Texas Hill Country | Homebuilding Industry Publication
Matthew and Melissa Mabery Building Big and Bold in Boot Ranch BECOMING A BUILDER Steve Zbranek
HCBA 2022 EVENT SCHEDULE FREDERICKSBURG DEVELOPER FRIEDËN ENDORSED BY SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE
PHOTO BY JASON ROBERTS
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.
FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE CONTACT MEMBERSHIP AT 830.598.7846 OR MEMBERSHIP@HSBRESORT.COM 2
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
Building Materials 210.344.8321
MG Building Materials www.guidoconstruction.com 830.257.2300 www.mgbuildingmaterials.com
Doors The Front Door Company 830.598.3917 210.340.3141 www.hsbresort.com www.thefrontdoorco.com
The Club at Horseshoe Bay Resort
StrucSure Sunn Carpets and Flooring
Hill Country AlignedPropane Mortgage
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
Elevators Energy Rating
Home Elevator Burk Energy Ratersof Texas
Home Warranties Interior Design & Furnishings Centricity One Swanky Shop 727.385.7599
Real Plumbing Estate
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
First United Mortgage Group Hotchkiss Insurance 512.529.7787 210.581.0420
Home Technology 210.248.2556 HomeSmart
Painting Lumber and Millwork
Rendi’s Trim Carpentry
Roddis Painting Lumber Flawless
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 ® firstname.lastname@example.org 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
maintain buyers’ trust in them and their product, and train their
sales teams on how to calm and soothe a range of emotions
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
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?
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.
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 | email@example.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.
STATEMENT-MAKING & PROBLEM-SOLVING HOME EXTERIOR SOLUTIONS By Beverly Smirnis
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.
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.
OUR SERVICES DRYWALL CUSTOM TEXTURES VENETIAN PLASTER NEW CONSTRUCTION
RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL FAUX FINISHES INTERIOR & EXTERIOR PAINTING
Photo courtesy of Lifestyle by Stadler
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Rendi Ornelas, Owner
1210 S. Water (Hwy 281 South), Burnet, TX
The best foundation for construction. First United Mortgage Group’s One Time Close Construction to Permanent Loan Program is
designed to provide financing to build, remodel or improve a primary residence. This means that you can move through the steps of construction with peace of mind, knowing that your permanent financing needs are already in place. A variety of loan terms available, including 30-Year Fixed Rate* #1 Construction Lender in Texas
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*Example: Interest rate 3.2% and APR 3.268% is based on loan amount of $915,000, with loan-to-value 80%, 20% down payment, loan amount of $915,000, 360 payments at $3,959.23. The monthly payment amount listed does not include monthly mortgage insurance, taxes, and insurance; actual monthly payments will be greater. First United Bank (NMLS #400025) is a licensed lender in Oklahoma and Texas. The content in this advertisement is for informational purposes only. This is not an offer for extension of credit or commitment to lend. All loans subject to program guidelines and final underwriting approval. Not all applicants qualify. Information and pricing are subject to change at any time and without notice. Copyright © 2021 First United Bank. All Rights Reserved.
SO, YOU WANT TO BE A BUILDER!
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
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
COMPLETE DESIGNER SERVICES Residential | Commercial New Builds | Remodel Debbie Cherry, ASID Interior Designer Debbie Farr, Designer Beverly McKinney, Designer
SOUTHERN LIVING SELECTS FREDERICKSBURG DEVELOPER FRIEDËN FOR INSPIRED COMMUNITY PROGRAM
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.
RENOVATIONS AT HORSESHOE BAY
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
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 | email@example.com 3827 RR 620 S, Bee Cave, TX 78738
M AT T H E W
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.
2315 Commerce St, Marble Falls, TX | 512.525.3207 | AccentGranite.com
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]
READY FOR THE SPRING SELLING SEASON?
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-
Builders | Architects | Home Designers & Clients YOU R RESIDENTIAL ENERGY
Serving the Greater San Antonio Area & the
Texas Hill Country
RESIDENTIAL DESIGN STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING INTERIOR SELECTIONS WIDEEFORMAT PRINTING
Kevin Burk Owner & Chief Energy Code Consultant
Brian Burk Chief of Operations & Energy Code Consultant
518 MAIN STREET, MARBLE FALLS WWW.DELINEATIONS.COM
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
April 23 * SPORTING CLAYS TOURNEY May 6-7 * FISHING TOURNEY June 6 * HCBA GOLF TOURNEY August 19 * HCBA CASINO NIGHT
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!
October 13 * PARADE OF HOMES GALA October 15-16; 22-23 * PARADE OF HOMES November 18 * ANNUAL INSTALL MIXER TBD * HCBA BOWLING TOURNEY
111 Business Drive W | Kerrville TX
Experienced and Seasoned Fleet of Electricians for Home Builders • • • • • •
Full Service Electrical Lighting / Fixtures Low Voltage & Security SONOS Music Systems Outdoor TV's and MORE!
Totally Connected 29
[Savvy Trucks & Toys]
MERCEDES AND BMW BATTLE IT OUT FOR CAR-BUYING MARKETSHARE By Beverly & Steve Smirnis
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
ZACHARY KIRSCHT, Owner
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.
SPECIALIZING IN EXCEPTIONAL ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY • VIDEO PRODUCTION • GRAPHIC DESIGN • web site development
PHOTOGRAPHY • VIDEO PRODUCTION • GRAPHIC DESIGN
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!
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
Specializing in highly eﬃcient thermal envelopes constructed with spray Our product is the baseline for in commercial and Point source self- reliance begins