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Kneale Client Story.
Graham and Karen Kneale  - Bear Valley Ranch
Looking to “escape” the traffic and congestion of southern California, Graham and Karen Kneale began an extensive hunt in 2009, for the ideal place to build their retirement home. The couple discovered the Texas Hill Country and soon fell in love with the historic city of Fredericksburg. And almost immediately, the Kneales purchased a home site at Bear Valley Ranch located ten miles south of town. Their five acre ranch is situated on a hillside with breathtaking views of wide-open countryside.

Graham and Karen contacted Mustard Design in Fredericksburg to craft their house plans. Architect Eric Mustard recommended three homebuilders, one of which was Tony Roberts. Graham recalls, “Right away we liked Tony as a person. He was cordial and polite and didn’t talk down to us. He discussed the process of building a custom home and it was exactly what we wanted. Later, we talked to a number of people in town and everyone said Tony Roberts is the best person you can hire.” Meanwhile, during the building of their new home, the Kneales would continue to live in Laguna Hills, California.



The design of the house is two stories with a detached garage with a family and guest apartment built above the garage. The main floor includes an expansive great room and a picture window that embraces the hillside view. The master suite on the second floor shares the same valley view. The exterior entry features a fountain and waterfall. The Kneales ordered a front door from an iron craftsman they knew in California, “We expected the house to be built with 2 x 4s, instead it was built with 2x6s, but Tony was unfazed. He ordered special glass and customized the door to make it work. He did a marvelous job.”


Building began in April and was schedule to be completed by December. The absentee couple communicated via email and phone and arrived in Texas based on a mutually agreed upon schedule with Tony and his subcontractors. "Our questions and emails to Tricia Byrom were answered almost immediately. The Kneales had no prior home building experience and their daughter commented they would probably need "counseling" once they got through the building process. “There are over 70 cabinets in the house," said Graham, "and we had granite, flooring, and roofing selections to make, but Tony was right there with us helping us to decide, and it was amazingly easy. We would not have known what to do otherwise. ” Graham adds that Tony and his team offered tons of leadership. "Tony understood what we wanted from the start. There was no time from beginning to end that we had to say, no, that’s not what we want."


When we moved in on Dec 11, 2009, our home was 99% ready for us said Graham and Karen. The subcontractors fine tuned a few last minute details and everything was taken care of within the first week. Our house in Laguna Hills was 1,500 square feet, so when we emailed pictures to family and friends, they were amazed at the size of our Texas home, which is 5,200 square feet including the porch and garage apartment. It is about integrity and craftsmanship at Tony Roberts Custom Homes. Tony never gave us advice because he could profit from it; he gave us advice based on what we needed. We recommend Tony Roberts in a heartbeat.