Elevating Farmhouse Architecture to the Next Level with Urban Farmhouse Design

Alford Homes’ latest urban farmhouse design home in Preston Hollow.

Alford Homes’ latest urban farmhouse design home in Preston Hollow.

Urban Farmhouse Design is a combination of traditional and modernized elements that create an updated fresh take on classic farmhouse style. The older non-energy efficient construction and higher cost associated with the upkeep of farmhouses left builders and prospects looking for greener updated alternatives. Urban Farmhouse Design is also called Farmhouse Modern Style, Farmhouse Chic, and Farmhouse Revival. According to Pinterest, farmhouse style made the Top 10 Décor Trends in 2017. These top 10 trends were featured in HouseBeautiful Magazine. In every urban farmhouse you will find a combination of some of the below elements.

Wood beamed ceiling in kitchen with double islands

Wood beamed ceiling in kitchen with double islands

  • Exposed Reclaimed Beams – reclaimed lumber brings the “barn look” inside, and predominately comes from timbers rescued from old barns and rustic buildings. Wood ceiling beams add a sense of history along with adding a feeling of warmth and comfort into the urban farmhouse mix.
  • Barn Lighting – light fixtures such as Gooseneck lamps, industrial drop ceiling lights, and other barn-style lighting is an easy way to add character to your urban farmhouse.
Multiple oversized windows in family room

Multiple oversized windows in family room

  • Windows with Plenty of Natural Light – is one of the most sought-after elements providing a classic look which is still obtainable in the modern farmhouse designs.
  • Front Porch – is a welcoming farmhouse touch, a lovely place to sit early in the morning or in the evening. Depending on the orientation of the house, the porch can provide shade, wind and rain protection.

The Huffington Post Newspaper Wrote an Article about the Most Popular Home Designs in the USA and Farmhouse Style Made the Top 10 List.

Beautiful wide-planked hardwood flooring

Beautiful wide-planked hardwood flooring

  • Hardwood Floors – it’s common for farmhouse homes to have hardwood floors, especially with wide planks. Hardwood floors are durable and multifaceted, allowing you to control allergens and stains. They also can last a lifetime.
Cabinetry with detailed craftsmanship and open-face design

Cabinetry with detailed craftsmanship and open-face design

  • Shaker-Style Cabinetry – is an open-face style cabinet which displays the contents inside while providing a classic and simplistic farmhouse look.
Shiplap wall paneling adds texture and design

Shiplap wall paneling adds texture and design

  • Shiplap, Tongue-and-Groove Paneling – this kind of wooden board or paneling used for constructing sheds, barns, and other rustic buildings. These types of treatments add texture to the walls. Shiplap paneling also introduces strong design lines and lends a modern look when painted white or is slightly colored.

The urban farmhouse designed by Alford Homes, which is pictured in this post, is a combination of traditional and modern farmhouse elements that blend to represent one cohesive design. It provides the homebuyer with a personalized home that has its roots in the past, but offers the best of today’s leading-edge technologies.

For more information call Greg Alford directly at 214.384.8779, or to learn more about Alford Homes visit their website at AlfordHomes.com.

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5 Step Turn-key Homebuilding Process

5 Step Homebuilding Process

Alford Homes’ Turn-Key Home Building Experience

Alford Homes is a custom home building company that offers its home buyers a turn-key home building process. As a home builder with 37 years of experience, my goal is to partner with families and individuals on a creative journey to construct a unique home that fits the lifestyle and meets the needs of the family – and becomes the home of their dreams.

By providing a turn-key process for Alford Homes clients, it enables us to reach our goal of providing a positive home building experience for our home buyers. The benefits of Alford Homes offering lot procurement, financing, architects, construction and professional designers as a package was implemented to make the home building experience efficient, less time consuming and as stress-free as possible along with constructing a remarkable product.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented individuals and companies. We have carefully selected these skilled craftsmen along with vendor partners and experts to be part of the Alford Homes team. Alford Homes has been collaborating with many of these businesses for 10 to 15 years.

The 5 Step Process

  • Licensed Realtor & Lot Procurement – As a custom homebuilder, I have worked with developers in addition to reviewing communities and deciding which ones meet my standards on which to build custom homes. There are several important items to consider when choosing a neighborhood – the city the development is in, location with access to major freeways & airports, a ranking of the school system, soil and fault lines, demographics of the area and the reputation of the developer. Alford Homes has ongoing relationships with many of the top developers and can assist you in choosing the right community and then finding the perfect lot to fit your future home. Because of these connections, it enables Alford Homes to potentially negotiate prices for lots with some of the area’s developers. Also, as a licensed real estate agent, I can help you sell your current home if needed.
  • Financing – Alford Homes has several relationships with banks and mortgage companies that can assist you with financing your new Alford Home.
  • Top Architects – Alford Homes works with several of the top residential architects in the Dallas Metroplex. One architect that collaborates with Alford Homes was just named one of the “Top 50 Residential Architects in the United States”.
  • Professional Designers – Each custom “build to suit” Alford Home comes with a consultation with a licensed designer to help with décor selections like light fixtures, hardware, flooring, cabinets, paint choices, sinks and countertop options.
  • Quality Construction – With over 37 years of residential construction experience, I am involved with every aspect of the construction of your new custom home. We use top quality materials and pay close attention to every detail. Many of the artisans that will be working on your new Alford Home have been working with Alford Homes for decades.

If you’re interested in learning more about Alford Homes “5 step Homebuilding Process” or seeing what Alford Homes are currently for sale, visit Alfordhomes.com or call Greg Alford directly at 214.384.8779.


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 5 Ways to a Greener Home

Green Homes Dallas

1. Monitor Home Temperature & Clean AC Filters — Nearly half of a home’s energy usage goes toward heating and cooling. Keep filters clean and make good use of ceiling fans.  Replace ageing systems with new direct venting and higher SEER rated units.  Upgrade to foam encapsulated systems.

2. Switch Out Bulbs — Replacing light bulbs can save money even though the upfront cost per bulb is higher. LED bulbs use 66 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than standard bulbs.

3. Use Greener Cleaners — There’s an abundance of green cleaning products available these days. A simple online search will reveal which products are gentler to the environment than others.

4. Upgrade Outdated Appliances — It’s estimated that 18 percent of a typical home’s energy bill can be attributed to appliance use. By upgrading to newer appliances you’ll consume significantly less energy (Ex: like a new washing machine – which uses less water and electricity).

Even if you do just one or two of the above, you can make a big difference for the environment — and you’ll see the results on your homes’ bills.

5. Buy a High-Performance Alford Home – which is energy efficient and has been built using the latest green building techniques call Greg Alford at 214.384.8779.

For more information on green home building visit the United States Green Building Council https://www.usgbc.org/ .

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Take a Tour of a High Performance Home this Weekend in University Park

New French Country-Style Home which is for Sale in University Park at 3136 Bryn Mawr

New French Country-Style Home which is for Sale in University Park at 3136 Bryn Mawr

Innovative High Performance Custom Homes
Energy Efficient Features along with Green Homebuilding Techniques

Come tour Alford Homes’ newest high performance custom home located in University Park, Texas at 3136 Bryn Mawr. This elegant French Country-style estate has approx. 6,488 sq. ft. with 3 stories, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms and is located on a 70 x160 lot in the Park Cities. This custom home is built to Green Built Texas standards along with having many energy efficient features including – 100% foam encapsulation (even crawlspace), tankless water heaters located in conditioned space for a more efficient operation, Aluminum clad wood windows insulated with Low E Glass and argon gas, a highly efficient HVAC System with multiple speed condensers in conditioned space that is zoned to gain a much higher air quality. Additionally, Alford Homes has added extra insulation to all the bathrooms, the master suite, utility room, mid-floor along with plumbing pipe locations not only for sound reduction but also for a more efficient system from room to room. The good news is – this homes’ electric bill should be 30% less than a similar home of its size.

This custom estate has a unique blend of French architecture on its exterior and a more transitional style with clean lines and lighter rooms in the interior. Some of the custom homes’ amenities include hand-scraped white oak flooring; large windows that bring in natural light and all with transitional finish-out. The first floor of the residence has an entry with foyer area, grand family room with stone tile and hand carved limestone mantle with fireplace, gourmet kitchen and adjoining breakfast room along with a nearby formal dining room and bar. The kitchen is “white and bright” with quartzite countertops, island, self-closing quiet drawers, double dishwashers; sub-zero freezer, and separate refrigerator, warming drawer, ice maker, wine cooler and all appliances are commercial grade with wood fronts. The downstairs also has a library with office nook area along with other first floor key features are a ½ bath, mudroom, outdoor patio with fireplace and a 2 car garage. The second story has a master bedroom and bathroom suite with separate his and hers closets with built-ins along with 3 additional bedrooms plus 4 extra spacious full baths, utility room and a large gameroom with reclaimed barn siding. The third floor of this custom home has a 5th bedroom, full bath plus a walk-in attic storage area. This French Country home with transitional style “white and bright” interior is in the nationally recognized Highland Park Independent School District, which is one of the best school systems in the United States.

Alford Homes builds green and luxury custom homes in University Park, Highland Park, North Dallas, Preston Hollow, Fairview, Parker and Normandy Estates in Plano. Together with Alford Homes, you’ll have the peace-of-mind and confidence of working with a time-honored custom builder with over 36 years of experience. Alford Homes is a Home Builder’s Association of Greater Dallas ARC award winner, has been named by D Magazine “Best Builder” for 17 years in a row and Living Magazines “Best Builder” for the Park Cities and 380 Prosper editions. Greg Alford is a member of the Home Builder’s Association of Greater Dallas and is a Graduate Master Builder, Certified Green Professional and Green Built Texas Builder.

For more information on this specific custom home or other luxury homes, please call the office at 972.429.1074 or visit AlfordHomes.com. This residence will be open all day on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm or for a personal appointment, call Mark Galanos at 214.448.8223.

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Alford Homes offers its Latest French Country Estate in the Park Cities

Come Tour this Luxury Custom Home Today

Bryn Mawr Custom Home

New French Country-Style Home which is for Sale in University Park at 3136 Bryn Mawr

Read the latest article about this lovely home >>

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A Builder’s Perspective: Choosing a Community to Build a Custom Home

The Lake at Normandy Estates in Plano.

The Lake at Normandy Estates in Plano.

When researching communities in which to build high-end speculative “spec” luxury homes, there are several factors that are important in order to meet my criterion for building in a development. These requirements can also be helpful for prospective buyers and it shows how a builder evaluates neighborhoods and communities. Some of these particulars are:

  1.  “Location Location Location!” What major highways are close to the development? What is the proximity to both airports? Are there upscale shopping, grocery stores, entertainment, fine dining and retail nearby? How are the public schools rated? Are excellent private schools close-by?
  2. What are the lot sizes and will they need improvements? Also, what does the topography and geographical landscape look like? Does the property have hills, greenbelts, mature trees, creeks and ponds? I need sufficient space to build a luxury estate home and want the homes to be aesthetically coordinated with the environment and landscape. Also, knowledge of the soil is required to know how to engineer the foundation.
  3. What are the community amenities? Is there security or a gatehouse? Other amenities could include a park, an outdoor area or community gathering place,  clubhouse, work-out facility, trails, water features, walled perimeter and a swimming pool with spa for the long hot Texas summers.
  4. What are the demographics of the area and city? I look at the demographics of the surrounding area and city with an investor’s eye, not only as a homebuilder. What is the median age of the area? How safe is the neighborhood?  What is the level of crime? Is the quality of life good?  What are the nearby home values and median affluence level of the area?
  5. Who is the developer of the community and what is their history, experience, financial backing and reputation?

Along with other developments and locations like the Park Cities and Preston Hollow, I have researched and chosen to build in Normandy Estates in West Plano – a community of European-style Estate Homes and Villas just 3 minutes from the North Dallas Tollway. The location is excellent with 25 minutes to either airport (Love Field or DFW Airport) in Dallas. The area has fantastic retail shopping and upscale restaurants. The Willow Bend Mall and the Shops of Legacy are close by, with their boutiques, eateries as well as the fabulous retail area at Preston and Park, and premier shopping at Stonebriar Mall. For nature lovers, the community features a lake and a fishing dock, a wooded creek area, nature trails and Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is only minutes away. The Plano public schools boast one of the highest performances on college entrance exams in the United States. The Plano ISD is ranked “exemplary”. (Please see the below link to the 2016 report.)

Normandy Estates amenities include: a guard house, nature trails, a lake with fountain and dock along with several creeks and mature trees. At Normandy Estates there is also a fitness center as well as a pool with spa.

The city of Plano has an approximate population of 280,000 residents and has been designated as one of the best places to live in the Western United States by CNN Money magazine and also featured as the safest city in America by Forbes. Plano has grown considerably with West Plano (where Normandy Estates is located) being the most affluent area of the city. Recently, many national companies have chosen to make their headquarters in Plano including: Toyota North America, At Home (Garden Ridge), JP Morgan Chase Bank (Regional Headquarters), Capital One Finance and Liberty Mutual’s Regional Headquarters.  Also, several national companies have had large expansions like Nokia, KFC Global and Pizza Hut Global. Plano is a thriving and economically booming city with strong infrastructure.

Normandy Estates in Plano earns my approval for a community in which to build new luxury custom homes. Alford Homes has built and sold 5 custom estates and has 2 more under construction. More information on the homes can be found on the Alford Homes website or please call me directly at 972-429-1074 for more details. At Alford Homes, we are dedicated to providing the very best construction and quality craftsmanship for over thirty six years.

*2016 Plano Public School Rankings Report:

Click to download: 2016 Plano School Rankings

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Custom Mud Rooms for New Luxury Homes


Mud Rooms in New Luxury Homes

A mud room (or mudroom) can be an important feature in a home, especially a luxury custom home with pets and children. Even though our weather in the Dallas area is rarely “muddy” a mud room has many benefits.

Often located through a side door which children and pets are encouraged to use, or most often having a separate entrance from the outside, this room acts as a climate barrier between the outdoor temperature and your climate controlled indoor temperature–which is an important feature in green home building considerations. Mud rooms generally make good use of vertical space, since they are usually small. Wall hooks or pegs are a good option, especially where children are concerned, as they are handy for hanging up outerwear and book bags. Also, lockers with room for children’s school books, backpacks, coats and shoes are another option.  I like to provide shelves and plenty of cabinets to provide additional storage for items such as umbrella’s, coats, shoes, hats and gloves. A bench to sit on while removing shoes and boots is functional, and a mirror for a last-minute clothing checks is handy too. A mud room is also an ideal place for a pet washing and grooming station.

The mud room should ideally be constructed with easy-to-clean floors and materials that flow and transition from the indoors to the outdoors, keeping true to the architecture of the rest of the home. A mudroom can also be a great location for a laundry room, as well. Sweaty tennis outfits, riding attire and swimming pool towels can be washed and cleaned without ever entering any other part of the home.  It may also be utilized for extra storage space.

Mud rooms are just one custom amenity you can incorporate into your new dream Alford Home. If you are thinking about building a new luxury custom home, give me (Greg Alford) a call at 972-429-1074.  Alford Homes is a Dallas luxury custom homebuilding company for 36 years, building homes in the finest neighborhoods such as Highland Park, University Park, Preston Hollow and in Plano at Normandy Estates. You may also visit our website for more information. I look forward to talking with you about your vision for your new custom home!

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Master Bathroom, Master Closet Trends 2016

Watch this quick video about Master Bathroom and Master Closet Trends

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Attics are More Than Just for Storage. See New Ideas and Trends 2016.

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“White & Bright” Kitchen Trends 2016.

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