New Construction on Clinton Ave in Ohio City
Damien Baden New Construction Realtor: So now we’re over in Ohio City on Clinton Ave, Cleveland Ohio and it’s one of my favorite areas of Ohio City. Tony Kucia with Cleveland Custom Builders has been doing several custom home builds on Clinton Ave in Ohio City. And wanted to just kind of talk about some of the situations that we have working on Clinton Ave near Hingetown.
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: Sure. So right now we’re in a new construction home. A Cleveland Custom Builder client purchased a double lot and home. You’ll get some video here in a second of an older home on the lot which is basically two lots that were consolidated. So we split the lot in half. We’re standing in the new home that’s being built on Clinton Ave. And then like most of the city in the back, you do your detached garage, which will then have, an en suite or, I rental unit above. and then you enter your garage, off of the ally. So in this case, it’s Vine Court that is south of Clinton Ave. So then next door now that we split the lot, we’re going through working with our review with the city of Cleveland. Many of you probably live in subdivisions and many of the suburbs probably have homeowners associations or HOAs.
New Construction & The Ohio City Block Clubs
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: So in the city of Cleveland, what they have are called block clubs. And so your block club is in charge of say a five street area by a two main artery area. So a Ohio City block club consists of potentially same amount of homes that you have in your subdivision. And there’s a board and there’s a president and people sit down there and they talk about the architectural review of your different homes being rehabbed or built. Sorry for the noise here, we’ve got guys working on building this 3 story home. So ultimately the parallel is the block club is the eyes and ears, just like a homeowner’s association is.
Damien Baden New Construction Realtor: I want to point something out real quick on that. The big thing to keep in mind, is with an HOA you’re paying HOA monthly or yearly fees and with a block club, you’re not paying HOA fees, but you’re still governed by the decisions that they make.
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: Yeah, specifically in the design phase of building a house. So being in the city, being an older community, you have historic requirements, like with this area of Clinton Ave in Ohio City. There are certain parts of the city and within certain neighborhoods that are in the historic district, we’re in a historic district close to Hingetown. So how do you take a new construction home and make it look historic. Well, that’s where block clubs come in. The block club steps in and says, “Hey, let’s do certain things to make this Ohio City new construction home look like it was always here on Clinton Ave and that it fits in with existing historic homes.
We know new home construction is going to have a little more modern look. Today, everyone’s into the modern farmhouse look either modern homes, modern farmhouse, craftsmen modern, or a mid-century modern, call it the Frank Lloyd Wright design. So that’s, what’s happening everywhere across Cuyahoga county. So being a Cleveland custom builder we are fitting in jelling and working amicably in concert with block clubs to make new home building in the Ohio City, Tremont and Gordon Square work. So I will tell you that there’s big involvement in block clubs and rightfully so because people want to protect the historic nature, integrity of the community and the properties around their Ohio City homes.
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: You know, I’ve worked on a project right around the corner from here, the Franklin Castle, I built a new home right down the street here on Clinton Ave and have two more new construction homes coming soon. I rehabbed another Ohio city home that was built in 1905. So I’ve done anything from 1860, mid, early 19 hundreds. What was a big boom in Cleveland from 1880 to 1920s, and then of course, post-war, homebuyers were entering suburbs. So working on the several of those homes and now building new construction, I have a respect and understanding and, wherewithal, to help make rehabbing and building custom homes happen.
So ultimately, I can talk about right next door. We have, we were digging and we found a waterline that wasn’t very low in the ground and we couldn’t get the water off because the water has been running for three and a half weeks. Everyone living around here in Ohio City was on a Facebook page wondering what’s going to happen. You know, and people don’t pick up the phone anymore. I get it. So I’m finding out information through Facebook page and wondering what’s happening. You know Cleveland Water’s slang, they’re waiting and they can come when they come. And they tried to help me out. They try to get on it. We found it. It’s an old led box. We couldn’t get it back. So now Cleveland Water is replacing the box for me right now to make it right and ultimately stop the water. So these are things that we encounter building in the city that you wouldn’t have in suburbia. Oh, by the way, my workspace is 30-50 feet total for each home site.
Damien Baden New Construction Realtor: So instead of a hundred-foot wide or 70 foot wide lot like in the suburbs.
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: So you got to pay attention to logistics that play a huge role. I can only drop off so much lumber at a time. You have to watch your parking, your dumpsters. As a custom builder, you still got to keep things clean, so you’re doing things right. So we try to consolidate, hide, you know, hide lumber behind scrap lumber, behind shields until we’re ready to pick it up or I’ll use your new construction home as quote-unquote, the dumpster for a period of time. And then I’ll have service providers come in on a Saturday, drop a dumpster off, load it up and get rid of it. And our new construction or rehab site is clean again. So try to stage things, keep the construction site clean, keep things safe. And of course, you know, keep things secure.
Expect Longer New Construction Build Timeframes In Cleveland
Damien Baden New Construction Realtor: So timeframe-wise, when building new construction in the city of Cleveland, the build time does take a little longer.
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: That’s correct. That’s a very good point. So that’s one thing. And in this case new home build, the client signed a contract with me last September. Okay. And you can see we’re framing this new home a year later. The Cleveland Customer Builder client and I agreed on what we were going to build, they signed the agreement.
What happened to the new construction timeframe? Well we went through block club, we’re going through COVID. We’re waiting to get approval on our Ohio City new construction home, right. Cleveland Custom Builders finally got our home building permit sometime in June. The foundation went in the month of July. Well, we’re framing now almost a year later. Because it’s a slab I had to put the mechanicals under the slab and pour the slab. So that took about three weeks. We put the foundation in July that took a period of time because of course, we’re digging. We find surprises when digging foundation in Cleveland, but we know we’re going to find stuff. So you’ve got to plan for what you may dig up when building a new home in Cleveland. How much stuff you find is always the question or what stuff, you’re going to find stuff when digging a foundation for a new home in Cleveland.
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: So we handled that. So we got our permits in June. So we, once we could go and we go ultimately to get there took a period of time. So what happened from last September to June Well, we went through our Ohio City block club process. We went through revisions from the block club which is expected in the new home approval process. We’re dealing with COVID and we’re only meeting once a month. Some block club meetings didn’t happened because people had Covid and there had to be so many people there to vote on things so you had to wait. So our Cleveland Custom Builder clients expect the delays. I could tell you this, at that given time, lumber numbers were going up, up, up, up, up, up, up until June.
Well, now my Cleveland Custom Builder client, was going to do some alternative changes on the lumber but during the wait lumber has started to come back down. Lumber is still up over where they were last September, but not like it would have been had we started right away. If we would have been building a new home in suburbia, we could of started right away and go. For this Ohio City new home construction we kind of actually saved some money on lumber by waiting. Right.
So, and we’re paying attention to that. Cleveland Custom Builders is paying attention to building material prices for our home building clients. I’m not going to hoard the money. It’s not fair. So that’s why Cleveland Custom Builders has escalation clauses in our home building agreement, knowing that the escalation clause protects you building a home and protects Cleveland Custom Builders and ultimately protects the supplier too. Right now I know they’re losing because it to get back a certain portion. So I’ll ultimately, I know we talked a little earlier in the other video about how pricing and timing is affecting everything. Ultimately it could work out to your benefit as well.
Damien Baden New Construction Realtor: Keep in mind, if you are looking to either have your home rehabbed or a build new construction in Cleveland, Tony with Cleveland Custom Builders can do both of those construction projects for you. The one thing is we’re in a house right now that has a slab foundation, but he also does foundations that have eight or nine-foot basements or crawl spaces.
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: Next door our next build on Clinton Ave is going to have a 10-foot basement. That Cleveland Custom Builder client is pretty tall and he golfs a lot. So we are preparing for a golf simulation in the basement that requires 10 foot. So we’re going to do 10-foot basement. Yes. In the city of Cleveland, Cleveland Custom Builders is doing 10-foot basement. So we’re working through it and a lot of opportunities.
As you can see here, pointing to the old home in the back of the next door lot, a ton has happened that’s for sure. This house is the home I was referring to Cleveland Custom Builders is rehabbing. So we got it all gutted. We’re going through the ARB approval process right now. It’s just going to take some time, but, we’re working on it.
Rehab May Be Required Vs Building New Construction
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: Thing to point out with this old house behind us, this is where a lot of people get confused when building where an existing home is. We thought we would be able to tear this house down when we were originally looking at this parcel. The block club does maintain the integrity of the street. The historic side of homes decided not to allow us to tear it down. So we had to come up with a new game plan to save this house.
Damien Baden New Construction Realtor: This house actually had water lines break and burst during the winter.
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: Actually we found some other rodents and things like that as well. So we, were able to get it cleaned up pretty good. And now we’re in the design phase, but like Damien said, working in concert and the collaboration with Ohio City and a couple of members on the board who actually I’ve worked with and worked for. They gave me a couple of good ideas. We’re going to take down part of the back of the home and put a garage in the back of the home. Actually Damien, you were originally talking about making the back of the house a garage too. So we put the garage in and fill part of the basement. The design is going to work out pretty well.
Damien Baden New Construction Realtor: And the cool thing about a garage with additional living space like this or even the carriage homes that we build on the back of these lots, because you can actually have two families residences on most Cleveland lots. It gives you the opportunity to either make a second family home or gives you the opportunity to have an apartment with tax-abatement for 15 years. So new construction in Cleveland is a huge savings and can really reduce the cost of your home because for 15 years. The tax savings might add up to be about 80 to a hundred thousand dollars in savings that you can experience and put that equity right into your house.
Tony Kucia with CLE Custom Builders: Yeah. Very good point. And I tell you, new construction is booming in Ohio City, Tremont and Gordon Square. The regentrification that’s happening and people are the livelihoods, people are walking the streets and the energy you see everywhere as Damien said.
You know, the bars are pretty good too. We do have a drink every now and then. Right. So, it’s a, it’s a very relaxed, area. And again, Cleveland is a different home building environment, but ultimately we’re still seeing the same cycles here. When building in Cleveland you have a few other curve balls we got to work through, but ultimately working in collaboration with the block club, the city, and clients alike. We know how to work through Cleveland’s home building process with the end in mind. Building your home with quality and getting there through the different, time constraints and scheduling, that were required. We, do make new home construction happen in Cleveland.
Damien Baden New Construction Realtor: So one thing to keep in mind, too, if you are interested in seeing some of the other homes built by Tony with Cleveland Custom Builders, we can definitely get that in front of you. There will be contact information below this video. So feel free to reach out to us and we can share a lot of ideas and give you some opportunity to see if this would work for you.
Tony Kucia: Great. Thank you so much. And we’ll talk to you again soon.