing your interior’s lifespan. Your designer can help you select your colors, surfaces and even interior pieces. For more interior design assistance go here.

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

It’s becoming trendy for many people to prepare a lot of their meals outside these days. Cooking on the grill is a great way to entertain company or just feed the family without heating up the kitchen or making a mess for that fact. Running back and forth from the kitchen to the patio gets old. These days grilling is easier and more enjoyable by putting together an outdoor kitchen. Setups can be simple or complex but either way they all help to make cooking outdoors more efficient. The more high end ones will have everything at your fingertips so you won’t need to go inside at all until you’re ready to say goodbye to all of your guests. Charcoal was great in the beginning but the gas grill took over because of its convenience. High end grills have side burners, their own storage space and work areas all included. It’s all geared to making it easy and fun to entertain your friends.

Installing an outdoor kitchen may be just the thing for you if you have frequent cookouts and everyone is intrigued with your barbecue skills. Maybe you grill in large amounts and need more of an easier way to do this. An outdoor kitchen might also be great if you have an unused patio or deck. An outdoor kitchen could also help you unleash your creative skills and you might find yourself preparing more advanced meals rather than the usual dogs and burgers. Also if you’re tired of the outrageous electric bills due to your heating up the kitchen and your air conditioner working overtime.

The beauty of outdoor kitchens is that they can be as large or as small as you need. Grills that have wheels attached and can be taken with you when you move are the most common type of grill available. However, there is a large variety of styles, sizes, features and price even in this group. For beach goers there are plenty of models that you can pack in the car and take with you. A more elaborate outdoor kitchen might be a permanent installation that is installed by professionals. Much like your inside kitchen these will have all the utilities you need at your disposal. Accessories you may need include baskets for grilling fish, vegetables or hush puppies, a griddle, tongs and a meat thermometer. Before you start cooking make sure your food preparation area is sanitized. There are a variety of lights for your outdoor kitchen but direct light is best for the work area.

For cooking meat at night, lights give you the ability to see your meat with crystal clarity, enabling you to cook your steaks to perfection every time. If you live in a climate that gets chilly in winter you might consider installing a patio heater or fire pit to warm the place up a bit. You don’t want your nice outdoor area going unused for a good portion of the year just because of the weather. Always have insect repellent on hand so your parties don’t get ruined by pesky little uninvited guests. Your builder can also install a built in repellent system to cover your entire outdoor area. If bugs were not enough, smoke in your guest eyes is not comfortable so don’t forget the exhaust hood. So you don’t end up serving cold food get some warming drawers. Make sure you have enough electrical outlets to run your fridge and other appliances and have a sink installed so you can keep your hands and cooking implements clean without running backwards and forwards to the indoor kitchen. An ice machine is also convenient (no ugly, bulky coolers) and of course the wine storage.

If you would like inspiration for your backyard areas, you can visit your local Arthur Rutenberg Homes model.  Find your closest model here.

How to Select the Right Custom Home Builder

Selecting the Right Custom Home Builder to Work With Building a custom home may seem like a dream come true, and when the time comes to turn your dream to fruition, the first step to take is to find a custom home builder to work with.

The right builder will guide you through all stages of the process. However, with so many different builders each promising to give you the perfect home on the lot of your choice, you may struggle to determine which is the right company to work with. When you are selecting a home builder to work with, research these points thoroughly to make the best decision. An Established, Experienced Builder The best home builder to work with is one that is highly experienced and established.

You typically can learn about the number of years a builder has been in business by reviewing the website. You may be wary of a custom home builder who does not include years of experience on the company website. Keep in mind that you want to know how many years of experience a builder has, but you also want to know how many years the builder has been in business. These two are not always the same. Some new home building companies will tout the combined experience of its professionals in the industry rather than the number of years the company has been in business. While experience of professionals is in important, it is typically better to work with an established company than a new company that simply has experienced professionals. The Number of Completed Projects In addition, research the number of completed projects the builder has under its belt.

This information may not always be readily marketed on a website, so you may need to speak with a company representative to get more information. Pay attention to the style and size of the homes that the builder has experience with. For example, if you are researching home plans for a large luxury home on an estate-sized lot, you may not want to work with a custom home builder that has a majority of experience working on smaller projects with budget-minded features. Keep in mind the infrastructure the company has in place in terms of relationships with vendors and in-house staff, and compare this against the number of active projects. You want to ensure that the infrastructure is available to support your project and to ensure that you and your project receive ample attention during all phases. Referrals and Examples of Completed Projects Another factor to consider is the ability of the company to provide referrals and examples of completed projects.

Many will show pictures of custom-built homes online, but bear in mind that the pictures of homes on a website are not always pictures of homes the company actually worked on. Ideally, the company will be able to provide you with examples of custom home projects they have completed in recent months and will give you contact information so that you can contact the homeowners personally. You may contact these homeowners to inquire about factors like the ability of the company to complete the project on time, on budget and to their satisfaction.

Your custom home builder will work with you through all stages of the project. From selecting or designing home plans to building the home and even landscaping the yard before you move in, this is a company that you will work closely with. If you are ready to start finding a custom home builder to work with, pay attention to these points as you research the options.

Why Build a New Home on Your Lot?

How to Build a Home on Your Lot

While it may seem easier to buy a pre-existing home, there is so much more flexibility with building a home on your lot or on a lot you intend to purchase. It is difficult to find the perfect house on the perfect piece of land. When you choose to build your own custom home, you can make sure the location is exactly where you want it to be, you can customize the home down to the very last detail, and you can avoid the hassle of HOA regulations limiting your home design. If you want a certain type of roof, a detached guesthouse, a fountain in the front yard, three stories, floor to ceiling windows or any other special feature, it can be difficult to find or obtain them in a traditional production neighborhood.   Finding a good custom home builder can make the entire process of building a new home manageable and even fun.

Obtaining Your Lot

If you don’t already own a lot, begin the search for that perfect piece of land early. Working with a builder at this stage can be advantageous because the builder can advise you on whether or not your desired home plans will work on the lot you intend to buy. Custom home builders bring a lot to the table at this point because they can help you avoid purchasing a lot that might require compromise on your dream home. Some builders will even team up with Realtors to package a lot sale and house plans that fit the lot together. Unless you are experienced at purchasing land and choosing house plans to fit the land, bringing the builder in early is a good way to avoid frustrations throughout the entire home building process.

What the Builder Should Know

Custom home builders will have to look into zoning restrictions, local ordinances, the possibility of reclaimed land, water tables, and subcontractors who are accustomed to building outside of production neighborhoods before committing to building on your lot. It is a good idea for you and the builder to make sure any subcontractors being considered are reputable and reliable. If you already own a lot and have some of this information, provide it to the builder. This way, the builder can advise you on costs and a timeframe for the project. Keep in mind that a home that is being fully customized will take longer to complete than a home built from plans that the builder supplies.

The builder should be able to give you a rough estimate on how long the construction will take. Cost structures vary from builder to builder so be sure to ask what is included in cost quotes and what’s not. Costs can change when building a custom home, so it is important to allow for some wiggle room prior to starting the home. Some builders, like Arthur Rutenberg Homes, will work out a personalized custom home plan that can give you an exact cost and help lock in financing. There are many costs to consider like building permits, septic tank installation, the foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, heating, flooring, fixtures, painting and others in addition to the builder’s cut. Ask for a complete cost breakdown and make sure you understand it.

Building a home on your land is exciting, and being involved in the building process should be a fun experience if you find a good builder and know what to expect.

What Are The Benefits of Building A Custom Home?

Building a custom home provides options and can actually save money

Few things in life provide a bigger thrill than moving into a new home. You can make the experience even more special by building a custom home, which allows you to choose your look, location and special features. In the process, you could set yourself up to cut maintenance and save money in the long term. And you create a unique living space that serves your family’s needs for years to come.

You’re in the driver’s seat

Working with an experienced builder to create a custom home or renovate an existing home gives you options you don’t get when buying an existing production house.

The chances are low of finding an existing house that has exactly what you want. When you build custom, you control every detail. You choose everything, including fixtures, wall colors, draperies, appliances, flooring and carpets. Even more importantly, you choose a layout and use of space that works best for you and your family. With a builder to assist and guide you, you’re not overwhelmed by the range of choices.

You’re the first owner

Being the first resident of your new home gives you a special feeling of ownership. And because everything is new, you don’t deal with problems left by previous owners; you have warranties on nearly everything in your new home, keeping maintenance to a minimum.

You can choose a location you love

When you custom build your home, you can live anywhere you want. You’re not limited by available home inventory at any given time. When you buy a production home, there’s often significant competition to snag the best locations, and prices can rise quickly.

Building a custom home, you can choose your community, whether it’s a historic neighborhood near downtown or a larger lot in the suburbs. You can base your choice of location on commuting time, being close to family, quality of schools, level of privacy and any other factors that matter to you.

Special features make it yours

In a custom-built home, you can include options that are important to you. These can include:

  • Fire safety features.
  • State-of-the-art appliances.
  • First-floor master bedroom and bath.
  • Orientation of the home and level of sunlight.
  • Accommodation of special needs.
  • Room for multi-generational families.
  • Wiring for new technology.
  • Custom floor plan for your lifestyle.

Energy efficiency impacts your future enjoyment of your home and its cost & in many ways. Standards have changed significantly over the past few years. By choosing a custom-built home, you can make sure to select features and materials that save money and are friendly to the environment.

You get more for your money

Custom-built homes can even cost less than some production homes with pre-chosen packages of options from which you must select. And with a custom home, you pay only for the space you want and need. With an existing or production home, you’re often buying extra space for which you’ll pay a mortgage and taxes for many years.

If you build your home to be energy efficient, you may be able to take advantage of the federal tax credits that allow you to deduct as much as 30 percent of the cost of some green building materials (IRS 2014).

Custom building your new home puts you in the driver’s seat with complete control, the ability to choose your neighborhood and low maintenance. Lower up-front costs and increased energy efficiency save you money every year. You pay only for the space you need, and your stamp of individuality makes it truly a place to call home.

Talk to Arthur Rutenberg Homes about building a custom home for you. With multiple plans to start from, endless customization options and some of the best builders in the industry, you can have the home you have always wanted.

For more information, CLICK HERE or call 1-800-ARHOMES.

How to take a mini vacation in your new home

When you buy a custom home, you have a house that has been built exactly to your specifications. This home should provide you with the ultimate in comfort and convenience. For many people, comfort is what you venture out on vacation for. Rather than spend unnecessary time and energy planning and traveling to another location, take your relaxation to the next level by enjoying your next vacation right at home.

Day at the spa

For many, spas represent the ultimate in relaxation. Recreate the experience in your luxurious master suite. Hire a professional masseuse to offer you and your spouse or a friend the full luxury massage experience in your custom home. Have a beautician come as well and get a facial, manicure and pedicure the same day. Pre-make some snacks and fun drinks to serve throughout the spa day and enjoy a day of luxury.

Private bed and breakfast

Take advantage of the romance and enjoyment of the bed and breakfast, but in the comfort of your own bed. Hire a chef for the full day and begin the day with breakfast in bed, or at least in your room. Continue the day by relaxing by the pool with light snacks and having a delicious mid-day meal and siesta. Then enjoy the afternoon by playing a relaxing backyard game, or just reading a book in your beautiful custom homes’ backyard. The evening can be spent relaxing by an open fire in your beautifully built fireplace and some cocktails, followed by a late dinner by candlelight. Each meal can be custom ordered, cooked and served by the chef to create the perfect experience of relaxation.

Wine tasting

Host a wine tasting party for a few close friends in your perfectly landscaped backyard. You can plan the party yourself, or hire a local planner to put the event on for you. Select some savory cheeses and other snacks to go along with the wines and bring the beauty and enjoyment of the vineyard home. Hiring a private chef or a catering company for this event to be held right at home can help bring it to the next level and leave you free to enjoy the night of luxury without having to do any work.

Host a “murder mystery dinner”

Recreate the popular hotel adventure at home by asking a party planner to hire an acting company to put on a “murder mystery dinner.” This idea is perfect for the more adventurous custom homeowners. The evening can be topped off with an evening screening of an exciting theme movie in your private, custom built home theater.

Have a catered lunch and at-home shopping afternoon

There are several high end retailers who will send a concierge to private residences to show the latest in fashion and accessory items and allow customers to shop from the comfort of their homes. Combine the experience with a catered lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at home.

Vacations are opportunities for you to sit back and relax. One of the benefits of you Arthur Rutenberg Homes custom home is that your residence has been designed to meet your needs. Rather than waste energy venturing elsewhere, take advantage of this feature and enjoy a staycation with these fabulous ideas without leaving your home. You will feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and even more thankful you went with the custom house!

Arthur Rutenberg Homes Custom Building News