From Florida to Ashville

From Florida to Ashville

From Florida to Asheville! For most of the year, David and Bonnie Gold call sun-soaked southern Florida home. Two of their grown children live close by, and each of them has a one-year-old child. While the newly-minted grandparents love being with family and enjoy beachfront living, they can’t resist the tranquil and beautiful allure of life in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Golds built a vacation townhouse in the charming and close-knit Southcliff development, not far from Asheville. “You couldn’t ask for a better community,” Bonnie insists. “We have made so many wonderful, caring friends who we cherish there. They even come and stay with us in Florida from time to time to get away from the cold.” When they found that their townhome no longer suited their needs, the Golds hired Living Stone Design+Build to build them a new home just up the road. The couple had several reasons for choosing Living Stone. “We visited a Living Stone house in our neighborhood Parade of Homes,” recalls Bonnie. “We found it to be fresher and cleaner than other homes we had seen. It was a little less traditional, and the rooms weren’t as boxy and small. That appealed to us, because we wanted something cleaner and more open. “A friend of mine had hired Living Stone to build her home, and she highly recommended them. We were so impressed with her experience, and so confident in her recommendation, that we didn’t even interview anyone else.” “We didn’t even interview architects,” adds David. “Sean recommended our architect, and we liked what he came up with. There was no need to look anywhere else.” The Golds were not new to homebuilding, and they had a good idea of the kind of experience they were looking for. “We’ve actually built several homes, in Asheville and in South Florida,” notes Bonnie. “We know building can sometimes be a horrible experience. “It was really important to me to hire good people, who we could work well with, communicate well with, and be comfortable with. I was very happy to find that we all hit it off immediately. There have been no problems with communication, and I have felt comfortable with the process from the beginning.” “The big thing for me is that they have integrity,” says David. “Sean was the past president of the North Carolina Homebuilders Association. That gives you an idea of how well-respected he is. He’s fair-minded and up-front about pricing, and he uses use the top subcontractors. We really loved our foreman, Frank. Everyone on the Living Stone team is very professional. Beyond all that, they’re just extraordinarily nice people.” While the Golds liked their townhouse, their new home is much better suit their current lifestyle. “Now that we have grandchildren and many more family members and friends who come to visit us, we need a few more bedrooms. The townhouse only had one bedroom on the main floor, so all the guests had to stay upstairs. When my parents, who are in their 90s, came to visit, we had to give them our room, and we had to sleep in a room upstairs. “The new house is actually not that much larger than the townhouse - about 3300 square feet - but the layout is much more functional,” Bonnie affirms. “There are two bedrooms on the main floor, and three bedrooms upstairs. There’s plenty of space for guests to stay here comfortably.” “I love the openness of the floor plan,” reflects David. “The living room, dining room and kitchen are all one big room. There is a lot of deck space, which is something I really wanted.” One of the most charming spaces in the home was an unexpected bonus. “There was a crawlspace that had to be made into a full-size room,” recounts Bonnie. “They made it into a playroom. Our grandchildren only come up here to visit occasionally. But many of our friends have children and grandchildren who will absolutely love playing there when they visit.” Living several states away from the construction site certainly had its challenges, but the Golds still felt at ease. “Laura and her design team at I.D. Ology were really an enormous help,” says Bonnie. “We’re so far away. We came up often, but it was still difficult to make selections. They went out of their way to send us pictures and guide us through each decision.” The time, money, and effort the Golds put into the build has proved well worth it. “Florida will always be home to us, but we love Asheville, and we adore our community,” says Bonnie. “And now we have the perfect home. Life really couldn’t be better."

A Custom Rockcliff for the Parks in Southcliff

RMP_0715_6_7_8Joe and Shari Parks had the good fortune to be able to retire wherever they wanted. But they were very particular about the company they chose to build their house.
They picked Living Stone Construction, largely on its reputation in Southcliff, the gated community in which they chose to build.

Southcliff, a gated community south of Asheville with dozens of acres of preserved forestland, relies on a few select contractors to build homes that look like they’ve sprung organically from their settings. One of those preferred builders is Living Stone Construction, an award-winning company that designs energy-efficient, green homes that enable residents to live at home far into their years.

At the time they met Living Stone, the Parks were living in Oklahoma in a beautiful 1920s house that they remodeled in 1980. They loved the home but were only partly satisfied with the renovations – “you never get everything you want in a remodel,” Joe said. So they were extra cautious in selecting the builder for the first new home they’d ever had.

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Custom Alexandra for Christine Dowd

Alexandra model in Thoms EstateChristine Dowd knew what she didn’t want in a house. She didn’t want what she had, which was a house she’d built whose finishes were so rough she ripped a sweater on a door frame.
What she wanted was a beautiful new house in Thoms Estate, a north Asheville enclave of good taste and friendliness that had a couple of lots she liked. She was out there looking at them one day when a couple who lived beside one of the lots invited her in to look at the home that Living Stone Construction had built for them. Christine loved it (and she loved the couple).
“They graciously showed me around their home,” she said. “They loved their house. It was so well designed. You could tell that someone had taken a lot of time to get all the details right. When I walked out of their beautiful home, even though I’d contemplated other builders, I’d made up my mind to go with Living Stone.”
And so Christine, recently retired as a presenter for Apple, went to see Sean Sullivan at Living Stone Construction, a builder of green and energy-efficient homes whose work continues to win awards for design, function and price points.

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Mountain Modern in WNC

Watkins poolSarah Watkins knew what kind of house she wanted to build. She just had to find the kind of builder who would love the challenge of creating it as much as she did.

She and husband Casey found the builder they wanted in Living Stone Construction and its president, Sean Sullivan.

“The thing about Sean was that when I presented what I wanted in our home, he loved it,” Sarah said. “It was a bit different from some other projects he had done.”

Sarah had spent a year and a half putting her family home near Asheville together in her mind. Picking up just about every architectural magazine available, she knew enough about what she wanted that she sketched it all out. She knew the textures, finishes and ambience she wanted in the home.

She and Casey visited several builders in the Asheville area. Living Stone was among the last they visited, and they were immediately impressed by the company’s approach, plan and thoughtfulness. They liked that Sean took them to Living Stone job sites to see not only the houses under construction but also the process by which Living Stone built them. They liked that the owners loved the homes Living Stone had built for them.

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Mountain Rustic Modern Home – Award Winner!

Mountain Rustic Modern Home – Award Winner!

Click here to see the full gallery of this home! Sarah Watkins knew what kind of house she wanted to build. She just had to find the kind of builder who would love the challenge of creating it as much as she did. She and husband Casey found the builder they wanted in Living Stone Construction and its president, Sean Sullivan. “The thing about Sean was that when I presented what I wanted in our home, he loved it,” Sarah said. “It was a bit different from some other projects he had done.” Sarah had spent a year and a half putting her family home near Asheville together in her mind. Picking up just about every architectural magazine available, she knew enough about what she wanted that she sketched it all out. She knew the textures, finishes and ambience she wanted in the home. She and Casey visited several builders in the Asheville area. Living Stone was among the last they visited, and they were immediately impressed by the company’s approach, plan and thoughtfulness. They liked that Sean took them to Living Stone job sites to see not only the houses under construction but also the process by which Living Stone built them. They liked that the owners loved the homes Living Stone had built for them. “We never heard one bad thing about Sean,” Sarah said. “Living Stone has an extremely good reputation.” Sarah especially liked that Laura Sullivan, Sean’s wife and the company’s interior designer, presented her with a host of options for each room, all devised to help the couple stay within their budget. “Once we reached that point of putting a room together, Laura considered our loan amount and how much of it applied to each room,” Sarah said. “She pointed out tile patterns and faucets and sinks, with each piece itemized. She was right on the same page as me as far as the style I like. Without her, it would have been extremely overwhelming to be told to go pick out your tile and stuff. You walk into a tile store, and there are 3,000 tiles to select from. With Laura, you don’t waste a lot of time.” The building process was “fairly stress-free, I have to say,” Sarah said. Living Stone’s foreman talked to the couple nearly every day to solicit their thoughts and decisions, to suggest some of his own and to keep them current with the construction. Laura worked in tandem with the foreman to get the couple’s choices and selections to the job site on time for installation. Sarah and Living Stone collaborated on what she calls a Mountain Rustic Modern home. With three bedrooms and two and a half baths, the 3,500-square-foot house has a private master suite and a roomy open floor plan. Huge sliding glass doors open to allow the outdoors indoors. When the couple needs even more fresh air, Sarah and Casey can step out onto their patio. Awaiting them there is an outdoor living room that Living Stone rendered exactly to Sarah’s meticulously thought-out plans. The pool there is a refreshing break from sultry summer days, while the covered poolside sitting area with contained kitchen is a pleasant place to spend the evening hours. The whole house looks modern but not overly so. It has warmth, Sarah said, a term that also describes her dealings with Living Stone and especially Laura who helped her find the finishes, textures and appliances she wanted in the home. Living Stone’s process worked beautifully for Sarah and her husband, she said. “With Sean and Laura’s design-and-build business model, we knew exactly what was going on,” Sarah said. “It was helpful as far as keeping us on point for the amount we’d budgeted for each part of the house. It was very transparent and reasonable to me, more so than with other builders. We knew what we were getting.” Living Stone’s process delivered what Sean said it would on an agreed-upon timeframe, without expensive surprises, Sarah said, expressing delight. “It gave us some peace of mind,” she said. “Building can be stressful. You put the money thing on top of all the details of building, and that puts a lot of strain on people. Living Stone took a lot of the guesswork out of it. “It was a fun process for us. It really was,” Sarah said.

Ten years in a Living Stone home and still thrilled

To look at Peggy and Bill Scheu’s house, you’d think it was nearly new. But it’s not, and the Scheus credit its handsomeness to the skill and materials that Living Stone Construction used when it built their Montreat residence nine years ago. Today, the house is as durable as it is beautiful.
“We designed it with that in mind,” Peggy said at home recently. “The planning was carefully done.”
“The quality of the work is just superb,” Bill said.
With seven grandchildren and a growing family, Bill and Peggy Scheu (pronounced “Shy”) built the home with elegant endurance in mind. Working with Living Stone CEO Sean Sullivan, Peggy and Bill chose finish materials and a style of home that could stand up to the rambunctious family gatherings that happen especially during summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“This is really become the gathering place for the family,” Bill said, chuckling softly. A house like that needs to hold up, and the Scheu residence has done just that, looking as beautiful as it did the day Sullivan handed the Jacksonville, Florida couple the keys.
The Treehouse – the Scheus’ name for their house – looks as if it hasn’t aged a bit. With four bedrooms and five bathrooms, as well as lots of outdoor living space in the deck and the screened porch, the 3,600-square-foot house is fit enough to keep up with the youngest grandchildren.
“We’re very pleased with the way it works for our family,” Peggy said.

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