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Back Issues
2009 - Fall Edition
Interior Design
Feature Builder
Article: Joe Burgess
Photos: Bill Faulkner
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"Building a new home is a major event in people's lives, especially for first time home owners, and we remind ourselves of that every time we break ground," says Tom French of French Brothers in Alamogordo. "We do everything we can to make home building a happy experience for our clients. They are involved from beginning to end and we give them a home they can be proud of."


B & T Glass, Inc.

Casa Mexicana Tile

Custom Overhead Doors

Executive Security Associates

EZ TV & Appliance

FGG Enterprises

Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber

General Hydronics Inc.

Lane Plumbing Co., Inc.

LeFevre Masonry

New Mexico Drywall

PLE Electric LLC

Ray's Stucco
Specialties, Inc.

Showcase Carpets
and Flooring

Southwest Air Systems, Inc.

Southwest Landscape

The Granite Shop

V & M Painting Service
"Our major strength is our teamwork," Tom states. "We approach everything as a team. Our vice-president, Corrine Bachman has a design degree and takes the lead on everything from floor plans to landscaping. We then review and develop each plan collectively. The team reviews every home and every new idea from the perspective of visual attractiveness, livability, structural integrity, maintenance, energy efficiency, health and safety. After that, Jim (French) and his production team bring all of those great ideas from the canvas to reality."

"We even go so far as to request feedback from our customers, through an independent third party called Guild Quality Company that rates customer satisfaction. When you embrace the option for scrutiny, you need to check your ego at the door. Customers will definitely speak their minds, but that keeps us at the forefront of our field. We have to know where we stand in our market, especially during tough economic downturns. Our customer relationships are important to us and building trust is crucial. We frequently step back and take a critical look at our operation in order to improve the value to our customers."

"We have always built energy-efficient homes," Tom says, "so the transition to Energy Star ratings was a natural step for us. We achieve over 50 percent above the current rating requirements by paying attention to every detail. We use high performance heating and cooling equipment, glazing and doors, radiant barriers, and much more. Our Five Star Plus Energy Star Homes use half the energy for heating and cooling compared to the same home built to today's Model Energy Code, and that's without the use of solar panels. We think it's the right thing to do."

"We custom design almost all of our homes. We can start with a blank piece of paper or sometimes someone will bring in an idea scribbled on a napkin. We try to orient the homes to take advantage of energy efficiency, when possible, and also to be able to utilize patios year round. Considering summer afternoon shade and winter sunlight goes a long way toward maximizing the use of a well-designed patio."

Corrine works with the customer to develop architectural features and colors – anything that makes a home more livable. The team tries to develop a comprehensive and coordinated plan that flows through the whole house, while developing something a little different and exciting in every room. "Corrine has an incredible flare for design and the use of materials and color," Tom states. "The rest of our team is her supporting cast in this area."

The featured home in this article was built primarily to highlight the trade partner's capabilities and to emphasize what good design is all about. "The people who have visited this home 'get it,'" states Tom. "It includes cutting edge technology for convenience, security and healthy living." The house has plasma TVs and Internet service, outside cameras and lighting control schemes, remote controlled thermostats – you can literally check on and control the house from your iphone.

The kitchen was designed with a gourmet look, while remaining functional for those who may not have yet earned their toque blanche. The kitchen is a segment of a modest, yet beautifully designed great room that includes a dining and family area with French doors opening onto the patio. By the way, if this house has caught your attention, it has three more important amenities: Alamogordo affordability, a thirty-minute drive to high-mountain dining and shopping and it's available.

Jim and Tom, along with brother Bill, are triplets and grew up in Alamogordo. Jim remained in Alamogordo, spending much of his career building trusses. Tom spent 16 years in the petroleum industry in Alaska and returned to Alamogordo in 1994. When he actually retired from British Petroleum in 2002, that step accelerated the pace of design and construction for French Brothers. "We love what we do – working with people and creating something different," Tom relates. "We have tried to develop a culture for ourselves of constantly learning and improving."

"We are currently expanding our product line and vision in response to what the market really wants. We are excited about our company's direction. We put our heads together and developed more affordable plans, without sacrificing the quality and efficiency that separates us from other builders. In one Alamogordo community, all our homes meet these criteria – more affordable, yet all are Five Star rated for efficiency. We believe that we are truly on the right track." ///
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