Modern Home Builder - July 2017 Issue
“People appreciate that they can say, ‘He delivered on everything he promised.” GUY FLOYD, OWNER
Delivering on its Word Creative Custom Builders values the thoughtful design and build of its clients’ homes over quantity. BY JANICE HOPPE-SPIERS
Creativity and building one-of-a-kind homes are the backbone of Creative Custom Builders, with no design challenge being too great for it to handle. “The greatest compliment is to get repeat clients because they chose to do the whole process again,” owner Guy Floyd says. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with many clients on their second and third homes because of the fun and enjoyable experience it is and should be. That’s what I do and people appreciate that they can say, ‘He delivered on everything he promised.’”
Floyd founded the San Antonio-based custom luxury homebuilder 14 years ago after 23 years of previous experience in the homebuilding industry. “One of the biggest differentiators of Creative Custom Builders is that my clients deal directly with me during the entire homebuilding process and not a construction supervisor or other company representative,” he says. “I help them during the lot search, architectural stage, design, construction, finish selections and make sure they get everything they want and deserve.”
Because of the one-on-one attention Floyd gives each of his clients, Creative Custom Builders only builds a small number of homes each year. “I’m at the job sites daily and the lines of communication with the homeowner are very open during the whole process,” he adds. “If something needs to be done I want to personally know about it and make sure it’s taken care of correctly. That’s huge because it’s not the way most builders operate.”
The company works with clients who already have plans drawn up and those who come in at the beginning stages of homebuilding. The clients work directly with Floyd to create the home of their dreams. “I get inspiration from all kinds of places,” he says. “I have a family room in one house, the ceiling treatment is incredible and was inspired from a historic bus terminal in Canada. I kept that design in the back of my mind until a homeowner said they wanted a unique ceiling treatment, something never done before. We modified it slightly, but that’s where the inspiration came from.”
The bidding process with Creative Custom Builders is realistic because Floyd spends so much time with the homeowners in the beginning of the process. “It’s a complete and accurate bid,” Floyd says. “The only way clients spend extra money is because they choose to. I am going to give you a realistic number and not pull a number out of the air. My subs and suppliers are going to offer a quote based on the house plans and based on what you tell me you are looking for – if you love chandeliers, we will put more money in your lighting budget. We do this for every single item in your home.”
“Because I do spend a lot of time upfront with clients, I don’t have a lot of change-orders, which can slow you down,” Floyd adds. “If clients want to make a change, it’s not a problem and we don’t charge them a builder fee. We only charge them for the cost of the change – I don’t profit from it.”
THE HIGHEST STANDARDS
Creative Custom Builders has developed long-term relationships with a core group of subcontractors and suppliers that understand the company’s expectations. “I have incredibly high standards,” Floyd declares. “It’s either right or wrong; there’s no in-between. My subcontractors know if something’s wrong they need to fix it and not try to pass it along. That’s unacceptable. My subcontractors have been with me for over 10 years and this understanding and these long-term relationships are just a few of the ways I’m able to control quality.” The total length of time to build a home depends on the weather and availability of subcontractors and suppliers. When the market is busy, the homebuilding process will take longer. Creative Custom Builders is honest with its clients about this to ensure there are no surprises. Creative Custom Builders also prides itself on its in-house warranty. “If something goes wrong and needs to be fixed I want to know about it so I can contact the subcontractor or supplier,” Floyd says. “I then follow up with the homeowner to ask if it was fixed to their satisfaction. No one knows the house better than me, which is why we don’t use a third-party warranty company.”
TIMES ARE CHANGING
Floyd says new styles of homes, especially modern and contemporary, are gaining in popularity in south Texas today. “Tuscan was ninety percent of the market up until three or four years ago,” he explains. “Austin, Texas, is about an hour-and-a-half north of San Antonio and they started building contemporary and modern homes, which started filtering down here. Even people who want a Tuscan style home now want what has been deemed Tuscan Traditional because it’s a mix between Tuscan and contemporary. It looks like a Tuscan home, but it involves refining some of the details inside and out with cleaner lines and the fixtures on the inside of the home lean more contemporary and modern.”
Because no project is too great for Creative Custom Builders to take on, the company has a broad portfolio. Most recently, the company gutted half of a top floor of a high-rise building and modernized a penthouse; built a traditional farmhouse with shiplap siding interior walls and reclaimed trusses and beams; and delivered a number of traditional Tuscan homes and Tuscan Transitional homes.
The company is always doing unique projects inside its homes, including things like one house which has a sliding marble backsplash that doubles as a way to hide spice racks. “We just figure it out. It’s what I love to do,” Floyd says about unique requests from his clients.
Home automation and entertainment continues to be one of the biggest trends among Creative Custom Builders’ clients because they want to control everything, Floyd says. “Lighting, window shades, pool features, etc., homeowners want to control everything with their smartphone or devices and it seems like the technology changes daily,” he adds. “We spend a lot of time designing custom systems for our clients’ needs and desires. Every time I have a new meeting, the technology has changed or the homeowner wants to do something unique. It’s changing so fast it’s amazing.”
Moving forward, Creative Custom Builders plans to maintain the status quo and never take on more work than it can handle. “Quality and customer satisfaction mean everything to me so I will never hire a construction superintendent, so the volume won’t increase,” Floyd says. “Much of the same will continue, but the style of the homes and what goes in and on them will continue to change. Right now, it’s moving to modern and contemporary, but that will change when something else picks up speed and we’ll shift again. Trends run five to 10 years until something else comes along.”
Published by Knighthouse Publishing | Tel: 312.676.1100 On behalf of Creative Customs © 2017 Knighthouse Publishing. All rights reserved.
City Pages Magazine - July 2007 Issue
Your guests arrive… Custom hand-forged iron gates open to usher them into a fabulous lush courtyard, that beckons hello with exquisite aromas of juniper and lilac. As they knock on the hand-antiqued Mahogany double doors, they admire the custom iron artistry that you have always dreamed of. The experience is captivating, and it has only just begun.
First impressions are indelibly imprinted, from the time you meet the builder of your masterpiece, to the first time you enter your own custom-built home, to the premier party you throw for guests at your home. Experiences like the one above have to be very carefully constructed. Many dream of building their own home, but with all the choices, where do you even start?
The process begins with the design of the home – how is it going to feel? Mediterranean? Hill Country? Modern? From there, more detailed decisions have to be made – what each room in the house will be used for, the height of the ceilings, placement of foyers, domes, and archways, size of bedrooms and closets, height of shower heads, style and color of plumbing fixtures, kitchen appliances, tile… the list seems endless and the choices often daunting. Will the antique stucco vent hood and modern appliances flow peacefully into the living room? Will they blend well with the huge rock fireplace that you have always wanted?
Guy Floyd, owner of locally-based Creative Custom Builders, takes a very systematic and involved approach. He believes, “If my name is going to be attached to that house, it is my face that will be seen on that job site.”
CityPages decided to follow Guy through the construction process of one of his homes so that we could bring you “the real scoop.” This month, we talked to him about design elements and planning, and how that translates into framing. I was never one of those people who could walk through a framed house and tell you which room was which, but now, with a little better understanding of “the specs”, I felt ready to put on my tool belt and hardhat and get to work!
Looking at the blueprints of 5 Villers St. Paul in The Chateaux at The Dominion, I learned several things: the home is DEFINITELY designed for entertaining, but is also built for someone with a family – it’s so livable! This house is perfectly suited for the homeowners who love to sit outside to relax/regroup/read/enjoy the outdoors; have a penchant for entertaining; and have kids and/or grandkids that run around like crazy. Spa amenities await her after the end of a long day, while he loves to hang out with a few buddies in the game room to relax. Both adore having Mom & Dad visit, but know that for everyone’s sake, they need a little space to themselves. Hey wait – I could live here!!
Translating a lifestyle and dreams into a tangible structure is no easy task – for you or the builder. Guy says: “You don't want the experience to be miserable or chaotic. We know the tremendous amount of work that goes into building your desired dream home but as the builder we have everything well-structured and planned out to your specifications and we keep you properly informed. This creates a non-stressful and enjoyable process for you the owner.”
“Before we even start on your home we like to sit down with you and get a feel for what you expect out of your new home. We want to help you create the best possible living environment for you and your family. We like to discuss things like: everyday traffic flow through your home, how and where you eat, and whether or not you entertain. Based on the conversation we organize the priorities so your home will fit your lifestyle.”
“It is a challenge to design the perfect layout but it is rewarding. At Creative Custom Builders we take into account the space and natural environment of the property because proper layout is crucial. The way the house flows is as important if not more important than simply having a beautiful home.”
Every now and then, something is designed into the blueprints that just doesn’t seem to work in reality. Perhaps two archways come together at a weird angle, maybe the home owner wanted a certain “look” that might not be architecturally consistent with the overall style of the house. During this framing stage, we saw Guy walk the house with a keen eye…any time he saw something that might need to be adjusted we learned that he typically made three phone calls: (1) to the home owner, to make sure that the coffered ceiling that he has to adjust doesn’t take out a “dream home necessity” of theirs, and (2) to the architect to make sure some other workable plan can be designed, (3) and then back to the homeowner to make sure that the new design is something they like that fits within their lifestyle.
Guy says, “We stay in close communication with the homeowner even if they are not interested in being highly involved in the construction process. This way they know the progress we are making on their new luxury home. It is important for them to feel they can reach us at any time.”
As Guy started the construction on 5 Villers St. Paul, laying the foundation and assembling the framing and roof, it was like the first glimpse into the beginning of my…er…your new home. I could already get a sense of the Old World Tuscan charm – and even stood in the exact place where that Noce Travertine heated floors might warm my tootsies on cold mornings!
City Pages Magazine - August 2007 Issue
Walking through 5 Villers St. Paul last month when just the framing was complete was thrilling, but left me with a feeling of what was to come. Just as beautifully plated fine fare opens one's appetite, so does the exterior of a home entice the senses. The exterior of a house can convey any persona you want to express-statuesque, powerful, welcoming, or charming. Guy Floyd, owner of San Antonio's Creative Custom Builders, believes that both the inside and the outside of a home play a crucial role in reflecting the owner's vision and lifestyle. "To me, the way the house flows is as important if not more important than simply having a beautiful home."
Designing the home of your dreams - the one you will come back to after a long day at work, the home your friends will visit for dinner parties, the home you will raise your family in - is by no means a small feat to undertake. How the home looks from the outside is your first impression of its character and creating that first impression is an exciting process. This first step truly begins where the sidewalk ends.
Picking out exterior rock, roofing materials, stucco and trim colors, windows and window frames, and a plethora of other options is critical to achieving the desired look and feel, but can also prove to be a confusing and sometimes overwhelming task. Have you ever bought that "perfect shade of taupe" paint that you just loved in the store but then after painting your entire bedroom you felt surrounded by a lavender box? What happened? Shades of taupe reflect and absorb other colors in the room. What if you had self-selected the color for the exterior of your home? Would you really want to be known as the family with the purple house? There are arrays of options available for the outside of your home, but knowing which are feasible and how they will work within your setting is indispensable knowledge!
Guy Floyd works with customers to make sure the home they're envisioning blends into the environment of the lot they've chosen. "We'll maximize any views, take into account any grade changes and other natural features, especially any existing large trees, and consider the total overall amount of space within which we can work".
The front entryway can be as dramatic as you desire; the yard, driveway, and sidewalk - which are also decided on at this time - are also important facets that help relate the home's story. And last but not least, the patio or courtyard will be hosts and witnesses to your family gatherings and social events. Because Creative Custom Builders prefers to work with the land, rather than against it, Guy guides you through each step. Have you taken into account how your house will work with the lot you've picked out and the setting sun? Is the lot flat or can you use the hills and grade changes to your advantage? What about existing trees, ponds, and views?
The feelings you experience when you can finally take the first glimpse at the overall look of your home are undeniably overwhelming. It's a mixture of excitement and nostalgia - similar to when you see an old friend after being apart for some time.
Being closely involved with the planning and construction of your home will give you a sense of ownership unrivaled by your tenure at any previous home. A home of your own design offers new beginnings and an exciting glimpse into your future.
City Pages Magazine - November 2007 Issue
Waiting is the hardest part . . .
The alarm goes off on a crisp Monday morning notifying you it’s time to leave the comfort of your bed and get ready once again to face the real world. The cool air nips at your toes, but instead of pushing the snooze button you rise and get moving because you know the timer on your heated bathroom floors has been set for this particular moment. At this moment you are reminded of the wise decision you made to have built a custom home with heated floors installed. This decision among many others are what have come together to make up your dream home.
The final stage of creating your perfect custom home is all about the finishing touches. The choices range from light fixtures to kitchen appliances, and even down to the hardware you would likeon your cabinetry.
Guy Floyd, the owner of Creative Custom Builders in San Antonio says "this is the point where some customers can become overwhelmed. However; we organize it so that the process is very simple, fun, and exciting. We go through it in stages and each selection will help us in making the subsequent one. Our goalis to make sure our customers are completely happy and comfortable with their selections."
Whether you choose a chandelier or track lighting, carpet or hardwood floor, a built in cappuccino maker or vegetable steamer; inevitably these decisions are yours and what will ultimately turn into your one-of-a-kind new abode. I can almost see the foyer of 5 Villers St. Paul in the Dominion, welcoming me home with the light from a gorgeous crystal chandelier shining down on the bespoke dark mahogany floors.
The anticipation mounts throughout the entire process of building your home. Waiting for your marble tiles to arrive or waiting for the faux ceiling artwork to be finished can cll for patience from both the builder and buyer. The finishing touches of your new home cause excitement as well as eagerness to just MOVE IN ALREADY! Waiting most definitely is the hardest part of the home building process, but with a little patience you will soon be living in the home you have always dreamed of. Guy says, "The detail work is simply more time consuming. Even though everything is already picked out we'll spend some time testing paint and stain colors to make sure the client still likes their choices."
The day has come where all your last minute details are wrapping up and you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Move-in day has arrived and your family now has a place to call home. All the waiting has paid off, now you see the grins from ear to ear as you begin a new chapter of life for you and your family. "Creative Custom Builders' passion for excellence is a simple one: to design and construct homes in absolutely the finest way possible, with the highest quality materials and workmanship."
City Pages Magazine - April 2008 Issue
Heart and Home
Through the last year I have followed the building of a custom home by Guy Floyd of Creative Custom Builders. When I first sat down with him I thought I would run a story or two to follow the homebuilding process, take some photos, and be done. But what happened over the course of several months was something so much deeper. Once I got started writing and watching, I didn't want to stop. Somehow, following the building of this home meant so much, and now as the house is complete and a new family is getting ready to move in, there's a bit of sadness as I had so envisioned my toes on that heated bathroom floor.
I remember our first photo shoot at the home - there was a huge slab and the studs were going up to frame this 5,000 sq. ft. home. This was going to be a big boy! I returned a few months later to see a gorgeous stucco exterior and the inside rooms taking shape. Guy shared my excitement as he painted for me a visual picture of the master bedroom. I was growing attached to the home even though it would not be my personal home. It got me thinking about my childhood and what a great place our home was growing up. A home is the place brothers and sister are born, it's where families really become families, it's where dreams are created and heartbreak is comforted by a familiar and loving voice. Now that this house is built, it's going to be that special place for someone.
It seems very fitting that our parting shot this month showcases the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the house - the place for talking, for dining, for throwing parties and even gathering friends and family. I still cannot believe how much this process tugs at my heart strings. Maybe Guy Floyd possesses some sort of magic and that's why this home already has such a sense of nostalgia. It is with great anticipation that I wait for this house to truly be someone's home. By the time this article comes out, that new family will be all moved in. Only time will tell the rest of the story. Well, that and the drawings that get placed on the refrigerator.
Now I'm looking forward to Guy's next creation - a new home for a great family at 15 Montivillers. Located just around the corner in The Dominion, I can't wait to see it!