Home > Our Philosophy > You Get What You Pay For, 11/06/05
david bagwell philosophies Bagwell Colleyville/Dallas TX communities  


In Fine Home Neighborhoods, You Get What You Pay For.

  Sweating the details in the planning stages results in masterworks like this TRS Custom Homes in Benedict Hill at Westmont.

This is the first in a series of articles explaining what underlies the distinction of David Bagwell Company neighborhoods.

"We comparison shop to save on things that are basically commodities, products and services like aspirin, blank CDs, dry cleaning, and, if you are in my business, a running foot of concrete street," says Colleyville developer David Bagwell. "Some people shop for luxury homes in the same way. For them, it comes down to, 'How's your price per square foot compare?'

"However, design excellence, true craftsmanship, and the patina of time are not commodities. That's why Sotheby's auctions fine art, while Joe's Meat Market sells bologna by the pound.

"Still, there's a significant demand for 'McMansions' that try to make up for what they lack in proportion, natural materials, authentic detailing, and real craftsmanship with Himalayan roof peaks, ornamenting geegaws, manufactured materials, and low price per foot.

"Our neighborhoods offer luxury homebuyers an alternative," Bagwell explains. "People can't build just whatever they want. We have thoroughly regarded standards for replicating the historical attributes and characteristics of traditional home design. They are overseen by architectural control committees to ensure house plans are sufficiently detailed to guide construction. Consequently, when completed, homes contribute to a picturesque neighborhood appeal that is hard to find these days.

"Most luxury homebuilders eschew the thorough plan sets that we require, relying instead on 'talkitecture' at the job site each morning to accomplish what architecture schools at Harvard, MIT, Texas A&M, Rice, etc. teach through a rigorous, multi-year curriculum.

"Luxury home builders feel pressured to save on house plans, so that homebuyers have more to spend on 'candy' inside the house, including the myriad gadgets that frenzy today's consumer. We believe this thin plan set accommodation is the very definition of 'false economy'. In a few short years, the electronic equipment enabled by the cheap price of cartoon-like house plans will have gone to its final resting place at the landfill, while the house built by 'talkitecture' will have another 50 years to induce yawns from passersby.

"What many people admire in the country's old residential areas is an aspect of refinement that is hard won today. Some builders won't consider building in our developments, where we seek that same appeal. One told me, 'I don't like those ol' Highland Park houses'. Another said, 'I don't think I even know how to build the kind of house you require.'

"I suspect that some builders simply don't want to be accountable to high standards. Plus, it's easier and there's a quick buck to be made building in "Anything Goes Acres", where a thin set of developer standards enables the thin set of house plans and 'talkitecture' that some builders prefer.

"Our philosophy is simply 'let those who have eyes see'. Thankfully, many do. A builder told me this week that, even though it takes more time to get plans approved in our developments, he prefers building with us instead of where luxury homes are like a commodity. He elaborated, 'I like your street layouts, open space, and tree planting, and I don't worry that an ugly house will go up next door.' Acknowledging that Rome wasn't built in a day, he bought another lot."

Fall is a good time to find the aesthetic appeal of David Bagwell Company neighborhoods throughout Colleyville. For more information, call Susan Folkert at 214/673-6754 or go on-line to www.bagwellcompany.com

Next in this series on the distinction of David Bagwell Company neighborhoods is a discussion of how intellectual leadership benefits neighborhoods and the community as a whole. Look for it in next Sunday's paper.

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