Drvenkar Custom Homes
By: Fabian Sandler
There’s good news in the new home building market. It seems the economy’s bouncing back. People are beginning to opt for building new homes instead of renovating or making additions to their current homes.
Drvenkar Custom Homes has been fulfilling people’s dreams for their new homes since 2003. Owner Nick Drvenkar has been in the home building business for over 26 years. “I started in the homebuilding business sweeping houses for Ryland Homes back in the early 1980’s. I then started building for Harold Prock Custom Homes in Kingwood. After building for him for three years, I started building for Village Builders where I eventually became the construction area manager for Kingwood and Eagle Springs.”
Drvenkar Custom Homes’ slogan is simple, encompassing just four words: Experience makes the difference. But it says a ton, considering that Nick’s experience connects three decades, with almost a decade doing things his way for his customers.
One of the main reasons why Nick left Village and started his own business was that he wanted the flexibility to help individualize homes according to the needs and lifestyle of the homeowner. “Your home is usually your largest investment and with that comes the desire to have your home fit your lifestyle and family needs,” Nick points out. “The first thing I like to do with new homes is to sit down with people and listen to what they want and to give them ideas. I’ve been in this business a long time. I can give people options. That’s what people always say, ‘I hadn’t thought of that.’ Experience makes the difference.”
Drvenkar Custom Homes prefers foundations, for instance, that utilize steel beams, using conventional steel rebar. Homes designed with post tension slabs can have an inherent problem with the composition of the soil if the homes are not of a square or rectangular design.
Nick can have an average-sized home built somewhere between 14 and 16 weeks, once the foundation is poured. “If you have a five or 6,000 square foot home, a bunch of stucco, it will take longer,” Nick explains.
“One of the reasons the design process can take a long time is because the homeowner gets the floor plan back and they want to make changes because it is a custom home,” “They’re like, ‘maybe we want this and this or how about flipping this the other way, etc.’ and they have to go back to the architect and the architect tweaks it and gives it back to them.” It’s not uncommon for the client to make several changes through the design process. “It all takes time,” Pauline, Nick’s wife, concludes.
Not every design change necessitates a visit to the architect. Many changes can be handled on-site, although structural changes may delay construction as larger windows, for instance, need to be ordered. Most of the crews that Nick uses have worked with him for years and are professional and very experienced. This allows for a truly custom home building experience.
“Everybody we build for talks about how great it is,” Nick says proudly. “That’s why we get referrals. They say it’s a great experience. You hear all these horror stories about building homes. But they say, ‘We enjoyed the building process.’ They thank us. We’ll give them some ideas and options. When somebody’s telling us what they want, we listen. If that’s what they want to do, it’s their home.”
Testimonials, in fact, do lend credence to the job performed. One such testimonial comes from Liliana C. She writes, “Nick Drvenkar has built our family a beautiful and truly custom home. I designed this home myself and in the course of building it, I found that I wanted to make some changes to my design. Nick worked with me to make sure everything turned out exactly as I wanted it. He was patient and helpful and didn’t charge me the change order penalties that most builders would have surely charged me. He just wanted to make sure we got the exact home of our dreams. We couldn’t have asked for a better builder.”
Another is from Marcus and Kathy A.: “My husband and I contacted Nick of Drvenkar Custom Homes a little less than a year ago to build us a custom home. Nick is an incredibly easy man to work with. He cares about his work and the high quality product he produces shows the years of knowledge he has in home building. Nick only allows the most qualified contractors to work for him. Our overall experience was so successful and pleasant that I will recommend Drvenkar Custom Homes to anyone. Thank you, Nick, for my beautiful home and flawless experience.”
“If you’ve got a floor plan and you want to come in and sit down, we’ll sit down and go over it and I can give you a proposal,” the owner says. “The proposals are very detailed, they’re broken out, everything is broken down; we put options they can have out to one side. When the people get those, they can actually work with them and they can figure out, ‘Hey, if we do this, this is what it’ll cost us.’ They can work with it to figure this stuff out to get a better feel for what they really want in their home.”
People have interesting requests sometimes when designing their custom homes. “Some of the things we have been doing are hidden rooms, floor safes, laundry chutes, having the laundry room configured to open into the master closet. When it comes to a custom home you can really tweak your home to fit your lifestyle.”
One of the more interesting homes that Nick built is in Magnolia. The house has a flat observation tower on the third floor. “It’s about a 10 x 10,” Nick begins. “It’s got a spiral stairs that goes off the second floor balcony up to the third floor balcony. They have a five-acre piece of property. They can take their telescope up there. It is 5,000 square feet. It’s got all kinds of balconies on it. It has a gigantic theater room. One of the bedrooms on the second floor has a ladder-type stair that goes up to a loft onto the third floor.”
People want an open concept design these days, where some of the rooms on the bottom floor are two stories tall and a bridge goes across the second floor from one side to the other across the living room or entry hall.
Nick feels that what sets him apart from other new homes builders is that he listens to his clients. “I hear that a lot,” he states. “They enjoy working with me because I listen to them, I work with them.” For instance, if a client does change his or her mind about the size of the aforementioned windows which could require roof line changes, Nick will listen to them and see what that change entails. “We’ll sit down, get with the framer, give them a very reasonable price, because I’m not out to gouge them as we’re going through. This is their home. I want to work with them. We know a lot about options and we’ll listen to them.”
Pauline helps out with the administrative side of the business, but she does maintain a full-time job as an accountant. They have lived in the Huffman area for a long time. They have been married for 23 years and have three daughters. Alix is 17, Ryan is 14, and Erin is 8.
Drvenkar Custom Homes’ website contains a “Contact Us” page tab that allows the person who is seeking information on custom home building to state their reason for the inquiry. A tab, Standard Feature Sheet, contains a comprehensive list of information and technical features.
Please visit drvenkarcustomhomes.com. Or call to set up an appointment. The phone number is 713-591-0428
New home construction is an indicator that the economy is growing more solid. If experience does make the difference, Drvenkar Custom Homes is ready to bring to fruition their customers’ dream homes.u