Tag Archives: custom home building

Home building process

Home Building: What You Should Know

Home building can be a very exciting experience for the new home owner. Especially if you have never owned a home before, there is something quite special about knowing that you live in a place you can truly call your own. At the same time, there is no denying the stress that comes along with it. That’s why it is so important to actively prepare for your new home construction.

What You Should Know About Home Building

To minimize stress and maximize your comfort and convenience, here are some essential things you should do before getting your home built.


Every responsible adult will know to “run the numbers” in order to determine their home building budget. However, the trick is to account for all your costs, many of which are hidden. There is the direct cost of construction on the one hand, but on the other hand:

  • Permits
  • Down payments
  • Refunds & savings (from taxes or otherwise)
  • Cost of your estimate (if there is one)

Choosing Your Builder

Next, there is the matter of finding your contractor. This may or may not be as simple as asking your friends and family who they might refer, but you should be mindful of:

  • Whether they are licensed
  • Whether they are insured
  • What their reputation is

Also, it’s never a bad idea to request a look at their portfolio so you can see what they’ve done for yourself.

Consider Going Green

“Going green” with environmentally friendly home design isn’t for everyone, but it should always be considered. Everything from electricity, windows and doors, home insulation, HVAC, utilities, and water usage can all bring huge economic benefits when your house is environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

Remember Your ROI

Is it ever too early to start thinking about resale? We think not. Even if you’re planning on living there forever, you never know how you will fill in the future. That’s why you should always be mindful not only of how much home building costs now, but how much return on investment it will produce down the line.

Panoramic window design

Finding the Right Window Design for Your Home

Window design often gets lost somewhere in between roofing, electrical engineering, HVAC, and everything else that custom home building entails. Nevertheless, it is an extremely important part of the overall design process. Windows are not only practical, providing the right insulation and security. They are also aesthetic and have the potential to add a unique style to your house.

The Right Window Design

Windows come in all different shapes and forms, and the importance of finding the right one for you cannot be overstated. According to the House Designers, about 10-15% of home building budgets are spent on windows and doors alone! While factors such as size and color will vary according to your individual preferences, we can help you determine the right style of windows for your custom home.

Awning window designAwning Windows

Awning window designs (pictured on the right) take their name from the sheets of canvas that stick out from stores and hotel buildings. They are hinged at the top, swinging vertically outward from the bottom whenever a crank or lever is turned. They generally open out to a 30o angle, which enables them to ventilate houses without letting rain in (wind notwithstanding).

Casement Windows

Casement windows are much like awning ones, except they are hinged at the side and swing horizontally (rather than vertically) outward. In general, casement windows open from the center and can be opened all the way. They are one of the more basic window designs, being quaint, simple and generally less expensive.

Fixed/Picture Windows

Fixed windows are the most basic, simpler than even casement ones. They are not hinged, meaning they cannot be opened at all. Often called “picture windows,” they can offer scenic pictures of the South Florida coastline in the right custom beach house. They are the least expensive and most energy efficient, but are generally accompanied by other window designs such as casement or hung windows.

Double-hung window designHung Windows

Hung windows (pictured on the left) are probably the most popular design for household windows. Unlike casement or awning windows, they are not hinged to swing outward. Rather, when unlocked their panes glide vertically (or sometimes horizontally). They come in two types: single-hung (with one movable pane) and double hung (with two movable panes).

Sliding/Rolling Windows

Finally, there are sliding window designs. These are generally thought of as windows that function as doors, but they can be proper windows as well. Sliding (or rolling) windows are not hinged, but rather slide laterally. They do this by incorporating two or more panes, with one fixed and others movable, each about half the width of the window frame. They are considered a very contemporary design, as well as the most practical because of the insulation and security benefits they offer.

Using home automation to set temperature

Home Automation & Custom Home Design

2015 is well under way, bringing with it exciting new innovations in custom home construction. And it all has to do with one aspect: technology. Technology is constantly making advances, providing homeowners with new avenues for luxury, comfort and convenience. And nothing epitomizes this fact more than the technological advances that have been made in home automation.

Technology, Design & Home Automation

In their list of top 10 homebuilding trends, Dallas Culture Map sums up their predictions with a single motif: technology. First on their list is home automation — what is this aspect of custom home design? How does it work, and how might you incorporate it into your new custom home?

What is Home Automation?

First of all, what is automation? Automation means setting something up to do something automatically. Most people think of computers — your computer can automatically back up, notify you of tasks, shut off at a certain time, etc.

Imagine that your home is a computer. That means you can set it up to do something automatically: anything from dimming the lights to playing music to altering the air conditioning.

How Does Home Automation Work?

With automation, the possibilities are endless. And if that doesn’t already sound exciting, here’s more: due to amazing advances in home automation technology, it can often be controlled from your phone, tablet or computer!

It works by connecting each automated device through a centralized network, often a house’s local area network (LAN). This allows homeowners to access their automation settings from electronic devices that are connected to the internet. At the same time, it provides the same level of security as accessing your bank account online.

Custom Home Design With Automation

The great thing about home automation is how complimentary it is with custom home design. The spirit of custom home building means customizing anything in your home to your own needs, and nothing accomplishes this more than automated housing components. You can use them for:

  • HVAC: automating temperature, humidity, and (with many automated HVAC systems) shutting windows.
  • Lighting: Scheduling lights to turn on/off, dimming lights, or using motion sensors to turn on/off when someone enters the room.
  • Intercoms
  • Security: cameras, codes, and alerts for security breaches.
  • Home Entertainment Systems: audio/visual automation, surround-sound and stereo customization, and automatic shutdown/startup
  • Outdoors: automated pool and hot tub heating, jet-stream bubbles, cleaning, and lighting.
  • Others: watering plants, feeding pets, and specialized automation to make life more manageable for the disabled and/or elderly. The possibilities are virtually limitless!
3D rendering of a modular home

What are Modular Homes?

Modular homes are a subtype of prefab home that is constructed out of “modules” (as opposed to sections or panels). Each module comes mostly or completely pre-built, but like prefabs they differ from mobile homes. They are transported differently, governed by different building codes, and — most importantly  — are much more amenable to the art and science of custom home building.

What You Should Know About Modular Homes

What are modular homes? What are they used for? What does the construction and manufacturing process entail? And what are the advantages and disadvantages of these types of manufactured houses, especially with regard to custom home building in South Florida?

Modules & Modular Houses

Modular building is a subset of “off-site construction,” wherein part or all of a house is constructed in one location and then transferred to another for completion. This clearly distinguishes it from on-site (informally referred to as “stick-built”) construction, and the degree to which modular homes are completed off-site also distinguishes it from other types of prefabs.

Modulars can be thought of as a balanced approach to building prefabricated houses. The modules themselves are rooms, the primary component of a house. Other components of off-site construction are much more minuscule (panels) or more comprehensive (sections, entire wings of homes that comprise two or more rooms and motifs).

Modular Construction

Modular homes must abide my the local codes of the municipality in which they will be completed, so the construction process is marked by tightly scrutinized inspection. The most important stage of manufacturing is design, wherein constructors must utilize automated computing and 3D models to ensure modules’ compatibility with other rooms or sections. After the modules are manufactured, they are transported to the construction site via a flat-bead truck to be installed.

Modular Homes & Custom Home Building

What are the pros and cons of using modules, as opposed to proverbial “sticks,” to custom build a home in South Florida?


  • More affordable than traditionally-built luxury homes
  • Quicker construction process means a more immediate return on investment, one of the primary concerns in home building
  • Easier to implement extensions, remodeling and home additions
  • More environment-friendly construction
  • Since it is built to withstand rigorous transport, modules are usually inherently more sturdy (very apposite to the coastal, hurricane-prone areas of South Florida)


  • While construction itself is much quicker, the transport of modules can be very slow
  • May not be fully accepted by buyers, which may lead to undervaluation at resale (although smart design may disguise the fact that a home is modular)
  • South Florida custom home builders are extremely limited in their ability to customize using modules, as the market favors minimalization
Custom home or model home?

Custom Homes vs. Model Homes

Custom homes are great, and of course we as South Florida custom home builders are not without our own opinion on this subject! But are they for everyone? Between the time, cost and energy of building a custom house, some may lean toward model homes instead.

Deciding Between Model & Custom Homes

Thanks to news-press.com for providing the inspiration for this article with their own, “Buyers decide between custom or model homes.” It’s a great and unbiased piece that weighs the pros and cons of each through the real experiences of homeowners. Here’s our own extra two cents.

Model Homes

“Model homes” here refers to homes that are built from a set of pre-designed (i.e. “model”) plans. They can be just as luxurious as custom homes, while not being as time-consuming or even stressful to build. Model homes are a particularly good option for those who don’t see themselves as creative or innovative enough to dream up their own design. There’s no shame in this, although sometimes your own creativity is locked away rather than completely absent. Don’t sell yourself short — we’ve seen many potential homeowners surprise even themselves!


  • Easier, takes less time and energy
  • Standardized designs make both costs and scheduling explicit and easier to understand


  • Sometimes the land to be built on won’t allow certain home models
  • Anything your model home comes with that you don’t like, you must either live with or deal with yourself

Custom Homes

Homes that are custom built are exactly what they sound like: the designs, floor plans and engineering are all based on the customer’s personal wishes.


  • Homeowners get to customize everything — down to even the details that may seem mundane
  • Highly adaptable to any factor — be it the land or interior of the home


  • The prospect of 100% customization from the bottom-up may seem daunting
  • Often takes more time and investment than model homes
  • Fear — i.e. of the unknown, such as building something that later makes resale difficult

A Middle Ground?

The lines between building model homes and custom homes are not always so clear. For instance, model home builders still allow homeowners some flexibility in customizing the interior of their home. Indeed, even prefab homes have a part to play in custom construction.

In the news-press article, one resident expresses her fear that “We didn’t want to have to choose where every light switch goes.” Her unease is understandable. However, we know from personal experience that quality home building doesn’t put that burden on you. The best custom home builders will balance your creative vision with their expertise.

Custom Beach House in Highland Beach, Florida

Designing Your Custom Beach House







Take the art of custom home building, combine it with beautiful sunny South Florida…and the result is a custom beach house. These houses, both primary homes and “snowbirds'” second homes, populate the whole Atlantic shoreline up and down route A1A. Everyone in Florida dreams of owning one of these marvelous domiciles…so why not make it a custom home as well?

Ideas for Designing Your Custom Beach House

Why not only a beach house, but more specifically a beach house that is custom designed to your needs and desires? For one, nothing puts the “luxury” in luxury home building more than a cool salty breeze and a gorgeous view of the ocean. Moreover, custom homes and luxury homes are one in the same, more often than not. So, these two concepts naturally merge and become one.

Building luxury homes in South Florida is at once an art as well as a science, and there are both practical and instinctual considerations to be made. With that said, here are a few for designing your custom beach house:

Practical Considerations

Windows & Doors

One thing home builders must not ignore is the elements, which are especially strong near the beach. Florida may be known as the Sunshine State, but to residents it’s also the Hurricane State. Being so vulnerable to storms during the annual hurricane season, well designed beach houses will always incorporate impact windows and doors.

Why impact windows and doors? For one, they are superior to hurricane shutters not only in appearance but also in function. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials that can be customized to your house, while at the same time providing the following benefits:

  • Anti-theft security
  • Temperature insulation
  • Sound insulation
  • Appreciated home value


Humidity near the beach is just as bad (if not worse) as inland Florida, which is the number one factor that causes wet basements. The problem of condensation is not limited to basements, and can easily lead to mold and mildew throughout your beach house. So, be sure to have all the proper insulation installed.

Aesthetic Considerations

  • Installing a dock nearby or on your property if you own a boat
  • An outdoor residential area with a grill, bar, etc.
  • Balconies
  • A wraparound deck
  • Paving stones and custom landscape treatment
  • Open concept designs to let the ocean breeze in
  • Sunlights installed in your roof
  • And so much more — it’s your custom beach house, and the sky is the limit!
Custom home construction in 2015 - what will it look like?

What Will Custom Home Construction Look Like in 2015?

Custom home construction is an exciting and dynamic industry, always changing with the cultural, economic and aesthetic landscape it inhabits. Year after new year, it changes as new homeowners take a liking to new and upcoming trends. Now that 2014 is behind us, we at CCM are excited to see what this new year brings us. Here are our predictions for what custom home building will look like in 2015!

What Custom Home Construction Will Look Like in 2015

Going Green in 2015

First and foremost, it’s impossible to deny that more and people are going to make their home green in any way that they can. There’s no reason to doubt that this trend will continue in 2015, and not just for moral (i.e. environmental) reasons. There are also practical benefits to “going green”: some evidence suggests that green construction costs less and improves homeowner satisfaction.

It’s All About the Bathroom

Bathrooms are often the focal point of luxury home building. Why is this? Because it is both easy and highly desirable to incorporate an atmosphere of luxury into your bathroom. How else would you describe a jetted bubble bath, heated towel racks, and even an HDTV rack in the far corner? Many homeowners have recognized this potential in custom home construction, and many will continue to do so in 2015.

So Long Asphalt! So Long Concrete! Hello Pavers!

We can’t say that concrete and asphalt are “so 2014” — after all, paving stones have long been a staple of custom paving in South Florida. In 2015, it looks like this trend will be catching on elsewhere. More people realize that their pavement, driveways and walkways have been neglected for far too long. After all, why spend so much time and money beautifying the inside of your home only to pave your driveway with unattractive, cracking asphalt? Why put the effort into custom home construction only to have your outside as banal and commonplace as everyone else’s?

Each new year brings with it new opportunities: an unknown future waiting to be explored. For our part, we can’t wait to explore the exciting possibilities 2015 will bring for custom homes.

Exterior of custom beach house

Why Build a Custom Home in South Florida?

If you have ever driven through Highway A1A and seen the beautiful, luxury mansions that look over the Atlantic shoreline, you know one thing: there is no shortage of upscale housing. Whether in Delray Beach or Highland Beach, this is true. So, you may be wondering why you should build a custom home in South Florida at all?

Aesthetic Considerations

The answer is quite simple: custom home building isn’t just about luxury. It’s also about getting exactly what you want in a luxury home. This is only guaranteed when you build a custom home in South Florida. Any other luxury home may look nice and have many features you like, but it may not be 100% to your wants and needs. The following are only a few examples of what we mean by this.

Floorplans & Layouts

Typical floorplan of a house

This is what the typical floorplan of a house might look like.

Blank floorplan of a custom home in South Florida

This is the floorplan of a custom home in South Florida.

Look at these two floorplans and the first thing you will notice is that one isn’t even a floorplan at all! And this is precisely the point. When you build a custom home in South Florida, you start from absolutely nothing. You get to customize each aspect of your house — from the tiniest detail — right from phase one.

Paving & Landscape

For truly luxury home construction, what’s outside is just as important as what’s inside. That’s why so many homeowners in South Florida are turning to custom paving and landscape. A particularly important area is driveway and walkway paving. Take this for example:

custom paversAmerican real estate. Luxury house exterior with brick trim

There is no question that both houses are upscale and beautiful, but only the left picture with interlocking custom pavers truly compliments the quality of the house.

Practical Considerations

There are dozens of practical advantages to building a custom home in South Florida, such as:

  • Particular needs of the homeowner such as wheelchair ramps
  • Better resale value
  • More flexibility on land usage

Green Construction

Finally, one specific practical consideration in the realm of South Florida home construction is how to your home green. In this area, there is no question that you get unparalleled advantages when you build a custom home in South Florida. When you have 100% control over the building process, you can determine everything from your energy source to more environment-friendly housing components. For example:

  • While pre-built homes come with certain appliances, you can install Energy STAR components.
  • Greener landscapes and garden work.
  • Many homeowners consider windmills unattractive and will therefore no sell a home that has them, but you have the option of installing them if you deem environmental concerns to be more important.
  • Installing solar panels.
  • Choosing natural gas as your energy source.