Persimmon Homes

Persimmon Homes In The News

Portsmouth Herald

Apr. 14, 2016, By Paul Briand

New home buyers seek custom touches


White kitchens, open concept very trendy

Goodbye Colonials, hello custom built. Goodbye formal dining rooms, hello open concept. Goodbye stained wood, hello maintenance free laminates. Those are among the styles and trends that builders are seeing in new home construction.

Mark Perlowski, for one, sees it in the homes he builds. He is owner and executive general contractor at Persimmon Homes of Stratham, a custom home builder that does a lot of work in the Seacoast. Among his current projects are six homes he is building at the Sea Mist development in Rye.

Owners of these custom-built homes are very particular about what goes on them and in them, Perlowski said, “right down to the hinges that go on the doors. It comes down to the littlest detail.”

He’s seeing some consistency in certain trends. There’s the architectural style of the house itself, for instance. “Colonials used to be really popular,” Perlowski said. No more. His architectural options for his clients come mostly from Art Form Architecture in Hampton Falls.

Rather than a traditional Colonial or Cape Cod, Perlowski said clients sit down with an architect to decide what’s best for them. “They can go with an existing plan and tweak it, or go from scratch,” he said.

Chinburg Properties in Newmarket is active in building new homes, including Rockingham Green in Newmarket adjacent the Rockingham Golf Course, the condominium building at 233 Vaughan St. in Portsmouth, and a new residential development – Sea Star Cove – also in Portsmouth.

Marketing Director Jennifer Chinburg said she sees customization of contemporary themes. “Craftsman style and bungalow homes have been very popular in the past 10 years but we are seeing some new trends including a modern interpretation of the colonial style in some communities,” she said. “We also have seen a trend in modern farmhouse styles, which feature lots of natural materials and open spaces.”

Chinburg said a third category is contemporary or modern, “with white walls, concrete floors and more natural materials such as reclaimed wood barn doors and wood, stone and metal accent pieces.”

Chinburg and Perlowski said people are looking to maximize the usable space in their homes. It’s why Perlowski doesn’t do many formal dining rooms anymore. “The dining room has come and gone,” he said. “Open concept is really important nowadays.” Chinburg said she’s seeing a trend toward larger new homes – from about 1,800 square feet a few years ago to 2,200 square feet and larger today.

“Five to seven years later we are seeing people trending up in the amount of space that they would like to have for their families, so the square footage is going up with an emphasis on private bedroom suites with bathroom, but also more gathering places for families like hobby rooms and open concept living spaces where the kitchen, dining and living all blend together to be in company with the other members of the family,” she said.

Both agree the kitchen is the No. 1 room of consideration in a new house. What Perlowski sees in kitchen trends is white with brushed aluminum appliances.

“Every homeowner in the last 15 houses has wanted a white kitchen,” he said. “Kitchens continue to be very important and a priority in that they are not separate from the rest of the activity of the house,” Chinburg said. “Cooking and entertaining can happen in the same space.”

Many people, particularly baby boomers are looking ahead to homes that require fewer steps to climb.

“Boomers and empty nesters like to have the first floor master bedroom suites for comfortable and convenient aging in place,” Chinburg said, “but many like the upstairs space as well, to create guest bedrooms and suites for their visiting children and grandchildren as well as hobby spaces for active adults who are 55-plus.”

Perlowski said he’s created downstairs master bedrooms he describes “almost like a suite” not only for aging in place boomers, but for in-laws. “That’s become really popular,” he said. The outside of the house has less wood and more composite materials, Perlowski said.

A home he showed in Rye had aluminum siding and composite material for the decking and rails. “A lot of people want a maintenance-free house,” he said. The siding and decking don’t need repainting or staining, and the decking is held in place with clips – no nails to worry about.

Other touches Perlowski is seeing are stone tiling in bathroom showers, as many as 3.5 baths in homes that normally had 2.5 baths, a separate room for a home office, mud rooms and wiring a home to accommodate the latest electronic technology including security systems.

“Low maintenance is definitely a trend,” Chinburg said. “People would like to enjoy their free time as much as possible and not have to do chores every weekend so many people opt for a home on a smaller lot where there is less yard to maintain.”

She also noted homeowners’ desires for energy efficiency. “Energy efficiency continues to be important and people care about how healthy their home is, choosing organic materials and Energy Star lighting and appliances,” Chinburg said.

Both Chinburg Properties and Persimmon Homes are busy with new homes. “The housing market, at least for us, has been fantastic,” Perlowski said.

Added Chinburg: “In each new community where we build we work together with our architects and Realtor partners to create a vision for what the lifestyle will be like, and offer homes that we thing will appeal to those buyers.”


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