By: Malcolm Mayhew
September is a busy month in the Dream Home business. A process that started months ago is now in its final stages as the builder and the interior designers prepare the house for its public showing.
The 2014 Dream Home sits on a 16,000-square-foot lot at 4800 Estonia Court in Montserrat, off Team Ranch Road in southwest Fort Worth. The architect, interior designer and builder is HGC Real Estate Services. Ticket proceeds for the tour benefit a Wish with Wings, which makes wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses. It is the second Dream Home benefiting the charity.
Builders and suppliers participate to show off their work and products to each other and the public and to forge mutual relationships. But don’t overlook the charity aspect. That’s a big draw to companies that want to give back to a community that has made them successful.
Both are true of J&S Air Inc., says owner Grant Hall, who supplied the air conditioning and heating systems. “We are very honored to be involved in the Dream Home project for four years in a row,” Hall said. “It is amazing to watch all the different contractors and vendors come together for a great cause.”
Suppliers to the companies are also involved. “I would also like to give a special thanks to Standard Supply for their partnership and generous donation of materials and Amana equipment that made the 2014 Dream Home possible,” Hall said.
Amber Paulk of The Kitchen Source echoes Hall’s comments. Her company is supplying Wood-Mode Custom Cabinetry. “We participate for not only the design challenge, but also the people we meet and giving back to the community by benefiting a local charity,” Paulk said. “There are always other projects you get paid to work on, but this is our little way of giving something back.”
There are challenges. “Kitchens are very personal and individual spaces,” Paulk said. But the final client — the purchaser of the home — is unknown, so there is no one to ask what they are looking for in their kitchen. As a result, the kitchens “have to be more universal and less personalized for the individual homeowner.”
Bryan Page and Vintage Floors have a long-standing relationship with Dream Homes. He provided and installed the hardwood floors and kitchen backsplash tile. That allows Vintage Floors to showcase its work, but more importantly, work with new trades and make new friends, he said. One of the company’s suppliers, Pallmann, got into the act as well, donating the hardwood floor finish.
“It is a privilege to work on a project that supports such a wonderful organization as a Wish with Wings,” Page said. “We at Vintage Floors are truly honored to be able to contribute to this project, whose benefited charity brings joy to the lives of children battling life-threatening illnesses.”
Aaron Ornamental Iron Works, founded in 1985 by Todd Brock, is a consistent participant in Dream Homes. The company provided exterior fencing and gates, and the courtyard gates. Brock is proud to be a Fort Worth company able to incorporate “Old World” hand forging into its products and to support local charities. He’s said in the past that his forging staff has more combined years of experience than other similar companies in the DFW area.
Kelly Russell of Texas Custom Window & Door figures his job is to do the legwork on selecting and installing windows so that builders can concentrate on other parts of the construction process. He supplied the windows in the house, using Jeld-wen Premium EX wood windows.
“I personally do not know someone who has benefited from a Wish with Wings,” Russell said. “However, anytime I can contribute to such a great cause in some small way, I look forward to the opportunity. It’s my avenue to help out those programs that do so much for so many people.”
Modern homes are electronically complex, and Universal Systems designed and installed the systems in the Dream Home. The company started in 1981 as a burglar alarm company, and over the years has performed more than 1,000 home entertainment installations. “We provide a total solution in one company, integrating all electronics into a single manageable remote control, and automating your home to ‘think for itself,’ ” said Gary Dilling.
One complexity with the Dream Home is that the rooms are open to the center of the home. “The sound level in each area must be calibrated so as not to distract other areas,” he said. Of special interest is what he called a Media Décor Moving Art TV — a high-definition TV in a concealed art frame — over the fireplace. It and all other media equipment can be controlled by smartphone or tablet.
New to the Dream Home this year is Pro Serve Plumbing, a family-owned business since 1996. It supplied plumbing labor and materials excluding fixtures. “When we found out other professionals in our industry were coming together to build an amazing home [benefiting] the a Wish with Wings charity, we reached out to them and asked that we be considered as a partner in this project,” said Kenneth Golden.
He’s a father of four boys, all of them healthy. “I could not imagine not only what life is like for the children who suffer from these types of illnesses, but also what their families go through with them,” Golden said.
Prewitt Electrical Services Inc. supplied “all electrical material, labor and over a decade of collective knowledge and experience,” said Jeff Prewitt. “We have over 15 years experience in the electrical field. Our company does all phases of electrical work, serving both residential and commercial clients.”
Texas Designer Flooring has been involved with Dream Homes for more than 10 years. The company specializes in custom hardwoods, unique tile, stone and luxury carpeting. “As in years past, we will be supplying the Dream Home with carpet, tile and hardwoods,” said owner Jessie Boyd.
“We not only love being a part of such an exclusive project, but we also love the relationships that develop because of it,” Boyd said. “Any time there is an opportunity to help a child, it is something special. When there is an opportunity to help a child with an illness or life-threatening condition, it becomes even more special, especially when we’re able to assist by doing what we love.”
Pierce Decorative Hardware and Plumbing has been around since 1937, offering a wide selection of both hardware and plumbing products as well as more than 100 years of product and industry experience, says Paula Roberts. The company supplied the door hardware. Roberts said that they strive “to participate in activities that promote the development of this community and industry. We are equally interested in supporting a charitable cause as well.”
On a normal job, team members would track changes in design and adjust the product to fit. “Unlike many consumer-driven projects, the Dream Home had very few changes, allowing us to maintain the integrity of the initial design and specification,” Roberts said.
When you walk into the central great room of the house, you will be struck by the sweeping size of the two-story space, and DWR Contractors Inc. hung every square inch of the sheetrock. “It’s always fun to take on new projects and put together new ideas and see them come to completion,” said Wade Roberson.
Sheetrock is sheetrock, but the design of Dream Homes adds a challenge. “We do mainly custom homes, so we’re used to doing the high-end finishes and the detail work that goes into the Dream Homes,” he said.
Elliot Fischer, Fort Worth showroom manager for Interceramic Marble Collection, will be as excited as anyone to tour the home. His company has been involved since 2008. “It’s always been a good program for us,” he said. “We get a lot of people coming through the house, and then they come over here to see what they saw in the home. And then, of course, there’s the charity.”
IMC supplied the granite and marble countertops. “We never actually see the house until we go to the pre-opening magazine party, because we’re just a supplier,” he said. “We don’t actually have to install anything.”
2014 Fort Worth, Texas Dream Home / 4800 Estonia Court, Montserrat, Fort Worth / Benefiting a Wish with Wings / Tour Dates: Sept. 20 - Oct. 19 / Wed.-Sat.: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. / Sun.: noon-5 p.m. / Admission: $10; Free with a $20 subscription ($10 goes to the charity)
2014 DREAM HOME PARTNERS / Aaron Iron Works / Advanced Architectural Stone / Ajax Glass & Mirror / Blooms Landcare / Durango Doors of Fort Worth / DWR Contractors Inc. / Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery / HGC Residential Development / Interceramic Marble Collection / Interceramic Tile & Stone / J & S Air Inc. / Loveless Gutters / New Leaf Foam / Overhead Garage Door / Pierce Decorative Hardware and Plumbing / Prewitt Electrical Services Inc. / Pro Serve Plumbing / Sweeney Lumber Co. / Texas Custom Window & Door / Texas Designer Flooring of Fort Worth / Texas Tile Roofing / The Kitchen Source / The Sherwin Williams Co. / Universal Systems / Vintage Floors
By: Malcolm Mayhew