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.

 Industry experts Barbara Chappell and Kim Cieplik 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.

#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.”

For more information on incorporating the timeless quality of brick in your home, contact Acme Brick.