5 Essential Smart Tech Gadgets For Your Custom Home in 2021

5 Essential Smart Tech Gadgets For Your Custom Home in 2021

Imagine living in your dream custom home filled with smart tech gadgets every single day. Like in a James Bond movie, you could clap and turn the lights out, activate music simply by saying it aloud, and then visit your own private wine cellar to pick out that special bottle of Cab Sav to accompany your fancy dinner, cooked to perfection in your own personal chef-level kitchen. For some people, this might seem too good to be true. But in actuality, building your dream home is completely within the realm of possibility—one step towards upgrading your custom home to match your needs, including smart tech gadget additions.

Studies have shown that 65% of homeowners already have one or more smart tech gadgets installed in their homes. So, installing smart tech devices is no longer exclusive to futuristic luxury spy mansions- smart tech gadgets are, in fact, an easy way to customize your home. And with a custom home built to your specifications from the ground up, you can personalize every aspect of the home to suit your needs. This means you can design a home where your smart tech gadgets blend in seamlessly.

Let’s take a look at five essential smart tech gadgets for your custom home in 2021 for every part of the house.

1. Smart Kettle and Automated Coffee Maker

Automating your morning caffeine hit is a smart way to save time each day, and those minutes you would otherwise spend waiting for the coffee to finish brewing or the water to boil, can add up to hours throughout each month and even add a whole extra day to each year. Like the Smarter Kettle, you can program your tea water to be ready at a certain time each morning with a smart kettle.

Ikettle Smart Tech Gadget
Wifi controlled iKettle

So, you can start each day by waking up to a steaming wake-me-up cup, kickstarting your day with a hot cup of caffeine right when you need it. You can even program the kettle from a Bluetooth-enabled app on your phone or give it voice commands- ideal for a cozy, lazy afternoon on the couch.

2. Essential Smart Tech Gadget – Smart Fridge

The latest in smart fridge technology features sensors that can analyze your fridge’s contents and identify when you are running low on particular products. So, you won’t have to worry about getting home from the grocery store, only to realize you forgot that one essential item. The smart fridge can also note when open food items are about to expire, so you know what to toss out when and what needs to be replaced.

Or, for a more interactive choice, you can use a smart fridge magnet, like the Hiku kitchen button, which allows you to scan the barcodes of your refrigerated items, or tell the button out loud which cooking and cleaning supplies you are running low on. Then, like a personal assistant, the app will create a shopping list for you, sending it directly to your phone via Bluetooth.

Smart Tech Kitchen Button
Integration with Walmart and Peapod make a smart device more powerful

You can also use a device synced directly to Amazon. Give voice commands about which products you need, and the online retailer will deliver them straight to your door, eliminating the hassle of shopping for home supplies altogether.


3. Smart Thermostat

Imagine: you are out for a walk on a hot, swampy afternoon, and you cannot help but picture coming home to an icy cool home that will wake you up and refresh you. But you hadn’t programmed your thermostat for the cool before you left the house.

Luckily, you don’t have to worry- you have a smart thermostat, which means you can program the temperature remotely from your smartphone. So, it will be cold as a popsicle as soon as you arrive at home. Or set it to create a warm and toasty atmosphere as soon as you step out of the bath.

A smart thermostat can also help cut down your utility bills and keep you from wasting energy. These smart devices can automatically detect when someone is in the room or even in the house and adjust the atmosphere accordingly, not wasting energy. That makes your home more environmentally friendly as well. So, this one simple device can help lower your monthly bills, decrease your home’s carbon footprint, and upgrade your lifestyle for greater convenience, ease, and even luxury.


4. Smart Tech Lighting

Another environmentally friendly smart tech innovation: smart lighting. Like the temperature inside your home, smart lighting can be adjusted remotely, so if, for example, you left the house in a rush and forgot to turn the lights off, you can program the lights to turn off from your smartphone. You can also customize the lights to dim or extinguish when you leave the room automatically, so they are not burning energy when no one is in there.

Light up your home from your smartphone

As with other smart tech gadgets, you will want to make sure your home internet connection is strong and stable- with all of these devices running via the home network, you don’t want to overload the connection with too many signals sent from each device. As long as your Wi-fi signal is strong, you won’t be left in the dark.


5. Smart Home Security

You’ve got all of these luxurious additions to your dream home- your standalone bathtub, the nice clothes in your walk-in closet, the custom cabinets that display mementos from your travels. So, of course, you will want to make sure all of these things are protected.

A smart home security system can keep an eye on it for you. Smart home security cameras are now equipped with cutting-edge technologies, like facial recognition and thermal imaging, which can help you feel safe, knowing that you know who is at your door- and that no one has been scoping out your house while you are away. Smart home security camera footage can be accessed remotely, so you can check in from your smartphone or tablet to make sure everything is okay, even while you are at the office or on vacation.

Home Security Camera
Arlo Ultra – Cutting edge protection for what matters most


Make These Essential Smart Tech Gadgets Yours

The most important feature of a custom home is that it works for you. Whatever kind of convenience and luxury you can dream up, there is certainly a way to incorporate that element into your dream home without even breaking the bank.

Smart tech is a great way to augment your custom home’s comfort, convenience, and ease. Whether they are keeping you safe and secure or bringing that little bit of extra calm and ease to your daily home interactions, smart tech gadgets are an essential part of your custom home this year.

Building a House? A Simple Guide to the Home Building Process

Building a House? A Simple Guide to the Home Building Process

January 6, 2021 by Lexi Klinkenberg


If you’ve been searching the real estate market for the perfect home and just haven’t found the one for you, building a house can be the best possible way to guarantee the house of your dreams. Building a house offers the ultimate flexibility, giving you the freedom to take your vision and bring it to life.

However, managing the construction process isn’t always easy. Building a house from the ground up takes a lot of coordination, financial resources, and professional assistance. Here is what you need to know about the home building process.

Custom home, Prairieville, La
Thomas Building Company – Custom home in Prairieville, LA

Secure Financing For Building A House

Unless you have a lot of cash on hand, you’re likely going to need some sort of third-party financing to afford the cost of construction on a new home. Luckily, lending is available to homeowners for construction in a similar way to securing a mortgage for an existing home.


It’s important to note that construction-related loans may be slightly harder to secure than a traditional mortgage. FHA first-time homebuyer loans are limited as well for new construction, so those without a strong credit history are advised to do research to ensure adequate financing is available.


For homeowners who are confident in the construction process and are able to hold to a set timeline, construction-to-permanent loans can be an excellent option. This kind of loan allows property owners to pay contractors and other construction professionals as the work is done. That cost is then converted to a mortgage when construction is finished. Construction-to-permanent loans allow for a set interest rate at closing and consistent fixed payments.


Plan Your Home Building

Before moving forward with buying land and starting construction, you need to know what kind of home you want to build. A small plot of land may not accommodate your mansion dreams, while lots in subdivisions may have restrictions related to size and style. When planning your home, consider points like:

  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Home layout, like a one-story home versus one with multiple floors
  • Appearance preferences, like siding material and color
  • Storage needs, including basement and attic spaces
  • Open concept versus segmented rooms
  • Outdoor space and landscaping
  • Potential extras, like solar panels, sunlights, fireplaces, or anything else that may affect the construction process

House architectural plan

Did you know that homes with hardwood floors consistently sell for over list price? Consider the most popular and valuable home trends across the country before building a house.

Be aware that compromise may be part of the process. It’s not unusual for plans to change as the building gets underway for cost or logistical reasons.


Purchase a Lot to Build a House on

Once you have financing secured and know what kind of final product you want, you’ll need to choose a place to build your home. Since you’re building a house you can buy land anywhere, maybe you have your sights somewhere outside of Atlanta, GA or Dallas, TX? The options are endless. Parcels of land designated for new construction may be available in numerous locations, including underdeveloped suburban areas, rural areas, and as a part of subdivision development.


In some cases, where you buy can determine things like sewer, water, and electricity. In subdivisions, these details are usually completed when land parcels are listed for sale, but in less developed areas, this may be the responsibility of the property owner. Note that more rural land not protected by the subdivision development process or city law may require title insurance.


Handle Permits and Adhere to Regulations

Home construction is a highly regulated process. It’s not possible to just purchase property and start building. All construction projects need to adhere to local zoning laws and proceed under the proper permits.

Working with the right professionals can alleviate much of this burden. Contractors and construction companies will know what kind of permits are necessary to start the building process and ensure construction follows all regulations. The lead on your project can work with you to file papers and ensure you’re prepared to move forward in a safe, legal manner.

Financing documents

Hire Professionals To Build A House

You may be handy with a hammer, but home construction really requires a professional team to guarantee a great final outcome. In order to bring your dreams to life, you will need to hire professionals for this process. This may include:

    • Land grading company: They have extensive knowledge on issues such as how to properly work with various types of soil and plants, and can advise you on the best methods for removing obstacles, and what kinds of structures can be placed in certain areas.
    • Architect: They see the big picture. Creating the complete look of your home, interiors and exteriors, that satisfy functional needs and are exciting spaces to live in.
    • Custom home builders: A custom home builder will guide you through each phase of the home building process. They will work with you to coordinate costs and design your ideal home, inside and out. This will likely involve working with an architect, interior designer, and landscape specialists.
    • Construction company: A construction company will handle everything from building the foundation to the final framing of the home.
    • Electricians: They’ll make sure any fixed appliance that requires electricity, as well as any electrical outlets, will have the necessary electrical wiring installed. The electrician will run cables and wires to all switches, outlets, appliances and lighting fixtures throughout your home.
    • Plumbers: A plumber will install all plumbing fixtures, septic tanks and sewer lines in the home.
    • HVAC professionals: They will install all climate control systems in the home.
    • Interior Designers: Hiring an interior designer early in the home building process can be helpful for everything from furniture placement to planning for special finishes to determining locations of electrical outlets and plumbing fittings.

The specifics of hiring will vary from one property to another. For example, land sold as part of a subdivision development may not require grading, but rural land purchased outside city limits might.

Hiring the Right Home Building Team

Land excavators, contractors, architects, and construction companies come in all shapes and sizes, and some are better than others. Instead of hiring the first names you come across online or in the phone book, be sure to do your due diligence on both reputation and abilities.

Drew Gasser with client

In some cases, like some government lending programs, including the USDA, approval of a particular builder or contractor is required to secure financing. Under these circumstances, it’s extremely important to pick competent, qualified professionals that can exceed expectations.

When evaluating professionals to work on your home, be sure to keep the following points in mind:


  • Work experience; a competent team should have several years minimum of experience in single-family home construction, including homes in the size and style you have in mind.
  • Adequate commercial liability insurance of $50,000 or more
  • Proper contractor or construction licensing and any other permits required to operate legally
  • Reference checks that include verification of quality service from previous clients


Many professionals provide free or affordable quotes and estimates as well. Seek pricing options from all your top candidates to best guide the decision-making process. Be aware that estimates can move and change as the building progresses, so choosing a team at the very top of your budget could lead to potential problems should issues arise.

Oversee Building A House

Once you have secured financing, purchased land, arranged for all necessary permits according to local law, and hired the best possible professionals to help, the building process can get underway. This process can be quite fast using modern technology, but will still require numerous steps to complete.


  • Land Preparation: Before breaking ground, construction teams will need to make sure the land is ideal for construction. This can mean clearing and grading the area, digging trenches, and confirming utility installation.
  • Foundation and Footings: Once the land is ready, construction crews will build a foundation. Foundations may be slab, crawl space, or full basement, depending on region and land type, and will involve poured concrete with reinforced steel rods for security and stability.
  • Framing: When the foundation is firmly in place, construction workers will build the frame, or the skeleton of the house. This can include subfloors, joists, trusses, and studs. If construction occurs during a high precipitation time of year, windows and roofing may also be installed during framing to prevent weather damage.
  • Utility Installation: After completion of the core of a home, contractors can install electricity, water, plumbing, and HVAC systems. All of these installations should be approved by an inspector after completion.
  • Insulation and Drywall: Insulation will be added to all exterior walls, floors, and ceilings and covered with drywall. Options include fiberglass, foam, and cellulose insulation. Drywall will also be hung on interior walls and primed with paint.
  • Interior and Exterior Finishes: Once the basics are more or less complete, crews will install interior finishes, like molding, baseboards, doors, counters, cupboards, and other essentials. Contractors may also tackle things like driveways, walkways, and other landscaping requirements at this time.
  • Flooring and Fixtures: The last interior step generally involves installing flooring and all other fixtures, like faucets, light switches, tubs, toilets, and heat register covers.
  • Final Inspection: Once all features of a home have been built out, a final inspection is advised. Home inspections are a good idea for a new property as well as existing property, ensuring all elements of a home are in good working order and up to code. If builders made any mistakes in the process, an inspection can bring this to light so that repairs can be made before final project completion.
Custom home - Baton Rouge, LA
Beautifully design custom home built by Thomas Building Company

Thomas Building Company – Listen Better, Plan Better, Build Better

Building a house can be a stressful process, but there’s no better way to ensure your new house meets your every expectation. With a thorough understanding of the home building process, you can approach the construction of your dream home with care and confidence.

At Thomas Building, we are committed to helping you realize your dreams throughout the building process, so it is hassle-free and enjoyable. Owner Drew Gasser has 25 years of delivering beautiful custom homes to many satisfied homeowners.


Originally Published on Redfin


Things to Consider When Hiring a Custom Home Builder

Things to Consider When Hiring a Custom Home Builder 

Building a custom home is a lifetime dream for many owners.  Choosing the right builder is essential to making that dream come true. Hiring a custom builder is an important decision and should be a thorough and careful selection process. Most likely, you will be working with a builder for upwards of 12-14 months, and like any relationship, there must be honest, sincere communication.  Hiring a custom builder can help you get significant value out of building your home.  They can become an advocate that can be a resource helping you navigate this experience.


What is the home builder’s responsibility?

First and foremost, the best home builders advocate for the homeowners and collaborate as a vital member of the design team. On behalf of the homeowner, the builder works with the design team to help their clients establish a realistic budget for the custom home project. The architect and builder can share best practices and collaborate in customizing the design of your home.


Meeting with client to go over architectural plans


The builder monitors the cost, scope, and execution of the building project during the design and construction process. Great builders are transparent, communicate well, and are always available to their clients to ensure the projects stay on budget and on-time.


Builder Responsibilities:

  1. The builder contracts with the homeowner for a construction home, track all cost, submit pay request for approval to the designer and bank. Additionally, they provide any lien release waivers for completed work and prepare estimates and collect money for any approved change orders.
  2. The builder will manage all subcontractors during the design process to accommodate the architect’s team and homeowner. 
  3. Your builder will act as a liaison between the design team, building inspectors, and governing jurisdictions.
  4. The building contractor will manage and obtain all approvals, inspections, and the certificate of occupancy on behalf of the homeowner.
  5. The builder will order, check, and receive all building materials and manage all aspects of the building, and installation.
  6. Upon completion of the construction, the architect may review the project with the builder to check for any deficiencies. If any problems, the builder will work with subcontractors to resolve these issues. Then the city will conduct a final inspection and issue the certificate of occupancy. Afterward, the builder will deliver the home to the owners.
  7. The builder will correct all discrepancies noted on the homeowner’s punch lists. Additionally, the builder will educate the homeowner on the operation and maintenance of their new custom home. 

When should you hire a custom home builder?

Hire a builder sooner than later in the custom home designing process, so they can guide through the project and help control costs. Negotiate upfront with the builder how they are compensated and trust their experience in negotiating bids from subcontractors and suppliers. 


Meeting with a homeowner client


A custom home requires good budget management to get the most value for your new home. Since custom homes are unique and built to your style, it is prudent to have your builder work closely with the architect on the project. Between these two, they can collectively leverage their respective experience and knowledge to maximize your budget and the home building journey.

How do I find the best custom home builder?

First, you can ask your architect who they think are the best custom home builders. Your architect can attest to the home builder’s construction quality, business practices, reputation, and communication skills. Other sources of referral for home builders:

  • Google search “custom home builders” or “residential home builders.” These searches will tell you a few things about the builder’s style, professional image, and reputation. Look for builders that have developed professional websites that educate you on their company, building process, and their portfolio of work. Also, Google reviews can give you insight into how the builder and the client’s relationships have transpired. 
  • Houzz – all things home can be found on this website, including lists and profiles of custom home builders in your area.
  • Local Realtors have experience selling many custom homes and can be a great source of referral to a home builder.
  • Local Banks can provide insight into their experience working with local home builders and their ability to finish projects on budget and on time.  A local bank has a thorough process for assisting you in understanding a construction to permanent loan.  In this process, the bank will work on your behalf to research your proposed builder.  
  • Friends and business networks can also be great sources of referral and information on a home builder. Ask about communication skills, quality of homes built, when conflict arose, how did the builder manage the conflict.


What to look for in hiring a custom home builder?

Quality custom home builders, first and foremost primarily, focus on custom homes, not just speculative development. First, A good builder builds only a handful of quality homes each year suited to each client’s needs, desires, vision, and lifestyle. Second, the right builder has an excellent reputation and a set of values they never compromise. Third, a reputable builder possesses excellent communication and organizational skills, which is evident from the first time you interview them. Finally, choose a builder who has formal education in construction management. This education provides valuable insight into architectural and engineering plans, project management, budget control, and unique problem-solving skills when they arise.


Builder working an excavator


Here is a shortlist of things to consider when compiling a final builder candidate list:

  1. Portfolio of projects similar in size and style you desire
  2. How many projects are they managing right now? Too many may take away from quality time with your project.
  3. Communication and listening skills – do they talk over you or ask questions to get to know you and your needs.
  4. Client and business references or testimonials
  5. What are the builder’s values?
  6. What percentage of builds are custom versus speculative?
  7. Time and organization management skills

Finalize your list of builders to interview

After you complete your research, you should be able to narrow your search to 3 builders to interview. Reach out to your potential builders by contacting them through their website first to see how fast they follow-up on client requests. A professional organization monitors all potential contact, whether by website, phone, or social media, and should respond within a few hours. Once contacted, you can describe your project’s needs and set up an interview with the owner or project manager.

Prepare for your interview with your builder.

Prepare to discuss your project during your interview with the builders. Have details of the homesite, types, and styles of homes you like, size and number of rooms your desire, and timeline you are looking to build. A good builder will ask a series of questions such as:

  1. Do you already have plans and a lot purchased?
  2. If no plans, what types and styles of home to you like?
  3. Are there any particular homes and neighborhoods you prefer?
  4. Have you established a budget for your custom home?
  5. What is your timeline to begin your project?

During your interviews, it is important to remember you are the customer. Although the builder’s achievements and building process are important, so is demonstrating their listening and communication skills. Do they answer your questions thoroughly or vaguely? You might ask yourself – Is this someone I can work with?

Also, during your interview, be honest and open about every aspect of your project. A good builder is an expert and can offer expert advice that you may not have thought about or insight into specific neighborhoods. If you have not bought a lot, the builder can help you find a lot that fits your needs.


Thirteen interview questions to ask when hiring a custom home builder 

The answers the builder provides will illustrate their interest level, understanding of your needs and scope of the home build, and their communication skills.

13 Interview Questions to a builder:

  1. Can you work with my architect during the design process to help create our ideal home that also meets our budget?
  2. What type of proposal do you offer to determine the exact cost of our home?
  3. What are your terms of compensation for pre-construction services?
  4. How are you compensated for this project?
  5. Are you comfortable building the style and quality home that we expect?
  6. Who will directly supervise our project daily, and how available are you when we need to talk to you?
  7. Can we meet the site superintendent, who will be supervising our construction?
  8. How do we address our questions and concerns during the construction?
  9. Are you available by cell phone if something is urgent?
  10. How long have your subcontractors and supplies been working with you, and how do you qualify each of them?
  11. When design changes come up, or unforeseen conditions result in extra cost, what process do you use to communicate to the architect and owner?
  12. How long do you anticipate the construction of our home to take?
  13. How will you service your warranty after the completion of the construction project?

11 Red flags to look out for when hiring a custom builder

Keep an eye on some red flags when hiring a custom home builder. If any of these issues arise, they are worth looking further into before making a final decision. 

  1. There is no written contract or a poorly written contract. 
  2. The proposal price is significantly lower than others received 
  3. The work history is uncertain and unverifiable. No references
  4. The builder’s estimate is priced per square foot, vague and not transparent. 
  5. There is a heavy reliance on allowances for the final bid. 
  6. The sales pitch is very strong. 
  7. There are several unresolved claims from the State Contractor’s Board. 
  8. Builder is not able to provide evidence of certificates of insurance for General Liability or Workers Compensation. 
  9. The builder offers select discounts for being able to use your home in future marketing of their business. 
  10. A builder offers a lump sum or very general estimate lacking detail. 
  11. The builder has poor follow-up and communication skills.

Ask your builder for past client references.

After you have completed your initial interview, ask the builder to provide a reference list of three past clients and two current clients. Take time to contact each of them over the phone or in person. Ask them about their story, experience with the builder, how the builder handled conflicts when they arose. If at all possible, ask if the past clients would mind if you visited their home or at least drive by to observe from the outside.

Fourteen questions to ask of referenced clients:

  1. Did the project stay on budget?
  2. Was the original estimate proposed accurate?
  3. Did the project complete on time?
  4. Were finances and paperwork transparent and easy to understand?
  5. How do you feel the overall project was managed?
  6. Were decisions made on a timely basis?
  7. When things got stressful, how did the builder respond?
  8. Did the builder get back to you when you called or emailed quickly?
  9. Was the schedule of construction communicated?
  10. What role did the builder play once the project started?  
  11. Besides the builder, are there any other key individuals you would request?
  12. Would you use the builder again?
  13. Was the worksite kept clean daily, or was trash not picked up routinely?
  14. Were there any subcontractors you would not recommend or avoid in the future?


A few final research items to consider before hiring a custom home builder

In addition to customer references, it is imperative to check the builder’s credentials and standing with the Louisiana State Board of Contractors and the Better Business Bureau. Check their licenses in the current state and if they hold licenses in other states in the past ten years. Research to make sure there are no negative claims or lawsuits against the builder.



Better Business Bureau


All builders must carry insurance and bonds to hold a construction license. Also, ask the builder for proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation before signing the contract. If there are any claims against the builder, ask them for a reasonable explanation, and evaluate if you’re are still willing to move forward. There are a few bad apples in every industry, and with good research, you can avoid dealing with these types of builders. 

When hiring a custom builder inquire with trade and supplier references to check on the builder’s reputation. Call the main suppliers and ask about payment history and what it is like working with the builder.  


Your bank is a great resource to credential a home builder.

The lending institution also is a great reference to use when hiring a custom home builder. They will do their due diligence to check the builder’s financial credentials before approving them to build your home. Make sure the builder is financially solvent and has an excellent credit rating. Be prudent and understanding your state lien laws and verify that your lender is collecting lien releases from your subcontractors as funds are releasing for services rendered.


Hire an attorney

Have a reputable construction law and contracts attorney review the proposed agreement and edit the contract to protect your needs and investment. Make sure you understand and are comfortable with all aspects of the contract. Remember, a contract is a two-way street and is negotiable between you and your builder. 

If building your house with cash without a conventional construction loan, hire an independent building inspector to verify that all labor and materials being billed have been completed, and materials accounted for. If you have custom-built materials that may require a significant deposit, have your bank issue the checks directly and reference your project for record-keeping.


Good research will prevail in the end.

Hiring a custom home builder may be a difficult decision considering you are making the largest purchase of your life. Do your homework, and don’t be afraid to ask many questions.  Ultimately, you want to hire a custom home builder with an exceptional reputation and excellent experience, who is honest, strong ethics, and possesses excellent communication skills. This is an exciting journey building a custom home, and it is all about you, your desires, needs, and vision.  


Find Us – https://thomasbldgco.com

Follow Us – https://www.facebook.com/thomasbuildingcompany/ 

Request a Free Consultation – https://thomasbldgco.com/contact-us/

About Thomas Building Company

Owner Drew Gasser, a Baton Rouge native, has built over 100 custom homes in the Baton Rouge community since 1999.  The success and reputation lie in his attention to detail, execution, and project management, which allows him to deliver a well-constructed custom home, on-time, and on budget. Furthermore, the values and standards of the building are never compromised to make the numbers work. Finally, our team of craftsmen, suppliers, and vendors deliver distinctive luxury homes that are built to last a lifetime.

When you speak to his present and former clients, they speak of three things that separate him from other builders:

  • Drew Listens Better – It is all about you, your desires, vision, and needs. When you listen better, your clients trust you, and their custom home is delivered as they envisioned.
  • Drew Plans Better – You are the center of the planning process. Drew marries the team of client, architect, and interior designer to assemble a team that makes the design-building experience enjoyable. With a degree in construction management from LSU, Drew understands the complexity of architectural plans, engineering, construction, and budget management.  
  • Builds Better – From his experience onsite superintendent to his industry-leading craftsmen, tradesmen, and suppliers, Drew has built a winning team. This team delivers the best custom home, loaded with value-added features on-time and, more importantly, on budget.

Top 10 “Must Have” Custom Home Features

Top 10 “Must Have” Custom Home Features


The idea of building your dream home should consider a few custom home features.  Your wish list ought to integrate your vision, needs, and wishes that can greatly enhance your lifestyle at home. A luxury custom home should reflect who you are and the needs of your family and lifestyle you desire. A great custom home builder team can achieve your needs and is limited only by your budget and your imagination.
7 Steps to Become a Successful Online Fitness Coach – The TotalCoaching Blog buy clomid Fitness Health Sports Website Template » W3Layouts
Home Ideabook Launching Pad

Unfortunately, many people get anxious and overwhelmed when faced with too many details and decisions. Nevertheless, you don’t have to be paralyzed by all the choices and possibilities when designing and creating your custom home wishlist.  That is exactly what this custom home features process is about.  What do that ideal master bathroom, kitchen, and custom outdoor living space look like?  Relax, browse your favorite home design pages and our Pinterest and Houzz ideas pages and enjoy accumulating a list of custom features, custom ideas, and custom spaces. Don’t let the wishlist and design process hinder the limits of your ultimate dream home.  We also found this great article with more custom features to consider.


Our Top 10 Custom design features to consider in your next luxury custom home.


  1. A Well-Equipped Chef’s Kitchen

If you live in Louisiana, the kitchen is the focal point for all social gatherings. A spacious large island with seating capability encourages socializing while the chef cooks.  Today’s modern kitchen features high-end appliances, two sinks, ample counter space, and storage to accommodate a large family’s needs.

Ultimate Spacious Kitchen
Chef’s Kitchen with all the amenities.



  1. Vintage Reclaimed Wood Flooring

 A must-have in today’s custom home is wood flooring, and not just any wood will do.  The distinct buyer is looking for the finest floors that are beautiful, make a statement, traffic resistant, and last a lifetime.  Here we feature dirty top pine floors in one of our client’s homes.

Dirty Top Pine Floors
Dirty Top Pine Floors in Parlor



  1. Outdoor Living Space and Kitchen

To enjoy Louisiana outdoors more families are building an outdoor living space and kitchen in their custom homes. Outdoor living has become very popular in Baton Rouge.  Your outdoor sanctuary is a place where you retreat from work to play, relax and gather with family and friends for dinner, watch a sporting event or crawfish boil.  Any Outdoor kitchen is not complete without a grill, outdoor refrigerator, comfortable seating and beautiful fireplace for those chilly fall/winter evenings.  Other great features in this client’s outdoor kitchen are the beautiful cypress beams and ceiling, equipped and wired with built-in speakers.


Outdoor Living Space With Kitchen
Outdoor Kitchen and Living Space – featuring custom cypress ceiling



  1. Mud Room

After a long day at school or work your family needs a specific space that can store all of their shoes, jackets, backpacks, and gear.  This space can design not only cubby for each of the kids but also cabinets and drawers to organize neatly and eliminate the clutter.


Mud Room Cubby Space
Mud Room – custom cubby space and storage



Mud Room Storage
Mud Room – additional cabinet storage with drawers


  1. Walk-in Master Closet

We have all dreamed about building that spacious master bedroom walk-in closet that accommodates both yours and her’s clothing, shoes, and personal effects.  This private area can be practical or an expansive comfortable retreat depending on your desires.  In this customized closet you can see there is ample space with identical cabinets, drawers, and room to hang your clothes. Sharing with your spouse a well designed and organized closet can help eliminate clutter from a growing wardrobe.

Master Walk-in Closet
Custom Walk-in Master Closet



  1. Home Theater

The family night just got more exciting when you gather them in your custom home theater for a movie.  With a modern HD projector and state of the art surround sound, you may never go to the movie theater again.  This is home theater we built for a client of ours off Old Perkins Road.


Custom Home Theater
Custom Movie Theater



  1. Stand Alone Soaking Tub

Creating that spa-like sanctuary isn’t complete without a stand-alone soaking tub.  Shut the rest of the world out when your retreat to your tub to soak and relax. Your master bathroom is no place to cut expenses when building a custom home – it is all about you!


Master Bathroom With soaking tub
Soaking Tub in the Master Bathroom Spa


  1. Walk-in Shower

No master bathroom is complete without a relaxing and invigorating walk-in shower with full-body jets, rain shower, and steam.  The experience can take the day’s tension from a 10 to a soothing 3 on a scale of relaxation.


Walk-in shower
Custom Walk-in Shower With Dual Shower Heads


  1. Hidden Safe Room

A popular trending custom option secret safe room is hidden behind a bookcase shelf that only you and family know exists.  This is a perfect place to secure firearms, valuables, or keep the family safe during a natural disaster.  Some people use it as a bunker and store food and water in case of an emergency.


Custom Bookshelves with hidden door
Custom Bookshelves With Hidden Door Leading To Safe Room


  1. Wine Room

If you love wine and running out storage racks why not custom design and build a wine room into the new house.  This is a dedicated temperature-controlled wine room and humidor for the cigar aficionado.


Custom Wine Storage Room
Custom Wine Storage Room


If you can dream it, we can build it  

Our experienced expert architects, interior designers, and our building construction team of professionals will listen to your every desire, wants, and needs.  When you build with Thomas Building Company and Drew Gasser, we listen better, plan better, and build better thus delivering a true custom home to your family.


When you are ready to build 

Finally, when you are ready to move to the design and building stage, we can introduce you to an expert architect, interior designer, and custom home builder team.  Above all, we can guide you through the process, so you have a memorable experience and enjoy building your dream home.

We hope our list of “Must Have” custom home features proves useful as you make your wish list for your new dream house!  Call us at (225) 642-9292, if we can help your dreams become a reality.


Luxury Custom Homes in Baton Rouge

Thomas Building Company is an industry-leading luxury custom home builder in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Although we are not a true “design-build” firm, we work closely with some of Baton Rouge’s best architects and interior designers to deliver full service to our clients.  Owner Drew Gasser has built over 100 luxury custom homes in the Baton Rouge area over the past 20 years.

Building a custom home is a rewarding way to incorporate all your wants, needs, and desires into your lifestyle.  Some may think that building a luxury custom home is too expensive or too daunting of a task. In fact, with the right design-build experts to guide you through the process saving you considerable expense. The team guides you meticulously through the decision-making process allowing you greater freedom among the design and building features.


Meeting with client to go over architectural plans


Unlike custom homes, most residential speculative developments include homes that look roughly the same. The original developer most likely offered a few different floor plans and various finish options. When you drive through these typical developments, rarely does a single home stand out from the crowd. Also, there is usually not as much freedom in customizing specific design features that best suit your family needs or desires.  

Things are different when you choose Thomas Building Company to build your luxury custom homes in Baton Rouge. When you build with Drew Gasser, you’re getting a house that looks great and stands out in your neighborhood.  In addition, your custom home is uniquely suited to you and your lifestyle. You control the design process, and you get to make the decisions needed to ensure that your vision becomes a reality. Ultimately, the customer comes first, and since this is a significant purchase you deserve to have a home built your way.


The Benefits of Choosing Custom Design

What are the specific benefits of choosing a custom design for your home? When you build a custom home you get the following:

  • Personalization: You get to make all of the choices, personalizing every aspect of your home so that it meets your needs and supports the lifestyle you desire. We meet routinely with you to gain insight into your desired home features and we offer suggestions along the way.
  • Optimization: When you choose a custom design, you’re able to optimize a home to fit the lot where it will sit. We work with the architect to maximize every aspect of your home to enhance your desired lifestyle.
  • Quality: Custom home-building is defined by its quality. When you choose a custom design, you can count on the craftsmanship that will stand the test of time.
  • Cost Containment: When you hire a good design-build team, they advise you on tips to contain costs to fit into your budget.  Also working with a builder who offers a fixed-cost proposal can significantly save you from running over your budget

Of course, you’ll discover there are many other benefits when you opt for custom-built homes over the speculative home alternatives. When you build custom homes you are in control, and we make the building process effortless and enjoyable.  At Thomas Building Company, we can help you realize the many benefits of tailor-made custom homes in Baton Rouge.


The Luxury Custom Home Building Process

With more than 20 years of experience and more than 100 homes and renovations in the Baton Rouge area completed, Thomas Building Company has developed a building process that works for our clients.  You are informed every step of the building process so that there are complete transparency and communication.  

New home construction


Each engagement starts by getting to know your unique needs, desires, and expectations. From the first phone call to our sit down meeting, we follow our motto: “Listen Better, Plan Better, Build Better”.  We are here to get acquainted and answer your questions so that you make the most informed decisions.  Owner Drew Gasser works closely with you, the architect, and sometimes an interior decorator to see your vision to a fixed cost proposal.  Once the proposal is approved, and your financing is secured, our building team breaks the ground and begins to build your custom home.  

During the construction phase, our craftsmanship and communication ensure our clients get the quality and attractive home they desire. Our construction superintendent, Brett LeBlanc is onsite daily to manage our subcontractors.  Drew is also onsite periodically every day to maintain transparency and communication with the owners. Finally, after completion and move-in, we ensure that everything is working properly and our clients are fully satisfied with the results.


Why Choose Thomas Building Company?

Don’t settle for just any builder when considering luxury custom-built homes in Baton Rouge. Look for a provider of luxury custom homes that brings experience, knowledge, and commitment to delivering outstanding results. At Thomas Building Company, that’s just what we offer. With over 20 years of building custom homes in Baton Rouge, we have built an excellent reputation with our clients. 

Building Through Integrity

We have developed a set of values based on integrity, that are unmatched in the construction industry.  Owner Drew Gasser runs a value-based business that sets him apart in an industry with many speculative/custom home builders.  Through honest and transparent communication, Drew offers a customer experience like no other builder in Baton Rouge.  Taking pride in a set of values has helped Drew Gasser exceed the expectations of his homeowner clients since 1999. Experience is important, but so too is our commitment to our clients. When you choose Thomas Building Company as your custom home builders in Baton Rouge, you have a trusted advisor in Drew who walks with you every step of the way.


We have a deep history of delivering modern luxury homes in Baton Rouge. Our experience means that we have a wealth of knowledge about custom home-building. Our satisfied clients speak volumes about our reputation and reliability to deliver on our promises.  And we are passionate about creating spaces that allow our clients to lead the lifestyles they desire.


Are you ready to start building unforgettable memories? Contact us today about luxury custom homes in Baton Rouge.


Let’s Get Started

High-End Residential Homes in Baton Rouge

When you choose Thomas Building Company for high-end residential homes in Baton Rouge, you’re getting a team of experienced professionals with a long history of delivering outstanding results. Since 1999, we’ve been planning and completing custom homes, large-scale additions, pool houses, outdoor kitchens, and multi-generational homes for first-time buyers, growing families, empty-nesters, and others.


Listen Better, Plan Better, Build Better

No matter the nature of your custom home project, we apply the same thorough process and attention to detail. We listen better, plan better, and build better.  Our owner, Drew Gasser, spends time getting to know your vision and the type of lifestyle you want to lead in a home. He listens carefully to your every want, desire, and needs, to get to know you, and visualize your custom home before building. Drew then assembles the right team including the best designers, architects, and contractors, to plan better, and accomplish your vision. We thus build better, delivering your custom home, or addition focused on quality craftsmanship, on-time delivery, and on budget. And then, months after completion and move-in, we check in to ensure that everything is working properly and that your expectations have been met — if not exceeded.

Our team has completed more than 100 high-end custom homes and large-scale renovations in the area. That number represents experience and knowledge you won’t find with just any provider of high-end homes. When you’re looking for the leading provider of high-end new homes in Baton Rouge, trust the team you’ll find at Thomas Building Company.


Let’s Get Started


Why We’re Different Than Other Companies


Many companies that offer extravagant homes in Baton Rouge thrive on volume. They are looking to complete one project as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next. At Thomas Building Company, we take a different approach, striving to deliver the best possible results on our existing project. We maintain a set of values, craftsmanship, and personalized customer relationships, that deliver excellence in each home we build. To us, it is not a volume business, it is about quality and excellence in building exactly what our customers desire, need, and want in a custom home.


When you choose Thomas Building Company from among providers of high-end residential homes in Baton Rouge, you’ll find that we emphasize quality, craftsmanship, and communication. We pay attention to detail at every step to ensure that you’re getting the best of the best — a custom home or addition that looks amazing and that stands the test of time.

front of custom home

We’re always available to answer questions, provide updates, offer guidance, or deliver anything else that’s needed before, during and after your home-building project. We’ve found through more than 20 years of experience that this approach is the best way to ensure our clients are delighted by the results we provide.


Why Choose Thomas Building Company?


You have options when searching for a provider of high-end homes in Baton Rouge. What makes Thomas Building Company your best option? When you choose our team, you’ll receive:

  • Experience: With 20 years of experience in the area and more than 100 projects completed, we have the experience that’s hard to find when searching for providers of high-end homes in Baton Rouge.
  • Quality: Rather than rushing through one project to get to another, we pay attention to detail and emphasize quality at every step of the home-building process.
  • Commitment: We are committed to creating the type of space that allows you to live the lifestyle you desire.

thomas building men shaking hands