Four Kitchen Countertop Options


A huge part of your custom home's kitchen is the countertop choice you make. There are so many options out there, even once you narrow it down to a particular material.  The decision will come down to price, personal preference, and perhaps maintenance. 

Granite is a standard choice.  It's  a natural stone that can be found in a variety of styles and colors, and no two slabs are alike. This means that no matter what, your countertop will be unique! Granite is durable and can increase your home value as it's seen as a premium product. However, granite does require periodic sealing because it is porous. It is also pricier than some other options. 

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Marble is a natural and beautiful option that isn't used as often as granite. Like granite, it can be obtained as a solid slab, which means you won't have seams showing in your countertop. Unfortunately marble is very porous and has to be sealed frequently. It is also easily scratched, so if you use it in your kitchen you'll need to be careful to use cutting boards as well. 

Soapstone is a unique choice. It isn't as common and therefore can be quite the conversation piece for your kitchen. Soapstone is different from marble and granite in look and feel. It will provide you kitchen with a warm tone and is often considered to have an "antique" look due to the amount of talc in the stone.  Soapstone is not as porous as some other stones. It is easy to clean and resists stains.  However, you'll be limited to gray and white tones with this one. 

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Finally, if you're looking for a less expensive option, solid surface is still a great choice.  It is less expensive than the options listed above and resembles granite and marble in look and feel. It comes in a huge variety of styles and colors. Because it is synthetic you can even shape it to incorporate your sink. This means no seams, no overhangs, between your sink and countertop!  It is easy to buff scratches out of solid surface countertops too. However, because of the popularlity of granite, solid surface can sometimes be seen as a "lesser" quality product. 

If you need help planning your new custom home, contact us! We'd love to help! 


Organizing your custom pantry

Organizing your kitchen pantry

Moving into your new custom home brings so many fun projects and opportunities for organization.  One area of your home that may seem almost overwhelming to organize at first is your pantry.  You probably made some decisions early on in the building process about the types of storage options you wanted for your pantry from shelves to drawers and perhaps even cabinet space. With that done, let's look at some easy additions to your pantry to help you organize your custom space. 

  • Clear stackable containers are perfect for storing rice, pasta, beans, and other items that otherwise come in boxes and bags of various sizes.  Adding labels makes it easy to distinguish your cous cous from quinoa and arborio rice from jasmine. organizing your custom pantry


  • Wire baskets are great for storing a wide variety of items, from lunch-sized bags of chips and cookies to boxes of tea.
  • Open shelves provide a great way to see lots of items at a glance and organize them by category too: cereals together, canned goods together, etc.
  • Graduated shelving lets you stack canned goods or spices in deep rows, but also makes it easy to see what’s behind row #1.
  • Lazy Susans are also a great option for storing a variety of items. Because they spin it’s easy to always see what’s available.
  • Labels are key no matter what type of methods you choose for organization. It doesn’t matter how neat a place is if you still can’t find anything!
  • Back of the door racks and hooks are great options too. These can hold cleaning supplies, plastic bags, and a variety of odds and ends too. Better they be on the back of your door than in the middle of the counter. 

If you're ready to get started on YOUR custom home, call us! We'd love to help! 

Tips for finding the perfect lot for your home

If you've decided that building a custom home is the right option for you and your family, your next task will be to find a lot for your home.  This seems daunting, but in all actuality can be a fun process.  Just as you'd choose a particular location if you were looking for an existing home, you can do the same thing with a lot.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION - Think about the area of town you want to live in and start your search there. Work with a realtor to find potential lots, either in subdivisions or otherwise.  If you choose vacant land that is not part of a subdivision, you may want to find a realtor who specializes in this sort of land sale.  They'll be able to provide you with more information as far as utilities to the site itself, slope, soil conditions, etc.  How close do you want to be to schools, work, shopping, etc?

Tips for finding a lot for your custom home

ACREAGE V SUBDIVISION - Both options have their appeal.  Buying a lot in a subdivision means peace of mind when it comes to utilities, slope of the land, the direction the house will face, etc. You'll have fewer big issues like water to think about and you can focus on the details of the house itself. 

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE - What's happening with the area around your potential home site? Are there plans for more homes nearby? If so, will the views you're hoping for be blocked? Does it seem like this is an area where growth will happen? Are the streets around you going to become busier and noiser? All of these questions should be considered. 

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ROOM WITH A VIEW - What are the views like? What views are you looking for? Will you be able to find them, and keep them? Finding a lot with great views that won't get obstructed is truly a wonderful thing, but it can be tricky to do, especially if you're looking at a lot in a subdivision. This may be a reason to consider acreage/vacant land instead. 

AS LOVELY AS A TREE - Finding a lot with a big beautiful tree on it seems great! Howeve, the location of those trees could prove problematic when it comes time to actually build your home. Lookout for potential issues like trees, creeks, rock outcroppings, etc. If these things have to be removed, you'll end up adding more costs to your total. 


Ready to build a custom home? Contact us! We'd love to help! 

Settling into you new custom home

Congratulations! Your new custom home is complete and it's time to move in.  Moving into a new home can be overwhelming; there will be lots of boxes, lots of furniture in various places, and lots of organizing to do. To help make your transition to your new home easier, we've got 5 tips for settling into your new custom home.

1. Take some time.  Before you start hauling in boxes and furniture, take some time to look around. Plan out how you want each room to function and where you envision each piece of furniture being. Spend time in your kitchen and imagine cooking a meal. Where do you want the cooking utensils to go? What about the food processor? What makes sense for your spices and oils? Taking this time, before any furniture or boxes arrive, may make it easier for you. Even consider putting sticky notes as labels to remind yourself where each thing should go.

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2. Remember what you liked.  Think about your previous home. What did you like about the way it was organized? Did you like where items were in your closet? Was there something particular you liked or disliked about where dishes and cooking items were in the kitchen? Use these ideas, write them down if you want, to help you organize your new home.

3. Most likely you have more space in your new home than you previously did. Take some measurements for drawers, closet shelves, etc., so that if you want to buy baskets or storage boxes for those spaces, you'll know what size to get.  

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4. Don't expect everything to be organized right away. You may even want to reorganize and rearrange furniture after you move in. This is normal. It takes time and living in a space for a bit to truly realize how rooms flow and what works best for you and your family.

5. Enjoy it! Enjoy every changing moment, every thought of "where should I put this" and every empty shelf. Enjoy having the room to spread out, the space for your family to relax, and the home that was created just for you! 

If you're considering a custom home, we'd love to help. Contact us today! 

Which Cooktop is Best for You

Which cooktop is right for you?

When building your custom home, you'll have many choices to make, from paint colors to flooring and kitchen appliances.  You'll have to choose a new refrigerator, cooktop, dishwasher, etc.  One question to ask yourself is which cooktop is right for you.  Therea re pros and cons to electric, gas and induction cooktops. 


Electric stoves are what most people are familiar with. They're the least expensive of the three options we'll discuss and they're readily available.  Electric cooktops are easy to install, durable, and easy to clean.  You can use any type of cooking pan or skillet with electric cooktops, from cast iron to copper and ceramic. 

Some downfalls of electric cooktops are that cooks have less control over the heat. It takes a while for electric stoves to heat up and cool down. Because of this, even though electric stoves are less expensive to purchase they are not as energy efficient to use as gas and induction stoves. 

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Gas stoves are becoming more common. They've long been used by professional chefs because of the great temperature control they have. Heat is immediate and for visual cooks, being able to turn the flame up and down is a great cue as to what the termpature of the pan is.   Many also enjoy the industrial look of a gas stove. Like electric stoves you can use any suitable pan for cooking on these.  If you live in an area prone to power outages, gas is a great option because you can still cook when the power is out. 

Yet, there are issues with gas stoves. For new construction, it's not difficult to install a gas line to the kitchen, but in an existing home this is more difficult.  Gas stoves are also more prone to accidental fires because of the open flame they provide. Finally, if you have cats who walk on your stove, there is a chance that knobs can get turned and gas emitted into your home when you're unaware. 

Which cooktop is right for you gas stove


Finally, we have a third answer for the "which cooktop is best for you" question. Induction stoves are growing in popularity.  You can control the heat of induction stoves through wi-fi or a smart phone, which makes using them even more exciting for tech lovers. Induction stoves use electromagnetism to create heat. A magnetic coil beneath the surface creates a magnetic field when the stove is on and that field generates heat when in contact with a "magnetic" pan. The pan gets hot, but the stovetop does not. The safety factor here is huge and this is one reason why many turn to induction stoves. They're also cooler to cook with since the only thing that's hot is the pan itself. 

However, because they use electromagnetism to conduct heat, you have to use pans that are "magnetic." You can test yours by turning them upside down and seeing if a magnet will stick. Cast iron and some stainless steel options will work fine.  However, if you don't have these you'll have to invest in new cookware to use your stove.  Finally, induction stoves do cost more than gas or electric. 

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When it's time to build your new home, come see us! We'd love to help you decide not only on a stove, but a great floorplan and custom home design for your family. 

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