Custom Home Complete

October 21, 2019

plants in (2)

Our 2400 sq.ft. custom home with attached two-car garage on Johnson Road in Clear Water Estates in Canyon Lake, TX is complete and listed with Deb Kempert of Simmonds Realty of Shertz. The main floor contains a great room with fireplace, kitchen, dining area, breakfast nook, lighted walk-in pantry, two bedrooms and full bath on the right side of the great room, laundry room with soaking sink, office, master bedroom with ensuite and large walk-in closet. French doors lead to a large deck, which can also access the master suite, as well as the downstairs extra room with its own mini-refrigerator and full bath. This room has multiple uses: a crafts room, man cave, media room, teenager’s hideaway, mother-in-law unit, or even an air B&B.

Featured amenities, most of which can be viewed on the MLS listing, include: recirculating hot water system, so kitchen faucets and bathrooms can be used simultaneously; recessed lighting under kitchen cabinets; self-closing kitchen and bathroom drawers; kitchen island with preparation sink and seating for three; all windows are double-paned; coffered ceiling in the master bedroom; and plenty of storage, both inside and outside.

Johnson Road is a long up-and-down street that delights our grandchildren.  Clear Water Estates is a quiet, well-managed subdivision just minutes from Canyon Lake access, the marina, parks, baseball and soccer fields, the Canyon Lake dam, boat ramps, the library, restaurants, tubing on the Guadalupe River, music venues, and Brookshire Brothers grocery.

From start to finish: clearing the land to a little landscaping…

canyon lake texas custom home builders

.canyon lake texas custom home builders







The perennials we planted are all drought tolerant and deer-resistant, either the deer don’t like the taste or they are not native to Texas: Japanese boxwoods; white lantanas; silver sage with light purple blooms; and purple grass.  However, there is a caveat to “deer-resistant” – if they are starving, deer will eat anything.

plants in (3)



Choosing Colors

July 30, 2019

If you are renovating your current home or having a custom home built, your contractor will need to know your color preferences. It would be most helpful and expeditious if you had a folder of magazine cut-outs of your favorite color schemes.  Your contractor  will not make this important decision for you.

There is quite a difference between choosing colors for your house and actually seeing them on the walls. Very seldom do the first choices become the final choices. The best way to determine how to colorize walls is by buying small samples of paint and painting strips of them on a wall of your home to dry. Since wet paint and dry paint are slightly dissimilar, wait until the paint dries before making your decision.

There are sites online that allow you to visualize interior wall paint, as well as exterior paint; however, they aren’t perfect. So you will definitely want to test the colors and see for yourself.


Touring model homes and open houses in your area could also be helpful in choosing color schemes.

Rainy Construction

June 21, 2019

Our rainy spring looks to be continuing into the summer, which in Texas is actually a good thing. It keeps lawns green longer, the Edwards Aquifer at capacity, and deer less likely to chomp up neighborhood plants.  However, rain is unwelcome by construction sites until the roof is on and the walls are up. Most contractors hope that it doesn’t rain until the windows and doors of the custom home or addition have been installed as well. Blowing rain can create a mess, but it is easily remedied with push brooms and giant fans. Then the rain moves on, the sky clears to a brilliant blue, the heat is back, and construction resumes.


Framing Begins

May 25, 2019

With the foundation poured and form boards removed, framing begins on Johnson Rd.

framing beginsframing 3framing 2framing 4

Danny Bess is the owner of Bess Better Building, LLC in Canyon Lake, Texas. If you would like to view some of the Custom Homes in Canyon Lake that Danny has built please click this link. Custom Home Builders in Canyon Lake, Texas.

Johnson Road in Canyon Lake

May 22, 2019

Johnson Road is in the Clear Water Estates subdivision on the north side of Canyon Lake. It is one of several  roller-coaster streets throughout CWE, which can delight and thrill both driver and passenger(s).  rolling Johnson Rd.  We began clearing the land for construction of a custom home on April 22nd.  The front of the lot was  filled with cedar trees and the ground was nothing but layers of holey rocks and boulders.

clearing landholey rock

Between April 22nd and May 21st, rain made going forward slow and frustrating, but clearing, grading, and forming were finally completed,  Yesterday the foundation was poured.

foundation formedpump ready for concrete pour

Danny Bess is the owner of Bess Better Building, LLC in Canyon Lake, Texas. If you would like to view some of the Custom Homes in Canyon Lake that Danny has built please click this link. Custom Home Builders in Canyon Lake, Texas.

2019 Change of Name

May 22, 2019

In January, New Millennium Builders became Bess Better Building, LLC. We still have the same address, phone number, and quality work ethic. After eighteen years, the millennium is no longer new, so we felt it was time to update and make our name more recognizable and relevant.

We are looking forward to continue meeting, getting to know, and working with new clients, as well as continuing to serve our repeat customers.

At this time our  website is continuing to evolve.  Please let us know what you think.  Thank you, Danny.




If you would like to view some of the Custom Homes in Canyon Lake that Danny has built please click this link. Custom Home Builders in Canyon Lake, Texas.

Masterpiece Woodworking

April 21, 2012

Last fall (2011) our expertl woodworking and finish man, Tyler McCallick, moved his family and business to northern California. However, he continues to work for us long distance, traveling back and forth from his new location with extraordinarily finished consignments.

Since 2003, Tyler has been an integral part of New Millennium Builders, producing excellent cabinets, doors,  bookcases, countertops, and storage windowseats for our clients. He has also been commissioned by several of them to build specialty items using exotic woods such as teak, birdseye maple, ebony, zebra, and purpleheart. His inlay work is superb, his latest marvel being crushed turquoise to fill the crevases of mesquite slabs.

Besides being our ace fine-woodworker, the owner of Masterpiece Woodworking has crafted one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture, from a four-poster kingsize bed with drawers to small inlaid boxes with secret compartments, all using dove-tailing and as little metal as possible.

I have needed him on every job since he left Texas and am sorry that he is not readily available any longer. We certainly became used to Tyler McCallick augmenting and accentuating our additions and remodels with his masterful craftsmanship. Although his California website is not up yet, please explore his many projects here: .  If you have a unique design in mind for your home and cannot find it in any store, give him a call at 530-391-2513.

No More Cold for Me

December 13, 2011

Frigid winds blew down snowcapped Mt. Rainier and swirled around the buildings of Puyallup, Washington, where my friend, Kurt Allen, and I were constructing a KinderCare day care facility. Although it wasn’t the furthest north I had ever built, it seemed like we were in Alaska or Siberia.

We began framing in late summer and by early fall had just finished siding the KinderCare structure when an artic front slammed down upon the windbreakless valley floor. For several shivering days, we each carried around a metal bucket full of coal embers to keep our faces and hands warm while we sawed and nailed the exterior trim at the windows and doors. It seemed to take forever, since we had to stop often and seek out the warming buckets that helped us survive in near-zero temperatures. There was no shelter from the relentless wind that penetrated every cubbyhole, sleeve, and crevice. The only thing that would have made it worse would have been any kind of precipitation – rain, snow, sleet, or ice. (I could go on, but you probably get that I DON’T LIKE THE COLD.)

I thought building in Puyallup, WA was a harrowing experience, but Kurt seemed to thrive on the harsh conditions and dreamt of being a mountain man, like Jeremiah Johnson. For me, I felt like one of Charles Dickens’ orphans abandoned in the cold of winter. My dreams were of southern climes; hence, my moves to Hawaii, southern California, and Texas.

Since that time, I have concentrated on building where, as the poet Fred Neil says, “weather suits my clothes” – shorts and t-shirts. The mostly temperate weather of central Texas – New Braunfels, San Marcos, Spring Branch, Bulverde, Wimberley, Seguin, and Canyon Lake – is just right.


January 15, 2011

Stairways come in all shapes and sizes. Outdoor stairs can be simple or complicated but have to be weatherproofed.

Indoor stairs can be tricky. A day of work might end with a gap in the landing or the second story may not have even a basic safety railing installed…

Several years ago, my stepson was working with me and another carpenter on the interior transformation of a two-story house. The owners had only had the exterior shell of the house completed previously, but they were now ready to retire and wanted the house completed. This entailed everything:  walls, doorways, kitchen cabinets/appliances/lighting, bathrooms, laundry room, baseboards, flooring, second story rooms/flooring, closets, electricial, plumbing, and stairs. While the downstairs was walled into rooms, the upstairs was constructed and accessed by using a ladder and scaffolding. Once the bedrooms, bathroom, linen closet, and loft were framed and sheetrocked, the L-shaped stairway was begun.

When the basic framework and treads were nearly complete, only a gap in the landing, eight feet above the first story, remained. Everyone going up and down the stairs to tape/texture, paint, tile, trim windows/doors, etc. was very careful to avoid this hole. However, one morning a terrible accident occurred. The other carpenter had carelessly covered the hole with just plastic sheeting instead of the requested plywood, and James inadvertently stepped precisely on the plastic over the opening and fell through, hitting his head hard on the stairs and the floor.

After calling 911, I called my wife/James’ mother, who rushed over in time to get into the ambulance with him. His eyes were not equal and he could only remember his name, both indicators of a concussion. James’ wife met us at the emergency room and we spent hours in the hallway with James on a gurney in a neck and back brace, waiting until he was seen to. After x-rays and MRI determined a concussion but no cracks or fractures, he was released without having to spend the night. He had to stay home and rest for nearly a week, but he had a full recovery.

James was very lucky, but that scary incident reminded me that not every person I hired had a good sense of  responsibility and awareness. Despite his apologies, the stairway carpenter could not get over the suffering his mistake had caused. He became overly nervous and quit before the job was finished.

Crawl Space

January 12, 2011

One of the least pleasant tasks of remodelling is having to scope out the underpinnings, posts/beams, water lines, and electrical cables beneath a building. It’s not too bad if the space is adequate, but sometimes there is too little space for claustrophobic me. It is also a place where spiders and other critters reside, where broken bottles or rusted metal don’t get swept away.  

However, going aground is part of my free estimating process, if there are foundation, faulty electrical or plumbing issues to be addressed. In New Braunfels, San Marcos, Spring Branch, Canyon Lake, and other parts of the Hill County, scrabbling around under a pier and beam home always gives me a touch of apprehension. There’s no telling what might be seeking relief from the heat and humidity. Being surprised by a scorpion or two will get me scrambling backwards pretty fast.