What’s New in Custom Home Building?


1. What are the hottest trends in brand new customer home building? Are homes smaller, are they taking into account extended families such as children returning to the home or parents living with them?

2. How far are customers willing to go to make their home more energy efficient? Are cost for green building components becoming more reasonable?

3. For older homes, are customers now able to get loans to have their homes remodeled? Is remodeling becoming a major part of your business in lieu of new homes? Are there any hot spot locations for building new homes…Sunriver, NorthWest Crossing, Prineville?

 Dave Rink
 D.E. Rink Construction, Inc.

Customers are asking about energy efficiency and sustainable products.  Green Building is becoming more affordable and mainstream.  Homeowners can go for the net-zero or Certified Green building.  Or they can choose to build for energy efficiency or clean air quality but use some conventional products. They should not judge by price alone.  Over time the Green products or systems can save money, besides being friendly to the environment and the resident’s health.  Often we donate cabinets, doors, windows to the Habitat  for Humanity ReStore.

Home sizes are trending smaller with kitchen-centered design being popular. When you entertain where do the guests congregate?  Designing a larger kitchen with easy access gives guests and family room to help out.  Baby boomers tend to want a separate guest suite or casita attached by a breezeway.

D.E. Rink Construction is a remodeling company as well as building custom homes in Central Oregon since 1979.  Right now remodeling is practical.  People want to update their homes rather than move.  Do-it-yourself remodelers need to be aware of homes built before 1978 may contain lead paint and they need to consult an expert before they begin work.  Anyone tackling a large remodeling project will be very glad they hired a professional builder.  Planning, designing, hiring dependable subcontractors, contractor pricing, experience, equipment…in the long run it will save money and  will get  professional results.

Greg Garrick
Norman Building & Design

I would say the hottest trend is that baby boomers are down sizing and want a very energy efficient home, especially their heating and cooling systems.  Clients are also asking for air quality filtration systems.  I have not had any clients concerned with accommodating boomerang children or elderly parents.

Most clients have a strong desire to have an energy efficient home and are willing to pay for those features whether in efficient appliances, windows or insulation.  In addition, they will pay for “green” materials such as recycled and reclaimed materials.

Yes, materials for green building are becoming more affordable.

Yes, the remodel loan market has gotten better in 2011.  We have always done remodels since the inception of our business in 1979, they account for about 25 percent of our business.   We have built from the South end of the county to the North end, it all depends on where people desire to live.  Some people want to be out in the country for privacy and accommodating horses, and others desire to be close to town.  Northwest Crossing seems to be a pretty  “hot” neighborhood right now, with folks wanting to live close to schools, parks and downtown.  We are just starting a new custom home in that neighborhood for a young family.

 Kimo Dejon
 Aloha Window Coverings

Smaller footprints for homes are now more popular versus three years ago, people are seriously looking at “rightsizing” and also integrating energy efficient accoutrements into the home such as home-automation which governs HVAC, lights, security, window and door coverings and more! A strong majority of new homes are being purchased by “empty nesters” as their economics allow for buying in a contracted housing industry and attractive price points.

Depending on their desire and ability, more and more people are spending more monies – up front – for home efficiency and then reap the long term return on those investments.

Yes…clients with older homes are refinancing and sinking some of that cash into upgrading and remodeling their 15-30 year old homes and that segment is becoming a growing component for our revenue.
As for “hot spots” for building new homes, there really isn’t a serious hot spot anywhere in Central Oregon – even NorthWest Crossing is rather stagnant, save for about 15 – 20 new homes being built. We are still the “red headed stepchild” in the state as far as new home construction goes – most of our work is in the I-5 corridor / Willamette Valley, Portland Metro and even Boise.

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