Libby Hernandez

5 Myths About Custom Homes

A partially constructed home against a blue sky backdrop

Building a custom home is a dream that some individuals and families feel is out of reach. The opportunity to design a living space that perfectly suits your lifestyle and preferences. Although attractive to most people, assumptions surrounding certain aspects make it hard to choose custom.

several misconceptions surround the process of building a custom home that often scare potential homeowners from choosing this option. In this blog, we will debunk the five myths about custom homes. We aim to give you valuable expert advice so you make informed decisions on your custom home construction project.

1: Building a Custom Home is More Expensive than Buying an Existing Home

A common misconception when it comes to custom home building is that it’s more expensive than buying an existing home. While it is true that building a custom home involves upfront costs, it is important to consider the long-term benefits.

Custom homes are built with energy-efficient materials and modern construction techniques. Which can result in lower utility bills and maintenance costs in the long run. Additionally, customizing the design and choosing the materials allows you to control the budget. This means you choose what is most important in your home design.

2: Building a Custom Home is a Lengthy and Complicated Process

Another custom home-buying myth is that the process is excessively lengthy and complicated. B When you build a custom home planning will be very important. This is why we suggest most people work with a great builder and architect to make the process easier.

As soon as you decide to build you should have a professional walking you through the process. They will assist you with keeping the build process efficient and on time.

With proper planning and communication, the construction of a custom home can be a smooth and enjoyable experience.

3: Custom Homes Lack Resale Value

Some individuals believe that custom homes have limited resale value due to their unique designs and features.

However, this is a misconception. Custom homes are highly desirable in the real estate market, as they are often built with high-quality materials and tailored to meet the needs of the homeowner.

A well-designed custom home can attract potential buyers who appreciate the attention to detail and unique elements. Additionally, custom homes tend to age well, as they are built with modern construction standards and are often equipped with the latest technologies and energy-efficient features.

4: Custom Homes are Only for the Wealthy

It is easy to assume that building a custom home is only a luxury for the wealthy. There are certainly high-end custom homes, and the cost of building a custom home can be tailored to fit various budgets.

By working closely with your architect and builders, you can prioritize your needs and allocate your budget accordingly. Moreover, there are financing options available specifically for custom home construction, allowing more individuals and families to turn their dream homes into a reality.

5: Custom Homes Take Away Flexibility in the Future

A prevalent misconception is that building a custom home limits flexibility in the future. Some worry that they will be stuck with a design that may not suit their changing needs or preferences over time. However, custom homes offer ample flexibility when it comes to future modifications and renovations.

With careful planning and a forward-thinking approach, you can design your custom home to accommodate potential changes or expansions in the future. By incorporating adaptable spaces or leaving room for future additions, you can ensure that your home remains flexible and can evolve as your needs evolve.

Get in Touch

Building a custom home is an exciting and rewarding process, but it is also a route that many homeowners don’t consider due to the myths and misconceptions surrounding it. Contrary to popular belief, custom homes can be a cost-effective option, offer a streamlined construction process, have excellent resale value, accommodate various budgets, and provide flexibility for the future.  

If you’re considering building a custom home and want expert advice throughout the process, contact your local G.J. Gardner Homes store. With their experience in custom home building, they can address any concerns you have surrounding costs and processes.  Stop letting myths and misconceptions hold you back from creating your dream custom home, work with the G.J. Gardner Homes professionals for a successful and fulfilling custom home-building experience today.  

Your Guide to Building a Home in a Gated Community

Living in a gated community offers a unique experience of security, exclusivity, and an enhanced lifestyle. With controlled access and a range of amenities, gated communities have become increasingly popular for those seeking a harmonious and luxurious living environment.

This guide will explore the benefits of living in, and guide you when in building a gated community.

What is a Gated Community?

A gated community is an exclusive residential area that is enclosed and separated by typically a wall or fence and normally has restricted access through gates.

These communities often offer a variety of amenities such as parks, swimming pools, golf courses, and fitness centers, that create a sense of community and higher living. Gated communities are designed to provide residents with a sense of security, privacy, and exclusivity.

The Benefits of Living in a Gated Community

Security: A feeling of safety and security is one of the primary reasons people, especially families, choose to live or build in a gated community. Restricted access and controlled entry points help deter crime and provide residents with peace of mind. 

Exclusivity and Privacy: Gated communities often have a limited number of homes, creating a sense of exclusivity. With restricted access, residents can enjoy a greater degree of privacy and seclusion.  

Amenities and Community Spirit: Gated communities are known for their well-maintained amenities and communal spaces. Residents can enjoy facilities like parks and sports areas, fostering a strong sense of community and creating opportunities for social interactions. 

Enhanced Property Values: Homes within gated communities tend to hold their value well due to their desirable location, amenities and exclusivity. Investing in a home within a gated community is often a sound financial decision.  

An imposing example of a gated community entryway.

Considerations When Building in a Gated Community

Homeowner’s Association (HOA): Gated communities typically have a homeowner’s association that establishes rules and regulations to maintain the community’s standards. Ensure you understand the HOA’s requirements and any associated fees before proceeding with the construction of your home. 

Architectural Guidelines: Gated communities often have specific architectural guidelines to ensure a consistent and aesthetically pleasing environment. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines to ensure your home design meets the community’s requirements. 

Construction Timelines: Building a home within a gated community may involve adhering to certain construction timelines set by the HOA or community management. Understand any restrictions or limitations that may apply and plan your construction process accordingly.  

How to Get into a Gated Community

To build or buy within a gated community, start by researching and identifying communities that meet your criteria, considering factors like location, amenities, and ambiance. Narrow down your options to a few communities that align with your preferences.

Contact a real estate agent specializing in gated communities who can provide valuable insights, guide you through the buying process, and help you find suitable properties. If you’re looking to build in a gated community, seek professional advice. Builders show you how to stay within community guidelines.

Understand that each gated community may have specific requirements for prospective buyers and builders, such as background checks, interviews or financial criteria. Familiarize yourself with the buying and building process and fulfill all necessary obligations to secure your place in the community.

Practical Tips for Building a Home in a Gated Community

Engage Experienced Professionals: Building a home is a complex process, so working with experienced professionals like the custom home builders at G.J. Gardner Homes is crucial. Hire a reputable architect, contractor and interior designer who have prior experience with gated community projects. 

Collaborate with the HOA: Communicate and establish a working relationship with the HOA and involve them in each step of the construction process. Seek input and approval of your home design and ensure compliance with all architectural guidelines to avoid further issues. 

Plan for Security Features: Gated communities already offer a certain level of security but it’s wise to incorporate additional security measures into your home design. Consider smart locks, surveillance systems and alarm systems to enhance your safety. 

Landscape Design and Maintenance: Gated communities often have strict rules regarding landscaping and maintenance. Plan your landscaping design in consultation with the HOA to ensure compliance with their guidelines and to maintain the overall aesthetics of the community. 

Get in Touch

Building a home within a gated community offers a number of benefits, including enhanced security, exclusivity and access to a range of amenities. It is important to consider the homeowner’s association rules, architectural guidelines and construction timelines before embarking on the building process.

The Ultimate Guide To Creating a Luxury Bathroom

How to Create a Modern Bathroom Design

Your bathroom is more than just a functional space— it’s a place to unwind, rejuvenate, and indulge in pure comfort. Today we invite you to explore creating a bathroom retreat that exudes luxury, sophistication, and tranquillity.

we’ll guide you through transforming your bathroom into a haven of indulgence. Seeking a spa-like ambiance, a glamorous retreat, or a minimalist oasis? Our expert tips and advice will help you curate a bathroom experience that transcends the ordinary and elevates your everyday rituals.

Why design a luxury bathroom

When designing your dream home, you should include a luxury bathroom as it elevates your overall living experience. A luxury bathroom provides a private place where you can escape the daily hustle and indulge in moments of comfort and self-care.

It becomes a haven of calmness, offering a spa-like retreat within the comfort of your own home. From elegant fixtures and materials to details like soothing lighting and advanced technology, a luxurious bathroom creates a peaceful atmosphere.

It not only enhances your well-being but also adds value to your property. Design your home with a luxurious bathroom and transform your daily routine into a luxurious escape.

Benefits of Luxurious Bathroom Designs

Luxurious bathroom ideas offer a range of benefits beyond aesthetics, providing many advantages for your well-being and home value. Let’s explore the key benefits of incorporating luxurious bathroom ideas:

  • Relaxation and Stress Relief: A luxurious bathroom creates a serene ambiance, offering a space to unwind, relax, and refresh. It becomes a personal retreat where you can indulge in soothing baths and showers or tranquil moments of solitude. 
  • Enhanced Comfort: Luxurious features like heated floors, spacious showers, deep soaking tubs, and soft ambient lighting elevate your comfort.
  • Increased Property Value: A well-designed and lavish bathroom is a desired feature for potential buyers, making your property more attractive and competitive in the real estate market. 
  • Personalization and Style: Luxurious bathroom ideas allow you to express your unique style and taste.
  • Daily Retreat: Having a luxurious bathroom at your disposal transforms your daily routine into a pampering experience. It becomes a haven where you can start and end your day positively, fostering a sense of well-being and self-care. 

By including these bathroom ideas in your home, you create a stunning and functional space that enhances your lifestyle and elevates your overall living experience.

Luxurious Bathroom Design Ideas

When you design your luxury bathroom, several features and elements can elevate the space and create an indulgent retreat. Consider incorporating the following features:

  • High-quality Materials: Opt for premium materials like marble, granite, or natural stone for countertops, floors, and walls.
  • Spa-like Fixtures: Install features like a rainfall showerhead, a freestanding soaking tub, or a steam shower.
  • Intelligent Lighting: Incorporate ambient lighting options, such as dimmers, LED strips, or backlit mirrors. 
  • Ample Storage: Include well-designed storage solutions like built-in cabinets, floating shelves, or vanity organizers.
  • Smart Technology: Integrate smart features like voice-controlled lighting, temperature control, or Bluetooth speakers for a high-tech and convenient bathroom experience. 
  • Luxurious Textures: Introduce plush towels, soft bath rugs, and luxurious bathrobes to enhance comfort and add a touch of luxury to the space. 
  • Thoughtful Details: Pay attention to the finer details such as decorative hardware, stylish faucets, designer fixtures, and unique accents.

By incorporating these features into your luxurious bathroom design, you can create a space that exudes sophistication, indulgence, and relaxation, transforming your daily routine into a luxurious retreat.

Get in Touch

Designing a luxurious bathroom is an opportunity to create a personal haven of relaxation and indulgence. By incorporating high-quality materials, thoughtful lighting, and stylish fixtures, you can elevate your bathroom to a new level of luxury. If you’re ready to transform your bathroom into a luxury retreat, contact G.J. Gardner Homes today to explore their expertise in creating custom homes with sophistication in every detail. Your dream bathroom awaits, and their team is ready to bring it to life. 

How to be a good host: Creating a Welcoming Home for Guests

Family enjoys a meal together

When hosting your family and friends, there is something special about making others feel comfortable. The warmth of your home can set the tone for their entire experience from as soon as they step through the door.

Here are a few tips and tactics to create an inviting home that leaves a lasting impression. From cozy guest bedrooms to thoughtful touches in common areas.

we’ll guide you in creating hospitality and share insights on how to make your guests feel at home. This is how to be a good host.

Why create an inviting home?

Designing an inviting home goes beyond mere aesthetics – it’s about creating a space that nurtures relationships, fosters connection, and leaves a lasting impression on guests. An inviting home makes sure family, friends, and even strangers feel welcomed, comfortable, and at ease. It sets the stage for memorable gatherings, meaningful conversations, and shared experiences.

By prioritizing an inviting design, you create an environment that encourages relaxation, fosters positive energy, and promotes a sense of belonging. An inviting home positively impacts your well-being, providing a haven where you can recharge, unwind, and find solace.

It reflects your hospitality and generosity, leaving a lasting impression on all who enter. Designing an inviting home is an investment in creating a warm, inviting, and joyful space where relationships can flourish, and memories can be made.

The Power of First Impressions: Creating an Inviting Entryway

The entryway is the gateway to your home, and it sets the tone for your guests’ entire visit. Make a memorable first impression by focusing on creating an inviting entryway. Well-maintained landscaping, a fresh coat of paint on the front door, and warm lighting can elevate your home from the offset. Inside, declutter the space and consider adding a stylish console table or a welcoming bench where guests can take off their shoes.

Don’t forget to incorporate elements of your personality to make sure it feels like you, such as family photos or artwork, to add a touch of warmth and personality.

Crafting Comfort: Designing Cozy and Welcoming Guest Bedrooms

Ensure your guests feel at home by providing them with a comfortable and inviting bedroom retreat. Opt for a neutral color palette, soft bedding, and plush pillows to create a cozy ambiance. Consider adding a bedside lamp, extra blankets, and a seating area to enhance comfort.

Don’t overlook the importance of ample storage space and thoughtful touches like fresh flowers or a basket of essentials. By prioritizing their comfort and needs, you’ll create a haven where guests can relax and recharge.

Warmth in the Details: Thoughtful Touches for Common Areas

Infuse warmth and hospitality into the shared spaces of your home by focusing on the thoughtful details. Arrange comfortable seating areas that encourage conversation and connection, incorporating soft cushions and throws for added comfort. Display books, magazines, or board games to provide entertainment options for your guests. Scented candles or diffusers can fill the air with inviting fragrances, creating a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

Don’t underestimate the power of lighting as well. Warm and inviting lighting, enhanced by your personal touches such as family photos or artwork make the space feel cozy.

Culinary Delights: Nurturing Guests with a Welcoming Kitchen and Dining Space

The heart of any home is the kitchen. Keep your kitchen and dining space welcoming by keeping them clean, organized, and well-stocked. Create an inviting atmosphere with soft lighting, comfortable seating, and a well-dressed dining table.

Always have a variety of refreshments and snacks that cater to different tastes and dietary preferences on hand. You create a warm and inviting environment that fosters connection and cherished memories by nurturing your guests through culinary delights.

Get in Touch

An inviting and welcoming home is an art that brings joy, warmth, and lasting memories. Ready to transform your home into a cherished space? The experienced team at G.J. Gardner Homes is here to help. Contact our local office today and let us guide you in designing a home that embraces the spirit of welcoming

How Much Automation is Too Much Automation in Your Home?

As a major part of our everyday life, automation is the new normal. From smart heating to our voice-controlled assistants, technology has made our homes more convenient and efficient than ever before. Despite all the great benefits of automation, our builders think it’s always important to consider: how much automation is too much?

While automation can streamline tasks and enhance our lifestyles, striking the right balance is crucial. From the potential pitfalls of excessive automation to finding the sweet spot that aligns with our needs and preferences, let’s navigate the world of home automation together.

What is home automation?

Home automation has transformed our living spaces, offering endless opportunities to enhance your convenience, comfort, and efficiency. From simple tasks to complex systems, automation can streamline daily routines and transform our homes into smart, intuitive environments.

Imagine controlling lights, thermostats, and appliances with a voice command or remotely managing security systems and surveillance cameras from your smartphone. Automated blinds, music systems, and smart home assistants are just a few examples of how automation can elevate your living experience.

More importantly, integrating automation with energy-efficient solutions like with smart thermostats and lighting will help reduce utility bills and minimize environmental impact. The possibilities are endless, from creating custom lighting scenes to automating your morning routine.

Automation lets you create a personalized and technologically advanced home that adapts to your needs and enhances your lifestyle.

The Pros and Cons of Home Automation: Finding the Right Balance

An automated home comes with many advantages, from convenience and energy efficiency to improved safety and security. With automated systems controlling lighting, temperature, and security, you can enhance your lifestyle and simplify daily tasks. But we shouldn’t forget the potential downsides of an overreliance on automation.

Over-automation can lead to a loss of personal connection and even an increased vulnerability to cyber threats. Striking the right balance is key – embracing automation where it adds value while preserving the human touch that makes a house a home.

Assessing Your Needs: Determining the Ideal Level of Automation

When considering home automation, it’s crucial to assess your specific needs and lifestyle. What tasks do you want to streamline? Are you seeking convenience, energy savings, or enhanced security?

Understanding your priorities will help determine the ideal level of automation for your home. By focusing on the areas that truly enhance your daily life, you can avoid unnecessary complexities and tailor your automation to suit your unique requirements.

A selection of smart home devices

Maintaining Privacy and Security in an Automated Home

While home automation brings convenience, it also raises concerns about privacy and security. Connected devices and systems can potentially collect personal data or become vulnerable to hacking. It’s important to prioritize privacy safeguards, such as strong passwords, regular software updates, and secure networks.

Additionally, consider the data-sharing policies of automation providers and choose reputable brands that prioritize privacy. By implementing robust security measures and staying informed about potential risks, you can enjoy the benefits of home automation without compromising your privacy.

Striking a Balance: Creating a Home that Combines Automation and Human Touch

Finding the perfect balance between automation and human touch is essential in creating a harmonious home environment. While automation simplifies tasks and enhances convenience, it’s important to preserve the warmth and personal connection that comes from human interaction. Incorporating design elements that reflect your personality, adding personal touches, and maintaining spaces for socializing and quality time with loved ones can counterbalance the technology-driven aspects of an automated home.

By creating a space that seamlessly blends automation with the human touch, you can enjoy the benefits of modern technology while nurturing a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for all who enter.

Get in Touch

The right balance of home automation is crucial in maximizing its benefits while maintaining a sense of human connection and comfort. By carefully assessing your needs, prioritizing privacy and security, and infusing personal touches into your automated home, you can create a harmonious living environment.

Remember, home automation should enhance your lifestyle without overshadowing the importance of human interaction and the unique qualities that make a house truly feel like a home.

So, embark on this journey of automation with a mindful approach, and enjoy the convenience and comfort it brings while preserving the essence of what makes your home special.

Building a Home in a Rural vs an Urban Area

Urban housing aerial shot

When building your dream home, one of the most important factors is location. Usually, we need to decide between a rural or urban area. Each has advantages and drawbacks. You should find a destination that will only enhance your lifestyle and overall satisfaction.

A rural area offers open spaces and a closer connection to nature with less population density and a slower pace of life. On the other hand, urban areas provide a vibrant atmosphere, proximity to amenities, and a bustling community.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of building a custom home in a rural versus an urban area, so you can make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and needs.

What are rural and urban areas?

Rural and urban living in the United States offer distinct lifestyles shaped by factors such as population density, infrastructure, and community dynamics. Rural living can offer more affordable housing options, larger lots, and the opportunity to engage in agriculture or outdoor activities.

On the other hand, urban areas are bustling with energy, cultural diversity, and numerous amenities. You’ll discover a wide range of entertainment, dining, and shopping options, as well as better employment opportunities. Urban living often promotes convenience, connectivity, and a vibrant social scene. However, it’ll be accompanied by higher living costs, increased traffic congestion, and a more fast-paced lifestyle.

Choosing between rural and urban living ultimately depends on individual preferences, priorities, and desired lifestyle factors.

Population Density and Lifestyle: Differences in Rural and Urban Living

In rural areas, you can enjoy a quieter and slower-paced lifestyle with a closer connection to nature and expansive open spaces. Urban areas instead tend to offer a fast-paced and dynamic lifestyle with a diverse population and an array of cultural experiences.

Rural Areas:

  • Lower population density, providing a sense of privacy and tranquillity. 
  • Opportunity for larger property sizes and more spacious homes. 
  • Greater proximity to natural landscapes, including forests, lakes, and mountains. 
  • Limited traffic and congestion, leading to reduced noise pollution. 

Urban Areas:

  • Higher population density, resulting in a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. 
  • Convenient access to a wide range of amenities, such as shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment venues. 
  • Extensive public transportation networks for easy commuting. 
  • A variety of cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities. 

Access to Amenities and Services: Examining the Differences Between Rural and Urban Areas

Rural areas often have limited access to amenities and specialized services, with residents needing to travel longer distances for shopping, medical facilities, and recreational activities. In contrast, urban areas offer a wide range of amenities within proximity like urban shopping centers, restaurants, hospitals, schools, and cinemas.

Rural Areas:

  • Limited access to amenities, with fewer shopping options and specialized services available locally. 
  • Medical facilities, schools, and recreational facilities may require longer travel distances. 
  • Emphasis on self-sufficiency and a do-it-yourself mindset for certain tasks and services. 

Urban Areas:

  • Abundance of amenities and services within proximity, including hospitals, schools, and various recreational facilities.
  • Greater convenience with an array of shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment options nearby.
  • A wide range of professional services is readily available, including lawyers, accountants, and specialized consultants.

Cost of Living and Housing: Comparing Affordability in Rural and Urban Settings

You can expect rural areas to have a lower cost of living compared to urban areas, with affordable housing options and reduced expenses for daily necessities. Urban areas, of course, have a higher cost of living, including elevated housing prices, higher rent or mortgage payments, and increased expenses for daily needs.

Rural Areas:

  • Lower cost of living, including affordable housing options and reduced expenses for daily necessities.
  • Potential for larger homes and more land at a lower price compared to urban areas.
  • Lower property taxes and insurance premiums.

Urban Areas:

  • Higher cost of living, including elevated housing prices and increased expenses for daily necessities.
  • Smaller living spaces and higher rent or mortgage payments.
  • Higher property taxes and insurance premiums.

Community and Social Dynamics: Contrasting Rural Tight-Knit Communities with Urban Vibrant Scenes

Rural areas foster tight-knit communities where residents often know each other, creating a strong sense of belonging and support. In contrast, urban areas offer vibrant social scenes, diverse cultural experiences, and numerous networking opportunities, reflecting a dynamic and multicultural community.

Rural Areas:

  • Strong sense of community with tight-knit relationships and a supportive network.
  • Opportunities for involvement in community events, volunteering, and local organizations.
  • Preserving local traditions and cultural heritage.

Urban Areas:

  • Diverse and multicultural communities with a variety of cultural experiences and perspectives.
  • Vibrant social scenes with an array of entertainment options, nightlife, and cultural events.
  • Networking opportunities and access to a wider range of professional and social connections.

How to decide where to live

The decision of where to start your home is a highly personal choice that depends on your lifestyle preferences, priorities, and individual needs. To find what’s right for you, here’s a few places to start:

  • Evaluate your lifestyle: Reflect on your desired pace of life, social interactions, and proximity to amenities. Are you drawn to the hustle and bustle of city life or the tranquility of rural surroundings?
  • Identify your priorities: Decide what factors matter most to you, such as access to job opportunities, recreational activities, or maybe a strong sense of community.
  • Research and visit different areas: Gather information about both urban and rural areas that interest you to gain that firsthand experience.
  • Consider your plans: Think about your long-term goals, such as career advancement, raising a family, or enjoying a peaceful retirement, and which location will support that.
  • Seek advice and input: Talk to friends, family, or professionals who have experience living in urban or rural areas. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives to help inform your decision.

Remember, there is no definitive right or wrong choice. It’s about finding the environment that aligns with your lifestyle, values, and aspirations for a fulfilling and contented life.

How to Build a Home Resistant to Natural Disasters

Designing and building a home that will house special memories with family and friends for years to come, and adding a few extra steps to ensure it is protected is a worthy investment. A crucial part of building your dream home is considering the potential threats posed by natural disasters that could impact the structure and longevity of your home. Discover our key recommendations for How to Build a Home Resistant to Natural Disasters.

Location, location, location: 

The most important factor to consider when creating a disaster-proof home is where you plan on building. Choosing the right site can significantly reduce the risk and impact of natural disasters. Research the area’s history of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires.  

Where possible, avoid building in flood zones (check out our blog on building in a flood zone), coastal areas prone to storm surges, earthquake-prone regions, or high-risk wildfire zones. Instead, opt for elevated sites that are less vulnerable to flooding or landslides.

Resilient building materials: 

The choice of building materials plays a vital role in constructing a disaster-resistant home. The aesthetic look of your home is important but selecting durable materials that can withstand the forces of nature is more important.  

Recommended materials include reinforced concrete, brick and steel. These all offer better structural integrity and resistance against wind, water and fire damage. Additionally, consider impact-resistant windows and doors, which can tolerate high winds and flying debris during hurricanes and tornadoes.  

Reinforced structural design: 

A well-designed and reinforced structure is key to building a disaster-resistant home. Work with a professional architect or engineer to create a robust design that accounts for potential natural hazards.  

Implement techniques such as reinforced concrete foundations, steel frame construction and proper bracing to enhance the structural integrity of your house. This will ensure that your home can withstand the powerful forces exerted by earthquakes, hurricanes and high winds.  

Waterproofing and drainage systems: 

Water damage is a common consequence of most natural disasters. To mitigate this risk, incorporate effective waterproofing and drainage systems into your home’s design.  

Install a high-quality waterproofing membrane in the foundation and walls to prevent water intrusion during floods or heavy rainfall. Ensure proper grading and slope away from the house to direct water flow away from the foundation. Additionally, consider installing a sump pump system to remove excess water during flooding. 

Wind and storm protection: 

Hurricanes and high winds can cause significant damage to homes. When building a disaster-proof home, it is essential to incorporate wind and storm protection measures.  

Use impact-resistant windows and doors that meet the necessary standards for hurricane zones. Reinforce roof connections to the walls with hurricane straps or clips. Choose a hip or gable roof design that offers better wind resistance compared to a flat roof. Secure outdoor structures such as decks, sheds and carports to prevent them from becoming flying debris. 

Fire-resistant strategies: 

Wildfires pose a severe threat to homes located in fire-prone areas. For a fire-resistant home, non-combustible materials are the safest choice for the exterior, such as metal or fiber cement siding.  

Ensure proper venting and screening to prevent ember entry. Clear vegetation and maintain a defensible space around the house by removing dead plants, leaves and branches. Install fire-resistant windows and exterior doors. Consider using fire-resistant roofing materials such as metal or tile to reduce the risk of ignition.  

Emergency preparedness: 

Even if your home is well built and disaster resistant, it is important to be prepared for any emergency. Develop an emergency plan and educate your family on evacuation procedures, emergency contacts and the location of emergency supplies.  

Install smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers in strategic locations throughout the house. Consider investing in a backup power generator to ensure electricity during power outages. Additionally, create a designated safe room or shelter within your home that can provide protection during severe weather events.  

Insurance and documentation: 

Obtaining comprehensive homeowners’ insurance that covers natural disasters is crucial for protecting your investment. Review your policy and ensure it adequately covers the specific risks in your area. Keep a list of your belongings and important documents safe digitally, making it easier to file insurance claims in the event of damage or loss.  

Regular maintenance and inspections: 

Maintaining a disaster-resistant home requires regular inspections and maintenance. Schedule annual check-ups for your home’s structural integrity, electrical systems, plumbing and roof. Address any identified issues promptly to prevent further damage.  

Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris to ensure proper water drainage. Trim trees and remove dead branches that could pose a risk during storms. Regular maintenance will help ensure your home remains resilient over time. 

Get in touch 

If you’re considering building a custom home and want expert advice throughout the process, contact your local G.J. Gardner Homes location. With our experience in custom home building and commitment to delivering high-quality results, they can help you navigate how to build a home that is resistant to natural disasters. Investing in a home that is resistant to natural disasters will not only protect your property but also ensures the safety and well-being of your loved ones during times of crisis.  

How to Choose the Perfect Floor Plan

Building a custom home is an exciting project, as it allows you to create a space perfectly tailored to your and your family’s needs and preferences. One of the most important decisions you will face in your home-building journey is choosing the right floor plan. The floor plan of your home influences the flow, functionality, and overall aesthetic of the space.  

Many aspects of custom building your home can be daunting, but this blog aims to assist with at least one of these, floor plans! Where do you start the process of choosing the perfect floor plan for your new dream home? This blog will discuss open floor plans, where you can find floor plan inspiration, what a floor plan looks like, and how, with the right help, you can create your floor plan. 

What is a floor plan?

A floor plan is a visual representation of a home’s layout. It showcases the arrangement and dimensions of rooms, doors, windows, and other architectural features. Floor plans provide a bird’s eye view of a property, allowing you to envision how each space connects and flows. They are essential tools for architects, builders, and homeowners, serving as a blueprint for construction and interior design decisions. 

An example floor plan from our G.J. Gardner Homes home designs

Understanding the open floor plan 

When it comes to modern home design, open floor plans have gained immense popularity. An open floor plan eliminates unnecessary walls, creating a seamless flow between spaces. It can be the sole difference between feeling closed-in versus comfortable. This layout allows for better natural light distribution, increased interaction between family members and guests, and a sense of spaciousness.  

If you’re looking at building a family home that encourages togetherness and versatility, consider choosing an open floor plan.  

Finding a floor plan 

Browsing through architectural design books, magazines, or the various home floor plans available on the G.J. Gardner Homes website (check out the inspiration page), is one of the most common methods to find the right floor plan for you. These sources provide various floor plan ideas and inspiration.  

You can also visit display homes or attend home shows to see various floor plans in person (check out G.J. Gardner homes for sale near you). Additionally, there are numerous websites and real estate platforms that offer searchable databases of floor plans, which can be filtered based on your desired specifications. 

Factors to consider

When choosing the perfect floor plan, it’s crucial to consider several key factors. Start by assessing your lifestyle and the needs of your household. Do you require spacious common areas for entertaining or do you value more private, secluded spaces? Consider the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and the desired square footage. Evaluate the flow and ensure it aligns with your preferences and daily activities.  

Additionally, consider your future needs. Will the floor plan accommodate potential family growth or changing mobility requirements? 

Making your floor plan 

If you can’t find an existing floor plan that matches your vision, opt to create your own. Numerous online tools and software applications offer user-friendly interfaces to design floor plans. These tools allow you to experiment with different room layouts, sizes, and configurations. However, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of architectural principles and building codes to ensure your self-made floor plan is structurally sound and meets safety standards.  

Seek professional help 

Building a custom home is a complex process and seeking professional assistance is highly recommended. Architects and designers possess the expertise to understand your requirements and translate them into functional floor plans.  

These professionals can offer valuable insights, creative solutions, and industry knowledge that will help you make informed decisions. Collaborating with professionals ensures that your floor plan is optimized for both aesthetics and functionality.  

Get in touch 

Deciding on the floor plan for your new home is arguably the most important step in the custom home-building process. By understanding the concept of an open floor plan, knowing where to find floor plan inspiration, comprehending what a floor plan entails, and considering important factors, you can make an informed decision.  

Whether you find an existing plan or decide to create your own, you’re not alone, working with the professionals at G.J. Gardner Homes will help you bring your dream home to life. With their experience in custom home building and commitment to delivering high-quality results, they can help you find a floor plan that suits your needs.  

The ideal floor plan caters to your unique lifestyle, preferences, and future needs. It should provide the perfect balance between practicality, aesthetics, and comfort, creating a space where you and your loved ones can make memories for years to come. 

Creating a Home Office Space that Boosts Productivity

Woman sits in home office

By 2023, home offices aren’t just an additional luxury, but a necessity of modern living. In today’s workforce, your home office is likely to get a major workout, as work from home becomes more normalized.  

Your home office should feature a design that can fuel your professional ambitions and ignite your creativity. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, remote worker or a dedicated student, designing a workspace tailored to your needs is essential.  

In this guide, we’ll unlock the secrets to crafting a home office that blends style, functionality and productivity-boosting elements. From ergonomic setups to natural lighting, we’ll show you how to curate an environment that sparks focus, efficiency and joy. Get ready to create a home office that’s a thriving hub of productivity.  

Let’s create a home office space where success and inspiration seamlessly intertwine. 

The importance of a home office

The relationship between our work environment and the quality of work we produce can’t be downplayed. The space in which we work can significantly impact our productivity, focus, and overall satisfaction with our work. A well-designed and thoughtfully organized workspace has the power to inspire creativity, foster concentration, and promote efficiency.

When we work in a clutter-free and organized environment, it becomes easier to locate essential documents, tools, and resources, saving us precious time and minimizing distractions. Natural light, comfortable furniture, and ergonomic setups can enhance our physical well-being, reducing fatigue and promoting better posture.

Moreover, the aesthetics and ambiance of our workspace can have a psychological impact. A visually appealing and inspiring environment can stimulate our imagination, motivation, and overall mood, leading to greater innovation and a higher quality of work.

By consciously crafting a workspace that aligns with our preferences and work style, we create an environment that supports our professional endeavors and cultivates a sense of pride and ownership in our work. Ultimately, when we invest in creating a conducive work environment, we unlock our full potential, producing work of exceptional quality and achieving greater fulfillment in our professional lives.


Prioritizing ergonomic design is crucial for promoting productivity and well-being. Invest in an adjustable desk and chair that support proper posture and allow for comfortable positioning while working.

Consider ergonomic accessories like keyboard trays, monitor stands, and wrist rests to minimize strain on your body. A well-designed ergonomic setup can reduce fatigue, prevent musculoskeletal issues, and enhance focus, enabling you to work efficiently and comfortably for extended periods.

Natural light 

Incorporating ample natural light into your home office can have a significant impact on productivity. Exposure to natural light helps regulate our circadian rhythm, improves mood, and boosts energy levels. Position your desk near a window or incorporate skylights to maximize natural light intake. If natural light is limited, consider using full-spectrum light bulbs that simulate natural daylight, promoting a brighter and more invigorating atmosphere. 

Organisation and storage 

A clutter-free and organized workspace is essential for optimal productivity. Integrate effective storage solutions such as shelves, cabinets, and desk organizers to keep your office supplies, files, and equipment neatly arranged and easily accessible. Implement a filing system, digital or physical, to maintain a structured workflow. By reducing visual and mental clutter, you can minimize distractions, streamline tasks, and maintain a clear focus on your work. 

Get in touch 

A productive home office design is an essential investment in your work-life balance and productivity. By carefully considering the layout, functionality, and aesthetic appeal of your workspace, you can create an environment that’s ready to boost your workday. Get in touch with our friendly team to learn more about our approach to home office designs.  

How To Build a Home For Retirement

Two people enjoy a nice view together

A top priority for most home builders is planning for the future as your family grows and your needs evolve. Building a home that caters to both your current family dynamics and your future retirement needs requires careful consideration and a thoughtful home design.  

From flexible floor plans and multi-functional spaces to accessibility features and future-proofing strategies, we’ll provide you with valuable insights, tips, and expert advice on striking the perfect balance between meeting the needs of your expanding family and creating a space that will support you in the golden years.  

Whether you’re just starting to plan or actively searching for ideas, this guide is your roadmap to creating a home that grows with your family and brings you joy throughout every stage of life. 

Planning for building A retirement home

Planning your retirement home is a wise and proactive step towards ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable future. As you transition into this new phase of life, your needs and priorities will change as well.

Designing a home that accommodates your lifestyle as you age can bring peace of mind and convenience. From incorporating accessibility features such as wider doorways, grab bars, and step-free entrances to designing a single-story layout for easy mobility, thoughtful planning can make a significant difference.

By creating spaces that promote relaxation and self-care, such as a cozy reading nook or a serene garden, you can enhance your overall well-being. Additionally, optimizing storage solutions can simplify daily life and minimize clutter for a more streamlined daily life.

Considerations like these let you craft a haven that supports your retirement dreams and allows you to fully enjoy the next chapter of your life.

Perfect house plan for a retired couples

Finding the perfect house plan for a retired couple involves a careful balance of functionality, comfort, and practicality. Whether you envision a cozy cottage-style home or a spacious contemporary design, the ideal house plan should cater to your specific needs and allow you to enjoy your retirement to the fullest.  

In this curated list, we have handpicked a selection of house plans that offer single-level living, accessible features, low-maintenance design, and versatile spaces for hobbies or hosting loved ones.  

Join us as we explore these thoughtfully designed homes that provide the perfect backdrop for creating cherished memories and embracing the freedom of retired life. 

Jackson 2645 

Lincoln 1371 

Bristol 3208

Floor plans for retirement

When buying a retirement home, there are several key factors to consider so you can make the most of this exciting new chapter. Here are some important aspects to look for: 


Opt for a home with accessible features such as a single-story layout, wide doorways, step-free entrances, and grab bars in bathrooms. This will make it easier to navigate and accommodate any future mobility needs. 

Low Maintenance:  

Building for retirement means reducing work, that’s why we retire in the first place. Choose a property that requires minimal upkeep, both inside and outside. Look for features like durable materials, efficient systems, and low-maintenance landscaping to reduce the time and effort spent on maintenance tasks. 

Proximity to Amenities:  

Consider the proximity to essential amenities like healthcare facilities, shopping centers, recreational areas, and social activities. Easy access to these services will enhance your convenience and overall lifestyle. 

Safety and Security:  

Look for a home in a safe neighborhood with adequate security measures in place. Consider factors like crime rates, lighting, gated communities, and home security systems to ensure your peace of mind. 


Assess the financial aspect carefully. Consider your retirement budget, including ongoing expenses, property taxes, and homeowners’ association fees. Ensure the home aligns with your financial goals and won’t strain your resources. 

Discover more single-story homes today

Single-story homes tend to be the best option for future planning, providing a practical and age-friendly living space that promotes comfort, safety, and a higher quality of life for older individuals. Here are our top single-story home designs.  

Woodlands 2752 

Pinehurst 3400 

Summit 4160