Luxury Home Design & Construction: What’s on the Horizon?

By Scott Acton

Experiential Living Spaces Create a New Level of Luxury

Like so many other things, the luxury residential market is rapidly evolving in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, most Americans have spent anywhere from a few weeks to many months living, working, exercising, cooking, and gathering at home in ways they never have before. Most have probably given some thought to how their living experience could be better with customization.

While the pandemic won’t last forever, it will likely have a lasting impact on how owners view their own living spaces and the experiences they want to have there. Because they have the resources to act quickly, luxury homeowners are already emerging as the first group to truly drive this evolution. They have the ability and the means to curate each room and demand perfect delivery of their desires.

For the contractor, building luxury environments requires acute attention to detail. Luxury owners want what they want and are willing to invest in customizing their homes. It’s critical to understand the nuances of this particular type of client, particularly in an age when they’ve spent more time in their homes than ever before.

Here are the key elements that make a luxury home:

Time is the Only True Commodity

First and foremost, luxury home construction requires a concierge service to a group of discerning consumers for whom time is the only real commodity. Knowing how to compress the construction timeline, without sacrificing quality, is a true differentiator. Being able to deliver a luxury home in half the normal construction timeline is a top factor in the owner’s decision-making process.

To achieve this, we must offer a team of skilled craftsmen available to fill 24/7 shifts. Forté built its legendary portfolio on fast delivery of high-end restaurants, entertainment and gaming venues, and theme parks. Each project required hundreds of workers filling concurrent and consecutive shifts to produce a compressed construction timeline.

Luxury homes are no different. Forte completed a luxury home – a 13,500-square-foot estate located in The Summit Club, an exclusive 555-acre resort community where owners include celebrity entertainers and athletes – in less than 12 months. The process allowed the owners to be sleeping in their new bedroom less than a year after breaking ground.

This is the five-diamond brand of service that this type of clientele expects.

Building Homes That Are Pieces of Visual Artwork

At the luxury level, the details are crucial to the finished product and must be taken into consideration throughout the entire process. Questions to consider include:

  • Are nearby vistas, mountains, beaches, and sunsets visible from every window?
  • Are the textures installed properly on the flooring, ceilings, and doorways?
  • Do all design elements line up properly?
  • How will the acoustics be handled?

To accomplish this at Forte, we build mockups of spaces to test the acoustics and other critical pieces to verify that our approach passes the “quality test” before construction begins. This ensures that construction is being handled effectively to deliver the best result for the client. It also allows us to streamline our processes by getting all of the work approved in advance.

This involves creative problem-solving. For one luxury home, the owner requested that a 75,000-pound boulder become a visual artwork feature in the entry courtyard. To achieve this, the construction team built a road to get the boulder to the property and its ultimate location. These are the problems that a luxury builder is called upon to solve.

Creative solutions bring value to the team and ensure perfection from the moment a homeowner drives up to their new home.

Integrating Outdoor Spaces

In the Covid-19 era, outdoor spaces have come to define the lifestyles of the owners and even those living nearby. In the luxury market, owners want space that offers freedom of choice for how to enjoy their outdoor areas – bocce ball courts, custom swimming pools, innovative outdoor seating, and dining and cooking areas – which must be seamlessly integrated into the overall design of the property.

One such home that Forte built integrated first-floor and outdoor spaces to seamlessly integrate a pool, bocce court, and indoor/outdoor entertainment spaces, along with a separate rooftop area with large TV monitors, an outdoor bar, and seating area.

There is no doubt that the luxury market is evolving and that Covid-19 is driving a fresh array of unique design requirements. Contractors must be able to navigate the need for excellence and new elements with the desire for condensed construction timelines. These elements and the desire for speed will certainly start in the luxury market but reverberate through all levels of home design and construction.

Scott Acton is president of Forté Specialty Contractors, a Las Vegas-based construction firm specializing in building experiential venues in the luxury home market and the hospitality, restaurant, retail, nightlife, and entertainment industries. www.fortedesignbuild.com

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