Ask the Home Experts PROFILES SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
T O 4705 West Virginia Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phil Leibovitz, Mimi Brodsky Kress and Brian Abramson
SANDY SPRING BUILDERS
Best Builder, Best of Bethesda Readers Poll,
Bethesda Magazine, 10 years; 2018 Gold Awards
from Maryland Builders: Custom Traditional Home,
Custom Contemporary Home, Custom Home
What are the most important factors to consider when selecting a lot for my new
Arguably, first is location. Many of our clients want convenience and walkability. Next is price
—the lot must be at a number where your budget will work. Since we're custom builders, once
we have found the property, light and view are very important. Building restriction lines, too,
as they show you the width and depth of the house you can build, plus the size of the footprint
allowed. Topography matters because it will show how much light you can get into the lower
level, plus how usable a yard you will have, too.
We’re about to build our first custom home. Where should we splurge and where
should we save?
Spend on architecture, because great design makes or breaks a house. Using a builder like us,
with years of experience in livability of the house, is really important, too. The most important
rooms in the house to spend money are the kitchen, family room, master bath and formal
powder room. We also believe in spending money on high-efficiency windows and doors. This
makes the house a much happier, exciting place to live in.
Other elements include an overbuilt floor system, quality insulation package, exterior
sheathing and lifetime-warrantied architectural-grade asphalt roof products and ice and water
guards. Aesthetically, you may look at a stucco foundation instead of stone and brick. Inside,
get a high-efficiency mechanical system with proper zoning, quality cabinetry, millwork and
hardware, and recessed lighting no larger than 4".
Your house does not need to be overly large, just very livable. You can still do a beautiful
clapboard house without having to spend the money on brick and stone. Basements, too, don't
have to be fancy, just right for you.
Left to right: Brian Abramson,
Mimi Brodsky Kress,
Tyler Abrams, Tom Bennett,