Custom home builder Matt Adams is not afraid to admit a career mistake.
“Perhaps my greatest career mistake was signing non-disclosure agreements on some of the most magnificent homes I built or renovated in the Fort Worth area,” he says.
Blame it on his youth.
“I was young and thankful for such major projects at the time. I wasn’t thinking about building a legacy or portfolio back then,” he said.
Custom home builder?
That term covers a lot of ground, which is certainly where Matt Adams Custom Homes has made its name. In addition to building homes in the 4,000-8,000 square-foot range, his achievements include 15,000-30,000 square-foot mansions in Westover Hills and ranches. The projects include new construction as well as major renovations.
But details on those projects?
Oh, those pesky non-disclosure agreements. Still, that old reliable word-of-mouth has more than served its purpose.
A number of builders describe themselves as “custom” but they usually have a certain aesthetic look and feel. Adams, to use an artistic term, has a much broader palette.
“While most custom builders are personalizing bathrooms and kitchens, I work at an even more distinctive level. In addition to customizing bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and game rooms, I have created secure, hidden safe rooms, stunning wine rooms and even complex generator systems that are fully enclosed and are the size of a traditional house,” he says.
Rather than concentrate on a single style, Adams has applied his talents to construct a variety of home designs: Cape Cod; Colonial; Contemporary; Farmhouse; French Provincial; Ranch; Spanish; Tudor and Victorian.
If the name Adams rings a bell in Fort Worth, it should.
Matt Adams represents the fifth generation of Adams builders in the city, going back to his great-great-grandfather, George Fletcher Adams in 1870. The family heritage is 151 years old, back when every home was “custom.”
Want to see an example of Adams family craftsmanship?
Check out the bungalow-style Fort Worth Fire Station #18 at the corner of Camp Bowie Boulevard and Carleton Avenue. It is one of six fire stations built by the family. The facility will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023.
The Adams family has constructed and remodeled homes and commercial structures that have earned more than 20 historic designations listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Adams naturally followed the tradition of his forefathers, hanging around construction sites and doing whatever work he could as he grew into his teens.
While other boys in the neighborhood played football and baseball, Matt Adams could be found studying architectural plans. Dinner table conversation revolved around the challenges and solutions of that day’s work on construction sites.
He learned the trade from his grandfather, B.B. “Bo” Adams, Jr. and his father, B.B. “Bert” Adams III.
“I was in my 20s when I built a 16,000 square-foot home on a bluff that offered a stunning panoramic glass view of Carswell Air Force Base and featured a swimming pool that flowed from inside to outside the home. I understood that the living room was then the largest in Texas.”
His most memorable feature was a complex cantilever system that required steel I-beams that weigh 130 pounds per foot. The cantilevers extend a structure horizontally and are supported on only one end. The enormous size of the extension of the roof required tons and tons of steel support beams.
Adams remembered tall stacks of steel beams heaped in the yard during construction because the project was so enormous.
Then there was the crane.
“This project was so colossal that I hired a 240-foot Grove crane for six months. I was told that this was the first time that anyone had used such a powerful piece of equipment for home construction in the Fort Worth area,” Adams said.
It would not be his last crane construction project.
One year later, Matt Adams received the call for a project twice the size of the original – a 30,000 square-foot home in the same area. The home was considered to be the most expensive residence in all of North Texas at the time.
Adams sees the homes he builds on many sites.
“I see the profiles on the 25 most elegant homes in Fort Worth year after year and I can point to several of them that are my creations, either from the ground up or as renovations,” he adds. “I just can’t publicize which ones they are.”
Matt Adams retains a portfolio that reveals photos of the construction projects and he is allowed to share the results of his craftsmanship on a one-to-one basis. However, unlike many builders – particularly in this social media age – there are no brochures and none of the NDA-restricted [non-disclosure agreement] photos are on his website.
“Certainly, the large cantilever is a favorite, and so is the intricate, huge generator system for the 30,000 square-foot home,” says Adams.
But bigger is not necessarily better.
“Actually, some of my finest work has been in how I custom renovated a 4,000-6,000 square-foot residence with inspiration from some of my largest projects.”
Adams’ puts a focus on the homeowners and also making it appealing to future owners.
“A masterpiece can be created in a 5,000 square-foot home just as it is in 15,000 square feet. The secret is how to reflect the precise priorities and persona of the homeowners, so that they feel this home is uniquely theirs,” he said. “At the same time, the home must possess the degree of flexibility that will make it appropriately appealing to future buyers when the time comes to relocate.”
His custom homes are sprinkled throughout the Fort Worth area and include addresses on Bellaire Circle, in Monticello, the Forest Park area, Park Place, Country Club Circle, TCU, Tanglewood, Overton Park, and upscale residential towers and multiple ranches.
Ranches, yes, but decidedly upscale with homes, barns and even office structures.
Adams is known for his attention to detail and how well he collaborates with architects and decorators to create the ideal reflection of the homeowners.
“I enjoy working with architects because I respect their trade. Working together, we can help homeowners envision the full potential of their home,” says Adams. “When homeowners already have their own drawings to work from or they ask me to provide design services, I am definitely confident in my skills in that area. I go whichever direction the client prefers.”
Matt Adams sense of loyalty goes back generations.
“My grandfather bought the first cubic yard of concrete that Tarrant Concrete ever poured in 1968, and we have bought from them for over 50 years. My grandfather built the Sweeney Lumber Company complex in the 1950s and we have bought lumber from them ever since.”
Throughout the years, Adams has taken personal ownership of each home construction project, realizing quickly that any contractor’s reputation is only as good as the weakest subcontractor. For the past 25 years, he has recruited and maintained relationships with what he calls “The A Team” – extremely reliable specialists in plumbing, framing, masonry, window work, roofing and beyond.
Just as 10,000 and 15,000 square-foot estates were once a challenge, today Matt Adams also enjoys working on projects in the 4,000-10,000 square-foot range.
His advice for anyone considering construction of a new home or a major renovation?
“One of the common mistakes that homeowners make is when they do not fully imagine the expanded opportunities that a new or renovated home can generate for them. I have helped clients experience far more enjoyment and functionality from their homes.”
– FWBP Staff
Matt Adams Custom Homes
950 E. State Highway 114, Suite 160