Client Stories

Client Story I
Client Story II
Client Story III
Client Story IV
Client Story V
Client Story VI
Client Story VII
Client Story VIII

About Us  |  Gallery  |  Press  |  Process  |  Client Stories  |  Links  |  Contact Us  

Ratza Client Story.
Tom and Rhonda Ratza  - Saddlewood Estates.
Tom and Rhonda Ratza had their first introduction to the Texas Hill Country 15 years ago while moving from Maryland to Houston. Numerous visits to the area followed, and In January 2007, the couple purchased four acres in Saddlewood Estates and moved to Kerrville. Rhonda noted the attraction to this particular area of the Hill Country, “It is an ideal location for us. Tom got his acreage and I got to live near town.”

While attending high school and college Tom spent the summers in California working for his builder father. Later, Tom and Rhonda would participate in various renovation and home building projects, including a restoration project of 70 homes built between the late 1700’s and early 1900’s, and the development of an 1870’s tobacco warehouse in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The couple’s experience played a major role in their decision to hire Tony Roberts Custom Homes. The goal—build the best house ever.

We interviewed three or four homebuilders, but when we met Tony Roberts and Tricia Byrom at the ’07 Parade of Homes in Kerrville, we quickly developed a good feeling about Tony and his organization. Roberts’ solid reputation was instrumental in our decision.

Our site presented a few design challenges. The lot is solid rock and has an 850-foot canyon overlook with a 100-foot drop. Tony referred us to a very helpful architect, Tom Oppelt at Paddle Creek Designs. While Tom drew up the house plans Tony had ideas and made suggestions, some of them budgetary, and Tom would incorporate those into the plans, which was much appreciated.



The design is not typical of Hill Country homes. The style is a big contemporary farmhouse. The exterior is limestone and stucco, but the interior is eclectic. The family area has a barn-like feel and we used galvanized steel rods in place of wood beams. We have a collection of modern art that we wanted to showcase, so they suggested we do a drywall return on the interior windows and doors in place of trim. This created a clean, sleek finish that lets the paintings be the center of attention. Outside there are front and rear courtyards, a large deck and an infinity edge pool.


Because Rhonda and I wanted to play an active role in the building process we moved to Kerrville in September 2008 and rented a home in Comanche Trace. Some builders might have a problem with this arrangement but not Tony and it worked out great for us. Tony and Tricia welcomed us into the process. Tony has an excellent group of sub contractors and each one was a pleasure to work with. It was important for us to work for the most part with local suppliers and vendors. Tricia was the glue that held everything together. She introduced us to the people we needed to meet in and around Kerrville. We were able to concentrate on making our design selections and focusing on the big picture while Tricia took care of all the fine details.


In May 2009, we moved into our new home. The punch list was minor with only a few touchups. The living area is 3,515 square feet and total is 5,976 square feet including courtyard and decks. We were almost sad the house was finished because we enjoyed the building process and the contact with Tony and his team. Rhonda and I feel this is the best house we’ve ever built in terms of design and quality. We are finally in a place that speaks to us and reflects our taste and style.

Building a house is a major event and expense but Tony and his crew made it easy for us. The stress, if any, was few and far between. We would not hesitate for one second to recommend Tony Roberts to anyone.