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Making a dream home come true

Having your own home is the American dream. Having the ideal home that meets all of your wishes takes that dream to a higher level. In 40 years of building homes in the DC Metro area, Kettler Forlines Homes has worked with thousands of homebuyers. With each one, our goal is making a dream home come true. Recently, we were able to achieve the true “dream home” for a Maryland couple who trusted us to create their picture-perfect home.

Cris and David were living in a townhouse in Potomac they bought in 2011. The home had no yard for their 2 young children, a definite motivation for moving. They initially planned to buy a multigenerational home with a first-floor suite to accommodate David’s parents along with their own family of four. Their search brought them to Poolesville and The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing. They hadn’t planned on buying a new construction home, mainly because they didn’t like what they had already seen from national builders—with the appearance of what Cris called “pre-fabricated” and “lacking charm”.

“We toured the model at The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing and it felt different, not at all like what we had seen in newly constructed homes” explains Cris, a Bethesda native and credit risk management specialist. “Then we started talking to George Neill, the Community Sales Manager. We asked him about making changes to the plans and he had a really good answer for every request and question. It wasn’t just a sales pitch, because he stuck to his word.”

The .87-acre lot they wanted wasn’t yet available, so Cris and David put their name on the list to be notified when that homesite became available. In the four months that passed, David’s parents decided not to move. However, Cris and David were already excited about the Kettler Forlines Homes opportunity and decided to keep going on building their dream home.

They signed the contract for their new home around Thanksgiving 2019 and were certainly thankful to be on their way to realizing a dream.

Let the imagineering begin!

With their perfect lot selected, the decision of the floor plan was easy. They chose the floor plan of the model home. 

“I felt I was at home the instant I walked into the model,” says Cris.

The Montgomery is a 2-story design that has the flexibility to include up to 7 bedrooms and 6.5 baths, and interior living space that ranges from 3,555 to 6,150 square feet. With the changes Cris and David made to the floor plan, including finishing the basement, their new home would give them 6,000 square feet, nearly three times the size of the townhome they had been living in.

With the blessing of her husband, an aerospace engineer (yes, a rocket scientist!), Cris took over choosing the many details that would personalize their new home. She smiles as she says, “I had a lot of creativity time.” As she browsed photos on Houzz and Pinterest, Cris’s creative juices overflowed. One by one, she brought her exciting discoveries and ideas to George Neill and Dan Fraker, Kettler Forlines Homes’ purchasing and estimating specialist.

They steadily rose to the challenges. George told her in the beginning, “We have a team of experts that can accommodate most requests. We are not a one-size-fits-all builder”. 

So many of the finishes in the model home were exactly what Cris wanted, making it easy to choose. For others, like the tile and granite countertops, she personally researched and picked her selections, with more freedom than she anticipated. 

With so many included features that came with the Montgomery home, there is still room for personalizing details and spaces. Cris and David were excited by the willingness to work with them on their wishes.

Here are some of the changes she brought to the team to create the dream home she was committed to having:

  • Incorporate a glass wall in the master suite with French doors separating the bedroom from the sunroom.
  • Add beams and shiplap to the ceiling in the sunroom and in the kitchen
  • Replace the corner jetted tub in the master bathroom with a freestanding soaking tub.
  • Close up the opening from the first-floor foyer to the second story.
  • Include double crown moldings in more rooms, to match the model home.
  • Add wainscoting molding to the master bathroom.
  • Add custom molding in the entire stairwell.
  • Upgrade the cabinet in the master closet.
  • Add panels to the sides and ends of the kitchen cabinets, including the center island.
  • Add feet to the bottom of the library and bathroom cabinets.
  • Choose the wrap-around style for the front porch.
  • Screen in the loggia on the back deck.
  • Add cabinets and custom-made furniture throughout and more!

“It’s more perfect than what I could have asked for,” Cris exclaimed, overjoyed with her new home and the work that went into it. “They THINK about things! You give them an idea and they run with it.”

The wonderful, welcomed surprises

Almost three months after moving in, Cris reached out to the Kettler Forlines Homes team. Normally, this is the time when we address warranty requests—those little issues that aren’t noticed until you’ve lived in a home for a bit.

But Cris didn’t come back with problems. She brought us accolades. “I keep finding amazing little finishes that we never realized they take the time to do. So impressed by it!” 

She put together a list of “the examples of quality in materials and execution that I didn’t expect:

  1. The tile backsplash in the kitchen and master shower wraps around the wall and windows delicately and with an unexpected style. 
  2. The screened-in porch has screens under the Trex deck. I was thinking I needed to get outdoor rugs to prevent bugs from finding their way in. Not needed! Those screens are no joke.
  3. Speaking of bugs, I can’t handle spiders that don’t make webs. Wolf spiders hunt and they are as big as my cat. The internal pipe system kills them instantly. What a great feature I never knew I needed so badly.
  4. Martin told me about the grass being laid early and for aesthetics. I also saw the amount and quality of the landscaping. Boxwoods aren’t cheap and I think they are gorgeous.
  5. You cut down dead trees without us asking.
  6. The shiplap has no seams,…wow!
  7. There is built-in shelving in the bathrooms,…how nice!
  8. Molding, molding, and more molding. It’s worth being said again.
  9. Welcome basket. We felt very welcome.”

All the trimmings

With every room a reflection of her personal choices, what is Cris’s favorite?

“Daryl’s work,” she beams. “Daryl did all of the built-ins and trim—the doors, glass wall in the bedroom, stairwell molding, the bathroom molding, the drop area, and the desk in the sunroom. The ceiling in the kitchen is so well done with every beam having molding around it. It’s all so beautifully finished!”

She met our talented expert when he was designing the stairwell. “He asked me, ‘Do you want it to run perpendicular with the stairs or with the ceiling?’ I hadn’t thought about it, but he came up with the solution. His execution was great! The little chair molding is gorgeous!”

Cris also praised the tile installer, who wrapped the tile around the small wall in the kitchen and all the way to the ceiling, a detail she didn’t ask for but one that “looks so finished.”

For the smart home technology, which was included with the home, Cris and David met with Jeremy. He guided them through the structured wiring options, helped them determine where the various types of outlets should be, and every other detail that goes with wiring and installing the technology. “I don’t know if other builders have a ‘Jeremy’, but they should!” Cris says.

Shout outs

With her recent thank you note, Cris praised the individuals that helped along the way to achieving the dream home that she and David wanted.

George gave me a sense of control of the process from the beginning. From constant promotion of quality to his general appreciation of the company itself, I knew I was investing in quality. 

Dan did not have to be prodded much to draw that amazing mock-up of French doors and glass walls in the master. He also took those kitchen beams to heart, designing the perfect spacing, height and color. He and George are a power couple of customer service. 

Bruce is honest and hardworking, experienced and accommodating. I knew the change orders caused delays and he didn’t hold a grudge though he may still think I have too many cabinets… he can be wrong ,too. Thanks to him for moving, adjusting, adding and subtracting.

Walt has endless patience and took my drawings with pleasure. He understood the panels and feet I needed on just about every built-in. It’s a high end looking molding for not a lot of cost.

Compton. Here is where I get to start in on Kettler the ‘brand’. I didn’t know I got a ‘Compton’ and now I don’t know what I’d do without him. He came over to turn on the ceiling fan light. Yes, there was nothing wrong with it and he didn’t rub it in that we had some serious user error going on.”

Thank you, Cris and David, for putting Kettler Forlines Homes to the test and grading us with such high marks!

If you have a dream home in mind, come and meet with the team that makes it happen. We give you the choice of building a home or buying a move-in ready home at The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing in Poolesville, MD, or let us build on your land in the DC Metro region. Get started by talking to George Neill and explore all the possibilities!