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Alford Homes, LP Blog by Greg Alford - 1M ago

The very first home built by Greg Alford 38 years ago – and it still looks great!

Does Experience Matter when Choosing a Custom Builder? Yes – It’s all about the DETAILS.

When a homebuilder has built custom homes for 30 years, he’s learned some important details that a younger less-qualified builder hasn’t had the opportunity to learn yet. You want the most qualified and best builder constructing your new home, a builder that pays attention to the smallest details (these details are learned by experience) so that you have a five-star experience while living in your new custom home.

Below are some examples of specific details that homebuilder Greg Alford (with 38 years of homebuilding experience) and his team of expert craftsman at Alford Homes put into every luxury custom home they build.

THE ALFORD HOMES 5-STAR EXPERIENCE
  1. Sound Package – Alford Homes has a special “sound package” that’s in addition to standard home insulation. Alford Homes includes an extra layer of insulation around specific rooms in their custom homes. This added layer is a barrier for noise and gives homeowners comfort and extra privacy. The rooms included in the sound package are – the media room, game room, all bathrooms and the master bedroom. These rooms all have an additional layer of insulation to make sure there’s no noise from room to room. Many visitors to Alford Homes say how quiet the homes are and how peaceful that they feel – some of this can be traced back to the “sound package” that’s standard in every Alford Home.
  2. Efficient Homebuilding – At Alford Homes, Greg Alford and his team of homebuilding experts use green techniques in every custom home they build. Greg Alford is a Green Homebuilder receiving certifications from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as a Certified Green Professional, and a Green Built Texas Builder. Greg believes that all new homes should be high-performance homes – running efficiently and with less energy.
  3. Extra Storage Space – in Attic and Garage – Most homeowners want as much storage space as possible in their new luxury homes. At Alford Homes, they understand their client’s needs and build attics where they’re highly organized leaving – a specific oversized area for additional storage. Also, the attics are constructed in such a way that they remain approximately 5 degrees different from the temperature in the home. So, items in the attic storage are always kept at an advantageous temperature and not damaged by the extreme heat or cold. Garages are another area that many families want additional storage in their homes. Garages built with extra space along with cabinets and shelves to help to store children’s bikes or toys, exercise equipment, items to upkeep the pool, equipment for the lawn, seasonal decor items and products for the cars, etc.
  4. Learning Homebuyers Preferences – When you’ve built luxury custom homes and ranch estate homes for over 30 years, the experience that you’ve gained helps you learn homebuyer’s preferences like – open floorplans, media rooms that are downstairs, good natural lighting and large windows in common gathering areas of the home, heavy built-in cabinetry in the master “his” and “hers” closets, first floor guest bedroom or master suite (if the lot size allows), a master bedroom on-suite including private master bathroom, larger outdoor living areas in the backyard with covered patio, fireplace and grill, plenty of electrical outlets indoors and outdoors, additional storage space with shelves and cabinets in the garage. Not all individuals and families prefer these features, but it’s good to keep them in mind when building a custom home for a specific customer or even constructing a speculative home.

If you are looking for a custom builder (with experience) to construct the unique home that you’ve envisioned, consider Alford Homes. Greg Alford can show you the difference that 38 years of homebuilding experience makes by calling (972) 429-1074 or by visiting AlfordHomes.com.

The post Experience Matters appeared first on Alford Homes, LP Blog.

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For ages, our ancestors lived in relative silence, with only the sounds of nature, family and neighbors. Can you imagine how quiet it was? It wasn’t that long ago. Years ago, an elderly gentleman remarked to me that it was so quiet on the urban street where he grew up in the early 1900’s that you could hear word for word what people were saying in conversation on a porch way down the street. Nobody had lawn mowers, there were no cars, no televisions or radios, no air conditioning or electrical heat pumps, no aircraft overhead, no computers or smart phones, not even plumbing or refrigerator noises back then. A pocket watch ticking in a house must have sounded incredibly loud!

Today, even if we don’t live near a highway or airport, we are bombarded with noise. We may be so accustomed to it that we generally don’t notice it, but research is showing that noise pollution is unhealthy. Noise can contribute to hypertension, depression, interrupted sleep and slowed cognitive development in children. We can’t control the noise level in public places, but we can create quiet and therefore healthier home. Homebuyers and people often remark after touring an Alford home how quiet they are in comparison to other homes. There are several building techniques that we implement to make Alford homes extra quiet for homeowners; some of these are below:

 1. Insulate – all mid-floor areas, bathrooms, master bedrooms and anywhere there is plumbing or pipes.

2. Acoustic Matting – I use acoustic matting under hardwood floors upstairs.

3. Staggered Studs – I use 2 x 4 staggered studs and 2 x 6 walls to reduce noise vibrations from media rooms.

4. Sheet-rock – I use two layers of 5/8 inch sheet-rock with acoustic caulking between layers to eliminate noise through walls.

If you are interested in building a quiet and peaceful luxury custom home, visit my website or give me a call at 972-429-1074. I have 34 years of experience building luxury custom homes and I’m a Certified Green Professional and a Green Built Texas Builder. I build in luxury custom homes in Preston Hollow, the Park Cities and other prestigious Dallas area neighborhoods.

The post Alford Homes – Quiet Homes are Healthy Homes appeared first on Alford Homes, LP Blog.

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Including One of the “Finest Estate Homes in America”

Pio Crespi passed away in 1969.

In Preston Hollow there is one estate that has reached national acclaim – as one of the “Finest Estate Homes in America”.  It is the Crespi Hicks Estate Home. As a luxury custom homebuilder, I appreciate homes like the Crespi Hicks Estate that are significant and stand the test of time.

The Crespi Hicks estate has stood as an anchor in Preston Hollow, the pinnacle of beauty, craftsmanship and architectural grandeur, for decades. The estate was featured on the cover of Private Air Magazine last year with the title, “The Finest Estate Home in America Revealed”. Chances are you won’t ever see a copy of this magazine, as it is only available to individuals who have private jet terminals. So here is a snippet from Regina Russo of Private Air Magazine, about the estate: The Crespi Hicks Estate is located in one of the most prestigious areas in Dallas, Texas. Not only is the Preston Hollow area prized for its beauty and seclusion, but for the fact that it is remarkably only 8 minutes from the Arts District and downtown Dallas, less than10 minutes from Love Field Airport and 20-25 minutes to DFW Airport (the estate has a helicopter landing area). Sited on 25 acres, the home has a rich architectural pedigree…you will see why we call this property “The Finest Estate Home in America.”

The classic French estate was built by Pio Crespi, an Italian count who moved to the United States and built a cotton empire. Pio Crespi hired Swiss-born architect Maurice Fatio to design the European-style estate, which was built in 1939. Fatio designed homes for the Duchess of Marlborough and the Vanderbilts, among other wealthy clients. The estate encompasses 42,500 square feet, including the main house, guest house, and pool house. The grounds are enchanting, including meadows, forest, streams and ponds, with formal gardens as well. The craftsmanship of this estate is unsurpassed.

Along with all the other Preston Hollow amenities (including its top ranked private schools, beautiful scenery, and convenient location), Preston Hollow offers a long-lasting and impressive history with some of the most significant architecture that you’ll will find in the state of Texas, including the “Finest Estate Home in America”. Check out some photos of the Crespi Hicks Estate here on Pinterest.

If you are ready to build your new luxury custom home in Preston Hollow, or any other prestigious Dallas-area neighborhood, please take a look at my website and give me a call at 972-429-1074. As a certified green builder of luxury custom homes, I try to use all natural products whenever possible and I offer homeowners an efficient home that will stand the test of time  At Alford Homes, we have been dedicated to providing the very best quality materials and craftsmanship for over thirty two years.

The post Part 3 – Preston Hollow: A Neighborhood That has it All… appeared first on Alford Homes, LP Blog.

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An Alford Homes kitchen.

In the Dallas area, homeowners want the kitchens in their luxury custom homes to be functional, yet stylish. Well-placed lighting is not only important to illuminate work areas, but it creates a warm and pleasing atmosphere that draws in family and friends. Pendant lights are a perfect way to have all the lighting you need, when you need it, while creating an inviting space at the same time.

If you want to make a statement in your kitchen to set it apart from others, pendant lighting is a good place to start! Pendant lights not only offer all the concentrated lighting you need in the kitchen work area, the light fixture itself can be used to create a statement, and even be a piece of art. Pendant lights do not need to match the décor of the kitchen, but, instead, can be used to add another surprise element to the room. They can be used to bring out the beauty of clean, classical lines, or to add a splash of color that makes the kitchen area more interesting and alive.

Pendant lights come in a vast array of styles, and you are sure to find the perfect shape and color for your kitchen. They can have a formal shape, down-home style, ultra-modern, or fanciful. They can be hung in pairs, in strings above your work space, in clusters of varying heights in a corner, or over a kitchen table. Consider having a custom made pendant light in a design that reflects your personality. Hanging it alone creates the ultimate statement.

As one of the leading certified green home builders in the Dallas area, I take pride in using natural materials whenever possible. If you would like to learn more about luxury custom homes in Highland Park, University Park, Preston Hollow, or anywhere in the metroplex, , visit the Alford Homes website or give me a call at 972-429-1074. Let’s work together to create the home of your dreams.

The post Pendant Lighting in Your Luxury Custom Home appeared first on Alford Homes, LP Blog.

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An Alford Home in Preston Hollow.

As a builder of luxury custom homes in Preston Hollow for over twenty years, it has been interesting to see the neighborhood mature and transform into one of the most sought-after, prestigious and architecturally correct neighborhoods in Dallas. When looking for areas to build luxury custom homes, I have always had confidence in Preston Hollow, and the value homebuyers are getting in this tucked-away enclave. When I meet with a new client, sometimes they ask me “What does a builder consider when looking for a lot in a neighborhood for the building of a luxury custom home? Is a builder’s view different than what the client sees and takes into consideration? I appreciate the advantages that Preston Hollow offers me as a builder, as well as the family that will be living in their new custom Alford Home. Preston Hollow has three big advantages for luxury custom home builders – older homes, prime location, and larger lot sizes.

Older homes for teardown are usually small to medium sized ranch-style homes built during the baby boom post-war years. Teardown homes in Preston Hollow have deep lots, mature trees, and lovely homes nearby, which make them ideal.

Location Location Location! When looking for places to build speculative or “build to suit” luxury custom homes, Preston Hollow is a smart choice to evaluate. Preston Hollow has a close-in location to downtown Dallas, Love Field Airport, and it’s just a 20 minute drive to DFW Airport. Preston Hollow residents and new homeowners will appreciate its proximity close to University Park and Highland Park, along with key shopping destinations like Northpark Mall and Highland Park Village. Some of the most popular restaurants in Dallas are within a 5 mile radius of the Preston Hollow area.

Large lot sizes. One major advantage of Preston Hollow is the larger lot sizes – some even some as large as three to five acres. Because of the larger lot sizes in, your design plans won’t be limited when it comes to first-floor square footage. For example, homeowners can consider downstairs master suites for mature family members or downstairs guest bedrooms, if you so choose. If you would like a one-story sprawling luxury custom home, that is a viable option on some of the larger properties. In the Preston Hollow community, some home sites are spacious enough for a tennis court, guest quarters, lap pool, outdoor kitchen and other luxury amenities. Most of the other sought-after lot locations in the Dallas area are too small for some of these luxuries.

As a builder, I find building on the larger Preston Hollow lots allows me the freedom and ability to give my homebuyers additional options to contemplate – architectural styles, design and floor plan options that wouldn’t be available in other prestigious Dallas neighborhoods. My clients and I usually review different architectural styles and designs, from Spanish Colonial, to Modern, Texas Modern, Neo Classical, Formal French, Colonial Revival, Prairie Style, Tudor, etc. The diversity of home plans and the ability to be creative are some of the reasons I enjoy building luxury custom homes in Preston Hollow. When building a speculative or a “build to suit” custom home, financing is always a major consideration. Preston Hollow is a “tried and true” older neighborhood that has retained and increased its value over the years.

As a licensed realtor, I can bring your dream home to realization from the purchasing of your lot in Preston Hollow, to completion of your luxury custom home. I hold the Exclusive Certified Green™ Designation and have won D Home’s Best Builder award every year since its inception in 2005. Give me a call at 972-429-1074, or visit the Alford Homes website.

The post Why Preston Hollow is a Wise Investment for Building a Luxury Custom Home: One Builder’s Perspective (Part 2 of a series on Preston Hollow) appeared first on Alford Homes, LP Blog.

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In the Dallas area, we are fortunate that we can enjoy outdoor living for such an extended period of time during the year. Many of my clients spend a great amount of their leisure time relaxing in their back yards with family, and entertaining friends. As a luxury custom home builder, I enjoy optimizing my client’s outdoor space.

Here are some ways to provide comfort, promote relaxation, and provide a lovely outdoor area for entertaining:

A gazebo is a charming addition to your landscape. A beautifully built gazebo can either be a focal point of your back yard, or can be tucked away in a corner for a bit of privacy. Gazebos provide shade, and with the addition of an outdoor ceiling fan and/or misters, offer a cool and delightful place to dine or enjoy a cool drink with friends and family.

Outdoor flat screen tvs can be enjoyed year-round, provided you have heat lamps or an outdoor fireplace with ventilation on your covered patio. Another way to keep your patio warm in chilly weather is to add heavy ceiling-to-floor curtains to the perimeters of your patio, which can be pulled back to let in air and scenery on nice days, and drawn closed to keep out winter’s chill on cold days.

Entertaining and cooking meals in a fully-furnished outdoor kitchen is a favorite with many of my clients. Just steps from the pool, gazebo and other backyard amenities, outdoor kitchens provide a place to cook and prepare food without having to leave your guests behind while you go indoors to cook. The best outdoor kitchens provide storage, supplies, oven, stove top, and sink, with everything close at hand. Roll-down insect screens are great for keeping the mosquitoes and flies at bay. Enjoy cooking outdoors while chatting with friends and family members.

For special alone-time leisure and relaxation, nothing beats a hammock, or hanging outdoor bed, outfitted with plenty of plush pillows. Swing gently in the breeze while taking a nap, watching puffy white clouds, daydreaming, or curled up with a good book. This is perfect lazy Sunday afternoon activity.

If you want a luxury custom home with the ultimate backyard and would like a quiet, highly energy-efficient home, give me a call at 972-429-1074, or visit my website. I am a Certified Green Professional and have Green Built Texas Builder certification as well as having 34 years of experience as a luxury custom home builder. I build in Preston Hollow, the Park Cities, and other cities like Prosper, Fairview and Parker.

 

The post The Ultimate Year-round Back Yard for Your Luxury Custom Home appeared first on Alford Homes, LP Blog.

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Cool colors in this Alford Homes master bath provide a calming effect. The wood and rust-colored ceiling dome add touches of warm color.

Do you love color? Have you ever stopped to think about how color affects us on a subtle level? Why does repainting a room a different color suddenly make the room seem larger, or cozier, and thus more inviting? Consider using the technique of color theory to giver your new luxury custom home the ambiance you desire.

Interior designers use a color wheel to come up with the perfect color palette for your home that will reflect your personal taste and style. Sir Isaac Newton created the first color wheel in 1672. He noticed that when looking through a prism, he could see all the colors of the rainbow. He expanded this, creating a wheel that clearly shows the relationships between the colors. The wheel has 12 hues – three primary colors (red, yellow and blue), three secondary colors (green, orange and violet) and six tertiary color (red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet. Using a color wheel can help you visualize how different colors will work together.

Certain colors are warmer than others. For instance, living rooms and foyers often feel more welcoming when painted in warm colors such as;  yellows, oranges and reds, and in earth tones such as beige and brown. These colors create a feeling of warmth that encourages communication and sharing between people.

If we have sweet memories of spending time in the kitchen as a child, we often subconsciously want to recreate that same feeling using the colors from our childhood. Many of us grew up with white kitchens, and today they are in high demand. By using colors associated with good memories, we are bringing more warmth into our home. If there are no particular colors that you associate with your childhood kitchen, reds and yellows are good kitchen colors, as they are cozy and cheerful. It is no accident that many restaurants use red in their décor in the hopes of whetting customer’s appetites. Studies show that dining rooms painted red tend to make the occupants of the room hungry. If you use red in the dining room, it will encourage conversation as well as dining, and furthermore, studies find that many people think food tastes better when eaten in a red dining room.

For bedrooms, soothing, relaxing colors are usually best. Cool shades such as blues, greens and lavenders work well in bedrooms. Blue hues are especially good for their calming qualities.  Whites are popular in bathrooms because white reflects cleanliness. While white will always be a good choice, earth tones are as well, as they are easy on the eye and many stones have natural earth hues. As spa baths become more popular, we see relaxing and calming colors such as blues, turquoise, and greens. These colors provide a clean, fresh feeling to the room, and a calming atmosphere. 

Just as red used in a dining room can promote appetite, in a workout room or personal gym, reds and oranges can get you moving, but you need to be careful because they can also make you feel overheated. Blues and greens and other cool colors are good choices for home gyms.  When it comes to color choices in your home’s interior, personality, personal style, natural and artificial lighting, what the particular room is used for, and your home décor definitely matter. 

With many years of experience as one of Dallas’ top luxury home builders, (as well as having Certified Green Professional and Green Built Texas Builder), I take pride in using natural materials and using environmentally friendly building practices which or energy efficient. I build custom homes across the Dallas area, including University Park, Highland Park, and Preston Hollow. If you would like more information about green luxury custom homes, visit my website or give me a call at 972-429-1074. I look forward to working together to create the luxury home of your dreams.

The post Choosing Colors for your New Personalized Alford Home appeared first on Alford Homes, LP Blog.

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Early morning view of a Georgian Colonial Alford Home in University Park.

One of the popular styles of luxury custom homes in the Dallas area is the Georgian Colonial Style. One of the homes I am enthusiastically building now has this style of architecture. Keep up with our progress with it on our Pinterest account.

History 

The Georgian style (named for the four King Georges in England) was extremely popular in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, and is based on the classical forms of the earlier Italian Renaissance period. Before the 18th century, there were no true architects in England as we know now. Architecture was considered a branch of mathematics and a sort of hobby for well-educated men. Sir Christopher Wren, famous for redesigning St. Paul’s Cathedral, was primarily an academic and astronomer, with an M.A. from Oxford. However, Wren developed an interest in architecture, particularly the style of classic ancient Rome. When the great fire of 1666 burned three quarters of London’s homes to the ground, Wren contributed his knowledge of classical Greek architecture, and revived it in England’s homes, public buildings and churches.

The first Georgian buildings to appear in America were located in the east coast colonies around 1700. They were built using pattern books and plans from the old country. They remained extremely popular through the Revolutionary war until America’s independence, when Americans began distancing themselves from England, and other home styles grew in popularity. Eventually, though, the classic Greek style again became popular and is flourishing today. We now refer to this early American style of Georgian architecture as “Georgian Colonial”.

Exterior Characteristics

  1. The front door is usually paneled and centered, with a row of small rectangular panes of glass either in the transom or within the door. The door is embellished with a decorative crown and flattened columns. The door is the most elaborate feature of the façade.
  2. The cornice (the decorative trim under the roofline) is often decorated with moldings, dentils being the most common.
  3. Windows customarily have double-hung sashes having many small panes, usually nine or twelve panes per sash.
  4. Windows are aligned horizontally and vertically in symmetrical rows. The hip roof, favored by Sir Christopher Wren, is the  most usual type of roof.

If you are thinking of building your own, unique luxury custom home, whether it is a Georgian Colonial or another architectural style, call me at 972-429-1074 or visit the Alford Homes website. I hold the Exclusive Certified Green™ Designation and have won D Home’s Best Builder award every year since 2005.

The post Architectural Styles for Luxury Custom Homes: Georgian Colonial appeared first on Alford Homes, LP Blog.

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Photo by John Keogh.

Multi-story luxury custom homes are becoming more popular in the Dallas metroplex, especially in communities such as Highland Park, University Park, Preston Hollow and other areas where lots sizes are on the smaller side. While grand two-story staircases add a touch of class to any home, adding a home elevator can help make your home a wise investment in the future. In addition to its pleasing appearance, a home elevator can be a practical decision for many mature adults or families with older parents and loved ones. While home elevators were once awkward contraptions that were functional but not very attractive, they are now becoming more popular and a “must have” for many new custom homebuyers. A home elevator will provide access to the floors of your home so that mobility-impaired, mature family members and guests will have unrestricted access to the entire house. Also, a home elevator is also the quickest and easiest way to transport large or heavy items from floor to floor. Some custom homes have an outside door to the elevator in the garage where groceries and baggage can be put in the elevator, sent and distributed to each floor.

Your home elevator should match your home, your décor and your needs. There are many different styles to choose from, from modern to classic. Custom wood designs are popular, as well as sleek modern elevators made of glass, steel and chrome. There are numerous options for the elevator car, paneling and hardware. Old fashioned looking elevators with pull close grates are also available. An elevator can also be disguised as a closet, to blend seamlessly with a traditional space. Prices for home elevators vary but are usually around $25-30,000 . It is much easier building the shaft when you build your home rather than going back to start from scratch.

The inside of the elevator can be mirrored, wallpapered, painted or even tiled. It can even be furnished with a seat or bench for convenience. Although most home elevators are situated beside the staircase, they can also be located in another area of the home, or even have an outside entrance. At Alford Homes, we have years of experience designing home elevators for all styles of luxury custom homes.

If you would like more information on a home elevator for your new custom home, visit the Alford Homes website or give me a call at 972-429-1074. As one of Dallas’ top builders of certified green custom homes, I have years of experience building luxury homes with elevators in the prestigious neighborhoods of University Park, Highland Park, and Preston Hollow. As a certified green builder of luxury custom homes, I try to use all natural products whenever possible. At Alford Homes, we are dedicated to providing the very best quality materials and craftsmanship along with building a home that is energy efficient.

The post Home Elevators for Luxury Custom Homes appeared first on Alford Homes, LP Blog.

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A guest house at the Hearst Castle in California.

As a luxury custom home builder in the Dallas area for over 30 years, I’ve recently noticed an increase in homeowner’s asking for a guest house, or “mother-in-law” suite. This self-contained living space can either be attached to the main house or it can be a completely separate space. Most guest houses have their own independent access to the outdoors. At one time, these apartments were simply small suites often situated above the garage. However, today’s guest quarters and mother-in-law suites are much larger, more luxurious and more welcoming than the old garage apartments of the past.

With its own private entrance, kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom and living room areas, these suites are perfect for guests who may stay for a couple nights or a family member who needs a little assistance but also wants to keep their independence. These basically are small homes, designed to accommodate just one or two people. Most are built away from the larger home to provide a sense of privacy. However, some homeowners prefer to have the guest house situated closer to the main house, sometimes with a communicating door between the two structures.

The self-contained apartment on your property can be valuable for many reasons, including using it as a home office – making your morning commute as easy as a stroll across your backyard. If you have a teenager who wants to have parties or sleepovers, a guest house gives them the privacy they want, but keeps them close enough for you to be able to keep any eye on them. As the population of “baby boomers” are aging, having separate guest quarters can be part of the solution for an aging parent or “mother-in-law”. Additionally, with it being harder and harder for young adults to land their first job after college or schooling, many young adults are choosing to move home until they obtain their first career job. When a guest house is not needed anymore, it can often be rented out for additional income, depending on your local zoning laws.

There are endless possibilities for the design of your guest house. If you want it to be an extension connected to your home, it can be made to blend in perfectly with the existing structure. For a suite that is completely separate from your house, it should conform to the styling of the main home and neighborhood.

When you are ready to plan your new custom home in the Dallas area, with or without a guest house, visit my website or give me a call today at 972-429-1074. With over 30 years of experience as a luxury custom home builder, and a Certified Green Professional, I am dedicated to using quality materials and providing the best craftsmanship for all our projects. At Alford Homes, we take pride in using natural materials and green products whenever possible. We are a prominent builder in Highland Park, University Park, Preston Hollow and Park Cities.

The post Guest Houses for Luxury Custom Homes appeared first on Alford Homes, LP Blog.

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