Building Stories with the Plesniak Family
New Westfield residents, the Plesniaks, share what life in their new custom home in Chatham Hills is like.
What initially made you want to build in Chatham Hills?
Andy: We were in the process of downsizing, we lived in a much larger house than what we have here in Chatham. So we were looking for an interesting subdivision in which to build, one that had rolling terrain. We didn’t really want a flat surface on which to build. So we looked at other areas that were being developed and Chatham basically was the one we chose.
What do you like most about living in Chatham Hills?
Karen: Social Interaction, I’d say is really key. Our former neighborhood was nice, but it didn’t have the amenities – they had a club house, but it was basically a pool type environment – and here they have so many events and activities that make it very enjoyable. We’ve met more families here than we met at our old neighborhood that we lived at since 2004.
Andy: Old Town basically has been instrumental in that, they have little gatherings every once in a while, where we get to meet people that are going through the same process that we just completed, so we have things to talk about in common.
What's your favorite thing about your home?
Karen: Boy I don’t know if I could narrow it down to one thing! But I think the open airiness and welcoming, it’s relaxed yet it’s a little sophisticated. It’s just comfortable!
Could you describe the feeling when you both walked into your finished home?
Karen: Besides the fear and anxiety, it was how are we going to make this a home. You built us a beautiful house, but then converting it to a home can be very intimidating.
Andy: Our problem was that we went from a 7,000 SQ FT house that was furnished, to one that is over 4,000 SQ FT. So we had pieces from the old house that we knew weren’t going to be able to be here.
Karen: It was a little intimidating, we were very anxious because you wanted some things to work and something it didn’t work. But the partnership with everything home, it just made everything work. When you’re picking out all of the elements, all of the selections for a new home it is just overwhelming. Ellen, everything home designer, created inspiration boards from conversations with us as to what we like, what we didn’t like, and she was able to narrow our focus... We have a family member who is an architect who always says, “You have to marry the house to the ground”, and we worked really hard to make sure that it felt right where it was sitting.
Tell us about the building experience with Old Town Design Group.
Karen: Excellent. We built in 2004 the last time and this experience was lightyears ahead of what we went through before. Buildertrend made it so easy to see where we were and what was on schedule, when we had to make selections. It was just wonderful, everyone we worked with became part of the family, they’re a part of us now.
Andy: Basically, Karen did a lot of research and she found a floor plan that Old Town had built at Sagamore that most closely fit how we saw our new house going. But we wanted to make some changes to personalize it. So we worked with Nate our architect and he delivered. We got extra windows, a larger closet for the Master Bedroom and he helped us with the lower level, we’ve been very pleased. During the construction process, it was a lot of fun because we didn’t live that far away from Chatham – we were able to come almost every day to view the progress on the house. We got to introduce ourselves to the subcontractors, the framers, the trim carpenters, all the subcontractors, and we would come on property and I would always say, “I hope you don’t mind a stupid question, explain why you’re doing it this way”. I learned a lot and I learned why things turned out the way they did. It was very good for me and for the subcontractors.
Karen: I think Andy’s famous line was, “Well what if…".
Do you have to be an avid golfer to live at Chatham Hills?
Karen: We’re not avid golfers, but we own clubs, we’ll put it that way.
Andy: Knowing my accuracy with my golf shots, I didn’t want to meet my neighbors by bombarding their houses with golf balls, so no. You don’t have to be an avid golfer. There’s a wonderful club house that’s being built that has a gym, swimming pools, restaurants, again there are things to do here and with the Monon trail there are other activities outside that we’ll look forward to using.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Karen: I feel like we’re a part of the Old Town Design Group family now.
The Plesniak family found the home design and location that was right for them. Make the move and write your own building story with Old Town Design Group at Chatham Hills.