Exciting upcoming projects for 2013!

By Tim Tice, in new homes

new homes delaware

One of the reasons that I love my job is that on any given day I can be involved in every single aspect of the new home construction process. I tend to get bored easily and that cannot happen when working as part of a design and build team.  I get so much satisfaction turning a conversation with a customer into someone’s dream home and driving by it for years. At Echelon, every day is an adventure.

2013 is going to be an exciting year for Echelon. We have several waterfront projects that will begin construction in the early part of the year. These are always exciting because they tend to push the envelope for size and typical residential build practices. One in particular will have a lot of steel, concrete, brick and a lot of very custom features… VERY EXCITING! This year is also going to be a banner year for the first couple of semi-custom series that were launched at the end of 2012. The Masters Series has several homes that have already been planned to start early in 2013. Coming soon is the Island series which will feature home plans that are designed to take advantage of waterfront lots in the resort area.

2013 looks to be a great year for all of us and our friends here at Echelon.  Stay tuned for more info from our design department.

Hawkseye New Home Series

By Tim Tice, in new homes

Hawkseye community in Lewes has been a hotbed of activity in the last several years despite the economic environment in other communities. That being said, there are still quite a few lots that have not been built on or sold yet. Hawkseye’s offers quick access to the local schools, Cape Henlopen State Park and the town of Lewes which makes it a very desirable location for young families.

Echelon will be introducing a Hawkseye series of homes plans that will be available to public in the summer of 2012. This  series will offer 5 home plans that range in size from 2,500 – 4,500 square feet. These homes have been custom designed specifically for Hawkseye lots based on our extensive knowledge of the community and upon our discussions with many of the current Hawkseye homeowners as well as prospective buyers.

These homes will feature:

  • Welborne Cabinets with granite countertops
  • Appliances from the GE Profile line
  • Kohler plumbing fixtures
  • Tankless water heaters
  • Fiber Cement siding
  • An extensive choice of structural options and upgrade

Renderings, floorplans and detailed information on Hawkseye New Home Series coming next. Stay tuned!

Coming soon: Hawkseye New Home Series

By Tim Tice, in new homes

Coming very soon, Echelon Custom Homes will be unveiling our new “Hawkseye Series” of home plans. We will be presenting 5 new home plans designed especially to be built in the local community of Hawkseye, Lewes. These homes will be affordable but still maintain the hi-end Echelon standard we are known for. All homes will have multiple custom options to choose from, including screen porches, bonus rooms, gourmet kitchens, luxury owner’s suites and many more.

In the months to follow, we will also be introducing a new home series designed to fit lots in Rehoboth and Lewes.

Stay tuned for more information!


East Falls Tour

By Tim Tice, in photos

I have long admired the quaint story book homes big and small in the East Falls section of Philadelphia.  So last Sunday I  jumped at the opportunity to spy inside a few on a neighborhood tour.

The 8 houses ranged in age from the early 1900’s to the late 1950’s.  Architecturally they ran the gamut from Spanish and Georgian Revival, English, Victorian and Craftsman, but by far the most exciting stop on the tour for me was a home designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra in 1959.

Over the past 5 years, the house has gone through a major renovation to restore as many of its original features as possible.  A labor of love, the current owners have done extensive research to help aid them in their quest.  Nestled in a secluded, wooded area just steps from the local University, the Hassrick house is an excellent example of the International Style Neutra is so famous for.

From street view the house appears as an unassuming solid blocked massing similar to that assembled by a child with wooden blocks.  It is this simplicity that makes the modern style of this home so appealing. Neutra’s thoughtful design sensibility creates a flowing open floor plan.  A quick tour around the perimeter of the home reveals the architects goal of blending interior living spaces with the natural setting while retaining  the privacy of the inhabitants. Neutra used the term “biorealism” to describe his work, emphasizing the relationship between man and nature.  The rear private elevation of the home is created by a floor to ceiling 40’ wide monumental sliding window, opening seamlessly to blur the lines between inside and  out.  This theme is repeated in the bedrooms lining the rear of the structure.  Though a home like this is not for everyone, you can’t help but admire the bold choices the architect made and the trust the homeowner placed in him to create the design. As you walk around the natural setting it is hard to believe the hustle and bustle of center city Philadelphia is just a short 10 minute drive away.

It was interesting to note and hard to ignore on this beautiful Fall day, though all the homes on the tour were unique in their own ways, nature was important to each and every one of them.  From small postage size patios on the traditional Philadelphia row homes to the sprawling private back yard oasis of the Hassrick house, one cannot deny the importance of having an outdoor space to call your own.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a crisp beautiful October day.

Latest Trip to Central America!!!

By Tim Tice, in travel

I just got back from another 10 days in Nicaragua. It felt good to be back in a country that I really have started to love. The atmosphere alone is worth the trip. I almost always travel with my brother (Joel) as well as our good friend Paul. When I arrive in the capital city of Managua I stepped off of the plane into an instant wall of heat. Since we traveled in May I hadn’t experienced much heat yet on the East Coast so it is always an adjustment to step into 90 degree humid air straight off of the plane. I welcome the temporary thermal shock though. The Managua airport is small despite being the main airport for the country. I am always greeted with pleasant faces of the local people and am glad to see things similar to when I last visited.

I had a driver meet us at the airport to take us to our final destination, Playa Santana. Its about a 3 hour drive from the Managua airport and I couldn’t imagine trying to navigate some of those roads on my own. A good portion of the drive is on dirt roads and through undeveloped green rolling hills so it is great scenery along the way.

This is the first time staying at this particular “hotel” and the location couldn’t be better. I could throw a stick from the restaurant (that is part of where we are staying) and hit the water. Our room is 14 dollars per night after splitting it three ways. The accommodations aren’t the cleanest I’ve ever stayed at but the location certainly made up for it. I put hotel in quotes simply because this building started out as a local farmers house and they have simply added on to it so that they could rent it out to surfers that travel here.

We stayed there for 8 straight days and never really left the immediate area. Honestly we didn’t really have a reason to. We surfed 3 times a day, ate incredible meals and slept in hammocks next to the ocean every single day. As always, it was just what was needed.

Part of the reason that I visit out of the way destinations is because I appreciate being fully disconnected there. There is no cell phone service, Cable TV or anything to connect with the outside world that we so easily are connected with in our everyday lives. To me this time of disconnect enables me to get refreshed for my return when I will be instantly back on the treadmill and it enables me to perform that much better in my daily life.

When I got back I was thrilled to see my family. I wish they could have been there with me (that was the only real downside to this trip). My wife did an amazing job of juggling all of the family duties but was definitely grateful to have me back in the picture to help out. My daughter was awake and waiting for me when I got home at 3 in the morning. I loved seeing both of their faces as I walked in the front door.

I’m sure I’ll be back again soon and I look forward to another visit to the beautiful Playa Santana.

New Place

By Tim Tice, in Echelon Interiors

My wife and I (also our new baby girl) just moved into a new place a couple of weeks ago. I had forgotten how big of a job moving really was. When we turn the keys over to a new client I often forget how difficult it is to get all of our accumulated stuff into that brand new home. Moving furniture, hanging pictures, shifting billing addresses, appointments with cable companies, all of that stuff adds up. We are just about finished with all of that. My wife and I are still relatively young and this is our first place where we are getting to have “real” furniture. We had a hodgepodge of things from our old house that was just things we had collected over the years. We purchased some new things through Echelon Interiors (of course) and I have to say that it is so nice to come home to a place that feels like a home. Now I understand that it is just “stuff” but I am grateful for it. Thanks to Joni and Renee for your help with it!


By Tim Tice, in travel

One of my great passions in life (behind my family) is traveling and surfing. I discovered at 17 years old that you can visit beautiful locations for a fraction of what you spend to stay at “resorts”. Here are my travels up to this point:

– Puerto Rico

– California (three times)

– Costa Rica

– Mexico

– Nicaragua (two times)

– Fiji

I have loved every place that I have visited, however the one place that I truely enjoy is Nicaragua. I have been there twice and plan to go back many times in the future. When I travel I look for many things. I usually want waves, to get away from cell phones, e-mail, TV and any type of schedule. I try not to go to any area that is too much of a tourist destination. I would prefer to just visit a place that has very few people in general. I also try to travel on a tight budget most of my trips usually cost less than 1000 dollars for a week to ten days including airfare, lodging and food.

Nicaragua provides all of those things for me. When I arrive there the place I stay is about a 3 – 4 hour ride from the Managua airport. There is usually a local guy waiting to pick me up and drive me there (this is cheaper than renting a car) since when I arrive I can walk to anything that I need. I also travel with a small group of friends to share the memories (and cost). The first hour of travel is bumpy paved roads and the occasional police checkpoint. After that you will be on dirt roads headed towards the coast for the next 2 – 3 hours. There is lots of bumps and potholes along the way but the journey makes the destination all the more enjoyable. We stay in a small compound and rent a house for the next week. Three meals a day are available if you want for about 3 dollars per person and the beach is a 5 minute walk from our front door. You can access the Internet if you want but I usually choose not to since my goal is to escape. I won’t get into it too much here but I must also say that the waves are phenomenal.

I look forward to my next trip there sometime soon.

My wife was there last time I went and shot a ton of pictures so here is a link to them:



By Tim Tice, in Uncategorized
Willow Grace Tice

Willow Grace Tice

Well, My last post was about fatherhood advice. I now have my beautiful baby girl and there is nothing like the real thing to be the ultimate teacher.

I have learned a ton in the last month and will learn exponentially more in the coming years about her. One thing that I have heard over and over from “experienced” parents is, “Appreciate her right now, because soon she will be out of this phase of life and you will miss what you had”. I am doing my best to heed that advice. As much as I cannot wait to see her walk and hear her first words right now I love watching her sleep and listening to the little sounds that she can make.

So to all the parents that have told me to appreciate what I have right now. Thank you.

Calling all fathers!!!

By Tim Tice, in Uncategorized

Well, My wife (Gillie Tice) and I are expecting our first child any day now. We will be having a girl named Willow Grace Tice. When you find out that you are going to be a parent you go through every emotion possible:

1. Excitement

2. Fear (this starts about 3 seconds after the excitement)

3. Love

There are lots of other emotions too that are just variations of the three above. I can only imagine what else I’ll feel after Willow arrives ( I hear they are the same just even stronger) but one thing is for sure…      I will be learning and experiencing something new every day for a very long time.

So, is there any advice that any fathers out there have for me? If you have any tips feel free to send them my way. I’m sure I will need them.