There’s a lot that goes into building a home. One of the earliest considerations — after picking your floor plan and homesite — are the design options such as flooring, countertops, cabinets, paint and more.
Luckily for J. Patrick Homes buyers, they have a team of experts ready to guide them on their journey to personalize their homes.
J. Patrick Homes works with Wisenbaker Builder Services, a company launched in 1970 that now has offices in all major Texas markets as well as offices in Asia and Brazil. J. Patrick Homes has its design studio at Wisenbaker’s Houston complex, and it’s there that clients receive 6 hours of one-on-one design services. Ashley Adams — who found her love for interior design early while working at her parents’ interior décor shop — is the primary interior designer for J. Patrick Homes. Helping her is Haley Smith, who has been with Wisenbaker for three years, first in Dallas and now in Houston. They are under the guidance of Design Center Manager Mercedes Alonzo, who has been with Wisenbaker for 17 years. The J. Patrick Account Manager, Leonor Cecchetti, boasts even a longer history with the company — she’s been with Wisenbaker for 30 years.
It was Leonor who brought J. Patrick to Wisenbaker.
“I’ve been going after J. Patrick Homes for almost 10 years, and they finally came on board two years ago,” Leonor said. “I was thrilled. J. Patrick Homes is such a good fit for us.”
“With J. Patrick Homes, you can really personalize your home — there are no packages,” Mercedes said. “Buyers make every decision.”
Ashley encourages buyers to bring in their design inspiration during their two sessions and helps buyers get started by loading in the home’s blueprint, selections and pricing into the VEO Design Studio software.
“There, they can view the options and get an idea of what might be in or out of their budget,” she said. “It helps speed along the process, as well.”
It’s crucial that design decisions don’t take too long as home construction can’t begin until those decisions are made.
Wisenbaker has 21 days to finalize the interior design with each client, and it can sometimes take up to the deadline to get sign-off.
“Between appointments with the buyers, Ashley works to get pricing for the selected items, and custom pricing can take time,” Mercedes said. “And in addition to getting the estimates, we also have to submit any special requests — such as lighting or hardware — to the builder’s purchasing department.”
Once paperwork is signed and the building process begins, Leonor works with the construction manager and handles any issues that might arise, such as delays caused if something is on backorder.
“I’m also out in the field a lot doing walk-throughs,” she said.
Both Ashley and Haley say they always start the design process with asking about a buyer’s lifestyle.
“Do you have kids, pets, grandkids?” Ashley said. “Also, what do you like or not like about your home now?”
They then detail the different surfaces, flooring and other materials available, explaining the pros and cons of each so the buyer can decide what fits in best with their lifestyle. And occasionally, they have to explain why a buyer’s preference might not work.
“We had one buyer who wanted a quartz fireplace surround all the way from the floor up 20 feet to the ceiling,” Ashley said. “We had to explain there would be an issue with the wall being able to support that much weight and anchoring it to the wall securely.”
The majority of the requests are doable.
“We’re doing a lot of waterfall kitchen islands,” Mercedes said.
“A real trend now is mixing elements,” Haley said. “Before, everything was the same – all wood, all metal. Now it’s not. Color palettes also are changing and you’re seeing more blacks, golds and chromes.”
“This is definitely where you see trends,” Mercedes said.
You can also see trends in J. Patrick’s inventory homes, which are also designed by the Wisenbaker team. The designers said working with J. Patrick is very easy.
“They are able to articulate what they want in a community, which gives us an advantage when we are designing inventory homes and working with their buyers,” Haley said.
The communication continues during regular meetings.
“We often have meetings to talk about any opportunities for improvements and how we can better serve the client,” Mercedes said. “J. Patrick is always there when you call, as well.”