August 2012


Build an amazing home brimming with your personal flair on an extraordinary home site in BackCountry.  Shea Homes has spacious homesites on which buyers can build any one of the five fabulous home plans from the Water Dance Collection.  Make your way to beautiful BackCountry today to explore these value-packed opportunities as well as a home that is currently under construction.

Currently, Shea has five home sites available with a variety of features – including walkout, transitional, or flat homesites, backing to open space, and located on a cul-de-sac.*  Once you select your home site, you can choose any one of the collection’s five innovative plans to have built on that site.  In addition to selecting the home site and plan you desire most, you will also be able to make interior design choices that reflect your personal taste and style.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get everything you want in a new home from the inside out.  Please see a community representative for all the details. [read more…]


The History of J. F. Shea, Part 3

by rachelk on August 29, 2012

As the Shea family of companies expanded into California they also gained access to larger, more prominent, jobs. They landed one of their biggest jobs to date, a large dam in Nevada, called the Hoover Dam. This job led to the Six Companies, a partnering of several men who would work together to build the bridge. Charlie Shea acted as the company’s secretary.

While this large and difficult task was underway the J. F. Shea Company landed another important job, helping build the foundation for the Golden Gate Bridge. The company was in charge of building the piers and abutments for the bridge. While both the Hoover Dam and The Golden Gate Bridge were daunting and even dangerous at times, they set the company up for credibility and lasting success.

The J.F. Shea Company’s success did not end in the 1930’s. The Shea’s had a hand in constructing the Parker Dam, the Bonneville Dam, The Gunpower-Montebello Tunnel, a cement contract for the Shasta Dam, and even shipbuilding in WWII. The company was becoming well-rounded and diverse in its abilities and specialties.

In 1958, after spending several years in helping with war efforts, the J. F. Shea Company would become J. F. Shea Co., Inc. Owned and operated by a third generation of Sheas: John Shea, Gil Shea’s son; his two cousins, Edmund and Peter Shea, sons of Ed Shea. John acted as president, while Edmund and Peter acted as Vice Presidents. The new company would posture the company to take on new jobs never before imagined and help catapult Shea into the thriving company it is today.



For many people in the housing industry, design trends follow the prevailing winds from west to east, which would make California an engine of new ideas in the areas of home design and house plans. Assuming the weather vane is still pointing in the same direction, let’s take a look at how Southern California homes are currently being designed and built to get a sense of emerging housing trends in new home markets around the country.

Defined Outdoor Spaces

We’re not talking about simple front porches or back patios here, but rather, clearly articulated outdoor rooms that are extensions of indoor living spaces. At Shea Homes Veranda in Orange County, California, they are called “outdoor living rooms”, where folding glass doors, aka “disappearing walls,” create seamless, wide-open connections between indoor and outdoor spaces. This dynamic expansion of a floor plan can be further distinguished be amenities like cooking appliances, an outdoor bar, and a fireplace.

Goodbye to Formal Dining Rooms

Formal living rooms have been on the decline for years, but now it looks like formal dining rooms are also falling out of favor. A compartmented dining room, which often links to the kitchen via a butler’s pantry, or small hallway, is now commonly regarded as an isolated space that’s too disconnected from the more dynamic areas of the home. An increasing number of California house plans are featuring large great rooms – big, casual, social arenas where dining, lounge, and kitchen are joined. The extra square footage dedicated to great rooms means goodbye to the formal dining room of yesteryear.

Flex Spaces

Speaking of great rooms, they are increasingly becoming blank canvases upon which homeowners can generate a variety of flexible room configurations. The room arrangements may vary dramatically with the demographics of the residents, from large families who want more play space to boomer couples that may envision a variety of functions. The main point is that these adaptable rooms, like those at Shea SPACES can become creative expressions of the homeowners’ lifestyles, and that the floor plans adjust to people who live there rather than people adjusting to the floor plans.

Multigenerational House Plans/Universal Design

With the rise of multigenerational households (different generations of one family living together), universal design is increasingly becoming an area of focus for architects and builders. The idea is to create house plans that comfortably accommodate a wide variety of ages and physical abilities – from toddlers to elders. These adaptations might include no-step entries, wider hallways, and super “in-law units” or “granny suites” that have entire living spaces (bedroom, lounge, kitchenette, full bath) situated on the first level.

Energy Efficiency on the Rise

California isn’t the only new home marketplace focused on energy-efficient home design, but it’s one of the states leading the charge in terms of legislating resource efficiency. For example, starting in 2014, all newly built homes in California will be required to be “solar-ready,” which refers to south-facing roofs that can optimally accommodate solar panel installation.

If California is on the green building forefront, Shea Homes is one of the new home builders on the front lines. Shea designs energy-efficient houses built with eco-friendly materials that result in greater comfort, reduced utility bills, high-quality indoor air. Shea Homes Active Lifestyle division has even created a line of Net Zero homes, SheaXero, at its communities, where the houses generate enough renewable energy on site to equal or exceed its energy needs. That means zero paid on electrical bills every month. Now there’s a housing trend that could sweep the nation.

Discover more California home design and house plan trends at





Normally, on the Shea Homes blog we love to cover all of the latest news and info about building science, our communities and homes around the Valley. Today, we’re taking a break to bring you a list of some of the exciting happenings around the West Valley this fall. Here are just a few of the events that make Arizona a fun and exciting place to call home: 

1)      Multi-platinum funk rock legends, Red Hot Chili Peppers take the stage at Arena in Glendale, September 25, 8:00 p.m. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased via phone 1 (800) 745-3000 or online by visiting

2)      Looking for a little more pop in your evening? Justin Bieber will perform Saturday, September 29 at the Arena in Glendale alongside upcoming superstar, Carly Rae Jepsen. Tickets start at $88 and can be purchased on the Ticket Network Direct.

3)      Who’s ready for some Sunday night football? On September 9, watch the Arizona Cardinals take on the Seahawks in their first regular season home game. Get your tickets before they’re gone from the NFL box office.

4)      If you’re looking for a fun music and food filled day, this is it! Oktoberfest on the Front Lawn of the Wigwam in [read more…]


New Plans and Choice Lots Attract Buyers to Carefree Living at the Luxury Villas

August 23, 2012
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  Serene and nature-filled living awaits you in remarkable BackCountry.  The Whispering Wind Collection by Shea Homes has excellent opportunities for you to pair an amazing homesite with the single-family ranch plan of your choice including new and redesigned plans. From the ground up Available now are exceptional homesites on which you can build one […]

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The History of J.F. Shea, Part 2

August 21, 2012

In the early 1900’s Charlie Shea, John Shea’s eldest son, set out to remake his father’s business. While plumbing had been the focus of John’s business ventures, Charlie transitioned the company to underground piping and tunnel work in hopes of acquiring large jobs rather than focus on small contracts. Over the next 10 years the […]

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From Home Design to To-Do Lists: Ten Top Mobile Apps for Homeowners

August 21, 2012

There are home improvement apps, home design apps, to-do list apps, party planning apps, all of which are designed to make life at home a little more organized and forward-moving. But new apps arrive with such speed and frequency it’s impossible to keep up. With that in mind, let’s just slow down for a moment, […]

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SPACES at Reunion is Proud to be Part of the Parade of Homes

August 17, 2012
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  Shea SPACES models say – HELLO FUTURE!  In the future, homes will be smarter. They’ll support your plugged-in lifestyle. They’ll emphasize efficiency. They’ll feel bigger by focusing on space you actually use. They’ll be as intelligent as today’s new home buyer. Visit us and explore the first new-home concept of its kind at SPACES […]

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Tresana Townhome-style Living From The Low $200s

August 16, 2012
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If you are looking for stylish attached living in an ideal location, the Italian-inspired neighborhood of Tresana in Highlands Ranch is the place you will want to call home.  Located at University and C470 residents can easily be on their way to downtown Denver, the Denver Tech Center, or the mountains in no time.  Shea […]

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Day Lighting Systems: Solar Tubes Supply Light Without Using Electricity

August 14, 2012

As a homeowner, how do you bring in natural light without installing window replacements or expensive skylights? Or invite in the sunlight without increasing air-conditioning costs and fading the furniture? Is it possible to turn on the lights without using electricity? These riddles would be much more challenging had you not already glimpsed the headline. […]

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