Tim Jackson Custom Homes' Maison d'Etoile won first place in the "Best Architectural Design - Traditional" category.

Tim Jackson Custom Homes’ Maison d’Etoile won first place in the “Best Architectural Design – Traditional” category.

As we told you last week, the Dallas Builders Association each year honors the work of its members, some of North Texas’ top building and remodeling talent, with an Oscars-like celebration of glamorous dress and beverage. They put on the Ritz for the annual ARC Awards ceremony.

And of course, half of those winners are my CandysDirt Best Builders! All CandysDirt.com-approved home builders are curated from a select group of home builders. Click here to see what they told us about the top building trends for 2015.

There are 50 categories, and the judges are top builders and designers from way outside of Texas. Well, except for Oklahoma.

The celebration, held this year at The Westin Galleria, was a blast. Tim Lansford of Luxury Homes of Texas was the emcee, and teased the heck out of  Tom Greico of Greico Modern Homes, (“BOOOO!”)  But not moi — Tom is another CandysDirt.com fave.

Turns out Tim is not just a home builder, he has his own radio show!

As we mentioned, for the second year in a row, Classic Urban Homes snagged Custom Builder of the Year title. Not too far behind was my man Tim Jackson Custom Homes, also nominated for best, who snagged Best Architectural Design $1 to $2 million. One of his entries was a palace he built called Maison d’Etoile for former Cowboys linebacker Bradie James. Bradie and his wife, Star, slipped in and dined with Tim and Leslie Jackson and watched the show. Other home builders extraordinaire who needed U-Hauls for their prize booty besides the aforementioned: Alford Homes, Desco Fine Homes, Cresswell Builders, our very own JLD Custom Homes, LRO Residential, Bauhaus Custom Homes and of course, Greico Modern Homes.

Desco Fine Homes won the award for "Best 'Other' Room" with their stunning beauty salon.

Desco Fine Homes won the award for “Best ‘Other’ Room” with their stunning beauty salon.

Now a little inside dirt on the photo above: this was a remodel, in Preston Hollow, by Desco Fine Homes. Took two years to complete. The lady of the house wanted a home beauty salon — they are all the rage, by the way — so Desco fashioned one above her master bathroom. Can you imagine waltzing up the stairs to get blown out? I am loving this new trend, and mind you we will be posting more on it!

Here are all the winners in all categories… and the photos. Drool away…

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M/I Homes has promoted Gary Rae as the director of operations within the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

When it comes to new inventory, some builders have been rather tentative, testing the water with only the tip of their toes. However, M/I Homes is taking a more bold, aggressive stance when it comes to building. The firm, a CandysDirt.com Hot Builder, is planning a rapid expansion in the North Texas area after building 17 homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth market last year.

Today M/I Homes is offering custom builds in Garland, Plano, Grand Prairie, Lewisville, and McKinney. Additional communities in Colleyville, Prosper, and Keller will open later this year, officials inside the company say. The goal is to sell 170 new homes in 2015, a 900 percent increase over last year, 300 homes in 2016, and around 400 homes in 2017.

This kind of rapid expansion has necessitated new leadership in this quickly changing market, and M/I Homes just announced the promotion of Gary Rae as president of Dallas-Fort Worth operations.

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Another exquisite project recently completed by Bauhaus Custom Homes. (Photo credit: Bauhaus Custom Homes)

Another exquisite project recently completed by Bauhaus Custom Homes. (Photo: Bauhaus Custom Homes)

German native and President of Bauhaus Custom Homes, Marc Kleinmann, moved to the United States in 1996. His father was a real estate developer so the industry has been in his blood for quite a while.

Kleinmann took a hiatus from the housing/real estate industry, working in advertising for the first few years after immigrating to the US. He slowly returned by flipping a few houses at a time and eventually building spec houses. In 2007, during the economic downturn, he started Bauhaus Custom Homes.

“Downturns are good for any industry. It forces people to rethink and retool how they do things; they learn to do them more efficiently,” says Kleinmann. “Building a house is a team sport,” he continues. Bauhaus started out small but as the economy improved, it has taken on more projects and more staff to collaborate on home building projects from start to finish.

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Hardware and appliances with clean lines are used throughout S & R homes. (Photo credit: Saad Chehabi)

Hardware and appliances with clean lines are used throughout S & R homes. (Photo credit: Saad Chehabi)

Saad Chehabi has been a businessman for more than three decades. He started his own mosaic tile company and was the supplier for many hotels in Las Vegas in addition to many celebrities’ homes. He parlayed his design knowledge and business acumen to found his own residential construction company, S & R Development, in Dallas in 2002.

“We started out building custom homes in Highland Park and Preston Hollow and have expanded to other areas,” he says. S & R prides itself in giving customers high-quality homes showcasing the company’s attention to detail and style.

“I’m very hands on. I don’t leave a project,” says the SMU graduate and native of Syria. “I run each one personally and cannot spend time away from what I’m working on so I limit the number of projects I take and try to keep them close together.” Currently he has four projects going in the Preston Hollow area, three of which are over 8,000 square feet. His company recently completed a large home in Plano and the homes in PH should be completed by the end of this year and the beginning of next.

“I’m seeing customers wanting less traditional homes these days,” says Chehabi. “New home construction is more about cleaner lines overall.”

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Tom Greico’s project on Easton Road is a modern home that takes full advantage of the long lot and canopy of trees.

He’s passionate about building custom homes that evoke the clean lines and accessible floorplans for which he’s known. Forward-thinking, open, and bright, Tom Greico’s brand of modern has developed a loyal following.

“They go on the internet and they see me on Facebook and they follow me. People will come up to me and say, ‘We saw your house on Such-and-such Road,'” Greico says with a laugh. And after that, they often ask when Greico Modern Homes be available to build the home of their dreams. With eight projects right now, he says it’ll be about a year or so before he can start something new, but it’s great to be in-demand, Greico said.

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Chrome is in... the bathroom!

Chrome is back, especially in the bathroom, along with oversized tile. (Photo credit: Shoot2Sell)

“Chrome is back in,” says Jeff Dworkin, president of JLD Custom Homes, a CandysDirt.com approved builder. In the past, people wanted polished nickel fixtures and accents in their custom homes, but the trend in 2014 is something shiny and easy to clean – chrome. Custom home buyers these days are looking for homes that are energy efficient and “green,” too. Jeff says JLD builds all their homes to very high standards – Energy Star 3.0 and Green Built Texas, to be specific.

Buyers are also looking for well-laid-out homes, meaning a home that makes the best use of all square footage. “We try to design our homes with as little wasted space as possible,” he says. President of the Dallas Builders Association, Dworkin says buyers are currently looking for custom homes that are transitional — something that bridges the gap between traditional Texas-style brick and the more modern home. There’s no better example than JLD’s newest custom home inside The Enclave on Tucker Street, pictured here.

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By Sam Graham
Director of Operations and Marketing

Veranda Fine Homes, a CandysDirt.com Approved Builder

Sam Graham HeadshotEvery home construction project is unique, as are the homeowners; however, no matter the project or people involved, there is one universal question we are always asked: “What will this project cost?”  Your budget is one of the things that keep us up at night.  We would love nothing more than to give you a number that comes in below your “budget” and move forward, but unfortunately, this is almost never the case for a variety of reasons.

When starting this process, we know you have a budget.  We know you have a finite amount of cash allocated towards your home and going above this amount will put you in a less than desirable place financially.  You will communicate this number to us repeatedly and express that we stay within this number.  We truly don’t want or mean to go above this number, however, there are several factors that serve to increase the “budget.”  Jump for six tips to think about that will help you stay within budget.

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The team at Veranda Fine Homes has been building non-stop, it seems. From traditional, to Mediterranean, to Hill Country-inspired, Veranda is putting out fresh, new takes on architecture and filling their homes with high-end finishes and clean lines. With outstanding customer reviews and loyalty, it’s no wonder that Kyle Belew and his team have earned a spot as a CandysDirt.com-Approved Builder.

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