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All About Our Signature Style, “Rustic Elegance”

Throughout the years, we have seen the popularity of many different home styles, from the classic architectural styles studied in college to the modern takes on some of those styles like &ld…

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Increase Your Home Value with a Kitchen Upgrade

The kitchen is the heart of the home. For many families, it’s where a lot of quality time is spent! Having a kitchen that is updated, spacious and welcoming can also greatly increase the home value – and should be a top priority for any homeowner. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about a kitchen upgrade.

1. What’s It Going To Cost?

The kitchen is one of the most important aspects to potential home buyers, but a full kitchen renovation typically costs anywhere between $5,000-$150,000. Be prepared to budget – and hire a builder that will deliver the biggest bang for your buck.

2. How Can I Save Money?

Brand new appliances will take up most of your budget. However, you can save big by reusing some of the things you already own. Paint your current cabinets instead of buying new ones. Keep your plumbing in the same spot. And don’t forget to check for any good deals at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore (or other discounted/resale stores) in your area.

3. What’s the Payback?

It all depends on how much you put in. In Texas, the average return on investment for a major kitchen remodel is 59%. If you spend $30,000, you could hypothetically expect an increase of $18,000 in your home’s value. Keep in mind there is no guaranteed standard of increase in home value for kitchen remodels. To get a far more accurate estimate on your home, we recommend scheduling a free interview with one of our expert builders.

Whether you’re renovating your kitchen to sell or you want to re-do it for yourself, G.J. Gardner Homes has got you covered. Contact us for more information on how you can achieve your dream kitchen.

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4 Major Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling Your Home

When remodeling a home, there are countless details, information, decisions, and processes. Very often, they become overwhelming …

“Did I choose the right tile? Should I call the plumber or the electrician first? The tile guy wants to start tomorrow … Do we have tile yet? When do I call the painter? Are we on track with budget? When will this be done? Was this even worth the hassle?

These are just some of the questions that come to mind with remodeling clients. Luckily, your home remodel doesn’t have to be so stressful.

Here are some mistakes to avoid so you can remodel your home without the unnecessary hassle.

Mistake #1: Hiring the wrong contractor.

The contractor and team you hire will be the one to answer (or help answer) all your questions. Make sure that the contractor is not only capable and reliable but also trustworthy.

Remember, this is the person making decisions about who will be in and out of your house over the course of a couple months. Can you have an honest, frank conversation with this person? Are they able to be honest and frank with you? If you choose the wrong team, the difficult times lie ahead.

Mistake #2: Fuzzy Math and unreliable budget information.

Many consumers rely on 3rd party lead generation sites to set their budget. These companies have figured out people frequently search for “cost to remodel a kitchen” or something similar. However, they are not qualified to answer this question, nor do they know the details of design or the details of your kitchen. They just want to sell a lead to 3-5 different contractors.

Discuss your budget openly with your contractor and hold back 20% of what you are willing to spend for contingencies. Don’t trust a website to answer this question. It wastes your time and your contractor’s time to stand in your home and dream up a $65k kitchen when you only have $40k to spend.

Mistake # 3: Rushing the process and a lack of efficiency.

Time is a funny thing. Most contractors will tell you that time kills deals. I believe that is true, but I also believe that the deal that gets killed over time was never meant to be. Contractors take as much time as necessary in design and planning for good reason. Once the job starts, decisions made in haste can have a negative impact both in time, money, form and function. That is exactly why we try to make all our selections upfront. This also allows us to provide a fixed-price proposal and consider alternatives along the way.

Taking time in the design process to think through all the options before the demo starts makes for better job planning. With that sort of planning, we can order materials and have them on hand or have plenty of lead time to make changes if something is no longer available. This sort of job planning allows us to be very specific with trade partners so that scheduling is easier and they know what to expect when they arrive on-site.

Mistake #4: Caring too much about the payoff.

The Cost vs. Value Report is published annually by Remodeling Magazine. Follow the link to check out how different remodeling jobs contribute to resale value:

I used to ask every client “do you care about resale value?”. Many times, the answer was no. Everyone has different reasons for remodeling, and among them is the payoff. The question then becomes whether the payoff worth your time, money, and the upheaval of remodeling.

Unfortunately, I have been witness to marital issues and family problems stemming from what one person thinks is important and life-changing, but the other doesn’t even see the relevance. Consider the payoff not only in terms of financial cost vs. value but also cost vs. value in the quality of life for all those involved both during and after the job is done.

There are many lessons to learn from the 1980’s movie classic The Money Pit. We have already covered a few of those lessons above, hiring the right contractor, poor budgeting, inefficient processes and systems, rushing into a bad deal. The job turned out great, and Hollywood rescued us with a happy ending, but at what cost? Hollywood won’t be there to bail you out, so plan to avoid these mistakes!

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Home Design Series: What is French Country Architecture?

French country homes provide a sense of warmth and belonging to their owners. With soft lines and stonework encasing the exterior, and wooden beams, plaster walls and stone floors lining the…

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8 Keys to a Successful Remodeling Project

1. Defining a Successful Remodeling Project

Remodeling projects are like a complex equation with many variables and compounding values. There are many moving parts to a remodeling job, and much like a math equation, one wrong move can cause a massive problem. Just as every job is different, so is every customer, so success can be defined in different ways.

Here is how we define success at Carson Custom Homes:
A successful remodeling project executes the intended design in a manner that pleases the client by providing high-quality work and outstanding customer service – leaving the client with a great experience.

In fact, this could be the first indication that a contractor is not a good fit for you. Ask how they define success and make sure it aligns with YOUR definition of success.

The following 7 items are what we consider to be the keys to executing a successful remodeling project.

2. Hiring the Right Business

Finding the right contractor is one of the most crucial parts of the equation. The person you hire should be the person you trust the most to execute your project and permit people into your home. Remember, you are hiring a business, not a person, so the person you are making a connection with may not be the person in your home. Ask to meet the person who will run the project before it begins. Open communication with your contractor is vital to establishing trust.

Here are some questions you should ask your contractor before the project begins:

  1. Who will be on-site?
  2. How often they will be on-site?
  3. Is there a lead carpenter or superintendent?
  4. What hours do they usually work?
  5. Are they flexible if the hours don’t fit your lifestyle?

3. Systems and Processes

From sales to warranty work, the business you hire should have multiple systems and processes in place in order to keep your job on track. Ask about them. We are a fan of checklists and we use project management software to keep you updated through an app on your phone. Our checklists are proprietary, but we will let you see one or two just to demonstrate how they work. We also set a weekly update meeting to keep you in the loop at all times.

4. A Clear Plan, With a Clear Scope of Work

Clarity is always a good thing… from contracts to plans, to scope and specifications. A clear scope of work in the contract goes hand in hand with a clear plan to be executed. The more precise your contractor is with writing specifications and scope of work, the more successful the project will be in regards to many of the items below.

5. Finishing on Time

Limiting downtime goes a long way in providing a great experience. Nobody likes to come home to a job that is at a standstill because nobody told the plumber when to come in. We use a 3 week “look ahead” in order to keep things efficient and communicate with our subs. Our goal is to hit our timeline every time.

We also update our scheduling and keep a job log on the app that you can access anytime. Another component of limiting downtime is making selections and pre-ordering materials. This can only happen if selections are made before the job has even started.

6. Finishing on Budget

Finishing on budget goes a long way toward leaving the client with a great experience. We track budgets through an app so all your budget info is right there at your fingertips, including changes and selections and a breakdown of how those affect the numbers. Being transparent about budget updates and changes is vital for our customer satisfaction.

7. Limiting Change Orders

Obviously, change orders will have an effect on the project’s timeline and cost. While some change orders decrease spend, we usually see costs increase. We ask you during the discovery/design phase to think in terms of no change orders. To prevent change orders, we show you views of the room in our design software so you can get a feel for what a “column would look like in that location” or “how a window would add more light,” etc.

The dirty little secret about change orders is that subcontractors will use those changes in order to “make up for the great deal” they gave you when things didn’t work out. We have worked with most of our subcontractors for years and don’t offer bidding opportunities to contractors who do that. We have noticed that change orders always seem to be a point of contention, and in our pursuit of providing great service, we do everything we can to avoid them by asking you to think through all those decisions before we start including selections, plans, and so on.

8. A Clean Job Site

Last but not least, a clean, well-protected job site will make all the difference in how you feel about the project when you get home. Nobody wants to come home from work to a place covered in dust and debris. These are our standards for a clean job site:

  1. Finished materials should be covered and protected.
  2. Clean up should occur daily.
  3. The dumpster should be closed and all debris, demolished materials and personal trash should be properly disposed of.
  4. Paint cans, wash buckets and rags should be properly stored.
  5. Materials on hand should be neat and organized.
  6. The floor should be swept daily.
  7. Barriers should be used to keep dust out of the rest of the house and air scrubbers should be employed as necessary.

When you’re selecting a contractor for your remodeling project, it’s important to find a contractor whose vision for success aligns with yours. For reliable hill country contractors, contact G.J Gardner Homes.

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Home Design Series: What is Hacienda House Architecture?

Hacienda architecture is becoming more popular in the United States, branching out from the west coast. This style of home holds many unique characteristics that developed during the early c…

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Why You Should Invest in Energy-Efficient Architectural Design

More so now than ever it is important that we focus on energy efficiency and sustainability in as many aspects of our lives as possible. Eco-friendly construction design focuses on reducing…

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What is Farmhouse Architecture?

Let’s talk about an architectural design that is sweeping the south. We want to give you the history, style characteristics and much more that define farmhouse design.

History of t…

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What is Ranch House Architecture?

A ranch-style home can be easy to spot. This type of home design comes equipped with a long history and specific design elements that make it what it is.

With the first boom of ranch…

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The Best Time of Year to Build a House in Texas

You’re ready to make a move – your house is getting too cramped, and the grass seems so much greener on the other side of the city. You may be antsy to get started on building your n…

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Attractive Energy-Efficient Upgrades For Your New Home

Bringing energy efficiency into your home is always in style, but the energy-saving fixtures can be stylish, too. Here are some of the most common energy-efficient upgrades that won’t take…

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Designing Your Hill Country Kitchen

Designing Your Hill Country Kitchen

Designing the perfect kitchen in your home can be tough. From picking out flooring, countertops and accent pieces, there can be a lot of options to choose fr…

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Classic Design Elements For a Timeless Home

Classic Design Elements for a Timeless Home

It seems as though we are always trying to keep up with the latest trend or fad. This can be difficult (and expensive) when it comes to updating your…

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In a market where tract-building dominates, G.J. Gardner will build you a ranch on an acre in Perry Park from the $500s

Builder Scott Moberg shows off Inca Ridge, a newly opened tier of home sites west of Larkspur in Douglas County.

By Mark Samuelson

New single-family ranch plans are hard to find in t…

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In a small enclave in Applewood, everybody wants a ranch, and likes the custom-personalization of G.J. Gardner Homes

by Mark Samuelson

As G.J. Gardner Homes' chosen builder for all of Jefferson County, Bob Shearer custom-builds in the foothills as well as urban situations - but the plac…

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In Northern Colorado, with lots of places to build custom, G.J. Gardner's Bill Stenberg offers creativity and economy

Courtesy of Mark Samuelson

With Colorado's economy running at a faster clip, no place shows wider horizons for custom building now than Northern Colorado - plenty of buye…

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A hot restaurant scene in Denver's Berkeley neighborhood: G.J. Gardner can put you within a block of Tennyson Street

by Mark Samuelson

Builder Dave Pagano with G.J. Gardner Homes Denver hears the story again and again from buyers who discover his contemporary urban duplexes surrounding the burgeonin…

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Custom builder G.J. Gardner launches a gated enclave of ranch patio homes at Buffalo Run Golf Course from $290s

by Mark Samuelson Custom builder Bill Anner loves the wide-open home sites in Adams County around Brighton (he's done 14 customs there this year), but today he's moving into…

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G.J. Gardner Homes announce new range of space smart houses

G.J. Gardner Homes is proud to introduce its new Space Smart homes, a range of houses that have been specifically designed to optimise space within relatively confined building sections.

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Having it your way: New builder widens the playing field for buyers wanting more locations, more choices

Courtesy of Mark Samuelson Denver Post Who are the dozen largest-volume homebuilders in Denver? You're familiar with every brand on that list, except for the very last: G…

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Enclaves of 5-acres home sites are surprisingly close, shown by two G.J. Gardner ranch models in Elbert County

Courtesy of Mark Samuelson Denver Post In rolling countryside of Elbert County, out beyond the dye-cut subdivisions of city-sized lots where most builders show their stuff, l…

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In a pine-shrouded enclave south of Castle Rock, G.J. Gardner cuts down the price of custom building

Courtesy of Mark Samuelson Denver Post As homes in Colorado show some solid appreciation, builders Bob and Nick Nettleton will show you a custom ranch today in a piney…

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Custom builders are seeing rapid sales in Front Range neighborhoods that the bigger builders won't touch

Not everybody wants a house designed by a national big-name builder - and for living proof you can visit some fast-selling models today in two neighborhoods that big builders won't go near; one in…

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G.J Gardner Homes Named Top Franchise for Veterans

Sacramento, Calif. (October 30, 2013) – G.J. Gardner Homes has been named one of the top 100 franchises for veterans by the Franchise Business Review (FBR). The FBR will release their Vete…

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G.J. Gardner Homes to Develop Ocean View Properties in San Clemente, CA

San Clemente, Calif. (June 12, 2013) -- One of California’s largest custom home builders, G.J. Gardner Homes, has announced it will be developing nine properties with views of the Pacific…

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Identifying the leader, understanding the group and implementing change

As the CEO of a large franchise, I am constantly making changes and implementing new procedures to my franchise system that can affect more than 110 franchisees around the world.…

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G.J. Gardner Homes and Homes For Our Troops Partner Up To Provide New Home for Severely Wounded Soldier and Family

UPDATE: Photos from Key Presentation. Click Here.

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GJ Gardner Homes unveil state's first WaterSense home in Colorado Springs

At a recognition event today, the U.S. EPA, Colorado Springs Utilities and the Colorado Water Conservation Board recognized Gold Hill Mesa builder GJ Gardner Northgate…

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Colorado Springs' Green Parade home powered with solar

Amanda H. Miller

A new 3,900-square foot home in Colorado Springs combines the beauty of old-world design with energy efficiency and clean, affordable solar power.

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Program helps veteran by giving a mortgage-free home: Homes for Our Troops will get a home built with wheelchair access.

By Barbara Anderson

Justin Bond lost a leg from injuries in an ambush in Iraq nearly seven years ago, but that hasn't kept him from moving forward with his life –…

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Worldwide Home Builder Offers Executive Custom Home Design to Elk Grove Professionals

(Courtesy of Elk Grove Economic Development Corp)

Professionals locating to Elk Grove really can have it all! In addition to award-winning schools, world-class cultu…

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G.J. Gardner moves to Net-Zero Homes

Wild Pointe Ranch in the Denver bedroom community of Elizabeth will be one of the largest energy conscious communities in the country when complete, as well as the first in the American market t…

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G.J. Gardner Homes Northgate sets the scene in the Colorado Springs Parade of Homes

Sports Lover’s Paradise

By Krissy Rushing

What began as a show home for the 2010 Parade of Homes in Colorado Springs, Co., quickly became the crown jewel of this abode. As…

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Elk Grove opens a G.J. Gardner Homes Franchise

A developer saw a housing turnaround and decided to open up an office in Elk Grove.

G.J. Gardner, a major global homebuilder, chose Elk Grove to open a new office in a city that has b…

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G.J. Gardner Homes Wins Franchise Business Review Award

North American custom home builder G.J. Gardner Homes has announced that it was awarded second place by Franchise Business Review (FBR) in the "under 50 units" category. FBR is a natio…

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Aussie-Based Franchisor Maps Out Expansion Plans for U.S.

By John Caufield (BUILDER 2011)

By the end of 2011, G.J. Gardner Homes, a franchised custom home builder with offices aro…

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G.J. Gardner Homes Falcon Making The News - and Bringing The News!

G.J. Gardner Honmes Falcon owner Dennis Weets has been invited to be a guest columnist in the Colorado Springs Gazette! Well done Dennis! YOu can read his column here -

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G.J. Gardner Homes Easing the Burden for First Home Buyers

G.J. Gardner Homes Colorado has set about making things much easier for first home buyers by temaing up with the 'The Group Inc' - a major residential and commercail building group.

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First Home buyers lap up Homebuyers Tax Credit

G.J Gardner Homes Loveland has found the Homebuyers Tax Credit has people coming back a second time to re-investigsate building a new home.

For the full story - click here -

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G.J. Gardner Homes joins Fix Housing First

G.J. Gardner Homes, an international homebuilding company with a franchise office in Fort Collins, recently joined the Fix Housing First coalition. The coalition supports a housing recovery plan…

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New Custom-home Builder Remains Optimistic

The real estate market has imploded, causing local home prices to plunge.

But Kingsburg resident Mona Kreiter isn't discouraged about her custom-home building business. Although s…

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G.J. Gardner Homes Partners with Belmont Ridge



LOVELAND, CO -- G.J. Gardner Homes…

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Auburn California now G.J. Gardner Homes Territory!

G.J. Gardner Homes offers new custom home options for Auburn

The latest Northern California franchise of G.J. Gardner Homes celebrated its grand opening at 660 Auburn Folsom Ro…

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G.J. Gardner Homes opens in Folsom, California.

G.J. Gardner Homes opens new showroom in Folsom

Bender Builders, Inc. d.b.a. G.J. Gardner Homes wishes to announce the establishment of its new showroom located at 6693 Fol…

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G.J. Gardner Homes California on Air!

Recently, Greg Dettwiler and some of the G.J. Gardner Homes California team featured on the Valley Life program on KMPH Fox 26 channel to spread the news on what G.J. Gardner Homes offers new ho…

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Now's the Time to Build in California!

Recently, Greg Dettwlier, the Master Franchisee for G.J. Gardner Homes in California, appeared on the Central Valleys News Station, on a show called 'The Today Show', hosted by Alex Delg…

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