Ask a Pro: Builder
We get a lot of questions about the benefits of lighting when it comes to building a new home and how lighting plays a part. So we asked some of the frequently asked questions to Tiffany Gowler, a custom home builder and Kichler influencer, to get her thoughts.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
My husband and I founded Gowler Homes in 2016 after more than a decade in the construction industry, but our story began years earlier when we were both just 16 years old. We met in a little coffee shop in Colorado Springs, had our first date a week later, and have been together ever since!
My degree is actually in Early Childhood Education and I was a public school teacher before becoming the Lead Designer and Creative Director for our company. While I was a teacher, my husband started a basement finish company in Colorado Springs. When we were just 23 years old, we built our first custom home for ourselves. Five years later, we built our second custom home for our growing family (we were pregnant with our 4th child at this time!). I truly had found a passion for designing homes for our own family and found that I also loved designing homes for clients! Then, the snowball effect came into place. More and more people came to us asking if we could design and build them a home.
So, we ended the basement company and, together, my husband and I founded Gowler Homes! We now have a solid team around us and are loving what we do! Because our family is our number one priority, we pride ourselves in creating spaces where families are able to thrive. We are truly blessed to be able to work together to design and build homes in the beautiful state of Colorado.
What types of homes do you build?
We design and build high end luxury homes, each uniquely designed to fit the owner’s specific needs and wants in Colorado.
What should someone expect if they are building-how long does the process typically take?
Our Project Development (design phase) is averaging about six months. Since we are a Design + Build company, we seamlessly transition from the Project Development phase into the Construction phase. Our philosophy is that the more detailed we get during the Project Development phase, the more efficient the Construction phase can go! Also, our thorough Project Development phase allows us to prepare extremely detailed and accurate budgets BEFORE construction starts so there are no surprises or disappointments once construction begins. Building timelines vary depending on site conditions, weather, and the complexity and size of the project. Most of our homes are completed within 10-12 months after we break ground.
What is the most important thing for someone if they are deciding to build?
First step is to set a preliminary budget so you have a ballpark range of how much you want to invest into seeking out who you want to work with. The next important step is to do your research on prospective home building companies in your area. The third step is to schedule a consultation with the builders you are interested in working with. This third step is the most important thing for someone who is deciding to build. Vetting potential builders takes time and commitment but doing your due diligence at this stage is critical to set up your home building experience for success.
Building a home may be an overwhelming task for someone-what would you tell someone about the benefits of building?
When you build your home, you are getting exactly what you want. It is able to be curated to your lifestyle, needs, and wants. It is an important investment into your life! In this world where so much can feel crazy, one place it doesn’t need to is feel crazy is home. It needs to be a place of sanctuary and rest. By building your own home, you can choose the setting when you purchase land and can design it to fit you perfectly.
How can a builder help a client with their style direction or home needs?
I think this is a very important question and a great time to address the difference between typical home builders who use a design-bid-build model and Design-Build firms, which is what Gowler Homes is. When home builders use the design-bid-build model, the process is often disjointed and the chances for a successful project are lessened. This is because the home owner works separately with the architect, designer, and builder and it leaves a lot of room for incongruity. Gowler homes is a Design-Build firm, which means that we streamline the entire home building system. We handle every aspect of the building process from concept to design and through construction completion. Our team includes architects, designers, estimators, project managers, and general contractors who are all involved from the very first meeting. Our design team works alongside the clients to determine their style and designs the perfect home specifically around that!
Can you tell us about how you decide on a lighting plan with a client? How important is the indoor and outdoor lighting plan? What value does it bring to a new build?
Lighting plays an extremely important role in a home. It quite literally “set the tone”. When deciding on a lighting plan, we consider the clients needs, wants, and budget and we determine a lighting package that coincides with that. When initially putting together a budget for a home, lighting is its own category. We LOVE lighting! Lights are not only a necessity, they are also statement pieces and can even be viewed like artwork! Outdoor lighting is also important both for safety and aesthetics! Proper home lighting welcomes people into the home and helps them feel “at home” when inside!
What advice would you give to people considering building a home?
Building a new home is not a small undertaking. It requires a significant financial and time investment. However, it is totally worth the investment! My biggest advice is to hire a reputable Design-Build contractor! The benefits to hiring a Design-Build team is that it saves time, saves money, provides more accountability and minimizes risk, is a less stressful process, improves coordination, and delivers an exceptional home in the end!
Can you tell us about your favorite project so far?
Well, I am certainly biased, but my most favorite recent project is our personal home! We bought a ranch in Colorado and designed and built our forever home from the ground up. We were able to design it to fit our families needs perfectly. We have a kitchen with huge windows that overlook Pikes Peak. We have a large homeschool room where we educate our four children. We have cattle, chickens, gardens, and it is truly a dream! It is always fun to design homes for clients, and I truly love them all, but there is nothing like home sweet home. Oh, and added bonus, ALL of our indoor and outdoor lights are Kichler! It’s a dream come true!
Visit Gowlers Home's instagram or website for more inspiration.
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