The idyllic Southwest Florida setting itself is what draws so many people here: sunshine and waterfront living and Murray Homes’ dedication to building luxury home and estates in Sarasota that are “effectively maintenance-free” homes combines instantaneous appeal with long-term endurance.
The corollary to our environment, however, is that buildings here must withstand the damaging—sometimes devastating—effects of near-constant heat, sunlight, humidity, rain, wind, saltwater, sand and more. Without knowledgeable, well-planned architecture and construction, a house here can easily and quickly fall victim to these elements.
What’s the point of a dream home if, in three years, it’s already in need of major repair?
Murray Homes strives to circumvent environmentally generated repairs by building homes that are effectively maintenance-free from the get-go. The luxury custom home builder emphasizes designs that inspire instantaneous appeal in the most discerning buyers, but the company simultaneously utilizes building methods that are sensitive to the environment can maintain that appeal for years to come.
By combining thoughtful architectural consideration with durable materials, Murray Homes provides buyers with a sense of security in their investment. And in addition to those thoughtful building techniques, the builder offers the Murray Maintenance program, through which it maintains its commitment to the home’s endurance, even after it’s been completed and purchased.
In order to build homes that are as effectively maintenance-free as possible, Murray considers the longevity and durability of its building materials. The company relies on cementitious products and hardy board, bypassing products that are prone to rot or otherwise lose integrity in southwest Florida’s conditions. Composite or hardwoods like ipe resist rotting, and cypress is a great material for ceilings in outdoor spaces. On top of that, high-quality paints, stains and silicone—created by established companies like GAF and DuPont—have been specifically designed for Florida’s environment.
Sarasotans’ penchant for contemporary architecture means a prevalence of flat roofs, which require special consideration for leak-prevention. Murray employs a combination of tapered insulation, the waterproof Fibertite roofing membrane, or GAF’s five-coat, roll-on liquid roof membrane material. Metal roofs are also an option, but they require a 25-year coastal Kynar finish—a high-quality, factory-finished paint system available in a range of colors.
To combat the area’s warmer weather, Murray utilizes variable-speed air-conditioning units, which speed up and slow down but never turn off, allowing for cooler, dehumidified air with lower bills and less likelihood of mold. (Older units that turn off allow moist air to stagnate—an invitation for mold.)
For windows and doors, Murray integrates silver-nitrate coating that stops UV rays from infiltrating the home, thereby stopping heat gain while also preventing furniture from being discolored by the sunshine. Solar shades, too, can be built into the home’s design to help to lower energy consumption. The shades can be incorporated into an automated smart-home system like Lutron that can, for instance, automatically lower them at 2 p.m. and then raise them again at sundown. That wi-fi automation even allows for homeowner manipulation via an interior control or even a smartphone.
Even after all of these considerations have been made during the building process, the Murray Maintenance program offers regular checks to ensure that systems are enduring as they should, and that no unforeseen issues have arisen. While Murray feels confident in his building methods, the maintenance program allows them to catch and address small issues before they turn into big problems. Murray Maintenance assesses the state of paint and structural materials, AC systems (changing filters, checking coils and coolant, which can be affected by salt, sun and water), as well as plumbing, irrigation heads, back-flow preventers and more. That way, homeowners can feel secure in the safety of their house and their investment.
This program is not merely a company policy; it is a personal commitment. In the days immediately following Hurricane Irma’s landfall in September 2017, Steve Murray and his staff took it upon themselves to visit 40 Murray-built homes in the area—without being asked—in order to assess possible property damage and report back to the homeowners who had not yet returned to the area.
Fortunately, due to Murray’s effectively maintenance-free building specifications, there was little damage to report.