Minor Setback, Big Advancement
We've handled some bumps in the road and come out for the best. Get ready for the revamped 417 Idea Home.
In 2006, 417 Magazineand 417 Homebegan finding a team of the best and brightest in 417-land for the biggest venture either magazine had taken on: building a dream home. The concept was to build a home in which sponsors who were subcontractors applied the latest technology, used the products that where the best of the best and were asked to use the utmost creativity—all to make an end product that people would not only want to see but also would seek to live in.
Our first team member for the 417 Idea Home was Ron Hill from Euro World Design. Then Doug Pitts of Doug Pitts Construction joined the crew. Our figurative foundation was set.
Melissa Turpin, president of Unique Tile and vice president of Springfield Design Association, was sealed in as the design director. A healthy handful of designers will contribute to the project, but with Turpin at the helm, the many design minds can confer with one source and rooms will have a visual flow while still showing off each designer’s talents. Rick Huffman and the others on the HCW Development team joined in when we settled on staging the project at Branson Hills.
The key players and the subcontractors were lined up with enthusiasm. Hill had a completed floor plan and a rendering. It was time to break ground. Digging began in November on the Branson Hills lot that overlooked the 18th green, and there we found a pretty solid bump in the road. We hit rock. And it wasn’t going anywhere without a lot of
effort. A lower level, including a game room and home theatre, had been planned, so not removing the rock would be pretty limiting to our dream home. The worth in terms of time and money that it would take to get through the rock (perhaps by way of dynamite) was weighed.
“We went back to the developers and asked them if they had a second lot,” says Gary Whitaker, publisher of 417 Magazine and 417 Home. “The developers said they could do even better. Instead of a spec home, how about a custom home? Instead of the current lot, how about one of the best lots in Branson Hills?”
Sounds like a sweet deal, but what about bump in the road No. 2: How do you start from square one all over again, needing to create new plans and new renderings, and still have a finish date of fall 2007? Simple: You don’t. So, after ironing out details and talking to all the parties involved, the home’s unveiling was moved to summer 2008. Even though it’s now a custom project, you’re still invited to the two-weekend tour of the home upon its completion.
So who are these crazy people that want to build a home with us?
Marc and Patricia Williams are the fateful homeowners. Their meetings with Hill began almost immediately and have continued nearly every week since. “We were wanting the 417 Idea Home to be a really neat home to view,” Hill says. “Everybody is excited about it, and we are getting a lot of ideas shoved our way. We probably are getting a lot more information during the design process than we normally do. It inspires us to do something even neater—to bring on neat, new ideas. We really want
to wow people.”
Marc and Patricia have five daughters between them. All of the daughters are grown and living outside of Mom and Dad’s house, except the youngest, Phoenix, who will only be in the home for a short while as she leaves for college in the fall of 2008. No matter, the home is surely going to be one the girls are excited to visit.
The change of location put the house on a lot that sits at an intersection of three greens on The Tribute Golf Club at Branson Hills—a view the Williamses can enjoy while using their outdoor summer kitchen and cabaña with fire place or Grecian-style pool with infinity edge that waterfalls to a small pool and patio below. Sans rock, the pool and extensive bottom-level entertainment area with radius bar, pool table, card table and big screen for movie and game watching was possible.
“The property owners got together and dreamed bigger than we originally dreamed,” Whitaker says. “Sometimes bad things turn into better things.”
Patricia and Marc love to entertain, so as the final floor plan comes to fruition, it’s going to have spa- cious main areas and specific accompaniments to make the home conducive to hosting. The kitchen will have gourmet appliances and an additional prep kitchen for catering and overflow. The dual prep kitchen/pantry will have an oven stack and freezer. The great room has a radius window wall with a peripheral view of two fairways. The master bath is equipped with a spa area, walk around shower, his and hers closets with a packing counter. From the original floor plan to the new one, approximately 3,500 square feet were added.
Hill says that one of the best things about doing a custom home over a spec home is catering to a specific client. Now instead of holding the reins back to keep the home sellable, the crew can get approval on creative ideas from Marc and Patricia, making the potential for the home greater.
The guesswork is also eliminated for the 12 designers (and counting) who are on board. Now they know exactly whose taste they are tailoring to.
There’s still quite a bit more work to be done, but we’re back on track. Blueprints have to be solidified; Turpin has to determine a central color palette and a storyboard; Pitts needs to compile a budget.
All in all, the move from one lot to another, from a spec house to a custom one has treated us well. The house grew. There are more amenities. The view is better. Bumps in the road aren’t so bad.
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