Venetta Hilton stands in the middle of her breakfast nook, surrounded by an inviting kitchen that’s bigger than the size of her living room. She peers out the glass doors and sees her husband Paul drinking a tall glass of lemonade as he sits underneath their custom-made pergola covered deck and gazes into the soft Texas sunset.
A houseguest can’t help but be jealous of this Remington Trails home, located just off Pederson road on the outskirts of old Katy. The word immaculate can only describe how these Katy custom homes look, while the awe of diversity and variety is overwhelming on the acreage lots. Today’s Katy homebuyers are looking for quiet family living combined with architectural freedom and customized features.
Building Your Dream House
Jeannie Floyd, a Cinco Ranch representative, says that with customization comes development and time. “The homebuyer can either get involved from start to finish or come in during the speculative homes stage. Most of the time they will bring in their own designs, but honestly it is up to the individual homebuyer to decide on how much they want to get involved.”
In the “from start to finish” process, the homebuyer begins working with the builder early on when initially buying the lot and continues working with them until the house is completely done. In the “speculative home” process, the house already has a basic architectural plan, and the homebuyer may decide what customized features will be added or taken away.
Bring Your Own Builder
“One advantage that homebuyers have is they have the option of choosing any builder they want. You can bring your own builder,” says George Pizzitola, a Katy Lake Estates representative. Katy Lake Estates is located at the end of Pitts and Clay Road. Pizzitola says they generally have four to five builders that a homebuyer can choose from. Jim Frankel, Mitchell Carroll, and Tommy Bailey are a few local favorites in the Cinco Ranch area.
Customized for the Homebuyer
When touring Sue and Steve Meadows’ custom home in Lake Pointe Estates, spectators are drawn to the pot filler faucet above the sink, and can’t help but notice the gently rounded columns in the hallway. The Meadows are also proud of their custom game room adorned with Astros memorabilia and handy built-in shelving. “This is the room we built our entire house around,” explains Sue Meadows. “We wanted a room that would fit a pool table and started from there.” The Meadows’ final one-story project also has a sitting room off the master bedroom, a built-in golf case, a closet utility room, and a hot tub. “Most of the ideas came from flipping through many design magazines,” admits Meadows. “Then we would go to the builders with magazine cutouts and alter anything in the plan we didn’t like. The expense was worth it — I’d do it all over again.”
A Little Bit Country and a Whole Lotta Privacy
Stepping inside Lindsey and Glenda Clark’s residence at Lake Pointe Estates, it’s easy to be awestruck by the spacious interior. The Clarks built their home on a one-acre lot for added peace and privacy. Outside, the Clark’s fountain-filled pool, outdoor kitchen, and tiled patio deck are all enveloped by endless grass and sunshine. The spacious resort-style setting only enhances the home’s tranquility. “It’s like being in the country – it’s so beautiful, you can hear the birds and see the stars at night.” says Lindsey Clark “We spend so much more time outside now, eating out near the pool and entertaining friends.”
After Paul Hilton retired, he and his wife chose a custom home with acreage in Remington Trails. Venetta Hilton explains, “When men want to retire, they want to retire in Nowheresville, and women, such as myself, want to stay close to my friends and the community. This was our compromise. He got his garden and tractor, and I can still play Bridge with the girls.”
A Ready-Made Home
Although, this process may be for some, it may not be for all. Jane Philley, who lives in a custom home that was originally built by the previous owners, says that she prefers to avoid the problems associated with building a custom home. “Sometimes it can be very frustrating, and I just prefer a house being ready for me, than doing it myself.” Even though it’s not built with her own imagination, Philley still feels a connection to the Amesbury Park custom home someone else designed. “I like to call it a Forever Home,”
Architecture and Design for Dummies
Here are some resourceful websites for innovative, creative, and modern styles to either be a guide for a home, or spark some interesting ideas.
An interior design magazine with celebrity home examples.
Architectural plans contributed by over 70 architects with 200 plans to look through.
A magazine that concentrates on the latest trends, and also emphasizes the business behind construction.
www.dwellmag.com: A very modern magazine focusing on the sleekest, and stylish home designs.
www.housebeautiful.co.uk : A condensed version of the original magazine with helpful features and interactive activities.
www.neodata.com/hfm/mhme/: A magazine that is advised by top designers to help build an upscale home.
Neighborhoods with Acreage
Katy Lake Estates
Clay Rd & Pitts Rd
Gives a range of 1.1-1.9 acres for the homebuilder, surrounded by a lake and gazebo.
Lakes of Katy
Morton Ranch Road & Near Highway 90
Offering estate sized lots nestled around recreational lakes engineered with water-skiing and wakeboarding in mind.
Lake Pointe Estates
Near the intersection of 1-10 and Grand Parkway
Located in a gated Master-planned community with one-acre lots surrounded by a central lake.
Exit Pederson Rd, at Hwy 90 and 2855
A community composed of individually spaced acre-lot homes, serving to provide space and customization for the homebuyer.
Start Customizing Right Away
Many of these popular Katy communities will let you choose some or all of your home’s features.
Grand Parkway and Cinco Ranch Blvd
At the intersection of Grand Parkway and Fry Road
South Barker Cypress and Cypress Chase
Fry Road North of Westheimer Parkway
FM 1463 to Kingsland Blvd.