Owning a custom-built home may sound like a dream come true, but for many, the road to owning that home can turn out to be a hugely overwhelming project. Some people find it hard enough picking out paint colors. Imagine initiating the home design, choosing every detail and then overseeing the construction – including plumbing and electrical work – that in many cases takes up to a year to complete. This is where Red Door Homes of Bismarck has found a niche. 

The custom portfolio homebuilder, specializing in scattered site construction, offers what the company refers to as a “customizable plan portfolio, maximizing [its] clients’ investment while minimizing the stresses commonly found when building a custom home.” Customers are offered floor plans from a portfolio, which includes model homes, and are able to choose their own paint colors and change aspects in the design.

For Colin Chorneyko, owner, describing the work of Munro Homes is simple. “Basically, we build high-quality custom homes and pride ourselves on excellent customer service,” he explains.

Munro Homes is a 2013 finalist for the Canadian Home Builders Association’s (CHBA) SAM award for Best Single Detached Custom Home of fewer than 2,500 square feet. 

The nominated home is remarkable since it was designed for a homeowner who has limited mobility as he is suffering from a degenerative blood disease. The accessible home was life changing when he thought his only option might have been assisted living.

“We showed him what we could do for him, and we are grateful he chose to build his dream home with us,” Chorneyko says. 

For decades, developers have built and marketed communities in Naples, Fla., that offer amenities such as golf course views and country club memberships. Minto Communities’ latest venture in the region will offer a different kind of experience to southwest Florida homeowners while not sparing the beauty and luxury Naples communities are known for.

The developer in January 2013 commenced site work on the more than $68 million Isles of Collier Preserve, a 2,400-acre community located on property it purchased in late 2012 from prominent Florida developer and landowner Collier Enterprises. The community is the newest venture on the state’s west coast from Minto Communities, a company that started operations in Florida’s southeast region in 1978.

While other construction companies were reeling from the sting of the recent housing downturn, LifeStyle Homes used that time to find its niche market in building high-performance, energy-efficient homes.

It’s a gamble that paid off for the Brevard County, Fla.-based builder. Having cut its teeth building homes on Florida’s east coast, the firm is celebrating its 30th year in business, as well as enjoying healthy expansion into central and southern Florida markets.

“Our company pulled one third of the total building permits in Brevard County  in 2013,” boasts CEO Jordan Luhn. “We’ve earned a reputation as a quality homebuilder that not only does what’s right for the customer, but also what’s right for the environment.”

Kopper Creek Building LLC constructs modular and system-built homes, but is not confined to a warehouse to build nor does the company provide a certain number of models to choose from. Rather, the company prides itself on getting involved with homebuyers to determine how the home should be built to fit their lifestyle and once determined, builds on-site.

KC and Cayttie Heister founded Kopper Creek in 2003 and operated from Montrose, Colo., until 2010 when the pair opened its new headquarters in Minot, N.D. “We mix the system-built homes with traditional, on-site construction and that’s where we found our niche,” KC Heister says. Constructing system-built homes has always been in Heister’s life. In 1982, he started working in a system-built home environment in Denver where he worked on several different phases of building single and multifamily structures. 

JDS Development Group broke the record for the sale of the most expensive condominium in Manhattan last fall when its Walker Tower penthouse sold for just under its asking price of $55 million.

The New York, N.Y.- based company is a real estate development company formed by Michael Stern for the purchase and development of luxury residential real estate. Over the last several years, JDS Development Group has developed and constructed more than 4 million square feet of property in New York and Miami. “JDS is a fully integrated development and construction company,” Managing Partner Michael Stern says. “What sets us apart is the fact that we self-perform all of our work without the use of a third party construction manager and maintain a team of in-house design and construction personnel to streamline the entire process.”

At this point in their homebuilding careers, the Grabens have seen it all – every style and every size of home clients want. And yet, the husband-and-wife duo of Nathan and Heidi Graben are able to deliver custom-built homes that each has its own unique feel. 

“We’ve been in this business since 1983,” says Nathan Graben. “So we’ve built every type of home. We’ve built homes using different types of foundations and different types of construction. We are not rigid on doing any types of homes.”

Graben Construction Inc. officially launched in 1983, but Nathan Graben has been in the building business since he was a young boy, following after the footsteps of his great grandfather. Heidi Graben, with her knack for custom and luxury interiors and exterior details, complements her husband’s architectural and construction training. 

Building high-quality homes is front and center in Far West Industries’ operations. “We are not about having the lower building price per square foot,” says Scott Lissoy, president and co-owner of the Santa Ana, Calif.-based company. “Our homes are built in a way that is cognizant of our costs while focusing on quality materials and construction.”

The company foregoes many of the marketing-related bells and whistles of home selling such as large, well-appointed sales trailers or ornately-detailed sales offices, concentrating instead on acquiring and installing top-of-the-line finishes and materials in the model and production homes. “We’re more interested in spending money on permanent features in the homes than building temporary facilities on a construction site that you eventually remove,” he adds. “We won’t spend $40,000 on finished carpentry for a sales office that we know will just be ripped out in the end. That $40,000 is better spent on the level of the standard features of a Far West home.”

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