Story by Megan Whitehead | Feb 28, 2017
Photography by Keith Borgmeyer

Communication is vital when building a custom home.

When building a custom home, like this one in Centertown, relationships are key. Knowing your builder, designer, and partner makes a big difference when planning and putting together one of the biggest investments of your life.

Danny Vaughan, Vaughan Built Homes, and Tina Davis, Designs by Tina LLC, worked with this family of four from day one to create their forever home. Something they both value is establishing honest, open communication between everyone.

“Danny was so easy to work with,” says the homeowner. “We were pulling from him and Tina and anyone else working on the project and saying ‘do what you guys do; we don’t build houses every day.’ We trusted their expertise.”

“For any prospective homebuyer, they always say you should qualify your builder and your builder should qualify you,” says Davis. “You know immediately when you click with someone, and it’s so important because this is one of the most emotionally charged decisions you can make in your life. This is such a detail process, and if you can’t have that open communication and be honest with your builder, you’re going to have a much harder time of it.”

When planning a custom build, having those trusted experts on your team is essential. Then you can get down to the details.

This particular family had a few very specific needs that were built into the home. First: Avoid clutter at all costs. “We designed our house not to have any dressers because, for us, flat surfaces collect clutter,” says the homeowner. This idea extends into the kitchen as well. At a trade show, Davis noticed a trend of what’s called a “morning kitchen.” Essentially a souped-up pantry, this is where appliances and more cabinetry can be stored without cluttering up your living space. “The open living space of this home really calls for design aspects like this,” says Davis.

Not every decision is going to be so smooth, however. “Danny would draw up floor plans as we discussed what we wanted,” says the homeowner. “Then we would give our changes, and the process would start over again and again. We probably went through 14 plans, but he never got discouraged.”

Even after plans were made, changes occur during the building process. The homeowners initially wanted one of their kitchen walls to come out further to separate the kitchen and living area. In this case, Vaughan knew this wasn’t what the owners really wanted, but he drew up the plans anyway. He was right. “You can plan to a crazy nth degree, but until you see the flavor of what your home will look like, you just don’t know,” says Davis.

Both designer and builder took the homeowners to other homes in order to get a clearer picture of what they did and did not want. For example, the ceiling in the living room was inspired by another home, but with a twist to suit this homeowner’s style. “They knew what they wanted this house to look like — they just didn’t know how to put all the pieces together,” says Davis. “It’s a process.”

A positive experience with your builder and designer should leave you lots of good advice to pass on, like this: “Ask a lot of questions. I asked a lot of questions, and I was given options,” says the homeowner. “Also, know that you are probably going to go over budget. There are things that happen, ideas that you get in the middle of building, that will put you over. When you are building your forever home, it’s worth it.”

Resource List

Builder: CLC Design LLC – Danny Vaughan

Plans: CLC Design LLC – Danny Vaughan

Pool: Vaughan Pools

Building Materials: Scrugg’s Lumber, Meeks, Mid-City Lumber

Floor covering: Howell’s Carpet, Prenger Floor Covering, Scrugg’s Lumber

Cabinetry: John Lage Cabinets

Countertops: Martellaro Marble and Granite

Plumbing fixtures: Winnelson, DKB

Plumber: Hayes Plumbing

Interior Design: Designs by Tina, LLC

Lighting: La Belle Cabinetry and Lighting

Electrical Contractor: Southerlin Electric

HVAC: Stieferman Heating and Cooling

Sewer and Drain: All Clear Pumping and Sewer

Concrete: K.A. Berendzen Concrete

Brick and Masonry: CMR Masonry, Midwest Block & Brick

Drywall: Sam Braun Drywall

Painting: Jim Bond Painting

Furniture and Accessories: JC Mattress, Nebraska Furniture