Here is a wonderful custom designed new home on 3 acres in McLean. The home design
was created to capture the tremendous views on every side of the home.

The master suite is on the first floor. The ceilings are 10 feet on the main level.
Five inch clear maple floors with custom wood floor stain are one of the many
custom features which set this home apart.

The powder room has a custom designed marble sink. The homeowner was deeply
involved in the entire design process and her refined tastes and sensibilities
are reflected in this custom home.

The structure was designed and engineered using panelized wood framing
techniques. The framing package was fabricated and the panels were assembled
in an indoor facility and then shipped out to the site and erected.

There are lots of custom WoodMode builtins which provide function and design
elements which add to the custom feel of the home.

Watch Why Patrick Chose us to design and build his custom home:

This is an article from Robyn Griggs Lawrence of Home Living Magazine

Looking to spend less heating your home this winter? You’re not alone. Now the Environmental Protection Agency’s
new Green Homes website can help. Whether you rent or own your home, Green Homes offers tips on reducing
energy consumption, waste generation and water usage while improving indoor air quality.
Check Out EPA Site Here

Here is a new custom home in Arlington Virginia that we designed and are building.
This home will have WoodMode kitchen and bath cabinets and builtins, stone fireplace,
stone veneer, panelized construction, zip walls.

Another Custom Home in McLean Virginia is almost completed.

Another real new custom home beauty designed and built by our award winning team

McLean Custom Home Designed & Built by PAramount Construction

McLean Custom Home Designed & Built by PAramount Construction

Homebuyers want the benefits of more energy efficient new houses, but, are they willing to pay for these features?

Well, according to a recently conducted member survey of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) – Homeowners are not willing to pay that much for these features.

Only 57% of buyers were willing to pay more for “green
features” – 2% more, at most!

This is just more evidence that cost/benefit is a key factor in most buyers decision to GO GREEN.

Features that improve water efficiency were preferred more by home buyers in the west, while interest in using recycled materials is relatively higher in the Northeast, and rather low in the South.

Although only 11% of builders nationwide reported clients requesting environmentally friendly features, energy efficiency is still the primary motivation in the green building movement.
The NAHB said “In all, survey findings indicate that, as Congress continues to debate how to encourage more energy-efficient construction via new legislation, it must keep affordabilty in mind and look for ways to incentivize changes, not only to newly built homes but to the overall housing stock.”

Let me know how how important energy efficient and green features are in your new home plans. Send me an email at

Also, you can send your questions to:

Our award winning staff architect has created over 60 new home plans in our Paramount Portfolio of New Homes that fit seamlessly into our Maryland, Northern Virginia & Washington DC area neighborhoods. You can choose from one of these new home plans, modify one of these new home plans or we’ll create a new custom home plan just for you. We’ll present an architectural rendering of the front of your new custom home and concept home floorplan.
Check out just a few new home plans here

Even the neighbors love us:

Exterior walls have water resistant barrier

Exterior walls have water resistant barrier

This home has ZIP System® wall sheathing. This is a built-in, water-resistive barrier that eliminates the need for housewrap. We install the sheathing and tape the seams, and this becomes an all-in-one structural wall system and a water resistive barrier.

This wall system combines the stability and strength of a high-performing panel with the extra weatherability provided by the product’s water-resistive barrier.

We’ve found this to be a good system. One plus is that unlike housewrap, wind will not blow off the barrier during the construction process.

The manufacturer states that the panels “eliminate the risk of trapped water between housewrap and sheathing”. And the “built-in barrier controls drafts, which promotes energy efficiency and the barriers are specially engineered to allow the ZIP System walls to breathe”.

With so many details to think about, where do you start the
custom home process?  While it’s easy to get overwhelmed, we
like to simplify the custom home process by starting out
just looking at only two things.

What are these two things?
I can’t tell you because that would give away our
competitive advantage.

All right. You twisted my arm. Here they are:

Our process starts with two things:  1) you and 2) your lot.
That’s it. Pretty simple.

So I like to start things off playing Columbo.  When we meet
I’ll ask you questions that fall into just a four
categories. Here’s a small sample of our routine:

A.    $MONEY$ category

–    How important is resale to you?
–    Is return on investment your number one motivation
or is it a lower priority and you just want to
make sure you don’t do anything someone else would
think odd when you sell?
–    How are you going to finance your new home?
–    If you are going to use a lender, is a construction
loan, new first mortgage or new second mortgage best for
you? Can you use collateral of other assets to improve
your options?
–    How much cash do you have to put into your new home?

–    How much cash do you want to put in to the new home?

–    Have you spoken with a lender (we prefer you use ours I’ll

explain some advantages in future post)?
–    What tax bracket are you in? There could be some tax benefits

related to the project that may apply to your situation.

B.    Lifestyle category:

–    How long do you think you want to live in your new
home? This usually factors in to energy efficiency
and “green” options and calculating the pay-back period.
–    Are you there for 5 years and then on to the vineyards
of Oregon or is this your last home and you want us
to design a master suite on the first floor or an
elevator to get to the 2nd floor?
–    When do you want to see the home started by? This
can be a big factor when jurisdictions like Arlington,
D.C. and Montgomery County are constantly changing
zoning and building codes. Montgomery County just
passed a law that takes effect in four months
decreasing height and density in many neighborhoods
& sprinklers will be required in all dwellings in
two years (I’ll verify the exact date).
–    When do you want to move in to the home?  – “by Christmas”
is always a lofty goal and as long as you don’t
mind me asking “which one?” (I couldn’t resist)
we’ll always hit it.
–    Where will you live during the construction
(we have sources for short term rentals, but ask
me early since they go fast)?
–    Do you plan on in-laws or relatives coming back
for any period of time? What bathroom will they
use? What kitchen will they use? We just finished
a home in Silver Spring with three kitchens – one
for the kids with 5 kids of their own, one for the
parents and one for Aunt Lee, who visits during
the summers.

C.    Your Future Home (and little bit about your
current home) category

–    What are the features and amenities that you must
have, or the project just isn’t worth doing?
–    What are the features and amenities that would
be nice to have?
–    What style home do you love?
–    What style home do you hate?
–    What bothers you about your current home?
–    What do you love about your current home?
– How important are energy efficient features?
–    How important are green features?
–    Do you like open plans with a ton of natural
light and views from front to back or would you
prefer something more intimate and cozy?
–    What ceiling heights do you want? How do you feel
about two story spaces?
–    Do you want a basement? If so do you want it

D.    And Last but not least – Your Lot category – this
is always a biggie, so big I’m adding these extra
few sentences before I get to the.

It always surprises and shocks me, like a slurp
of Red Bull, when people don’t call us prior to
buying a lot (I bet you can tell, it especially
upsets me).

There could be so many restrictions on lots, for
instance: easements, setbacks, alleys, lot coverage,
height, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., which you
would never know just by looking at a piece of dirt
with your eyes.

We just completed two subdivisions, on two separate
projects, that probably added six (unexpected)
months to each project. And added thousands of
dollars in engineering and permitting fees.
In each case the owners were not aware of the
restrictions until we performed our zoning analysis.
And in each case they had owned the lots for many years.

So checking the “buildability” of your lot is one
of the very first steps we take.
IF YOU’RE PURCHASING A LOT, please call me before
you pull that trigger!

Here are some things we look at (this is so
critical I’m tossing out the regular bullets):

  • Zoning category
  • Public utility easements
  • Building restriction lines
  • Established front yard building line
  • Setbacks on all sides of the property
  • Floor area ratio
  • Year the lot was recorded
  • Is the lot a conforming or non-conforming
  • Specimen tree issues
  • Tree Save issues
  • Water Run-off
  • Wetlands

Due to the complexity of some of these issues,
complete research and answers may be a few steps
into our process. And to paraphrase a soon to be
ex-senator, this stuff is way beyond my pay grade,
so, Kevin, our excellent and unflappable architect,
handles most of this.

Well that’s a brief primer on how we start the custom
home process.  It all starts with you and your lot,
as it should be.

Next time I’ll give you an idea of what we do once
we get your answers. But it’s 12:08 a.m. and I need
to take out the garbage so I can earn my keep.

Please keep the comments and critiques coming
and let me know what’s on your mind. And I’d appreciate
if you could tell me:

  • What would you love to see during the home building process that would make your life easier?
  • What frustrates you the most about the home design and building process?