Sunday, 20 July 2014 / Published in Special Rooms

By SUE MANNING, Associated Press

(Published in the Valley News: Sunday, July 20, 2014)

Los Angeles — These homes are set apart by their amenities — for dogs. Standard Pacific Homes is building and selling these homes in 27 of its 190 developments from Florida to California and is believed to be the first to offer a pet suite as an option in every one. The most lavish suite is a 170-square-foot pet paradise with a step-in wash station, handheld sprayer and leash lead; tile walls and floors; a designated drying area with a commercial sized pet dryer; a water station; automated feeders; a large bunk-style bed; cabinets for toys, treats and food; a stackable washer and dryer; a French door that opens to a puppy run; and a flat-screen television set.

Standard Pacific, based in Irvine, decided to offer pet suites after conducting livability studies with homeowners. Pets were a constant theme, said Jeffrey Lake, vice president and national director of architecture for Standard Pacific. “Devotion to pets is second-to-none,” he added. “They are family.” The American Pet Products Association reports that 68 percent of Americans own pets and contribute to an industry worth more than $55 billion annually. Real estate officials say building homes designed to cater to pets is a new concept, but that remodels for pet owners have been available for some time.

Adam Cowherd Construction in Ozark, Missouri, installs pet-friendly additions to homes. Cowherd said he recently finished a job where there was an open shelf on the end of a kitchen island to hold pet bowls. “Owners want it uniquely functional, very contemporary and something that catches the eye,” Cowherd said. However, only once in the last 10 years has he been asked to build a whole room for a pet, he added.

Melanie Dean lives with her family near Dallas in a Standard Pacific home with a pet package for their dog, Lola. Lola’s room “makes life much easier,” Dean said. “We don’t have to use the kitchen sink to wash yucky stuff anymore.”

Standard Pacific Homes’ newest community, called Avignon at Blackstone in Brea, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, features homes that start at $1.3 million. The pet spa option adds $35,000 to the price, Lake said. Only the largest suite is available in Brea, but in some of the other communities, there are smaller sizes and prices, starting at 60 square feet for $8,000, he said.

During some of the model grand openings at different communities, several potential buyers brought their dogs to look at the homes, said Danielle Tocco, the company’s director of communications. Around 70 percent of those looking for a home have pets, said Mollie Carmichael, principal at the John Burns Real Estate Consulting firm in Irvine. Pet adoptions were also held at some model grand openings, Tocco said, just in case somebody didn’t have a dog but wanted one. For cat owners, things can be rearranged and swapped out, like a scratching post for the dryer. And if no one is using the bath, it can be used for sporting equipment, like golf clubs.

Those looking to sell their homes may find their pet additions to be a benefit. Laundry rooms and mud rooms toward the back of homes are popular, said Amy Bohutinsky, chief marketing officer at Seattle-based Zillow. Pet washrooms can also be used as multipurpose mud rooms, which may attract buyers.


May 13, 2014 photo provided by A.G. Photography shows a Standard Pacific Home’s interior view of a dog-friendly home. Standard Pacific Homes is building and selling 27 new home communities from Florida to California and billing them as the first to offer pet paradise as an option in every one. Fully loaded, paradise is a 170 square-foot pet suite and spa with a step-in wash station, handheld sprayer and leash lead, tile walls and floors, a designated drying area with a commercial sized pet dryer, a water station, automated feeders, cabinets for toys, treats and food, a stackable washer and dryer, a French door that opens to a puppy run, and a flat-screen television set. (AP Photo/ Standard Pacific Homes, A.G. Photography, Anthony Gomez)

Wednesday, 09 July 2014 / Published in Under Construction

It’s great to have the construction underway for a new home on Little Lake Sunapee!  The insulated concrete foundation (ICF) has been completed and the excavator is now backfilling around the foundation.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 / Published in What Are Our Clients Saying, What's New At Northcape?

Northcape Design-Build is pleased to announce their recent affiliation with GuildQuality. North America’s leading customer satisfaction surveying provider for the residential construction industry, GuildQuality helps thousands of home builders, remodelers, and home services professionals, improve their delivery of customer service.

Northcape Design-Build strives to provide the best experience possible to their clients, and becoming a member of GuildQuality’s community of quality serves to support that mission.

In order to honestly assess how well Northcape is performing, GuildQuality gathers unbiased feedback from their clients, and provides the responses to Northcape in real-time, allowing them the opportunity to follow up with clients and correct any mistakes.

Everett Pollard, owner of Northcape Design, says “We are so pleased that 100% of our customers that have been surveyed since we started with Guild Quality have said that they are ‘Likely to Recommend’ Northcape Design!”

In addition to assembling authentic feedback from their customers, Northcape now has the opportunity to monitor employee performance and trends more closely. GuildQuality features an advanced reporting suite which enables the Northcape Design-Build Team to analyze their customer feedback in a variety of ways, furthering their understanding about what is working well within their company and what could be improved upon.

Northcape Design-Build knows that homeowners, now more than ever, are relying on experiences from previous customers before selecting a company to hire. With that in mind, Northcape uses their GuildQuality Member Profile page to display customer comments, project photos, and more.

To learn more about Northcape Design-Build and review their customer feedback, visit their GuildQuality Member Profile page at:

Thursday, 30 January 2014 / Published in Community

Poster-Everett Pollard

To get Everett out of the “Pen” and to support the Upper Valley Humane Society, just click on this link: