More Than a Bathroom, It’s a Sanctuary!

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As a Texas custom home builder, we know that the bathroom is one of the most important rooms in any home. It’s a space where we begin and end each day, so it’s important that it’s comfortable, functional and luxurious. With that in mind, we’ve put together some of the latest trends in bathroom design to help you create a unique and luxurious space in your home, and we’re always here to help!

Master Baths: A Private Retreat

Master baths are no longer just a place to wash up and get ready for the day. They have evolved into luxurious retreats where homeowners can unwind, relax and rejuvenate. Some of the latest trends in master bath design include:

  1. Spa-Like Features: Homeowners are incorporating spa-like features into their master baths, such as soaking tubs, steam showers and heated floors.
  2. Statement Lighting: Unique lighting fixtures can add a touch of glamour and drama to your master bath. Pendant lights, chandeliers and sconces are all popular choices.
  3. Unique Materials: Incorporating unique materials such as marble, onyx, and quartzite can add a touch of luxury and sophistication to your master bath.
  4. Heated floors: We know you don’t always need this feature in S. Texas, but it’s a wonderful addition on those chilly winter mornings and nights.

Guest Baths: Style and Functionality

Guest baths are an opportunity to showcase your style and hospitality to your guests. Here are some of the latest trends in guest bath design:

  1. Bold Wallpapers: Bold and graphic wallpapers are making a comeback and can add a fun and playful touch to your guest bath.
  2. Vintage Fixtures: Vintage fixtures such as clawfoot tubs, pedestal sinks and brass faucets can add a touch of character and charm to your guest bath.
  3. Floating Vanities: Floating vanities are sleek and modern and can make a small guest bath feel more spacious.

DIY Projects: Personal Touches

If you’re feeling creative and want to add a personal touch to your bathroom design, here are some DIY projects to consider:

  1. Painted Tile: If you have plain white tiles in your bathroom, consider painting them with stencils or patterns for a unique and colorful look.
  2. Custom Shower Curtains: Custom shower curtains can add a personal touch to your bathroom and can be made with a variety of fabrics and trims.
  3. Repurposed Furniture: Repurposing an old dresser or console table as a vanity can add a rustic touch to your bathroom design.

The latest trends in bathroom design are all about luxury, originality and, of course, functionality. Whether you’re designing a master bath or a guest bath, there are plenty of options to help you create a unique and stylish space that’s so much more than just a bathroom. As a Texas custom home builder, we can help you incorporate these trends into your custom home design to create a bathroom that is both beautiful and functional. Give us a call and let’s get started!

The Board and Batten Fad!


If you’re a fan of rustic or farmhouse-style design, you’ve probably seen board and batten accent walls popping up all over Pinterest and Instagram. It’s a look that’s really in style right now, according to Jason Gale, owner of Stone Creek Custom Homes.

“What I find funny is everyone used to put the siding on the back in subdivisions where you have to have 75% masonry to hide it. Nowadays, people are putting it on the front and doing rock or stucco in the back because that’s the look they want!” he said.

But what exactly is a board and batten accent wall, and why is it such an exciting trend in home design?

As a Texas-based luxury home builder, we’re here to answer those questions and give you some ideas for incorporating this trend into your new or current home.

Board and batten is a type of siding that’s been used in traditional American architecture for centuries. It consists of wide, vertical boards (the “boards”) with narrow strips of wood (the “battens”) covering the gaps between them. This creates a textured, three-dimensional look that can add visual interest and depth to any wall. It’s becoming a more popular choice as opposed to using paint or wallpaper on an accent wall.

Of course, we love to incorporate this imaginative style into our client’s new custom homes, but you can also add one to an existing home, if you like to DIY! To create a board and batten accent wall, you’ll need to start with a smooth, flat surface. You may need to remove any existing trim or molding and use drywall to smooth out the surface.

Once you have a smooth surface, you can start adding the boards and battens. You can use pre-made board and batten siding, or you can create your own by cutting the boards and battens to size. The boards are usually 6-8 inches wide, and the battens are 1-2 inches wide. You can space the boards and battens however you like, but the most common spacing is about 12 inches between each board.

Now comes the fun part – choosing a design for your board and batten accent wall. You can create a simple, classic look with straight boards and battens, or you can get creative with different shapes and patterns. Some popular designs include X-shaped patterns, chevron patterns, and even diamond-shaped patterns. Truly, sky’s the limit here!

Incorporating different colors and finishes can also add visual appeal. You can paint the boards and battens different colors, or use different stains or finishes to create a textured, multi-dimensional look.

Whether we’re building a beautiful new dream home for you or you’re simply wanting to update your current space, a board and batten accent wall is a trend worth exploring. It can add character and charm to any room, and with so many design options, it’s a great way to express your personal style.

At Stone Creek Custom Homes, we’re always excited to incorporate unique and original design elements into our homes, and we think board and batten accent walls are a perfect example of that.

2023 Home Design Trends to Consider!

Open Floor Plan Concept

Open Floor Plan Concept

2023 is promising to be an exciting year for luxury custom home building and design, with a range of cutting-edge and avant-garde trends emerging in the market. As a high-end luxury custom home builder in South Texas, we’re well-positioned to take advantage of these trends and bring them to life for our cherished clients.

One trend we’re seeing is a renewed focus on sustainability and energy efficiency. Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. This has led to the use of more sustainable building materials, like reclaimed wood and bamboo, as well as the incorporation of features like solar panels and green roofs.

As everyone’s electric and water bills are skyrocketing, it’s essential that we consider all of the sustainable tools available to us. We use spray foam insulation and tankless water heaters to cut down on electric bills. The upgraded costs typically pay for themselves within 12 months as the electric bills are DRASTICALLY reduced.

Additionally, we can install a rainwater catchment system for our clients, to ensure not only sustainable water but extraordinarily clean water as well.

Another trend we’re seeing grow is the use of technology to create smarter homes. From automated lighting and temperature control to voice-activated assistants, homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes more connected and convenient. We’re able to incorporate these technologies into our designs to offer our clients the ultimate in modern luxury.

Another exciting trend that brings family and friends together are homes with open-concept designs. This means fewer walls separating living spaces, which creates a more spacious and airy feel in the home and allows for greater natural light and better flow between rooms. Details such as large windows, skylights, and sliding glass doors help to bring the outdoors into the home in such a glorious way.

Finally, we’re also seeing a renewed interest in traditional design elements, like ornate moldings, detailed millwork and grand staircases. These elements add a sense of grandeur and elegance to the home, creating a sense of timeless beauty.

We’re committed to staying ahead of the trends and introducing them to our clients in order to build custom homes as unique as your signature!

Here’s why everyone is moving to the Texas Hill Country: a story of Califorians, avocado toast, the Dixie Chicks, and chickens

Has it felt like everyone is moving to Texas? Have you ever met someone living in Austin who is actually from Austin? Texans may not love that their state is getting overrun, but can we blame people for wanting to move to the greatest state?

Anyone who’s visited Texas has come across our deeply rooted state pride. Whether you’ve spent a couple days or decades here, I’m sure you can see why. We have Tex-Mex, beautiful sunsets, BBQ that melts in your mouth and rich culture. And I don’t know about you, but if you’ve ever had a tortilla north of Texas, you’ve probably rushed back south. It’s no wonder that Texas has seen high migration patterns from other states over the past two decades.

The Perks

No income tax and low tax burdens

As the saying goes, two things are inevitable: death and taxes. State income tax, however, can be avoided depending on where you call home. Across the 50 states, additional state income tax varies from 0% to well over 10%. Median states such as Kentucky have a 5% tax rate with California, New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii taxing over the 10% mark (source). For Texans, state income tax is nonexistent. As more workplaces go remote, more employees are eyeing states like Texas to keep an extra 5-10% of their income. According to the Tax Foundation, Texas is ranked 46th out of all 50 states from highest to lowest tax burden overall with local and state taxes 15% lower than national averages.

Affordable Housing

Texas is ranked 17th in on the list of most affordable places to live, with housing prices below the national average. This means that your housing budget can go further here than 33 other states in the US (source). Even more so when you start to look outside of major city hubs and build homes in the Hill Country outside of the Austin and San Antonio city limits.

Larger Lots Sizes

It’s not just Californians craving a little more breathing room. After suffering through lockdowns and two years of hybrid work environments, home owners are craving the wide open spaces and bigger lots the hill country can offer *queue dixie chicks*. Once you leave the city limits, it becomes significantly easier to find larger lots, especially lots with mature trees. But even within the cities themselves, you can find bigger lots than most major cities in the rest of the country. Austin ranks 3rd for largest lot sizes in the US and San Antonio ranks 7th (source).

Natural Beauty

While some people’s imaginations of Texas conjure images of arid land and rolling tumbleweeds, the geography varies across the massive state. The Hill Country in particular is a hidden gem and arguably the best place to move within the state. The scenic Hill Country is filled with rivers, lakes, natural springs, climbing spots, hilltop sunsets, a rugged beauty and even underground caverns. Top spots include Barton Springs, Zilker park, the Comal River, and Natural Bridge Caverns. The heart of Texas rivals any state, boasting a variety of natural attractions to visit.

Urban Attractions

For the city folk, the Hill Country offers shopping and live music in Austin and the riverwalk and Mexican cuisine just south in San Antonio. San Antonio’s city attractions vary from modern attractions such as interactive children’s museums to Spanish missions that have stood for generations. In the middle of downtown San Antonio you can find street tacos across from the Alamo, mariachi bands playing in bars and a plethora of historical museums. Follow the river walk a little more, and you can find The Pearl. Standing since 1883, the Pearl began as a brewery. After 118 years of brewing, it was purchased in 2001 with the goal to create a cultural hub filled with unique cuisine, eclectic shopping and a high end boutique hotel. The Pearl now boasts a lively community, weekend markets, and serves as a destination for San Antonioans and travelers alike (source).

Just north up I-35 you can find live music across every genre in the Texas capitol. Austin possesses a vibrant food and bar scene. Many businesses refurbish former homes into retail and restaurant spaces, filling the city with both modern and historic design. Austin is certainly a place for foodies, with food truck parks scattering the city offering every cuisine imaginable. With upscale shopping options at The Domain and music on every corner of 6th street, the city is full of urban entertainment options.

The appeal of Austin

Have you ever sat in Dallas traffic? If so, Austin commutes may feel like a breeze and an easy sacrifice for the vibrant local culture. According to the US News and World Report, Austin has been ranked first on the list of best places to live in the US for several years. Visitors and residents may have seen Austin as a top spot for young professionals, but US news ranked Austin 11th in the US for retirees citing weather and culture as reasons for the high rank.

Less Limiting HOAs

And speaking of chickens, remember in 2020 when no one could find eggs? Backyard chicken coops sprung up but many homeowners have since found their HOA’s trying to evict their feathery neighbors. Some people go the route of trying to get their chickens certified as emotional support animals. Hey, a good omelet is good for anyone’s mental health. Finding communities without HOA restrictions is another option. Independent Texans head to the Hill Country where people are moving to enjoy less restrictive policies on everything from hens to backyard brush fires.

Getting away from the city lights

As home and rent prices rise in the major cities of Austin and San Antonio, many people are seeking land to build in between these two bustling cities. Just off the highway between these two cities are towns with tons of character, history, and vibrant communities selling large lots to build on. A lot in New Braunfels near Texas’s oldest bakery and the clear Comal River offers countryside charm within 45 minutes from the Alamo and surrounding high rises. San Marcus is home to Texas State University and just a short drive from Gruene Hall. This dancehall is the oldest in Texas and has been graced by Texas Country royalty.

Living near the office kept many Texans from enjoying these historic towns and stuck in the city. But the boom of remote work has allowed many Texans to build their dream home in the country while working their dream job from a home office. And not a moment too soon with gas prices making me regret purchasing a diesel vehicle.

We have wine

You don’t have to go all the way to California to tour a winery, the Texas Hill Country has its own wine growing region. The tiny town of Fredericksburg offers local charm and is one of the few cities where it is legal to sip a pinot noir or local pint of beer as you stroll down the charming streets to shop at local boutiques or savor authentic German food. The Hill Country wine region is actually the third largest in the US and the largest in Texas, making it the perfect spot for a weekend getaway without having to buy a plane ticket.

Other Factors

Tech Jobs (here comes California)

While Texas has been known for oil (and NASA), Austin is a burgeoning tech hub with major companies announcing plans to move their headquarters to the capital. As high paying tech jobs increase, so does the number of Califorinans migrating to Texas. Like many others, The Golden State has gone remote and its workforce is realizing that everything is bigger in Texas, especially the amount of home they can get with tech salaries.

Challenges buying a first home

Certain corners of the internet claim that millennials couldn’t afford to buy homes because of how much avocado toast they purchase at brunch. While this has been formally debunked by economists as a cheapshot millennial joke, early shutdowns in the pandemic did prevent people from their usual spending habits. Combined with an influx of pandemic related aid and historically low mortgage rates, many people found their bank accounts flush with extra cash. With leftover brunch money, the masses took to zillow. Summer of 2019 in particular marked the beginning of  a coming of age moment for many young millennials purchasing their first homes between 2019 and 2020.

Unfortunately, this resulted in record housing shortages and houses selling significantly above asking prices. This pushed many people to skip the process of trying to outbid 20+ offers in favor of building their own piece of paradise. As interest rates were favorable and people found themselves able to afford down payments, first time homeowners started buying in the Texas Hill Country wherever they found available lots and lumber.

While no list can be fully comprehensive and cover all the reasons people are moving to the Hill Country, this is an excellent start to many of the reasons we love building homes here.

Use our contact page if you’d like to hear more about building your dream home in the Texas Hill Country.

What you need to know about San Antonio home building in 2022

A lot has changed over the past two years, but some things haven’t. One thing that has remained the same: people still need homes. In fact, people are spending even more time at home as working remotely has remained widespread. Thus the importance of one’s house as a safe space has only grown, leading more and more people to build.

What does this mean for building demand? 

Pardon our pun, but we’d say custom home demand has been building… A lot of potential new homeowners spent last year waiting for things to “slow down” before breaking ground on their dream home. This has created pent up demand in a market that still hasn’t seen demand fall. In fact, around 4 out of 5 builders expect to build more homes in 2022 than in 2021. Already, 2021 was a booming year for the industry and builder’s optimism leads us to believe 2022 will be another full year. Since housing is a constant need we don’t recommend waiting for a “dry spell” to start building. Instead we recommend starting early to get a better spot in a builder’s queue of people waiting to build their dream home.

I want a custom home, but I can’t find a place to put it

Clear lots in major cities, such as San Antonio, can be hard to come by. Lot supply can vary significantly depending on location with a general rule that the closer you are to the heart of a city, the harder it will be to find land. While many people may think that you have to have a lot before you find your builder, a custom home builder could be the perfect solution to finding the right lot. One benefit of a local builder is local expertise in the real estate market. More than anyone else, they know where the best places to build are. Take our staff at Stone Creek Custom Homes. Our team has a lifetime of experience building in the San Antonio area. One member even got their start from selling lots locally and has witnessed trends first hand.

Utilizing a local builder’s expertise in the San Antonio real estate market can streamline your home building process by helping you know where to look for lots. An added bonus is that a builder can help you evaluate how easy it will be to put your dream home on a given piece of land. There’s nothing worse than saving a couple thousand on a lot that was a “steal” only to find out it isn’t as buildable as you were led to believe. Home builders can help you avoid this pitfall and even help evaluate simple things such as where the water drains to make sure you aren’t building in a spot that could flood your first floor.

Over the past few years, we’ve been building more and more homes in the surrounding San Antonio area. People are moving further out for larger lots and better access to the Hill Country. Now that remote work is reducing people’s commutes, we expect this trend to accelerate as more home building customers purchase lots in Bulverde, Boerne, New Braunfels and other surrounding areas. If you are willing to be further from San Antonio, the area is filled with many rich communities filled with amazing designs and new builds.

Personally, I think any lot within 20 minutes of an HEB is prime real estate, but the rolling Hill Country with its quaint small towns and endless trees is pretty appealing. Add in access to HEB’s house made tortilla’s and you have the perfect recipe for a dream home.

Will there be delays?

Unfortunately, global supply chains are still practically the wild west, with standoffs between product shortages and surcharges in shipping costs. While it can be challenging to predict what will be short next, home builders have navigated these challenges for well over a year now. Experienced builders with a deep knowledge of building timelines will be able to navigate these delays by pre-ordering pieces with expected delays. Even better, builders who have been around for a while should have strong ties with local contractors and skilled laborers needed to complete a build. This too can help you mitigate delays born of labor shortages.

To evaluate whether a builder is experienced, find out how many years they have been in the business and how many houses they’ve built. You can also ask potential builders what their timelines are currently looking like. Here we recommend listening for honesty, not the shortest timeline. While it can be tempting to go with the builder who promises a quick 6 months. With these market conditions, they may be exaggerating or frequently cut corners in the name of speed. Regardless, there is a high chance they will be unable to deliver a truly custom experience. Or even better, find out first hand from a brand’s customers. A client who has dealt with many delays and project mismanagement is likely to share this information via reviews on the company’s social pages to warn other potential buyers.

Construction costs are expected to come down

On a positive note, we are expecting to see a drop in the costs of many inputs for custom home building. This is a win for everyone, allowing home builders to deliver more value for a client’s budget and for a client to have more of a chance to customize before making cuts. The ambiguity of the many costs of home building can be intimidating for someone building a home for the first time. That’s why we at Stone Creek pursue radical transparency with the budgeting, to allow the home owners to have confidence and more control over costs. We recommend finding a building company that is willing to give it to you straight and have candid conversations about costs while also offering their expertise on how much each category should average. This will allow you to be in the driver’s seat, but with the added benefit of a map to tell you how to get there and how much it’s gonna cost.

Building a home can be one heck of a ride, but we assure you, the view at the end is worth it.