PB February 2007

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This kitchen recaptures the form and function of an American kitchen from the early 1900s. Solid walnut tops on the center island, built-in serving buffets and a bay window booth give off the warmth of an old-fashioned kitchen.

This building features 84 single- and multi-level units in downtown St. Paul, Minn. This project represents the fourth phase of a new urban village, Wacouta Commons.

Despite the avalanche of bad press about housing, it's still possible for builders — even small ones-— to generate good news. Customers like to do business with builders who have a good reputation

Santiago Street Lofts is the first transit-oriented live/work loft community for California's Orange County. Built on a 4.3-acre infill lot, these lofts take advantage of the proximity to the Regional Transit Center and I-5 freeway.

Just as quickly as the Gold Rush came and went, it seems the escalating real-estate market has done the same. Some blame speculators. Some blame builders. Regardless of who was out to make a quick buck, the reality is that housing sales are down.

This four-sided brick house with terra cotta roof tiles reclaimed from France blends in with the mixed-use community of Vickery in Cumming, Ga. Designed for glamour and entertaining, this floor plan mimics Paris glamour with its calming interior colors and classic lines.

Located on Wadmalaw Island, this one-story home takes advantage of views and breezes from every room.

It is vital for builders to determine how to best use Internet search engines and their Web site to stand out in the crowd. Here are ideas on how to make the most of this valuable tool to present your company to the community, grow your company, improve your sales velocity and provide better and faster customer service.

An estate character with the craftsman quality of bygone eras became the design concept of this plan. Generating a custom home feel for adults and children alike, the plan organization generates distinctive gathering spaces.

2006 BALA SilverAward winners are featured in categories including Single-Family Detached, Best Attached, Best One-of-a-Kind Custom Home, Affordable Housing, Smart Growth and Interior Design.

This year, the Best in American Living Awards reflect the tension that exists in housing design today. On one side is a move toward greater modernity, simpler looks and cleaner lines. The other side pushes for full-throttle ornamentation with old-world influences. The judging panel had to consider those competing interests and judge each project on its own merits.

Set within Warwick Grove, an active-adult neighborhood, this plan follows traditional neighborhood design to match up with the historic village of Warwick.

Unique selling propositions are the golden nuggets that sets your home building company apart from the competition. Here are a few examples that can make your company shine in the eyes of prospective employees.

The Exacta model displays a wide array of architectural detailing. From specialty millwork to columns, arches, trim and molding, this house is well-suited for empty nesters seeking a glamorous home. Guests enter through a mini rotunda and can move to the dining room, which has a column-defined 10-foot high ceiling.

With its courtyards and loggias defining a relationship to the outdoors, this plan feels as though you are in a resort, not a home. The interior follows through with informality by eliminating the standard use of a foyer, living room and dining room. This floor plan accommodates two kitchens for optimal functionality: one opening to the great room for informal...

Uncle Sam wants you to build energy-efficient homes — and he's willing to pay you $2,000 per house to do it. This is a tax credit, not a deduction, which means you get a full $2,000 per home. The federal tax credit not only puts money in your pocket but helps you build energy-efficient homes.

The design of this spec-built Victorian farmhouse, located in a master-planned golf course community, is for multiple generations living together. The entry hall opens to the dining room, creating the feeling of an older home.

Here's a sampling of new cabinets for 2007 from top manufacturers

Uncommon for the Florida area, this house takes on a western ranch flare, which carries through to the kitchen. Unique in shape and layout, the kitchen design meets the owner's personal touch of functionality by incorporating fully integrated appliances hidden behind custom cabinetry.

Recalling the classical and old-world-inspired architecture of Texas, this home also draws upon modern features and openness. The interior and exterior feature the traditional Texas styling complemented with straight corners, large massing and clean window and door designs.

Home building recently gave new meaning to the term skeleton crew: sites recently being excavated in Texas by Lennar Homes and in Pennsylvania by Pulte Homes turned up long-forgotten graves. In Texas, there are approximately 50,000 cemeteries, according to the Texas Historical Commission. With statistics like this, it's easy to understand how a builder could encounter remains.

This second-home retreat near the emerald shores of Panama City Beach, Fla., caters to move-up buyers, empty nesters and families seeking a vacation home.

Greg Rose, general sales manager of Remington Homes, shares the products they prefer to use in the homes they build.

Set in a historic neighborhood, Stratford Heights, and across from the University of Cincinnati, this student housing community integrates six duplexes, seven stand-alone group homes, one apartment building and a central community building. This planned community redevelopment accommodates 696 students with fully furnished single-, double- and triple- bedroom suites.

This home represents a modern version of a 1920s shingle-style home. The composite slate roof, cement fiberboard shake siding and color clad windows make the exterior stand out.

If your Web site is easy to navigate, has current, up-to-date information and you get multiple e-mail leads each day, you might feel good about it. But if you think you are ready to take a breather, think again. Forward-thinking home builders are already introducing the next generation of Web sites.

This 10-unit cluster celebrates classic Spanish revival architecture of the 1920s and 1930s eras. The community incorporates historic courtyards with entries facing common areas to continue the Spanish revival theme. Plan 8 takes advantage of its panoramic views of Long Beach, Calif.

Choosing the right color for a model living room or an entire development entails more than just flipping through paint swatches. Color consultants will tell you that color has enormous effect by distinguishing a model home, making it more memorable.

Some houses are just plain beautiful, and others are all of that plus something more. The judges of the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) instantly recognized the Tuscan-inspired beauty of the Rivera Stone House, but they struggled to put into words why it was worthy of Home of the Year designation.

 This cottage resides on Slickrock Mountain within an intimate setting. Board and batten siding, cedar shingles, stacked stone and copper accents make up the exterior of this cottage.

I wish all of our readers had a chance to participate in the judging for the Best in American Living Awards. I found the process exhilarating, and the judges' discussions reinvigorated me. Looking at all the great design in the country, the devotion people have to their art and craft, and the value we deliver to our clients is refreshing.

This terrace-level home built on a sloping mountain blends into the wooded vista. By incorporating the topography into the design and structure, this home's inverted configuration reduced construction costs.

The Built Green Home demonstrates a luxury lodge with the latest in energy-efficient technology. Built in Suncadia, a four-season resort community, this custom-built home comes equipped with durable, sustainable and low-maintenance materials. This house also demonstrates green building within nature.

2006 BALA Gold Award winners are featured in categories including Single-Family Detached, One-Of-A-Kind Custom Homes, Rental, Community Design, Smart Growth and Interior Design.

Backed up to two other properties and their views, this four-story, 144-unit apartment building challenged the building team. Located in a well-established, prestigious district of Houston, the design concept became treating the street as an amenity.

The latest appliance pulls and hardware from MNG, Schlage and others

As the housing market continues to stabilize, successful builders discover giving customer gifts is not enough to satisfy buyers. Rather, builders need to create home-buying experiences tailored to individual lifestyles and and wow buyers with personalization.

This 2,000 square feet addition to an existing home serves as an art gallery/foyer. Designed to display the client's art collection, this foyer also needed to bring the existing portion and new addition together.

This second home with its 360 degree views carefully complements the natural vegetation surroundings by using materials selected to match the mountain. Extensive stone masonry connects the building to the site. Recycled wood timbers complement the stone to provide a sense of scale to the interior and exterior.

Builders have a keen eye on the new Democratic-dominated Congress because they could hold the cards for their future workforce. Many in the construction industry anticipate Congress' shift after a long GOP reign that might bring housing issues to the forefront and conclude others.

This second home in Scottsdale needed to accommodate a very large family — a split plan became the solution.

Included are the latest innovations including a tankless water heater from Bosch, hardware for the shower from Moen and others.

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