Bellwether Design-Build Wins Asheville Pace Award For 2 Categories

Asheville Home Builder Floor Plan

Bellwether Design-Build is excited to announce that we have won two great awards from the Asheville Home Builders Association! Brad from Bellwether has created a heavy focus on a line of affordable spec homes going up in the Asheville area, and some on the outskirts in a few up and coming towns. If you do not know anything about a spec home, it is a home that a builder constructs and then sells, many times through a Realtor, or sometimes just on their own. For the sake of time and price, many builders do not allow the clients to pick out or change anything about the home, at least until it is purchased. Of course with the affordable housing crisis in Asheville, Bellwether made it a mission to not only build custom mansions, but also do a common line for folks who are looking for a starter home, or maybe a growing family.

Asheville Home Builders Pace Award - Public Relations

The first award won was the Asheville Pace Award for “Best Public Relations Effort”, which was based on a video project initiated by Gary of G Social Media, and it filmed the progress of the home from start to finish, ending with a video interview with the wonderful family who purchased the home on the first day it went on the market. You can see the video series on the Bellwether Design-Build Facebook Page.

Asheville Home Builders Pace Award - Digital Marketing

The next award won was the Asheville Pace Award for “Best Digital Marketing Effort”, and this was based mostly on the distribution of the video project on social media by Gary and the team, which resulted in thousands of targeted views from Asheville, and also many views from different cities and states. The end result… a line of clients patiently waiting for one of Bellwether’s homes to hit the Asheville market.

Custom Homes Curb the Odds of Home Buyer Remorse

Asheville Custom Homes

Rarely does a home buyer find a resale home within a designated time frame that is exactly to their liking. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to have a running list of remodeling projects, big or small, to tailor and adjust those probable shortcomings. But, renovations are not always practical, especially after spending thousands of dollars on a down payment.

Perhaps that’s why a staggering 44 percent of Americans today feel sorry about their last housing decision, according to a recent Trulia survey on real estate regrets. And, a third of homeowners say they wish they had opted for a larger dwelling. It’s safe to assume that those buyers would have fewer qualms had they been involved in the strategy, layout and square footage of their new residence from the start.

Consider the following ways custom home building minimizes home buyer’s remorse:


  • Cost savings


Nothing creates buyer’s remorse quite like purchasing a home that you later find costs thousands or more in upkeep and repair. A new home means new materials that aren’t as expensive to maintain. Everything from your roof to HVAC system to kitchen appliances are up-to-date, minimizing the odds of damage, failure, repairs and replacements. And, those new elements typically come with a warranty that lasts up to a decade. In a resale property, the materials and equipment within the home have a shorter lifespan left and are more likely to suddenly break down. Resale home warranties are also more likely to include certain limitations given their age.  


  • Efficiency


New homes are more efficient and “smart” than their predecessors. You can opt for green building materials, energy-efficient appliances or sustainable features that help curb your monthly utility bill significantly, all while reducing your carbon footprint. Energy efficient features are also beneficial for your home’s value and attract buyers when and if you decide to sell.


  • Less pressure


Many home buyers today across the nation are facing a serious lack of inventory while house hunting. Asheville and the greater Buncombe County area are widely considered seller’s markets because for-sale inventory is tight and prices are climbing fast. Last year, Asheville broke its previous records with an average asking price of $591,207 and 4,234 homes sold. Homes for sale in Historic Montford, a popular neighborhood north of downtown, saw a 4.5 percent jump in sales price over the past year. Kenilworth home prices are up a similar 4 percent since last summer. Within the Haw Creek real estate market, home prices jumped a shocking 22.6 percent over the last 12 months. It’s clear that sellers are at an advantage across the metro area. Unfortunately for buyers, this type of market may heed hasty decisions. With a custom home, you aren’t competing in a bidding war with other everyday buyers looking for move-in ready properties. Custom building gives leeway to make the right decisions without feeling rushed and minimizes overall stress related to the home purchase process.


  • Personalization


Everyone has their own idea of what the perfect home looks like. You might love a traditional interior design scheme while the next buyer prefers a cool, contemporary aesthetic. A new custom home is designed to fit your style seamlessly without having to spend money on a remodel down the line. Custom homeowners can choose minor features like paint colors and structural elements like flooring materials. Even the exterior architectural style is tailored around your personal panache.


  • Better layouts


While pre-owned properties can be charming and unique, the floor plan was based on the previous homeowner’s lifestyle and not yours. New construction custom homes are planned with your habits and preferences in mind. For instance, families with young children may prefer playrooms or homework areas while young couples could opt for yoga studios or home offices instead. You have full control over how your additional space, whether in the basement or attic, functions.

Custom home building offers several benefits to keep home buyers happy for the long term. For more information on custom homes in Asheville, contact Bellwether Design-Build or view previous projects for inspiration.

By Jennifer Riner, Trulia

Asheville Home Builders Playhouse Showdown 2017

Enka High School playhouse build

Brad Rice, owner and general contractor at Bellwether Design-Build is mentoring Enka High School students again this next year through the Playhouse Showdown program put on by the Asheville Home Builders Association (AHBA). Brad is working Enka High, which is one of several local high schools involved. Brad is working with the students in the Buncombe County Careers and Technical Education (CTE) program to help mentor them while they’re designing and building a children’s playhouse.

The playhouses have a theme each year and are built to certain guidelines determined by the AHBA. Asheville Home Builders Association member companies donate the materials to build these playhouses. Each school’s CTE students are matched up with a home builder like Brad to help mentor them during the construction process. Brad works hands-on with the students and teachers to help them design the playhouse and construct it.

The finished playhouses will be on display at the 2017 Asheville Home Builders Association’s Build and Remodel Expo. They’ll be raffled off there as well as a fundraiser for the schools. Part of the proceeds will be donated to each the Buncombe County Careers and Technical Education Programs. The rest of the proceeds go back to each of the schools in the form of scholarship money.

If you want a chance to win Enka High’s playhouse or one of the others, raffle tickets are on sale for $5 each and include admission to the Asheville Home Builders Association’s Build and Remodel Show. The Show will be held on February 25th and 26th of 2017 at the Western North Carolina Ag. Center.

Asheville Builder of the Year 2016

Asheville Home Builder of the Year 2016

While we might be partial, we are very proud and certain that Brad Rice is the deserving recipient of the Asheville Home Builders Association’s Builder of the Year award for 2016. Brad was graced with the honor at the recent Parade of Homes Gala and Award Ceremony. Brad has served on the Asheville HBA’s Parade of Homes Committee for a number of years and consistently has homes entered in the Parade. Brad also volunteered with the Asheville HBA’s Playhouse Showdown Challenge. Brad was a mentor to local Enka High School students in the technical program. With the help of Brad and their teachers, these students built a children’s playhouse that was then auctioned off among others in order to raise money for their school program. Brad is volunteering as a mentor again for the next Playhouse Showdown

At the recent AHBA Gala, one of Bellwether Design-Build’s projects, Ciel Lot 10 also won a PACE Design Award thanks to the unique home design of Jason Weil of Retro+Fit Design.

Check out the Asheville Home Builders Association’s footage of the Fall Gala and Awards Ceremony!

Grand American Residential Design Award Winner

We couldn’t be happier to announce that the Prive’ aka Ciel 10 won yet another design award last week. This home won a Grand ARDA (American Residential Design Award) in the Custom Home category. The American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) presents this award each year. Congrats to Jason Weil of Retro+Fit Design and to all of our top-notch team who helped make it possible for one custom home to win so many awards.

The winning entries for this award were chosen from about 132 finished and proposed projects submitted by 39 designers from 16 states. The ARDA highlights excellence in design in the home building field in multiple categories. ARDA is a progression of the AIBD Annual Design Competition, which has been in existence for over 65 years. This year’s jury included Jaclyn S. Toole, Senior Program Manager, Green Building at National Association of Home Builders, Washington, DC; Yu-Ngok Lo, owner at YNL Architects, Los Angeles, CA; Chip Hudson, owner at Hudson Home Design, Montgomery, AL, and the ARDA Committee Chairperson Michael Battaglia, Dayton, OH.

The American Institute of Building Design is a nationally recognized organization dedicated to supporting and promoting residential design professionals. Its professional members have specialized knowledge and expertise in residential design and are held to a high level of professionalism and ethics in their business practices.

The winning ARDA entries of this year and past years are published here at

Four More Kitchen Appliances You Need

kitchen appliances

Last month we posted about four awesome kitchen appliances we thought you should know about. We couldn’t help ourselves and we wanted to share four more. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef in order to love these fabulous kitchen appliances. Add them to your dream home wish list!

Sharp Supersteam Wall Oven

This 3-in-1 wall oven gives you the ability to have Superheated steam (up to 485 degrees), steam, and convection. The Supersteam is so hot that it heats the middle and browns the outside. This versatile wall oven allows you to bake, grill, roast, steam, and sauté dishes.

Liebherr Undercounter Pull-out Refrigerator UPR 503

Don’t let the boring name “UPR 503” detract from the fact that this set of undercounter refrigerator drawers is not boring, but instead highly functional and universally designed. UPR 503 can be adjusted in height and depth to match the height of the kitchen countertops. It’s also designed to allow for custom panels in order to match your cabinets. This refrigerator has 2 self-retracting pull out shelves and 1 drawer, so that you can easily reach your snack or your bottled adult beverage.

Wolf Induction Range

You may have heard of induction cooking technology. If not, induction uses magnets to heat the cookware rather than heating the stovetop/burner. This is a fairly new technology that many are embracing due to the level of temperature control, safety, ease of cleaning, and efficiency. Did we mention that we’re big fans of efficiency? It also serves as an alternative to gas. This particular range comes with the dual convection oven cavity and 10 cooking modes. The cooking modes include your typical Bake, Roast, Broil, as well as Convection options, and Proof and Dehydrate. The range is available in 30-inch and 36-inch widths in professional style and the new transitional style. The 36-inch style is exclusive to Wolf.

Marvel All-in-One Outdoor Refrigerator

Lest we not forget the outdoor kitchen, Marvel introduced the first ever outdoor refrigerator that has a freezer AND an icemaker option. Now you can ditch the cooler or bagged ice. There’s not really any need to explain why this is awesome!

Four Appliances For Your New Kitchen

Streamline Range Hood kitchen appliances

These 4 kitchen appliances for your home are hi-tech, good-looking, and super functional. If you’re into good design, cooking, or innovation then you should check out these kitchen appliances that were all mentioned in The Retail Observer magazine, a kitchen and bath industry magazine!

Streamline Hoods inNOVA Collection

Your range hood doesn’t have to be boring! Make a statement with the unique designs of this designer range hood collection. These range hoods have modern and contemporary styles with distinctive angles. They’re also ultra efficient and environmentally friendly (which we love). These range hoods have the R+D technology of Streamline, are made with DuPont Corian, and are an exclusive design by serra&delarocha.

Thermador 60 inch Pro Grand Steam Range

If you’re at culinary pro level cooking or you simply enjoy cooking and entertaining (or your spouse does), the Pro Grand Steam Range is an appliance worth considering. This cutting-edge kitchen beast is one-of-a-kind, not just because of its size. Thermador states, “it’s the only range available with a steam and convection combination oven plus a full-size convection oven.” This gives you the health benefits of steam cooking and the capabilities of convection cooking. It’s also customizable, allowing you to configure it the way that’s convenient for you.

Samsung Wi-Fi Slide-in Range

Why have a Wi-Fi connected range, you ask? Because convenience, that’s why! With Wi-Fi connectivity, you can monitor your range using your phone or devices. Left for work and afraid you forgot to turn it off? No problem! Turn it off from your phone. Pre-heat your oven right before you arrive home and pop in your casserole. Technology is better and better these days! Another cool feature is that this oven has a soft-close dual door for added flexibility.

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

Why not have a totally connected kitchen and check out Samsung’s Wi-Fi enabled refrigerator? This fridge has a touchscreen on the front that allows you to use apps designed not only to make your kitchen experience better, but your life as well. With this technology, you’ll always know what’s in your fridge and what you need to replace just by checking your phone. Sync multiple calendars so that you can keep track of everyone’s schedule. Write reminders and messages to each other. Check the weather. Say goodbye to magnets on the fridge and hello to digital photos. This refrigerator can even play music for you. You can legitimately tell your friends, “My fridge is better than yours.”

Stay tuned for more must-have appliances for your kitchen!

Vote For Bellwether Design-Build Asheville Home To Win!

Ciel-Asheville-living-roomDid you know that North Carolina has the third largest concentration of Modernist houses in America? Who would have thought? Well here at Bellwether Design-Build, we have an affinity for modern architecture. We are thrilled for a custom home we built to be featured on North Carolina Modernist Houses and in the running for the NCMH George Matsumoto Prize. This modern home in Ciel Asheville is designed by Jason Weil of Retro+Fit Design hnd is an entry to win the People’s Choice award.

North Carolina Modern Houses is the world’s large open digital architect for residential Modernist architecture. George Matsumoto is a recognized architect and architecture professor. He practiced architecture for several firms and a private practice, before becoming an instructor. He became a professor at North Carolina State University’s School of Design along with other colleagues from University of Oklahoma. This became an epicenter for Modernist architecture in the United States. Matsumoto won over 30 awards during that time for his residential architecture projects and was widely published. Read more about Mr. Matsumoto here.

The NCMH Matsumoto Prize honors him and his modern architectural designs. Bellwether Design-Build and Retro+Fit Design need your vote! Please vote for our Ciel 10 project to win and share with your friends.  Vote now! Voting ends June 29th at 5 pm EST.

Custom Home Wins Architectural Design Award

front porch of Ciel custom home

Bellwether Design-Build is excited to share that our Ciel lot 10 project in the Ciel development in North Asheville has won the 2016 Award of Merit in the 4,000-8,000 square foot custom home category of the Golden Nugget Awards. Even more exciting is the fact that this means the custom home is now in the finals for the Grand Award, which will be announced in June.

The Golden Nugget Awards honors architectural design and planning excellence and draws entries from throughout the United States and internationally. The Grand Awards winners are chosen from an elite pool of Merit Award winners. The Golden Nugget Awards are presented by PCBC, the largest homebuilding tradeshow representing the west coast region. PCBC is dedicated to advancing the art, science, and business of housing.

This custom home design was a collaboration between Bellwether Design-Build, Retro+Fit Design, and Allard and Roberts Interior Design. The developer for the project was AIBL Invest. Medlock & Associates was the project structural engineer. We’re proud to be a part of this award-winning team! This home was awarded the Innovation Award in the 2015 Parade of Homes awards ceremony.

We are honored to have the Ciel house featured as an Award of Merit winner. We can only hope it is chosen in its category for the Grand Award. Keep your fingers crossed for our team!