Darcy Baylis didn’t step into homebuilding like most others. The time had come for a new home for her family, and Darcy’s father, a retired air force veteran, encouraged her to be her own general contractor. However, Darcy, a special needs educator, didn’t feel she had the time nor knowledge, so she hired a builder. And, fell in love with homebuilding!
Through the process of having her home built, Darcy saw that she could do it. Yes, there was much to learn, and Darcy credits her builder – along with other sub-contractors – with taking the time to help her learn the trade. Darcy describes her father as a “real go-getter” (a trait she says she inherited) and she and her dad built their first home together in 1999. That home sold right away and they started a second home, which likewise sold quickly. After that, local banks were willing to make construction loans for Darcy, so her father no longer needed to put up the money to acquire the home site and for construction. That’s when Darcy left the teaching profession to pursue her homebuilding career full-time, naming her business “Aubrey Homes” after her eldest daughter.
The company builds homes priced from $250,000 to $1,000,000 in the hill country and suburbs surrounding Austin, Texas. Darcy prides herself on crafting homes that meet the needs of everyone in the household. About 75% of the homes built by Aubrey Homes are market homes, available for immediate possession. When Darcy discovered the Woman-Centric Matters!® approach to building homes, she was attracted to teaming up with Design Basics, LLC. “You can tell when a home has been designed and built by a woman,” Darcy says.
“Our homes are centered around all of the buyers’ needs. We look at every detail. I’m happy to work with each of my clients from the design phase through product selections and finishes to get the home they truly want.”
What’s it like being a woman builder in a male-dominated industry? According to Darcy, “It’s pretty cool, actually. I don’t get shunned. Occasionally there’s a sub-contractor that doesn’t want to work with a woman but generally I’ve been treated well. It’s an exciting time for women to be involved in the homebuilding industry and the education opportunities are endless.”
It was the Greater Austin Home Builders Association’s “Green Boots” classes that helped shape Aubrey Homes’ focus on the environment. Darcy just finished building Design Basics’ “Bonham” plan, which sold for $415,700, and featured blown-in cellulose insulation in the walls and spray foam insulation in the attic, creating a highly energy efficient home. The heating and air conditioning systems were sized properly for such energy-efficient construction and ductwork sealed to minimize air duct leakage. Construction Waste Recyclers of Texas, who Darcy was referred to at the Green Boots classes, was able to recycle approximately 85% of the jobsite waste, keeping tons of debris out of area landfills.
Read more about Aubrey Homes and the Bonham plan.