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Why Settle for So-So When You Can Build-to-Suit?

Oct 21 2015

Stephen Cutting-Miller and his husband Rick found the perfect place to settle down: a six-acre plot of land in Saratoga, NY. The plot was situated in the Empire State’s horse country with a clear view of the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.

There was just one small and unavoidable problem: There was no home on this land. So the couple decided to build their own.

“It was a very unique piece of property,” Cutting-Miller says, “and we wanted to design a home that was meant specifically for it.”

Enlisting Saratoga-area contractor Witt Construction, the couple brought their vision into being, commissioning a 4,700-square-foot modern farmhouse nestled in a hillside with 180-degree north to south views. The sunsets, Cutting-Miller says, are spectacular.

Of course, the custom route comes with certain challenges. For instance, to the uninitiated, the process can be a bit Byzantine, says Jim Work, owner of Chicago-area contracting firm Silverthorne Homebuilders.

“I’ve had what I would say are some really smart customers, and they’ve been confused by the process — why is there this rule, why is there that rule?” he says.

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