505-238-7678  david@abqbuilder.com


Kitchen remodel





  • Typically Frame Could encompass a multitude of other methods though, I have built with Frame, Rastra, Adobe, Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), Rammed Earth and Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). I will not build with Straw Bale
  • Exterior Walls are typically Stucco
  • Interior Walls are usually drywall could be plaster or a mixture of drywall and plaster
  • Roof Usually flat could be pitched metal or tile or combination of pitched and flat
  • Most homes are on slab may have crawl space areas
  • Exterior walls are typically 26 or greater when using frame construction
  • Interior walls should have a minimum thickness of 26 if the thickness of the wall is exposed
  • Typically have three to four different ceiling heights within the home
  • Insulation is usually Fiberglass batt and blown due to budgetary constraints. More people are shifting to a combination of cellulose and blown or cellulose and Icynene. An all Icynene insulation system is the most expensive system for insulation. ALL interior common walls are insulated for sound
  • Windows are typically wood with aluminum cladding. The brand that I typically use provide Low-E coatings and Argon gas at no additional charge. Some vinyl windows are O.K., but they will never be able to compare to a quality wood window
  • Most homes have one interior and one exterior fireplace
  • At least some wooden beams and ceilings in the home
  • Plaster and Stone fireplaces in the Great Room


  • Radiant Heat about 50% of the time more than happy to discuss the pros and cons of it in our climate
  • Refrigerated Air swamp coolers are not that efficient in our climate
  • Forced Heat is a necessity here
  • Number of units is determined by the size and layout of the home, most homes are about evenly split between two or three heating and cooling units
  • Air Exchange Systems as we build tighter homes, this type of system is becoming required more often


  • Usually Kohler, Moen or Delta hardware with a smattering of Grohe and Danze typically Oil Rubbed Bronze or Brushed/Satin Nickel finishes
  • Jacuzzi Tub in Master Bath
  • Cast iron tubs where other tubs are used
  • Fixtures are Kohler and very rarely do people want white
  • The majority of time, a 75 Gallon hot water heater is used, other systems may include tankless and/or side-arm systems
  • You need to be sure that your hot water useage and gas bill history warrant a solar hot water system, if you are curious about one
  • Comfort height, elongated bowl toilets with soft-close seats
  • Dual showerhead/rain head in Master Shower about half of the time
  • Soft Water Loop
  • Many people are now pre-plumbing for gray water systems
  • Hot/Cold hose bib in the garage
  • Exterior hose bibs are spaced according to the length of a hose
  • Two irrigation system stub-outs front and rear
  • Hot water recirculating system point-of-use activation is becoming more popular
  • Laundry tub in the garage unless the utility room is next to the garage, in which case the utility sink is usually sufficient

Appliances, Cabinets and Counters

  • True custom made cabinetry my cost (your cost) on custom cabinets is typically less than the majority of pre-made cabinets and there is no comparison as to the quality
  • You choose the lower and upper cabinet heights, there is no difference in the price
  • 3cm Granite in the kitchen and typically tile in other areas. About fifty-percent of people want granite (or slab stone) on the Master Bath vanities and the Tub Deck
  • Big Kitchen islands
  • Dual kitchen sinks vegetable sink or secondary food-prep area
  • Most homes have dual vanities in the Master Bath
  • Appliances can range from GE or Fridgidaire to KitchenAid or Wolf. Its the clients decision as to what they want. We shop hard and get the best prices possible
  • Most people put custom inserts (3/4 inch melamine) in the Master Closet and Pantry. About half of the people put inserts in all closets

Flooring and Tile

  • Floor tile is typically a nice porcelain, some clients use natural stone. Most people tile all areas except the bedrooms or the second story
  • About half of the people run tile baseboards everywhere there is floor tile
  • Carpet should be nice, typically at least a 50 oz. weight and NOT cut berber. Typically only used in bedrooms and the second story
  • Wood most people want some wood in the home and the areas that we usually install it would be the Dining Room and the Great Room
  • Wet areas are almost always tile
  • Showers and vanity tops are typically natural stone. Many people also find a nice ceramic tile that we can do unique inlays or designs with


  • Alarm Systems with hidden sensors typically three key pads
  • Pre-wired Media Rooms
  • Whole house speaker systems, to include portals
  • At least two phone jacks in most rooms
  • Outlets in closets
  • Most rooms typically have at least four recessed cans
  • Ceiling fans with attractive light kits in most rooms
  • Good security lighting
  • Homes are required to be prepared for photovoltaic systems now. More people are becoming interested in installing a PV system at the time of construction
  • Outlets in each room for convenience and not just the basic amount required by Code
  • Higher-end and expandable low voltage systems and technologies for current or future home automation
  • Central Vacuum Systems


  • Typically handled by the homeowner after completion
  • A minimum of 2 PVC is run under all hardscaped areas and walls so that future irrigation lines can be easily run
  • Xeriscapic (drought tolerant) plantings Austrian Pine, Modesto Ash, Juniper, Pinion, Feather Grass, Chamisa, Russian Sage, Yucca, New Mexican Olive
  • Typically Santa Fe Brown or Buildology Brown for gravel


  • Lighting suspended from skylights, where applicable
  • Plant shelves, bancos and nichos
  • Usually bullnosed corners, windows and doors
  • Walk-in closets whenever possible
  • High-quality Sherwin Williams or Kwal paints and stains, Typically four to six colors are used (different sheens equate to more than one color the same color in eggshell and in flat counts as two colors)
  • Garage is always finished, textured and painted. It should look like a room of the house
  • Outlet for wall-mount TV in Master Bath
  • Large, walk-in showers
  • Wide hallways
  • Good use of skylights/natural light
  • Typically use synthetic stucco
  • Lit art nichos
  • Wood on exterior portal ceilings

Common Things That Will Impact Pricing

  • Wells
  • Septic Systems
  • No Utilities
  • Installing a Transformer
  • Any required Engineering
  • Fire Supression systems
  • Complicated sites (lots)

There really are no basic features in a Custom Home because the home is exactly what the customer wants; there are no pre-determined selection lists to choose from or other limitations as to what it is that you may desire.

However, there are certain things that I have found most Custom Homes include and while this list is certainly not all-inclusive, it is not exclusive either.

Since my clients always pay the prices that I have negotiated with vendors, suppliers or subcontractors, quite often they are able to have things in their home that otherwise they may not be able to have due to budgetary constraints.

My price is the clients price and it is easy to compare to what the retail price for something would be, and, the client always sees the original invoices.

On average, due to my negotiated discounts and pricing structures, I typically save the client approximately fifty-percent of what the agreed upon fee for me to build their home is.

Please refer back to the What Does It Cost? tab on the navigation bar for more information on this.

These are just general thoughts, ideas and items as to what I have found that people enjoy having in their homes.

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