The 4 Criteria for an Estate-Quality Custom Home

Americans are on the move…literally. According to a Gallup Survey, one in four Americans moves to a new home every five years. The statistics blog site FiveThirtyEight, notes that the average U.S. citizen will move 11.4 times in their lifetime. Compare this to Europeans who move only 4 times in their lifetime.

Interestingly, someone who decides to build a custom home does not follow this nomadic trend. Typically, these homeowners have reached a level in their profession where they are not moving on to the next opportunity. They also have the financial wherewithal to purchase a home that can cost from $800,000 - $2,000,000. These custom home buyers are looking for permanence in their home purchase and some of them want a home that they can pass on to their children.

Solid Rock Custom Homes in Colorado Springs, Colorado builds these types of homes and over the past two decades the company has discovered four criteria for an estate-quality home. The design team at Solid Rock Custom Homes is led by Barbara Chappell and Kim Cieplik and they shared their thoughts.

#1 Location, Location, Location

“Purchasing a great lot for the home can go a long way toward making it estate-quality,” Kim noted. “Plus, the lot size is important. It should be large enough to allow for building a larger home. If it is near amenities and quality schools, this also adds to the value of the home.”

#2 A Firm Foundation

“A strong, reliable construction with a good foundation is very important to incorporate in a home that a family wants to pass on to their children,” said Barbara. “For example, our homes are constructed with 2” X 4” studs in the walls, instead of the minimum 2” X 4” and the studs are installed 16” on the center which allows for a stronger structure. It is extremely important for the foundation to be strong because this will result in ‘good bones’ for the house.

“In Colorado, we have issues with clay and this makes the soil reports so important. Generally with clay, we must ‘over-dig’ and bring in new soil for the foundation. Building on mountainside is also challenging due to the potential for landslides. All of these factors must be taken into account.”

#3 A Smart Layout

“To go along with the ‘good bones,’ you need a smart layout for an estate-quality home,” Kim said. “Over several generations, the size of the family will change and it requires a smart, flexible layout in order to retain its value.”

#4 Energy Efficiency

“Having a home that is energy efficient is another criterion for an estate-quality home,” noted Barbara. “This means using quality materials for secure window and doors, and good insulation. The homeowner will also want to use higher quality roofing materials that are hail-resistant and sturdy exterior construction materials, such as brick, which do not need a lot of maintenance. All of these factors help to make the home estate-quality.”

Brick Construction = Estate Quality

In addition to making a home more energy efficient, brick construction has many characteristics that are timeless. This further adds to the estate quality of new custom homes.

“Brick construction is extremely durable, low maintenance, energy efficient and lasts hundreds of years,” Kim said. “Just look at the homes built ‘back East’ in the early 20th century. They’re still standing and families are still enjoying living in them. Brick construction can absolutely lead to an estate-quality home that lasts for many generations.”

“Even though it is a more expensive building material, brick increases the value of the home over time,” said Barbara. “This is because brick is a timeless material and maintenance-free, making it a great value for a home.”

“I agree wholeheartedly,” said Michael Earley of Acme Brick. “A brick home will outlast the mortgage and continue to appreciate in value over the decades and even centuries. Plus, brick’s fire, wind and water resistance, and overall durability can deliver six to 10 percent savings on homeowner’s insurance rates.”

Renovations for Convenience

When homes are passed down to younger generations, there are always renovations that are necessary for “creature” comforts.

“This usually relates to changing out windows for energy efficiency,” Kim said. “Plus, there are always new innovations in appliances, heating and cooling and other modern conveniences, and these are usually replaced by the inheriting generation.

“The kitchen would seem to be one of the areas of a home where tastes are constantly changing,” said Barbara. “Different colors become popular, adding more islands, multiple ovens and additional seating are some of the updates a second generation might contemplate. However, if the kitchen is large enough and has a smart layout, these renovations can be held to a minimum.”

A History of Estate-Quality Homes

Based on its track record, Solid Rock Custom Homes knows a thing or two about building estate-quality homes.

“Of all the homes we have built over the past 22 years, none of them have been resold,” Barbara said. “Every one of our custom built homes has the original owners living in them, and many plan to pass down the home to their son or daughter. It is very important for us to build the type of home that someone will love for generations.

“When someone comes to talk with us about building their custom home, we consciously think through and discuss with them how we can build an estate-quality home. I think this is the reason we have not had any of our homes resold. For our clients, this is their dream home, and we work hard to make sure it is.”

Are you interested in building an estate-quality custom home? Talk with Solid Rock Custom Homes . For more information on incorporating the timeless quality of brick in your home, contact Michael Earley of Acme Brick.