Devonshire Custom Homes has well over 100 years combined experience in building and designing custom homes. Here you will find Answers to commonly asked questions, custom home building news & trends, educational tips regarding your custom home, and more on this blog.
Planning that much needed summer vacation is exciting, but remember to also plan for keeping your home safe while you are away. Unfortunately, burglars look for homes that are clearly not occupied. So let’s eliminate that nagging concern about the safety of your home while you are away so that you can truely enjoy a carefree vacation.
There are some fundamental things you should do before locking up your home and heading off for that delightful destination. So while you are looking over your vacation checklist, add these tips for keeping your home safe to the list:
Lock All Windows and Doors – Yes, this is obvious, but did you secure the pet door? Do you have bolt locks on your garage door? Alternatively, did you turn off the garage door so that it can’t be hacked?
Stop Your Mail and Newspapers– These days you can stop your USPS mail online. Simple to do and it won’t create a telltale sign no one is home.
Have Someone Visit – Now is when being a good neighbor comes back for you. Mention that you are going on vacation and ask them if they will keep an eye on your home. Give them a spare key and ask them to pick up any packages and mail / newspaper if you forgot #2. Also, have them put out your garbage cans on garbage day while you are away to keep things looking normal. If you don’t have a friendly neighbor, ask a family member or friend if they can help out.
Don’t Hide a Spare Key – Burglars know about spare key hiding places. That’s why we recommend #3 instead.
Hire Someone to Mow the Lawn – If the neighbor in #3 will do this, you’re truely a great neighbor and have earned it! If not, hire someone to mow the lawn while you are away.
Set Lights on a Timer – It is often suggested to leave lights on in the home while you are away, but if the same lights are on all the time, that is nearly as big a giveaway as a dark home. Purchase timers for a few key lights and set them to turn on and off at certain times.
Keep the Outside Lit – If you have outdoor motion sensor lights, you are in business. Make sure they are working properly before you leave for vacation.
Don’t Announce Your Vacation on Social Media – Yes, its great to share the magical moments of your vacation with family and friends. Just do it when you return. Posting from that vacation destination is a green light to a burglar.
Unplug Appliances – Small appliances don’t need to be plugged in while you are away. They use energy even when turned off, so save some energy and protect them from possible power surges and the possibility of an electrical fire.
Turn the Water Heater to Vacation Mode – No need to heat water you are not going to be using. Turn it to vacation mode until you get back and save a little money to boot.
Change Your Thermostat – Turn the air down while you are away. Summer heat in Florida will keep your air running to cool a home while no one is there. Save a little money and don’t waste the energy.
Double Check Smoke Alarms – Check or replace the batteries before you leave. If the worst happens and there is a fire, the smoke alarm will alert that friendly neighbor in #3 or the fire department.
There you have it. Now, not only do you have a vacation checklist, but you also have a “keeping your home safe” section. Be sure to follow the steps above, and that carefree vacation you have been dreaming of will be a reality without any surprises waiting for you on your return.
At Devonshire Custom Homes, our goal is to build you the home of your dreams, and to make your home ownership everything you wanted. From the planning stage, to construction, to keeping your home beautiful and safe, we’re here to be your good neighbor. Find our more about our custom home building process and if you would like to talk about a vision your have for a new custom home, use the handly button below to request a no obligation consultation.
Ceiling design is an often underutilized element in the design scheme of a room. This “fifth wall” can be a key element in the design of a room and can set the stage for your design scheme as much as the flooring does.
If you haven’t given much thought to this as you plan your new custom home vision, getting a basic understanding of different types of ceilings will help you decide which style will best fit your personality.
Types of Ceilings
There are a number of different types of ceilings you have to choose from. Here are some thoughts and options for ceiling ideas for your new custom home.
In this ceiling type, the beams of the ceiling are exposed rather than covered. A traditional style of ceiling where the load-bearing beams are exposed in the inside of the house, the beams create an interesting depth and contrast to the ceiling. Beamed ceilings can take on all kinds of looks. with only a few beams or dozen or more. We love this type of ceiling because of how visually compelling it can make a room. It can add a rustic style, but just as easily works with more contemporary designs. You will typically find this ceiling type installed in living rooms and dining rooms of custom homes.
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If you are looking for elegance, a coffered ceiling is an excellent design choice. Coffered ceilings are similar to a beamed ceiling, but use crown molding creating a waffle-like pattern made up of a grid of sunken panels accented by the molding. It’s a classic ceiling style that is usually found in luxury and high-end homes. Once works of art made with prized wood or carved stone, Coffered Ceilings are now available for the cost that of a suspended ceiling. We think recessed lighting with a chandelier in the center works best with this type of ceiling.
You will normally see Coffered Ceiling designs that create a square or rectangular pattern. Here are some additional examples of this ceiling type from Devonshire Custom Homes.
Tray ceilings can be found in a number of our Devonshire Custom Homes. Here’s a look at a few more examples:
Groin Vault Ceiling
One of the most most dramatic and spectacular ceiling designs is the intricate groin vault ceiling which is a series of partial domes and arches creating an elevated ceiling. Sometimes known as a double barrell vault or cross vault, this ceiling type is produced by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. The word “groin” refers to the edge between the intersecting vaults.
Here is an example of a groin vault in one of our Devonshire Custom Homes:
In addition to these ceiling design ideas, there are other types such as Barrell Vault Ceilings, Cathedral ceilings, Vaulted Ceilings, Cove ceilings, Shed Ceilings, Dome Ceilings, and Tall Ceilings.
We hope this post has helped you understand some of of different ceiling design ideas and will help you decide which style will best fit your personality for your custom home.
Planning your new custom home vision? Talk to us. We’d love to help you realize your vision with the perfect master closet for you. To set up a free consultation with our team, just use the handy button below.
Who doesn’t love the idea of a great master bedroom closet? The beauty of building a custom home is you get to build exactly what you always wanted – and master bedroom closets are no exception!
It’s the space where you start each day. Its where you get ready for work, for play, for the going out. So its ideal if your master closet is designed to help keep your day organized for you.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your new master closet:
Must Have Shelves and Drawers
Remember that there are many things that cannot be hung in your closet. Be sure to plan for adequate shevles and drawers. Sheves of different height and at different levels will help to organize items. Shelves designed specifically for your shoes are a great idea. Baskets on lower shelves for random items is great for those “where do I put this items.”
Install a Bench
Since the closet is where you likely select your outfit for the day, plan with this in mind. If space will provide, build in a bench. Consider if you will install a permanent mirror or it you will use a desktop mirror for getting ready.
A Place for Accessories
Getting ready involves more than just clothers. What about your accessories? Be sure to plan for storage to access the accessories that will want to help complete an outfit close to your mirror.
Room for Storage
In addition to using you closet for getting ready for the events of your day, there are other closet needs in your home. For instance, where do you put things that don’t necessarily have a near term use, but you want easy access to when you need them. Make room for storage for these items in your master closet design if you don’t have enough closet space elsewhere in the home design.
A Look at Some of Our Master Closet Work
We love designing master closets! Here is look at some of our work.
What do you think of our closet designs?
Planning your dream closet in your new custom home vision? Talk to us. We’d love to help you realize your vision with the perfect master closet for you. To set up a free consultation with our team, just use the handy button below.
If you are building a new custom home in Florida, landscaping ideas are an important consideration. What you see when you drive up to your home will set the stage for what’s inside your home, allowing your to achieve the feel you want from your new dream home.
And let’s not for get the backyard. If you are the type who likes to entertain, you’ll want to consider landscaping the supports the mood you want for your outdoor living area.
If you are relocating to the state, Florida Landscaping will be a new challenge. In addition to understanding your options, it is also important to understand the impact of water restrictions in Florida. The Southwest Florida water Management District has created the Florida Friendly Landscaping website to provide guidance to using low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustaineable practices.
To help you get started developing your landscaping desires for your new custom home, we have compiled some tips and ideas:
Florida Custom Home Landscaping Tips and Ideas
Given Florida’s climate and lack of seasons Florida Friendly landscaping should be at the heart of your thinking. With that in mind, there are several options for creating a yard that you can be proud of and fits your personality.
Our climate clearly lends itself to Tropical Landscaping. Then again, Florida heat can be very tough on a yard in the summer months. Desert Landscaping is an alternative to consider. Another avenue might be front yard landscaping with rocks. It maintaining a yard is not a joy for you, consider a low maintenance yard that requires minimal trimming. A popular back yard approach includes an outdoor fire pit.
Front Yard Tropical Landscaping
With Florida’s moist, humid environments, Tropical plants are ideal for your landscaping plan. Lush green foliage will create a beautiful, Tropical look. Look for plants with large, broad leaves. Brightly colored flowers will also set it off right. Here are a few examples:
Landscaping with Rocks
Natural stone in our landscape design can work with a variety of styles and themes and will add dimension and texture to your front yard. Here are some examples of rocks that will work:
Decomposed granite or crushed granite
Mexican beach pebbles
Black lava rocks
Desert Landscaping Ideas
Florida heat can really take a toll on a yard, especially years with drought conditions when summer rains are less frequent than normal. Opting for a drought-tolerance landscape can eliminate the need for irrigation, saving you money in your lawn upkeep. You can create a desert-style landscape with these low-water plants:
If working in the yard to maintain your landscaping is not your thing, consider choosing slow growing plants and shrubs that require minimal trimming. You’ll spend less time working in the yard, and won’t require hiring someone to do it for you. Low-maintenance ideas include:
Crown of thorns
What about that back yard fire pit?
Fired pits are a very popular idea in Florida back yard landscapes. They add a cozy, ambient feel to yoru patio or backyard. There are several ways to go here:
Wood burning fire pits
Natural gas fire pits
Propane fire pits
Tabletop fire pits
With all these choices, you may want some help punching up the exterior of your new custom home. At Devonshire Custom Homes, we’ll help you work on achieving the look you want, but here are some thoughts to get your started:
Determine your needs? What will you need in your outdoor areas? Do you need room for kids to play? Are you committed to the fire pit idea? Will you be doing a lot of outdoor entertaining or barbecuing? Will you want a pool? If so how will it fit into your landscape plan? Do you want to create a Rock and Tropical Oasis around the pool or a more traditional pool space?
What kind of lawn do you envision? St. Augustine and Floritam are popular grasses. You might also consider Bermuda grass, Bahiagrass, Centipede Grass or Zoysia Grass. Unless, of course, you are more interested in the Desert Landscaping idea.
Where will your greenery go? you will want to create a focal point in your front and back yards. Your greenery and colorful florals should be built around that focal point, where its a water feature or a flower bed.
Be Consitent in Your Design. Once you have considered the layout for your front and back yard plan and the needs identified in #1 above, work with your builder and a landscaper to create a landscaping plan that will compliment your home and won’t clash with your outdoor spaces.
Creating a Florida-Friendly Landscaping plan that gives your home great curb appeal is the goal. With the right plan and the proper materials, you can create and outstanding look for your new home. If you are ready to talk with a builder about your dream home vision and a landscaping plan to match, we’d love to talk with you. Just use the handy button below to schedule a no strings attached consultation with our team.
We build in many of South Tampa’s best neighborhoods, and we are proud of these 4 stunning Sunset Park Custom Homes that we would like to share.
The Sunset Park community has a feel similar to nearby Beach Park, and is very popular South Tampa neighborhood. This delightful neighborhood originated in the 1920’s, and is home to some of the largest properties in South Tampa. Vast oak, pine and palm trees shade the winding streets of this beautiful community, quickly establishing that they have been around a long time.
You will find a variety of housing styles, along with many new constructions. Many of the homes show off the southern splendor, some with graceful front porches that add to this areas quiet charm.
We’re proud to say that we have added to the diversification of style in Sunset Park. Our work in the neighborhood includes a Coastal Contemporay with water access, a custom Mediterrannean style home, a Craftsman style custom home, a Contemporary Craftsman style home and a Traditional Custom Home.
Here is a look at these 5 stunning Devonshire Custom Homes built in Sunset Park.
Sunset Park Coastal Contemporary Home
We love this this beautiful Sunset Park Coastal Comtemporary custom home. Stunning bathrooms, beautiful flooring and interior decor, and a delightful outdoor kitchen. Here are a few images we’d like to share in the carousel below:
This delightful Craftsman Style home in Sunset Park was built with a delightful kitchen, funtionally beautiful great room with fireplace, and a unique custom home bar. Other freatures inlcuded built in bunk beds, an outdoor living area and beautiful pool. Take a look at the carousel below to get a peek at this wonderful home.
You can see a more of this gorgrous home in our Sunset Park Craftsman custom home gallery.
Sunset Park Traditional Home
A more traditional style home, this beautiful Sunset Park home includes a lovely kitchen and great room, adjoining breakfast area, and outdoor living area that opens up to the pool area. Check out the carousel below for a quick look.
We love our additions to the mix of architectual styles in Sunset Park. What do you think of our Sunset Park homes?
Thinking of building a new custom home in Sunset Park? Talk to us. We’d love to help you realize your dream home in this beautiful community. To set up a free consultation with our team, just use the handy button below.
For many, the powder white sands and cyan waters of the Florida Gulf Beach living is an irresistible desire. We absolutely love building luxury beachfront homes to help realize those dreams.
So it is no surprise to us to see that according to the Tampa Bay Times, TripAdvisor has released its list of the 25 best beaches in the country and 2 of the top beaches are among our Gulf Beaches in Tampa Bay.
Clearwater Beach was voted the number 1 Beach in America. As noted in the Times story, “this is the third time in four years the beach has taken the top spot, based on visitor reviews on TripAdvisor’s website over the past 12 months. St. Pete Beach came in at No. 4.”
Known for amazing sunsets and some 300 days a year of sunshine, these two beaches are a destination for locals and visitors alike. Nestled in between these world renowned beaches are miles of beautiful powder white sandy beachfront locations for luxury home building.
What You Need To Know About Florida Gulf Beach Living
If you have never lived the beachfront lifestyle you may not realize, but there are many types of beachfront properties. Because beachfront property takes a special kind of abuse from ocean winds and salty air, you need a builder with experience in this area. At Devonshire Custom Homes, we can help you find the ideal location that suits your lifestyle and help your realize your dream for beachfront living with a home that’s built to last.
For those with the itch, beachfront living on Tampa Bay’s Gulf Beaches is Florida living at its best. If you are ready to build that dream luxury beachfront home you always wanted, talk with our team. We love building luxury beachfront homes and will help you realize your dream! Just use the handy button below to schedule an appointment.
So you are worried about selling your existing home quickly so you can build your dream home?
We hear that alot from homeowners who talk with us about their dream home vision. They are not sure what to do before listing their existing home on the market and are concerned about how long it will take to sell.
Here are 10 things you can do that will help you properly stage and sell your home.
1o Point Check List for Selling Your Existing Home Quickly
Enhance Your Curb Appeal – Freshinging up your curb appeal is always a good idea before listing your home. Pressure wash your home exterior and windows. Plant new sod and freshenup up any flower beds. Trim shrubs and trees. COnsider replacing the mailbox if it is dated or weathered. Potential home buyers will often cruise your home and neighborhood before considering a showing. Give them reason to want to come in.
Remove Clutter – Most prospective buyers will be trying to visualize your home as they will use it. Remove anything that is too personalized for your and your family, so they can envision theirs in the space. Declutter the area to show off the space and allow them to visualize their belongings in place of yours.
Update Your Home Inside and Out – Bathrooms and kitchens will get the most value if you renovate or update the interior of your home. Evaluate if your look is dated, and research the value of updating bathrooms, kitchens, and perhaps flooring.
Stage Outdoor Furniture – Attractive tables and / or benches can help a prospective homebuyer imagine how they might use the outdoor spaces around your home. Make sure your deck, pool, porch and garden areas are staged attractively.
Remove Your Pets – Yep, we all love our pets, but maybe your prospective buyer is a cat lover and you have a dog (or vice versa). Or perhaps they are not pet owners, or worse have pet allergies. Remove pet bowls, litter boxes, and your beloved pet(s) while your home is being shown. You want the potential home buyer to be able to visualize your home as their own, so similar to decluttering, remove your pet and related items that personalize the home to you until the tour is over.
Flexibility is key – It may seem like an imposition to take showings outside of normal business hours, but remember that prospective buyers may not be able to see your home in those windows. Be flexible enough to take showing uptil say 7pm and on Weekends to help move your home.
Sell the Neighborhood – Is your neighborhood a great neighborhood? Market the benefits of your neighborhood aggressively. Promote the lifestyle new homeowners will enjoy by moving into your home. Showcase nearby parks, dining, entertainment venues, schools, etc in your marketing.
Take Great Pictures and Post Them – Take high quality photos (and lots of them) that accentuate the best elements of your home and post them aggressively. Videos are also a terrific way to showcase your home. Post these to Trulia.com and elsewhere.
Use Social Media – This is an ideal place to showcase those photos and videos. Studies have shown that over 90% of buyers search online for a home. You should market your home on Trulia.com. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and others. A good real estate agent will understand how to employ a proper digital marketing strategy, so discuss this before listing with them.
Price. Price. Price – Price your home to sell. Your realtor can provide you with “comps” for the recent sale of similar homes in your area. Average the selling prices, and then agressively price yours 10-15% lower to stimulate a quick sale.
Follow these tips and you should be on your way to a quicker sale of your existing home so that you can get on with building your new dream home.
Are you ready to talk about your vision for that new dream home? We’d be glad to discuss it with you in a no obligation free consultion. Just use the button below to schedule a meeting.
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1, and so we’d like to share our essential custom home hurricane preparedness tips.
According to this story from Time.com, ” About nine to 15 named storms are expected to form, including four to eight hurricanes and two to four “major” hurricanes––storms that reach Category 3 to Category 5.”
That means its essential to make sure your home and loved ones will be safe and protected should a storm take aim on Tampa Bay. Here then are 10 tips for your home’s hurricane preparedness.
10 Essential Custom Home Hurricane Preparedness Tips
Protect Your Windows: Storm shutters are your best friend. If you have them, make sure they are in working order. If you don’t now is the time to install them.
Seal Windows and Doors: Caulk around doors and windows with an outdoor caulk . Make sure your door threshold has a tight seal.
Trim Trees and Shrubs: Now is the time to trim branches that overhang your roof and removing and damaged trees (as allowable by your municipality). It is also a good idea to trim your shrubs back.
Take Inventory of Your Home: Take photos of all of your home contents for insurance purposes and create a written list as well, including serial numbers.
Waterproof Important Docs: Store your important documents (your inventory list, mortgage documents, vehicle titles, birth certificates, etc.) in a waterproof container.
Create An Emergency Supply List: To assemble your kit, here is a link to a complete checklist from Ready.gov
Gather Emergency Contact numbers: If you have out of state relatives or friends, designate someone to be an emergency point of contact. Make sure everyone in the family with a mobile phone has an ICE (in case of emergency) contact in their phone.
Know Your Evacuation Route: The greatest danger for people during hurricanes is storm surge. If you live in an area prone to flooding, it is essential to know your evacuation information. Search KNOW YOUR ZONE by our address to determine nif you are in a designated evacuation zone.
Have A Place to Go: In the event that you should need to evacuate, make sure your plan includes where your will go in that event. Here are some important tips for having a place to go.
Download the FEMA app: The nine tips above are essential to your hurricane preparedness plan, but the FEMA app will give you information about what to do before, during and after a hurricane. It will also provide alerts in your area access to disaster resources and lifesaving tips.
As a Custom Home Builder, we are committed building homes designed to meet or exceed building code requirements to keep your family safe in the event of a storm in our area. This essential guide above is our way of helping our homeowners and communities ready to face whatever mother nature should bring. If you would like to know more about our company, our building process and why our company holds a reputation as one of the finest custom home builders in Tampa Bay, visit our about Devonshire Custom Homes page.
Are you planning to build a new custom home? We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your vision in a no obligation free consultation. To schedule one with our team, click the handy button below.
Are you looking for an available custom home lot for your home building project?
Custom Home sites in Tampa Bay are being snapped up quickly, so if you have already found your lot, well done!
But if you have not located the ideal lot for your custom home, we can help. Devonshire Custom Homes diligently monitors the local home site availabilities in the finest communities in Tampa Bay. We buy Tampa Bay lots for our prospective custom home clients in the many of the finest neighborhoods in the area.
Whether you’re ready to design and build your Tampa Bay luxury custom home or you simply need help finding the perfect place to build your dream home, Devonshire Custom Homes is ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
To learn more about our building process and for a no obligation free consultation, click the handy button below.
It’s true, Craftsman Style Custom Homes are irresistable for many looking to build their new home. But just what makes a craftsman style home so distinctive and charming to so many people?
What Makes Craftsman Style Custom Homes So Irresistable
Elegantly sloped rooflines, a cute front porch, and distintive features draw many to this architectural style. The beauty of these homes are in their simplicity. To understand the style, it helps to know the history of Craftsman style homes. The Craftsman style of architecture emerged at the turn of the 21st century and is considered an offshoot of the British Arts and Crafts Architecture. Initially built as a revolt against the industrial revolution, the style signaled a renaissance in handmade furniture and architcture.
This movement made its way to America, championed by Gustav Stickley, founder and editor of The Craftsman magazine. Stickley traveled to Bangala, India where he first saw bungalow designs. On his return, he published an article about them in his magazine. The Craftman style’s popularity in American began there. The publication sold blueprints for homes designed in the Arts and Crafts style. The term Craftsman then, originally meant homes built from Stickley’s plans, but today, the style has evolved into a specific architectural style.
For most, the popularity of Craftsman style homes is because of their functionality and common elements, coupled with unique details for each home tailored to the owner’s personal tastes and family requirements.
The Look of a Craftsman Style Home is Unmistakable
While Craftsman style homes are known for their individuality, when you drive up on one you can likely identify the style immediately by common structural and aesthetic details. The most common features of a Craftsman style house include:
Common Exterior Features
Low pitched rooflines, usually done in a hip or gable style
Deep, wide overhanging roof eaves
Exposed rafter tails, which are the beams that stick out of the house and can be seen under the eaves
A covered front porch
Tapered pillars lining the entry that support the roof and are typically more sturdy at the bottom, becoming smaller at the top
Visible knee braces, the exposed triangle that supports a deep roof eave from underneath
Single dormers, centered and very large, often with multiple windows
Double hanging windows, which have separate panes of glass on the top and bottom, cased in wide trim
Partially paned doors, typically the upper third of the door
Typical Interior Features
Built-in cabinetry and shelves
Unique custom-made features like nooks and window seats
Handcrafted stone and woodwork
Natural materials such as wood, stone and brick throughout
A grand fireplace, often a central feature of the living room
A practical, open floor plan with few hallways and small rooms that facilitate access from the kitchen to the rest of the house
Here is a peek at some Craftsman style homes built by Devonshire Custom Homes