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SPOTLIGHT

Drake Homes Inc. specializes in high-end communities prized for their luxury amenities, well-designed landscaping and convenient locations. Shown above: Ashland Square in the Houston Heights.

Chefs in the family appreciate the traffic triangle among the stove, sink and refrigeration in the kitchen. Drake Homes also build in plenty of counter space and storage.

Drake Homes Designs and Builds For the Homeowner BY DEBI BRYANT

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nthusiastic, energetic, efficient: These words describe both the people and work philosophy of Drake Homes Inc., the Houston area homebuilder, specializing in affordable and conveniently located homes. The enthusiasm of this company displays itself in the belief that they build homes as if they were building their own. Because a family owns and operates the company, it is a way of life. Impromptu meetings occur around the dinner table, on vacations, any time a good idea arrives. As a small company, Drake Homes gives each project this kind of time and attention because its people enjoy their work. The entire roster of employees, sub-contractors and vendors match the ideals and philosophy established by the principals, president Horacio Martinez Jr., senior vice-president Jose Castillo and vice-president Roberto Castillo. Many of the sub-contractors and vendors started with Drake Homes at its inception, which illustrates another working principle of the company—to create loyalty, you have to be loyal. Over the years, several employees, including top management, began their careers by sweeping out finished homes and stacking materials. This bottomto-top approach gives team members a vested interest in the success of the company and the happiness of the clients. The company also brings an internally generated energy to each house and development. Drake’s approach to customer service best shows this quality where going the extra mile is the standard, not the exception. The company family extends to its customers. They are there for the homeowners well after warranties expire. This is what energizes them and the company as a whole. For example, they had just finished the first home using a new floor plan. While doing a walk-through, several team members arrived on the third floor landing with the general consensus that the space “felt tight.” They stood

12 house& home | September 2013 | www.house and home online. com

there, discussed what could be done to correct the issue and came up with the solution—to reconfigure an overly large utility room and to relocate the hallway door of a bedroom. “Drake Homes went above and beyond to accommodate all of our requests,” says homeowner Fred Lagrasta. “They are perfectionists. They didn’t cut corners and always take my calls.” Quality construction reveals the efficiency of a Drake home. As a standard practice, they use 5/8-inch drywall to achieve three benefits: The thicker drywall helps keep wood frames from warping in our humid climate; it acts as additional insulation, and it serves as a sound barrier. They also install high-grade insulation. In other words, they don’t cut corners. How do these qualities benefit buyers? The Villas at Graustark, the latest Drake Homes development in Montrose, demonstrates the impressive package that typical buyers get with Drake Homes. High-end, high efficiency-rated appliances, 10-foot ceiling, soaring ceilings, custom wrought iron details, wooden floors throughout, granite countertops throughout, luxurious trim and upscale landscaping. Floor plans exhibit a design-conscious sensibility; that is, furniture looks good in the space and each room possesses the X-factor of livability. Drake Homes also chose to put only nine units on the property, instead of the 11 it could have built, because they wanted to give homeowners a back yard large enought for a water feature or a summer kitchen. It is this consistent efficiency found at Drake Homes Inc. that allows the company to build homes DRAKE HOMES, INC. that last and appreciate in value. “At Drake Homes. we are not just www.drakehomesinc.com selling to the immediate buyer but 281.451.9386 to the second and third homeowner as well,” says Martinez.

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