One of the most exciting projects on my plate this year is building the NEXTadventure Home in Clermont, Florida. In this showcase single-family home designed specifically for the 55 and better market, we have the opportunity – in partnership with forward thinking companies and product manufacturers – to produce a jaw-dropping presentation with all the bells and whistles.

The results are really amazing. Every detail — from the trim, to the cabinetry, to the lighting, and fixtures — is finally coming together. The drywall is out and we’re ready for the fun stuff.

Working on a demonstration home like NEXTadventure and others like it comes with a unique set of circumstances. Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • Builders should come into the process with an open mind. The products available on the market today are a lot of fun. There are vast innovations and so much to choose from. This is a great time to get creative and play with all the new products and designs.
  • Don’t commit to something you can’t get on time. Manufacturers may oversell their products because it can feel like a real feather in their cap to participate in a high-profile project with established brands. But the bottom line is: It's on you. If you overpromised products that you can’t deliver on a tight timeline, then they can’t be used. And then what’s the point?
NEXTadventure team meeting
  • Recognize that the timeline for a project of this caliber is about half of what you’re used to. Failure to recognize how quickly things have to move on a demonstration home can cause a lot of unnecessary problems. No one likes on-the-fly changes or having to rescind due to relationship problems.
  • Start getting people and partners on board for product sponsorship at the earliest stages of the planning process. Whatever sponsors offer needs to be ready right away. Getting them on board the project way in advance goes a long way towards a smooth process.
  • Expect the unexpected, in a good way. A solid planning process and early on boarding of sponsors mean that you can smash expectations and wow naysayers. At the NEXTadventure home, some had their doubts about our ability to build a Florida room over the garage with a real staircase, but we did it! And we did it because we got started early enough to innovate.

  • Careful planning coupled with true collaboration means that more partners and sponsors can work on special projects that really boast the very best that the industry has to offer. The results of which are strengthened relationships, fully-realized vision, and dramatic reveals.

    Watch the progress of the NEXTadventure home on social media #nextadventurehome and register to tour the home at the 2017 International Builder Show.