Most builders would start to sweat if they had only 120 days to complete a 6,850-square-foot estate with a pool, a grand closet,an elevator, lighting controls, and numerous other challenging features. Mike Hollaway Custom Homes (MHCH), though, saw it as just another day at the office when faced with this timeline for its entry in the 2012 San Antonio Parade of Homes. And not only did the firm complete the project; it also, as in many years previous, won the coveted People’s Choice and Realtors’ Choice awards. So, how does MHCH stay cool under pressure? It probably has a lot to do with its founder’s wealth of experience.
Holloway, a custom homebuilder who grew up in the industry, started his business in 1992, and the company now enjoys a well-earned reputation as one of San Antonio’s most prestigious builders of fine custom homes. Hollaway himself, recognized locally as the 2008 Builder of the Year, is a past president of the local builders association (the GSABA), and he currently holds Graduate Master Builder and Certified Green Professional (CGP) designations from the NAHB. He is also a voting director of the Texas Association of Builders and the NAHB. His company is known for its ultra high-end products, but it builds in a wide variety of sizes and styles and at many different price points. Basically, if you want a luxury custom home in South Texas, Hollaway’s your man.
And because of this, MHCH does big business. Today, its annual goal is $30 million, and its average sales price is $786,000. The company is building all over metropolitan San Antonio, and it has also done work in the Eagle Ford Shale area, arguably the largest current oil field in America. However, it’s for the annual San Antonio Parade of Homes that Hollaway’s talents truly get a chance to shine, and his 2012 entry is a study in client satisfaction.
The Tuscan-style home, with unending Mediterranean flair, boasts an open, modern interior that works well with San Antonio’s inviting year-round weather. The owners—doctors and investors in medical real estate and restaurants—have two children. They asked Hollaway for a home suitable for entertaining throughout the year—and he certainly delivered.
Michael Edwards Custom Cabinetry
Colonial Iron Doors
Outdoor Pizza Oven
Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Large, Disappearing Glass Pocket Doors
E-Tech Integration, LLC
Garza Masonry and Stone
Swimming Pool and Spa
Keith Zars Pools
BEAM Central Vacuum
Steel Spiral Staircase
Colonial Iron Doors
Ceiling (Formal Living Room)
Lara Hart with LLB Designs
Hollaway is not a trained architect, but he is responsible for most of his own concepts. For the Tuscan home, he created a smart floor plan set up around a split master suite with curved walls and interior stonework. The stonework surrounds sweeping glass panels and multiple large 90-degree glass pocket doors that recess into the walls to transform the suite into an open-air bedroom space.
While the elaborate and expensive house boasts many bells and whistles, none stands out more than its grand master closet. “His” closet features beautifully finished cabinets, and “hers” is a massive, incomparable clothing mecca. The closet—with a $200,000 price tag—is two stories tall and roughly 700 square feet in size, with a spiral staircase and an elevator. Swarovski crystal hardware and well-placed lights twinkle across everyday-wear clothing on the first floor and boutique fashions on the second. Additionally, an adjacent shoe closet contains custom spaces for more than 300 pairs, and it further connects to an octagon-shaped, fully mirrored makeup room.
Other eye-popping spaces include a THX-certified media room, a poker room, a maid’s quarters, a butler’s pantry, a prep kitchen, and a stunning main kitchen with upscale appliances and plenty of space for entertaining guests.
As a CGP builder, Hollaway also added many sustainable elements such as open-cell spray-foam insulation, tankless water heaters, Energy Star-certified appliances, triple-pane glass, efficient light and water fixtures, and home automation. The house is fully electronic, including Lutron-controlled draperies and lighting systems.
As for entertaining, few homes are so well-equipped for the task, especially outside. The patio area spans 1,300 square feet, with an outdoor kitchen that boasts dual refrigerators and a pizza oven. Additionally, the infinity-edge pool and spa, wrapped in a fire feature, have as their focal point a colossal 120-inch drop-down projection screen, and there’s enough space around them for catering and live music. “I really worked to make sure the outdoor spaces flowed together because it’s so important to the overall feel,” Hollaway says.
Hollaway designed the dream home after extensive meetings with his clients. “We really got to know them and dug in to how they plan to use the home,” he says. He and his team view pictures, drawings, and inspirations to get an idea of a client’s style before and during the design phase. Then, they lay out an extensive display of existing projects to help drive ideas forward.
MHCH has successfully participated in 18 San Antonio Parade of Homes competitions over its 21-year history, and the investment, according to Hollaway, is well worth it. “Our company and our subs know that these projects will create work for years to come,” he says. MHCH has already completed four houses that came as referrals from the Tuscan home, and it has three more under construction. In fact, 40 percent of the company’s overall business comes from repeat or referral clients.
Having houses in the San Antonio Parade of Homes also pushes Hollaway to outdo himself. “We participate every year, and people know to look for our entry,” he says. “We always try to do something really special. Something a little different. Something creative.”