“Should I hire a builder or architect first?”

“Should I hire a builder or architect first?”

This is a question that we hear often as people contemplate a new home or renovations/additions to their existing home.  It is understandable that confusion exists as nearly every builder and architect will give you a different opinion. 

Our intention with this post is not to argue that our opinion on these facts is the only right answer, but simply to describe what we have found to work best.  So, before you need to read any further, here is our answer to the question:

TEAMWORK is best

The best results, in architectural design, specification design, and costs, happen by being able to engage with all the key players early on.  These key players are of course the architect and the builder – but should also include an interior designer and cabinet designer, along with potentially a landscape architect, audio/video/automation integrator, and others (depending on the size and complexity of the project). 

By using a team mentality from the very beginning several favorable results are realized:

  • By including the relevant team members, the intentions are communicated from the beginning, helping the team understand the “why” of the design.  This can reduce confusion or omissions later in the project.
  • A complete team will be able to bring their expertise to the table, providing useful/additional ideas to the project.
  • The team can help provide some cost benefit analysis during the design process, helping the homeowner understand the financial ramifications of ideas before extensive design rework may be required.

An overall project balance can be achieved.  With a team in place, the design, specifications, and budget are all able to stay in alignment – with the homeowner being able to understand the relevant possibilities for the home.

The TROXEL TRIANGLE

For you, the homeowner, your desire is to get the best design that aligns with your dreams, with the best possible specifications and quality level that meet your expectations, all at what you determine is a fair price.  Here at Troxel Custom Homes we call this the “Troxel Triangle!”  The idea is that the 3 points of the triangle are the Design (what the size and structural complexity of the home are), the Specifications (what you put into the home), and the Budget (what it costs to build the home).  For the Troxel Triangle to be in balance, one of the 3 points needs to stay a variable.  So, in practice, if the design of the home is fixed, and the specifications are fixed – then you will need to understand that the cost for the home will be what it is.  If that cost is too high for expectation, then either the size/design will need to change or the level of the expectations for the specifications will need to change to get the triangle back in balance.  If a team has been involved from the beginning, then the balance of the “Troxel Triangle” can be maintained from the beginning!

We are here to help be your guide through this process.  If you are contemplating building a new home or renovating your existing home, get in touch with us to learn more about how we can facilitate the best possible process for you!

Tips for keeping your new home looking NEW

Tips for keeping your new home looking NEW

It is easy to keep your home looking new the first few weeks, maybe even months, after moving in. You do not want anything out of place, and it is still brand new to you. But when your home starts looking lived in, there are a few things you can do to keep it looking new to you, and new to your guests.

Prior to moving in:

Prior to moving in you will want to make sure all warranty cards are filled out on products included for your home – so when something does go wrong (unfortunately it is almost inevitable), resolutions can happen without having to scramble. Having the warranty cards filled out will make finding who to talk to a lot easier and get you the quickest solution. You will also want to make sure you research moving companies. You will want people moving your furniture that will be sure to respect your belongings, as well as the fact that you do not want your beautiful new hardwood floors scratched. Having protective footing on your furniture will help with this too.

Moving in:

It is also important to establish a maintenance schedule for yourself for things like filters, pressure washing the outside of your home, and landscaping. You can also establish such a program with some of the vendors involved in building your home. Something as simple as cleaning your windows on a regular basis will significantly affect your own perception of your home.

After moving in:

A simple way to keep things looking new after moving in is to make sure things have a home, and they get put where they belong. In theory this should go without saying, but when life happens, clutter can happen quickly. When things get put back where they belong, and there is less clutter in your home, it will help to keep it looking new. Having a minimalist approach goes hand in hand with this. The less “stuff” in your home, the easier it is to make sure what is in your home goes where it belongs. Talking with an interior design specialist can also help you with different storage solutions to make this a breeze.

Making sure your home is kept up and things are in good condition will help immensely in keeping your home looking new. 

“Can my builder be my interior designer too?”

“Can my builder be my interior designer too?”

So many decisions! You are planning to invest a lot of money in your new home in West Michigan, but how do you make sure the finished home is perfect? An interior designer is the person that will take the time to make sure the tile, flooring, paint, and couch all work together – and make sure that your home feels cohesive in its finishes. When done well, a well thought out interior design will move the reactions from guests to your new home from “nice” to “WOW!”

Some builders have internal interior designers, while other builders work with a number of external designers. A lot of this decision is based on client desires and experience. As the client, remember that if you choose to not have an interior designer involved, the builder will need you to work through a lot of details and then you will need to make sure that you get all the right information to your builder by the right time. The builder you are working with will need systems and processes in place to ensure they capture all your details.

Interior designers that are familiar with your builder will take care of all the information tracking and have tips and offer direction. With an interior designer on the team, you can avoid the paperwork and enjoy the process of selecting just the right colors and textures for your new home in West Michigan. At Troxel Custom Homes we would love to introduce you to how the interior design process works with us – we look forward to talking with you about it!

Should I renovate? Or build a new home?

Should I renovate? Or build a new home?

The Case for Renovations (remodeling & additions):

a)      Your home is dated, worn, or doesn’t meet your needs anymore … but you really like where you live – remodeling, and maybe an addition, with Troxel Custom Homes can bring your existing home up to date with your current and future lifestyle!

b)     You are moving and have a specific area you want to be in, but just can’t find the right existing home – consider working with Troxel Custom Homes to show you what might be possible to renovate an existing home to meeting your expectation and desires.

Before Renovation
After Renovation

The Case for a New Custom Home:

a)      You are moving to an area where there just aren’t existing homes available but there is available land – Troxel Custom Homes will help you pick the right location and then help you bring your dream home to reality.

b)     You want a home that will fit exactly what your lifestyle demands now and into the future – Troxel Custom Homes can help design and build that perfect home for you.

Foundation of a new home
Finished new home

Whether you choose to renovate or to build, Troxel Custom Homes will work with you to balance your budget, the size/design of the project, and the specifications (finish details) to be sure that you can be happy for years to come in your new space.