Tag Archives: builder

AHBA 2016 Parade of Homes | The Winners!

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-6-00-28-amCongrats to our builder friends who participated in and won awards this past week for their thoughtfully designed and quality built homes. We appreciate you stewarding our community towards a sustainable future with long-lasting and livable homes. If you didn’t see the winners please go here. Cheers to you!rhodoreno1_small

FOR SALE | the Field View

Main with TitleMLS#3135891 | $360,000 | 3 Beds + 2.5 Baths = 2052 SQFT

Modern Asheville Real Estate is excited to bring something new to the real estate marketplace. This “pre-construction” package by a local design/build team here in Asheville blends European simplicity and sophistication reflected in the design inspiration photographs below. Inspiration Compwith Title

This minimal, modernist home called “the Field View” reflects that iconic shape of home, barn or shed in that Danish Modern style we love. The simplified details blending raw and basic materials creating a warm yet contemporary internal space. A neutral palette for material selections will bring in a regional aesthetic that when combined with contemporary elements reflect a modernist urban/rural refinement. 3 beds & 2.5 baths with great room on the main living space. The lower level is open use with flexibility in mind to adapt to your specific needs. See plans for this speculative home below to be located at 26 Blalock Ave in the Oakley neighborhood of east Asheville. Drawings Comp with Title

Maxey Andress {designer} and June Gartrell {builder} with some stewarding from the Modern Asheville Real Estate team, put together the vision for this home. Maxey and June have been working on remodeling homes here in Asheville, but this is their first speculative home here. They both have been involved in design/build work in the Southeast including new custom homes. Below is a brief sampling of their quality work. More samples and references are available upon request.Comp

Want more information on this home? Contact Troy or Kelly here for the full speculative package. We look forward to seeing this dream become reality.


Peregrine 05 | Parade of Homes Award Winner

Award CompCongratulations to Roost for winning a Craftsmanship Award following judging by the panel from the Asheville Home Builders Association. If you haven’t had a chance to see this cool, modern home be sure to stop by this Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5pm at 21 St. Charles Place to see the quality and design yourself. In the meantime take the virtual tour. Congrats!

Parade of Homes | People’s Choice Awards

Hi Folks! David, Joy, Kelly and myself will be at 21 St. Charles Place Saturday and Sunday for the Parade of Homes from Noon until 5pm. Stop by and visit us and be sure to vote for your favorite for the People’s Choice Awards. We are #27. Click here to vote. Hope to see you. Cheers! Troy21 St Charles Pl Asheville NC-small-002-Front-666x443-72dpi

Ciel Modern Under Construction

I took a drive up to Elk Mountain Scenic Highway this weekend to see the latest modern spec home at Ciel under construction. As you can see it is starting to take shape and has great views into Asheville. Give us a call if you want details. Have a great Monday! IMG_6239

Earthtone Builders | Brutalist Modern Home

IMG_0496Kelly and I were lucky enough to get a tour of one the latest residential constructions in Kenilworth. The modern home is being built by our friend Greg McGuffey of Earthtone Builders. Greg, along with his artist client, took on the bold challenge of building a uniquely concrete house made entirely from Superior Walls. The walls are exposed to the exterior, along with corten steel and reclaimed wood. Exposing structural concrete first originated the stylistic term of Brutalism in architecture. IMG_0475

Brutalism, as it became known, flourished from the 1950’s to the 70’s. The style was for its functionality and expression of materiality. This term did not originate from the word “brutal”, but from the french words “beton brut” or raw concrete used by Le Corbusier and then transposed into “Brutalism” by architecture critic Reyner Banham.

While the idea of a concrete home may seem severe the home is actually graceful as it carves out a flowing and livable container tucked into the steep sloped lot.  IMG_0484The main living space of the home is generous and light filled carving out views into nature. Access paths to the home for both cars and feet are cleverly carved out through use of Ecology Blocks, oversized concrete blocks made from leftover concrete from returning trucks. Kelly and I loved these and imagine how these will look when aged and juxtaposed with the natural environment as it grows in. IMG_0494

The upper level is 3 bedrooms and 2 baths within 1600 sqft. The 900 sqft lower level will have the garage/ceramics studio and an additional bathroom. The Superior walls of the home have an R value of 32 and hold up the substantial roof. The roofing is a TPO membrane and is designed to hold a future living roof and potential solar panels.IMG_0481

While the artist wanted to retain much of the forest surrounding her home it was challenging given the nature of the lot itself. The wood removed was reused in the construction. Locust was used for two of the individual desks off of the bedrooms. Poplar is being used in the eaves of the roof, for the kitchen cabinetry and shelving and, lastly, as inlays into the concrete floor of the home. IMG_0479

Even prior to construction completion the concrete home has a timeless permanence about it. It is a refreshing change from current standardized construction going on in the area. It is a big risk doing something different, but the reward is a solid, low maintenance home that is unique unto itself and will age well while blending into the natural environment. Well done!IMG_0497

A New Modern Ranch

IMG_2867You all know I love a ranch house, but my affection just went to a deeper level. I’m ready to make a committment if NC state will allow it. David and his client are creating an updated version for today. Yesterday, I stopped by for a quick visit.

The home is being built on what was an empty lot in an existing neighborhood of fifties ranch homes. As both a designer and builder he was careful to maintain the scale and elements of neighboring homes. Context influenced him to included the garage, picture window and front porch. Get the idea? Caribou Comp 02The house will be approximately 2000 sqft and include four bedrooms. The back of the home has a recessed patio with a wall of doors that will open completely to dissolve the barrier between interior and exterior. His client hired a friend to fabricate the custom metal door.

Unfortunately, given the mud and my designer tennis shoes I did not get inside. However, I’ll be back and better equipped the next time — so stay tuned.



More For Less

An Interview with Builder – David Way

At last I was able to spend some time with David Way, a local builder who has found a way to create efficient and smart homes here in Asheville.  Over the years I have toured his homes in Montford and East Asheville and have remarked on how functional and fun they are.  Building upon challenging infill lots he constructs something lightlivable and inspiring.

He has recently completed this modern spec home for owner Chris Barlas (right).  Chris owned a flag lot near UNC and wanted to build a rental house there.  I asked Chris why he picked David to build his home.  Chris says, “I have been watching homes for two years and every time I saw a house I liked it had been built by David Way.”  David and Chris both enjoyed working together and admitted the process was entirely smooth.  David likes to keep the process organic so things can change as they come up allowing for owner input.

David has been tinkering with home design since high school.  It was his preferred subject for doodling.  He was constantly reviewing architecture magazines and was fortunate to work for an architect during high school.  Following he earned a 2 year degree in construction before working for a developer for a few years.  There he learned a lot about construction efficiencies.  He now works on his own and has two other guys that work with him.  They have a workshop where they like to do all the millwork and specialty finishes for his projects.


Some of the signature traits of David’s homes are 2 x 6 framework, 9 foot ceilings, double insulated windows, tankless water heaters and tavern grade wood floors.  His goal is to build long lasting, durable and efficient homes for his clients.  Even though David’s talent clearly shows through his aesthetic his favorite compliment is how little his clients need to adjust the thermostat.

Virant Design: Remodeling their Modern Home

Entry ExteriorI recently met Tom and Yumiko Virant at their home 496 Sunset Drive.  It is a house I have admired for two years on my daily hikes through North Asheville.  It is a 2100 sq/ft modern home with 800 sq/ft of decking.  It was originally built in 1961.  Tom and Yumiko both have degrees in architecture and work together as their own design/build team, Virant Design.  Yumiko is a licensed architect while Tom is a general contractor.  They have many interesting stories to tell about other projects they have worked on, but for the sake of this post I will let Tom tell you about the home they currently live in.

Fall exterior

Tom says, “My wife and I bought the house in the fall of 2003. At the time I was working for a design/build company as a job-site superintendent overseeing high end residential construction, and my wife was working in an architecture firm in Asheville. At first we thought we could do some minor renovation, move in, and continue to work on the renovation over time. As soon as we started digging into the project (literally) it became apparent that the best thing for the house would be a full gut renovation. The original house had some great design features that we liked, and had a great site, so we decided it would be worth it in the long run.”

Interior Remodeling“At that point it was clear that it was going to be more than working on the weekends, so I quit my job and started working on the renovation full time (I am a licensed contractor as well). The design process was the first step, since we had a feeling that we were going to completely gut the interior, we redesigned the layout and detailing of the house to make more sense in the 21st century. Larger master suite with walk-in closet, larger kitchen, etc. The house had been slightly under built originally (by today’s standards) and had not been well maintained for the last few years, so demolition was the next step. 

Roof FramingWe tore off the old roof (and roof framing), completely gutted the entire interior (all walls, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment) and tore off the exterior decks. All that was left of the original house is the foundation, lower level slab, upper floor framing, about 3/4 of the exterior wall framing, and the windows (which the previous owner had just installed before the sale, which was a big reason why we purchased the house. Pella architectural series, all custom sized.)”.Floor Construction

“After the demo, we went about rebuilding everything, upgrading everything as we went. Generally most of the work was done by myself with a couple employees, and a couple main subcontractors (electrical, plumbing, a/c and heating system, drywall, roofing, grading, etc.) All of the carpentry, woodwork, trim, copper work, hardwood floors, retaining walls were all done by me.”

Sunset Comp

Here is a detailed list of the complete renovation:

•    All new interior framing, drywall, paint, trim etc.

•    All new electrical, everything brand new from the pole on the street to the last switch…

•    Complete low voltage wiring and panel.

•    All new mechanical systems – 6 zone radiant floor heating

•    New propane high efficiency boiler, supplies both heat and hot water

•    Efficient “Mini-duct” Air conditioning system

•    All new interior finishes, oak kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, stained wood doors, Emtek brass hardware, custom base cabinet in master bath w/ marble top.

•    All plumbing fixtures are Grohe, Toto toilets, and a Duravit sink in powder bath (double shower in master, plus custom “Japanese” (deep) soaking tub)Tub

•    Full marble tile in master bath, decorative tile in powder bath.

•    13″ tall clerestory glass all the way around the house, lets in great amounts of daylight!

•    Relined fireplace on upper level and rebuilt as “bellfires” unit, similar to a “Rumford” style

•    Relined old boiler flue and installed Rais-Wittus “Mino” wood stove in lower level.

•    Ash hardwood floors throughout entire house (tile in bathrooms, and slate in entry foyer)

•    Built in cabinets in lower level “family room”

•    All closets have built-in closet systems

•    Laundry chute from master closet to laundry room

•    New roof framing, including exposed glulam beams and commercial reinforced PVC roofing membrane (typical product on large commercial buildings, walmart etc…)

•    Icynene spray in foam insulation.

•    All new exterior decks, cypress decking, concealed fasteners, copper and Cambara handrail

•    Added balcony off master bedroom with outside shower

•    Exterior copper coping on roof and exposed beams

•    New cypress siding and cedar trim

•    Two large retaining walls to create flat lawn area and enlarged driveway

•    Extensive perennial landscaping.

Rear Side

A Modern Practice in Building

introDesigner Katie Rice is part of the Bellwether Builders’ team and has been dreaming of her current business and lifestyle for fifteen years now.  Katie has a degree in Building Science and is focused on creating healthy buildings.  Whether it is creating energy efficient envelopes for lower energy costs or efficient layouts for ease of use she enjoys creating buildings that give life and freedom to their inhabitants.  Katie provides the creative and design direction for their work. 

Katie’s husband, Brad Rice, is the general contractor with an “unlimited” license.  Before spending a few years working with a master trim carpenter in Portland, Oregon, Brad had extensive experience as a framer.  For the past eight years he has been building custom homes in the Asheville area along with spec homes while the economy allowed it.  Together, Brad and Katie are a full service design and build team along with Jeannie Kuhlman, Director of Operations.

kitchen1One of the benefits of being a design build company is that they know what things cost during the design phase.  From early on Katie likes to sit with the client and discuss their wants and needs along with completing a costing sheet.  She helps clients understand right away the dollar outcome of their decisions and offers guidance on how to meet their budget goals.  “We work so there are no surprises down the road for the clients and help give them control over the budget,” says Katie.  Taking that even further, they are offering an established monthly fee for their service and letting the homeowner pay all the construction invoices directly with no mark up.  It is a novel approach, but clients seem to like it.  In today’s environment you have to be both resourceful, creative and give something up to move forward with projects.  However, what you are gaining is the client’s trust.   They are working with you through all steps of the process. front











Katie and Brad’s work reflects in their Montford neighborhood home.  Their home provides a creative backdrop to their lifestyle and work.  The outside has two entrances for separating the office and home.  The space is defined by very functional and distinct spaces for working and living, but is open to adapt to different needs for work and play.  Their work office is separate, but open to allow for interaction with their kids.  The living space has distinct areas for cooking or an intimate conversation, but it can all be cleared away to serve as a meeting or small community space.  final-photoOverall, their home is a reflection of their creativity and ingenuity, their understanding of space in relationship to today’s lifestyle needs and building quality.  What they have achieved for themselves is what they hope to achieve for their clients; a way to afford a smart home of any style that works by stepping back and giving the occupants long-term flexibility and freedom.  This is one of the important principles in modern space design. 

You can find out more about Bellwether Builders and their flexible approaches to projects by going to their website through the link on the right of this page.  

(text by Troy Winterrowd, photos by John Fletcher)