Texas Hill Country Building Savvy March 2022

Page 1

March 2022

Texas Hill Country | Homebuilding Industry Publication


Matthew and Melissa Mabery Building Big and Bold in Boot Ranch BECOMING A BUILDER Steve Zbranek



Celebrate Where you Belong

There is no better time for your family to join the club, create memories and enjoy an abundance of amenities in the secluded Lake & Hill Country. Located in the heart of Texas, The Club at Horseshoe Bay Resort is a sprawling property recognized as a tropical oasis.


Building Savvy

SAVVY’S A-LIST A-LIST SAVVY’S Architectural Photography

Air Conditioning Jason Roberts Classic Services AC 210.789.2033 830.358.1499 www.classicairconditioningandwww.jasonroberts.biz heating.com Architecture

Architectural Photographer Delineations Jason Roberts and Associates 830.693.9408 210.789.2033 www.delineations.com www.jasonroberts.biz Banking Building Materials

BMC Hill Country National Bank 512.977.7400 512.756.7363 www.buildwithbmc.com


Guido Companies

Building Materials 210.344.8321

MG Building Materials www.guidoconstruction.com 830.257.2300 www.mgbuildingmaterials.com

Destination Resort

Doors The Front Door Company 830.598.3917 210.340.3141 www.hsbresort.com www.thefrontdoorco.com

Home Warranties


The Club at Horseshoe Bay Resort

StrucSure Sunn Carpets and Flooring

Hill Country AlignedPropane Mortgage

830-624-4450 210.349.7866

830.997.8621 210.874.1630

www.sunncarpets.com www.strucsure.com

www.hillcountrypropaneinc.com www.alignedmortgage.com

Electrician Electrician

Garage Doors Insulation


Pest Control Plumbing Hollywood-Crawford Accurate Pest Control Foam One One ZK Plumbing 210.494.3434 210.495.0499 830.228.5040 806.282.4378 www.hollywoodcrawford.com www.accuratepest.net

JPIElectric Electric JPI 210.233.6638 210.233.6638

www.jpielectric.com www.jpielectric.com


Elevators Energy Rating

Home Elevator Burk Energy Ratersof Texas

210.340.5702 www.homeelevator.com



Home Warranties Interior Design & Furnishings Centricity One Swanky Shop 727.385.7599

Real Plumbing Estate


www.dptexas.com 210.844.1542

StrucSure www.oneswankyshop.com 830-624-4450 www.strucsure.com

Fireplace Installations Integrity Fireplace Installations Turn 2 Flooring 210.294.1383 Flooring



Hill Country Lighting



Insulation Klar Insulation www.hillcountrylighting.com 210.296.5499

Granite Countertops Accent Granite & Marble



Kohutek Construction


Mortgage Company

Mortgages Insurance

First United Mortgage Group Hotchkiss Insurance 512.529.7787 210.581.0420


www.hiallc.com mschepper.firstunitedteam.com


Home Technology 210.248.2556 HomeSmart

Painting Lumber and Millwork

Rendi’s Trim Carpentry


Roddis Painting Lumber Flawless



210.226.1426 830.265.0170

TerryDiamond Kemmy Plumbing Keller210.967.6100 Williams, River Hill Group

Roofer Kendall County Roofing Williamson Roofing 830.331.2650 830.798.4371 www.kendallcountyroofing.com Roofing


Specialty Electronics and Appliances Title Company HomeWerks Independence Title 210.499.5760 512.454.4500 www.sanantoniocentralvac.com www.independencetitle.com

Specialty Glass and Mirror B&T Glass 210.656.8507 www.btglassandmirror.com

www.roddislumber.com Luxury Iron Doors and Interiors AMS Group 210.366.0490

Title Company First American Title 817.918.2323 www.firstam.com

DISCLAIMER: Any articles included in this publication and/or opinions expressed therein do not necessarily re ect the views of N2 Publishing but remain solely those of the author(s). The paid advertisements contained within the Building Savvy magazine are not endorsed or recommended by N2 Publishing or the publisher. Therefore, neither N2 Publishing nor the publisher may be held liable or responsible for business practices of these companies. NOTE: When community events take place, photographers may be present to take photos for that event and they may be used in this publication.




“ Te r r y i s s o c o rr ei ga itni vael when it comes to advertising properties in i n n o v a t i v e w a y s . We l o v e his creative thinking.”


Realtor ® terry0372@kw.com 210.844.1542 4

[From The Publisher]

READY FOR SPRING? SAVVY BUILDERS MUST BE SAVVY ADVISORS TO HELP CLIENTS THROUGH ANOTHER CRAZY SEASON The experts predict 2022 will continue to be a strong seller’s market with newly built homes preferred by most homebuyers. Similarly, remodelers are expected to see another stellar year. Even when it seems like there is endless demand, builders and remodelers must never lose sight of their need to stay on top of buyer preferences. Both our Focus Section on home exteriors and our Savvy Special Report on homebuyer preferences can provide ideas and inspiration.

2022 poses to be another year

causing some people to make rash decisions. “Pandemic Home

much the same as the last,

Buying Remorse” is a term being coined as another side effect

which means material shortages

of Covid-19. “Amid fears of forced proximity to others and the

continue to add to the cost and

need for more space at home for work and kids’ classes, many

time to build homes. Supply

people snapped up property at the height of a juiced market,

chain backlogs continue to

often waiving inspections and contingencies to make their

disrupt new home markets, limiting homebuyers’ options and

offers more competitive. Others bought homes far from the city

moving some new owners to homes without garage doors or

center, where they could get more space for less money,” cites

gutters. In January, following a few months of moderating prices

Realtor.com. “That remorse is expected to rise as reality settles

last spring and summer, NAHB reported that lumber prices were

in, society returns to a semblance of normality, and those buyers

soaring once again. The most recent lumber price upsurge is

face longer commutes, discover problems with their new abodes,

being blamed on ongoing supply chain disruptions, the doubling

and grapple with hefty monthly payments.”

of tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the U.S. market, and an

Savvy builders and remodelers must continue to carefully study

unusually strong summer wildfire season in the western United

the market and be adaptable to change to put themselves in the

States and British Columbia. What else is new?

position to offer sound advice to homeowners. Help your clients

As a recent Fortune article reminds us, in a normal year spring

through all of the craziness, offering your expertise to help them

real estate market is the industry’s busy season. “But this year,

separate fleeting trends from choices most likely to lead to a

there is more unease than excitement coming from the home

good long-term investment. Do this, and you will have the recipe

shopper side of the equation. For one thing, last year’s spring

for building a strong long-term business that will see it through

housing market, which was arguably the fiercest in history, is still

the next wave that will bring inevitable change to the housing

seared into the collective memories of unsuccessful 2021 home


shoppers.” In this climate, savvy builders must communicate, work hard to

Terry Kemmy

maintain buyers’ trust in them and their product, and train their


sales teams on how to calm and soothe a range of emotions



[industry news]

Tips for

Growing Your Homebuilding


Once you have a clear picture of your business, you will be able to identify areas that need improvement. Start working on bettering these areas and your business will naturally improve and can begin to grow.

2. Become a Specialist Customers are always willing to pay extra for

The homebuilding world is competitive. To stay ahead in

niche experts. If you find you’re building one

the game, you need to be thinking about how to grow your

type of home more than others – luxury custom

homebuilding business. However, running such a business

homes, for example – concentrate on establishing

involves keeping many plates spinning, so it can be

yourself as an expert in this area. Clients who

challenging to understand exactly how to do this. Growing

want a specific type of home will look to you first

your business isn’t just about finding more sales. You can

if you’re a known expert.

employ many strategies to help your homebuilding business flourish. Here are our top six tips on how to grow your

3. Build and Maintain Your Network

homebuilding business:

You will already be familiar with working with

By Scott Whisenant

other homebuilders to complete your projects. It’s essential that you build on this network. Become

1. Analyze Your Current Business Model

known among your network as a reliable and

You must understand your current position before you can

trustworthy individual. Reputations are spread by

move forward. Where does your business sit financially? How

word of mouth, so if you have a great reputation,

is your pipeline looking? Furthermore, what kind of feedback

people will recommend you and help you grow

have you been receiving from customers and staff?

your business.


When considering how to grow your homebuilding business, the

4. Focus on Great Service

important thing is not to rush. Concentrate on giving your buyers the

Customer service can make or break a business. Ensure that yours

very best service and products. By making this a consistent strategy,

is top-notch. Remember that your reputation will precede you, so if

the rest will fall into place.

you’re providing your existing clients with a five-star experience, potential customers will be more likely to want to work with you.

5. Market Yourself Proactively Scott Whisenant is the VP of Sales for StrucSure Home Warranty. He

It’s cheaper and easier than ever to market yourself. Get active on

joined StrucSure in 2010 and has been highly involved with numerous

social media, share your homebuilding stories, give useful tips and

homebuilder associations across Texas. Scott has received multiple

advice. Write blog articles with valuable content that will draw people

industry awards (including the “Associate of the Year” Award in

to your website.

2016 and Associate Legend of the Year in 2017) and is a member of StrucSure’s Million Dollar Club. Scott’s hands-on approach and

6. Offer a Home Warranty

commitment to service are highly valued by builder members across

Make sure you’re providing a home warranty with each home you

the state and are shown by their advocacy and loyalty.

sell. This not only protects you financially from any major structural defects that occur in the home but also protects the homeowner.

Scott Whisenant

Home warranties give everyone an extra layer of confidence and

Vice President of Sales, Central & Southwest Texas

trust in the homes you build. Now more than ever, homeowners want

830-624-4450 | swhisenant@strucsure.com

security in their investment and appreciate the assurance of warranty coverage. Providing home warranties like those offered by StrucSure Home Warranty is a cost-effective way to ensure your homes are sold more quickly and for a better price.


[Focus Section]


By mixing and matching James Hardie’s Textured Panels with other products, home

Brick still leads the pack for home exterior preference

plans that are more traditional can move to a more contemporary look and on the other

in Texas for a number of reasons. Brick siding

end of the spectrum, the Hardie Textured Panels can be used to incorporate some more transitional styling into modern architectural styles.


will not rot, burn, or fade even in extreme weather, maintenance is minimal, and it provides natural insulation. However, stucco and stone are often used to define popular modern styles, sometimes

rchitects and designers are not only looking for advanced

in combination with brick. Wood and metal

building solutions, but also stylish products that will make

are increasingly being used on home exteriors

a statement. The building community and their clients also

to add extra interest and layers to flat facades

demand products that are responsibly manufactured and

or monochromatic designs. Modern product

sustainable, resistant to rot and insects, and demonstrate superior

development opens the door to use just about any

strength and dimensional stability for strong wind load performance and

desired building material outdoors--or at least one

superior impact and thermal resistance as well as Class A Fire Rating.

that replicates the look you’re after.


The Style You Want--No Longer Limited to a Particular Climate Area The research and development teams at work in the labs of major brand name building product manufacturers are hard at work assessing traditional methods of construction and devising ways to improve upon them, engineering products that are specially treated as well as those that use proprietary formulations to replicate the desired look with the feel of natural products. Leading the home exterior design trend are wood accents, but there are only a handful of woods that weather well outdoors. Engineered wood is one solution. LP’s pre-primed SmartSide Smooth Panelboards are made from engineered wood strand board treated with LP’s SmartGuard process. A water-resistant wax coats each fiber of the board while zinc borate resists damage from termites and fungal decay. Binders add more strength to the panels and make them resistant to damage by golf balls, baseballs, and sticks. The resin-saturated overlay adds the final layer of protection and resists moisture intrusion, along with providing a durable base.

Artisan Custom Doorworks’ TimberLife garage

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Smith & Fong Co. was the first U.S.-based company to manufacture and import laminated bamboo products,

doors are made from specially processed Accoya wood.

under the Plyboo brand. Entering the market with the Durapalm brand in 2000, it recently introduced PalmShell™ solid palmwood cladding for commercial and custom residential buildings. The new cladding is derived from Indian black palm, similar in density and hardness to Ipe, and milled in 96” lengths with a 3 ¼” width and ¾” thickness. A groove/ lap system simplifies installation for rainscreen or exterior cladding applications. Given its inherent weather-resistant quality, PalmShell can be installed and finished using standard

can be installed horizontally or vertically. Use the shiplap joints on Knockdown or Smooth Sand panels to create V-grooved lines or implement a customized design utilizing Multi-Groove panels

exterior-grade clear finishes or natural products such as linseed oil for a raw natural look.

with milled grooves every 16 inches.

Artisan Custom Doorworks’ TimberLife garage doors are made from specially processed

Stone veneer looks almost identical to natural

Accoya wood manufactured using a proprietary patented acetylation process in its plant in the Netherlands. The result is a highly stable wood for exterior applications — one that has zero toxicity, provides dimensional stability, and delivers durability that exceeds even the

stone and has comparable durability. Lightcolored stone accents used to balance out trending darker exterior colors can lend a sleek

best tropical hardwoods.

and modern touch.

Much of James Hardie’s focus in recent years has been on its Hardie® siding products

While metal has long been a popular roofing

made using 90 percent sand and cement to mimic wood lap boards, cedar shingles, and wood shake siding. However, Hardie’s latest offering is a substitute for stucco. Hardie Textured Panels offer a contemporary edge in the form of clean lines and textures. Panel products come in a 0.312-inch thickness and the choice of 120, 144, or 96-inch lengths and

choice, Bridger Steel’s 24 gauge siding steel opens the door for metal to become a more viable siding choice for residential siding as well. Bridger’s product has a dark, natural-looking finish created by coating the metal panels with a phosphate mixture. Builders can choose

PalmShell™ solid palmwood cladding is derived from the Indian black palm.

custom finishes as well such as rustic copper. Batten siding panels are designed to mimic the traditional look of board and batten systems, while wide flat panels with bold ribs are popular with modern and contemporary designs. Who says your choices have to be limited to “traditional” exterior cladding choices for the residential sector at all? Porcelanosa offers porcelain panel rainscreen wall systems. One of the largest brickmakers in North America, Glen-Gery, offers a prefinished and colorfast ceramic ventilated façade cladding system called Terraçade.


With a tall 7” exposure and the deeply grained look of real wood, the design of Alside® ASCEND® Composite Cladding System planks enables quicker and easier installation than fiber cement, engineered wood, and other composite panels as it’s installed in fewer steps doesn’t require specialized equipment and can be installed with fewer laborers--no sealing, touch-up paint, joint flashing or caulking required. Patented (GP)2 Technology—glass-reinforced polymer and graphiteinfused polystyrene—adds superior strength and stability. Boral’s SwiftGuard™ underlayment includes patented nail gasketing technology and has superior deck grip and walkability, designed to make installation swift and easy.

Bridger Steel’s 24 gauge siding steel has a dark, natural-looking finish


created by coating the metal panels with a phosphate mixture.

Roofing’s choices include

A Superior Roof is Stronger Than the Sum of its Parts.

concrete and

A quality roofing system involves the waterproofing underlayments, shingles, accessory products, and ventilation all working together. Boral Roofing’s lineup includes Concrete Roofing Products known for superior strength, Class A fire rating, and long-lasting beauty; Stone Coated Steel Roofing, the ultra-lightweight roofing system which benefits from the structural strength of steel; US Tile, a legacy line of premium clay tile solutions; composite

clay tiles, stone-coated steel roof panels, and slate or shake composite shingles.

slate and shake roof products by DaVinci Roofscapes; and Boral’s full line of integrated roof components designed to deliver a higher standard of roof installation and performance. CertainTeed’s growing list of technologies to improve the strength, longevity, and energy efficiency of asphalt shingles include StreakFighter® – a copper-infused granule blend that prevents algae formation on shingles; and Solaris® – embedded cool roof technology that enables even the darkestcolored shingles to reflect solar energy and radiant heat far better than any standard asphalt shingle, dramatically lowering rooftop temperatures and related air conditioning costs. CertainTeed’s NailTrak® feature provides a nailing area three times wider than standard laminate shingles and clear nailing lines that are highly visible even in low-light conditions, allowing

The Bottom Line: Whether you are designing a new home or updating an existing one, whether your preference is for classic or modern architecture, keep in mind that most buyers love and accept what they recognize, understand and what makes them feel comfortable. Consider symmetry and feng shui in the positioning and orientation of the home on its lot. Take ques from classic architecture while putting your own subtle twist on the home exterior by carefully choosing the defining material combinations, windows, doors, paint color, trim, paving, landscaping, and lighting. Look for and promote

faster and more accurate installations. Quadra-Bond™ is a specially formulated adhesive that adheres to shingle layers at four points providing superior bond strength and protection against shingle delamination over the

your use of stronger, safer, and more resilient building products that are responsibly sourced and manufactured.

life of the shingle.

Solutions That Enhance Productivity

Beverly Smirnis is the co-founder of Building Savvy magazine

Everybody in our industry knows that labor is short, thus the focus on

and publishes its flagship Dallas/Fort Worth edition. She and

many of the latest home exterior products is on not only products with

her business partner and husband, Steve Smirnis, have served as

superior performance, but those that cut down on labor and installation time

judges for the International Builders’ Show Best of IBS Awards

needed. The new James Hardie panels previously mentioned, for example,

and judged numerous homes for builders association parade

are designed to cut down on installation time by 40 to 50 percent when

events across the country.

compared to traditional stucco processes, which require time for application, curing, and painting.




Photo courtesy of Lifestyle by Stadler

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[Builder’s Perspective]



By Steve Zbranek

hroughout my career, I have been asked more times than I can

1. Growing in skills and knowledge through the

remember, “How do you become a homebuilder?” Everyone

construction trades

reading this article may have a different answer to that question. However, since I have heard it so many times, I have

2. Joining a family-owned business

had to process an answer that might help aspiring builders find

3. Learning while working at a successful

their own way in. The three basic paths that I often discuss are:

home building company.


My career was a hybrid of joining an existing company. In 1979 I

Let’s look at these one at a time.

was hired as a construction superintendent trainee by US Home

The first path is growing through the construction workforce. More

Corporation. At the time they were the only publicly traded home

than a few times we have met builders who started out as framing

building company and we’re growing nationally, daily. They only

carpenters, land developers, trim carpenters, sales agents or

hired upwardly mobile people who could help the company grow.

managers, and some vendors who served many facets of new home

Within a few years, I was promoted to a newly created position called


Executive Vice President of the division. This role (created by our then

On a small scale, it is possible to make a living as a builder with

Chairman of the Board Guy Odom) was designed to fill in the gaps for

this “limited” background. Specifically building for friends, family, or

future Division Presidents. I was in charge of accounting, purchasing,

associates. People that are personally close to you are more forgiving

marketing, legal (when needed) customer service, and all of the

of your learning curve and together can help complete a successful

required steps to close a home. These were called Non-Profit and


Loss Tasks. The P&L tasks (sales and construction) were exclusively

Starting with excellent construction knowledge is easily half of

reserved for the Division President. I credit my time in that position

the battle. What is missing and must be learned along the way is

to having never filed bankruptcy, missing payroll, running out of cash,

purchasing, accounting, budgeting, sales (if applicable), financing,

and never forgetting that our customers are not a pain, they are the

contracts, insurance, and surely last but not least consumer


protection laws as they pertain to building a homestead for someone.

As senior homebuilders, we now share a responsibility to help

Once (or if) you stay in the business long enough each of these areas

our industry thrive through the development of “the right” people.

will at one time or another seem to be the most important.

Everyone is not an entrepreneur and many are not motivated by the

Joining a family business is less scary than the path above. Here

fruits offered to successful builders. But for those who are, identify

you have a mentor who presumably has been doing this successfully

them early, show them the big picture and help them succeed. Some

for a long time. The mentor is truly interested in your success and

may ask “Why would I train a project manager to leave me?” We

continues to take on the company risk while you learn. The challenge

have found that if this is known upfront, and on the table during the

here is the old saying “You only know what you know.”

interview, motivated prospects want to work for and learn from us. Consequently, we never have a problem filling a project manager

Most family-owned businesses are very good at a few of the tasks


previously mentioned. The others such as taxes, budgets, insurance, finance, OSHA, cash flow, etc. are low on the training list for the

Regardless of the path taken, our industry needs new, well-trained

prospective successors. Building a nice home and selling it is a large

homebuilders to provide shelter for the many families seeking it. If

part of what we all do. However, just as there is more to owning a car

you are in a position to do so, identify excellent candidates and help

than driving it and filling it with gas, the “soft” side of homebuilding is

them find their path to Become a Builder.

often the end of companies who otherwise did a nice job in the field. The last most common path to becoming a home builder is joining and learning from a successful team. In my career, I have helped

About the Author In addition to serving two terms as Chairman of

several one-time project managers start and grow their own

the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce, Steve Zbranek was also

businesses. The common denominator is that each of these team

the Founding Chairman of Leadership Lake Travis, served on the

members told us upfront that this was their long-term goal. From

Board of Directors of Lakeway Police Memorial Foundation, and

the beginning, we treated them differently than the other project

was recognized as both Business of the Year and Citizen of the

managers. They sat in on sales meetings, participated in budgets,

Year by the Chamber. A decorated US Air Force Veteran, Steve is a

learned to purchase, and were exposed to construction draws and

42-year Custom Home Builder in San Antonio, Austin, Horseshoe

cash flow. We were also harder on them about clean job sites,

Bay & the Texas Hill Country. He’s a two-time National Master

straight signs, personal appearance while at work, on schedule

Builder of the Year, was inducted into the Austin Builders “Hall

deliveries, and most of all happy clients.

of Honor” and his company Zbranek & Holt Custom Homes was

There were always construction managers on our team who love

recognized three times by the Austin Business Journal “Custom

and only want to work in the field. These project managers are the

Builder of the Year.” Zbranek is also a Past President of both the

lifeblood of excellent construction. They have built many homes,

Greater Austin and Greater San Antonio Home Builders Association.

solved many problems, and enjoyed excellent customer reviews.

For more information visit www.zhcustomhomes.com.

However, they hate paperwork and have no interest in the goings-on of an office. Our industry needs both the future leaders and these construction experts to grow and survive.


 503 Hwy 281 N, Marble Falls, Texas  www.OneSwankyShop.com

Call for Appointment: 830.798.0125

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[Development News]


custom home community, has recently been selected as the first Texas community to be included in Southern Living’s prestigious Southern Living Inspired Community program (SLIC). The Inspired Community program recognizes Southern Living’s favorite communities across the South as emblematic of the spirit and style of Southern Living.


aesthetics, lifestyle, and values of Southern Living for fans of the brand. SLIC communities are held to rigorous design standards in every aspect, and Friedën joins 14 other communities in the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas as the first Inspired Community to hail from Texas.


“We were interested in Friedën from the start,” said Meredith’s Vice President of Licensing Kristen


Friedën, Fredericksburg’s newest

he SLIC program selects communities from around the South that embody the

Payne. “They’re determined to build something that reflects the lifestyle Fredericksburg is famous for, from the preservation of the landscape to the design of the homes. We loved their idea of a community of modern farmhouses that were custom-made but part of a design theme.”


Located two miles south of downtown Fredericksburg, the 220-acre mixed-use community is master-planned to capture the spirit of the Texas Hill Country with acres of open green space, premium amenities, and strict architectural and aesthetic guidelines unifying each home’s unique interpretation of the “modern farmhouse” style. Design archetype construction is scheduled to begin soon, with the community’s first offering of finished home lots available this year. “It’s an incredible opportunity for our community to be recognized by Southern Living and to be in such great company,” said locally based Heirloom Communities CEO Skip Preble. “They believe in our idea of a community of modern farmhouses, and we think Friedën is in line with the Southern Living lifestyle. Their support will be a huge help when lot selection opens.” Fitting with the unified community aesthetic, homes within Friedën must also meet strict architectural guidelines to set a standard for the quality, exterior style, and sustainability of homes within the community. All pre-planned lots and homesites within Friedën are laid out across curvilinear streets specially designed to give each home its unique view of the Texas Hill Country and the surrounding landscape. More than 40 percent of Friedën’s residential acreage will also be maintained as dedicated, open green space once the community completes its final phase of development.

From Southern Living … “What we love about Friedën, is that they offer the best of the Texas Hill Country. With custombuilt modern farmhouse homes, nature-based amenities, and its perfect location in charming Fredericksburg, Texas, Friedën lives up to its namesake, which literally means “peace” in German. We believe residents will find their peace at home in the residential Hill Country community of Friedën.”

Still, in its earliest stage, Friedën is set to grow into a high-end, close-knit community over five years, with approximately 240 homes spread out among 220 acres of the Texas Hill Country and three natural lakes on the site. Planned amenities include miles of expansive outdoor trails, an amenity center including a neighborhood pool, a modern barn event space, a fully-equipped fitness center, and Wi-Fi in community and amenity areas. As the community grows, there are also plans for a central Friedën town center, including retail and hospitality, commercial centers, and multi-family residential located just outside the gates of the core single-family custom home community.


[Resort News]



enovations are underway for the Yacht Club and the Tower Pools as we prepare for the summer season.

The pool features at Horseshoe Bay Resort are among the most favorite amenities property wide. Founder Wayne Hurd’s vision upon the inception of Horseshoe Bay was a tropical oasis in the heart of Texas. With that, came lake life, pools and beach. The pool-life at the resort is of course about cooling down in the summer heat but even more so enjoying refreshing beverages, poolside dining, music and camaraderie.

Yacht Club Pool •

Member and resort guests favorite

Renovated in 2018

Added In-Pool seating area for sitting and

Additional Cabanas being added for 2022 Season

New seating and bar height tables

upgrades and improvements in bar and audio visual

Soft entry kids pool perfect for toddlers

360-degree bar with views over Lake LBJ

Pool replastered for 2022 season

Expanded deck with bar seating overlook Lake

Full F&B offered from J’s Restaurant

relaxing at the pool with friends •

Hotel Tower Pool

Renovated Yacht Club Pool Bar to included


Together combined an immersive experience where you can drink by the lake or in the pool at the Yacht Club

15 Day Beds added in 2021

Pool replastered for 2022 season

Paseo Pool •

Lap Pool for Club Members

Great alternative location that’s quiet

New furniture added in 2021

Hot Tub and Pool replastered for 2022 season


Cap Rock Pool •

Opened in 2021

Member-only pool

New multi-terraced Pool for Club Members only

Exceptional golf course and hill county views

In-pool lounge chairs compliment the inpool experience

New furnishing and soft seating throughout

Adjacent to Cap Rock Grill for drinks and lunch service for Members

Waterfall from Cap Rock cascades into pool

Turn 2 Flooring Residential | Commercial | New Build | Renovation Cori Pearce, Owner 512.560.9550 | turn2flooring@gmail.com 3827 RR 620 S, Bee Cave, TX 78738


[Savvy Builder]




he construction industry has always been Matthew Mabery’s passion. He graduated from Fredericksburg High School and started a small framing company. This experience was vital to his becoming

the builder he is today. After a few years of framing and remodel jobs, he moved on to large commercial projects, including several hotel projects such as Holiday Inn, La Quinta, Hampton Inn, Comfort Inn, etc. This is where Mabery learned to manage construction schedules and subcontractors.

His success in hotel construction, however, didn’t go unnoticed and he started getting larger jobs further away from Fredericksburg. While the business was good, his work kept Matthew away from his growing family. Mabery decided to pull back the reigns and concentrate on construction work that would allow him to have dinner with his wife and children each night. This is when he began building spec homes in addition to custom homes for his clients.


While building a custom home in the Stone Ridge development for a golf pro in 2006, Mabery was introduced to a land owner at Boot Ranch. After the sale of Boot Ranch in 2015 he soon began working with the developers there as a preferred builder. And just like that he was off and running building custom homes in one of the most exclusive developments in the Hill Country. To date there have been approximately 80 homes completed in Boot Ranch, with Mabery responsible for nearly half of them. “I have over 26 years of construction experience,” says Mabery. “I strive to not just meet expectations, but to go far beyond the levels of competence, service and quality that is expected. I love the challenge of taking on a project and bringing it to life while allowing the client to enjoy the journey. I find it very rewarding to surpass people’s expectations.” Today Mabery, his wife Melissa, and their three children live in Boot Ranch in a home he started out as a spec. By the time it was finished, Matthew and Melissa fell in love with the house and the development and wanted it for their family. So now, many of his clients are also his neighbor. “The most important aspect of finding the right client is making sure we are a compatible match, and that we have the same vision. Our team brings integrity and incredible craftsmanship.” he adds. “We have our own in-house framing crew. I still do material take offs of the design plans and sometimes I catch things that aren’t consistent in the plans. I handle the day-to-day operations and my goal is to make sure jobs are completed on time and on budget.” Before the foundation is poured, Matthew spends time with his clients on the site of the build. He goes over what they can expect to see and feel from all angles of the house. “The siting of the house is very important, and I give a lot of thought to that. My experience has taught me a lot and I feel that allows me to help the homeowner from wasting time and money by talking through the selections and decisions that are made in the early stages. It’s important that they see themselves having morning coffee here or seeing the sunset from there. It’s critical to the success of the project and the long term enjoyability of the house to get it positioned just right on the property.” As with other custom builders, Mabery is seeing more people interested in enhancing their outdoor living experience, so it seamlessly feels like an extension of the indoor space. And of course there’s technology. Most of his clients, especially in Boot Ranch, are going all out with smart systems, adding lighting controls, wireless audio systems, etc.


Most of Mabery’s subs, suppliers and tradesmen have been with him for 10 or more years… a very loyal crew who often work together as a team with seasoned familiarity with each other. Here’s what some of them said: “Matthew and his crew are very, very detailed oriented. They don’t ever cut corners. He’s a quality builder and one of the best in this area.” Derrick Samford – MG Building Materials “It’s easy to work with their team. Mike is a great superintendent. And they way they prioritize and coordinate sections of each job is very helpful o use, and to other crews. Most of the subs he uses are they same ones so we all work well together, and know what to expect.” Vince Condra – Enchanted Rock Granite Fabricators “His subs are always consistent. Mike, Tim and the office crew are very accessible, as is Matthew. We appreciate his professionalism, in that he always pays on time.” Steve Briggs – CSI Cabinets “They do excellent work for high end clients. And to see them put our handcrafted doors on these beautiful luxury homes is very rewarding, knowing that they don’t skimp on quality.” Trey Hampton – The Front Door Company “Matthew takes time with each homebuyer, and guides them through the right selections and best options for them. What we appreciate is that he encourages his clients to come by and visit our showroom, early on in the process. He gets his clients engages early on, and stays with them.” Wally Overly – Hill Country Propane “His details stands out to me. Matthew is on top of his jobs, and is always around the job site. Mike and the rest of the crew are easy to work with. Matthew has an exceptional eye for detail. Nothing gets past him.” Rick Weirich – Quantech Audio/Visual LLC


Congratulations Showcase Builders!

WILLIAMSON At Williamson Roofing we want to do everything possible to build long-term relationships with our clients. We are committed to providing our clients with quality workmanship and products. Our goal at Williamson Roofing is to give you a long-lasting final project. We keep an open communication throughout your project to help the process go smoothly. We install metal, tile, shingles, gutters, chimney shrouds, metal wall panels, and custom sheet metal, along with just about anything else made of metal for the outside of your home or outbuildings. If you’re looking for a roofing company that you can trust, let Williamson Roofing be your go-to source. Send us your plans and we will work hard to exceed your expectations no matter how difficult the job.








830.249.7939 Williamsonroofing.com

2315 Commerce St, Marble Falls, TX | 512.525.3207 | AccentGranite.com


[Savvy Finance]

SPRING CLEANING YOUR TAXES Below is a list of often neglected or buried bits


of information your CPA will want to know. he IRS anticipates extended delays and

Give them a heads-up if any of these areas

even worse than usual “customer service”

affect you—don’t wait for your CPA to uncover

this tax season. Plus, the year ahead may

it themselves. They need time to create a

be filled with new tax curveballs, so it’s vital to

strategy to offset gains or losses, track down

get 2021 squared away—with all of your essential

missing information, and take other essential

documents to your CPA—as soon as possible.

actions to lower your tax burden.

By Steven Bankler, CPA



Report significant life changes. Did you get married? Divorced? Have a baby (or did your “baby” become an adult and is no longer a dependent)? These kinds of changes can be overlooked come tax time, but they’re essential for your CPA to note because they can change your filing status, your withholdings, and other factors that affect your tax status.



What other deductions can you get? Many taxpayers don’t realize that their medical bills, charitable contributions, child care, education expenses, mortgage interest, and more can add substantial tax savings. Even casualty and theft losses can apply, and energy credits can help, too. A few thousand dollars here and there

Did you make—or lose—a lot of money? Did you receive a grand

could push you over your standard deduction limit and

inheritance? Lose a bunch of bitcoin? Did your business have a windfall

earn you extra tax savings.

year (or did you suffer losses)? Some of these wins and losses affect your taxable income. Different tax rates apply, and some losses can offset gains, so bringing them all to the table is important. 3.

Investments (yes, even in bitcoin) and foreign income and losses play a big role in your tax strategy, too. Your CPA

Did you receive COVID-related credits, payments, or forgiveness? Some

should have a workbook or checklist to help you catch other

assistance—like the child tax credit and stimulus payments—may

tax obligations you may have overlooked.

have surprised you by arriving automatically. Others, like pandemic unemployment assistance for self-employed individuals and PPP forgiveness for businesses, required a lot of paperwork (and some tears, in some cases). Be sure your CPA is aware of all funds and credits. 4.

How’s your retirement? Are you behind on your contributions? Are you required to take distributions (which were on hold in 2020 but are back on for 2021)? You still have time to make some key adjustments to your retirement accounts before the tax deadline, including opening and contributing to an IRA.


Steven Bankler has more than 45 years of experience in the accounting industry. Steven’s expertise lies in consulting, planning, tax, and asset protection as well as exit strategy services for closely-held businesses. He also provides litigation support (both as a testifying expert witness and a consulting expert), business negotiations, and estate planning. Visit www.

Did you purchase or sell a property? Personal and business property

bankler.com for additional tax strategy tips and to learn more

transactions are handled very differently, but both are important for

about Steven Bankler, CPA, Ltd.

your CPA to know. For example, small business owners can deduct the full amount of eligible property, including machinery and equipment, as expenses (up to $1 million) in the year that property was put to use.

1800 A Broadway Kerrville, TX 78028 830-257-2425 www.hillcountrylighting.com


[Savvy Special Report]



Forbes: ccording to Zillow’s December 2021 report, the total value

The most desirable feature of a home may not be inside the

of private residential real estate in the U.S. grew by a

home at all. It’s no surprise that for buyers, the most important

record $6.9 trillion in 2021, to $43.4 trillion – more than

feature is the neighborhood location of a home.

double the level from a decade ago as the market fully

The true value of a property is the land. At the end of the day, all

recovered, and then some, from its immediate, post-Great Recession lows. Housing inventory nationwide dropped below 1 million to record-low levels, meaning there were fewer options for would-be home buyers on the market at the end of 2021 than at any time in recent history.

those upgrades inside the home will depreciate. Some buyers will choose a less expensive home so that they can remodel and add high-end finishes to the kitchen and baths. The desire for an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or the space to

Even though the experts predict 2022 will continue to be a strong seller’s market, savvy builders must never lose sight of the need to stay on top of buyer preferences. Here are some recent data collected from various real estate information resources.

build one can make high-priced areas actually cost buyers less since they can either accommodate multigenerational families or generate revenue through renting. And now with recent law changes, they’re even easier to build. You don’t realize how important a garage is until you don’t have one. Homes with garage conversions or carports instead of a garage will take longer to sell.


There is a preference for larger homes. The average home size is just over 2,000 square feet an 8% increase from the previous average of 1,877 square feet. A laundry room is the top most-wanted feature for a home with 87% saying it is a

Google Search Report: For homebuyers, some of the terms with the biggest spikes in the number of monthly searches were “affordable homes for sale” (up 108% in 2020 compared to pre-pandemic times), followed by search phrases such as “first-time homebuyer” and “tiny home for sale” —Searches for “luxury condos” were up 50% compared to 2019.

must-have. 63% want it to be located on the first floor. 81% seek out EnergyStar appliances. Exterior lighting is the second most desired

For homeowners, “mortgage refinancing” — was up 124% in 2020 compared to 2019. The key

feature, with 87% putting a priority on it.

phrase “home office design” jumped 125% from 2019 to 2020, staying high in 2021 as well.

Over three-quarters of homebuyers are

It was followed by the search phrase “buying a second home,” which jumped 53% in 2020

looking for kitchen items like a double sink

compared to 2019.

(81%), walk-in pantry (81%), table space for eating (78%), central island (77%), and


drinking water filtration system (76%).

60% of homebuyers are looking for new builds rather than an existing home.

More than half of homebuyers are willing to pay up to $5,000 more for a home if

There is a 4% increase in preference for moving to the suburbs.

they can save $1,000 on their utility bills

Two-thirds of homebuyers want a single-family detached home over a townhouse or

each year. 83% of buyers want EnergyStar-


rated windows.

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Brian Burk Chief of Operations & Energy Code Consultant





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[HCBA News]


rade magazines and info-letters from trade associations tend to be viewed

John Akin, President

as “just another something trying to get my money.” Well, you’re right! We can’t

survive without the financial backing provided by our members and advertisers and if that’s the only way you view it then neither of us have gained anything!

We really look forward to seeing you at and joining with you in as many of these events as you can make.

March 26 * CRAWFISH BOIL & HORSESHOE TOURNEY But, if you are able to look past the dollars out and see the value in, then you’ve made an investment in your community and your business and you, and we, will be better for it. For example, the following lineup of events being put on by your HCBA is intended to let you know what all


opportunities are out there for mingling with and getting to know other builders and suppliers in the Hill Country as well as the opportunity to promote those events and your business through sponsorships of items, tables, events, whatever. As I’ve said before, you cannot expect to get something out of something if you are not invested in it, and these events are great ways to do just that!




111 Business Drive W | Kerrville TX

Experienced and Seasoned Fleet of Electricians for Home Builders • • • • • •

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Totally Connected 29

[Savvy Trucks & Toys]


When shopping either Mercedes or BMW for a coupe, sedan, or convertible, the German archrivals can deliver a car for any need or pleasure, and increasingly answer to a wider range of budgets as well. Each automaker speaks its own language of sorts by their alphanumeric naming systems, and for the most

« Mercedes AMG GT. »

part, you can find a BMW that competes with any variant of Mercedes and vice-versa.

as part of the car lineup, plus even-numbered series which tend to be body style variants of the previous series. When it comes to high-performance, Mercedes offers its AMG GT cars (either a two-door or four-door coupe and not designated by a letter class), while BMW’s “M cars” are designed by its performance division with the “M” preceding the series number.


We had the pleasure of driving the smart-looking Mercedes AMG GT four-door hatchback coupe. ercedes’ offerings range

Our base level GT43 had the turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with an EQ-boost mild-hybrid

from the entry-level A-Class

system, producing 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft torque, paired with a nine-speed automatic.

subcompact to its opulent

All-wheel-drive, 19-inch wheels, adaptive sport suspension, adjustable dampers, the MBUX

S-Class sedan. While A-Class and

infotainment system, a host of nice technology features, and driver aids and sunroof were among

S-Class only come as sedans, C- and

the included features. We loved its zebra-like ash matte wood touches and ambiance lighting

E-class vehicle line-ups include two- and

inside. MSRP for the GT43 was $89,900. About $7,500 added some sports accessories (including

four-door coupes, roadsters (2-door

the performance exhaust) and some bonus camera/safety features while still keeping it under six

convertibles), and cabriolets (four-seat

figures. Driving enthusiasts would recommend spending about 10K more to upgrade to the GT53

convertibles). An E-class wagon also

to add an electric supercharger onto the engine to boost its performance. The GT43 is, however

remains in the mix. BMW creates the

enough car for people that want the GT look and feel without a super high price tag and the look of

1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, and 7 Series

a coupe with the practicality of four doors.


If you’re a seasoned driver, you’re probably also a firm believer that a “real” Mercedes or BMW is a car and not an SUV. While the brand you choose may depend on which manufacturer first hooked you a long time ago, which model you choose will depend on your “need”—be it your need for prestige, luxury, sheer performance, or all of the above. And it will also come down to your “wants.”

« BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe »

If it’s a spirited drive with better fuel economy ratings, or you believe the only way to drive is with a manual transmission, BMW may fit the bill. If you prefer high-power from a big engine, Mercedes would be the right choice. In the new era of allelectric driving, the next test will be between the Mercedes-EQ and the BMWi.

Beverly & Steve Smirnis are members of the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Texas Motor Press Association, reviewing vehicles and casting their votes at driving events where the Truck of Texas, Car of Texas and Off-Road Truck of Texas are some of the titles awarded. Follow their automotive blog on

« BMW M4 Convertible »


Our 2022 BMW testers were M4s—yes, the even number series signifies that the 4-series is a variant of the 3 series sedan, available in a coupe, convertible and new for 2022—a gran coupe 4-door model. Our four-door M4 Gran Coupe is a less expensive option than the Mercedes for those wanting a fun-to-drive small luxury sedan with the practicality of a hatchback. Ours was the upgraded M440i xDrive Gran Coupe sporting the turbocharged 3.0-liter inlinesix with an eight-speed automatic making 382-hp. The higher trim meant it automatically got the M Sport and Dynamic Handling packages as part of MSRP at $58,200. Options included upgraded leather and mats, Driver’s Assist Professional package, Parking Assist Package, and Premium package plus a Cooling and HighPerformance Tire package for an off-the-lot price of $67,625. A vastly different member of the M4 family member, the loaded-up and top-of-the-line two-door soft-top convertible featured the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and rear-biased xDrive allwheel-drive system. The upgraded Competition tune paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission boosted its performance to 503

You’ll always have a licensed plumber on your job.

hp with 479 pound-feet of torque, earning it the apt description of being “a Bavarian cruise missile.” Ours had an MSRP of $86,300. It

was loaded with extras including Tartulo full Merino leather interior,



New Construction | Service Repair

an Executive package, M Carbon bucket seats, M Drive Professional


package (onboard drift analyzer and lap timer), and the M Driver’s

Licenced & Insured | M#43100

package, which unlocks a higher top speed. All of this hiked its price tag to $104,295 including destination charges.






In addition to Building Savvy Magazine, photography and graphic design by Jason Roberts has also been published in Texas Monthly, Cowboys and Indians, Luxury Home Magazine, San Antonio Woman Magazine, The Inspiring Woman Book and may other quality periodicals as well as numerous applications for print and electronic media for a wide variety of clients. Contact me for a no-cost consultation to discuss your next creative project!

210.789.2033 jr@jasonroberts.biz

Featured image photographed for LLB Interiors at the 2021 Parade of Homes in Belle Oaks. Home Builder: Evolutionary Homes


2710 Roundleaf Court San Antonio, TX 78231

Kohutek Construc�on INC has been crea�ng quality cra�ed

custom cabinetry for custom builders, commercial contractors, architects, designers, and homeowners throughout Central Texas for over 30 years. Anika@Kohutekconst.com

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