Building a home can be one of the most exciting (and stressful) things to happen in a person’s life. While the process will never go completely smoothly, choosing an experienced builder can ensure a well-crafted home built within an agreed-upon timeframe. Our guide, in advance of the Fort Worth, Texas magazine Home of Dreams issue, includes current trends that local homebuilders are seeing as well as tips for getting the process started and a checklist of things to ask potential builders. To give you a leg up, we’ve added a list that contains the names of local homebuilders that have solid reputations and proven track records.
Trends and Tips From Local Experts With a low inventory of available new homes and the area’s population and strong job growth, the North Texas custom housing market is booming. We asked a group of local custom homebuilders to weigh in on the trends they are seeing among their clients. Growing trends are toward openness in floor plans, making the outdoors an integral part of the house, planning for future care of relatives and increased concern about environmental issues.
Rick Wegman, president of HGC Residential Development, has been in business for the past 16 years. He says that he is seeing more families making space for multi-generational situations. “The open-concept floor plans are very popular as families are looking to commune in more open spaces. We are also seeing a drastic change in color schemes. The majority of our clients have moved away from the darker colors and are using a palette of whites, blues, grays and light tans,” Wegman says.
Elaborate outdoor living spaces, including the use of sliding doors designed to bring the outdoors in, are gaining in popularity. Sean Knight, owner and manager of Sean Knight Custom Homes, verifies that it is one of the most current trends he’s seeing among his clients as well as the use of lighter colored marble and quartz as opposed to darker, busier granite material. He adds that many families are now asking to incorporate reclaimed wood for flooring and on ceilings, and he’s seen an increase in concern for energy efficiency and the use of green products.
Knight believes the construction process should be an easy and enjoyable experience. He says that one of the biggest mistakes he sees people make is letting cost be the only determining factor when selecting a builder. “Take the time to evaluate several builders so that you find someone who is right for you. You should look for a builder who has been in business for a number of years and has an established reputation. You need to know that your builder will be around to not only finish your construction, but also to handle any issue that may arise later,” Knight says.
John and Linda Askew of John Askew Company have 30 years’ experience and are seeing a shift to single-story homes with exterior elevations that have a lot of character. In order to help their customers best achieve their goals, they first make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the finances.
“Often we see people draw plans that don’t fit their budget. We meet with prospective customers to establish a pre-budget before starting plans. We then target that budget when designing the home. We go to plan-design meetings to assist them in staying in budget and creating a great home design,” John Askew says.
Incorporating elaborate technology in homes and the inclusion of media rooms seem to be two recent trends that are on the decline. Betty Baker, president of Veranda Designer Homes, says that her clients are mainly concerned with technology related to TV and sound but nothing more. “Most people are opting for an open game room/media area, especially with the reduced need for a projector as television output has become so sophisticated,” Baker says. “Another request we quite often get is for an attached or detached suite for in-laws, guests or children returning home from college, which has a separate living area or kitchenette.”
Baker warns that “water is the devil in construction.” She says that it’s imperative to pay attention to details in design or framing with water in mind. “Whether it’s a window too close to a valley of the roof or poor flashing techniques, we are redundant in our procedures to make sure we keep water out.”
An outdoor living space by John Askew Homes.
Getting Started The right builder needs to have an invested interest, adequate time, financial resources, excellent communication skills, organization skills and extensive experience to build your new home. Here are agenda items that need to be taken care of before ever hiring your builder.
Know What You Want. The first step is knowing what size, style and price range you want. Then you can match a builder that has expertise in your type of project.
Start Your Search. There are several places to obtain a list of reputable builders who construct homes in your area. Contact your local home builders association, real estate agents or utilize friends and relatives for recommendations that you can trust. Local lenders can also provide valuable insight into builders and their history of completing projects on time and on budget.
Research Your Builder’s Reputation. Is the builder you are considering licensed? Is he/she a member of the local home builders association? Are past clients satisfied? It is imperative to ask for references and check them thoroughly. The most significant step you can take to learn about a potential builder is to visit homes he/she has built and talk with the owners.
Keep a Record. When speaking with builders and checking with other homeowners, record the information and your impressions.
HGC Residential used a palette of white and grey in the bathroom of this Westover Lane home.
What to Ask
A kitchen with a light color palette from John Askew Homes.
Open-concept floor plans are a popular building trend. Photo: John Askew Builders
Homebuilders in North Texas We drew this list from many sources, including the Greater Fort Worth Builders Association’s directory of members, the Certified Master Builder Corp. directory, recommendations by friends and associates, personal experience and Fort Worth, Texas magazine archives.
The companies listed below have all been checked against the database of the Business Bureau of Fort Worth & Tarrant County Inc., which serves Tarrant, Johnson, Hood, Somervell, Wise, Parker, Erath, and Palo Pinto counties. BBB accreditation was not required for listing.
Inclusion on this list does not imply that Fort Worth, Texas magazine assumes any liability, but it does provide one more source of information for you to consider when you are making decisions about housing.
Fort Worth, 817.207.8988
Atwood Custom Homes
Avery Homes LLC
Bannister & Co.
Better Built Contractors Inc.
Bettis Construction Inc.
Boyd Builders Inc.
Braswell Homes Inc.
Calais Custom Homes
Castor Vintage Homes
Clear Creek Home
D.R. Moss Quality
Dan Thomas Homes, Inc.
David Adams Custom Homes Inc.
David Lewis Builder Inc.
Don Bybee Construction Inc.
Dunlap Construction Co.
Richland Hills, 817.284.5111
Ferrier Custom Homes
Fred Parker Company Inc.
Gearheart Construction Co. Inc.
Giuliani Custom Homes
High Street Homes
Homes By Towne
J. Lambert Custom Homes
Jonathan Mark Homes Inc.
Maykus Custom Homes
Mike Sandlin Homes Inc.
Our Country Homes
Patrick Custom Homes
Providence Homes Inc.
Rae D. Cummins
Ramsey and Shaw Builders
Rick Moncrief Homes Inc.
Simmons Estate Homes
Stone Ridge Homes
Tahoe Custom Builders
Tracy Tomlin Inc.
Trinity Custom Homes
V Fine Homes
Veranda Designer Homes
Waterford Classic Homes
Will Steed Homes