01 Jan Completing Your Custom Luxury Louisville Home
Welcome to this edition of the Louisville Custom Home Builder Podcast Series brought to you by Louisville’s leading luxury construction team, Artisan Signature Homes. I’m Greg, your host and for today’s episode, we are joined by Louisville’s best known and most accomplished custom and luxury home builder, Jason Black. Jason, good to see you.
Jason: Good morning, Greg. It’s always good to have you back.
Greg: We left off on the last podcast with the granite install in our continuing series on how Jason Black and Artisan Signature Homes builds a custom and luxury home. We’re at granite or whatever surface material, right, that someone is putting on their…
Jason: That’s right. A lot of people take this step for granted but-
Greg: Very nice. You’ve been saving that for a couple of months now, haven’t you?
Jason: I know. I know. I know. No. It is fun. When the granite guys show up, usually there’s five or six guys hoisting that big heavy slab for the kitchen island in and as cool as the cabinets look, this really finishes it off. The house, again, starts to feel like that home.
Usually, the granite install goes in one day. They can come in and set things pretty quickly. They’ll usually will drill on-site where your faucets are going to be. Again, we’ve pre-selected all your faucets. We know how many holes you’re getting in the kitchen sink versus the master vanity or are they coming out of the wall, whatnot. We’ll take care of that.
The only time we may need the granite guys to come back a second time is, we’re starting to do more full-height granite back splashes, say behind the hood in the kitchen. Instead of having a subway tile back splash, we’ll have just a big slab of marble or granite. If anybody came out to Homearama this past year in Norton Commons, our grand award winning house had a big slab of soapstone for the back splash and it was pretty spectacular. It was really cool. Again, you’ve got to get that lower portion of the granite top in and then they come back, template and then set that full slab on top of the other granite…
Greg: Then, you just mentioned soapstone. Are we saying granite generically? Whatever surface, they come at the same time. It doesn’t matter if someone has…
Jason: Yeah. Countertops, if you’ve got … We’re doing a lot of marble. We just did a really cool finish in one of our cottages over in Norton Commons. We did a Cambria countertop, which is a quartz manmade product that is one of the finer looking quartz products that I’ve seen. Yeah. It’s any countertop on the counters that we’re referring to at this time.
Again, counters are in, as soon as that happens, the plumbers are right behind them installing all the pretty plumbing fixtures. Any bathroom vanity type fixtures, kitchen faucets, all that stuff is taking place soon after the granite has been installed.
Greg: Again, this is stuff people should have picked out weeks ago? Months ago?
Jason: Yeah. It had been months ago, so we’ve already ordered, they’re sitting at the plumbing supply warehouse just waiting on Artisan to call and send it out to the job site.
Greg: I’m curious, on the backside, behind the scenes, do the plumbers, or the electricians, or all your subs, do they have … How do they keep track of all your clients? Is it just a list or do they actually have the material set aside in a box and they’re ready to go?
Jason: It’s a lot of communication between our Artisan team and it’s not just me. I’ve got a couple of guys that help us. We’ve got Jimmy and Alex. Then, Meg’s my back office lady who’s really helping coordinate all the deliverables and making sure materials are ready when we need them.
Jason: We’re really keeping the subs informed all along the way. As with communication is key between the customer and the builder, it’s also very key between the builder and our tradesman and our suppliers. We can’t just call them and say, “Hey, we’re ready for a finish.” They order it and usually they don’t stock. We’re not using stock materials very often, so they’re usually bringing everything in specific for our clients.
Greg: Then, the scheduling, the same thing. You’ve got to work that in ahead of time, know when they’re needed so that it runs smoothly and everyone’s in when they need to be in and out when they need to be out.
Jason: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Greg: All right.
Jason: Yeah. Plumbing fixtures, that’s faucets. We can install any of the toilets that we have on tile floors, another thing that we’ll be doing, I like to get the lighting fixtures done, the plumbing fixtures done and then we’ll bring in the pre-finish flooring at this time. We’ll run that throughout the house. Usually, we’re running that in the majority of the first floor.
We have a lot of folks with allergies nowadays so we’re doing more and more whole houses with all hardwood flooring, including the lower levels. I know we’ve talked about flooring in previous episodes but we’re doing a lot of laminate, or they call it LVT, luxury vinyl tile, that are just planks of laminate that’s almost waterproof flooring, down in the basement.
Again, we can do a whole house without any carpet. I still have those customers that like their carpet, so basement media rooms and kid’s bedrooms. People are 50/50 in their master bedrooms. Some like the soft touch of the carpet when they get up in the morning and others, again, will go with the hardwood. Flooring, once that hardwood is down or carpet’s down-
Greg: Is that a pretty quick process, if you have the pre-finished … It’s very different, right, between the standard finish on-site and the pre-finished?
Jason: Yeah. If you have the pre-finish, they can come in and within three to five days, lay an entire house and then they’ll also lay the shoe molding that covers up the gap where the floor meets the baseboard. Now, if we’re doing a sand and finish floor, usually it’s a couple of step process. Usually, I’ve got to shut the house down for an entire week.
Again, depending on the size, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, but they’ll come in, sand everything down and then they’ll put a coat of stain on the floor. They’ll come back the next day, lightly sand it, put a coat of polyurethane on it, lightly sand it the next day, another coat of polyurethane.
Then, I’ll get the tradesmen back in to finish up their thing and usually right before somebody moves in, I’ll come back in and do a third coat that really finishes it off. Then, usually the moving trucks are showing up right after that third coat of sand and finish flooring.
Greg: Okay, a very different process.
Jason: Yep. A very different process. Okay. We’ve got flooring in. We’ve got carpet in. We’ve got plumbing fixtures in. Now, we’ll bring in the audio/video guys with any speakers, TVs, movie theaters, the security system is getting set up. We’re doing some Control4 now.
We’ve always wired for it but I have more and more customers that are actually implementing that and that is a home automation system. A lot of people may start with a basic, all your exterior lights on the Control4 system to where you can control it from your iPhone, laptop, or you can set a pre-established setting to everyday at dusk it comes on and goes for a couple of hours, then shuts off. That’s probably a whole other episode and I know we’ve talked about it a long time ago but we may want to revisit that coming up with the home automation because it sure is a nice feature to control your sound and TVs and security and all that.
Greg: We might try to do a little bit of video on that one to show what you can actually control from your phone. That might be kind of an interesting … Because I’ve been in one of the houses that you’ve done, I didn’t realize how much you could do from your phone. It might help to have a visual for people.
Jason: Yeah. No, and maybe you can film me when I’m in my basement because many of times, I’ll be watching TV. I love my, we’ve got a 100+” TV down in the media room and inevitably, the kids run down stairs, ask dad a question, flip on all the lights, I answer the questions and they jet on upstairs and I say, “Turn the lights off,” and they’re long gone.
Greg: They’re gone. Right.
Jason: I pull up my phone or the remote and just tap the lights back to the media room setting and everything shuts down, so there’s some pretty cool technology out there that is … It’s within reach. It used to be not within reach for most folks but the pricing has become more affordable than it has in the past.
Greg: When you say that the contractors come through, has the wiring already been done and they’re putting in the, say the actual TV in the system and the items that run it, or are they doing the wiring as well, or is it all wireless now?
Jason: No. All the wiring is done. We do all that. Now, we can do the lighting, is all done wirelessly with the light switches but everything else is going to be wired.
Greg: They’re hanging the big expensive … I guess, is that when the TV comes in?
Jason: Yeah. We’re hanging the TVs, projection screens and speakers and sub woofers and doing a … Maybe we can get a shot of, we’ll do a lot of tower racks where all the equipment goes down in the basement. That’s kind of, in a nutshell, I know we’ve spent lots of episodes on it but I hope it gives folks a general idea of, there’s a lot of steps in the process of building a home and I’m sure we haven’t covered them all but it gives folks an overview of what to expect.
Of course, once all the tradesmen are done, we’ll bring in the final cleaners, we’ll clean the house, we’ll clean the windows. We’ll have a walkthrough, we’ll touch up any items. We’ll do a paint touch-up, so there’s a little bit more to it but that’s kind of in a nutshell what it would be like building a custom home with Artisan.
Greg: I think it’s been wonderfully educational. I’ve enjoyed listening. It’s definitely one thing to talk to you about it, it’s another… because I miss so much, when you drive by a house and you think you’re paying attention and you miss so much. It’s just been a good series I think, so nicely done.
Jason: Thank you, man. No telling what we’ll get into next, so stay tuned.
Greg: We’ll find out.
Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Louisville Custom Home Builder Podcast. If you’re looking to build a home and would like to reach out to Jason with any questions about the process or maybe just your individual needs and desires, please visit the website at ArtisanSignatureHomes.com. We appreciate your time with us today and look forward to bringing you another episode next week.