Open Season

South Florida’s mild winters are an almost irresistible draw to the discriminating second-home market, custom builder Rick Harwick says.

June 01, 2002


Our clients are typically very active, mature adults who live four to six months out of the year here and spend a lot of their time outside. This lifestyle is what really drives the use of outdoor space in our market.

Rick Harwick, Harwick Homes Construction

South Florida’s mild winters are an almost irresistible draw to the discriminating second-home market, custom builder Rick Harwick says. “The weather here those four to five months out of the year is really wonderful, and it attracts a very active type of buyer who swims and plays a lot of golf and tennis. They really love to be outside because this is how they socialize.”

This luxurious winter retreat was designed and constructed as a secondary residence for a professional couple who entertains family, friends and business associates. In addition to an outdoor kitchen, dining area and lanai, this home features numerous private outdoor sitting areas and a wraparound balcony that surrounds the second-floor study.

Located in a gated golf course community, the home site was unconventional, Harwick says. “It had very limited exposure to the street because the golf course wraps around two-thirds of the property. Still, this gave us a great opportunity to take advantage of fairway and lake views.”


In addition to providing affluent clients with the luxury and meticulous detail they look for in indoor living space, Harwick recognizes that they want the same plush treatments outside as well. Pools, spas, outdoor bars and outdoor kitchens are “must-haves” to please this market, he says. Finishes and materials must be consistently top-of-the-line.

Outdoor fireplaces have really become very popular these days,” Harwick says. “Traditionally, we have always had a fireplace indoors, usually in the formal living room. But that’s really more of a focal point. These outdoor fireplaces are the ones that are actually being used.”

With so many outdoor amenities, “it is not unusual these days to more than double the square footage of a house when you take into account the actual covered outdoor space,” Harwick says.

Style of Home | Mediterranean

Location | Bonita Springs, Fla.

Total Square Footage | 6,996 (air-conditioned space); 12,769 (with covered outdoor space)

Market Value | $3 million

Builder | Harwick Homes Construction, Naples, Fla.

Architect | Eric Brown Design Group, Bonita Springs

Interior Designer | Collins & DuPont, Bonita Springs

Developer & Land Planner | Bonita Bay Properties, Bonita Springs

Custom Clients | Professional couple, secondary residence

Major Products Used | Appliances: Sub-Zero (refrigerator and icemaker); DCS (grill) | Countertops: Marble Works, granite | Doors: Precision (interior); Cantera (exterior) | Exterior Finish: stucco | Fireplace: masonry | Flooring: DeMarco Tile Salted | Home Controls/Automation: LiteTouch | HVAC: Carrier | Plumbing Fixtures: Kohler | Roofing: Monier Lifetile | Windows: Andersen Fans: Craftmade | Lighting: Arte de Mexico | Screen Enclosure Around Pool: Faas Bros. Precast Columns: Johnson Bros. | Entry Fountain: Architectural Accents


Wide-Open Spaces Say Welcome






  • Pocket glass doors in the living and family rooms make it possible to combine the indoor living space with the outdoor lanai, creating a single large room. “When a house like this one is opened up to its outdoor space, it really seems like nothing at all to entertain 200 or more guests at a time,” builder Rick Harwick says. “Sometimes you wonder, ‘Where are all the people?’”





  • Reflecting the lot’s long, narrow shape, the home’s pool and spa feature a linear design. A screened enclosure keeps the whole area pest-free.





  • The outdoor kitchen features a two-tier granite counter, a refrigerator, an icemaker, a sink and a grill. A television (not shown) lets guests seated at the bar catch up on sporting events.





  •  Fans create a breeze that enhance the natural ventilation provided by the screened-in lanai.





  •  The 12-foot ceiling is finished with stained cypress.





  • Mexican tile flooring is used throughout the outdoor areas, including the pool deck in the lanai.





  • Harwick says another amenity that has grown in popularity is what he calls a true outdoor dining room. He says this space must be covered, have its own cooking area or direct access to the main kitchen, and be large enough to accommodate a permanent, 12- to 14-foot-long table.





  •  A hand-carved pinon cantera stone fountain makes a statement in the home’s entry courtyard. Overhead, the trellis, a combination of hand-hewn cedar beams resting on cast-stone arches, defines the space and provides natural shade from the Florida sun. The wrought-iron grillwork around the entry doors was custom-built and installed on site.
  • Comments on: "Open Season"

    November 2014

    This Month in Custom Builder


    Project management once required numerous binders and folders to stay organized, but true to the 21st century, all of this can be done in one app.


    Incentive compensation plans can reward performance but be careful about what you’re paying for. 

    Email Subscriptions