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Phil Leibovitz, CEO | Mimi Brodsky Kress, COO

Sandy Spring Builders

4705 West Virginia Ave.
Bethesda, MD


What are the most important factors to consider when selecting a lot for my new custom home?

Arguably one of the most important factors our clients consider is location. Many want convenience and walkability. Price is next. Since we are custom builders, once we have found the property, light and view are very important. They help us decide how we might situate a garage, for example. The building restriction lines are also important for the width and depth of the house we can build, plus the size of the footprint that is allowed. Topography determines how much light you can get into the lower level, plus how usable the yard will be.

We’re about to have our first custom home building experience. Where should we splurge and where should we save?

The place to really spend money in my mind is architecture; great architecture makes or breaks a house. Also, using a builder who has years and years of experience, as we do, with the livability of the house is important. The most important rooms in the house are the kitchen, family room, master bath and formal powder room. We also believe in spending money on lots of highly efficient windows and doors throughout the house. 

You could consider saving money by building a beautiful clapboard house with a stucco foundation instead of brick and stone. You can get a lifetime-warrantied architectural grade asphalt roof instead of a slate roof. There are a lot of good window manufacturers, and you can shop around for good values. Skip the fancy basement. Finally and perhaps most importantly, your house does not need to be overly large, just very livable for you and your family. 


Professional Builder Magazine’s National Grand Prize Winner for “Best Overall Custom House in the U.S.;” more than 60 Gold and Silver Custom Builder Awards 

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