You Are Where You Eat

Discover and project your decorating personality

posted Mar 15, 2010 by Jeff Click

We're firm believers that the spaces in which we live, work, and play all say something about us. If that wasn't true, we'd just build the same boring square house with bland walls and cater-to-the-traditional-masses colors and finishes so many other builders offer. While we don't always have control over what our work environment looks and feels like, the places we choose to socialize in often are a reflection of the style of design and decor we like, or at least feel comfortable in.
It's undeniable that the vibe at Starbucks has contributed to its success with, from the music and lighting, to the interior design, decorating, and furnishings. It all creates a cohesive atmosphere that complements the products they sell, all of which reflects the personality they project as a company, which in turn resonates with the personalities of the people who hang there.

Perhaps most reflective of our personality is our own living spaces, and unlike our work space, the home is where we do have some control in the look and feel. It's easy for nearly everyone to identify what they do and don't like in design and decorating, but not everyone can pinpoint their own personal style, let alone communicate it.

No worries.

Our friends at one of our favorite modern furniture stores, IO Metro, led us to a great find via their modern decor blog, Hello Metro. They point us to a recent feature at Real Simple magazine's site, which divides decorating styles into four categories and runs you through a quiz that, through a few simple visual questions, will help you determine your "decorating personality."

After going through a step-by-step visual survey, you'll discover whether your decorative style is Sophisticated Classic, Cozy Casual, Vintage Eclectic, or Modern Graphic.

A beautiful example of Modern Graphic decorating from Real Simple


And if there's any question lingering as to the decorative personality of our modern new homes in Edmond and Oklahoma City, you guessed it: Modern Graphic.

Love is in the air

Some of the sweetest Master Suites among new homes in Edmond

posted Feb 7, 2010 by Jeff Click

This week, "Love is in the air," and how better to get into the mood than by taking an intimate look at some of the most romantic spaces inside new homes in Edmond? Throughout the week we'll be posting photos of some of our favorite Master Suites built by Jeff Click Homes over the past couple of years.
Photo of a Master Bathroom of a Jeff Click Home in Edmond.
The Master Suite: One of the most romantic spaces in a home.


So what makes a great Master Suite? Not to be coy, but aside from a few rules of thumb, the answer is simply "it depends." Let's start by being honest; unless you're a single guy, it's usually the women that call the shots when it comes to decisions about the home. If you ask any group of women, you'll probably receive some common answers and as opinions and preferences on what makes the perfect Master Suite as what goes into the Perfect Man.

Check out a few important aspects of a well-designed Master Suite, as demonstrated by our furnished new home model in Silverhawk. By implementing a few of these key aspects of design, your new home's master suite will be sure to arouse the senses.

Photo from the entrance of a Master Bathroom of a Jeff Click Home in Edmond.
First Impressions: The entrance to the Suite needs to be impactful. Use of natural light, color,
and ceiling heights all play a role in making a statement.


Photo of a large Master Bathroom of a Jeff Click Home in Edmond.
Size Matters: The room need not be huge, but it does need to be spacious enough to remain functional
once furnishings are in place. This master suite maintains adequate walkways between a low-profile
dresser and a queen sized bed with average-sized nightstands.


Next, we'll explore another aspect of the Master Suite: The Master Bathroom.

Take that, OK Snowpocalypse!

How to clear a driveway of Oklahoma snow or ice in 2.5 minutes.

posted Jan 31, 2010 by Jeff Click

While we can't exactly roll out the red carpet for you in weather like this, we can at least make sure you have a clear, hazard-free driveway to walk on to get into our brand-spankin' new furnished model home in Silverhawk!
The fellas from Jeff Click Homes have a little fun demonstrating how to properly clear a driveway of Oklahoma snow and ice in under 2.5 minutes at the Jeff Click Homes furnished model home in Silverhawk.





OK, so maybe not exactly that fast, but here's a crash-course tutorial on how to properly clear a driveway from snow and ice. The team from Jeff Click Homes has a little bit of fun demonstrating this at the 2010 Jeff Click Homes Furnished Model Home in the Silverhawk Addition in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Twist & Shout

How the February 10 tornados in Edmond tied up the schedule.

posted Feb 12, 2009 by Jeff Click

I had an exciting afternoon and evening planned; a quick final walk-through with a client, then a quick jaunt to Stewart Title for the closing, and then off to McNellie's for the ULI Real Estate Roulette.

As we were wrapping up the walk-through, suddenly it thunders, the storm warning sirens rev up, and my mobile rings, all simultaneously. On the phone was my wife letting me know I might want to consider coming home (just across the street from my walk-through...yes, I live among clients and love it), to get into the storm shelter.
It's really nerve-racking to see this hovering over your development project.


One power outage, 3 rounds of storms, and multiple trips in and out of the storm shelter later, I head out to check my projects in the neighborhood, then a mile south down Penn to my commercial project, the Main Street Business District. This was what I found...

The view facing south at NW158th & Pennsylvania after the storm in Edmond.


The officer blockading Penn was cool enough to let me through. Surprisingly, we had minimal damage despite numerous large power line poles snapped in two around us.

A large power pole snapped from its easement on the south property line of our development.


What an afternoon and evening it was. We were fortunate that power was restored by a little after 6, and aside from not being able to attend the scheduled closing, I was most disappointed by not getting to be a part of the ULI Real Estate Roulette.

So yes, I had an exciting afternoon and evening planned, and while it was still exciting, it was not as planned. Perhaps the next one will be scheduled on a less eventful night by my new friends at the ULI. (Sorry, guys, I had to check my projects and I couldn't leave my girls for the evening without power.)

A few entry lights now need some adjustment.


I've posted a Flickr set of all the photos I took from storm damage in NW Oklahoma City / Edmond.

Paris Hilton Loves Jeff Click Homes

A builder's journey into scandalous rumor, paparazzi victimhood, and reckless rock-stardom...not.

posted Jun 2, 2008 by Jeff Click

It began with something innocent. They say the most scandalous encounters always do.

I was spending my Saturday doing one of the things I love doing when the phone rang. I couldn't answer because I was in the middle of a showing with some guests at the furnished model in Silverhawk. After a good conversation and some time answering questions, they left to go look at a few of the other available homes. I checked caller ID, as a Saturday call at the office usually is someone calling to see if we're open.

Hmm, no voicemail. The name on the Caller ID log was peculiar, but in came another visitor.

I hadn't thought back to that moment until about an hour later when I was sketching and the phone rang again. The name on Caller ID that was once peculiar was now twice familiar.

"H-I-L-T-O-N."

"Must be an out-of-towner spending the weekend in an Oklahoma City hotel while shopping for a new home," I thought as I clicked the "Talk" button, quickly speaking into the phone in my best radio voice, "Jeff Click Homes, this is Jeff." The response was a "click" of another kind.

I'd been hung up on.

"Probably just confirming we're open," I thought to myself, and went back to pencilling on another sketch for the new Parade Home for this year.

Moments later, it rang again. Click. Later, again. Click. I received numerous repeat phone calls that day from the same "Hilton", all of which would end abruptly in the same fashion.

I couldn't help but laugh as I queried in my mind, "What kind of loser prank calls a model home, let alone mid-day on a Saturday? Maybe someone really wants to see if I'm here. Who's stalking Jeff Click Homes? Who's stalking me?" I hadn't been the recipient of this kind of prank-calling action since Jr. High!

Little did I know the depths to which this potentially ruinous encounter would take me. As though it was burned into my head from repeated exposure, the mental image of that one word on Caller ID plagued my mind's eye; the orange back-lit screen and charcoal gray liquid crystal display text spelling out the word "Hilton."

Then it hit me. It has to be Paris Hilton calling.

My imagination immediately began to explore the possibilities. "Why is Paris Hilton calling me? Is she looking for design tips for a remodel of one of her Caribbean hide-aways? Perhaps a new hip contractor for a secret new hotel she's opening somewhere here in the city?"

I continued, as though the pubescent catalysts of both paranoia and fantasy from boyhood began a long-overdue awakening of sorts, "Is she looking for a pimp new crib in the Oklahoma City Metro to add to her repertoire of vacation spots? Is she headed this way to check out my work? I have a no-dogs-allowed policy in my homes...is she bringing that multi-millionaire 2lb. dog she always seems to be carrying around? Would I have the lower fortitude to tell her that the mutt isn't allowed it in the house?"

Carried away, I then dared to think, "Is she looking to make a new tape?! What? Did I just think that? Think of your wife, think of your daughter...think of your wife, think of your daughter..." (Fortunately, that quickly did the trick, but I had resolved to follow up with "Think of anti-bacterial soap...think of anti-biotics!" just in case.)

That thought sequence abruptly ended the freakish fantasizing, and as the day wound down, so did the frequency of calls. Other visitors and closing time came and went, and much to my disapp...er, relief...no Paris. I had avoided a potential scandalous brush with builder stardom, and all the paparazzi, and drama, and rumors that go with a life style of rock-stardom.

So I thought.

Fast-forward to Monday, as I sat in the office doing what I do. Ring-ring! Ring-Ring! Then I heard the hand-held base for the phone from across the office, in its female, digitized voice, speak words that led to flashbacks of exciting fear, "Call from...Hilton."

I trembled in anticipation as I picked up the handheld on my desk and glanced at the Caller ID screen. Confirmed...orange, charcoal gray LCD...and just like I so well remembered from days ago, the 6 letters that haunted my previous weekend.

She was relentless.

I gulped, inhaled, and pressed the talk button. "Jeff. Click. Homes. This. Is. Jeff." I uttered.

Click.

What ever thoughts of fame, fortune, rumor, and scandal had existed before now boiled into sheer fear and rage. I instantly flashed to the MacBook Pro, where I feverishly keyed-in the number displayed on the Caller ID under her name: 407-722-3532. It was time for a Google reverse-lookup.

As the results page loaded, what I saw was as shocking as it was a relief. Apparently "Paris" has a thing for calling people repeatedly from this number, and, like me, many aren't happy about it.

As I scanned the pages of search results, reading the accounts of countless others with the same general experience from the same number, my mind began to return to normal function. Perhaps it was because my head was shrinking back down into humility, and thoughts of 24-7 flash-bulbs and infra-red video had subsided. I resigned to the fact that Paris Hilton did not, in fact, love Jeff Click Homes.

In my moment of relieved clarity, it all became obvious to me. I have more than enough reason to limit my Saturdays to just one model.

Walking a mile in a client's shoes

Gearing up for the 2008 Parade Of Homes poses its challenges

posted May 24, 2008 by Jeff Click

The past 2 weeks have been an intense on-again, off-again struggle through dozens of conceptual sketches, job site walk-throughs, thinking, and re-thinking lighting design, flooring selections, you name it.

Everything that each one of my clients goes through in one form or another, and it's been good to experience it first-hand again myself as I finalize all of the numerous details for this year's Jeff Click Homes entry into the 2008 Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association Parade Of Homes, which kicks off September 13th and runs through the 21st. This year's parade entry will unveil the first rendition of what is quickly becoming my favorite plan: The Numbers Plan.

It's not that this is a draining struggle, but rather a good exercise and challenge to push the envelope of what I do otherwise every day. I try to make each Jeff Click Home something daringly different from the last, but the Parade Home is always something extra special, as thousands of people attend each year to see it, and I don't want to let "the fans" down!

Over the coming weeks, I'll share just a few of the details of what we have in store for you this year. In the meantime, here are a few previews...

2008 Parade Of Homes - Front Elevation
A shot of the front elevation of the now fully-framed Parade Home, based on The Numbers Plan. The green wood is a new kind of weather-resistant sheathing we're trying out.


2008 Parade Of Homes - Great Room
A conceptual sketch of the main wall of the great room, with stone columns and back-lit glass panels above, centered fireplace with plasma television, and side niches with lower euro-style cabinets.


2008 Parade Of Homes - Breakfast Nook
A modern, yet cozy breakfast nook with built-in bench seat in between stone columns.

Oh, So You're The Builder?

The things a builder learns while manning his own model home

posted Jan 12, 2008 by Jeff Click

I'm hearing more and more about how uncommon it is, which surprises me. And while I know I'm probably tipping off my competitors who frequent this blog (trust me, we know), it actually disappoints me.

"Oh, so you're the builder?!"

Shoppers are shocked to be greeted by "the builder" when they walk into a model home. The actual builder. Yes, the real, live owner of the company.

It seems like a no-brainer to me, especially when my name's on the sign, that it's not unreasonable for a visitor to expect to have a chance at getting to meet the builder...the one person they're considering to put in charge of the most significant purchase that person may ever make. Apparently, it's getting less and less common, though.

Bald, yes. But present at the model home and ready to serve.


As a practice, I office out of our furnished model home in Silverhawk during regular business hours. This means I'm not only in the center of construction activity on a daily basis and can be at any job on a moment's notice, but I'm easy to find for not only people interested in buying, but people that already have bought...from us.

With the number of "corporate builders" in existence today, rarely do people get to meet "the guy" who owns the company, and that guy probably seldom, if ever sets foot in the houses the company builds. Whether just a visitor looking for ideas, or a serious buyer in shopping mode, people love to get answers from the source, rather than someone responding second-hand from what they've been told to say or from what it's in their "script."

So a lesson I've learned, and am reminded of each subsequent time I host the model:

People like to have a name behind the product, and be able to put a face with that name. It's even better when that face is the first one they see when walking through the door the first time.

This weekend I enjoyed spending time with a number of visitors, many of whom were through a Jeff Click Home for the very first time. It's always enlightening to witness first-hand peoples' reactions to what they see. Even when it's not positive (which didn't seem to be the case this weekend.) I also visited with many people for the second and third time, and am looking forward to working with those who are making the final preparations to begin the journey towards experiencing the joy of building a new home with us.

I can't speak for the other builders, but to those of you considering making the purchase, when you're ready, I'll be at the model and ready to serve...

So Long, 2007!

Putting the final nail in an interesting year

posted Dec 30, 2007 by Jeff Click

For all that 2007 brought forth in the housing industry, it sure seemed to blow by in a blur. Strangely, though, this last year had more challenges than I've seen in my building career. From a correction in the market, to aggressive immigration legislation, there was no shortage of struggle. Richard Mize's article in last weekend's Oklahoman sums up the year in Oklahoma real estate quite nicely, and it's an eye-opening read to see all of the year's issues compiled.

2008 promises bright things, as it's the 10th anniversary for Jeff Click Homes. We have a number of exciting ideas and improvements in the making that I look forward to sharing over the next year. Additionally, I'll be serving as Vice President of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association this year, and as President in 2009, which will no doubt be an interesting experience, as our industry recovers from a downturn and we face numerous issues that will affect the industry in dramatic ways.

FYI, our office and furnished model home in Silverhawk will be closed on Monday, December 31st, and Tuesday, January 1st. We'll re-open on Wednesday.

I hope that 2008 will bring forth great blessings and prosperity to you and yours, and as is the cliche-thing-to-say on New Year's Eve, "See you next year!"

Pouring And Snoring

Part two of how rain affects construction processes

posted Jun 21, 2007 by Jeff Click

I do my best to maintain a tight relationship with God. While membership does have its obvious privileges, including the occasional burning bush and moving a mountain here or there, unfortunately things don't always happen on our terms or time-line even under His favor. God, with this weather lately, I sure could use that staff and whatever else you gave Moses to part that Red Sea...

I'd hoped that soon after my previous post, I'd be able to follow up with this second half knowing as I typed in my office that outside on job sites, bricks would be stacking and sod would be unrolling. Yet, here we are a week later, when mud pie is still the only desert being served, and Alessondra and I are still singing her new songs. (We're working on remembering that the it's the old man that's snoring and the rain that's pouring, not the other way around as she prefers it.)

What many don't realize is that it's not just when it's raining that exterior construction activity ceases, but often for a few days afterwards. Job sites need time to adequately dry out for some of the exterior components of construction. In times like these, there's a struggle between the urge to just make some progress to help move things along and keep clients happy, as opposed to waiting for the right conditions to properly proceed with the more moisture-affected processes. Masonry usually continues quickly after rain ends, but any work related to dirt definitely has to have some dry-time. That includes preparing sites for concrete drives, patios, and sidewalks, to final grade, irrigation systems, and landscaping.

Numerous other factors are at play, as well. One might expect for all of the subcontractors to be waiting for the call to instantly appear and work in double-time, through over-time, to get caught up. Often they do, but what I sometimes have to remind clients is that not all of my subcontractors work exclusively for Jeff Click Homes. Many work for several other builders, and some of those other builders' homes may have been scheduled before ours, so we have to wait our turn. Sometimes that's not a long wait, but in situations like right now, that wait of just an afternoon may get stretched to a few more days if another rain hits in the interim.

Homes nearing completion require special measures to protect the cleanliness of the interior, especially when the concrete walkways have not been poured. Oklahoma red clay is no friend to beige berber carpet, and contractors don't always think about where their shoes have been as they step into that just-carpeted home with freshly-polished tile floors. Sometimes the only solution to that challenge is a thing called a dead-bolt.

Neighbors living near job sites also need to be considered with effective erosion control on nearby lots and in the delivery of materials, most of which are delivered on large trucks that have to pull onto the muddy lot to drop materials near or into the house. The mud on their tires can be tracked for hundreds of yards, and when that happens, our phones definitely start ringing.

I've tried to reason with God that dry is good and rain is evil right now, leaving him no choice but to act. I think he's still considering my argument. So as I wait for his ruling, or for Moses to come part the red seas flowing between the curbs of Silverhawk, I'll have to sing the 500th recitation of "Its Raining, It's Snoring," and set my mind to working on patience. It's a virtue, you know.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Part one of how rain can douse construction processes

posted Jun 15, 2007 by Jeff Click

Our little two year old has learned two new songs over the past several weeks: "Rain, Rain, Go Away!" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring...". Her cheerful recitations of those songs are about the only thing that's brought a smile to my face when it comes to the weather lately.

The most common question I'm answering right now is "Does this rain slow you down at all in the building business?" At this point, that question seems about as rhetorical as "How 'bout this weather?" The answer is undoubtedly, "Yes, it slows us down." It's almost mind-boggling how many ways it affects construction, some of which are obvious, while others not so much.

In our construction processes at Jeff Click Homes, the first half of building a house is most-affected by less than ideal weather conditions. Beginning from grading the lot, to building the foundation and framing, these phases all take place within the elements of weather. So the first effect we deal with when facing extended periods of wet weather is in this phase. If the ground is muddy, we can't adequately grade the lot into a flat pad, nor can we dig and pour the footing, install plumbing, and often can't pour the slab. However, if the slab is poured, framers can sometimes work when conditions are wet, so long as it's not actively raining during their work. Since most of the work takes place on the concrete slab, they can work immediately after it stops raining, and in between days of rain. However, it does get messy!

Once a home is framed and roofed, we then split our processes into two different, somewhat independent schedules: interior and exterior. When the roof is on and windows are installed, interior work can continue, from plumbing top-outs, to HVAC installation and electrical rough-in. For projects already past these phases, insulation can installed, and sheetrock can begin. However, when sheetrock is being taped, bedded, and textured in these conditions, more time must be allowed due to the humidity, which slows down the drying process, a crucial need between each step of this part of construction. Additionally, tile and trim can be installed, as well as painting, and all of the final installations of products beyond the paint phase. We do have to take extra steps to care for and maintain reasonable cleanliness within homes being built under these conditions. Oklahoma red dirt makes for some pretty heavy duty mud that is known to create a stain or two.

That's the good news, which often provides some consolation to clients who are anxious to see their home completed on schedule. That's something we take very seriously. The bad news, though, is that as the rain continues, while interior progress can be made, exterior progress is at the mercy of the weather. I'll cover how extended rainy weather affects exterior construction phases in my next post this week.

Until then, I'll be singing along with my daughter and trying to smile about it.



» Updated 06.22.07:
» Part two of this series can be found here...