Energy Efficiency and Low Maintenance Homes Are Here to Stay, Says David Gross Fine Homes Founder

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Gross' first Dallas project on Lindhurst Ave. (Photo courtesy of David Gross Fine Homes)
Gross’ first Dallas project on Lindhurst Ave. was featured in AIA Dallas 2012 Tour of Homes. (Photo courtesy of David Gross Fine Homes)

David Gross, President of David Gross Fine Homes, got his humble beginnings in Pennsylvania, going into rundown neighborhoods with his father and grandfather and seeing a need for restoration. This led to him to becoming interested in historic preservation in Philadelphia at a young age.

Upon moving to Colorado years later, he pursued his passion for construction by working for a general contractor, then venturing out on his own as a builder. From there, the sky has been the limit for David Gross and his eponymous brand of luxury custom homes, which has earned a spot as a Approved Builder.

During the economic downturn several years ago, Gross had his first opportunity to build in Dallas for well-known Wernerfield Architects. The home, located at 4639 South Lindhurst Avenue, was part of the AIA Dallas 2012 Tour of Homes.

David Gross Custom Homes stands out because “[My firm] takes a more hands-on approach when I’m building a house; I try to keep the house at a fair price and do the best job possible,” Gross said. “We build houses from the ground up and get it done as efficiently as possible. We are honest people with an open-book policy; people are trusting you with their money.”

Reclaimed barnwood is used on an accent wall. (Photo courtesy of David Gross Fine Homes)
Reclaimed barnwood is used on an accent wall. (Photo courtesy of David Gross Fine Homes)

“We like to be involved in the design process if at all possible. If we are involved before the house is designed we can help with making the house as efficient as possible,” says Gross of he and his partners William Laird (DGFH’s Crested Butte office managing partner) and Kevin Morgan (Dallas Office managing partner). David Gross himself lives in Crested Butte, Colo., and splits his time between Big D and the Rocky Mountain state.

The relatively-new-to-Dallas company has had the opportunity to bid on multiple projects but “we want to pick the right one, not the one that’s going to be fastest or easiest,” Gross says. DGFH has one particular project going on right now on Beverly Drive that will be sure to impress.

What’s trending in the custom home building scene? From an energy standpoint, people are looking for houses that are “greener” built, from using solar energy to employing framing methods that use less wood by placing studs further apart. Gross says people are requesting super insulated homes now, both for sound proofing and energy savings. “Basically, it’s a double wall,” says Gross; more insulation can be placed in the space not occupied by a stud. Clients are looking at building houses that are fully passive — one that requires little energy for heating or cooling.

Another energy-saving method David Gross Find Homes employs is enclosing and insulating the crawl space under a house. In a cold climate, the most efficient technique is to insulate the walls of your crawl space and close it off from the elements by sealing all air leaks. That way, plumbing pipes and HVAC ducts are protected from freezing temperatures, helping to conserve energy. According to Gross, by next year, some municipalities in Colorado are requiring new homes to have completely enclosed crawl spaces. The enclosed spaces are equipped with heat recovery ventilation, or HRV, an energy recovery ventilation system.

Reclaimed barnwood is used on an accent wall. (Photo courtesy of David Gross Fine Homes)
Reclaimed wood also used for doors. (Photo courtesy of David Gross Fine Homes)

People are starting to use reclaimed materials. Gross says the last house he completed in Dallas has an accent wall with reclaimed barn wood elevations. Customers are also using reclaimed flooring. Darker colors seem to be the more popular choice.

Overall Gross says people want to build houses that will be as maintenance free as possible for the life of the house. Homes are being designed with minimal exposed wood, which means less painting in years to come. In place of wood and other materials that are not as weather resistant, stone and corrugated metal are being used.

For more information about David Gross Fine Homes, visit

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Amy McDonald Loftis

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