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Living Stone: Completing the Green Experience

Living Stone: Completing the Green Experience

Whole Living – Completing the Green Experience There's more to green, sustainable living than simply LED bulbs and bamboo floors. Today, living sustainably is an experience. Our own Sean Sullivan knows this better than most. With his wife, Laura Sullivan of ID.ology Interiors & Design, they have been designing and building green for quite some time. But that's only part of the experience. Come along as Sean tells us more about completing the green experience.   It’s not hard to see why everyone is bitten by the “green bug.” Coast to coast, consumers are realizing that green homes can sell faster—and for more money—than non-green homes. And consumers have discovered that families living in green homes are often happier, healthier and more productive as well. So you’ve bought a green home, but now what? As home building professionals, we can take an active role in educating the consumer on what it means to live green beyond buying a green home and help our customers live whole-picture healthy lives. READ MORE
Eight Principles of a Healthy Home

Eight Principles of a Healthy Home

Keep it DRY Damp homes provide an environment for dust mites, roaches, rodents and molds. All of these can cause or worsen asthma. In addition, moisture can damage the building materials in your home. Keep it CLEAN Clean homes reduce pest infestation and exposures to contaminants. Keep it CONTAMINANT FREE Levels of contaminants such as lead, radon, carbon monoxide, asbestos, secondhand smoke, and other chemicals are often much higher indoors. Keep it PEST FREE Exposure to pests such as roaches and rodents can trigger an asthma attack. Keep it SAFE Injuries such as falls, burns, and poisonings occur most often in the home, especially with children and seniors. Keep it TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED Homes that do not have balanced and consistent temperatures may place your family at increased risk from exposure to extreme cold, heat, or humidity. Keep it WELL MAINTAINED Poorly maintained homes are at risk for moisture, pest problems, and injury hazards. Deteriorated lead‐based paint is the primary cause of children being harmed by lead. Keep it WELL VENTILATED Having a good fresh air supply to your home is important to reduce exposure to indoor air pollutants and to increase respiratory health.
Living Stone Wins Prestigious State Award for our Safety Program

Living Stone Wins Prestigious State Award for our Safety Program

NEWS RELEASE *** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *** Builders Mutual Insurance Company Raleigh, NC 27624-0005 September 17, 2018 Living Stone Design + Build Receives Safety Program of the Year Award from Builders Mutual On September 12, during the NCHBA’s STARS Award gala in Charlotte, NC, Living Stone Design + Build received the Safety Program of the Year award from Builders Mutual Insurance Company. Living Stone Design + Build specializes in crafting award winning custom homes. The company employs a dedicated, full-time safety manager and their overall safety strategy consists of weekly tool-box talks, monthly safety meetings (with both staff and trade partners) and quarterly safety meetings with the company owner and safety manager. Living Stone Design + Build also created a trade partner council. They host meetings to discuss job-site related issues, including safety, with their staff and trade partners. The meetings draw between 75-100 attendees, dinner is provided and safety games are played for the chance to win safety gear. When asked about the safety program his company developed, owner Sean Sullivan responded, “After leaving the STARS Awards two years ago, I went back to our office and hired someone to take Living Stone Design + Build’s safety program to the next level. I told our new safety manager, Michael Reeves, that I wanted to build an award winning Safety Program. He looked at me and asked, “Ok, how much time do I have?” I said, I’ll give you two years. September 12 was Michael’s two year work anniversary and the exact day that he was rewarded with the prestigious Builders Mutual Safety Program of the Year award.” Builders Mutual is proud of the commitment and dedication to safety education and training that Living Stone Design + Build displays. We are honored that they were chosen as the 2018 Builders Mutual Safety Program of the Year. Living Stone Design + Build was established in 1997 in Black Mountain, NC and employees 15 full time staff members. The company is a proud member of the Asheville Home Builders Association. Headquartered in North Carolina, Builders Mutual is one of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast’s leading writers of commercial insurance for the construction industry. Since its inception, Builders Mutual has broadened its territory beyond North Carolina to include the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The company provides coverage to more than 21,000 policyholders through more than 5,000 sales agents and employs more than 300 staff at its Raleigh headquarters.
Living Stone chosen as #1  Best Custom Home Builder in NC!

Living Stone chosen as #1 Best Custom Home Builder in NC!

The Best Custom Home Builder in all 50 States: Living Stone wins #1 for NC! The custom home building process can be stressful and overwhelming when you don’t work with the right team. But undertaking this adventure with a talented team of designers and builders under one roof – as you will with a custom home design/build company – the process becomes more efficient, more enjoyable, and ultimately, will result in a dream home that you will be happy to live in for years. The custom home companies on this list combine the services of top-notch architects and high-end general contractors to turn drawings and plans into gorgeous homes, within your budget and timeline. So If you decide to go the route of a design/build firm, sometimes referred to as master builders, we have you covered. We researched thousands of options to come up with this list of the best full-service custom home builders in the country. So whether you are building a contemporary beach home on California’s coast, a ski home in the mountains of Colorado, or a classic cabin in the forests of Vermont, you will find a qualified firm on this list that can help you with your new home project. About our methodology: We considered thousands of professionals while making this list. In addition to professional associations, we heavily weighed recognition the firm has received in the form of awards and press, any prestigious clientele they have worked with, whether or not they collaborate with other top industry professionals, such as interior designers, and what areas they work in, the more exclusive and high-end neighborhoods having greater influence. We also took into account the value of the projects they undertake, years in the business, customer reviews for quality and service, and range of services offered.
The Ava Simone for the Barbers in The Settings of Black Mountain

The Ava Simone for the Barbers in The Settings of Black Mountain

     Jim and Linda Barber had two homes; a condo on the coast, and a cabin in the mountains. When they decided to downsize to one home, they chose the mountains as their permanent residence. They loved their cabin, but it was too small and too remote to meet their needs. So they opted to build a new home, in an ideal location.      “We wanted something that reminded us of our cabin,” notes Jim. “Something that was rustic, with wood accents and stone. Something that fit into the mountain style.”      “We also wanted a location that was close to health care, fitness centers, and activities,” adds Linda. “We decided on Black Mountain. It’s a wonderful community and a lovely town—it has everything we were looking for.”      The couple met Sean early on in the building process. “We just though he was great,” recalls Jim. “So invested, and so helpful. It took us a year and a half to find the right spot, and he came with us to look at property after property.” They were also happy to find someone so well-versed in mountain design. “It’s a more involved and more complicated process,” observes Linda. “He really had the expertise we needed.”      The Barbers were pleased with the building process from the start. “Sean has a ‘semi-custom' option,” says Linda. “Meaning, you can choose from one of his plans, but adapt it to suit your needs. And that’s what we did. We ended up with a great floor plan that works for our lifestyle, and has the aging-in-place design that we wanted.”      When it came to the Living Stone building process, two main elements stood out to the Barbers. The first: quality. “We were so impressed with the quality of materials, the quality of construction, quality of management.” says Jim. “Sean has great partnerships—he uses excellent subcontractors who do excellent work.”      The Barbers were also delighted with Living Stone’s attention to detail. “They just thought of everything,” says Linda. “For instance, they realized that the washer and dryer weren’t going to fit into the laundry room early enough to be able to change the dimensions of the space.”      “They were so on top of things,” adds Jim. “There were never any surprises. I mean, building in the mountains is never going to go completely smoothly. But when they encountered problems, they advised us immediately, and were ready with two or three solutions. Even though we were managing the build long -distance, we always felt like we were up-to-date. They contacted us every week, and gave us a software program we could use to monitor their progress.      “They also took the time to get everything just right. They have a guy who’s just a finisher. His job is to come in and tie up all of the loose ends—hang things, tighten things, screw things in.”      “And then there was IDology,” Linda continues. “They helped make the house into a home by adding all of these wonderful design details, and they ensured that the process went smoothly. We never would have ended up with such a great result if we had attempted to handle the design details on our own.”      The Barbers are currently settling into their new abode, and couldn’t be happier about it. “The process just went so well,” says Linda. “It’s a perfect home for us. And our little doggies.”
This House Smells -The Dangers and Opportunities that IAQ Present in Homebuilding

This House Smells -The Dangers and Opportunities that IAQ Present in Homebuilding


“This house smells…different than the rest. Actually, it doesn’t really have a smell?!” said Mrs. Lee as she walked into the Parade of Homes entry I was manning last year. Mrs. Lee, like many other visitors in years past, noticed what most builders are missing across the country, the fact that IAQ is important.

I had the privilege, two years ago, of sitting in a research lab think tank with seven other top builders from across the nation. The question was posed to us “What is the greatest concern that you have about the homes that you are building today”? Each builder at the table said that they were concerned about building homes so tight that they might be poisoning the people that move into them. When they got to me, I was dumbfounded by their answers and had to ask my own question, “Are you using a rater”?

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