Q&A with Homes By Dickerson on building the HGTV® Smart Home 2016!

Q&A with Homes By Dickerson on building the HGTV® Smart Home 2016!

We at Homes By Dickerson are extremely honored and excited to be the builder of the HGTV® Smart Home 2016! It has been an amazing and wonderful experience from the first day that we received the call letting us know we were being considered.  A year ago, designers, architects, and builders from both HGTV® and Homes By Dickerson began collaborating to create the custom design of this stunning approximately 3,300-square-foot home.  Now that the home is finished, we would like to recognize four members of the Homes By Dickerson team who worked tirelessly to bring our passion for custom designs, attention-to-detail, high-performance green efforts, and the latest tech inclusions to the project.  We recently spoke with Brant Chesson, Jeff Williams, Ryan Speight, and Rachel Bailey to get an inside look into what the building process was like from their perspectives!

The Team

Chesson_Brant 2016Brant Chesson
President, CEO

Q: What was the brainstorming and design process like for you?
A: It was a lot of fun. There are several variables that we had to consider, including what HGTV® wanted to see from a smart home, the lot parameters, and what we as a company wanted to say through this home. I was very proud of what we came up with.

Q: Would you want to do something like this again?
A: Absolutely. It has been beneficial for a number of reasons. It gave Homes By Dickerson a platform to try new products that we might have not been able to otherwise. Additionally, it has given us attention in the marketplace and we hope it will generate leads in sales!

Q: Is there anything you would do differently now that you have been through the entire experience?
A: If anything, I would have used the process as more of a platform for training the entire company. Beyond the small group who worked on it, it would have been     nice to slow down and involve others to show what we were doing.

Q: What did this process teach you?
A: To never underestimate the power of our company’s influence. When I first got the email, I initially thought that we were too small of a company to do it. I realized the impact that we could have on our marketplace and the platform would have for educating our consumers. I came to the conclusion that the company has a bigger impact and voice than I originally thought.

Q: Do you feel the Homes By Dickerson brand is well represented in the final product of the home and the overall design?
A: I do. I think our commitment to providing a better home, better value for our customers and our commitment to craftsmanship and quality in construction is very apparent. The winner will find that our commitment to service is there and we built a home that is less expensive for them to operate and more comfortable for them to live in.

Q: If you could have one “smart” feature in your home, what would it be?
A: The ability to control the security in my home from my smart device. Whether I’m in the home or away, I’d have safety and peace of mind. I’d be able to lock the door behind my kids if they forgot or even check to make sure they’re locked when away on vacation.

Williams_Jeff 2016Jeff Williams
Registered Architect

Q: What’s your favorite feature/part of the home?
A: The master bedroom. I love the way it’s broken up into different spaces in one room. One of the best parts is that the sitting room leads out to the screen porch and connects the exterior space with the interior design.

Q: If you could have one “smart” feature in your home, what would it be?
A: The nest thermostat. It controls the heating and cooling with a lot more detail. I also love the security features, as well as the TV inside the mirror in the master bath.

Q: What did this process teach you about your talents or Homes By Dickerson?
A: We have really good superintendents. I was beyond impressed with Ryan. This was obviously a very complex house but he never came back to me with problems to solve as the architect.

Q: Do you feel that the Homes By Dickerson brand is well represented in the final product of the home and the overall design?
A: Yes, especially with the exterior construction and the look of the house. Some parts of the interior, such as the paint selection, are different than things we would usually do. This, however, is due to the fact that it’s being given away and needs stronger colors, etc.

Q: Other comments about the experience?
A: It’s been one of the highlights of my architectural career. Being an architect and knowing that a lot of people are seeing your designs is a great feeling. It’s nice to read the positive feedback from people seeing the house online, as well.

Speight_Ryan 2016Ryan Speight
Project Manager

Q: If you could have one “smart” feature in your home, what would it be?
A: CLARE home automation system. It’s the brain of the house that everything connects to, including video, cameras, lights, thermostats, etc.

Q: What was one struggle you had during the building process?
A: Constructing the house to a very tight build schedule in order to meet the deadlines, while incorporating all of the products, customizations and design requests made by all parties included.

Q: What did this process teach you about your talents or Homes By Dickerson?
A: It reaffirmed that we have one heck of a team. The synergy of the company that’s created by all parties is second to none.

Q: What was the brainstorming and design process like for you?
A: It was a very interesting and unique process. To begin, we painted a broad image for Jeff and he nailed it on the first try.  This made the process smooth with only small tweaks here and there.

Q: Do you feel that the Homes By Dickerson brand is well represented in the final product of the home and the overall design?
A: Absolutely. The house is full of creativity, innovation and details that set us apart from the average builder. HBD works until we don’t think any more adjustments could be made and it can’t get any better!

Q: Other comments about the experience?
A: It was definitely a test of a lot of different facets of building. On camera, I had to know what I was talking about, the design was unique, different, and obviously a house we had never built before and I had to make a lot of on-the-fly decisions to make the house work. It was a fun challenge to embrace and I’m glad it turned out as well as it did!

Bailey_Rache 2016Rachel Bailey
Designer

Q: What was your part in building the HGTV® Smart Home?
A: I was responsible for meeting with the HGTV® designer, Tiffany Brooks, to go over our process of how we build a home and then worked with her to choose selections. I was pretty much the go between in regards to the design of the home.

Q: What’s your favorite feature/part of the house?
A: The screen porch! I love the herringbone plank floor, the phantom screens, and its accessibility for entertaining.

Q: Was it hard to keep such a big secret for so long?
A: Yes. Especially because we were kind of ramping up during Parade of Homes and others didn’t understand why we seemed to have more on our plate than normal. It was also super exciting to work on it and hard not to discuss.

Q: What was the brainstorming and design process like for you?
A: In the beginning, we met as a team and talked about the house as a whole. As the process progressed, it turned into me working more with Tiffany to come up with selections that would work and that we were both comfortable with. She also wanted to know what our market is like, what our customers are like, etc.

Q: Do you feel that the Homes By Dickerson brand is well represented in the final product of the home and the overall design?
A: Yes! I think there are some design elements that pushed the limits, but overall it shows the craftsmanship and the attention to detail that directly reflects HBD.

Q: Any other comments?
A: Overall, it was awesome to be a part of the project and very neat to say that I was part of something so amazing. It was also very fun working with Tiffany! She has a great personality and it was great to do something different than what we would typically do.

 

The HGTV® Smart Home Giveaway is still open and will close June 2, 2016! The grand prize package includes the home, a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC and $100,000 from national mortgage lender Quicken Loans. Eligible viewers can enter up to twice per day — once at HGTV.com and once at DIYNetwork.com — and can even sign up for daily email reminders. Make sure you take a look at the house online at HGTV.com/Smart or //www.homesbydickerson.com/#smarthome

For more information on Homes by Dickerson and any of our communities or custom floorplans, please contact us at 919-917-3132 or info@homesbydickerson.com

Director of Marketing Julia Reinert brings thirteen years of experience in marketing, design and sales to her position at Homes By Dickerson. Her creativity, willingness to go the extra mile and professionalism make her a favorite among clients and have led to distinctions including 2018 Triangle Sales and Marketing Chair, Silver Winner National Marketing Manager of the Year, MAME Marketing Professional of the Year, MAME Chair and TSMC Executive Committee positions. She was recognized as "40 under 40" in 2017 by Professional Builder Magazine, serves on the editorial board of NAHB’s Sales and Marketing Ideas publication, is a freelance writer for New Homes and Ideas magazine and is involved with The Professional Women in Building’s communications committee. She has earned her CMP and CSP designations and received her Masters in Residential Marketing (MIRM) in 2017. Julia’s client-centered focus builds lasting relationships. In her free time, Julia enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. She is involved with her church and community service projects and her hobbies include photography, writing, planning events, cooking, reading and traveling.

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