Category Archives: Design/Build


What Do The Numbers Say About You?

diamante custom home pool design

See if Design/Build will work for you?

The traditional process of building a custom home involves going to an architect/designer, designing plans, and then hand selecting a few builders to get a quote for building their plans.

Every client including you, has a budget they want to stick to.  Whether that budget is $400,000 or over $4 million, there still remains a budget.  Did you know that 9 times out of 10, the bid to build comes in over budget for clients who use this approach? What more is that 50% of those who chose this route end up not building at all.  They end up buying a resale home that they have decided to settle for because they just cannot take any more over budget news.

What happens when your plans go over budget?  You have hand selected 3-5 builders with a solid reputation yet they are quoting you a price to build that is $50,000-$100,000 over what you had expected to pay.  This can be a real head scratch-er because after all you told your architect/designer what your budget was.  Next you will spend more time sending your plans out to various builders with the hopes that one of them will arrive at your budget.  Or you will have to pay even more money to go back to the drawing board with your architect/designer.

How do you know if your plans are going over budget? Let me rephrase that question.  How do you keep your plans on budget? Diamante Custom Homes has an approach different than the traditional design-bid-build approach.  We take the bidding out and use the design-build approach.  We have refined this process over the course of 20 years and have built a team of architects/designers around us to do one thing.  That one thing is staying on budget- which takes to hassle out of the equation.  This way when we are done designing your plans, there are no surprises.  We have put time and money into a process that works- it is not meant for you to have to go back to the drawing board when we are done!

We have analyzed everything!  If you would like to know more about our streamlined process that saves precious time and thousands of dollars, click here.  You can also call and speak to one of our senior staff 210-341-6430.

2012 Spring Home & Garden Show

home and garden show

2012 Fall Home & Garden Show

Diamante Custom Homes will be participating in the 2012 Spring Home & Garden Show at the Alamodome.  Recognized as one of the largest and most prestigious Home & Garden events of its kind in the country, this buyers showcase boasts hundreds of exhibits from San Antonio’s finest Home Improvement companies offering an unrivaled selection of the newest home improvement solutions and the hottest design trends from the highest quality providers of home, garden and lifestyle products available on the market today.

Diamante Custom Homes will be on hand to answer any of your home building questions.  We will provide insight as to why the Design/Build process is superior to the traditional approach.  Diamante Custom Homes is currently the only Bilingual Design/Build Custom Home Builder in San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country.

Come out and meet us face to face to see how we can help to bring your dreams to fruition.  Give us a call 210-341-6430 to reserve your complimentary tickets while they last or click here to inquire.


  • February 24, 2012 2:00-8:00PM
  • February 25, 2012 10:00-8:00PM
  • February 26, 2012 11:00-6:00PM

Constructing The Walk-Out Basement

walk out basement foundation construction

Walk-Out Basement Foundation Stages

A few months back I wrote a post in regards to the Walk-out basement concept that we have refined over the years.  It created a lot of buzz and ever since I have had numerous requests to build this type of concept.  A few weeks ago I was invited out to a prospective clients property to see if this concept would work on their property.  Since then we have started designing plans that uniquely fit their property’s challenges.

The picture attached is another Walk-Out basement design for our clients in Helotes, TX.  This client had a challenging lot that not only sloped from front to back, but also sloped to the right side of the property.  There are numerous benefits to this type of design that not only include a greater energy efficiency and views from both levels, but have a asthetically pleasing look to the back of the home- not just a quick and dirty 20 foot foundation.  As mentioned in an earlier post, we can put game rooms, bath rooms, garages, and laundry rooms down stairs.

This particular Walk-Out basement foundation was done in 3 pours.  It is important to note that some design only require 2 pours.  The additional pour is because of the nature of the work involved and the water proofing of the vertical wall.  Both the 2 pour foundations and the 3 pour foundations are strategically engineered for the longevity of the structure.  In engineering the foundation, all portions of the sub-floor and height of the framing members have been carefully considered.

At Diamante Custom Homes, we are seeing this type of design becoming increasingly popular in the Texas hill country- utilizing the hilly terrain to its benefit.  If you would like to see how this concept could ultimately work for you give me a call to set up a FREE low pressure consultation or click here to have on of our senior staff get back to you promptly.

Market Strategists Say The Boom is Coming: The Time to Build is Now

diamante home wood framing

Time To Put Those Plans Into Action

Excerpts From JP Morgan Funds Market Insights
By Dr. David Kelly and David Lebovitz
Managing Director
Chief Market Strategist
J.P. Morgan Funds

~ While no one should understate the pain and destruction caused by the bursting of the housing bubble, it has had one undeniable effect: Across a wide range of measures, it has left the United States with its cheapest housing market in decades

~ However, price is only part of the story. Economic malaise, bond market complacency and the active intervention of the Federal Reserve have reduced mortgage rates to their lowest level in modern history…     Read the full article


As the New Year begins this seems to be the most prevalent time that building plans kick into overdrive.  Whether you are scaling down or upgrading, as the article clearly states there has never been a better time to build that new custom home.  To schedule a free no obligation consultation give us a call or click here to have a member of our team get back with you promptly.


The End Of The Game Room?

custom interior game room design

The Great Room Trend

As A sign of the times, custom homes being built today are going without the traditional game room. -San Antonio Express News, Sunday December 18th, 2011


I have been thinking about this a lot lately and my clients are increasingly opting for alternate uses for the room that used to house the pool table and bar.  These changes can be attributed to different things, peoples tastes changing, a sign of the economic times, or a baby boomer generation growing older.

Going without a game room is not necessarily a sign that people are entertaining less, but more of an indicator that custom home-buyers are making more practical decisions about what they want their living space to contain.  Furthermore, whether it is a family with fewer children or retired folks who’s children are grown and gone, we are seeing more and more that the ideal floor plan tends to leave out the game room concept entirely.

Some of our clients at Diamante Custom Homes are basically saying that they do not want or have much use for the media or playroom.  They still want however, the space and even the square footage, even if it is not for the traditional game room layout.  Instead some clients are opting for the full blown home theater room, additional home office area, bigger master area, or an exercise/fitness room that houses aerobic equipment.

Whats more is today’s professionals are working longer hours, or do not have children so they do not need the extra space.  Instead they are opting for the custom home with the same high end amenities and energy efficiency, just in a more scaled down 3000-4000 square foot home.  If you have questions or would like to talk to us about how this new trend or other unique floor plans might work for you give us a call 210-341-6430.  Do you have a challenging lot you need an opinion or floor plan ideas on simply click here and tell us about it.


New vs. Pre-owned: What is The Difference Really?

dusk settles on diamante custom home

French Country

Savvy home shoppers compare brand new custom homes with pre-owned homes. When shopping for your new home, we’d like to help you with important information so that you can make the best decision for you and your family. Lately this has been the hot topic for discussion and I wanted to offer you a few comparisons between a brand new custom home and a pre-owned home.

Here are a few:

Warranties: The biggest purchase you make should not come with risk and worry. With a pre-owned home, do you really know what you are getting?  What if the seller didn’t disclose everything they were supposed to?  Diamante Custom Homes will give you the security of a written warranties, and a team of professionals who are dedicated to your home buying satisfaction. We are here long after your escrow closes. What’s that peace of mind worth to you? How do you like multiple warranties?  How about an energy bill guarantee for life?

Energy Efficiency: A Diamante Custom Home includes many new and improved energy efficiency features and products that most pre-owned homes do not have. For instance, superior insulation, high-quality heating and cooling systems, dual glazed Low-E windows, and water saving fixtures that meet today’s more strict codes will provide comfort for your entire family as well as cost savings for you. If you buy a pre-owned home, you have to live with poor insulation, drafty windows, and an old HVAC system, all of which could need to be repaired or replaced.

Better Design: Do you really want to settle for something that is not quite want you want or that meets some of your needs?  Today’s designs feature wide open floor plans, game or media rooms up, down, or in a walk-out basement, soaring ceilings, kitchen islands and bar tops designed to fit your family’s needs.  When you go custom, you are essentially the designer using our expertise to guide you along.  Let’s design a home exactly the way you want it and then move into it after it is sparkly clean.  Don’t mess with settling on a preowned home and then dealing with all the mess and stress with a remodel- it could end up costing you more in the long run.

If you need more help deciding if a new home is the way to go for you, give us a call 210-341-6430 or click here to have one of our senior partners get back to you shorty.

Diamante Italy inspires Diamante Custom Homes

diamante Italy

Diamante, Italy

Diamante is a coastal town  in the province of Cosenza, located in a region of southern Italy.  Most of the residences in Diamante, Italy have the feel of Mediterranean Revival Architecture.  This style of architecture first became popular in Florida and California in the late 1920’s and 1930’s.  After 50 plus years this style is still flourishing.  It was not until the mid-1980’s and early 1990’s when this style of architecture started taking off in San Antonio, TX.

Late in 2004 we had the idea of showcasing a home in the GSABA Parade of Homes that would incorporate this type of influence.  So we planned a trip to Italy.  Here we learned what was in style and what was out of style according to the Italians.  We had a chance to speak to the locals and learn Italian techniques & building materials.  In 2006, we had a chance to build what we learned in Italy in the GSABA Parade of Homes in Anaqua Springs Ranch located in Boerne, TX.  See pictures here

Mediterranean Revival is characterized generally by stuccoed wall surfaces, flat or low-pitched terra cotta and tile roofs, arches, scrolled or tile-capped parapet walls and articulated door surrounds.  To this day and ever since 1992 when we opened our doors, we have had a knack for building the classic Mediterranean Revival style of architecture.  Since then Diamante Custom Homes had been synonymous with Fine Luxury Homes and our unique Design/Build Process.  Give us a call to schedule an appointment to see if this style or another style of architecture fits you better.


How Much Energy Could You Save?

energy saving insulation

Energy Saving System- Diamante Custom Homes

We are the only custom home builder, that I know of, that can give an energy guarantee for the kind of energy performance predictions we make.

Every new home buyer wants to be confident that their home will perform to the highest energy efficient standards possible, but most settle for whatever their builder gives them. It’s what you don’t see behind the drywall and siding that makes an enormous difference and determines whether you get a tight, energy efficient structure or one that loses far too much of your expensive heating and cooling dollars.  Every Diamante Custom Home is 100% Energy Star Certified.

If you follow our proprietary process, you’ll experience dramatic savings. You’ll quickly realize a payback on the nominal investment, and the savings will continue on as long as you own your home. We have successfully designed many residential homes and commercial structures over the years. You can rely on us to deliver maximum results every time.  This is just one of the many reasons why we are Different By Design!

Whats more, we will provide you an accurate Cost Benefit analysis of different types of insulation – allowing you to make an informed decision about which insulation type best suits your needs to save you money now and in the future!  For more information about our energy efficiency guarantee give one of our senior partners a call today at 210-341-6430 or do you have limited time today, have one of us get back with you promptly click here.

Can I Start To Build My New Custom Home Even Though I Am Out Of Town?

custom complex framing by diamante custom homes

Weekly Framing Photos

The short answer is yes!  At Diamante Custom Homes we build homes for all kinds of clients everyday.  We also build for out of town clients and even out of country clients.  If you have been thinking about doing this, but would like to know how it is possible, keep reading.

I just finished a design meeting with a client via Gotomeeting. This particular client currently lives out west.  They had always planned to build their dream home in San Antonio, TX upon retiring from the military.  These clients have about a year left before moving back to San Antonio and we are just about wrapped up with the Design Stage- before heading into construction.

These weekly meetings can be simulated just as if we were sitting in the same room.  We accomplish this by using over the web applications, for example,  Gotomeeting and Skype video conferencing.  Here we can discuss revisions and even conceptual changes face to face and see real time pencil strokes.

Additionally, at Diamante Custom Homes we make weekly construction pictures and videos available to see wherever you have internet access.  Whats more, is we also have the technology to build your home on the computer and show you how your new home will look inside and out in 3D.  You can see all of this as well as any updates, paperwork and design selections in one secure place on your smartphone, ipad, or anywhere you have internet access!

Finally, rest assured that your home will be properly managed by myself and my Superintendent- degreed in Construction Management.  You do not have to worry, we do not let the subcontractors run your project.  We manage the project and ultimately hold our subcontractors accountable.  If this sounds like your situation or if you would like to hear more about our process give us a call and speak with one of our senior staff or click here.

Are Your New Custom Home Plans Coming in Over Budget? How Do You Really Know?

diamante homes custom master bedroomAre you going over budget while designing your current new home’s blueprints?  The truth is how do you really know?  Let’s face it designers know how to draw plans- they are experts at doing this.  After all, designers are trained and skilled at designing and creating what they are asked to create.  Homeowners who do not have a good handle on pricing will tell the designer what they want and the designer will only do what he was retained to do.  Now do not get me wrong I’m not blaming designers for not knowing about estimating accurate costs- it’s not their area of expertise.

This can be very daunting especially if you are on a tight budget.  Everyone has a budget!  What is your budget $500,000 or is it $1 million?  This is a very exciting time in your lives and this may be the single largest investment you undertake.  All too often we talk to clients who’s dreams are shattered.   They had a dream to build their custom home, met with a designer, told him exactly what they wanted, and now all they have to show for the thousands of dollars spent and months of design time are plans that have grown too big or too expensive.

So what now?  You do not want to give up your dream and are willing to do anything to bring your dream to fruition.  You will invest even more time sending your plans to a variety of different home builders with the hopes that one of them will give you a break.  This can create desperation and frustration about the home building process.  The next step for you at this point for example, is to settle for materials and finishes that you did not want or worst case scenario change the design altogether and start all over.

At Diamante Custom Homes, we realize that this scenario happens everyday.  Whats more is that you end up picking the wrong builder based solely on the low bid, maybe even the handyman builder that works out of his truck.  Do not let this happen to you.  Invest an hour out of your day to come in a visit with us about our Design/Build process.  We design your dream home based on the budget you set and accurately cost the project out with every pencil stroke of the design.  Additionally, ask us to speak with a past client who has been through the Design/Build process.