Asheville home builders getting back on track

The home building and construction industry has suffered greatly in the past few years. Asheville, which was growing by leaps and bounds, was put on hold. Many people were trying to see their homes elsewhere to move to AVL, but nobody was buying.

This new year brings lots of hope to the industry. I was recently talking to Math Insurance on Merrimon Avenue and they said that they have written more builders policies this year already, than they had written all together for 2010.

Amanda Ballew of More Space Place in Asheville said that the custom closet and murphy bed business is picking up, but some clients have been very hesitant in choosing “extras” for their home.

Here is a video of Al Lorenzo from Al’s Contractors who was originally from New York City. He moved to Asheville several years ago and started his construction business. After a few of his projects fell apart due to the larger contractors not paying; he struggled for 2 years to keep his home and some business going. He says that he is hanging in there and always looking for that next project.




Asheville: 2nd Annual Home & Garden Expo Coming in April 2011



The Asheville Home Builders Association, in partnership with First Restoration Services, is proud to present the only homebuilding specific Expo offered to the public in western North Carolina. The 2nd Annual Home & Garden Expo will be held on April 16 & 17 at the WNC Ag Center.  Over 100 exhibitors will display their products and services.  Attendees should expect to see new trends in building products, meet builders and consultants, and learn tricks of the trade from industry experts. New this year will be an outdoor gardening section with landscaping products, tools and vehicles for outdoor use, and various plants for sale. Celebrity guest- Jason Cameron from the DIY Network’s TV shows Man Caves and Desperate Landscapes– will be making a special appearance. Educational seminars will also be offered at various times during the Expo. We are also excited to have two live remotes with The Eddie Foxx Show from KISS Country and Matt Mittan with 570am’s Take A Stand.

The Asheville Home Builders Association is an advocate for the homebuilding industry. Our mission is to educate and support our members, contribute to the community, and represent the legislative interests of the local building industry. We are the homebuilding experts of western North Carolina and have been a resource for the community since 1966. Affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders and the North Carolina Home Builders Association, the Asheville HBA (www.ashevillehba.com) represents more than 650 companies in the community.

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Asheville PWB “Hard Hats in Heels” Receives Donation

Last week, Asheville Professional Women in Building, a council of the Asheville Home Builders Association, received a $600 donation from Push Asheville Fashion, a locally founded venture geared towards promoting local boutiques and clothing designers through fashion shows and social media.

     
The PWB, a local builder’s council whose slogan in the community is known as “Hard Hats in Heels,” is dedicated to supporting women within their industry by actively encouraging professional development, supporting active involvement in the political and legislative processes involved in construction, and providing scholarships to local students through community support.  
    
The donation from Push Asheville Fashion was raised from proceeds earned at a July fashion show produced earlier in the year by coordinator, Sonia Hendrix, featuring local clothing items from 18 boutiques and 12 local designers.  As requested by Push Asheville Fashion, the donation has been earmarked by the PWB for their student educational scholarship fund.

    

For the second consecutive year, the community driven organization, founded in 2008, will award a scholarship to a qualified North Carolina student seeking an education in a building or construction related field.
    
Chapter President Amanda Ballew, @AVLCustomCloset on Twitter, was excited to present the donation during the council’s Holiday Member Luncheon, stating, “We are so excited to receive this donation for our scholarship fund. It took us two years to earn our first scholarship [awarded last year], so it’s a huge impact on what we’ll be able to contribute.” Ballew went on to say, “it is definitely going to impact the actual number of scholarships that we’re able to give.”
    
Students interested in applying for the scholarship can find application details on the Asheville Home Builder’s Association webpage, www.ashevillehba.com/committes.php and view the PWB section or call the AHBA at (828) 299-7001.

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Two Asheville Home Builders Association Builders Achieve Educational Designation

Skip Brewer of Walnut Cove Builders in Arden, N.C. and Sean Sullivan of Living Stone Construction in Black Mountain, N.C., recently achieved the status of Accredited Master Builder designation.  There are only 3 individuals who have this designation in the Greater Asheville Area.  Graduates of the AMB program must complete an intensive series of 40 hours of course work, during which they learn about the newest trends and technology in the building industry.  This designation is achieved only after first completing the Accredited Builder program of 72 hours coursework.

The Asheville Home Builders Institute, the educational arm of the Asheville Home Builders Association, provides these courses locally for the North Carolina Builder Institute.  An Accredited Master Builder designation is recognized statewide and identifies top professionals in the building industry.  Participants also have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow builders on solutions to many everyday problems encountered in the industry.  To keep their designation current, graduates must complete an additional eight hours each year.   

Skip Brewer is the President-Elect of the Asheville Home Builders Association and Sean Sullivan is a Past President of the association.

The Asheville Home Builders Association has been your homebuilding resource since 1966. Our mission is to educate and support members, contribute to the local community, and represent the local, state, and national building industry. Affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders and the North Carolina Home Builders Association, the Asheville HBA (www.ashevillehba.com) represents more than 600 companies from the community.

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Building the perfect home in Asheville North Carolina

Home building has changed a lot in the last several years. As the industry in Asheville was shifting heavily toward a “Green” sustainable mentality, the market fell due to the economy and many home builders had no work at all. Today, we see some light at the end of the tunnel and people are beginning to buy real estate and build homes once again. While some people are opting out for smaller homes where minimal living can be done; others are after the best possible home they could get at a reasonable price. Here are some tips to think about when building that perfect home:

1. Find a piece of property not too far from civilization. Using several gallons of gas to simply go to the grocery store is not the “living green” way.

2. Locate a community of sorts. There are many developments in the Asheville and WNC area and they offer neighbors and other options just a few hundred feet from your doorstep. A nice walk! We love what Biltmore Farms has done in the South AVL area, and also what the Village of Cheshire built in Black Mountain.

3. Find an Architect who is Green, Sustainable and Practical. Rantis Architects out of Asheville NC is a great option who we have personally met and learned a lot about his vision.

4. Using recycled, upcycled and reusable materials are always a great choice; if they are made of quality and will remain that way long after the installation

5. Check out your subcontractors (the people your Contractor is hiring to complete different phases of the job) to make sure you are getting exactly what you want and need. Here are some options that might be wise to consider for your dream home:

a. Use plumbing and water conservation equipment and services from a company such as Aqua Pro Solutions in Asheville. Items such as Greywater recyling, Rainwater harvesting, Waterless urinals, High efficiency toilets, Flapperless toilets, DualFlush kits, water saving shower heads and aerators. We believe that every conscious architect in the area should specify these products in their prints to make sure the consumer is not getting short changed with a inferior brand or model.

b. Space saving solutions and custom closets are also a great option. In keeping a nice home organized, you want to make the best possible use of space available. More Space Place in Asheville offers everything from custom closet design, Murphy Beds, home offices, garage organization and many other great options. Sometimes builders want to offer, and clients accept, a premium home with wire closets. This is not good. Get your home and closets organized with custom solutions for easier living.

c. Green flooring, tile and cabinets can be found at the beautiful 7500 square foot showroom at Salon Blue Ridge in Flat Rock NC about 20 minutes south of Asheville NC. The also have a great selection of premium appliances to browse.

d. Pick your lumber and building materials including windows, doors, roofing, garage doors, and reclaimed wood from a quality local business. Good windows are definitely very important in sealing your home properly. Westall Chandley is our first choice when it comes to this. They provide great service and deliver to your doorstep. When buying these building materials in bulk their prices are very comparable to the big lumber stores; but with the personal touch needed to help a project become successful.

e. Home automation is a big part of making life easier and more comfortable. Hi-Tech Systems, located in downtown Asheville is the perfect company to make this happen. Have the temperature, lighting, and every feature of your home controlled from a single location. They also provide video, audio, and home security for your complete home.

f. Radiant floor heating and solar energy systems are 2 very important items to be considered. Thermacraft Energy Services is the main reputable company to provide these products and services. I have seen them do a great install in a home in the Montford area of Asheville NC.

g. Insulation is a big part of having a Green and sustainable home. The best company we have come across is Home Energy Partners. Icynene Spray Foam Insulation is one of the key ingredients I would use in a premium home.

h. Having a Poured Wall foundation for your home is the best option. K-Wall Poured Walls has been doing work in the Asheville area for years and plenty of premium homes have been built on these superior foundations.

i. Landscape architecture and land planning is important to the building process. This applies to before the house pad is set, during construction and when the site is ready for the finishing touches. Broadbooks Associates does some incredible work in the Asheville, Waynesville and WNC area.

h. Find a painting subcontractor that is familiar with, uses and offers Eco Paint options, and allows you to choose the product directly from the store they recommend.

g. Make sure your framing subcontractor builds your decks with high quality composite decking materials and not pressure treated wood. The lifespan is a lot longer than wood and there are many color choices.

h. Find a roofing subcontractor that works well with synthetic cedar or slate roofing materials. These products are more expensive but well worth the life expectancy they provide. Green and sustainable. Recycled shingles are also another good option.

Find a great Home Builder / General Contractor to build your perfect home. Bass & Royster Builders, Wright Family Homes, Preish Construction, Heatherly Construction, Providence Homes, Redtree Builders, and Bellwether Builders are a great place to start. You can also view the Home Builders page on Ask Asheville or the Asheville Home Builders Association website. The Western North Carolina Green Building Council is also a great local community resource. You can also see some options when it comes to Asheville Commercial Construction Building Contractors.

Note: Ask your builder for a list of the subcontractors he is using, check them out personally online and ask to help make the decision who works on your project. The cheapest contractor or subcontractor can sometimes lead to problems. Building a house that you want to turn into a home needs tender loving care every step of the way.

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