BUILDER’S CORNER: “State of the Union” by Element Construction

We’re teaming up with some of our favorite local builders to get a snapshot of the current real estate market from their perspective. We’ve asked them to share their unique viewpoint on trends, products, and buyer interest. Join us as we we chat with a different builder each week.

This week our “State of the Union” snapshot comes from Element Construction. We sat down with Karen Ball, the builder representative for Nest Realty.

Nest Realty: Can you begin by telling us what three words would you use to describe 2015? And why?

Karen Ball: Relationships. Variety. Unique. At the end of the day, our clients are a major part of why we love what we do. Looking back at 2015, we are grateful for the opportunities to work with talented local architects and our awesome clients to build a zero-energy contemporary design in the city, a modern farmhouse in Ivy, and a restoration of an early 19th century cabin in Bundoran Farm, to name a few. Each of our projects is as unique as the individuals we are building for, and we thrive on exceeding their expectations every day!

Element Construction

NR: What local design trends stood out in 2015?

KB: While we do a mix of modern and traditional, we’ve found that a lot of our clients are interested in the idea of a “new old house”—something that has the layout, functionality and comfort of a new house, but that has design elements that give it the feel of an old house—reclaimed floors, exposed beams, unique woodwork and fixtures. Our clients have been interested in their houses being unique spaces, so it’s been fun to re-purpose salvaged materials or find unique pieces that can help to create one-of-a-kind homes.

Element Construction

NR: What were buyers demanding in 2015?

KB: Our clients have been leaning on us to find ways to bring interesting finishes into the design without blowing the budget. We have great sources for budget-friendly reclaimed woods and fixtures; we use natural materials where possible to add clean and strong accents; and we’ve been using old-world style carpentry to build some unique barn doors, table and counters. Our clients have been demanding spaces that are unique to them, and we’ve had a lot of fun finding ways to accommodate them.

NR: What national building trends are you following?

KB: Geothermal and solar systems have been in high demand. We installed geothermal systems in almost every project we did in 2015—we’ve been able to work the costs out to be about the same as a conventional system, so our clients see no reason not to do it.

NR: What are you excited about for 2016?

KB: We will be wrapping up a net-zero house in Belmont next month—it’s exciting to be building some houses that are completely energy self-sufficient. We are also excited to be working on another custom home in the beautiful Bundoran Farm community as well as a new brewery space in the city.

Element Construction

NR: Any product, neighborhood, development, or other offering that our clients may find of interest?

KB: Clients are often pleasantly surprised at how affordable and even fun high-quality custom construction can be. We only build a handful of custom houses and additions every year—this allows us to focus on well-crafted and meticulous spaces that we construct with the latest scientifically tested materials and techniques while controlling the budget.  Give us a call—we’d be happy to look at your project!

NR: Thank you so much Karen for speaking with us on behalf of Element Construction. We look forward to seeing more unique and beautiful homes from Element Construction.


To find out more about Element Construction, contact Karen Ball

Karen is an Associate Broker with Nest Realty, and is the Nest builder representative for Element Construction. 

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