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.”