What’s Included in a Luxury Custom Home Build, and How Much Does It Cost?

Dallas-Cost-of-Living

Maybe you’ve considered building a home, but must address the all-important question: Can I afford it? Luxury homes in Dallas come in all shapes and sizes. Chances are you can find a custom home that fits your needs and budget, but you’ll have to do a little legwork first. Here’s what you need to know about the home-building process:

Location, Location, Location

One of the biggest factors affecting your home-build will be where you build it. In Dallas, there is Highland Park, University Park, Preston Hollow, Lake Highlands, Lakewood, Richardson, Plano, Frisco, North Dallas...just so may options! Dallas neighborhoods range from very expensive to “up and coming.” Choose the latter and you may find you can get more house for your buck. Even better, you may find that your home appreciates over time. Keep in mind that as you price out property in different neighborhoods, taxes may vary considerably by location. You can easily estimate your property tax by talking to a local government branch, or looking up tax records of nearby houses with a similar value (or projected value).

Renovations Versus New Builds

If you’re currently in a home that can no longer accommodate your growing family, you might be thinking that a renovation is the best option. In some cases, renovations can be a cost-effective alternative to starting a new home from scratch. In others, however, a new build may actually be more frugal. For example, adding an addition can uncover unforeseen problems that may make working with your existing structure a cost-sink. This may apply to older homes, especially those built before the 1950s (when both asbestos and lead-based paint were used). Remember, these are most dangerous when disturbed, so you could be looking at costly remediation to make your home hazard-free. Lead remediation alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars. In other words: do your homework before choosing a renovation over a new build.

Consider Your Budget

A home cost in Dallas will vary greatly depending on the scope of the build and where you choose to build it. There is no set cost for custom homes, as each McClung home is completely unique and tailored to the individual. As a good rule of thumb, however, expect a new build to cost anywhere from $100-$400 per square foot. Having a home that meets your exact specifications, however, can be priceless.

Tony McClung will guide you through the custom home building process using his decades of experience and architectural design knowledge. For more information about our custom homes, please contact us.

Tony McClung: Dallas Custom Home Builder

If you’re designing a custom home in Dallas, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the options available. Often, the most difficult part of custom home building is choosing the features you want, and accommodating them to your budget. The right partner can make all the difference in getting the home of your dreams, all on time and within your means. Whether you’re undertaking a house remodeling or building a structure from the ground up, you’ll want a partner with both experience and vision. Tony McClung sets himself apart from the competition and is committed to helping you build the custom home of your dreams.

About Tony McClung

Tony McClung knew what he wanted to do with his life earlier than most. In fact, it started in the seventh grade, when he built an addition to his family’s garage – from the foundation, to framing, and even the roof. Now, Tony McClung has over 50 years of architectural design experience, which gives him an eye for detail and vision. His building experience also gives him the foundation for the practical consideration of homebuilding, from timelines to permits.

Truly Custom Homes

Some firms label themselves as “custom home builders” but still have a group of templates for you to choose from. Tony McClung believes that a true custom home should be exactly to an owner’s specifications. That’s why we design unique floor plans and spaces, giving new meaning to the term custom homes in Dallas. Every project he does gets tailored to the client’s exact wishes, and you’ll have the benefit of his expert guidance throughout the entire process.

At Tony McClung Homes, we start with the idea that your home should make a statement, both on the outside and the inside. From curb appeal to the interior finishing touches, Tony can help you choose the features that will make your home the best on the block.

Home Remodeling

Sometimes, we want to stay in our current homes, but our expanding families and evolving needs mean we outgrow our existing spaces. When this applies, a custom home remodeling partner is essential. Whether it’s redesigning a kitchen to accommodate entertaining or creating a bath that’s a welcome respite from the daily grind, we help make your vision a reality. Our firm can handle it all, from the planning and zoning stages to choosing the raw materials for construction. That’s the Tony McClung difference – and it’s something you won’t find anywhere else in Dallas.

How to Design and Build Your Custom Home in Dallas, Texas

Architectural Designer

The prospect of building a house is exciting, but it’s also confusing. A custom home-build allows owners the opportunity to incorporate the features they’ve always wanted into their Dallas luxury homes, but beginning the process can be daunting. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Get Your Financing Together

Financing a custom home can be trickier than a conventional mortgage, as you’ll need a construction loan. If you don’t already own a parcel of land, you will first have to finance the property purchase before the construction loan. This often means two sets of closing costs and settlement fees, so be prepared.

Custom home-building may also require an excellent credit score and a down payment of 20%. In order to protect themselves from construction glitches, the ban may require extra reserves, as well. Keep all these things in mind as you begin your custom home research.

2. Hire a Contractor and Architectural Designer

When building a house, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is your architect and contractor. Check references, review examples of previous work, and ensure the match up will be a good fit. Some people choose to find a builder first who recommends an architect, while others seek out an architect first. Tony McClung is a skilled Architectural Designer, both an architect and a builder, so our firm handles the entire process and eliminates any confusion. Tony will manage every step of building a custom home.

3. Plan, Plan, Plan

Once you obtain financing and choose the best partner from custom home builders, the fun (and real) work begins. Planning for every detail and contingency in your custom home can save you money and prevent potential construction hiccups. Planning your home from foundation to roof reduces the possibility that you’ll incur hefty costs from tearing down existing structures to accommodate a change order, or that materials you suddenly need aren’t available.

4. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Now that you’ve finished the planning process, it’s time to break ground. Remember as you go through the construction process to communicate with your architectural designer. It’s much better to address any potential issues as they arise than to wait until they become a problem. It’s also a good idea to embrace flexibility – custom home-building is rewarding, but the best things take time. If you’re patient and open-minded, you’ll find the process of building your dream home rewarding.

Have questions about building your custom home? Feel free to reach out to Luxury Homes Designed and Built by Tony McClung. Tony is here and ready to help you walk through every step of building your custom home in Dallas TX.

Using Drones in Home Building

Tony McClung is always looking to provide his clients with the very best builders, materials, design and processes in building their custom home. One way Tony does this is by using drones to give homeowners a preview of their new home.

A drone flyover will show progress that is being made on the home, as well as give homeowners a view they will see from their 2nd floor master bedroom, before the second floor is even built! Tony McClung and his team also use drones to view the crawl space under a foundation and check on roofing structures. 

Drones are just one more way Tony McClung and his team has found to make luxury custom home building in Dallas Texas less stressful and more efficient. If you are interested in learning more about Luxury Homes Designed and Built by Tony McClung in Dallas, Texas, please contact us 214-668-7802.

Selling Your Home? These Upgrades Pay Off

Home remodel

When Dallas homeowners build a new home, or remodel their old one, they’re not just thinking of the enjoyment they’ll get from improvements. They have one eye toward the future when their investment could earn them even more. Homeowners should know what projects boost a home’s market value and which cost more than they’re worth. A family room addition or basement remodel can provide extra space and improve home value. Homeowners can expect to recoup approximately 80 percent of a minor kitchen remodel. A new front door dramatically improves a home’s exterior for an impressive return on investment. Here are some further upgrades that really pay off:

1.     Family Room

Families need places to hang out. Renovating a space to serve as the home’s social hub adds an intangible value to your house that family buyers will love. Installed cabinetry and hard-wired entertainment systems increase that value.

2.     Finished Basement

An unfinished basement means different things to different buyers. Some will love the chance to design their own space, while others will see it as more work in their already-busy lives. If you leave your basement unfinished, make sure it’s clean and dry. If you finish the space, use materials equal to the quality of surrounding homes and make the functions of that space stand out.

3.     Kitchen Renovation

Buyers will always focus on the kitchen. Make sure yours tells them “you want me” with refurnished cabinetry, an added island, new water fixtures, new countertops, and energy-efficient appliances. If you’re buying new appliances, go the extra step and buy smart appliances.

4.     Steel Entry Doors

Secure front doors speak to buyers in ways the rest of the house won’t. It’s the first impression they get of your home. Make sure it looks secure and new with a steel entry door.

5.     Fiberglass Attic Insulation

Lower heating and cooling bills are important to potential buyers. Upgrade your home’s insulation with top-of-the-line R-30 insulation. Do it when you move in to maximize your savings, as well.

6.     Smart Homes

Smart technology is here to stay. If you’re going to add smart appliances to your kitchen, go the extra step and upgrade the entire home. Add smart thermostats and a security system. Install a professional network. Make your home a beacon of technology for today’s tech-minded buyers.

7.     New Windows

No one wants to experience cool, blustery weather inside their house. Make sure your windows are the most energy-efficient brand you can find, which will decrease your energy bills and pass that same benefit on to a potential buyer.

Going that extra step now could lead to a higher sale when the time comes to move on. Contact Tony McClung, a Highland Park based architectural designer with more than 50 years of experience, to upgrade your home today!

Growing Old in Your Dallas Dream Home

As we settle into our dream, forever home, it is sometimes hard to think through the features that may become hard to live with as the years go on. Take some time to look through this infographic from the United States Census. If your Dallas home needs some updates that will make life easier for you in a few (many, many) years, or for an aging relative, give Tony McClung a call at 214-668-7802.

Aging Accessible Homes

How to Design the Bathroom of Your Dreams

bathroom remodel

The bathroom may be one of the most important rooms in your home. In the morning it’s a workstation with bright lights and beautiful surfaces to help you get ready for your day. In the evening you unwind by lighting candles and slipping into the tub. Here are some bathroom ideas for choosing the most important elements.

Choose high-quality fixtures.

The sinks, the toilet, and the tub are going to be there for a long time. You might decide during a bathroom remodel to change the flooring or the wall color, but for major fixtures, choose a high-quality design that is going to last.

Lighting is critical.

Choose wall-mounted lighting around the mirror that provides plenty of illumination. Add style with a chandelier or pendant. A pendant adds charm and provides soft light when you need it. Use recessed lighting to provide soft light to corners. Don’t forget the shower fixture.

Use gorgeous tile.

You can make a huge impact on any budget with your tile selection. Choose an unusual pattern or use polished marble or granite. Even large bathrooms have a limited amount of space, while small bathroom design involves even less area to work with. Go all out with tile everywhere, or choose one statement wall for your most luxurious tile choices and cover the rest in clean white.

Install a freestanding tub.

If you have space, nothing says luxury like a freestanding tub.

Include plenty of storage.

Before you start, look at the items you use every day and design your bathroom storage around them. Custom design drawers and cabinets are great for organization. Your bathroom stays neat when everything has a place out of sight.

Tony McClung works with interior designers and contractors in Highland Park, Preston Hollow and the surrounding Dallas areas to make sure your bathroom design is perfect. Contact us today to find out more.

Tiny Homes are on the Rise - Even in Dallas!

In our research for popular trends on custom home building, it is hard to miss the recent rise in popularity in tiny homes. Across the country, even in Dallas, smaller homes are springing up all over the place. We found an interesting infographic that shows some of the trends of home sizes in America. According to the data gathered, a changing economic climate and a growing concern for sustainability has led to people buying smaller houses in the US in the past few years.

What do you think? Could you live in a  home? Have you seen them around Dallas? If you are really interested in tiny houses, check out the Tiny House Jamboree right here in Arlington in October. But first, be sure to talk to Tony McClung - he can design you a gorgeous small home that is full of custom design and all the luxuries you could want!

custom tiny house

The Ultimate Guide to a Kitchen Remodel

Kitchens often get the most attention during home renovation and remodels. This is for good reason: it often serves as a gathering place for dinner or cocktail parties, and should provide a seamless transition to the dining area or bar. Even when you’re not throwing a stylish fete, your kitchen is both the heart and workhorse of your home. It should be sturdy enough to handle all your hard work and culinary masterpieces, but attractive enough to woo your guests. A tall order for one room! That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to your custom kitchen remodel. Let’s create the perfect space to unleash your inner Joanna Gaines.

Countertops

Choosing the perfect countertops to complement the room is very important. Quartz, granite, and marble remain popular choices for custom homes, as each slab is unique and they come in a variety of colors. They’re versatile and only require occasional sealing and maintenance. New options, such as concrete and recycled glass offer a chic, industrial, or retro vibe, depending on how you use them. Butcher blocks can be harder to maintain, but are a good option for those who want to add warmth to a kitchen.

Cabinetry

Custom cabinetry has come a long way since the days of your grandparent’s scalloped wood numbers. Hardwood cabinets still reign supreme, and higher-end materials like walnut, cherry, and mahogany make a serious style statement. Soft-close options are a must to protect little fingers, not to mention the wood itself. Bamboo or high-gloss lacquered cabinets can add an exotic or modern air to your space, respectively.

Appliances

Choosing appliances to match your new kitchen aesthetic is part of the fun. Now is the time to consider that chef-style oven and range or farmhouse sink you’ve been eyeing. Many of these appliances can be custom-made or changed to match your aesthetic: for example, chef-style ovens, ranges, dishwashers, and fridges come in a variety of color options. For an uninterrupted look, consider ordering appliances that can be concealed by your cabinetry.

Custom Home Building and Your Perfect Kitchen

Designing your kitchen is one the best parts of custom home building. Whether you’re starting from scratch or pursuing a remodel, we can make your dreams come to life. We’ve been helping families in Dallas, Highland Park, and Park Cities design their kitchens for years. We can create a space that matches your unique personal style and aesthetic. Talk to Tony McClung about building your dream kitchen today!

Four Must-Have New Home Features

building a custom home

When it comes to building a new home, potential buyers have a lot on their plates. There are so many decisions to make before you can see your dream become a reality. It’s easy to overlook some great features and end up wanting to change things later. Here are some of the best new home features you shouldn’t forget.

Smart Home Tech

Technology offers some truly amazing opportunities – especially for your home. “Smart” upgrades are extremely useful for your comfort and convenience. Plus, they’ll appeal to buyers if you ever decide to sell. More and more people are employing the use of smart thermostats, adjustable lights, carbon monoxide monitoring, home security systems, LED bulbs, video doorbells, and more. If you want one or more of these installed, it’ll be easier and less expensive to include them in the building plans, so everything will work together flawlessly.

Multiple Fireplaces

Fireplaces add character and warmth to your home, both literally and figuratively. For decades, people have placed a single fireplace in their living rooms and left it at that. Now, homeowners are installing them in multiple locations across the floor plan. Bedrooms, bathrooms, and even kitchens can benefit from the aesthetic change that comes with a fireplace – especially when they’re double-sided.

Eat-In Kitchens

We don’t live in a world of formal dining anymore – at least not daily. Our lives are full of hustle and bustle, so many of our meals happen quickly. When we’re not on the go, a quick brunch or dinner in an eat-in kitchen is best. When your home is under construction, you can easily plan for an extra nook to enjoy those meals and extend your kitchen space.

Solar Capabilities

Renewable energy is a wonderful thing. You’ll be able to reduce your emissions and save a significant amount of money each month on energy bills. In many cases, it’s easy to use solar power exclusively and avoid paying the power company altogether. If you’re interested in adding this feature, do it before your home is finished. That way, you can plan around the sun and build your panels, batteries, and wiring right into your home. What’s more, many government grants can help you cover the initial cost of going solar and specialized loans to cover the rest.

Are you ready to craft the home of your dreams with these incredible features? Don’t wait any longer. Contact Tony McClung today and begin the process of becoming a custom homeowner.

The Benefit of an Architectural Designer’s Touch

TonyMcClung

You’ve saved and planned and dreamed, and now it’s time to build your perfect home. This is likely one of the most monumental processes of your life, so it’s definitely not time to cut corners. There are many reasons a real architectural designer like Tony McClung should be in charge of planning your home.

Homes are Pieces of Art

First and most important, homes are a form of art. They must be designed to function properly to serve you and your family while providing beauty and personality that fits your lifestyle. Planning a home is not as simple as you might think – especially when you want to build the custom house of your dreams. Just as it takes an artist to finish a beautiful painting, you need an architectural designer to craft the right plan to bring your ideal home to fruition.

Experience Matters

You need more than an architectural designer’s eye when you’re building a home for your family. Having artistic plans isn’t enough if your designer doesn’t know how to make them come together effectively. Roofs need support, doorways must be large enough, and so on. With so many details, it’s easy for less experienced designers to overlook crucial details. Tony McClung has been building for decades, so rest assured that he will forget nothing.

Hands-On Approach

One thing that sets Mr. McClung apart from other architectural designers is his hands-on approach. Instead of designing your home and handing the plan to someone else, Tony presides over the entire project. You’ll have his expertise at hand from breaking ground to the final inspection.

An added benefit of Mr. McClung’s presence during construction is that you have the freedom to add your input at any time. If you change your mind about a portion of the build or have a sudden epiphany, he can alter the plans to fit your needs in short order. There’s no waiting for plans to be mailed back and forth, because he is the designer and builder both.

Your Dream Home for Less

These benefits equate to some amazing savings. You’re not paying inflated fees for other designers or middlemen, and there’s no chance of miscommunication between design and building. Plus, of course, the construction can be finished much more quickly without extended correspondence between parties, so you’ll save time as well as money. 

From Texas to Colorado and New Mexico, your dream home can be a reality sooner than you think, thanks to Tony McClung. Contact Tony McClung today to get your dream started.

The Best Home Efficiency Features

smart home

The weather is starting to get a little warmer and now is the perfect time to get your home prepared for summer. Everyone wants to make his or her house more efficient and convenient  – especially during hot Texas summers. As technology advances, new features are cropping up every day to do just that. These are the most valuable smart upgrades you can put into your new dream home.

Smart Thermostats

In older homes, a huge portion of the energy bill usually goes toward heating and air conditioning. In new constructions, this is less of an issue, but maintaining a comfortable temperature can still cost quite a bit – especially if your dream home happens to be rather large.

Smart thermostats are one of the best ways to stop yourself from wasting energy. These devices are very simple to install and offer a pleasing modern appearance. Most of them work along with your smartphone, so you can set the ideal parameters for your comfort. They’ll automatically adjust according to your schedule, so you’re not paying to keep the house cooler than it needs to be while you’re not home. They can drop the temperature a few degrees at night if you prefer to sleep cool. Over time, smart thermostats can pay for themselves several times over.

Smart Smoke Detectors

No one wants to experience a house fire, but you need to be fully prepared in case the worst does happen. Smart smoke detectors can save money on insurance premiums, but they can also save your life. Instead of screeching when you’re cooking or when their batteries are low, these modern devices will scan air quality constantly. Most also scan for carbon monoxide, offering double the protection. They can be programmed to send alerts to your phone if something is off.

Smart Sprinklers

It gets hot here in Texas – very hot. When the summer sun is out but the rain isn’t coming, it can be hard to maintain that beautiful green lawn of your dreams. Most of us don’t have time to worry about turning on traditional sprinklers. What’s worse, however, is when you forget to shut them off and waste water.

Smart sprinklers take the guesswork out of watering your landscape. You can program them to spray at certain times, but the best ones will calculate the proper amount of water needed based on the current weather and average climate. Since you’re not wasting water, you can see as much as 30% knocked off your next bill.

These are just a few of the incredible smart tech additions that can transform your home. Other options, like smart lighting and door locks, give us a glimpse into how magnificent and efficient our future can be with the help of technology. If you’re looking to transform your building from traditional to smart, let us know. At Luxury Homes Designed and Built by Tony McClung, we can help you throughout the process. Give us a call today at 214-668-7802.

Spring Maintenance Checklist for Texas Homes

Spring Home Maintenance

Cloudy days and cool weather are finally behind us for the year. With the longer days and promise of summer, however, comes a maintenance checklist for Dallas homeowners. The Texas climate calls for specific care to keep your home looking and performing up to standards.

The Outdoors

There are plenty of things to attend to outdoors, and it’s a great place to start if you’re ready to enjoy the warmer weather. Begin by inspecting the home and property. Check to make sure there hasn’t been any damage from winter weather and keep an eye out for signs of pests like rodents or termites. These sorts of problems will compound through the year, so you’ll save money and hassle by solving them sooner.

You should also:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts. You can, of course, hire this if you’re not able.
  • Trim trees and bushes and remove dead plants. Dead plants attract pests, while overgrown branches can crowd or damage power lines and other accessories.
  • Check the life of your mulch and replace if necessary. You can also plant new trees and shrubs now instead of later to make it easier on yourself.
  • Wash windows and inspecting for leaks. Any signs of exterior water damage are a cause for concern.
  • Clean and inspect siding, paint, and/or brick for damage. Siding, for example, is prone to chipping during cold weather, so make sure there aren’t any holes.

Interior

The first order of business indoors is to check for leaks. Inspect all windows and attic spaces to make sure your home hasn’t been compromised. The longer you wait to fix an issue like this, the more expensive the repairs will be.

Once you know your home has no damage, you can begin other maintenance tasks, such as changing the air filter and having a professional HVAC inspection. You need to replace air filters frequently to maintain air quality. Your HVAC unit, on the other hand, might need more refrigerant or some other adjustment. This is especially important, because you’ll need the cool air for the upcoming summer heat. Scheduling a yearly appointment can extend the life of the unit, too, which saves you money.

Check all your appliances and clean them well, so you can make sure they’re functioning at full capacity. Don’t overlook your exhaust fans and coils; they can become a fire hazard as grease, dust, and hair accumulate over time. Likewise, you should disconnect the dryer exhaust vent and clean it completely to remove lint build-up and keep your family safe.

If you have questions about maintenance for your new home, contact the team at Luxury Homes Designed and Built by Tony McClung.

How to Find the Right Builder for Your New Custom Home

Grand Entryway by Tony McClung

You’re finally ready to start construction on the custom home of your dreams. You’ve probably been dreaming about and saving for this project for years. So how do you choose a quality builder you can trust to do the job right? You need to carefully consider what type of home you want and use these guidelines.

  1. Define your needs. First, write down exactly what you’re looking for. Consider things like square footage, layout, special additions, and price range. Some builders specialize in specific configurations and styles and can ensure higher quality craftsmanship.
  2. Look at experience. Everyone has to start somewhere, of course, but builders with a proven past are less likely to make mistakes. Choosing a less experienced builder could potentially save you money, but you’ll also be taking a gamble.
  3. Get references. Talk to anyone you know who’s had experience with local builders, and see how his or her experience was. Many construction companies will also list past references and testimonials on their website so you can compare. If customers aren’t satisfied, make sure you find out why – a rough attitude might be an equal trade for a superior quality house.
  4. Verify licensing and insurance. Do some research about licensing requirements in your area to understand what certifications your builder needs. Double check that their licenses, permits, and insurance are all up to date before you make any decision.
  5. Ask about warranties. If a builder isn’t willing to stand by his or her work, it should be a red flag. Talk to the builder about quality guarantees and what the warranty fulfilling process is like. If he or she is indirect or wants to send you through a bunch of loopholes, it’s probably not a good sign.
  6. Check into previous build values. Ideally, homes from your builder will appreciate over time. Look at any listings or estimates for properties they’ve built and compare. If the value looks consistently low, it’s not good.
  7. Tour model homes or customer homes. Seeing is believing. If the builder has a model home, it’ll be easy to inspect the craftsmanship firsthand. If he or she doesn’t have a dedicated model, you may be able to talk to a previous customer for a walkthrough or find an open house. It’s important to view the handiwork before you decide. This step shouldn’t be skipped if at all possible.

Finding the right builder can feel like a wild goose chase for some people, but don’t despair. Tony McClung is a custom home builder in Dallas Texas that is here to help you bring your dreams to live, within your budget and timeline. With a proven track record, numerous references, certifications, awards and recognitions, you will be more than pleased with the home Tony McClung can design and build for you. Check out a sample of some of the beautiful homes designed and built by Tony McClung in Highland Park and the Park Cities, and give us a call at 214-668-7802 with any questions.