1. Probably our favorite “feature” is the fact that we were able to work with a great builder from the foundation up to include exactly the features we wanted without wasting square footage on those we didn’t. Ray Keeney is a sought after custom home builder in the Knoxville area and a certified Southern Living Custom Home builder. Ray often builds homes using the popular Frank Betz plans, so we chose the “Broadmoor” as the basic plan for our home. We made a number of changes to the basic plan, including increasing the dimensions by roughly 4′ side to side and 2′ front to back. This provided a total “heated and cooled” square footage of approximately 3300 sf, plus an additional finished (but not heated and cooled) 342 sf in the basement storage area. The bottom line is that we were able to include a list of features that is almost impossible to find in the Farragut market at any price.
2. Solid, custom construction. After looking at over 100 homes in the area, we knew we wanted a home that felt truly substantial from the moment we walked in the front door. Ray paid special attention to a number of structural details that provided this feel to the home. We also added an upgraded insulation package between all rooms and all floors, which adds to the solid feel.
3. Plenty of room, but no wasted space. When we lived in OH, our home had over 5000 square feet of space. The extra room was nice, but there was a great deal of this space that was used very little by our family. The problem was, it still had to be heated, cooled, cleaned, etc. When we started building the Siena home, our goal was to include all the space we needed, and none that we didn’t. This turned out to be more challenging than we expected, and we actually ended up with a little bit larger house than we initially planned. Ultimately, however, we succeeded in creating a home where we use every square foot without feeling crowded. The key to doing so was eliminating spaces that we knew we would never use (like the formal dining room) and providing plenty of room for storage.
4. Did we mention plenty of storage?! The most obvious change we made was the addition of a second, oversized (extra wide / extra deep) garage with fixed stairs and floored storage above. This space alone will satisfy most family’s storage needs (it’s roughly 20’x24′, large enough for an efficiency apartment, if desired). We added built in cabinetry and additional storage in the laundry/mud room, walk in closets in every bedroom, expanded two linen closets, and greatly expanded the master bedroom walk in closet. We also expanded the kitchen pantry, added a storage closet under the stairs in the basement, and added a huge (12’x30′) storage room in the basement with an overhead door. All storage areas, including the garages, have a combination of cabinetry, built-in storage, and Closet Maid shelving.
5. The kitchen! We put more effort into designing the kitchen than probably any other part of the home. We were working with a space that, while not tiny, isn’t huge either, so getting the layout right was very important in order to make the best use of the space. We started with upgraded, extra tall cabinets with dovetail joinery and soft close. We included a number of extra deep drawers, which seem to be much more convenient than cabinets for storing things in the kitchen. The space turned out beautifully. We refer to it as the “hardest working kitchen we’ve ever owned,” and it truly is. There is plenty of space, excellent appliances, and the layout allows two people to work without stepping all over each other. Our OH house probably had half again as much square footage in the kitchen, but didn’t work nearly as effectively as this one does.
6. Covered deck / covered porch with swings. Siena is a quiet neighborhood and you’ll enjoy the fact that it seems secluded in spite of being so close to everything.
7. Home office spaces. We work from home quite a bit, so the office spaces needed to be well equipped and provide a nice place to work.
8. Whole house audio system. The owner is an engineer, so naturally the home is loaded with tech features, but the whole house audio system stands out. The system can accept a variety of components, but currently uses Sonos player/amplifiers in three separate zones. Each zone can play different content, or synchronize to broadcast a single source throughout the home. The players can stream practically any source (Pandora, Rhapsody, I Heart Radio, local audio sources, etc). We especially enjoy having the system in the master bedroom / bath and use it practically every day.
9. The master bath. We love the tile shower! It’s exactly the right size and we’ll definitely do one exactly like it in our next home. We also enjoy the “his and hers” vanities in both baths as well as the additional full bath in the basement.
10. The home theater (which is negotiable with the home, as are all technology components) is another favorite. 100” motorized screen, Panasonic high definition (ceiling mounted) projector, 7.1 surround sound, and fully integrated control of all systems / lighting from a single, touch screen remote. It’s a great place to spend time with the family. . .and the motorized reclining seats make it that much more pleasant!
All new homes have a few kinks to work out. Have you had any problems with the home?
We have had no major problems at all. You could say that the home is a perfect age to purchase at this point since all of the annoying little new house problems have now been fixed!
South Hobbs Road runs behind the houses on Siena Lane. Any problems with traffic or noise from South Hobbs Road?
It really never has been a problem. Thankfully, shortly after we moved in, the Watt Road extension project was finished. This allows traffic from all the subdivisions on Old Stage Rd. to get to Kingston Pike without using South Hobbs Rd. Since then, we have very little traffic at all on South Hobbs (restricted primarily to people who live on South Hobbs and Siena Ln.) This is unlikely to change since there is no more room to build along the road other than a few remaining lots in Siena. Most people avoid driving on South Hobbs road due to the dangerous blind hill, two 90 degree turns, and the steep hill at the stop sign to get on Kingston Pike! From our house, we recommend going to Kingston Pike by going up to Old Stage Rd., then turning right to go to Watt Road, or left to head back toward Kingston Pike (towards the center of Farragut).