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Home Our Story BLOG: The Story S2 Ep8_Farmhouse and Classic Elevations (Clint Marsolek & Jonathan Crabb)

S2 Ep8_Farmhouse and Classic Elevations (Clint Marsolek & Jonathan Crabb)

Thursday April 22, 2021

Exciting news! John Houston Homes is releasing a whole new product line of Farmhouse and Classic elevations that offers the modern touch we all love. On this episode we bring in President of Keystone Architecture Clint Marsolek and Custom Project Manager Jonathan Crabb to tell us all about these new elevations and why you should be considering them for your new build. 

S2 Ep8_Farmhouse and Classic Elevations with Clint Marsolek & Jonathan Crabb-2

S2 Ep8_Farmhouse and Classic Elevations (Clint Marsolek & Jonathan Crabb).mp3

Intro: [00:00:03] Welcome Home, a podcast brought to you by John Houston Homes. Join hosts, Chelsi Frazier and Whitney Pryor, as they walk you through the exciting adventure of your home buying and building journey.

Whitney Pryor: [00:00:18] Great to have you back for another episode of the Welcome Home podcast. I'm Whitney and I have Chelsi here with me. Hi, Chelsi!

Chelsi Frazier: [00:00:26] Hi!

Whitney Pryor: [00:00:27] How are you doing today?

Chelsi Frazier: [00:00:28] I'm great! How are you?

Whitney Pryor: [00:00:28] Great! We've got some guests on that we work very closely with you. Do you want to go ahead and introduce who we've got on the show today?

Chelsi Frazier: [00:00:36] Yes, we actually have had these guys on before! We've got Clinton Marsolek, President and Architecture Director, and Jon Crabb, Project Manager. They both work for Keystone Home Design Studio. Welcome back to the show guys!

Clint Marsolek: [00:00:50] Glad to be here.

Jon Crabb: [00:00:50] Yeah, good to be back.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:00:52] We're really excited to talk to you guys today about some upcoming product that we're going to be releasing very, very soon. They are some new elevation's. We have some new Farmhouse and Classic Style elevations that we're going to be releasing. What is an elevation before we just really jump into that?

Jon Crabb: [00:01:08] An elevation is pretty much the 3D view that you see from the road. There is the front elevation and side elevation. Every part of the house is an elevation. Typically what you see on the brochures is the front elevation, that's what the house looks like.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:01:27] Great! For the purposes of today's podcast, we're going to be saying elevation a thousand times. Everybody's going to know what we're talking about. We all know that the Farmhouse style of homes has become very popular over the years and it's not anything new to us at John Houston Homes. We've been building homes with that style for 4 years now. Jon and Clinton, you guys have been designing, so let's just start there. What have you been doing with Farmhouse? Then we can talk about the new elevations that you guys have designed recently.

Jon Crabb: [00:02:00] While doing a little bit of research on the custom designs and the modern farmhouse style, we found a recent survey in 2020 that showed that modern farmhouse was the most favorite homestyle for 42 out of 50 states.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:02:16] Oh, wow, that doesn't surprise me though.

Whitney Pryor: [00:02:18] No, for as many questions as we get about it.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:02:21] That's still a lot. That's almost all of them!

Jon Crabb: [00:02:24] Recently with custom drawings, the sales managers will come in and take our more common or popular floor plans and say, "hey, we need a Modern Farmhouse look for these popular floor plans." What we do is go in and design the elevations based on the floor plan.

Clint Marsolek: [00:02:44] Yeah, a lot of our customers have been requesting it. It's a popular look right now. They're finding it on Pinterest and the Internet.

Whitney Pryor: [00:02:56] We've been doing that customization of elevations for a lot of our custom floor plans. People that are building custom home, we can do that, but we haven't done it on some of our other more common product lines. This is where this new elevation update is coming from. That's really exciting, right?

Clint Marsolek: [00:03:16] Most of the time, here recently, it's been customers on our Custom Series, our larger one acre product. Now we're starting to implement some of the features of Farmhouse and Classic into some of our Production Series. Because of the demand, we're finding that's something that we need to start incorporating into our other series of product lines. It's a great product and there's a big demand for it.

Whitney Pryor: [00:03:46] This is definitely a great example of how customer feedback really does play into our different product lines. We do listen to the customers and what they're wanting. We work on that and we work hard to to make sure that we're giving them a good product that they want and desire.

Clint Marsolek: [00:04:05] Yeah, absolutely.

Whitney Pryor: [00:04:07] I think if people want to view our different floorplans or our different elevations that we've done in the past with Farmhouse, Bryson Springs is a great community to go by and take a look at what we've done with those custom homes, as far as Modern Farmhouse.

Clint Marsolek: [00:04:22] Yeah.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:04:24] I think you'll see a lot of that in this new product that are going to be released soon. Jon, can you tell us what are some of the features that are indicative or that you see that is a Farmhouse look.

Jon Crabb: [00:04:35] With the Farmhouse look, it's a look, but it's also a feeling. What comes from the Farmhouse is it looks simple, but it feels cozy. It's not too busy. It's a blend of beauty and comfort. It's typically a higher pitch with inviting porches, natural materials, such as Cedar, Lap Siding and Board and Battan, along with stone to contrast. It's typically lighter or darker. It works well either way,

Clint Marsolek: [00:05:04] It's a mix of different dirty brick, messy mortar brick and incorporates a white trim. It gives you that old and new look.

Whitney Pryor: [00:05:18] I've seen a lot of the homes they do, I don't know what it's called, but the windows with the black casing. I think that looks really neat to me, it really makes it pop.

Clint Marsolek: [00:05:29] Yeah, it does. The windows pop out whenever the trim is black. It looks really good. It almost jumps off of the house. From the street, it just really grabs your attention, as opposed to the white or the beige.

Whitney Pryor: [00:05:44] Yes, definitely.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:05:45] One thing that I really love that I've seen on some of these upcoming or one of the custom homes that you guys have done, are the metal roof option. Is having that metal roof over the porch or that accent window popular for farmhouse?

Jon Crabb: [00:06:00] Definitely! The shed roof itself is popular, however, more recently, or I guess it's a style that's been around, but the metal option is a great design to add to a Farmhouse.

Clint Marsolek: [00:06:12] Yea, it gives it that mixed look. It's the Farmhouse Craftsman Style- rustic, industrial metal. It's a good mix of styles and they compliment one another.

Whitney Pryor: [00:06:26] Great! Something that we, I think Jon mentioned earlier, is the front porches. Here recently with a lot of the the home designs, you've kind of seen some front porches go away in communities. I think that's really neat that you've added that back in to those elevations, because I think it really helps. I've owned an older historic home. In that community, people sit on the front porch, they say hi to their neighbors and meet the dogs in the neighborhood that are getting walked. I think adding that front porch option in is going to really help the the feel of the community too.

Clint Marsolek: [00:07:04] Oh, for sure,

Jon Crabb: [00:07:05] Especially in the Texas weather.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:07:07] Yes, we need some shade.

Jon Crabb: [00:07:09] Yeah!

Whitney Pryor: [00:07:09] With our sweet tea.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:07:10] Yep, and rocking chairs.

Whitney Pryor: [00:07:12] Yes.

Jon Crabb: [00:07:13] With the creak, it's got to have the creak.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:07:14] Yes, Farmhouse staple is the rocking chairs on the front porch.

Whitney Pryor: [00:07:19] Yeah, from Cracker Barrel.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:07:23] I love it! Okay, that's just one of the upcoming products being released. We also have a line called, what we've been calling, Classic. What is classic?

Clint Marsolek: [00:07:33] Classic is more along the line of a painted brick. It's a higher pitched roof. You will see that the gable's are a little steeper. With the painted brick, you'll see that there's a lot of trim details in the brick itself. Even though it's painted and the details kind of fade away, that's kind of the idea. Whenever you walk up to the painted house, that's when you really notice all of the detail. The detail starts to grab you as you get closer. It's just a classic look. Whenever you see a painted house, the architecture of the steep roof really grabs your attention from the street. The point is to accentuate that portion of the house. The elevation almost pops at you whenever you're in the street. Like I said, whenever you get a little bit closer, you start to see the intricate details of the brick work through the paint. It starts to grab your attention in another way. As you enter into the house, it's warm, welcoming and inviting. It's a great product.

Whitney Pryor: [00:08:50] Yeah, I love that. I feel like the more colors you do, if it's not painted, you almost have to get rid of some of that detail so it's not so busy. With this Classic, you can add in some more of those architectural details because it's all one color and invites you to kind of look at all of the different details.

Clint Marsolek: [00:09:09] Exactly, that's the whole point. You're searching it out. You're like, "oh, man, that's a great looking house. Look at all those little details."

Whitney Pryor: [00:09:20] Some of them, as we are scrolling through them and looking at them now, you can see kind of almost a French Classic Style or a Tudor Style. It's very provincial and astute. I don't know what the word is!

Chelsi Frazier: [00:09:34] I'm impressed that you know that!

Whitney Pryor: [00:09:37] Don't ask me to spell those words!

Clint Marsolek: [00:09:39] French Cottage is an influence of the Classic Design. It's steep gables and some have an archway. For the majority of them, we've more with the modern style with the French. You'll see the straight lines.

Whitney Pryor: [00:10:00] I really, really like those.

Clint Marsolek: [00:10:02] Yeah.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:10:03] It just feels so clean.

Whitney Pryor: [00:10:06] Timeless.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:10:06] Yes, I'm really loving the lighter paint colors with the clear, stain cedar. That's really nice.

Clint Marsolek: [00:10:12] Yeah, it's a great contrast and that's another portion of the Classic Design. Because of the paint, we want to have contrasting details on there so that they do jump out at you. It grabs not only your attention, but your friend's attention that comes to see your house or relatives that come to see your house. All of those contrasting things, just jump off of the the front elevation at you. That's what really makes an interesting elevation, an interesting design and something that grabs people's attention.

Whitney Pryor: [00:10:47] Yeah.

Jon Crabb: [00:10:48] Even just contrasting as a house as a whole. If you're going through a community, you may have a lot of brown brick and red brick, but then you have this beautiful light gray painted brick with the different details and maybe it has warm wood shutters.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:11:04] It'll stand out for sure.

Jon Crabb: [00:11:05] Oh, yeah.

Whitney Pryor: [00:11:06] With the painted brick, can you tell us kind of how that works as far as getting approval to have a house with painted brick? How does that work with HOA'S and Developers in specific communities?

Clint Marsolek: [00:11:19] Developers will file CCR's and/or a PD, which is a Plan Development. Most cities require that a Plan Development be created by the Developer. Usually, in the Plan Development or CCR's, it'll go over what the restrictions are as far as a repeat rule. The repeat rule is usually, every fourth or fifth house, you can build the same elevation. Sometimes it's even more restrictive than that. Sometimes you can only build an elevation one time in the community. It just depends upon how restrictive it is. It just depends upon the community and the Developer.

Whitney Pryor: [00:12:06] They ask for those elevations up front for approval, right, so whenever we go into a community, we say, "here are the elevations that we want to build, give us final approval for it." We know that up front, whether we can build the elevation in that community.

Clint Marsolek: [00:12:20] Correct, yeah.

Whitney Pryor: [00:12:21] Okay, great! If someone's wanting to have their house painted, then they would just need to talk with the sales rep and make sure that community allows it and that the lot that they want to build on doesn't already have one close by. That it's not going to look exactly like their neighbor's house.

Clint Marsolek: [00:12:40] Yeah, they'll work with their Sales Representative. Their Sales Representative is very in tune with the CCR's and the PD. All of the restrictions, they're very in tune with, so they'll be able to guide them as to which lot that they'll be able to do specific elevation, depending on what it is that they're looking for.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:12:58] A lot of our listeners are very familiar with our floor plan names. I think they would really love to know which of our floor plans are going to be getting a Farmhouse or Classic elevation coming soon?

Jon Crabb: [00:13:07] Yeah, of course! On our Production Line, we're going to have the Hartford, Phoenix, Concord, Harrisburg and the Helena. On our Custom Series, we'll have the Athens, Barcelona, Madrid and Florence.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:13:20] Awesome, so there is a lot to choose from.

Jon Crabb: [00:13:21] Oh, yes. Those are two new elevations for each.

Whitney Pryor: [00:13:25] If you want to take a look at these visually, the Classic and the Farmhouse elevations that Jon just mentioned the different floor plans that we're offering that on, you can definitely find that on our website. We'll also link to a couple of those options in our show notes if you want to take a look at those beautiful elevations. You can also check out our communities on our website and see which communities those are going to be offered in as well.

Chelsi Frazier: [00:13:54] Thank you guys so much for joining us. I just feel like it's such a benefit to us to have an in-house Architect Firm to just pick your brains, ask you all these questions about upcoming product and the features of them. We just really appreciate you coming on to inform our listeners about that. They love to listen in, get on the inside track and know what's coming. Thank you Jon and thank you Clinton, we really appreciate it.

Clint Marsolek: [00:14:17] Thanks for having us.

Jon Crabb: [00:14:17] Yes, it's always fun. Thank you.

Whitney Pryor: [00:14:19] Thank you so much for joining us today. For more information on this episode and again, to view those beautiful elevations that we're adding to our lineup, you can visit our show notes. We'd love to hear from you, our listeners, on any questions you have about the different elevations or just the process and the floor plans. You can get in contact with us at or give us a call at 866.237.7803. Feel free to join us on LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook. We look forward to you joining us again on the next episode of our podcast.

Chelsi Frazier and Whitney Pryor: [00:14:57] Welcome Home.


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