Blog | Custom New Home Construction
Devonshire Custom Homes
Devonshire Custom Homes
2129 Airline Road
Corpus Christi, TX 78414
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Budgeting for Your New Custom Home

You might be ready to have that perfect home with all the space you need and in the style you want, but you might be wondering how planning a custom home budget actually works. Taking the time to figure out what you’re looking for and how much you want to spend on it is an important step in starting a home building project. A budget will allow you to determine what you can realistically accomplish in your custom build. It will also have an impact on what type of land you build it on, how big you can really go, and the quality of materials you can use.

planning a new custom home

Starting the Construction Loan Process

Once you have an idea of what you want to build and have put together a rough estimate of the design and building costs, it’s a good idea to start the process of applying for a construction loan. All you want to do at this point is to get pre-approved, because it will determine if you have the money to build the house you want.

If the construction loan pre-approval amount is lower than you expected, you may want to think about a production home in a developed area or design a different custom home. You don’t want to spend too much more than what you’re pre-approved for (unless you plan to pay for any extra costs with cash out of your own pocket).

Breaking Down Your Home Building Budget

Once you have a rough idea of what it’s going to cost (most home builders and contractors will give you a rough range in cost per square foot), you need to take that number and start to build out your budget breakdown. And there are some costs you need to consider as you put together a custom home budget. Some of them include the following:

  • Cost of the lot — This is going to be one of the biggest costs for any home building project, so you want to take a look at any lots in your ideal area that can accommodate the size and type of the home you want to build.
  • Cost of excavation, building tear-down, and lot prep — It’s better to purchase a lot that’s ready for building. In fact, a lot of homeowners don’t think about the work that goes into making a lot ready for building. If you purchase one that isn’t connected to services (such as gas, water, and sewer), you’ll have to pay for those extra utility fees. If it hasn’t been excavated or leveled, that’s another expense you need to think about.
  • Cost of home designs or floor plans — The cost to put together a design can be a big one. But no matter who you decide to work with (whether it’s a design-build firm, a dedicated architect, or a builder who has a few set floor plans), there will be a cost associated with designing the home and making the construction drawings. The cost will vary according to whoever you decide to work with and what you’re looking for.
  • Cost of the home build — This part of the home budget is associated with any task related to building the home (from laying the foundation to installing the windows). Any work that’s done to create the structure that will become your new home is part of the building costs. The cost of building the interior will make up a large portion of the building costs, so be sure you have enough room in the budget for this part of the project.
  • Cost of finishes, selections, and appliances — This is another big-ticket item in your custom home budget. It includes everything from the cabinets you want in the kitchen to the type of bathtub you would like in the master bath. The color of your exterior siding, finishes, and other selections you made will make your home feel more complete. That’s why you need to set a budget for and make decisions on what you want sooner rather than later.
  • Cost of landscaping — Most builders offer minimal landscaping in their contracts. Grass seed or sod is usually included. But if you want any foundation plantings or specialized landscaping, you’ll have to hire a landscaping company that can come up with a design for your lot.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes. We would be happy to speak with you about your specific needs!

7 Great Ideas for Your Custom Bar

While the last few years haven’t been the best times for large gatherings, the season of entertaining is well upon us. That’s why custom bars are being built in a lot of homes. It’s the perfect solution for a small family kitchen, because it takes up much less space than a table and chairs. It can also double as an area for preparing and presenting food, but the best place to install one will depend on the shape and layout of your home.

Here are some great custom bar ideas that you can add to this part of your home.

#1: Adding an Island

Having a dedicated area for serving drinks will be more complete with an island that resembles the look of a cocktail bar because it represents the epitome of luxury when it comes to entertaining. It’s a great focal point around which guests can gather, especially if it has a curved shape. It’s also a great area for you to show off your ability to make cocktails and serve drinks — all while keeping the back part of the bar free for doing prep work. It can even be a useful area for drink fridges and ice makers, which will be out of site but close enough for easy access.

#2: Getting Creative in a Small Space

Having a small bar with an eye-catching design will look much more exciting than fireplace alcoves and bookshelves. With some magazines, you can make a small space stand out even more. You can have a lot of fun decorating a home bar with a playful design.

#3: Getting Stylish Under the Stairs

Using the space under the stairs can make your bar area more stylish. It can also be more rewarding than filling it with coats and shoes. Your guests will appreciate it more, especially during party season. You can follow the rise of your staircase to gain as much height as possible. You should also think about adding a contrasting timber or color to separate it from the rest of the staircase. Adding a small amount of brass or any other reflective surface can make the space stand out even more, and it will turn that awkward space into one that can be more easily enjoyed.

#4: Connecting Rooms

You can make an open-plan kitchen even more sociable by adding a built-in bar between your cooking and living areas. If it’s inside an island unit or peninsula, a well-appointed bar can draw guests away from the business end of your kitchen while making sure the conversation flows. Whether it’s below the counter with open shelving and a wine fridge, or has cabinets above the counter to show off your collection, an island or peninsula is a great place to add a custom bar.

#5: Getting Mixers on Demand

If your home bar doesn’t have easy access to the kitchen sink, you should think about adding a tap for boiling water. It’s a lot faster than heating it in a kettle, and it’s more energy efficient. It will also make it easier to serve hot beverages. You can even add a tap that can give you cold, sparkling water (which is great for making cocktails and long drinks). It will take some of the pressure off your fridge.  While you don’t need a large sink to support a boiling tap, having a small prep sink can be useful for rinsing glassware and getting rid of dregs.

#6: Adding Appliances

If you want to build a dedicated space for a home bar, you shouldn’t skimp on any of the functional details. You may want to add a wine cabinet, so your favorite spirits are kept at the right temperature. You may also want to add a second one for storing juices and soft drinks, so you can free up space for your kitchen fridge. You should, however, check the volume levels to make sure a running dishwasher doesn’t drown out any conversations.

#7: Adding a Home Bar in the Dining Room

Having a home bar in your dining room will not only give you a space to host after-dinner parties but will also add more useful places to store your less decorative cookware, as well as your more commonly used tableware and practical accessories. If you paint the joinery in the same color as the walls, you’ll be able to create a sleeker and more minimalistic look that won’t turn the eye away from the rest of the space.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to reach out to Devonshire Custom Homes.

Cool Ideas to Help You Plan Your Game Room

Game rooms are used for both electronic consoles and old-school games that use dice and boards. They’re also growing in popularity for both homeowners and home renters. If you’re ready to explore some game room ideas, your options are far from limited. But you should design it in a way that fits your personality. You want to find furniture that will cater to the needs of the people who use it the most, but it needs to be both flexible and versatile. Children will outgrow games, and so will you. So, if you leave some room for the space to evolve, it will change with your specific gaming preferences.

game room design in new custom home

Here are some cool ideas that can help you plan your game room.

#1: Add Physical Elbow Room for VR Games

One of the biggest and most exciting trends in gaming is the rise of affordable virtual reality (VR) consoles, but too many VR gamers have found their immersive experiences disrupted when they run into a wall or hit their shin on the couch. If you’re into VR games, you should either have a dedicated open space or fill your game room with light furniture that’s easy to move. That way, the only limitation you have is the signal range of your goggles.

#2: Use Full-Sized Arcade Machines

There’s probably nothing more retro than a full-sized arcade game. There has been a recent spike in retro video game parlors, so it has gotten easier to find vintage arcade game cabinets. But before you start buying these machines, you should think about your room’s size. The bulky nature of these game cabinets (which are taller and wider than most people) will mean that only one of them can dominate a small room. If your space is big enough, there might be a retro arcade game out there waiting to add some old-school charm to your new game room.

#3: Include Beverages on Demand

Any beverage tastes better when it’s poured fresh from the tap, and the possibilities for a well-designed bar are practically limitless.

#4: Add Escape Room Puzzles

Escape room puzzles have become increasingly popular in cities all over the world. A group of strangers are locked inside a room. Inside, there’s a “danger” that could be anything from an actor dressed as a zombie to a model atomic bomb. The group must be able to work together to solve a set of challenges that will test both their brain power and their dexterity — many of which will require some level of teamwork to solve. If you’re able to set up this kind of brain-teaser, you can give your game room a more novel twist. It will also guarantee that visitors will be challenged and entertained.

#5: Make it Look Larger

The perfect game room will have plenty of space for people to jump up and move around. But even if you’re working with a limited amount of square footage, you can create a room that looks more inviting. Anything from light-colored flooring to the creative use of reflective surfaces can make a tight space feel larger than it really is.

#6: Add Vintage Lighting

You can contrast your high-tech gaming consoles with the vintage look of throw-back lighting. Edison bulbs and old-style chandeliers can give your game room a kind of funky chic that may be irresistible.

#7: Use Soft Fabrics and Throw Rugs

Game rooms aren’t just for playing fast-paced video games. They can sometimes be used for a more casual and romantic night in. With a stack of soft blankets and throw pillows on hand, you can turn any game room into a cozier and more laid-back space for dining and low-key fun.

#8: Add Pixel Art Decorations

Fill your game room with images of some of your favorite games and activities. And for a lot of people, the 8-bit artwork of games from the 1980’s and 1990’s is both nostalgic and heartwarming. There are a number of artists who create paintings and graphics that are based on that pixelated style, and these images are available on everything from wall hangings to throw-pillows.

#9: Add a Brick or Stone Facade

You can give your game room a more unique feel with a brick or stone facade, which weighs a lot less than the real thing. Because it’s easier to install, you can give your game room the look and texture of exposed brick at a much lower cost. It’s also perfect if you’re looking for game room ideas that will make the space look like a traditional brick home.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.

Should a Master Bedroom be on the First or Second Floor?

 The location of the master bedroom is one of the biggest deciding factors for people who are thinking about buying or building a home. There are a variety of options, which gives homeowners a lot to think about. For many people, the master bedroom is a sanctuary where they spend a third of their day. So, location is important.

Your final decision might be influenced by the shape of your homesite and how it relates to your floor plan. You may end up giving up some backyard space by building your master bedroom on the first floor. If you want enough outdoor space that you can use for entertaining guests, a swimming pool, or other exterior structures, it may make more sense to build a second-floor suite. But long-term thinking might motivate you to build it on the first floor, which can be perfect for empty nesters.

master bedroom on second floor

Pros and Cons of a First Floor Master Bedroom

Having the master bedroom on the first floor can be extremely convenient, because it can give you the benefit of single-floor living. If you still have kids at home or have a lot of overnight guests, having your master bedroom on the first floor can be an attractive option. You can be locked away inside your own bedroom suite without hearing slamming doors, loud music, or arguments about who uses the bathroom first.

While moving to a warmer climate may be the dream of some retirees, a lot of people are choosing to retire-in-place. According to the AARP, 87% of people who are 65 and older want to stay in their current homes. When you put your master bedroom on the first floor, your home won’t need as many “costly modifications” for when you have mobility issues.

First-floor bedrooms are great for people who want to stay in their homes over the long term, because it can make your space more accessible for people who want to stay in their homes as they age. Families with small children and older adults who have trouble with stairs can also benefit from this type of floor plan.

First-floor master bedrooms can increase your home’s resale value and can even lower your utility bills. If no one is using the second-floor bedrooms, you might be able to get away with minimal heating and cooling for that entire part of your home. But despite their advantages, first floor master bedrooms have their drawbacks. They can be noisy, especially if it’s too close to the gathering room or kitchen. If it faces the front of the house, traffic noise and headlights may disturb your sleep.

Depending on your floor plan, adding a master bedroom on the first floor may not make a lot of sense. This is especially true if it requires you to build out and expand your home’s overall footprint. Your yard may be too small for a master bedroom on the first floor, or you may have children and don’t want to reduce the size of the outdoor play area.

Master Bedroom

Pros and Cons of a Second Floor Master Bedroom

If you’re a light sleeper, it can make sense to have the master bedroom away from the heart of your home. If you have it on the second floor, you’re less likely to be bothered by noise in the living room or kitchen. Even though it’s on the same floor as the other bedrooms, you can still have some privacy by having it at one end of the hall. You can also get a better view if you have your master bedroom on the second floor. Second-story master bedrooms are great for growing families who need extra space in lots that aren’t large enough for a first-floor suite.

There are some drawbacks to having a second-floor master bedroom. Unless you live in a 15-bedroom mansion, you’re most likely going to get some noise coming from the other bedrooms. While climbing stairs may not be a problem now, you might not be able to get to your bedroom if you break your leg or have mobility issues as you get older.

Adding a master bedroom to the second floor will require may require modification to your current design plans. Your main-level floor may also need some structural reinforcement to support the second level, which could make it more costly. Not to mention the disruption it will have on your current living space during the construction process.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi to help you create the perfect master bedroom, be sure to reach out to Devonshire Custom Homes.

Tips on Finding the Best New Home Builder for Your Project

If you want to build a new home, you should shop for builders as carefully as you would for a home that has already been built. Whether you’re buying a condo, a townhome, a house in a subdivision, or a custom-built home, you want to know that you’re getting a quality home from a reputable builder. But choosing from a list of custom home builders can be difficult. Texas has no licensing or “watchdog agency” that consumers can turn to if building their dream home turns into a nightmare. There’s nothing that can prevent builders from engaging in bad behavior, and these kinds of stories come up all too often. That’s why you need to be careful about who you hire to build your custom home.

Here are some tips on how you can find the right custom home builder for your project.

new home builder plans

#1: Get Preapproved for a Construction Mortgage

You should get preapproved for a construction mortgage before you even start the process, because it will confirm your budget and financial credibility to builders and real estate agents.

#2: Identify Your Needs

Make a decision on what type of home you want, what you need to have in it, and how much you want to spend. Most builders “specialize” to some degree, and they may be able to build within a certain price range or type of home. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, a move-up, an empty-nester, or just want to build a custom home of your dreams, you should look for a home builder that will meet your specific needs.

#3: Be Clear

You want to compare custom home builders and what they can offer you, so you should be as clear as possible about what you want from them. You may want hardwood floors or an all-season sunroom. But if you don’t mention that to prospective builders, they may not be able to give you the information you need.

#4: Look at Experience

You should find out how long each company has been in business and how long its principals have been building homes. You want to hire a seasoned professional, so don’t be afraid to ask them what kind of work they have done in the past.

#5: Look at Reviews from Previous Customers

If you’re planning to build in a community, be sure to ask your neighbors some questions. Ask them if they’re satisfied with their home and if they would build another one with the same company. You should also ask them if they would recommend that builder to a friend or relative and if they were satisfied with the company’s service. Did they communicate effectively? If there was an issue, did they respond in a reasonable amount of time? If you’re building on a scattered lot, ask the builder for references from previous homebuyers.

#6: Ask About Warranties

Every product you buy comes with some type of warranty.  Because it’s your largest investment, the same is true for your custom home. Having a long-term warranty that’s more than just a promise from the builder to perform will make sure that any problems will be taken care of, even if the builder has gone out of business.

#7: Use Your Powers of Observation

After you have come up with a list of custom home builders by going through all the necessary steps, you should take the time to look at their model homes. If it’s possible, you should look at any homes they have under construction. Pay attention to the quality of the workmanship and the materials they’re using. Do they use products from quality brands? Are the design features attractive, and do they use floor plans that are suitable for your lifestyle? Look at whether they pay attention to detail and if the people they work with are professional, experienced, knowledgeable, and courteous. You also want to look for any “red flags” (such as safety issues) at the job site.

#8: Talk to Experts

Lenders, real estate agents, builder material suppliers, builders associations, and code inspectors will be able to give you a unique but helpful perspective on custom home builders in your area, so you should ask them what they believe to be the top three or five local builders and why. You might be able to see a pattern, and you can use that list as a starting point for your research.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.

Energy-Efficient Features for Custom Homes

Your home is more than just a structure that has been built with flooring, four walls, and a roof. It’s made out of a collection of complex machines, appliances, and systems — all of which need energy to work. As technology continues to advance and people become more aware of the need to conserve energy (both to cut their bills and to protect the environment) homeowners are better able to reduce their dependence on grid-supplied energy than they have in the past.

energy efficient home

What is Considered to Be an Energy-Efficient Home?

An energy-efficient home will give you all the comfort and utility that homeowners wants while using the least amount of energy. A modern American home will use energy for the following areas:

  • Heating and Cooling — Most of the furnaces and air conditioning units in American homes are powered by either electricity or natural gas, which will be supplied by a local utility company.
  • Hot Water — This is probably the most underestimated appliance inside a home. It instantly provides heated water for your shower, faucet, dishwasher, and washing machine. In most cases, it will be powered by either electricity or natural gas.
  • Appliances — Not all appliances are created equal. There are different brands and models of refrigerators that will consume electricity in varying degrees of efficiency, and the same is true for all your other appliances.
  • Lighting — The kinds of bulbs and light sources you use in your home will affect your energy usage. The same is true for “smart” monitors that control when and how lights are being used.
  • Complex Systems — Every appliance can differ in how they use electricity, and the same is true for your home’s entire electrical system. Your home’s furnace, air conditioning unit, and ductwork can also be different in terms of efficiency.

There are many elements that go into making your home more energy efficient, but these are some of the primary examples.

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

If you’re a homeowner, today couldn’t be a better time to cut your energy usage. You can start by making an assessment of your current and future energy needs. You also want to make sure all the elements of your home can operate in the most efficient manner possible.

Here are some things that you should consider adding to your custom home design:

  • Installing Solar Panels — A lot of people talk about “renewable energy,” which involves the use of natural forces (such as the sun, wind, or moving water) to produce electricity. Solar panels turn the sun’s rays into useful electricity, so they can be used to power some or all of your home’s appliances, lighting, heating, and air conditioning.
  • Use Tankless Water Heaters — A standard water heater must be able to keep an entire tank of water (which is 40-50 gallons in most homes) heated at all times, but a tankless water heater instantly heats the water as it comes out from the main water source. It heats the water as it passes through a coil of pipes, which can be done through electricity or natural gas. So, it only uses energy when hot water is needed.
  • Purchase Energy Star Certified Appliances — Any home appliance, lighting fixture, hot water heater, and HVAC system can get Energy Star certified from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They work as well as any non-certified product, but they use a lot less energy.
  • Install LED Lighting — LED bulbs have done a lot to make home lighting more energy efficient. They’re 75% more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs. They can also be programmed to turn on and off at specific times. They can even dim or shut off when no motion has been detected for a certain period of time.
  • Use Spray Foam Installation — Installing quality insulation in your floors, walls, ceilings, and attic can make your home’s heating and cooling system more efficient, so it won’t cost as much to operate. Insulation blocks the transfer of heat, so it will keep it in during the winter and out during the summer.
  • Purchase Smart Home Devices — Smart technology can help you to limit your home’s energy usage by making automatic adjustments at times when energy is or isn’t needed. A smart thermostat can adjust your home’s temperature during periods of peak activity or when no one is home. It can even adjust the temperature when it’s time to sleep.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.

6 Benefits of Building a Custom Home

Your home is more than just any building. It’s a place where you can get away from all of life’s pressures. It’s also a place where you can make lasting memories with your family. Because you will spend so much time in your home to relax with your loved ones, entertain friends, and enjoy various hobbies, it must be able to accommodate your specific needs (all while reflecting your personal style).

When the time is right to build your “forever home,” one of the first and most important decisions you will have to make is whether to purchase an existing property or build your own custom home. While both have their pros and cons, here are some of the benefits of coming up with your own custom home design.

#1: Customized Options

Building a custom home is all about the ability to make choices. You will have the freedom to pick everything you want (including appliances, wall and floor coverings, trim designs, cabinetry, as well various amenities). If you prefer hand-painted art deco tiling instead of granite for your kitchen counters, you can have it. If you want to have a lot of natural light, you can install skylights in every room. You’re in charge of everything that goes into your new home, right down to the finest detail.

#2: Functionality

Everything in your custom home (including your floor plan) is built around you. Instead of working with a pre-existing floor plan or the limited options of a semi-custom home, you can tailor every inch of usable space to meet your specific needs. You’ll be able to eliminate any unused space, so you can adapt your home to meet your needs and lifestyle. Whether you prefer an open floor plan or want each room to be clearly defined, you can make it any way you want it. You can put a spiral staircase in the middle of a room, or you can build a customized wall of bookcases for your own private library (neither of which will be possible with a pre-built or semi-custom home.

#3: Personal Expression

A custom home design can be a direct reflection of your personal style, tastes, and personality. If you work with an architect or interior designer, you’ll be able to create a home that will become your “dream home.” If you’re an art collector, your home can include gallery-style walls with specialized lighting so you can showcase your most prized pieces.

If you like to enjoy a cup of coffee outdoors before you start your day, you can build a terrace coming off your kitchen or even your bedroom. Whether you like Mid-Century Modern, Greek Revival, Ranch, or Contemporary, your custom home can include whatever your heart desires.

#4: Lot Choices and Privacy

Whether you want to build your home in an active community or prefer the seclusion of a wooded lot, you can find the perfect spot. You can even design your home for the most amount of privacy or to take advantage of an amazing view.

#5: Material Quality

If you buy a pre-existing property or a semi-custom home, you don’t have a lot of control over the quality of the materials being used. The grade of the materials will vary from room to room and will include prefabricated materials that are lower quality, but a good custom builder will work with trusted tradesmen who will do quality work and use quality materials. With a custom home design, you will know it has been built with the best products, materials, and brands.

fancy custom bathroom

#6: Budget Flexibility

You may think that building a custom home is more expensive than a pre-existing or semi-custom home, but that isn’t always the case. It’s only more expensive if you want it to be, because you have complete control over how it’s built and the amount you’re willing to spend. Different features and materials will have a variety of price points, and the same is true for everything else that goes into a custom home design. When you work with a custom home builder, your budget is always taken into consideration — from when you start the design process to the day you move in.

When it comes to building a custom home, it’s important to work with someone you trust. If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes. We would be happy to speak with you about your specific needs!

10 Great Landscaping Plants for Your South Texas Home

Texas is nice most of the year. You can enjoy your garden during the spring and fall, while flowers bloom all year round. This is what makes Texas yards the envy of those who live in other parts of the country. But despite all the benefits of living in Texas, there’s one thing from which there is no escape. It can get very hot, especially in the summer. When there are long stretches of warm weather, it can be harder to keep your garden looking nice (especially if there’s no rain for long periods of time).

Here are some great landscaping plants that would work well for your home in South Texas.

#1: Hibiscus

This flowering plant could be considered the queen of the Texas summer landscape, because it can take it to a completely different level. You can choose from the many different colors that these flowers can come in — from raging red and glowing orange to bright pink and sunny yellow. But aside from all their eye-catching colors, hibiscus flowers can span 3-11 inches across. They can also come in the following varieties:

  • Single
  • Double
  • Semi-double
  • Crested
  • Ruffled
  • Heavily textured

All of these subtle differences can give each flower its own unique quality.

red hibiscus
Red Hibiscus

#2: Esperanza

This deciduous shrub produces a lot of 2-inch, bright yellow, bell-shaped flowers from late spring to winter. Esperanzas like full sun and average watering. It can also grow 3-5 feet in height and has a lemony hue that can dress up beds in many parts of a South Texas home.

#3: Wedelia

A lot of plants that thrive in full sun while in a cooler climate will like some protective shade if they’re being grown in the intense heat of a South Texas summer. Wedelia is one of them. It’s dark green and has serrated leaves. It also has a one-inch, daisy-like, yellow flower if it gets enough sun. Wedelias work well in areas of open shade, which includes partial or intermittent shade (such as the dappled light under a thin canopy of trees).

Yellow Wedelia
Yellow Wedelia

#4: Pineapple Guava

This gray-green shrub is a great choice for South Texas landscaping. Its evergreen foliage also produces attractive white flowers with bright red stamens. As it matures, it will make a beautiful multi-trunk tree with an attractive orange bark.

#5: Oyster Plant

This tropical plant has long burgundy, bronze-green leaves and requires full sun or partial shade to grow well. It can get up to 12-18 inches in height and is attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds. It works well in containers or near areas where people might gather to enjoy the view and the nature that the plant attracts.

#6: Ixora

This tall-growing shrub can get up to six feet high, but it can be easily maintained at lower heights. There are also dwarf varieties that can grow to about two feet in height. Flowers will appear in clusters against the dark green foliage and are usually bright pink, red, orange, or yellow.

#7: Rangoon Creeper

This fast-growing vine can cover a trellis or fence in a single season. It also produces dazzling, multi-colored, trumpet-like flowers in large clusters that are white when they emerge before turning into a deep rose. They’re also fragrant, which is another bonus. The foliage provides a little bit of fall color before dropping. It’s great near outdoor seating areas where their sight and scent can be fully appreciated.

#8: Golden Dewdrop

This fast-growing plant has frilly, purple flowers and golden berry clusters that are weighty and give the plant an appealing, weepy appearance. It attracts butterflies, as their purple blooms and yellow berries decorate the plant at the same time. Golden dewdrops bloom off and on all year round, which makes it an outstanding and even showy shrub. You can use it as a specimen plant, mix it with other plants in your landscape, or plant it in a row for a hedge style similar to what would be found in a cottage garden.

#9: Natal Plum

This is a dense, closely branched, and spiny evergreen shrub that produces a large number of white star-like flowers on fine, thick, waxy petals. They have a sweet fragrance. Natal plums grow in full sun to partial shade and will produce fruit that’s slightly drooped, plump, and red in color.

#10: Desert Rose

This beautiful plant is the star of all succulents and thrives in hot, dry, sunny conditions. Their blooms can range from red and pink to white, which will appear off and on during the warmer months. They will even appear all year round if the winters are mild. As the name suggests, the desert rose is a drought-tolerant plant. So, it likes well-drained soil and containers. While it’s slow-growing, it can grow up to 4 feet in height.

If you’re looking for one of the best home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.

9 Popular Trends in Custom Home Building

If you’re planning to build a custom home, you need to think about current house building trends (especially if you want your home to exceed your expectations). While some of them may be fleeting, other trends (such as smart home technology, energy-efficiency, and eco-friendly designs) will most likely stand the test of time. If you want to build a home that matches perfectly with your lifestyle, it’s all about the details.

Here are some custom home building trends that will help you to spark your imagination.

luxury living room

#1: A Blend of Straight Edges and Lively Curves

Modern designs have recently been favored over more traditional European and Victorian styles. Today’s trends focus more on simpler designs that make an impact. Homeowners prefer simple lines with more contemporary accents. They also prefer sharp lines and curves that play off each other.

#2: Seamless Transitions to Impressive Outdoor Living Spaces

In today’s custom builds, luxury is about being able to entertain from anywhere. Homeowners want to have a complete outdoor living space with nice furniture and enough space to entertain an entire crowd. Next to that may be a state-of-the-art infinity pool with a waterfall and a number of other features (such as a concrete fire pit with integrated benches). All of these are features that will make your home feel as welcoming and serene as a five-star hotel.

#3: Smart Home Features

One of the most popular custom home building trends of today has to do with what you can’t see, which is smart technology that goes far beyond your standard security and intercom systems. Smart homes use automation and AI, which can span from floor to ceiling. You can also control your window shades and coverings, as well as program smart thermostats. You can even remotely control various features within your home (such as cameras, lighting, and music).

#4: Dramatic Ceilings

One common and recurring custom home building trend is using ceilings as centerpieces. Barrel, coffered, and tray ceilings are all popular designs that will draw the eye upward. The reason why this feature is so popular is because it can work with any interior design — from understated farmhouse designs with white-washed planks to more dramatic designs with glossy, dark wood finishes.

#5: An Abundance of Light

Oversized windows and glass cabinets that are strategically placed to bring in more natural light have become popular (especially in warm, subtropical climates). Instead of adding light fixtures to light up a space, homeowners and designers are using glass, French doors, sliding glass doors, and mirrors that move through open floor plans. All of these features can create a bright and elegant space that opens up to a garden or outdoor area.

#6: Sustainable and “Green” Additions

Homes that are more eco-friendly are at the top of the wish list for a lot of homeowners. This can include using sustainable materials as well as high-efficiency pool pumps, air conditioners, and appliances. You can also design your garden spaces with native plants and flowers that are more drought-tolerant, so you can reduce the amount of needed irrigation.

#7: Intelligent Kitchen Extras

The best kitchen designs will allow you to work smarter, not harder. Kitchen extras that are intelligently designed can make things more convenient without the extra clutter. Prep sinks with covers that double as cutting boards next to the stove can let you wash and prep more easily. A piece of butcher block at the end of an island can create an area that’s always available for cutting and chopping — all while being away from the rest of the area. Integrated appliances are always coming back in style.

#8: An Emphasis on Natural Materials

If you’re looking for more natural sophistication, wood, stone, and quartz in earth tones and soft colors are great choices. They’re starting to replace darker and bolder materials (such as granite countertops and brightly-patterned tile backsplashes). Various focal points (such as fireplaces) are being updated and outfitted with stone instead of brick or tile. Even bathrooms are incorporating lighter designs, with tiles with a hint of sparkle and sheen.

#9: Casitas and Secondary Master Suites

Casitas (more commonly referred to as “guest houses”) are coming back in style. These 500-600 square foot residences are meant for short-term house guests. They have everything they may need for their stay — all while giving them complete autonomy and privacy from the main house. Secondary master suites are also becoming popular. They can have full spa-inspired bathrooms, walk-in closets, and a lot of space. They can also give guests the option to relax in their own space within your home.

If you’re looking for one of the best home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.

Roofing Material Options for Your Custom Home

The roof of your custom home can have a huge impact on its look, safety, and durability. Your homeowners association may have certain regulations with regard to the color and style of your roof, as well as on what type of materials you can use. If not, you can educate yourself on all the available materials so you can make an informed decision.

Roofing materials have made significant improvement over the years, and you have more choices than you would have had decades earlier. As you go through the different options, you have to think about the importance of your roof, how to find the right materials, and the common types of roofing that are on the market today.

new clay roof tiles

The Importance of Your Roof

There’s a reason why having a place to stay is called “having a roof over your head.” A roof can give you protection from the elements. Over the years, its construction has improved to the point where it can perform this duty more effectively. Your roof will not only protect the contents of your home, but it will also protect many of the systems that are required to make it comfortable. The underlayment might be coated with a reflective surface, and the area below it might have insulation to make your home more energy efficient.

Criteria for Choosing the Right Roof Design and Materials

There are many things that can determine what type of roofing materials will work best for your home, but its architectural style is often a driving factor in the roof’s overall design. Most styles have distinct roof lines and material that are part of their overall look.

Homeowners associations will often require certain roof colors and materials that they believe to be acceptable. Community restrictions and covenants may also require you to use a specific type of roofing material or color. Even local building codes may have requirements with regard to fire and weather safety. Sometimes, they will have standards with regard to sustainability and energy efficiency.

The color of your roof should go with your home’s exterior and the surrounding areas. Certain colors are also considered to be more energy efficient. You also have think about the roof rating, which is its projected longevity under normal “wear and tear” conditions. It also refers to its energy efficiency due to its color as well as its reflectance, emittance, and material sustainability. The local weather and environment can also be a deciding factor especially when it comes to wind and rain.

Your budget may also be a factor when it comes to deciding what type of roof you should install in your custom home. If you have more financial flexibility, you want to think about the lifespan and durability of the roof you plan to install because roof replacements are expensive propositions that you may not want to do that often. But before you decide what type of roofing material you plan to install, make sure it meets local requirements and that it looks aesthetically pleasing.

Types of Roofing Materials

There are a number of options when it comes to roofing materials, but here some of the most common:

  • Asphalt Shingles — They’re the most common and the least expensive types of roofing materials. They’re usually made from a fiberglass base that’s topped with asphalt and mineral granules or a recycled paper that’s saturated with asphalt and covered with granules.
  • Wood Shingles and Shakes — These are great if you want your roof to have a natural look. The shingles are machine cut so they have clean edges and a smooth surface, while shakes are cut by hand from wood blocks (which will have a more rustic appearance).
  • Concrete Tiles — These are created by using a lightweight blend of concrete that makes them rough but easy to install. Some of them may also have wood or clay fibers that are blended into the concrete, so it can have more strength with less weight.
  • Metal and Stone-Coated Steel — This type of roofing has gone far beyond the corrugated tin that was used in the old days. The metal roofing materials that are used today are made out of steel, zinc, copper, and aluminum (all of which are incredibly durable).
  • Synthetic Roofing — These materials can be made out of plastic, clay, asphalt, or rubber and are often made to look like slate or wood. A lot of synthetics were made for flat and low-sloped roofs, which may be a part of your custom home.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.

You Dream It, We'll Design it, and We'll build it!

Devonshire Custom Homes
2129 Airline Road
Corpus Christi, TX 78414