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.”

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.