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.
Time To Put Those Plans Into Action
Excerpts From JP Morgan Funds Market Insights
By Dr. David Kelly and David Lebovitz
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.
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
The Great Room Trend
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Do you feel like you are talking to a brick wall? What do you do and where do you turn once frustration sets in even before you start the building process? Most often than not, we find that many people get frustrated at the early stages of the building process. This can happen after plans have been drawn or while they are being drawn. In some cases we find that the client ends up walking away with plans that have either grown too big and exceed the target budget or the client gets frustrated with the process and decides to buy a resale home after wasting months of precious time.
At Diamante Custom Homes, we design your plans around your budget and with your vision in mind from the start. We truly understand your vision and because we will be by your side through every pencil stroke of the design, we know exactly what it will take to build your home and more importantly- how much it will cost. We take everything into consideration from ‘what does the land tell us to do?’ to ‘how much the materials will cost!’
We have refined the Design/Build process for the better part of 20 years. It is designed to save you time and money as you go through the design process. If you are at the point of frustration and feel like your design is going nowhere, give us a call to set up a hassle free appointment or click here. We will take the time to listen to your wants and needs and design a home that fits you and not the designer’s version of you.
There are a ton of questions that you should ask your builder before embarking on a new home building project. Now unless the process is something you have gone through before, or if you have worked in the industry, you might feel clueless when confronting everything that accompanies the process. The easiest way to understand what you need to know is to ask these questions of the home builder you have in mind.
On the other hand and perhaps more importantly, how do you know if the potential home builder is right for you and your investment? Over the years we have compiled some very important information and we have outlined a series of questions that you must ask your builder. Be sure to get educated about the process your builder uses before going any further.
Diamante Custom Homes has been serving the Greater San Antonio Area for over 20 years and we would be delighted to send you your own personal report of these “Must Ask” questions. You may just find out what your builder DOES NOT want you to know! Feel free to give us a call at 210-341-6430 and we will promptly send you this report or simply click here.