Building Insider - March/April 2017

Exceptional Design

It’s one of the biggest challenges for a builder: transforming a buyer’s ideas into a home that’s uniquely theirs. But Cugini & Capoccia Builders, Inc., now known as CCBI, excels at building gorgeous custom homes that clearly reflect their client’s vision.

“The key thing is, our buyers are a big part of our design,” says Paul Cugini, president of CCBI. “They really, truly have the flexility of doing what they want.”

The CCBI process is built around incorporating client input into their home’s design. “We’re truly a custom builder,” Cugini says. “We enable our buyers to interact with the design. I don’t think there’s been one home we’ve built that’s been reduplicated — they’re all different.”

CCBI has built 600-plus homes over the last 31 years — and while each is unique, they all feature outstanding design. The company’s projects have run the architectural gamut, from chic modern to formal Georgian to classic Tuscan. And inside, each home highlights their owners’ individual style choices.

Cugini, an award-winning builder, brings a strong eye and inherent talent for design to every project. He works actively with buyers, even sketching out ideas before they’re entered into CAD software, to take a client’s design concepts from paper to solid homes. “I sit down with clients, I get their needs, their wants, their ideas,” he says. “It gives them an ability to interact with us and to design their home, so it is truly a custom home.”

Cugini has intentionally kept his company small so he could provide buyers with close personal attention. To make sure they have a positive and creative experience, he meets with homeowners regularly throughout the process.

“Working with Paul Cugini and his team to build our new home has been a wonderful experience. They were more than willing to consider our requests and modify floor plans to allow us to customize our new home,” says CCBI homeowner, Bobbie Swearengin. “The experience was completely personalized. Paul’s team was available to us 24/7 if we ever had a question or wanted to make a change.”

Every detail, from planning through construction, is carefully handled by CCBI for maximum quality, looks and function. Energy efficiency is a high priority, and CCBI workers use building materials that protect against air and moisture, like 2x6 exterior walls and insulating concrete forms. For quality inside, the company installs solid wood doors and Amish-built cabinets. CCBI also stays ahead of the curve on technology, and gives homeowners the opportunity to install systems that, for example, work with their smart phones to unlock doors and turn on lights.

“We love our new home because of the quality of construction and Paul’s attention to detail, says Sandy Ekstrand, a CCBI homeowner.

For empty nesters, CCBI builds homes that can adapt to a homeowner’s changing lifestyle. “We’re doing eight foot doors and we’re doing showers with no curbs,” says Cugini.

CCBI builds condos and single family homes, and also develops its own subdivisions. During construction, Cugini visits jobsites daily. He scrutinizes the work and often makes small but strategic changes to improve the home. “Every home that I build, I always look at it as if it’s my own home and how would I want to see it,” says Cugini.

Although they have built many single families over the years, CCBI is currently building a new product: patio home condos. “I’m really excited about the products we’re going with. It’s a market where I think I can truly give the buyers what they want,” explains Cugini. “The owners don’t have to do any outside work or lawn care. We’re giving them something where they can turnkey the house and leave for the winter if they choose.”

Gorgeous views, low maintenance living

CCBI is developing and building two new patio home communities that each offer homeowners low maintenance living in a highly desirable neighborhood.

When complete, Loch Lomond Hills, located off  of Jewett  Road in Powell, will be a 39-unit luxury community priced from the mid-$500s to the $800s. Currently, 18 of the condos have already been built.

With its natural beauty, Loch Lomond Hills, which overlooks the Olentangy River, exemplifies the locations Cugini chooses to develop. Cugini’s exterior design ensures that each unit takes full advantage of the areas’s breathtaking views.

“The patio homes are being constructed with open layouts and an abundance of windows,” says Cugini. “I’ve always believed in putting a lot of windows in a house. In a great setting like this, that looks across the river, the views you have bring the outdoors in. It really makes a big difference.”

As he planned Loch Lomond Hills, one of Cugini’s guiding principles was to make sure the community wasn’t cookie-cutter. Outside the units have a graceful consistency, and inside they are all custom-designed and individualized. “Of all the units sold at Loch Lomond Hills, there’s not one unit that’s identical even though from the outside you can’t tell they’re different.”

The community has a model home that buyers can use for inspiration as they plan their own home.

This spring, CCBI is breaking ground on a custom patio home community located off  of Central College Road in the New Albany area. Homes will be priced from the $350s to $450s.

Other recent CCBI communities include The Keep, a 53-unit condo project located in Columbus off of 5th Avenue, and River Run, a single family home gated community off  of Jewett  Road in Powell, with homes ranging from the $800s to a million-plus.

Italian inspiration

Born in Rome, Cugini moved to the US as a seven-year-old and within days of arriving began elementary school in Whitehall, Ohio. Construction is in his blood — both his grandfather and father were carpenters. “I’ve always been around construction,” Cugini says. “I’ve always loved designing and seeing houses go up.”

Cugini wanted to learn all that he could about home building; the summer after he graduated from high school, he convinced his father to take out a construction loan for him so Cugini could build his first home. “My dad had faith in me. I was fortunate,” he remembers. “I worked with every single trade on that house, from foundation to complete on. I built a 1,600 square foot house and it was a great home to learn from.”

Cugini built several more homes while he was a student at The Ohio State University. After graduating with a business degree, he took a job with State Savings Bank asa mortgage loan officer. But as much as he enjoyed the financial side of the home building business, he really wanted to build houses. In 1986 he founded Cugini and Capoccia Builders, Inc, and brought his father and father-in-law into the organization. His father-in-law has passed away and his father has retired, however CCBI remains a true family business with Cugini’s wife, Marilena, working in the company.

Today CCBI has a four-person office staff and an elegant headquarters in Lewis Center. Their building includes offices, a well-stocked showroom and a comfortable conference space where clients can sit down with Cugini to collaborate on their designs.

“CCBI did an outstanding job on our new home, affording us the opportunity to easily customize plans and finishes during the process. The staff was courteous, transparent, knowledgeable and and attentive to our requests, adding that personal touch which made us comfortable and confi dent in our decision to buy a CCBI product,” says homeowner, Kathy Lohr.

Cugini has a strong instinct for great design, and he is able to pinpoint the elements that make a home look appealing and feel good. “Architecture has always been something I’ve liked,” he observes.

“I’ve been fortunate to be able to go back to Italy regularly, I still have relatives there, to take in a lot of the architecture there and incorporate it into designs here.”

Says Cugini: “The best thing is at the end of the day, when a homeowner moves in, you see their dream and my design come together and they’re happy.”