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Production Homes Vs. Custom Homes

By Buying Process

Anyone planning on engaging in the home building process and planning on finally seeing their “dream home” become a reality needs to think carefully about the differences between production homes and custom homes.

Production homes are basically a more uniform, streamlined, or even “cookie-cutter” approach to homebuilding. It gives the homeowner less control over the process and less ability to customize the exact details of his or her future home.

That’s not to say, of course, that production homes are not a good choice for some homeowners – and then there’s the middle-of-the-road “semi-custom” home option, too, to consider. BUT, if you want to custom-craft the exact home you want, you have to go to a custom home builder to get it done.

Here are 4 key advantages of opting for custom home building over production homes:

  1. Designed & Built “From Scratch”

The homeowner has the ability with custom homes to choose the floor plan, the size of the building, building materials, landscaping, stone countertops, and practically everything else.

A production home will have all or most of these features pre-set, while a semi-custom home gives you a greater but still limited menu of options to select from. Custom home building means you can collaborate with the builder and architect over any or all aspects of your future home.

  1. You Can Find Your Own Lot

With custom home building, you have the option to search out and buy your own lot separately if you wish. You can buy it from the custom builder if you wish, but it is not a requirement. With production homes, the lot and building simply automatically “come together.”

Custom-built homes are often designed in a way that closely marries the lot to the home, make architectural decisions based on geography. For example, you may change the position of windows and doors to gain more lighting or a better view of your surroundings.

  1. You Can Monitor & Control Costs

Building a custom home will require more involvement by the homeowner, and it may take more time and cost a bit more – but it’s worth it for the often superior quality of workmanship and the full customization you receive.

But another way to look at it is that customized homes mean customized budgets. You can make decisions to balance features and costs and stay within your desired budget. You don’t have to just go with a predetermined price point as with production homes.

  1. Working With Local Custom Builders

One big benefit of building and buying a custom home is that you get to work with friendly, local builders with a high level of experience and expertise. All too often, big national companies control production home projects and you just don’t get that “local feel” and “customized customer service.”

To learn more about the benefits of custom home building or to talk to an experienced custom home builder and start planning your dream home, contact Experience Homes in Amarillo, Texas, today!

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Siding & Brick Trends: How To Pick The Right Exterior for Your Home

By Buying Process, Home, New Construction

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Building a new home in 2021? It’s important to be aware of this year’s trends so you can make an informed decision with all of your options in view. This is never more true than with the exterior covering of your home.

Most homes built today will utilize either brick or siding – or more likely a combination of the two. Custom home builders will be familiar with all of the latest trends as well as the timeless classics, so you should definitely go over home exterior options with your builder.

But we can look briefly here at the basics. Here are four key considerations when selecting brick and siding colors/styles that every Texas homeowner should be aware of.

1. Brick Is Booming Across Many Styles

Brick is now readily available to home builders in numerous colors and styles – more than ever before. The real trend with brick is simply diversity and uniqueness – making your home different in some way from all others. While more costly than siding, brick is more durable.

Classic brick red, a deeper burgundy red, antique white, browns, blacks, and khaki are among the more popular exterior colors for brick homes right now. But there are many other colors and shades that offer a panorama of curb appeal possibilities!

And you also have rough-hewn brick surfaces, smooth-faced brick, “faded glory style,” and more to consider. The surface contour of the bricks will do much to influence the overall ambiance of your new home – creating anything from “vintage” to “business-like” to “playful.”

2. Don’t Forget About Thin Brick & Brick Highlights

Many times, homeowners are choosing to have their porch areas or other small, stand-alone brick zones done in a brick veneer product often called “thin brick.” This trend saves money, makes installation easier, and gives you much of the look and feel of “thick brick.”

Also important when designing brick areas for your home is to outline brick zones with other materials. Brick up against natural stone, stucco, or siding can create an interesting and aesthetically pleasing “highlighting” effect.

3. Pair Siding Colors With Brick Colors Wisely

Some homes have the entire exterior done in brick alone, and that can look great. But it’s usually more economical and/or desirable to most homeowners to do a brick-siding combo on the exterior.

This brings up the issue of pairing the siding color with the brick color. Pairing a forest green with brick red is popular, both colors having a kind of “faded” look to them.

Deep burgundy brick can go well with the same color of siding. Blue-green siding contrasts well with most colors of brick popular today, while light gray is the top “neutral” (less bold) siding color of choice with just about any brick color.

4. Choose Your Siding Material Carefully

Vinyl is the most popular siding material these days, largely due to two factors: a huge variety of color options and the most affordable price point.

But don’t overlook the possibility of wood siding for its warm, natural look. Pine and cedar are the trendiest woods, with board and batten and shingles/shakes being typical forms. (Engineered wood mimics fiber cement board siding while reducing the weight and the cost somewhat.)

Doing the front with vertical wood siding and the gables with wood shakes is a popular trend. Selecting out certain areas for “special treatment” in general is “in.” So this gives homeowners plenty of space to exercise their creativity!

Custom Home Builders in Amarillo, Texas

To learn more about modern home exterior, especially brick and siding, trends in 2021 and beyond, contact Experience Homes – the custom home builders of Amarillo, Texas, today!

What Countertops Best Suit Your Needs?

By Home

High-quality countertops are a key aesthetic and practical feature you can add to your current home or to a new home you plan to have custom-built. In fact, given the centrality of the kitchen and the necessity of functional bathrooms, choosing the right countertop is a major home building decision.

There are a plethora of options for countertops and a few of the top contenders in today’s market for stone countertops are granite, quartz, quartzite, and marble.

Which stone should I choose?

All of them are quality and popular materials, each of which has its own set of pros and cons. Some situations will call for one, while others may call for the others. Every homeowner may have his or her preference in this regard as well.

The important thing, then, is to decide based on the facts which option is “right for you.” Here are the main points you need to know when choosing what stone countertops best suits your needs.

  1. All Stones Offer Much Variety In Color & Style

There is a huge variety in color and style when choosing stone countertops. In general, granite slabs tend to be darker and bolder, but this is just a rule of thumb and nothing more. Marble usually has softer vein patterns than other stones. This may make them more appealing to those seeking a lighter touch, a softer ambiance. Quartz is an engineered stone that allows you to have an even and consistent appearance and Quartzite has the look of marble, but it’s much easier to care for.

  1. Granite Costs Less & Lasts Longer

Although it always varies from specific stone to stone, granite has a lower price range than does marble. You can find some marbles, however, that cost less than some granites.

In general, granite is more durable. It survives longer and requires less maintenance over the years. Both stones have to be sealed from time to time, but marble may require more frequent sealings. (Note that each particular granite stone slab is given a durability rating ranging from A to D, with A being the most durable.)

Marble is “magnificent,” but it is also more “touchy.” You have to be a little more on your guard against staining and etching with marble. But again, it varies from stone to stone so that some marble slabs are less at risk of staining than some granite stones are.

  1. Marble Gives You Greater Consistency

There is always some variation in pattern and color from stone to stone, which is considered desirable by most involved in the home building process. But many prefer countertops made up of slabs that are as close as possible to each other in style.

Granite slabs usually vary more from piece to piece, which may be an attraction to some home builders. However, the greater consistency of marble slabs may be more important to others. Usually, marble’s closer matches are considered more appealing, and this is part of the reason why marble generally requires a little bit more of an investment.

  1. Quartz Is New But Here To Stay

Quartz countertops are relatively new, but they’ve found a loyal following because of their many good qualities such as their attractive appearance, durability, and the fact they don’t have some of the weaknesses of natural stone.

Quartz has the same durability as concrete and granite but is quite a bit more forgiving, so it won’t chip or crack as easily. It doesn’t have the same hardness in the feel that some people find unpleasant. A downfall is that they can be a bit pricey, but if you want an upscale look with very low maintenance required, quartz countertops are definitely worth considering.

  1. Quartzite

Quartzite countertops are often confused with quartz countertops, but quartzite countertops is a naturally occurring stone. Quartzite is an extremely dense material and does not etch when exposed to acidic foods, making it a popular choice for countertops, especially for those looking for an alternative to typical granite.

Due to its density, quartzite takes a nice polish and is also available in honed and brushed finishes. If maintenance is an issue that keeps you from marble, quartzite is a great alternative. It is also very durable, like granite, quartzite leans toward the hard side of natural stone, so that means it won’t wear down or develop problems in the short term.

  1. All Stones Are Highly Heat-resistant

One part of a home building scheme is to envision your home design in actual use. Your daily habits and everyday use can partially determine which highly-rated stone you’re more likely to choose. Each of these different stone types can take the “heat” of the kitchen in everyday use and will continue to add value and a pleasing aesthetic to your cozy space for years to come.

To learn more or to discuss a custom home building plan, contact Experience Homes in Amarillo, TX today!

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Top 5 home design trends in 2021

By Home

As the new year gets started, many will be thinking about more than just cleaning their home – it may be time to redecorate or even to buy or build a new home

If so, you will definitely want to start thinking over some interior design ideas. It’s good to make a list of your must-haves and should-haves and to brainstorm up some unique features you’d like to make a part of your new home design.

To help you get started, here are five trendy home design tips and ideas to use during 2021.

1. Multi-style Ambiance Combinations

2021 looks to be, if anything, very eclectic in regard to its trending decorating styles. It’s becoming more and more common to see mixtures of modern styles with classic, not only in the same house but even in the very same room.

Thus, modern living and on-trend decor need not be divorced from the past. Earthy wood grains and an emphasis on metals like copper and brass are now wedded. Rustic fireplaces and antique furnishings are now being paired with on-trend designs like bold colors and modern artwork.

2. Multi-zoned Kitchens

Another key trend going into 2021 is the specification of multiple, small “zones” in your kitchen space – called a multi-zoned kitchen. This allows even busy families to all “do their own thing” in the kitchen at the same time without getting in each other’s way.

For example, you might have a special small nook for morning coffee preparation, another for lounging and eating while watching TV, and yet another for simple food prep like microwaving or toaster use (versus major food prep at the stove.) 

3. Contrasting Colors & Shades

It is certainly “in” these days to create sharp color contrasts. One common strategy is to have light-colored furniture or shelves set up against a dark-colored wall. In fact, black is the most trending color right now. I guess “black is the new black!”

Geometric patterns are often painted onto walls as well, and those patterns not only involve creative shape and size variations but also include sharp color, shade, and tone contrasts. Contrast is one key method to help something stand out, look bold and daring. And that’s trending for 2021.

4. Blending Outdoor & Indoor Living

When building or renovating a home, you should also consider how you will play host to family and friends during the holidays. In the warmer months of the year, you may need quick access to the kitchen from outdoors during a backyard barbecue.

It’s quite in-trend now to put in an outdoor kitchen and barbecue right next to doors leading directly into your indoor kitchen. Using sunrooms, pergolas, and indoor terrariums to blend outdoor living with indoor living is also quite popular.

5. Home Automation Systems

Home automation systems are becoming commonplace, almost standard in some circles, as we move into 2021.

Things like motion-sensing lights, no-touch faucets, automatic blinds, and programmable HVAC systems are certainly very common nowadays. The ability to lock/unlock doors, open/close garage doors, turn on/off the oven or laundry machine, etc., from a distance with your smartphone is fast becoming a new trend as well.

To learn more about these and other home design trends that look to be very popular as we move into the year 2021, or to discuss buying, building, or trading-in a home, contact the experts at Experience Homes in Amarillo, TX, today!