Should I Build in a Community or My Own Lot?

build a custom homeTrying to decide on the best location for your custom home? Some prefer to live in a community and others prefer to find their own land. There are definite advantages to both options, but it really comes down to your personal preference on how you want to live. This is an important decision because if you’re taking the time to build a custom home, you probably intend to live there for many years. Will this be your “forever home”? If so, you want to get it right. 

There are many new communities with available lots for building custom homes in Greensboro, NC, as well as open land for sale in the surrounding area. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each one to help you make your decision. 


Building in a Community


  • Homesites in a new home community are ready to build. Water, sewer, electricity, natural gas, and even media are likely already available on each lot. 
  • Close proximity to neighbors for security and a sense of community. 
  • May have sidewalks, street lights, and other neighborhood amenities.


  • For some, close proximity to neighbors is not an advantage. If you prefer more privacy, you may want to avoid building in a new home community. 
  • A lot in a community will generally be smaller than a separate piece of land. 
  • Lots are usually fully cleared of all trees to make building easier, which doesn’t leave much natural landscape. 


Building on your Own Lot


  • You will likely have a larger lot if you find your own land than if you choose a community lot. 
  • Your home can be built around the landscape if you prefer a more natural setting with existing trees. 
  • Outside of a community, you may be able to enjoy more privacy, peace, and quiet if that’s what you prefer. 


  • If water, sewer, electricity, and other utilities are not readily available, there will be a cost to have those set up on your land. 
  • You may not have close neighbors if you’re concerned about safety and security. 
  • When you’re outside of a community, you may not have any control over how the land around you is used in the future. 


Making the Best Choice for your Family

Deciding where to live is a decision couples and families should make together. Discuss the pros and cons and then see what land is available and where before making any final decisions. Not all communities are the same. The above points are based on the typical characteristics of new home communities and private land. 

Don Mills Builds Custom Homes in Greensboro, NC on Both Types of Land

Wherever you choose to purchase land, Don Mills Builders can design and build a custom home that will suit you and your family. If this is to be your dream home, it should be done your way with all the features you want, both inside and out. Don Mills Builders can build custom homes in Greensboro, NC in any of the highly desired new home communities or on a plot of land of your choosing. 


Call (336) 362-1777 today to schedule a free consultation or request a quote.

5 Tips for Evaluating Home Builders

Tips to Evaluating Home Builders Building a custom home is a huge undertaking. You’ll spend significant time and money on this endeavor, so you want to be sure you find the right home builders in Greensboro to work with. But how can you find the best home builder for you? To find one that is the right fit, consider these 5 tips for evaluating home builders. 

1. Ask for Recommendations

There’s no better way to find a reliable home builder than to ask a trusted friend or relative for recommendations from their own experience. If they had a positive experience, you will most likely have a similar experience. Homebuilders in Greensboro rely on their reputation to be successful and continue to gain clients. 

2. Read Reviews

Online reviews on reputable websites are usually a pretty good indication of the caliber of a business. Use multiple sites that contain reviews, in order to compare. 

3. Make Sure Personalities are Compatible

When you meet with a home builder, get a feel for their personality and make sure yours will work with theirs. Building a custom home is a long, involved process so you’ll want to make sure you’re working with someone you like, understand, and can communicate effectively with. If you prefer to text or email, don’t work with a builder who only makes phone calls. If you prefer discussing things over the phone, don’t choose a builder who mostly uses email. 

4. Request References (and call them).

Every builder should be able to provide references of customers they have built homes for before who can vouch for their craftsmanship and customer service. Ask for those references and be sure to actually call them, not just read the review they provided. Ask questions that may not be obvious from meeting the builder just once during your initial consultation. 

5. Research the Subcontractors They Use

This is one item that is often overlooked. You may or may not be aware of the fact that many builders hire subcontractors to complete certain aspects of the home building process, such as HVAC, plumbing, or landscaping. Ask your builder for a list of subcontractors they work with and research them as well as the builder. 

Quality. Honesty. Trust. Satisfaction. 

These are the cornerstones of a superior homebuilder and what you should consider when evaluating home builders. When you research Don Mills Builders, you’ll find that these words truly describe his work. When you meet Don Mills and his wife Annette, you’ll know for sure why so many satisfied customers have chosen to work with them to build their dream home. Don’s craftsmanship combined with Annette’s design expertise creates beautiful, top-quality homes. 


Call (336) 362-1777 today to schedule a free consultation or request a free quote

How to Discuss your Home Decorating Style with Home Professionals

What is your decoration styleYou want your custom home to look the way you imagine it with your own personal style. But it can be difficult to communicate your style to your builder. If you’re worried that your builder won’t understand what you’re looking for, you may feel some stress or anxiety about it. Remember this: your builder wants you to be happy with your home, but the key is communication. Here’s what home builders in Greensboro, NC need from you in order to create the home you want.

First, Determine what your Home Decorating Style Is

It’s difficult to communicate your style to your builder if you don’t know what it is, to begin with. There are many different home decor styles that are understood and recognized by interior designers from contemporary to modern and everything in between. Check out this site and choose the style that best fits your preferences.

While it is typically best to stick to one style throughout your home, it is alright to choose different styles for different rooms, especially if you’re trying to please different family members who may not all agree on one style. Determine what style of decor you want for each room and be sure to make a list if multiple rooms will have different styles.

Communicate your Style Clearly with your Builder

Be very specific about the style you want. If you want victorian or mid-century modern or any other specific type, say so. Find pictures online or cut photos out of magazines to show examples to your builder of style items you wish to include. Paint a very clear picture of what you want so that there won’t be any confusion.

If you don’t like an idea your builder suggests, don’t be afraid to say so, but do so politely. Responses such as “That’s not really the look I’m going for” or “What other options are there?” can work well. Lack of communication can often lead to unhappy customers.

Discuss Home Decorating Style Early in the Home Design Process

Don’t wait until the home is underway to start talking about decor. Home decorating is more than just knick-knacks and throw pillows you bring in after the house is complete. The style needs to be incorporated into the home design. For example, if you’re looking for an industrial style, that will affect how the home is built and finished (or not finished, which is part of the industrial style). Rustic style tends to include items such as bare wood beams and other natural elements that will need to be accounted for in the structural design.

Only Work with Home Builders who Understand Home Decorating Styles

An experienced home builder will not just have a thorough knowledge of building structure, but will also understand home decor. Don Mills Builders will strive to understand your personal style and incorporate the design elements you want to include to make your home truly your own.

Call Don Mills Home Builders in Greensboro, NC at (336) 362-1777 today to schedule a free consultation.

8 Add-ons for your Custom Kitchen

Custom add ons for your kitchenDesigning your custom kitchen is one of the most exciting parts of the custom home building process. There is a wide variety of features to consider from the basics like cabinets and countertops to the intricate details. Don Mills, one of the best homebuilders in Greensboro can provide you with plenty of ideas to make your kitchen your own. 

Lighting Under Cabinets

The counter space underneath cabinets tends to lack sufficient lighting. Consider adding small LED lights on the underside of the cabinets to shed some light on the countertop and make the space more functional for food preparation. Lights can be turned on by switch, touch, or motion. 

Electrical Outlets Under Cabinets

Did you carefully choose a beautiful backsplash for the walls between your cabinet and countertops? Don’t cover it up with electrical outlets. Put a power strip on the underside of the cabinets so you can plug in anything from appliances to electronics while the outlets remain out of sight. 

Tablet Mount

Do you get most of your recipes online? Save yourself time and paper and read them right off your tablet with a conveniently placed tablet mount. It can be attached to the underside of your cabinets to save you counter space. You can even watch cooking videos while you cook. 

Slide-out Produce Cabinet

Looking for ways to save counter space? If you keep a lot of produce on hand that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, a produce cabinet can save a lot of space. With vented drawers to allow necessary airflow, you can store your potatoes, onions, tomatoes, bananas, pears, oranges, and any other produce that would be taking up valuable space on your counters. 

Diagonal Drawer Dividers

Tired of messy utensil drawers? Diagonal drawer dividers provide organization for even your longest utensils, such as rolling pins, meat thermometers, skewers, and more. 

Carousel Cabinet

Have trouble reaching to the highest shelves? A carousel cabinet consists of shelves on a vertically rotating mechanism that allows you to bring the shelf you need down to your level. 

Deluxe Sink System

Even your kitchen sink can be upgraded to include the latest technology. Include a large sink with cutting boards that slide over top for easy food prep and waste removal and drainage grates that slide over the sink for drying clean dishes or rinsing produce. You can even close panels over your sink to create more counter space when you need it. 

Multi-purpose Island

Your kitchen island can be more than just an extra countertop with storage underneath. Include a built-in stovetop or another sink so that you can do more from your island without having to face the wall. 

Your Custom Kitchen can have it all with Don Mills

Do you want the kitchen in your custom home to be on the cutting edge of technology and style? Work with home builders in Greensboro who can incorporate these 8 add-ons and any others you’re interested in. Don Mills Builders can give you the kitchen of your dreams. Call (336) 362-1777 today to schedule a free consultation. 

Granite vs. Marble: Which One Might be Best for You?

Granite vs Marble

Are you trying to decide between granite and marble for your countertops? One of the advantages of working with Greensboro custom home builders is that you have many choices to customize your home. But with so many choices it can be hard to make decisions. 

When it comes to stone countertops, granite and marble are high on the list of favorites. Here are the pros and cons of each to help you make the best choice for you. 

Granite Pros:


  • Durable. Granite is tough and solid. It can withstand messes, moisture, and frequent use. 
  • Low maintenance. Granite is relatively low maintenance, only requiring resealing once a year and regular wiping to prevent stains. 
  • Heat resistant. While granite is resistant to heat, it is still best to use trivets or pot holders under hot pots and pans to avoid heat damage. 
  • Variety of colors and patterns. You’ll have plenty of designs to choose from to adequately match the style and colors of your kitchen or bathroom. 
  • More affordable than marble. Granite does cost less than marble but still looks luxurious. 


Granite Cons:


  • Can stain. Like any stone countertop material, granite can be stained. Sealing can help prevent stains, but it is still best to wipe up spills immediately. 
  • Scratches easily. Even when sealed, granite countertops can be scratched. Be careful with knives, utensils, and appliances. 
  • Must be sealed yearly. Although granite is relatively low maintenance, it does need to be resealed each year to protect against stains, heat, and moisture. 


Marble Pros:


  • Elegant look. Marble offers a high class, unique style to your kitchen and bathrooms that is unmatched by any other material. 
  • Heat resistant. Like granite, marble is resistant to heat. It is still recommended to use trivets or pot holders under hot pots and pans. 
  • Variety of colors and patterns. Marble also comes in a wide range of styles with varying hues and vein patterns. 


Marble Cons:


  • Higher cost than granite. With the elegant look of marble comes a higher price tag. This is the reason that marble is associated with luxury. 
  • More susceptible to staining. Marble that is well sealed will generally resist stains, but it’s highly porous nature leaves it slightly more vulnerable to stains than granite. Most staining can be avoided by wiping up spills immediately. 
  • Scratches easily. Just like granite, marble can be scratched. Be extra cautious with sharp utensils and put padding under appliances. 
  • Requires more maintenance. Resealing marble is recommended more often than granite. Every 3-6 months offers the best results. 


Choose from Endless Options with Greensboro Custom Home Builders 

When it comes to granite vs. marble it seems the main differences are cost and appearance. Marble will cost more to purchase and maintain but looks slightly more elegant. Granite is more affordable, lower maintenance, and offers a comparable look. 

In addition to these options, there are many more countertop materials available that offer a range of styles, colors, and prices. Don Mills, Greensboro custom home builders, can offer you a variety of choices for kitchen and bathroom countertops to achieve the look you want within your price range. 

Call Don Mills Builders today at (336) 362-1777 if you’re interested in building a custom home in Greensboro or the surrounding area.

Farmhouse Chic and Other Popular Design Trends Explored

farmhouse style decorAre you in the interior design phase of building a custom home? Let the fun begin. You get to choose colors, patterns, and textures to give your home a look that reflects your style and works for your daily life. You may have had a vision in mind from the beginning when you first started looking at custom home lots in Greensboro. Or you may be just starting to think about the interior décor and trying to decide on a particular style or theme. Wherever you are in the process, consider these popular design trends to give you plenty of ideas. 

Farmhouse Chic. This one has been popular for a few years now, but new twists on the same concept keep it relevant year after year. The idea behind farmhouse chic involves taking outdoor or farm-inspired items (such as barn doors, wagon wheels, and mason jars) and repurposing them to look more polished. Put your spin on it and you’ll have a unique look for any room of your home.  

Industrial. The very opposite of farmhouse chic, an industrial style is urban inspired. While it also incorporates outdoor items, the similarity ends there. Industrial style brings raw materials indoors, such as brick, steel, and wood, and leaves them exposed as you might see in a Manhattan loft. 

Oriental Zen. Bring the peace and tranquility of a Zen garden into your home with an oriental theme. Incorporate Asian-inspired art, bamboo, live plants, or even a small indoor fountain for the relaxing sounds of moving water. Keep colors subdued for a natural look.  

Nautical or Beach.  If you love the ocean, whether you live near the water or not, a nautical or beach-inspired theme is always a classic option. Incorporate anchors, ships, and bold stripes or seashells, lighthouses, and pastels. Combine any of these decorative items to create a coastal comfort everyone will love.  

Minimalist. This style is ideal for anyone who likes a neat, clutter-free home. Minimalist is just how it sounds- minimal. Simple furniture, no knick-knacks, neutral colors, and modern art. Bare floors, minimal window treatments, and no-frills are the rules with this design style. 

Retro. The best way to describe retro décor is fun. Retro design involves choosing pieces from a certain period of the past, maybe just one decade (such as the 1960s). Include bold prints, bright colors, and funky accessories that inspire excitement. You can find new items that are retro-inspired, or choose vintage items that have stood the test of time and may need some fresh paint.  

Put your own Style into your New Custom Home 

These are just a few of the currently popular design trends for custom homes. Do some research on these and other styles to find something that suits your unique personality and that of your family. One of the best things about building a custom home is the freedom to design it your way.  

Find Available Custom Home Lots in Greensboro in the Top Neighborhoods 

Don Mills Builders is currently constructing new homes on custom home lots in some of Greensboro’s most desired communities. If you’re interested in having a custom home designed and built with your own style and features, call Don Mills Builders today at (336) 362-1777.  

8 Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Colors for your Custom Home

empty room to be paintedBuilding a custom home is an exciting endeavor. Your home can be your dreams made into reality. But with that freedom comes a lot of choices, which can be overwhelming. Choosing paint colors is one of the many decisions you’ll need to make. Not sure where to start? Try these 8 tips for choosing paint colors for custom homes in Greensboro.

  1. Start in the great room. The great room refers to the main living area. This is a great place to start because the paint color here will be very visible, especially in an open-concept home. The rest of the color choices can be complementary shades.  
  2. Start with the boldest color you want to use. If you have a bold hue in mind for one of the main living areas, start with that color and build your other color choices from there. 
  3. Choosing a color palletYour colors should complement each other. The easiest way to do this is to choose a strip of paint colors that includes lighter and darker tones of a color. Another option is to choose a color and then have lighter and darker shades of that color to complete your color pallet. 
  4. Consider sight lines. Keep in mind which rooms are visible from each other. These rooms should have complementary colors. 
  5. Make hallways and stairwells neutral. Connecting areas in your home are best left neutral so that they won’t clash with the colors in any other rooms along the way.  
  6. Upstairs and downstairs zones can have separate color pallets. While your stairwell and even the connecting upstairs hallway may need to be one continuous color, you can treat the rest of your upstairs as a different zone with its separate style and color pallet.  
  7. Open concept floor plans must have complementary colors. When you choose an open floor plan you may not be able to use as many colors, as each room blends into the next. Choose a color that works well for the entire space and incorporate additional colors in trim and other areas.  
  8. Don’t rely on paint chip cards. Paint cards are great ideas to get ideas, but they don’t provide a true sense of how it will look in a large room or area. Consider buying paint samples. Paint them directly unto the walls for a better comparison.  

Don’t Sweat it, Paint is Only Temporary 

Always keep in mind, repainting is an option. If you don’t like the colors after a few months of years, go back to the drawing board and try again. Nothing is permanent when it comes to paint. 

Don Mills Builds Luxury Custom Homes in Greensboro 

If you’re looking for a custom home builder, Don Mills is currently building luxury homes in the most desired up and coming neighborhoods in Greensboro. With both framing and décor expertise, Don Mills Builders can make the many choices easy, including paint colors. Call (336) 362-1777 today to inquire about custom homes in Greensboro by Don Mills. 

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Building A Luxury Custom Home

luxury houseFor many people building a luxury custom home is the culmination of years of work and planning. Every step of the process from finding homebuilders Greensboro to carefully choosing all the features and finishes is done with care and a desire to get everything just right. But even the most careful homebuyers can make mistakes when it comes to their luxury custom home. And those mistakes can make it harder to enjoy your luxury home. Watch out for these five mistakes when it comes to creating your luxury dream home:

Not Paying Attention to What’s Behind the Walls

When you are building a luxury home, make sure you choose a reliable builder who will ensure that the home’s internal systems can handle everything that you want to do now and in the future. Make sure that the HVAC system is up to par, or install two HVAC units to carry the load. Also, make sure that the home’s plumbing and wiring will be upgradable as the years go on so that if your needs change those vital systems can be updated to accommodate your needs. 

Choosing Too Many Trendy Finishes

Remember when Millennial Pink and Rose gold were everywhere? Neither does anyone else. Just a couple of years ago, Millennial Pink paint and Rose gold fixtures were featured on every trendy design blog and all over Pinterest. But those trends fell quickly out of favor. They might come back around someday but do you really want to live with those colors until then? When it comes to designing your home, consider classic, timeless styles and colors. You can always add in trendy touches with things that are easy to change out. But for the permanent fixtures in your home, timeless and elegant finishes will continue to be in style for decades to come. 

Not Thinking About Future Functionality 

This is a mistake that’s easy to make. Right now, you might love the idea of a kitchen desk where the kids can do their homework but when they eventually graduate, that will be wasted space. Right now, you might love the idea of a third-floor bonus room as a craft or office space, but in a few years when getting up and down the stairs becomes more challenging, that third story might not seem like such a good investment. When you are adding custom features to your home, pick features based on functionality now and in the future. You will have your home for a long time and you want it to be customized to your needs. So, make sure that you’re designing a home that will fit your needs now and in the future. 

Designating Rooms That Don’t Get Used

It’s easy to get carried away when you’re planning your luxury custom home. You may think that you want separate rooms for a craft area, a library, an office, and a playroom for the kids. When you’re choosing a layout for your home, make a list of the rooms that you’d really use. Do you need a dedicated room for each task or can some rooms be multipurpose? An open-concept space with the flexibility to be multi-purpose is going to be a lot more useful, inviting, and comfortable over the years than having separate rooms for different purposes. 

Not Maximizing All the Available Storage Space

Even if you think that you don’t need extra storage space now, chances are very high that you will need it in the future. The best time to take advantage of extra space in your home is when it’s being built. Having custom cabinetry and storage put in throughout the house is a great way to make sure that the house has enough storage for you now and in the future. 

The right team, like Don Mills Builders, one of the top home builders in Greensboro, can guide you through the process of designing the custom luxury home you’ve been dreaming of. Get expert advice to bring your dream home to life and ensure that you will love your home for years to come.

If you’re ready to talk about building a custom luxury home, call Don Mills today: (336) 362-1777

Benefits of Choosing an Open Floor Plan

The pros and cons of the open floor plan have been debated many times in recent years. While there may be just a few drawbacks, it seems that overall, the benefits outweigh the costs. It is still the most popular choice of home layout for custom homes in Greensboro. Custom builders can attest to the number of customers that request open floor plans. Wondering if an open floor plan is right for you? Consider the many benefits.


  • Feels Spacious. Probably the biggest benefit of the open floor plan, the wide-open space makes your home seem larger than it actually is. In combination with vaulted ceilings, it can take spaciousness to the next level.
  • Plenty of Light. The open floor plan allows for a lot of natural light in your home. Just one exterior window can shed light on the entire main living area when there aren’t walls to get in the way. You’ll save energy and feel better, as natural light is a mood enhancer.
  • Great for Entertaining. If you enjoy hosting, the open floor plan is for you. It’s as if you can be everywhere at once. You can prepare food in the kitchen while looking out over the great room, never missing out on the conversation. You can socialize in the great room while keeping an eye on the stove in the kitchen. It’s an entertainer’s dream. 
  • Family-Friendly. An open floor plan is ideal for families in every stage of life. Parents can be in the kitchen preparing food while still keeping an eye on busy little ones. As kids grow, the open floor plan promotes socialization when reluctant teens tend to keep to themselves. Everyone eventually gravitates to the kitchen, which is front and center in an open floor plan. 
  • Accessibility. The open floor plan is also beneficial for anyone with limited mobility. Walkers and wheelchairs can still navigate through open spaces without concern for narrow doorways. The open floor plan is ideal for those who wish to stay in their home throughout their lifetime. 
  • Flow of Movement. You can move about more easily within your home when there aren’t as many walls and doors to open and navigate around. The general flow of traffic is smoother, which is especially helpful for larger families. 
  • Easier House Cleaning. When it’s time to vacuum, mop, dust, etc. it’s easy to handle the great room in one sweep, rather than moving from room to room. One room seems easier to clean than multiple rooms. And it’s likely that your great room, which gets the most use, will need more frequent cleaning than the rest of the house. 


Don Mills Builders Designs Custom Homes in Greensboro with Spacious Open Floor Plans

When you build a custom home with Don Mills Builders you can choose any floor plan you like. Open floor plans can be configured in many different ways to optimize space and aesthetics. You can design your floor plan around the specific needs and living style of your family. Don Mills Builders will listen to your ideas and recommend the best home layout for you. Call today to set up a free consultation to discuss custom homes in Greensboro: (336) 362-1777. 

10 Custom Home Trends We Love in 2019

Each year brings new design ideas and trends for custom homes. From color to texture to architectural features, there’s a lot of focus on when it comes to style. Consider these 10 home trends that have been featured in Greensboro custom homes in 2019. 


  • Interior Windows. Get the best features of the open and closed floor plan by dividing rooms with windows. Glass and steel are the current trend, providing dividers between rooms that help with noise control without blocking natural light. There is still an open feel, but with a little more organization. 
  • Grand Bathtubs. Garden tubs and soaking tubs have been an item in master bathrooms for decades, but today’s trend makes the tub the focal point of the room. Large, elaborate tubs are making bathrooms feel like a luxury spa. 
  • Backsplash that makes a Bigger Splash. A typical design feature in traditional kitchens is the backsplash, a tiled area of the wall between the counter and the upper cabinets. The trend has now expanded to entire walls with textured tile, either behind open shelving or on a wall without cabinetry. 
  • Bathroom with Wood Features. Bathrooms can be a little cold when everything is tile or stone. Bringing wood grains into the bathroom for the vanity or décor can bring a little warmth in.
  • Black in the Kitchen. While black is not new to the kitchen, large amounts of black is a new trend, with cabinetry, countertops, and even sinks and hardware in bold black.
  • Dusky Wall Colors. In the past many have shied away from using dark wall colors in favor of shades of white or beige. In 2019 the trend is shifting to dark colors like navy, hunter green, and even black for primary wall colors. 
  • Benches with Dining Room Sets. Dining room furniture trends include benches, and while that is a furniture feature rather than a home design feature, if you plan to incorporate bench seating, you may want to design your dining area accordingly to be sure there’s enough space or a bare wall to incorporate your bench seating. 
  • Farmhouse-style Exteriors. While brick has been a dominant exterior façade for luxury homes in the past, 2019 home design is featuring board and batten farmhouse-style exteriors and accents.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Kitchens. The all-natural trend for kitchens (indoor herb gardens, etc.) is leading to kitchens that open to the outside, with glass walls and large doors that open to a patio or deck. 
  • Whole-Room Wall Color. The accent wall is becoming a thing of the past, as now homeowners are choosing to extend the accent color to all four walls. 


Greensboro Custom Homes with the Latest Trends

Don Mills Builders is always on the cutting edge of home design, keeping up with current trends to give customers the styles and features they’re looking for. The most desired Greensboro custom homes are Don Mills originals. Call today to start planning your dream home: (336) 362-1777.