Photo courtesy of Cullum Homes. Photo credit: Roehner + Ryan.

There are custom home builders. There are custom luxury home builders. And then there is Rod Cullum.

Meet the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 2018 Custom Home Builder of the Year and Arizona’s #1 custom home builder three years running, Cullum Homes. The second- generation, family-owned-and-operated business has made a name for itself over the last 30 years as the region’s go-to luxury home builder. Saying the words “It’s a Cullum home” is a source of pride for owners.

What makes a Cullum home unique? What differentiates his building style from respected competitors?

Photo courtesy of Cullum Homes. Photo credit: ProVisuals Media.

Clean, Quiet, and Comfortable

His lock-and-leave residences offer luxe touches you might expect, such as seven-car garages connected by vehicle elevator to a glass-enclosed basement showroom. Achieving the overarching goal is more complex.

A client “… that wants the absolute most clean, quiet, and comfortable house” requires a total building solution says Cullum. “Our willingness to innovate is what really differentiates us. We lead through best practice,” he explains.

Surprising Advantage

Elements of those practices include some expected methods:

  • Windows. “We spec high quality windows with a high SGHC (solar heat gain coefficient) rating,” Cullum says.
  • Penetrations. “We do a ventless home. We have no penetrations in the roof that directly transfer sound.”
  • HVAC. “If you truly analyze air conditioning, you would use VRV (variable refrigerant volume) or VRF (variable refrigerant flow) air conditioning,” Cullum advises.

And at least one very unexpected method: Insulated concrete form (ICF) construction.

Cullum makes it clear his team of 55 will design and build to the owner’s requirements and budget, including traditional stick-built. Stick-built homes make up about half of his portfolio. Just one thing … even his stick-built homes can’t achieve the level of clean, quiet, and comfortable he’s known for.

However, ICF can.

Proven Wall System

“Stick-built frames can’t even come close to what ICF does. ICF is a major component in delivering on our clean, quiet, and comfortable promise,” says Cullum.

Cullum has built hundreds of area homes with ICF, a proven building method that uses lightweight, stackable hollow-foam blocks reinforced with steel rebar to form a poured concrete wall. The result is a wall system of unmatched comfort, energy efficiency, strength, and sound reduction.

Experience the Delta

“Once you experience the delta, there’s no turning back,” Cullum says of the owners he has worked with. “One client is now living in the third ICF home we’ve built for them. Once you live in an ICF home, you won’t live in any other type.”

Cullum’s ICF expertise has proven to be a decisive differentiator for his business. The firm built their first ICF home in 1991 at the request of the owner. It was a eureka moment. There was no turning back.

Cullum immediately understood he held a winning card only he could play. In no small way, ICF helps explain why his team received the NAHB honor. “ICF should be the starting point in a lot of markets.”

To learn more about using ICF in your next home build, visit Build with Strength.