In the News: New Era Homes Semi-Custom Homes Offer Affordable Luxury

Originally published in Cascade Business News | May 25, 2017

In February 2007 Todd McKinney launched New Era Homes, which started
with a small subdivision and continued to grow in spite of the economic
slowdown. The company was able to continually build throughout the
downturn completing projects throughout Oregon and Washington. Since
2011 New Era has steadily grown and now employs eight staff and has 24
projects in various stages of construction. The company now focuses
exclusively on building homes on their customers’ land in the Central
Oregon region.

New Era Homes’ vision has always been to provide the highest quality
semi-custom home at a price people can afford. After 10 years in
business, New Era credits their success to their Uncommon Standards and
the gap they fill between a production level and custom home builder.

The New Era Homes Uncommon Standards include over 150 standard
features that are commonly considered upgrades by other builders.
Features like vaulted ceilings, upgraded fixtures, lighting and
appliances are designed to provide the luxuries of a fully custom home
at a fraction of the cost. In addition to the features that are easily
seen, their homes include a robust HVAC system and other efficiencies
not typically found in homes under $1 million.

New Era Homes offers three editions–the Classic, Heritage and
Premier–which are defined by the customers’ selection of trim options.
Trim options are aesthetic preferences such as flooring, lighting,
appliances and finish carpentry detailing. Each of their 24 floor plans
may be built as either a Classic or Heritage Edition. New Era Homes
price per square foot currently ranges between $105-175 for Classic and
Heritage Edition homes.

Although homebuyers find the greatest value building from an existing
floor plan in either the Classic or Heritage Editions, the Premier
Edition is an option for those interested in a fully custom home. The
craftsmanship, workmanship and inner-workings of the home remain
consistent regardless of the chosen edition.

On average, there is a difference of approximately $40,000 in unseen
building upgrades between a home built by an á la carte builder and a
semi-custom New Era Built home. Things like R-23 blown-in insulation,
Knauf air sealing, Tyvek building wrap and flashing result in high
quality construction that far exceeds the code minimum. Many of these
unseen upgrades are the result of employing modern building science
within the shell of the home to ensure long-term comfort, durability and
energy savings.

New Era Homes embraces new science and continually researches ways to
improve upon old building practices and products that will deliver the
maximum value and efficiency possible at a reasonable price point. The
net benefit to the home buyer is a better built home that provides both
immediate and long term savings.

New Era Homes works as a team with their customers’ realtor and
lender to match land with a floor plan that suites the homeowner’s
budget and lifestyle. Even if homebuyers have an existing plan, New Era
Homes can evaluate and help improve upon it.

“What excites me is building true custom elements into a semi-custom home. For 10
years, we have satisfied the need for affordable homes without
compromising on beauty, quality, comfort and efficiency,” saysMcKinney.

New Era Home’s new website,, launched in sync with their
10 year anniversary. The site, designed by Studio Absolute, helps
homebuyers understand the building process and costs while equipping
them with the questions they should be asking potential builders.