Aging is Hip in the Mountains

It is often said in our household (particularly on birthdays) that “you are only as old as you feel”. The truth of the matter is that we are all aging-in-place every day. Most Gen X’ers have (or are currently) dealing with aging parents and their living situations. So why has it taken so long for us to accept the inevitable about our own accommodations? One sunny afternoon I sat down with the Smith’s (soon-to-retire clients of ours) and explained our mantra that if we are going to design+build a home for them, then we should do it right, with no regrets. One of the considerations that we make on every home is for our client to be able to age-in-place. I looked across the table and noticed that their eyebrows raised and they responded somewhat defensively with “do you think we are that old”? I reassured them that I was not speaking of their current health situation but wanted to be able to deliver a home for them that (1) allowed them to live in the home as long as they needed without being forced into a retirement home, and (2) that the home would be comfortable for anyone who chose to visit including parents, neighbors, and friends. They put their trust in me and we continued on with the design of their soon-to-be beautiful (and barrier free) home. If you are like the majority of Americans over the age of 55, you want to find that perfect retirement spot and then be able to continue living in that familiar environment throughout your maturing years. According to the AARP, older home owners overwhelmingly prefer to age-in-place, which means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level. Access to aging-in-place homes is on a limited supply, and often, the result is that we are forced out of our own homes and into an assisted living facility. Odds are high that someone in your family will need a nursing home sooner or later. More than two-thirds of people over age 65 will require some type of long-term care services during their lifetime, and over 45 percent of people will need a period of care in a nursing home, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The cost of that care can financially cripple a family. But there are steps you can take – design and build (or renovate) a home that will accommodate your needs and allow for an in-home caretaker. We all enjoy where we live in the mountains however, due to the topography, finding a barrier-free home can be very challenging here. I explain to our clients that through our extensive design process, we consider ingress/egress, wider doorways, curbless showers, specific types of handles, blocking for grab bars, an extra emphasis on lighting, and the possible use of an elevator. (My clients are often surprised when I tell them that we can install an elevator for much less than building an extra bedroom on the main level.) We also design in a “flex” room which can be used as a home office or a future bedroom for a caregiver. Close to one year went by before the Smiths began their move to Asheville. We received a call from the Smith’s that their adult daughter had moved home with them and had recently broken her ankle. To everyone’s surprise, the move went incredibly smooth as the daughter was able to get around anywhere in the house (on crutches) with ease. So, whether it is your hip, knees, or ankle that gives out, the satisfaction of forward thinking and a job well done, will pay off and save you money and comfort in the end. Just ask the Smith’s, they immediately became our greatest sales team.

CertainTeed’s AriRenew Drywall

Living Stone Design + Build uses CertainTeed's AirRenew Drywall as a standard in all of our homes because it just makes sense to be sure our clients have the highest indoor air quality possible. CertainTeed’sAirRenew significantly reduces, for up to 75 years, harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that circulate indoors. How does AirRenew work?
Sean Sullivan with Living Stone Design + Build Elected as Chairman for NAHB’s Design Committee for 2018

Sean Sullivan with Living Stone Design + Build Elected as Chairman for NAHB’s Design Committee for 2018

For Immediate Release: Sean Sullivan with Living Stone Design + Build Elected as Chairman for NAHB’s Design Committee for 2018 Company Contact: Molly Sullivan 
Company Name: Living Stone Design + Build Contact Phone Number: 828.669.4343
 Contact E-mail: molly@livingstoneconstruction.com Website URL: livingstoneconstruction.com On January 8th, during the International Builder Show in Orlando Florida, the NAHB held their Design Committee meeting where Sean Sullivan was elected as the Chairman for 2018. Sean is the president of the local homebuilding firm, Living Stone Design + Build of Black Mountain. NAHB members count on the Design Committee to help them understand important design trends and solutions and to provide expertise on enhancing the sale of their homes and developments. The Design Committee provides a distinct service to NAHB members through an array of products and services that help home builders strengthen their businesses. It also promotes public awareness of new and effective design solutions and increases communication and interaction between designers and builders. The Design committee is also responsible for reviewing patent applications for pending technology. Living Stone Design + Build has become one of the top green building firms in the region with its national awards and most recent “Green Professional of the Year” recognition. Living Stone has been crafting award-winning custom homes that exceed clients' expectations for over 20 years. The synergy of their Six Levels of Service, which include a proven process, strategic partnerships and an artful attention to client’s comfort delivers dream-worthy homes to families and couples seeking a happier, healthier life in the mountains.
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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Local Asheville Builder Named by NAHB as Certified Green Professional of the Year

Local Asheville Builder Named by NAHB as Certified Green Professional of the Year


January 10, 2017

The National Association of Home Builders last night honored 12 individuals who have excelled in teaching NAHB education courses and for their professionalism as NAHB educational designation holders as the Educators and Designees of the Year. The awards were given during the 2017 International Builders‘ Show® held this week in Orlando, Fla.

“These home building industry professionals definitely ‘walk the walk,’” said 2016 NAHB Education Chair William L. Shaw, Jr., GMR, CGR, GMB, CAPS and CGP, a Houston remodeler and NAHB instructor. “These leaders don’t just talk about the importance of education. They also work to stay current and even ahead of industry trends so they can set an example for the home builders, remodelers and other industry professionals who make up our great Federation.”

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Project Wins National Green Building Award

Project Wins National Green Building Award

Black Mountain, NC, Living Stone Design + Build project, “Rhodo Reno”, is the overall winner for the Best Renovation in the 2017 National Green Building Awards by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

“The NAHB Green Awards represent the best of the best in green building practices and advocacy efforts, and this year’s group of winners is particularly impressive,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “The demand for green building is growing exponentially, and these honorees are a great example of what can be accomplished in terms of sustainable and energy-efficient building practices.”

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