3 Pillar Blog

Building Dreams

Categories: Design | Posted: March 12, 2015

Thanks to the invention of Pintrest and Houzz, people are able to easily specify what they are looking for in their dream home.

What makes a dream home? At 3 Pillar Homes we believe that a dream home is one that has the best fit, function, finish, and feel for your family. To us, a dream home is not defined by the amount of options and upgrades you put into it, but one that gives you the feeling of “home” as soon as you walk through the door.

3 Pillar Homes

3 Pillar Homes is a custom builder, so custom that sometimes clients do not know where to begin. If you haven’t discussed what you are looking for in detail with your family it can be hard to articulate your desires. Pintrest and Houzz provides potential homeowners the opportunity to find creative ways to achieve their desires. We have had past homeowners actually bring in pictures they found on these websites to help illustrate what they wanted in their homes.

Kitchen photographs are easily one of the most popular categories.  Because in many cases, the kitchen is the heart of the home. We have also been known to add a door hidden behind bookshelves, and barn doors in the foyers. Sometimes it goes beyond small touches here and there, expanding to affect the entire floor plan or the front elevation.  Start with your “must-haves” and go from there!

3 Pillar Homes Parade

Both websites and mobile apps are so easy to use, why wouldn’t you start following 3 Pillar Homes on Pintrest and Houzz to start planning YOUR dream home?

Keeping Projects on Track

Categories: Build Process, Design, Newsletter | Posted: March 4, 2015

Failure to make timely decisions is the number one culprit behind schedule and cost overruns. Homeowners play a key role in preventing these problems.

Some homeowners find it a challenge to make their final selection of products and materials. It’s easy to see why—with practically limitless choices in countertops, fixtures, tiles, windows, and other products, it can be difficult to settle on one model, style, or color.

Countertops Jerome Village

But decisions must be made at some point, and making those decisions in a timely manner is crucial to keeping the project on schedule and on budget. Indecision and delay can cause costs to rise dramatically.

Professional builders always include enough time in the schedule for homeowners to sort through these choices, but they also set firm deadlines for when each choice must be made. Those deadlines are based on how long it takes to obtain each item, and whether other work depends on the decision.

Take the example of windows and doors, where frame openings have to be sized to fit each particular model. If the homeowner chooses the windows after the framing is underway, that could mean going back and reframing openings. The same goes for decisions about plumbing fixture locations that would require the moving of pipes.

Foyer Tartan West

What about items that don’t affect infrastructure like framing or plumbing? The answer is that late selections anywhere can cause problems. Custom-made products like shower surrounds, cabinets, and counter-tops can have long lead times, so late selections can easily push the job past its original finish date. The same goes for decisions on flooring, paint colors, and landscaping.

The problem with extending the finish date is that time is money—every day the builder’s crew is on the job, expenses are adding up for labor and overhead (for example, items like the job-site office, the perimeter fence, the power pole, and so on).

During those extra weeks and months, homeowners run the risk of paying the costs for two separate homes: the expense for the home that’s being built, as well as the mortgage payment for their current residence.

Savvy homeowners reduce this risk by working closely with the design team, made up of the architect, interior designer, and landscape architect. Selection problems are minimized when the homeowners and designers work closely together. The design team helps the homeowners to narrow the choices in models, styles, and color, and guides them to selections they will be happy with.

The most effective thing homeowners can do to ensure a smooth project is to work with the builder and design team to make as many decisions as possible before work starts. Early selections eliminate a lot of stress and expense. The process of building a home requires a lot of decisions, and savvy homeowners help keep the project on track by meeting decision deadlines.


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Categories: Build On Your Lot | Posted: February 25, 2015

As a custom home-builder, we are present in multiple neighborhoods. However, building in communities is only part of our business. We often build on home-sites owned by the homeowners in other neighborhoods or off-site locations where our homeowners want to build on their own land, developed or undeveloped.

If a client already owns a home-site, or even if they still need help finding one, we are happy to assist. Our owner, Zenios, often takes the time to walk the land with the perspective homeowners to see what is feasible and to assist in understanding what lot preparations need to happen before and during the build.

Many considerations must be taken into account-where will the home be situated? Are there any easements? Will we need a septic system? Can the lot offer a walk out basement? We asked the Ebbers family about their experience searching for their perfect home-site.


Q: What was the biggest driver in your choice of lot?

A: Distance from where you do “life” – our lot is 11 minutes from school and church. Type of lot – our new lot is 9 acres, but 4 is “forest” with a creek running through it. We wanted a walk-out basement, so finding a lot where that looks natural was imperative.


Q: How many lots did you consider?

A: We looked at 12-20 lots, considered 3.


Q: What lifestyle goals were you hoping to achieve?

A: We love being outside and want our kids to grow up seeing nature.  We want to raise some Pheasants and feed the deer.  The kids are already having a blast playing in the creek.


You can follow Ebbers’ journey through the custom-build process here!

Friday’s FAQ | Windows

Categories: Design, Maintaining Home, Newsletter | Posted: February 20, 2015

This week’s Friday FAQ is related to the livability of a home.

Wall of Windows

Q: What is an “insulated” window?

A: Newer windows are often referred to as “insulated” because of technology that retards, blocks, or slows the transfer of air through the unit. Most people are familiar with fiberglass or other types of insulation material in a wall cavity. In a window, the “insulation” is a combination of several factors. Most common are windows with at least two panes of glass enclosing a ‘dead’ airspace between them. The airspace may also be sealed to contain a clear, odorless gas (commonly argon), which is heavier than air and thus an even more effective insulator. Better yet, one or both inside surfaces of the glass can be permanently laminated with a clear coating that further retards thermal transfer and protects the home interior against solar heat gain and damaging ultraviolet rays.

Study Windows

Capturing Natural Light

Categories: Design, Newsletter | Posted: February 18, 2015

Walk into most new homes and you’ll notice a big difference from many older homes: an abundance of natural light. In older homes, poor thermal performance forced builders to scale down the size of windows and glass doors.

Today’s builders, however, are able to maximize the capture of natural light by taking advantage of advanced technologies and materials, a wider range of sizes and styles, and a number of new products and creative applications.

For clients who prefer a modern look, glass walls can be used to maximize natural light. For those preferring traditional housing design, professional builders usually work within historic housing forms to increase interior natural light. Window manufacturers have helped this effort by providing a wide variety of products to match traditional house styles.

Wall of Windows

For example, a roof window (or series of these units) over the center of the kitchen can bring in a tremendous amount of natural light without having an adverse impact on a traditional façade. This is especially true if that room is on the back or side of the house and thus out of view from the street. Unlike skylights, roof windows can open to vent stagnant or hot air and odors. They have a flat design, only slightly raised above the roof finish, which further reduces any intrusive appearance.

For smaller interior rooms, such as a water closet, walk-in shower, or storage area, traditional approaches to bringing in natural light are almost impossible, or at least impractical. Tubular skylights offer a solution. From a small, unobtrusive opening in the roof, light enters a tube lined with mirrors and reflective material that magnify available light into the room below. These small devices pour large quantities of light into tight spaces, making them feel more spacious and comfortable.

Fixed or operable transom windows may also be used to bring natural light into interior rooms. Set above passage doors to bedrooms and bathrooms or even in interior walls, transom windows can carry natural light from rooms on the outside perimeter into otherwise dark, inner spaces.

JV Model Stairs

A kitchen backsplash can be used creatively to increase natural light. Glass block or fixed panes of glass may be installed in the space between the countertop and the wall cabinets. Light is brought onto the work surface without sacrificing kitchen cabinets for a large window expanse.

When homeowners prefer traditional architectural styles, experienced home builders will assist homeowners with design and product solutions, made easier with the wide array of technologically advanced windows now available. With new products to choose from and some creative design work, home owners are able to enjoy both their home style of choice and the aesthetic and cost-saving benefits of natural light.


To learn more about this and other helpful hint, sign up for our newsletter here!

Home Highlight | The Savannah

Categories: Inventory Homes | Posted: February 12, 2015

It’s time for another Home Highlight!  This week’s focus is one of our free-standing condos in the Homestead at Scioto Reserve.  It’s a Cape Cod styled 1st floor master, also known as our Savannah plan. This gem is our last home available in the Homestead at Scioto Reserve! It finishing touches are happening now and it’s ready to move-in!

4732 Oakland Ridge Dr

Powell, OH, 43065

HSR Savannah

Maintenance-free living & a true sense of community are the perfect combination in the Homestead at Scioto Reserve. The Clubhouse, Pool & Community Gardens are a great place to meet your neighbors!

Great Room Savannah

Enjoy custom touches with beautiful craftsmanship in these “right-size” homes. Many 3 Pillar Homeowners in the Homestead at Scioto Reserve rave about how stunning the interior of their homes are. Even better, they are close to their kids and grandkids attending nearby Olentangy Schools while enjoying golf, shopping and great restaurants close to home.

Kitchen Savannah HSR

To be able to put our custom finishes on each of our homes is our favorite part of the process.  Whether it be for a million-dollar mansion or a cozy, yet elegant, condo, 3 Pillar Homes is dedicated to helping your build your dream home.

To check out this and other newly updated plans, visit our “Floor Plans” page!

To see other available homes, visit our “Available Homes” page!

Friday’s FAQ

Categories: Build Process | Posted: February 6, 2015

Welcome to “Friday’s FAQ”, a bi-weekly event where we take a couple minutes to answer one frequently asked question about the homebuilding process.  This week, we are answering a common question about Construction-Perm Loans.

Q: How are loan draws figured?

A: A good draw schedule balances the contractor’s need to get paid for work done and materials purchased, with the homeowners’ and bank’s desire to not pay too far ahead of what has been completed. On a new home, payments are usually matched to completion (or “substantial completion”) of a particular phase: foundation, frame, drywall, and so on. On a remodel, payments often depend on percentage of completion. It’s important that the homeowner communicate with the contractor to ensure there are no misunderstandings about how and when funds will be disbursed.

Monroe Great Room


The Hidden Build Process

Categories: Build Process, Newsletter | Posted: February 4, 2015

Understanding the construction process will help owners manage their expectations and emotions.

Here’s a quick quiz…

It’s four or five months into a new custom build. The home is weather tight, plumbing and wiring have been roughed in, the insulation is in place, and drywall has been screwed to the walls and ceilings. The drywallers are sanding the seams in preparation for that first, shiny coat of paint. How do most homeowners feel?

The question illustrates a crucial issue. There are two things going on at each stage of a project: the actual construction and the homeowners’ perception and evolving feelings about it. Fortunately, most people react in predictable ways at predictable times, so an experienced builder will understand how to help their clients through the inevitable ups and downs. If the homeowners know what to expect, the emotional ride becomes easier and more enjoyable.

As construction begins, homeowners are typically very excited—and why shouldn’t they be? Preconstruction ups and downs involving plans, specs, and product choices are behind them. Their dream home is about to take shape!

Emotions tend to remain high as workers and machines dig the hole, form and pour the foundation, build the rough frame, and install windows, doors, siding, and roofing. How long this takes depends on the home but with some exceptions, such as weather delays, things moves fast with obvious progress nearly every day. Excitement and anticipation build as the home they have been imagining for years is finally rising from the ground!

Pinnacle Club

That visible progress slows dramatically during the next phase of construction.

Once the shell is complete, the electricians, plumbers, and heating technicians descend on the house to rough in their systems. This is when a homeowner’s emotions can be tested. This phase of the project is inherently time-consuming. Plus, it can be drawn out by complex scheduling requirements of different subcontractors. Progress seems to come to a halt and excitement can quickly morph into anxiety. Will the home be done on time? What’s taking so long?

At this point, it helps to remember the importance of good lighting, plumbing, and heating to a home’s livability. Investing the time to do them right will pay off big later on.

We understand how challenging this phase of the project is for homeowners. This is the time when, as professional builders, we step up communication about the progress that is being made behind the scenes. We find that educated homeowners can better manage their emotions through the whole process, but especially as we get ready to move into the home stretch.

The last phase includes installation of trim, flooring, cabinets, and fixtures. Here, excitement begins to rise again as the finish line pulls into sight. By the time the keys are handed over, emotions will be at a point nearly equal to where they were at groundbreaking.

Model at Jerome Village

How best to navigate this emotional journey? How does one enjoy the highs and take the dips in stride? Awareness about the process goes a long way. Study the schedule and know what is going to happen and when. Think of the project as a story, and the schedule as the plot outline. A good builder will work with the homeowners to fill that outline with details that will help make the project a great experience and ensure a happy ending.


To learn more about the custom-build process, sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter here!

Home Highlight | Open House

Categories: Inventory Homes | Posted: January 28, 2015

Open houses every Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 5pm!

7423 Spruce Ct, Plain City, Ohio

Our move-in ready home in Jerome Village!

Our move-in ready home in Jerome Village!

3 Pillar Homes has been hosting open houses on the weekends in Jerome Village, near Dublin. This particular home is a recently completed, two-story home with four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. It is located on a deep cul-de-sac lot with friendly neighbors.

The home’s layout is based on our Monroe plan, one of the most popular in our arsenal. Of course, no two 3 Pillar Homes are alike, so there are always custom changes throughout.  For those homeoweners interested in a plan without the formal dining room, this plan is a great starting point.

 To check out our Monroe floor plan, click here.

We have had these open houses for other reasons besides generating interest in the home (although that is high on our priority list). 3 Pillar also wants to make sure we are taking the time we need to keep up on the goings-on in Jerome Village. When we build in communities, we want to feel like part of that community.

Our model home in the Jerome Village – Arrowwood neighborhood will be up and running early February. Until then, our goal is to be accessible in the neighborhood for anyone who is interested in our work and has any questions.

Whether you’re in the market for a custom-build or a move-in ready home, feel free to drop by the open house to say hi and see what 3 Pillar is about.

Preplanning is Key

Categories: Build Process, Newsletter | Posted: January 21, 2015

When it comes to building a new house, many people don’t realize just how important it is to develop their preconstruction plan. This is especially important with a custom-build home, because there will be aspects that differ from other houses which greatly affects construction plans.

The more time that the Professional Builder spends on the preconstruction planning process, the better the actual build will be. This process involves much more than just creating the home’s blueprint. It involves people, supplies, getting the timing right, etc.  A decision made today will determine whether the personnel and materials are on the job three months from now.


Izabella Floor Plan

Communication is key, especially when you are working with the homeowners, architect, interior designer, project manager, and contractor.  The more people involved, the easier it is for a message to get lost along the way.  The entire process is similar to the passing of the baton in a relay race.

The builder can ensure the best possible outcome for the homeowners by taking the time up front to think through and record decisions, establish workflow and detailed schedules, account for permitting, and plan for communication and contingencies.


To learn more about the world of custom-built homes, sign up to receive our 3 Pillar Homes newsletter here!