De Young Properties is developing the first zero-energy community in central California.

By Tim O’Connor, Senior Editor, Knighthouse Media

As the homes begin to sprout up in De Young Properties’ newest development in Clovis, Calif., the feature that will surely stand out are the solar panels that will adorn every roof. However, De Young Properties’ green efforts run much deeper. EnVision will be a zero-energy community, a process that begins not with energy production, but energy savings.

“Ninety percent of our time in developing a community such as EnVision is spent designing the energy efficiency of the home first,” Executive Vice President Brandon De Young says. The 36 homes in EnVision will include De Young EnergySmart™ features designed to maximize efficiency and reduce energy waste. The addition of solar panels into the design only came after De Young Properties significantly reduced consumption and determined the likely energy need for the homes.

More than 10 homes are already under construction on the site and the first houses are expected to be completed by the third quarter of this year. “EnVision will not only be central California’s first zero-energy community but it will also be the largest of its kind built in the entire state of California,” De Young says. “We’re proud to lead the charge on that.”


The design of Bauhaus Custom Homes’ projects reflects the climate and neighborhoods in which they are located while also being responsive to clients’ needs.

By Jim Harris, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media 

Bauhaus Custom Homes strives to balance form and function in its innovative custom home designs. “When it comes to the creative side, we try to design something that is appropriate for the neighborhood and the specific site,” Principal Designer/CEO Marc Kleinmann says. The Dallas based design/build firm specializes in building homes in the mid-century modern architecture style that can stand the test of time and reflect the region’s climate while meeting clients’ requests.


TurnKey Builders embraces the Texas landscape when building its clients’ dream homes.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

The great recession of 2008 began with the collapse of the $8 trillion housing industry. It was the same year that Greg Hoppes was determined to make his way as a homebuilder even though times could not have been worse. “I started my homebuilding career in 2001 and decided to start my own company in 2008. If I could make it in 2008 and 2009 I would be able to sustain a career in this industry,” he remembers thinking. “We went ahead flipping houses and things have worked out since then.”


Buffalo Bungalow’s co-owners are always available to their custom home clients.

By Jim Harris, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

Buffalo Bungalow’s owners do not keep standard business hours. “Most of our business is done after hours,” says Derek Sullivan, who co-owns the homebuilding and development company with his wife, Laura Sullivan.

The Sullivans keep in regular contact with their clients at all times of the day via text message, e-mail, on phone or in person. “We’re available when our clients are,” he adds.


Clients can rely on Menard Construction to deliver their beautiful, custom projects on time.

By Alan Dorich, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

Tom Menard, president of Menard Construction Company, finds the greatest compliment to be when he is asked, “Where is the addition?” He takes pride in a seamless transition to the new work.

Based in Mountain Lakes, N.J., the company specializes in new homes, commercial construction, renovations and additions. Menard founded the firm 25 years ago, after gaining extensive experience in the construction industry.

He worked for The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. in Baltimore after graduating from the University of Delaware School of Engineering. “I was a project engineer for a group building Walmart stores,” Menard recalls, explaining that these were often fast-tracked projects that needed to be completed in as little as four months.

“I gained invaluable experience and learned all the aspects of construction management. I realized that I wanted the extra challenge and attention to detail that is required in residential construction.” That led him to start Menard Construction that has grown each year.


Usztan LLC specializes in bringing older homes into the 21st century.

By Alan Dorich, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

After 40 years, Usztan LLC has carved itself a niche as a custom remodeler and homebuilder, a specialization that is not for everyone. “Custom remodeling tends to be more difficult than building a new home,” Vice President Boris Usztan says.

“To take an older, outdated structure and bring it into the 21st century can be challenging and very labor intensive,” he says. “This requires insight, vision, design and, many times, creative engineering on the part of the builder and architects.”

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