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Homes designed to 'make life easier'

Homes designed to 'make life easier'


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Getting ready to build your dream home?

Maybe you have decided on the area of town where you would like to live, how many bedrooms you'll need or how many stories you'll want. But there are a lot of other considerations that go into creating the perfect home.

Members of the Metro Omaha Builders Association are available to help customize a new home to your taste, and you can check out some of their ideas in the Summer Parade of Homes.

Twenty-eight homes will be on display today and Thursday through Sunday, said Jaylene Eilenstine, MOBA's executive director. The homes will reflect various prices, house styles and perhaps most important, new trends in building and design.

Jason Troshynski, a partner in Ted Grace Homes, said home buyers today are looking for designs that "make life easier."

For the Parade of Homes, his team has created a traditional two-story, five-bedroom house in a non-traditional, new and exciting way. One of the bedrooms is on the first floor and has its own storage and bathroom. It creates an independent space for a livein nanny or a grandparent. Or it's an excellent guest space.

Families with kids might like one touch: sound insulation in the walls of the home to eliminate some of the generational differences that can occur. Over loud music, perhaps?

The master suite bathroom is one of the focal points of the house, Troshynski said. There is a "huge vanity and tons of storage in individual closets for two people. Transom windows let in a lot of natural light."

Another trend in new bathrooms is walk-in showers, said Marc Stodola of Charleston Homes and Marc David Homes. People don't want to be bothered with cleaning glass shower doors or having to step over the side of a bathtub to enter the shower.

"We're also seeing people spending more money on their kitchens," said Stodola, who also is the president of MOBA.

In addition to high-end appliances, they seek the popular open floor plan that incorporates kitchen, dining area and family room into one big space, he said.

If there is a dining room in the plan, Stodola added, many families are converting it to office space.

A sought-after feature, say area builders, is a "drop zone." It's a place where family members can shed coats, muddy shoes or snowy boots, umbrellas and such, allowing them to avoid tracking messes into the rest of the house.


What: MOBA Summer Parade of Homes

When: Today and June 25-28

Hours: 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Visit for a list of parade homes and addresses

Admission: Free

Outdoor living spaces are big now. Castle Brook Builders' Kirt Jones said a trend his company has noticed focuses on the back yard. Home buyers want yards that back up to trees and want to have outdoor living spaces that include "lush landscapes, patios with decorative concrete, composite decking, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces with built-in seating," he said.

Jones sees many buyers looking for less square footage in their new houses. They're opting instead to put money into upgraded amenities, such as custom countertops and cabinets, decorative ceilings or circular staircases.

Inside, Jones said, linear fireplaces, open spaces and the use of whites, grays and washed-wood finishes are being utilized along with modern fixtures and intricate designs. Finished basements with theater rooms also are becoming popular, he said.

The builders all hope Parade of Homes visitors to pay attention to details in the model homes — to the workmanship and the functionality of spaces.

The important thing to know, Stodola said, is that today's homebuilders are eager to work with home buyers so their new houses reflect their wants and needs.

"We know it's one of the most important decisions they make," he said. "We take a lot of pride in what we build."

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